‘The Vampire Diaries’ was one of the most popular shows on TV in the States last year and it’s finally reached our shores.
The RTÉ Guide’s Janice Butler caught up with Nina and Paul at the Monte Carlo TV Festival to get all the juicy details from the show.
Janice Butler: Taking into consideration the name of the show, do you keep a diary yourself?
Nina Dobrev: No! I barely have time to sleep at night so I haven’t had a chance to keep a journal. I did write in a diary on and off and I wish that I continued to do it. It’s so funny looking back on them and at the time the smallest thing seemed so grave and important.
JB: Why do you think the vampire genre has become such a phenomenon?
ND: The vampire symbols a lot of different things. They used to be depicted as ugly and terrifying but now women are throwing themselves at them and want to be bitten! The vampire is like the outcast, the person that doesn’t fit in – everyone just wants to be loved and accepted.
JB: Do you think there’s an expiry date on it?
ND: I really hope there’s no expiry date for the sake of our show. But you know, the fact that Twilight was so successful it made the world aware that people wanted to see more about vampires. So thankfully for us, Twilight has given us the opportunity to make a TV show and I think we have a few more years at least.
JB: What is it like being stuck in the middle of two gorgeous boys on this show?
ND: Oh it’s horrible!! But thankfully I’m not stuck between Ian and Paul. These boys are my family now especially because we shoot in Georgia so we are away from our own families all the time. We’re very close and there are wonderful people – I couldn’t ask for a better cast.
JB: Before you got your big break on Vampire Diaries, I believe you were a model, did you enjoy that experience?
ND: I did a small bit of modelling, when I was younger I was a gymnast so I was very petite and tall and someone thought I could be a model. I tried it for a little while but realised I didn’t feel fulfilled just standing there and looking pretty, I wanted to express emotion and I felt like I had more to say. To those who do it, I think they’re great, but it’s not my cup of tea.
JB: You recently turned the big 21 this year, are you where you wanted to be at this milestone?
ND: I’m ahead of where I ever imagined I would be. Everyone has aspirations but I feel I was living the secret lifestyle without the branding of it, and I just didn’t think I would achieve it so quickly. I’m very lucky and I know that, I don’t take it for granted. I’m not one of those people that achieve success and go crazy, I’m very low key.
JB: There are so many comparisons made between Vampire Diaries and Twilight, does that ever get frustrating?
Paul Wesley: Well look, it’s incredibly similar, we both have a high-school setting, a mysterious guy that turns up and falls in love with a mortal girl. He’s got all these conflicts because of the nature of his situation and the fact that she is a vampire. So I understand that the premises of both stories are almost identical. Some people say I actually look like Rob Pat. I didn’t see Twilight prior to shooting Vampire Diaries but it would be ignorant and stupid to say that our show didn’t generate a buzz because of the success of Twilight but I think we have distinguished ourselves at this stage.
JB: Who’d win in a fight: Edward Cullen or Stefan?
PW: I don’t know enough about Edward Cullen, to be honest with you, so I don’t know what his abilities and powers are. That’s really up to the viewer or reader to decide. Once they start seeing the show, they can make their decision, but I have no idea. I can’t even answer that.
JB: Have you done a back-story for your character’s 100-year life?
PW: Yeah. First of all, I have the books as reference, which is nice, even though it’s not a verbatim thing, where we’re following the books, word for word. But, I have that as a great reference for back0story. Then, as an actor, I think everybody creates a little bit of a back-story, especially me. Stefan has so much history that I have too.
JB: While Damon is clearly the evil brother, is there a darker side to Stefan that we’ll get to see?
PW: I want to explore that. I think he indulged as a vampire for a little bit. And now, if things don’t go his way, and Damon gets his girl, and things are coming to an end, he may have to resort to violence and some malicious activity.
JB: Stefan is a very cool character, and a hit with the ladies, is this true to life?
PW: It’s actually funny that I’m playing this suave vampire because I’m probably the worst when it comes to women, I’m a stuttering fool. I’m always looking for some tips.
JB: Since the show has been such a success, would you have any ambitions to make a big screen version of it?
PW: I don’t know actually, no one’s ever asked me that. We would have to see if it could translate onto the big screen. I remember they did ‘The X Files’ movie and from what I can recall it didn’t work.
The Vampire Diaries, Wednesdays, TG4