With two feature films and a top-rated TV series, Nina Dobrev is taking a bite out of Hollywood. Check out our interview and go behind-the-scenes with our homegrown September cover star.
Though the big screen is getting harder to resist, The Vampire Diaries—which had the most successful premiere in the CW network’s history—is filled with undeniable perks for Dobrev. As the show’s singular star, she’s come a long way since she played a teen mom on Degrassi: Next Generation. Dobrev plays two distinctly different characters on the show—good-girl-next-door Elena and her evil doppelgänger, revenge-hungry vampire Katherine. “It really is an actor’s boot camp for me,” she says. “Once I’m done with it, I will be able to do anything and everything. I feel like I’ve done everything you could possibly imagine on this one show—action, drama, comedy. We’ve even done lots of stunts. I have to emotionally get to places that I sometimes don’t want to go.”
“Eventually I am going to marry and have a family but not anytime soon. I’m not going to pull a Miley.”
To help her differentiate between the two diametrically opposed roles, the Diaries costume team put together a system wherein Dobrev chooses both of her characters’ outfits. “There are two racks for my two characters and they are on opposite sides of the room. My wardrobe designer set it up for me so I am putting together the pieces as if I am Elena or Katherine,” says Dobrev. “Whenever I’m in Elena’s clothing, my demeanour changes and I just feel more casual and effortless. As soon as I put on any of Katherine’s gear, like a corset, my outlook changes because my posture is changing. Clothes are such a big help.” She breaks into a story about a recent ego boost: Anna Wintour complimented her on the Donna Karan Atelier dress she wore to this year’s Met Ball. “Fashion can affect you onscreen and off-screen, internally as well as externally.”
Another comfort is having her longtime boyfriend, 33-year-old actor Ian Somerhalder—who plays a diabolical vampire on Diaries—nearby for on-set chats. Part of his allure, Dobrev says, is their 10-year age difference. “Women mature a lot faster than men do so I’ve always had trouble relating—or not relating,” she says. “I like to be challenged. I like to be inspired and constantly be learning. I feel like when I’m with someone who’s older than me they have a certain amount of experience in life. There’s a maturity. There’s a different sort of knowledge that they bring to a relationship and the conversations are very different.”
Fans have speculated the couple may be headed down the aisle but Dobrev is quick to quell the rumours. “Eventually I am going to marry and have a family but not anytime soon. I’m not going to pull a Miley [Cyrus]. In this day and age, people are getting married later and having kids later, and I’m not going to be an exception to that. It’s extremely important to have the time and energy to do things like have kids or give your love and attention to another human being properly.”
To read the rest of our cover story, get your copy of our September issue on stands or digitally here.
Behind the scenes
Written by By Eliza Grossman.