The Originals' Joseph Morgan Talks Directing His First Episode, How He 'Couldn't Have Done It' Without Wife Persia White
The Originals airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on The CW
This week’s episode of The Originals marks Morgan’s television directorial debut. He’s directed a few short films on the past, but never something on this scale, and he was surprised by how “huge” the episode ended up being in terms of sequences, stunts, and visual effects. Thankfully, his wife was by his side to support him through it all.
“My wife was just incredible during the whole process. She was just so utterly supportive,” Morgan, 34, tells PEOPLE. “I couldn’t have done it without her.”
During the eight days of filming, White, who married Morgan in 2014, did everything from making sure he had coffee every morning to visiting him set and talking through ideas with him.
“She’s an incredible creative force in my life,” he says of his wife, who also made sure he ate. “[She created] such an incredibly supportive environment at home for me.”
“Behind the Black Horizon,” Friday’s episode, finds Elijah ( Daniel Gillies) and Finn (Casper Zafer) traveling to Mystic Falls to track down Lucien (Andrew Lees), who kidnapped their sister Freya (Riley Voelkel) and plans on performing a ritual that would make him strong enough to defeat the originals. Meanwhile, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) and Klaus are investigating Lucien’s company Kingmaker.
Although he found directing stressful at times, he didn’t have much time to dwell on that because things were moving very quickly.
“We had three days that were daylight dependent and only 10 hours of daylight to shoot them in, and [they included] huge sequences with six actors with stunts and visuals effects and a lot of drama. So, I really just didn’t stop moving until the sun went down those days,” he says.
The key to succeeding, for him, was preparation. Before the episode started shooting, he and cinematographer Roger Chingirian spent several Saturdays walking the sets and discussing shots and he had rehearsals with all the cast, who he says was very accommodating.
Ultimately, he found the experience “incredibly rewarding.” He learned he was much more patient person than he realized and that he really loves directing – maybe a little too much.
“I will say, I was a bit under-stimulated going back to my day job,” he says. “Like, ‘What do you mean I’m not part of every scene and every decision today?'”
The Originals airs at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.