Although I initially tuned in to “Vampire Diaries” out of obligation to Kevin “Scream” Williamson, by episode four I was so obsessed with the world he’d dubbed Mystic Falls, I was now watching out of necessity.
The show has shirked any preconceived notion about its “Twilight”-similarities and evolved into one of the smartest, sexiest, funniest, scariest and most enthralling shows on television. Tonight, “Vampire Diaries” — which has made a habit out of one-upping itself every week — takes things to the next level with its most harrowing episode to date.
But as star Nina Dobrev tells PopWrap, this is only the beginning. The season long rollercoaster climb is nearing the top and the deathdive season finale will have fans dying for season two!
PopWrap: It’s been roughly six months since “Vampire Diaries” debuted. Has it been a whirlwind?
Nina Dobrev: Oh my god, it truly feels like it’s been six days because everything happened at such a fast rate. It’s been intense and incredible and I wake up every morning and can’t believe it sometimes.
PW: When we spoke back in October you were clearly confident in the show’s ability to find an audience — one People’s Choice Award for Best New Drama later — how excited are you that it clicked?
Nina: You know, I remember shooting the pilot and I did feel good about it. I had this sixth sense that told me not to worry and it turned out that all the hard work and enthusiasm we have for the show has been matched – if not exceeded – by the fans.
PW: What’s your favorite part about working on the show?
Nina: I know a lot of people dread going to work every morning, but my work is playing pretend and doing stunts and screaming. It’s a lot of fun and I get to play dress up. Every day is exciting and different and new and cool. I couldn’t be more grateful.
PW: And when you play Katherine, you really get to play dress up. Have you enjoyed getting to create two completely different characters in the same show?
Nina: [laughs] That’s what’s most exciting about it – it’s a really rare opportunity that I have. The fact that I can play this nice, strong, courageous girl but also this conniving narcissistic, selfish self-indulgent woman is amazing. Katherine’s been around for hundreds of years and she is threatening and scary and dangerous.
PW: Will we be seeing Katherine again this season?
Nina: I don’t want to give a spoiler – just wait and see.
PW: Fair enough. What we do already know is that Elena and Damon team up tonight when Stefan is kidnapped — what else can you tell us?
Nina: Elena and Damon team up out of circumstance and love and need [to save Stefan]. This episode is very pivotal – something will happen that has not happened in the past to one specific character and it’s going to change, jolt and affect everyone in some way. It’s kind of shocking and will be interesting for the audience to see where it goes from there because after tonight, it gets really crazy.
PW: For many fans, the idea of Elena dating Damon is more intriguing than Stefan.
Nina: Really? That’s funny.
PW: You don’t see them as a viable couple?
Nina: I think people think that because it’s such a forbidden attraction. Everyone knows that Damon is dangerous and sooooo not right for her in all these ways, but there is an understanding between them. She doesn’t like him but she understands where he’s coming from and why he does what he does. Their relationship is getting more complex. Who knows what could happen in the future, but right now, it’s all Stefan all the time for Elena. She will do anything for him. Including having to put up with Damon.
PW: But it seems like the show wants us to want them together — especially in light of this picture (below) from the episode about Miss Mystic Falls.
Nina: All I will tell you is that as things keep progressing, them teaming up in any way is always out of circumstance. It’s always out of necessity. Elena is very loyal, has high morals and whatever she does, it’s for good. She’s nothing like Katherine. She’s not conniving and she would never do anything to hurt Stefan.
PW: Speaking of the Miss Mystic Falls pageant, did you have any experience with that world?
Nina: No, I hadn’t — but it’s not your typical beauty pageant. It’s not throwing batons and wishing for world peace. It ties into the history of the town and it’s all building up to that big event, Founders Day.
PW: Your show is one of the only ones that ends every episode with a cliffhanger. Does that — no pun intended — raise the stakes for the season finale?
Nina: Oh yeah, oh yeah. Every episode has to be shocking — especially the finale, which we start shooting next week.
PW: Have you read the script yet?
Nina: No one’s seen the script yet, but we’re hearing rumors and I guarantee that there will be more than one, two, three or four cliffhangers, “oh my god” moments that will be extremely shocking. The summer will be excruciating on fans as they wait for season two. You’ll just want to know. Hell, I want to know!
PW: Lastly, when I talked to Kevin Williamson in November, he picked Taylor Swift as his dream guest star to play a vampire on the show — who is yours?
Nina: Amanda Seyfried. I think she would be a bad-ass vampire. She’s so talented and has that look – those piercing eyes. And I’m sure she could be a vicious and terrifying vampire. I’d love it if she came on the show!
“The Vampire Diaries” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW