Johannesburg - Choosing between a lovestruck Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) would give any girl sleepless nights. They are quite a catch. Such was Elena Gilbert’s (Nina Dobrev) heart-breaking plight this season, amid revelations of Klaus and The Original Family in The Vampire Diaries. Debashine Thangevelo bagged an exclusive interview with Wesley, who opened up about his character succumbing to darkness as the Ripper and why the series leaves viewers spellbound…
HOW can Klaus be killed? This is the story that held viewers hostage during the entire third instalment of The Vampire Diaries.
For Paul Wesley, though, he knew his character was going to be VERY different from the Stefan Salvatore fans grew to love during the first two seasons.
Chatting to us from London, an amiable Wesley asks: “What is your weather like?”
We chuckle while comparing notes about who is experiencing the more intense sub-zero temperatures.
Returning to his character, he says: “It was a welcome change for me. I was really craving something dark. I loved Stefan in seasons one and two. But I was tired of being the moral compass of the story. So I called the writers and asked them to do this.”
Wesley continues: “I feel, as an actor, I have grown. I have shot 66 episodes. The character has gone through so much. And I have been fortunate, in that I did not just come on and say a few lines. I feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction.
“I find some of the work is not good, some is really good – I definitely have moments of pride. I can take from this, whether it is to do another film or TV series.”
As for light being shed on the history behind The Original Family, the American-born Polish actor says: “I love the whole mythology and the idea of the original vampires. It is nice to address why and how we exist. Also, to go back to the witchcraft that started it all. I’m a very logical person so having that, I thought, was quite nice.”
Interestingly enough, Wesley’s wife, Torrey DeVitto, was cast as Meredith Fell, the new doctor at Mystic Falls.
On working with her on the same project, he says: “We met on a film set (Killer Movie). It is the first time that we have got to work on the same show and share the same geographical location. So, yes, I enjoyed it.”
While the whole “getting rid of Klaus” battle monopolised this season, it never detracted from the love triangle between Elena and the Salvatore brothers – more so, since she locked lips with Damon twice.
“I think we all have that situation in real life. But ultimately we make one choice. Elena has made that choice – it will always be Stefan. Now that she has made that decision, she has died… and is a vampire.”
Although a fourth instalment has yet to be officially confirmed, Wesley believes that the series can enjoy a longer lifespan.
“I’m not in a position of writing this series. But it is a show where every episode ends with a twist. It is a big, big task. The show can be sustainable, but only if we are to ground it. We bring it down to humanity and less OTT. We need to bring it back to being about two brothers in love with one girl,” he maintains.
In the meantime, Wesley can be seen in The Baytown Disco.
“I did that movie during our last hiatus and was very excited to do it. It is an action comedy, very Quentin Tarantino-like – super violent and OTT. It was opposite to Vampire Diaries. I play a detective, Anthony Reese, who is married and has kids. I haven’t seen it, so I cannot say more,” he says.
Talent will flourish in any given project and Wesley is determined to leave as indelible an impression with every character he portrays, in the same way that he has with Stefan. Now that’s something fans can sink their teeth into!