Paul Wesley is returning to the CW.
EW has confirmed that the Vampire Diaries star will direct the 17th episode of Batwoman‘s first season. Wesley revealed the news Monday in an Instagram story that showed the cover of the script, written by Daphne Miles, he’ll be bringing to the screen.
Wesley made his directorial debut in season 5 of The Vampire Diaries, and went on to helm four more episodes before the show’s run ended. Since then, he’s directed episodes of Shadowhunters; Roswell, New Mexico; and the Vampire Diaries spin-off Legacies. Wesley also stars in CBS All Access’ Tell Me a Story, which is in the middle of its second season.
Batwoman just returned from its hiatus with an episode that ended with a major twist: The surprise appearance of a Beth (Rachel Skarsten) who didn’t become the big bad Alice. In other words, there are now two Beths in Gotham right now, one evil and one not.
“Kate is confused, thrilled, and ultimately very conflicted to have the person she’s longed for her entire life finally show up unexpectedly,” showrunner Caroline Dries told EW about Kate dealing with her two twin sisters. “Having both Beth and Alice — what is and what should have been — results in a lot of ambivalence for Kate, who will probably never heal from what happened the day of the car accident.”
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.
In his interview with Andy Cohen Paul talks about the finale of The Vampire Diaries.
Paul Wesley was rooting for a beloved character’s death on The Vampire Diaries’ series finale.
The 37-year-old actor stopped by Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen on Monday to promote his show, Tell Me a Story, and revealed that he wanted his TVD character, Stefan Salvatore, to perish in the CW show’s final episode. Wesley got his wish, as Stefan sacrificed himself in the finale, thus allowing his brother, Damon (Ian Somerhalder), to have a life with Elena (Nina Dobrev), and saving the town, Mystic Falls, from being consumed in hell fire.
“I was very happy that he died and I actually had requested that he die,” Wesley admitted. “He did a lot of bad things and I felt like he deserved death.”
It turns out that all those bad things Stefan did actually came at Wesley’s request.
“I was playing the good guy. I felt like I was starting to become a little bit type cast as the good brother. And I really tried my best to influence them to allow me to be ‘the bad guy’ and they made that happen,” he said of the show’s writers. “Season three I turned into ‘the ripper’ and I felt like that was a big part of my doing.”
While Wesley generally felt “good” about the finale, he revealed that he wished one other person had died during the episode.
“I honestly think both brothers should have died. I feel good about it, although I would’ve liked that we both died and that Elena, the girl at the end of the show, all her memory was wiped and she went on to live a normal life and forgot that we ever existed,” he said. “I think that would’ve been nice.”
Despite wishing that his onscreen brother had perished at the end of season eight, Wesley had nothing but praise for both his and Somerholder’s fictional and real-life relationships.
“Ian’s a very loving guy. We hug a lot… We have cuddled… I’m sure we’ve cuddled up maybe on a plane or something,” Wesley said. “We haven’t spooned. Yet…We hug each other. He gives me kisses on the cheek all the time.”
When it came to his own role, Wesley said that, though he took the job “very seriously,” there were some necessary preparations that required a sense of humor.
“Based on the chest photos, clearly a lot of working out obviously. A lot of tanning. A lot of shaving my chest,” he said of how he groomed for the role. “… I was playing a 17-year-old, so I kinda didn’t have a choice in the matter.”
“… I was playing 160-year-old guy and I had to be stoic and brooding and I had to just think about what it was like to be on this earth for 160 years [and add] a deadpan expression,” he added.
Even with all his praise of the show, his role, and his co-stars, Wesley admitted that he had one major problem with the series as a whole.
“Everyone was a supernatural being! What the hell? There need to be some humans! We’re in the real world! Everyone! Everyone in the whole town was a mystical creature,” he exclaimed. “I feel like… it should’ve been 50/50.”
In September of 2008, HBO launched True Blood, an edgy new show that welcomed viewers to the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, a supernatural hotbed in which local waitress Sookie Stackhouse couldn’t help but fall in love with a vampire … or two. In November of that same year, the first Twilight film hit theaters. Based on the massively successful book series, the movie followed the very human and very clumsy Bella Swan as she discovered that the sexy guy at school had more than just great hair. (Hint: He sparkled in the sunlight.)
So when The CW approached Kevin Williamson (Dawson’s Creek, Scream) and Julie Plec (Kyle XY) about making a vampire show around that same time, they were hesitant to take part in the very established — and possibly dying? — trend. Little did they know, the trend seemed to be as immortal as its subjects.
BACK FROM THE DEAD
Author L.J. Smith launched The Vampire Diaries book series in the early 1990s, long before the days of Bill Compton and Edward Cullen. But when Plec and Williamson sat down to adapt it nearly 20 years later, they had to find a fresh perspective on the town of Fell’s Church and the brotherly love triangle at the center of it all. (Step One? Change the town’s name to Mystic Falls.)
JULIE PLEC [Co-creator]: Kevin [Williamson] and I were having lunch with the CW’s Jen Breslow, who was Kevin’s producing partner for several years before she ended up leaving to go into the network world.
KEVIN WILLIAMSON [Co-creator]: I was dealing with grief because my partner had died recently and I was in total shutdown mode of loss and despair and Julie and Jen had taken me to lunch to try to cheer me up, quite frankly. When someone dies, you’re in a horrible, dark place and you just want to cry all the time. I was in the worst place I’d ever been in my life and they were my friends who were just cheering me up. And then Jen was like, “You just need to work.”
PLEC: I was telling them about a pitch that I had about a supernatural boarding school and how much I loved that world, and we were talking about whether there were any vampires in it. I said, “I don’t think so because as much as I love vampires, between Twilight and True Blood, I feel like vampires are over.” Jen said, “I hope not because we have a book we’ve been trying to put together for a vampire show and we can’t find writers. It’s a series called The Vampire Diaries.” Kevin said, “Oh yeah I know that book, somebody sent it to me years ago wanting to know if I could adapt it into a movie.”
WILLIAMSON: I never read it, but a few years earlier, the book was submitted to my development executive and I just went, “Oh teen vampires, no thank you.” And then everyone passed on it and that was the end of it… until that lunch.
PLEC: Jen said, “Do you guys want to make it into a TV show” and Kevin said, “No.” [Laughs]
WILLIAMSON: It was a big, “Hell no!” [Laughs] There had been all this Twilight success and here comes the show that really puts the nail in the coffin of the vampire trend. I just didn’t want to be the end of a trend. Who knew that it had a long way to go before it died out?
PLEC: I said “I will” because I had never actually created my own TV show so I would’ve done anything. And Kevin goes, “Oh alright let’s do it together.”
WILLIAMSON: Then Julie read the whole book overnight and she called me up and said, “Stop reading right now.” I said, “Why?” And she said, “Because if you turn the page I’m scared you’re going to say no.”
PLEC: I said, “I’m not sure you’re going to like this, but I think that there’s something in here in the way that Buffy built an entire journey around a town. I think there’s something about this town and all the characters within the town that could make it something special.” He wrote me back in an email and said, “You’re right, I am not enjoying it as much as I thought I would but I agree with you about the town.” The problem with the book was it was so similar in set-up to Twilight. The books were written well before Twilight was, so we had that as a defense but it just wasn’t something that he was all that excited about diving into because it felt too familiar. So we had to get over the hump of feeling like it was a retread of another person’s success.
WILLIAMSON: I thought about: What is this really about? It’s about this young girl who is dealing with death. I went, “Okay check that box.” It’s about how this dead man comes along and brings her back to life. I went, “Okay, wouldn’t that be lovely? That’s certainly what I need right now.” And so I used that metaphor and played against that allegory and Julie and I sat down at a kitchen table and we wrote it and we just cried over it. We tried to find that part of it that was really about Elena trying to learn how to live again. And it worked. It really worked. And in a weird way, the whole show was my Stefan.Continue Reading
Paul Wesley is set to return to CBS All Access’ Tell Me a Story in Season 2 as a new character.
The actor known for his role in the former series The Vampire Diaries appeared in the psychological thriller’s first season as Eddie Longo. Created by Kevin Williamson, Tell Me a Story presents well-known fairy tales in a dark and twisted re-imagination.
Each season, new fairy tales and characters are featured, and in Season 2, three princesses take center stage in a way you’ve never seen them before. Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella will all be explored in this next chapter.
In this iteration, Wesley will take on the role of Tucker, who’s a struggling novelist who spends sleepless nights attempting to prove he’s good enough for his fiancée. But things could collapse when a secret threatens his future.
Apart from his work on Tell Me a Story and The Vampire Diaries, Wesley has appeared in Medal of Honor and is currently working on Confessions of a Drug Addicted High School Teacher. Wesley is also a director and has helmed episodes of Roswell, New Mexico and Legacies on The CW.
Don’t miss him when he returns for Season 2 of Tell Me a Story on CBS All Access, and binge the first season on the streaming service now.
Nina shared that things were not always friendly between her and Paul during their time filming Vampire Diaries.
Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley may have played a couple on season one of The Vampire Diaries — but they “despised” each other on set.
On Monday’s episode of Candice King and Kayla Ewell’s Directionally Challenged podcast, Dobrev reflected on joining the CW series 10 years ago, and revealed that her relationship with Wesley has come a long way since they first starred as Elena Gilbert and Stefan Salvatore.
“Paul and I didn’t get along at the beginning of the show. I respected Paul Wesley, I didn’t like Paul Wesley,” the actress dished, sharing that she was shocked by how their chemistry played off on screen. “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?'”
“Everyone thought that we had such good chemistry. I realize now that there’s a fine line between love and hate and we despised each other so much that it read as love but… We really just didn’t get along the first five months of shooting,” she recalled.
Dobrev’s experience with Wesley is a common one for actors, she explained. “Most of the time, love interests in film and TV don’t get along and that reads as really intense chemistry,” she said.
“Maybe we had a moment where we actually connected, and he looked at me and he was like, ’10 years from now, when we’re not on this show, you’re gonna really miss me. You’re gonna miss these times; you’ll look back, and this is gonna be the good old days. We’ll appreciate each other in 10 years,'” she recalled.
“He was so f**king right. We ended up getting to a good place and it was fine,” Dobrev said. “Of everyone, I think I probably see him the most and hang out with him the most. We’re probably the closest. We hang out a lot. We’re really good friends. I love his wife. It’s so funny how time changes everything because I never thought he would be one of my best friends.”
EW.com shares how Paul felt returning to the set that he spent 8 years on when he returned to Atlanta to direct an episode of The Vampire Diaries.
It’s been almost exactly two years since The Vampire Diaries aired its series finale, which — spoiler alert! — saw the heroic Stefan Salvatore sacrifice himself to save everyone he loved (not to mention the entire town of Mystic Falls). With his final shot of the series, Paul Wesley closed a chapter in his life, one that remains closed to this day. “I definitely closed the chapter of that part of my life in terms of in front of the camera. I can’t imagine entering that world in front of the camera,” Wesley tells EW. But the same can’t be said of his life behind the camera.
Thanks to Legacies, which exists in the same world as The Vampire Diaries, the TVD universe lives on with familiar faces (TVD star Matthew Davis is one of Legacies‘ leads) and familiar places (the Salvatore house is now the Salvatore School). So when Wesley was asked to direct an episode of the Originals spin-off, not only did he return to Atlanta, where they’d shot TVD for eight seasons, but he found himself standing in the Salvatore great room, where he’d filmed many a scene as Stefan (including his last).
“As a director, it was still a new experience for me. I was directing a whole new set of actors. The scripts have a different tone,” Wesley says. “But obviously there’s similarities. We were in the Salvatore great room and that was totally trippy. I was having weird flashbacks. Vampire Diaries ended two years ago, and I felt like it had ended three decades ago and when I stepped in there, all these weird memories started coming back. I was like, ‘Oh my god I remember when I sat here and I did this scene and I remember talking to Ian [Somerhalder] about this.’ Everything came rushing in and then it just passed and I moved on. But for a minute there, I had this flood of memories. It was very unusual.”
As for how the directing experience went, Wesley found comfort in some familiar faces he saw around set. “It was so nice having some old friends there,” Wesley says. “Matt Davis of course, some of the crew, my cinematographer and my A.D. These are guys I worked with very intimately for years and it was so nice to see them again and to hang out, and we really all worked our asses off to try to create something good.”
Wesley’s episode of Legacies airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
Paul Wesley directed his first episode of television in 2014. It was a season 5 episode of The Vampire Diaries, the show in which he starred as the noble Stefan Salvatore for what would go on to be eight seasons. He’d add four more episodes to his director’s resume by the time the show ended in 2017. Since then, his television directing career has included Freeform’s hit series Shadowhunters and with this week, he adds Roswell, New Mexico and Legacies — the latest show in the Vampire Diaries universe — to the list.
EW talked to Wesley about his latest projects and his overall experience as a director.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did the experiences of directing Roswell, New Mexico and Legacies compare to each other, but also to your other directing experiences?
PAUL WESLEY: One of the things that I welcomed the most with Legacies was the humor. For years on Vampire Diaries we all wanted to flex our satirical muscles a little bit. I think it’s nice to be able to make fun of not yourself but I suppose of the genre and make it a little more of a wink to the audience. I really enjoyed that aspect of Legacies. And then Roswell is obviously a whole different tone and it’s a completely different set of actors, and it’s New Mexico. I’d never shot in New Mexico. It’s very beautiful; there’s big wide vistas and mountains. It feels almost like a western in a weird way. Those were the two big differentiations between the things that I’ve done already.
Do you have a preference between directing something where you’re familiar with the universe or something that’s completely new to you?
I think sometimes being too comfortable is not necessarily a good thing but then at the same time, I completely understand why someone like Cary Fukunaga would want to direct every episode of Maniac for Netflix. Because it’s kind of like one long movie. I think it depends on the show. Obviously if you’re doing six years of a show that’s 22 episodes a year, that’s not sustainable. The same person can’t do it. It’d be great to do something from beginning to end, and I think that is probably the most satisfying because you get to create the world and then you get to complete the world. I do think it’s difficult for directors to come in and step into someone else’s vision, but that’s part of the challenge. It’s a little more mathematical and logic-based, directing television. I mean that in a good way: you need to understand how the puzzle fits together. You need to have the tone, you need to understand what the pacing is like, and then you can add your own individual touches to it I suppose.
With Roswell, you’re coming in after a monster of an episode where the Rosa mystery was laid out in full. What are we dealing with in the aftermath?
My episode had less stunts and was more character-based, which I prefer. I’ve certainly done my fair share of stunts and green screens and all kinds of VFX but my episode of Roswell was a little more grounded, which was nice. I also think a big part of this is that it’s a season one show. That’s very important. I was very flattered when [showrunner] Carina [MacKenzie] asked me to direct because that’s a lot of responsibility. It’s a season one show, you need to find your audience, you obviously you want to impress executives and the networks and the studios and I think to give me the reins for an episode, it’s flattering. Because I’m still a fairly new director.
What has been your greatest challenge thus far as a director?
When it comes to television, the greatest challenge is time. Sometimes things aren’t working in your favor, whether it’s weather or if it’s an actor needs more time because they can’t find the moment. The biggest challenge is making sure you’re on time. You can’t go over a certain amount of hours and I’ll tell you, I’m super proud of Legacies, everyone loves it, but man there were times when I was like, “I’m not going to be able to finish my day.” I ended up finishing all my days and didn’t go over but it’s not easy when you have six, seven people in a scene, stunts, and fight sequences. Listen, I can shoot anything but in order to make it good you need some time and making something good on a short amount of time, that’s the greatest challenge.
Is there a scene or episode you’re most proud of that you’ve directed?
I think the ending of Legacies is very powerful. I really like the way it ends. As far as in general as a director, I’m not so sure. There’s a handful of scenes that I’m really proud of. There’s a few on the Vampire Diaries that I thought were probably some of my favorites. But I can’t quite recall at this point. It’s all blended in into one giant supernatural CW mix-up in my mind.
Roswell, New Mexico airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET — with Legacies following on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET — both on The CW.
Deadline shares the news that Paul has a new producing deal with Kapital Entertainment!
EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment has forged a production partnership with The Vampire Diaries alum Paul Wesley and his company Citizen Media.
The first two series projects Kapital and Citizen are rolling out together are a drama based on Jason Smith’s non-fiction article Confessions Of a Drug-Addicted High School Teacher, with Wesley attached to star and David Slade (Black Mirror) to direct, and supernatural crime drama Possessed, based on a Korean format.
Under the pact, Kapital will work with Wesley to build his company and its footprint in the market. The Kapital team and Wesley will jointly develop content for Wesley to produce. It will be aimed at broadcast, cable and streaming. Some — but not all — of the projects will be intended as starring vehicles for Wesley who recently co-starred on Kapital’s CBS All Access series Tell Me a Story.
“Paul and I found ourselves aligned in the kinds of stories we wanted to tell and in synch in how we wanted to share them,” Kaplan said. “I am so excited that Paul trusted Kapital to work with Citizen Media to develop and produce great content.”
Confessions Of a Drug-Addicted High School Teacher was one of the first projects Wesley put in development when he launched Citizen Media in 2016 with a deal at Warner Bros. TV. Smith’s article chronicles his two-year stint teaching public high school in northern California. Despite teaching while anesthetized by a heavy dose of prescription narcotics, Jason finds that his brokenness from addiction begins attracting broken students, and in a town obsessed with high school football, he’s not alone in his obsession to escape from himself.
Kapital is executive producing with Wesley, who will star, his former producing partner Bob Levy. as well as Slade, who will direct.
Based on the 2009 Korean series from MBC, Possessed centers on high school girl Ha-na who is always the first to come out and protect her introverted twin sister Doo-na. After Doo-na passes away in a fire, Ha-na finds that her body no longer completely belongs to herself. Doo-na’s angry spirit now lives in Ha-na, giving her special powers and monstrous strength. Genius criminal psychologist Shin Ryu is an expert profiler who is determined to see justice served. When he learns about Ha-na’s abilities, he uses her powers to eliminate criminals that are above the law, and to plan his revenge on the man who helped his family’s killer go free. (You can watch a trailer for the original series below.)
Craig Plestic (The Masked Singer) is executive producing Possessed alongside Kapital and Citizen Media.
This is the latest producing partnership for Kapital, which also has deals with directors Victor Gonzalez and David Semel.
“I’ve admired the work that Aaron and Kapital have been doing, and I’m very excited to team up with them to create content we can be proud of,” Wesley said.
Over the last few years, Wesley’s production company, Citizen Media, has set up multiple series projects for development at various networks and studios including ABC, Fox 21 TV TV Studios, Warner Bros TV/Warner Horizon and Freeform.
Wesley starred on The Vampire Diaries for eight seasons, directed multiple episodes throughout the series’ run, and served as a producer for the 8th and final season.
He recently appeared in Netflix’s docu-drama Medal Of Honor produced by Robert Zemeckis and Jack Rapke. He also did two off Broadway theater productions in 2018. Behind the camera, last year he directed episodes of Roswell, New Mexico and Legacies.
Wesley is repped by ICM, Management 360, and attorney Marcy Morris. Slade is with UTA. MBC is repped by Paradigm.
Kaplan currently has 11 series on the air, 10 of them through Kapital.