10 THE LOVE STORY
One of the main plot points of The Vampire Diaries is the romance between its heroes, usually complicated, sometimes easier. In the books by L. J. Smith, Elena Gilbert first dates Stefan, and she also does so in the TV show. However, Elena and Damon eventually get together, even though she couldn’t stand him at first, she thought he was arrogant and dangerous.
Yet, these two, after facing many problems and enemies, finally got their happily ever after. But did you know this almost didn’t happen? The Vampire Diaries‘ showrunner didn’t want Elena and Damon to end up together and only caved in when it became clear that fans shipped these two really hard.
9 FAKE HAIR
In the books, Elena has very light blonde hair and equally light eyes. However, in the TV show, Bulgarian-Canadian actress Nina Dobrev played Elena. Nina Dobres has brown eyes and dark brown hair. Her hair is naturally straight, which wasn’t a problem when she way playing Elena.
But Dobrev also portrayed Elena’s doppelganger Katherine in the show and Katherine has rich wavy, almost curly hair. One might think that the hair department simply always curled Dobrev’s hair, but she actually wore a wig as Katherine! You’d never guess it at looking at her since the hair looks very realistic, though.
8 VAMPIRE IN THE MAKE-UP CHAIR
Acting isn’t only about learning your lines and not bumping into the furniture while you’re filming your scenes. It also includes long hours spent in the make-up chair, especially if you’re playing a supernatural creature or an alien (like Karen Gillan aka Nebula could surely attest).
Back to The Vampire Diaries though. While the show’s actors who played vampires didn’t have to spend so long in the make-up, at least if you compare it to other roles (such as the above-mentioned Nebula), putting on their vampire’s faces still took all three hours! They had to put on special contact lenses, fangs, prosthetics, and, of course, special make-up.
7 THE AUDITIONING PROCESS
The auditioning process is one of the most challenging parts of any actor’s life, maybe except the most famous ones, Hollywood a-listers. So when a new TV show or a film is casting, it can take up to a dozen audition before an actor actually gets the part.
Paul Wesley who played Stefan in The Vampire Diaries knows this all too well. He reportedly auditioned for the role of Stefan incredible 15 times! He finally got it when the producers saw him do a scene with Nina Dobrev since the chemistry between those two apparently was incredible. In comparison, Ian Somerhalder auditioned “only” two times to play Stefan’s older brother Damon.
6 EATING BLOOD
Vampires drink a lot of blood, that’s a given in any fantasy/sci-fi/horror tale. They drink even more blood if they have problems with self-control, as some The Vampire Diaries vampires do. Consequently, one of the best things about being an actor is the free food you’ll get, that is if you really like eating.
You may be asking what do these two things have in common. Well, on the set of The Vampire Diaries, the fake blood used for portraying vampire snacks, was actually edible. So if anybody got a little hungry, they could eat it, as it contained corn syrup, peppermint extract, and other yummy ingredients.
5 CASTING GAMES
Casting for any TV show or a film is usually complicated, considering how many actors fight for the same part. It’s not then uncommon for an actor to audition for a certain part but end playing a completely different character (for example, Tom Hiddleston originally auditioned to play Thor).
In The Vampire Diaries‘ world, the competition was fierce. Zach Roerig (Matt Donovan), Michael Trevino (Tyler Lockwood) and Paul Wesley all auditioned to play Damon before they got their parts. Stephen Amell wanted to play Elijah Mikaelson but played Brady instead. Torrey DeVitto portrayed Meredith Fell but originally auditioned for the part of Elena. And you could go on like this for quite some time.
4 AGE ISSUES
Actors playing vampires often have the disadvantage that while they continue to age, their characters don’t. That’s especially obvious when an adult actor plays a teenager – no matter how young they look, they usually can’t pull it off (of course, exceptions do exist). That’s why some fans noticed that the ages of the characters in The Vampire Diaries don’t quite fit.
For example, Elena is two years older than her brother Jeremy but Nina Dobres is actually six months younger than Steven R. McQueen who played Jeremy. And even though Elena and Stefan are both supposed to be 17 years old in the first season, Paul Wesley is six years older than Dobrev.
3 IRONY IN ACTION
However, one of the biggest examples of irony when it comes to an actor’s age in The Vampire Diaries is Ian Somerhalder’s case. Damon was born in 1839 and is 7 years older than Stefan who was born in 1846. When Damon became a vampire, he was 24 years old while his younger brother was 17.
When Ian Somerhalder began playing Damon in 2009, he was 31 years old, therefore 7 years older than Damon should have been. Why is this important? Well, The Vampire Diaries‘ creators didn’t consider Somerhalder to be too old to play a guy in his early 20s. Yet when Somerhalder auditioned to play Jason Stackhouse in True Blood, he didn’t get the part, because – you guessed it! – he supposedly looked too old for it. Talk about irony…
2 BAD GUYS HAVE MORE FUN
Let’s stay with Ian Somerhalder and Damon a bit longer. The Vampire Diaries featured many memorable villains, but Damon has the privilege of being the first serious villain and the threat to Elena’s and Stefan’s happiness as a couple. And that was okay since fans loved the bad guy Damon, his snarky sense of humor, and dark, good looks.
However, as time progressed, Damon slowly, but surely changed, and in the end, he turned into a good guy. Ian Somerhalder was originally against this change and he wanted for Damon to remain a bad guy. He only changed his mind when it became clear how important and beautiful the relationship between Elena and reformed Damon could be.
1 LOVE EVERYWHERE
This list started with love and it will also, appropriately, end it with. When actors work together on the same TV show for many years and seasons and spend a lot of time together, sparks are bound to start flying. And The Vampire Diaries have rich dating history both on-screen and behind the screen.
You probably already know that Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder dated for quite a while before they split up. However, they weren’t the only couple who got together thanks to the show. Joseph Morgan who played Klaus Mikaelson married actress Persia White who portrayed Bonnie’s mom Abby. Candice King (Caroline) and Steven R. McQueen dated in real life. And then there’s Paul Wesley and Phoebe Tonkin (Hayley) who also dated for a few years..