‘The Vampire Diaries’: Nina Dobrev on juggling good and evil


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Nina Dobrev is going a little crazy. The actress plays the dual roles of sweet, innocent Elena and evil, naughty vampire Katherine on the CW’s ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ which finally will return Jan. 27 with a new episode. It’s a challenging job that at one point this season called for Dobrev to play opposite herself during a tense heart-to-heart between Elena and Katherine, as well as play Katherine during her human days in 1400s Bulgaria, Katherine masquerading as a Brit and Katherine as a newly made vampire all in one episode.

‘It’s not easy, and I think I’m slowly becoming a schizophrenic because of it,’ Dobrev said during the CW’s Kick-Ass Women panel at the TCA Press Tour last week. At a cocktail party after the event, she spoke further with a small group of reporters, including Show Tracker, about getting to play two such diametrically opposed characters.


‘Elena, I get to do a lot of emotional scenes. She goes through such a roller-coaster ride,’ she said. ‘With Katherine, I just get to [mess] with everyone. I just get to play around and have fun and be bad and get away with things that all throughout my life I’ve been taught by my parents not to do. Now I get paid for it.’

But it might not stop with Elena and Katherine. Could Dobrev be playing a third character at some point? ‘Hypothetically,’ she said. ‘Because Katherine is the first doppelganger, that means there was one before her. So I guess we’ll what happens.’ She’s up for the challenge too even though she’s got her hands ‘very full right now’ with two roles. ‘I’m sure it would be interesting,’ she said.

Until then, she just wants to get out of the tomb, where Katherine has been trapped without blood for several episodes. ‘I’m going tomb crazy myself,’ she said. ‘I’ve been in the same wardrobe for six episodes. Every time I shoot that, they have to actually make my hair dirty and mess it up.’ Real dirt and teasing goes into Dobrev’s hair, as well as drawn-on, under-eye dark circles to make the CW star look like a ‘desiccating’ and ‘sickly’ vampire. ‘I love getting nitty-gritty and doing the opposite,’ Dobrev said, but she’s ready for a change of scenery. ‘I feel dirty and gross and I want to shower. I’m ready to come out of the tomb too. I’m ready to never be in the tomb ever again.’

Thankfully, she still gets to play in the sun as Elena, who’s focused on a suicide mission right now’ to save her friends and family in exchange for her life. But will Elena keep up her end of the deal with Elijah?

‘I think so,’ Dobrev said. ‘Elena will do whatever it takes to keep everyone around her safe. So whether that ends up being keeping the promise or, in the spur of the moment, something happens and she has to, in order to keep her friends safe, not keep her promise, then she will do whatever it takes.’

And if Elena does survive, what will happen to her after graduation? Would she like to see college in her future? ‘Yeah, of course,’ she said. ‘But she hasn’t really been in school much lately, so I don’t know how she’s going to graduate.... Well you know what, she probably still gets As in all of her schoolwork even though she doesn’t go because her aunt is dating her teacher.’


Sounds like Elena has a bit of Katherine’s naughtiness in her after all.

Readers, are you excited for the show’s return? Are you hoping Katherine gets out of the tomb? And what do you think will happen with Elena and Elijah’s deal?

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-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)