During The Vampire Diaries’ first season, it was all about Elena and Stefan’s love story. Things got off to a rocky start on screen, of course, due to Stefan’s identity as a vampire and his brother coming to town, among other things. Off-screen, though, things were also tumultuous between their off-screen counterparts, albeit for entirely different reasons.
In a recent interview, Nina Dobrev revealed that she and co-star Paul Wesley actually “despised each other” during those early days in Season 1. Yes, you heard that right. Dobrev shared that surprising revelation during an episode of a podcast hosted by her former Vampire Diaries co-stars Candice King and Kayla Ewell. (King played Elena’s best friend, Caroline, while Ewell portrayed Matt’s doomed sister, Vicki.) Speaking of her and Wesley’s dynamic, Dobrev told Directionally Challenged:
Paul and I didn't get along at the beginning of the show. I respected Paul Wesley, I didn't like Paul Wesley. We really just didn’t get along the first maybe five months of shooting.
\Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley do not get enough credit for their acting abilities during that time. Not only were they acting out an out-of-this-world scenario as Elena and Stefan, but they were also convincing millions of fans that their characters were in love with each other. Meanwhile, in real life, the co-stars were not getting along in the slightest.
Remember, those were the crucial episodes when The Vampire Diaries was working overtime to reel fans in with their characters’ burgeoning love story. It worked, too! When fans were going crazy for the couple’s on-screen chemistry, they speculated something must have been happening on that front behind the camera, too. Nina Dobrev talked about that totally wrong-headed speculation, saying:
I remember everyone would walk up to me after the show aired and they'd be like, 'Are you and Paul dating in real life?’ Because everyone thought that we had such good chemistry. . . . We despised each other so much, that it read as love.
This is classic! At least they felt something, right? Powerful emotions tend to register on-screen, even if they're not exactly the ones that are meant to be portrayed. It has always been my understanding that having any sort of reaction between actors is better than nothing. Even if it is sparks of the not-so-positive variety, it tends to show up on-screen.
Any and all harsh feelings between Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley ended up getting resolved, and the actress revealed that tensions between herself and Wesley have long since passed. She explained their current relationship, saying:
We ended up getting to a good place and it was fine. Of everyone, I think I probably see him the most and hang out with him the most. We’re probably the closest. It’s so funny how time changes everything because I never thought he would be one of my best friends.
In the end, Elena and Stefan ended up in an okay spot with each other, too, though they did not end up staying together. Elena got together with Stefan’s brother, Damon, and Stefan did not survive the series finale. Damon and Elena's daughter, Stefanie Salvatore, has gotten a mention on Legacies. How and if she will be introduced on the spinoff has fans on the edge of their seats.
Nina Dobrev’s Fam got cancelled. Whether that could mean Dobrev putting in an appearance as Elena in Season 2 of Legacies remains to be seen. The actress recently revealed her favorite episodes of the flagship series, so she clearly has kept her fond feelings for it and Paul Wesley fresh. All is well that ends well?
The Vampire Diaries’ currently ongoing spinoff, Legacies, will return this fall, and new episodes of Season 2 will air on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. You just have to enjoy this summer’s television premieres first, though you can currently binge The Vampire Diaries in its entirety on Netflix, alongside the streaming service's vast array of premieres.