Last week, Warner Bros. invited a group of journalists to tour some of their sets, including The Vampire Diaries (which was, I must say, hugely impressive — the Salvatore mansion is essentially fully built out. It’s really gorgeous). On set (in the Salvatore’s living room, actually) we were able to interview Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder about Season 7, and what’s different about playing Stefan and Damon seven years into the show.
Both Ian and Paul told us that they feel their characters have really come full circle. “Stefan has really taken on Season 1 Stefan,” Paul said. “I think that he’s back to being the protagonist of the story. He started out the show as a hero, and Damon is veering more towards Damon Season 1. I think we’re veering back to our roots in that way.”
Throughout the years, the actors have become increasingly involved behind the scenes, with Paul directing two episodes this season, and Ian directing one. The 150th episode of the show is also coming up, which just highlights how long these guys have been playing these roles. And yet, there are still more things for them to explore, especially when it comes to Stefan and Damon’s arcs on the show in the wake of Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) departure from Mystic Falls.
“That’s why we love this season so much,” Ian said. “We’re really able to really focus on what this show was always about, which is this relationship with these two boys, these two brothers in this town, and all of the crazy shit that happens to them.”
Paul also commented, “they are kind of buddies, aren’t they? They’re like the main love story; that fraternal kinship is more powerful and in effect this year more than ever. They should be teaming up and fighting the negative outside forces. There’s no room for them to be at odds with each other. There’s just no room for either one of them to be the villain.”
That dynamic has definitely been a boon to Season 7, with Ian acknowledging,“We’ve been playing these characters for a long time […] and we just want to tell the story the best that we can.” Paul added, “I think people really enjoy it when the brothers are comparable to the guys on Supernatural: buddy up and fight bad guys!”
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights on the CW.