Paul recently spoke with Parade and they talked about working on The Vampire Diaries, his co-star & friend Ian Somerhalder and what his first love is.
Last year may have marked the end of The Twilight Saga, but the vampire phenomenon is alive and well on the small screen thanks in part to The Vampire Diaries (CW, Thursdays). At the center of the bloodsucking hit is Paul Wesley, who plays a 165-year-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore.
As The Vampire Diaries gets ready to wrap its fourth season, Wesley, 30, talked to PARADE about his role on the show, his heartthrob status, and more.
On playing undead.
“My favorite part about playing Stefan is when he gets to explore his own darkness. I really enjoy finding flaws in the hero, and I think Stefan is the hero of the story in a sense. I love finding his faults and what makes him tick. I definitely prefer the dark Stefan.”
On becoming a pop culture phenomenon.
“I had an idea it would take off the way it did because I knew that vampires were very popular, and I knew of [creator] Kevin Williamson’s work, so I had an inkling that this would do well — I just didn’t know just how well!”
On filming in Atlanta, Ga.
“It is really hard work. It’s a lot of night shoots and grueling schedules, so levity is definitely something we need every once and awhile in order to make it sustainable. There’s definitely a lot of silliness that ensues on set!”
On his on-screen brother (and off-screen friend) Ian Somerhalder.
“We’ve become really good buddies. I know every single thing about him on every possible level. I’ve never done a television series for this long, and it’s kind of like the longest relationship you’ll ever have — other than my family and my wife. I feel like I know the good, the bad, the ugly, and the great about everyone in the cast — and they can say the same about me!
On his heartthrob status.
“To be honest, I think its endearing and sweet, but I don’t really think about it too much.”
On what he wanted to be as a kid.
“Hockey was my first passion and my first love. I wanted to be an ice hockey player, but I got into a little bit of trouble and got kicked off the team. I started looking for something else to do, and that’s when I got into theater. I don’t know if I ever saw myself making it a profession, but I definitely think that by the age of 18 I figured out that I would do this for the rest of my life.”
On finding time for his first love.
“I get out on the ice every once in awhile and play hockey —definitely in the winter time. I like doing winter activities. Sometimes I’ll go home to New Jersey and play a couple of pick-up games. I don’t get to do a ton of it in Atlanta. I’m sure there’s an ice rink somewhere, but I don’t get a lot of time with filming. I think its one of the best sports out there. I miss it. I miss being a kid and having ice hockey being the most important thing in the world!”