In an early episode of the CW’s hit drama, bad boy vampire Damon Salvatore (played by Ian Somerhalder) flipped through a book in the Twilight series and dismissed it, saying, “This book, by the way, has it all wrong.” Scoffing at the idea of a vampire that “sparkles,” he also added, “I live in the real world where vampires burn in the sun.”
The cast and writers of Vampire Diaries are aware that being the latest blood-sucking drama to unfold following the success of Twilight and True Blood will inevitably force comparisons, but they’re not worried by it.
“When the show first started … you automatically thought Twilight,” Nina Dobrev, who plays mortal heroine Elena Gilbert, tells Nylon magazine. “But once you continue, there’s a whole other side of it that goes a lot deeper. It’s about letting everyone know that we’re different but we all respect each other.”
The show’s stars are also quick to give Twilight’s Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) their due for the popularity of Vampire Diaries. (The show is averaging twice the audience of the CW’s other hit, Gossip Girl.)
“Do I think the show would be successful as it is, if it weren’t for all that? No,” says Paul Wesley, who plays Elena’s brooding, repentant vampire boyfriend, Stefan Salvatore.
Somerhalder agrees, saying he too was positive the show would catch on because of the current vampire phenomenon, and was eager to join the cast. “This is gonna be the coolest character on television,” he says of playing Damon, Stefan’s charismatic and trouble-making undead brother. “It reminded me of Sawyer, Josh Holloway’s character on Lost. He was always the character I secretly wished I could play.
The Vampire Diaries is finally back on the CW tonight, and no one is more excited than one Mr. Ian Somerhalder, who is finally getting to score some one-on-one time with the girl, Elena (Nina Dobrev).
“Damon and Elena are going on a trip, and it’s only the beginning of something,” Ian teases.
What kind of something? How far will it go? Well, executive producer Julie Plec admits to knockdown, drag-out fights in the writers’ room as to whether Elena should end up with Damon or the equally irresistible Stefan (Paul Wesley). “It’s just like how we were back in the day about Dawson or Pacey!” she laughs. Here’s the scoop the Vampire gang gave to me exclusively…
Julie Plec on the Love Triangle: “The fans take the Damon, Elena and Stefan love triangle very seriously. It reminds me of when I worked on Dawson’s Creek and we would honestly get into verbal brawls about whether Joey should be with Dawson or Pacey. We did that right up until the very end!” So where do things stand now on TVD? “We know that the show’s true love right now is Stefan and Elena—but then you have Damon, and he is like the show’s Pacey, so we can’t count him out.”
Ian Somerhalder on Damon and Elena: “Damon’s never kissed Elena. Not yet. Oh, but when he does, she’s gonna enjoy it so much more than Stefan. I mean, c’mon! Damon is a much better kisser than Stefan!” Ian adds, “When the vervain is out of the picture, some interesting things do happen. I think Elena really enjoys herself when she’s around Damon. She has a very good time.”
Nina Dobrev on What’s Next for Elena: “I’ll tell you that there is a huge Katherine episode coming out in hopefully a few weeks. It’s coming up shortly. And I have so much fun playing Katherine because she’s so unlike myself. She’s so conniving and narcissistic, and it’s always fun as an actress to get to do the polar opposite and be someone you’re not and get it all out. And basically what I did was—because Damon learned everything he did through Katherine, she was his mentor in a way, that I just made Katherine the female version of him.”
Paul Wesley on What’s Next for the Love Triangle: “We are going to see more of the Salvatore backstory, and that will answer a lot of questions as to why things are the way they are. I’m really excited for that, but it’s the kind of thing—they’ll put me in a cage if I reveal anything like that.
That said, the question might not be whether Elena ends up with Stefan or Damon, but whether Elena ends up herself or more like Katherine. ‘Cause it certainly seems like Stefan and Elena are a perfectly good fit, while according to Nina, Damon and Katherine are two perfectly evil peas in a pod.
What are you hoping to see on Vampire Diairies next? And after you see it, what did you think of tonight’s episode? Was it worth the wait?