“You want what everyone wants. You want a love that consumes you. You want passion, and adventure, and maybe even a little danger.” – Damon Salvatore
The Vampire Diaries is a supernatural television drama series created by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. The series premiered on September 10, 2009 and concluded on March 10, 2017, airing a total of 171 episodes over eight seasons.
The Vampire Diaries Facts
43. Never-Ending Story
The Vampire Diaries was officially the longest-running vampire show ever on TV. It had a total of 8 seasons, while True Blood and Buffy the Vampire Slayer had 7.
Author L.J. Smith was interviewed by MTV, and they asked her how she felt about her book’s adaptation. She said that she loved it, but that the writers did not consult her with the changes or choices they made while adapting the story.
41. Cashing In
The three main actors–Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, and Nina Dobrev–all made $40,000 per episode. They were the highest paid in the series. Despite the fact that some of the other stars got lower paychecks, the majority of the main actors became millionaires while working on The Vampire Diaries.
40. Brunette Bombshell
L.J. Smith says that the one and only thing that threw her off about The Vampire Diaries casting was Nina Dobrev as Elena, because she has dark hair and eyes. In the books, Elena is blonde. Smith says it took her a very long time to get used to it.
39. A Rose By Any Other Name
When the writers of the Vampire Diaries TV show were preparing the script, they almost gave Damon and Stefan the last name “Whitmore.” The producers eventually decided it was better to stay true to the books and keep the surname “Salvatore.”
38. A True Millennial
Despite the fact that Paul Wesley acts on a TV show, he was once quoted saying that he doesn’t have cable, and he never watches TV.
37. Too Much of a Good Thing
In the Vampire Diaries TV show, there are also werewolves, doppelgangers, witches, and hybrid species. While this seems like a bit like overkill with the supernatural beings, the writers of the show actually chose to tone it down. The books include even more supernatural beings, including, angels, magic foxes, and more.
36. Nice Ride
Stefan drives a cute red vintage car, which is part of his gentleman charm. The car is a 1963 Porsche 356B Karmann Coupe, and they sell for anywhere between $40,000 to $500,000, depending on condition and other factors.
35. Good Choice
In the books, Tyler’s last name was “Smallwood.” The writers of the TV show decided to change it to “Lockwood.”
34. Famous Fiance
Taylor Kinney, who plays Tyler’s uncle, Mason Lockwood, was engaged to Lady Gaga in real life. In 2016, they called off the engagement, stating that because of their hectic work schedules they rarely got to see each other.
33. Popularity Contest
The character Stefan Salvatore has been compared to Edward Cullen from the Twilight series. When asked about how he felt about his character’s comparison, Paul Wesley said, “I think any girl would throw me under a bus to be within five feet of Robert Pattinson.”
32. Heading Down South
The pilot was shot in Vancouver, Canada which is a popular city for TV shows. However, they decided to move it to the state of Georgia for production of the first season to capitalize on a tax credit. Since the fictional town of Mystic Falls is in Virginia, Georgia is actually a more accurate backdrop for the town.
31. A Fair Trade
Nina Dobrev plays the parts of both Elena and Katherine. In the books, Katherine is a quiet girl, while Elena is fierce. In the TV show, their personalities are reversed.
30. Switching Places
In multiple episodes, Nina Dobrev has to switch back and forth between playing Katherine and Elena. In order to make the switch easier, Nina wore a curly hair wig when she was playing Katherine.
Nina Dobrev was born in Bulgaria, and her family moved to Canada. Her real name is actually Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva. She speaks Bulgarian fluently. This obviously came in handy, considering that Katherine Pierce is also Eastern European, and she could speak Bulgarian perfectly on the show.
28. Cutting it Close
The writers wanted to cut werewolf Tyler Lockwood out of the show. He was meant to exist as a temporary antagonist, not a main character. However, viewers loved Tyler, so the writers kept his plotline alive.
27. Vamp Mode
Whenever the actors needed to go into their vampire mode, the makeup team had a lot of work to do. The actors required special contact lenses, makeup, fangs, and fake blood to transform their faces.
26. True Chemistry
In real life, Nina Dobrev (Elena) and Ian Somerhalder (Damon) became a couple from 2011 to 2013. This was definitely useful to them as actors, considering that their characters needed to be passionately in love.
25. Going Separate Ways
Much to the disappointment of fans, Ian and Nina broke up. Ian is 11 years older than Nina, and was letting her know that he was ready to get married and start a family. Nina wasn’t ready for such a big step. She did not want to settle down, looking to focus more on her acting career. After they broke up, Ian wasted no time in starting a family. He married Nikki Reed, and they have a daughter together.
24. Vintage Vibes
The titles of every episode in season 6 are named after songs from the 1990’s, in honor of the fact that Damon and Bonnie are trapped in the past.
23. Behind the Scenes
The Mystic Grill is based on a real-life bar in Vancouver that they found to shoot the pilot. Since the show moved to Georgia, they had to build a set to look exactly like the bar in Vancouver. Whenever the cast isn’t on screen, they head over to the faux restaurant play pool, foosball, and pinball together.
22. Hitting Close to Home
The character Matt Donovan comes from a rough family situation, and actor Zach Roerig’s eyes look like they have seen a lot of pain. In real life, Zach Roerig has had a lot of family drama as well. In 2011, he had a daughter, but his baby mama ended up going to federal prison after being arrested three times. He fought for for sole custody of his daughter, and won.
21. Secret Talents
Kat Graham (Bonnie) is a singer. She has released multiple songs and music videos, including “Put Your Graffiti on Me” and “Wanna Say.” One of her other hidden talents is that she is multilingual, and speaks French, Spanish, and Hebrew.
20. Another Off-Screen Romance
Even though their characters barely talk to one another, Candice Accola (Caroline) and Steven McQueen (Jeremy) briefly dated in real life. While they were never public about a relationship, paparazzi took photos of them making out in a nightclub. She also dated Zach Roerig (Matt) for a year. She eventually married Joe King, who is the guitarist from The Fray.
19. Vampire Dreams
The actor who played Damon, Ian Somerhalder, was eager to act in a vampire TV show. He originally auditioned for a role of Jason Stackhouse on True Blood, but didn’t get the part.
18. It Feels so Good to be Bad
Ian Somerhalder said that he enjoyed playing the “bad” Damon a lot better, and once his character started going soft, he hated it at first. However, any fan of the show knows that even Damon’s “good side” still includes a lot of extra violence and sass.
17. The Teacher
Former Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek was up for the role of Alaric. Matthew Davis got the part instead. This was his first big role in a TV show. He was previously best known for being Elle’s ex-boyfriend, Warner, in Legally Blond.
16. Age is Just a Number
Steven McQueen plays Jeremy Gilbert. He is actually six months older than Nina Dobrev, who plays his sister Elena, despite the fact that Elena is supposed to be a couple years older than him.
15. Try, Try Again
Paul Wesley (Stefan), Zach Roerig (Matt), Michael Trevino (Tyler), all auditioned for the part of Damon, before it was given to Ian Somerhalder. Ian had to return for multiple callbacks before he was officially given the role.
Ian Somerhalder (Damon) auditioned for the part of Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey, but he didn’t get the part. In episode 1 of season 8, Damon is reading the book.
13. Historic Context
When asked how he felt about vampires, Ian Somerhalder gave a rather academic answer. “Before vampires were aesthetically appealing, they were physical anomalies and ostracized outsiders whom we banished to the dark, and they didn’t have the appeal that they do now.”
12. Alternate Reality
Ashley Tisdale, the Disney actress from High School Musical, was asked to audition for The Vampire Diaries, but she declined. In an alternate universe, Tisdale may have played Caroline, Bonnie, or Elena.
11. Bigger and Better Things
The actors were not under any strict contracts, and they all had the right to leave the show any time they wanted, which is what happened with Nina Dobrev. She moved on to land roles in movies like Perks of Being a Wallflower, XXX: Return of Xander Cage, and Flatliners.
10. In For the Long Haul
Before being on The Vampire Diaries, Ian Somerhalder played Boone on Lost for a few seasons. He was quoted saying that before Lost, he had not stayed on a show for longer than one season, and that it truly takes an interesting storyline for him to want to stay.
9. Ready to Move On
During an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Julie Plec said that the decision to end The Vampire Diaries was because it felt as though the story had come to a natural conclusion. They didn’t want the story to continue to drag on just because it was popular, and would rather end it at a natural cadence.
8. Gaining New Skills
Both Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder have expressed that they would love to become directors in the future. They both had the opportunity to direct episodes of The Vampire Diaries. Paul Wesley started directing episodes beginning in Season 5, and he was a producer for all of season 8. Ian Somerhalder directed multiple episodes, including one in season 8, where he got to go full-circle with the brotherly relationship between Damon and Stefan.
The titles of each episode from season 8 are all popular quotes from season 1, like “Hello, brother” and “I was feeling epic.” Showrunner Julie Plec said during an interview that all of season 8 was an homage to season one, with multiple references and explorations of alternate perspectives of the past.
6. There’s Always Room For More
The show became so popular that they created a spinoff series from The Vampire Diaries called The Originals, which takes place in New Orleans. Many of the characters cross between both series, but The Originals can be watched as-is, even if a new viewer never saw The Vampire Diaries.
5. Another Series?
During Comic Con in 2016, Julie Plec was asked if there would ever be a new crossover series between The Originals and The Vampire Diaries characters. She replied that she has thought about it, and it’s not totally out of the question, especially when the producers know that the show makes so many people happy, and there are tons of devoted fans.
4. Homage to the Original
The very last episode of The Vampire Diaries aired on the twenty-year anniversary of the last episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
3. Stick to the Good Stuff
Every single season of The Vampire Diaries had 22 to 23 episodes. Julie Plec said during an interview that the cast and crew all felt that it was almost a little too long, and they were dragging by the end. They didn’t want to do that for the final season, so they made it only 16 episodes long, to cut out the “fluff” episodes and just make every single one more meaningful.
2. Stellar Resumes
Despite the fact that the show ended, none of the cast had any issues finding new work. A lot of the actors began working for the show “Containment,” while others began a career in bigger box office movies.
1. Can’t Miss It
On August 22, 2009—weeks before The Vampire Diaries premiered—Nina Dobrev showed some skin and actually got herself arrested for disorderly conduct. Cops in Georgia said they received 911 calls from motorists claiming she was hanging over a bridge “flashing cars.”