INTERVIEW WITH NINA DOBREV
Tell us about your character Elena.
?Elena is a high school girl trying to get back to leading a normal sort of life. She?s just lost her parents in a car accident so she?s trying to cope with that whilst taking care of her brother Jeremy who has started taking drugs.
?Her aunt Jenna is now their guardian but she?s not much older than Elena, so she?s got all these responsibilities and pressures that no other teen in her class or age range has to deal with.
?Aside from that she also happens to be dating a vampire which complicates things a little further! I always seem to say Elena can never catch a break. Not one day goes by without some sort of dramatic incident happening in her life, she?s like some sort of glue between everyone. Not all the characters know each other, but she?s the one that seems to connect them all.
?She?s a great character to play. Not only does she have this complexity and different range of emotions, which is a challenge every day but also I have a lot of scenes with Ian and Paul and they?re a lot of fun. It?s fun to go on set because they?re both so crazy, it?s like I?m with my family, we all get along so well.?
All the characters in the show are tense and jumpy. What is the vibe like behind the scenes when the cameras stop rolling?
?It depends on what we?re filming. A lot of the time when the boys are in their vamp mode with their contacts in it?s kind of scary. I don?t go near them because they are really intimidating and they look very menacing.
?When it?s not an extremely emotional scene there are a lot of times when we?re having fun. We?ll do the work but we also know that if you?re not here enjoying yourself and each other?s company then it will create a tense environment.
?After 17 hours of filming you become delusional and delirious. You have to cool down and take it with a pinch of salt.
?We have the best jobs in the world. I couldn?t imagine doing anything else and be as happy as I am. I basically go to work and play. I get to be other people and put on costumes and have people do my hair and make up, go to the premiere of Sherlock Holmes, meet Elton John and fly to England and it?s just awesome.?
Your on-screen best friend Bonnie is psychic. Have you ever experienced anything out of the ordinary?
?Not something that?s just been me on my own but I have experienced paranormal activities. Recently we were shooting at a haunted house. It was this beautiful home but had a really dark history. The original owner lived there during the time of the civil war in Georgia. He had over a hundred slaves and he went crazy and had all the slaves killed and buried on the grounds. So there is all this death in one place and lots of weird things kept happening while we were there.
?Everyone knows when you?re filming, no-one speaks, no-one walks, no-one moves because of sound reasons. All of a sudden, the piano started playing and the director yelled ?Someone get that person off the piano? but when we went upstairs, there was no-one in the room.
?The lights kept turning on and off and all this weird stuff kept happening so I think the spirits were messing with us. I couldn?t feel anything but I definitely felt uncomfortable and we were there for three days.
?I only felt afraid when production showed me pictures of myself for continuity. In some of the images I had bluey-grey lips but it wasn?t like an ink smudge, I literally had bluey-grey lips. Then in the next couple of pictures I didn?t have that colour, it was like the spirit kissed me or something. I had to go into that room where the picture was taken and I was like ?Hey buddy, how?s it going? You?re creeping me out?. But I?ve never experienced anything and didn?t believe up until then.?
In the show your character is torn between two very opposite brothers. If you could advise Elena, who would you tell her to choose?
?I don?t know because if I were in her position I would be torn too. I think separately they are very different; Stefan is the romantic, determined, very committed man who is so deeply in love with her and would do anything to protect her. Damon is very playful and fun and open and that?s what Stefan lacks, he doesn?t have this openness, he keeps secrets and doesn?t tell her everything so basically together, they make the perfect man. At the beginning of the series, it?s just Stefan all the time, but it might not always be that way.?
It must be hard working with two such attractive boys?
?It?s terrible, terrible, terrible. Obviously I?m just kidding. They?re amazing, physically obviously. On a superficial level everyone is beautiful. But underneath as people they are wonderful individuals and talented, fun and cool. We?ve all really bonded and become friends and lean on each other because we live in Atlanta and don?t know anyone else, so we?ve sort of become a family. We?re really lucky.?
How do you think Elena will react when she eventually discovers Stefan is a vampire?
?The only thing I can say to anyone watching the show is: put yourself in Elena?s position. Imagine if you were to find out that the person you love and have all these feelings for is revealed as some sort of otherworldly creature who kills on a daily basis and has all these tendencies? Just imagine how you would react! I don?t think anyone would be thrilled with the prospect but I think she?s a very strong woman. If anyone can handle it, it?ll be Elena.?
Do you ever get scared by Ian and Paul when they?ve been transformed into vampires?
?Yes – they look so creepy. They both have amazing eyes, but when Ian puts the contacts in, his eyes get even bluer and the red is so bloodshot. When he?s got the teeth in he just looks very demonic, they both do, so I keep my distance. There?s a five foot radius and I let them do their thing. I haven?t really had to act with them as vampires as they don?t get that way when they?re around Elena unless they?re protecting her.?
Are you a fan of The Vampire Diaries books?
?I had not read them before I auditioned for the show but when I did I was really intrigued. I think it?s a great foundation for our show. L.J Smith has really created something that has expanded into a great show.
?My character has changed the most from how she is portrayed in the books to the series. She?s a little bit more relatable and more like a girl who has real issues.
?In the books she?s more focused on her appearance and being the queen bee at school and getting what she wants. It?s not necessarily that way in the show, she has different priorities.?
What are the best things about working on The Vampire Diaries?
?The whole experience and being challenged on a day to day basis. Plus, working with such amazing people and getting to travel to places. Every day is different.?
Why should ITV2 viewers tune in to watch the show?
?Our show has so many different aspects and qualities that can appeal to every single person whether you?re 12, 17, 25, or 32. There?s action, drama, suspense, epic love, comedic moments where we make fun of ourselves and other pop culture references. It?s fun and scary. Kevin Williamson created the Scream movies and Dawson?s Creek so he has moulded those two great genres together.?