When The Vampire Diaries popped onto the scene, many thought the show wouldn’t resonate with viewers. It was another story about vampires, like Twilight and True Blood. Eight seasons later, The Vampire Diaries became one of the more popular CW shows for teens and viewers in their twenties. When the creators were looking for actors to play the main roles, young and up-and-coming stars leapt at the chance to audition.
It’s hard to nail down exact reasons why people were addicted to The Vampire Diaries. The fandom continued even after the show ended its run. Although the show was based on the L.J. Smith books by the same name, the series quickly found its own storylines. And the vampires in The Vampire Diaries were more likable - whether good or bad - than those from other shows and movies. Plus, many viewers felt the acting was excellent when compared to similar TV shows.
Even a beloved show like The Vampire Diaries is bound to have some dark secrets or strange behind-the-scenes stories. However, no matter how dark or strange, The Vampire Diaries’s audience was strong enough not to let any secret derail their adoration for the vampire series.
Here’s 15 Dark Secrets Behind the Vampire Diaries.
15 Nina Dobrev's Terrible Audition
No matter if you watched The Vampire Diaries occasionally or frequently, it’s hard to picture anyone else in the role of Elena Gilbert besides Nina Dobrev. Many other actresses auditioned for the part, but none came close to getting the part. But even Dobreva nearly missed getting the role.
On the day of her audition, Dobrev was extremely sick. According to creator Julie Plec, Nina “royally effed up” the audition. “None of us thought about her twice after that first try,” Plec said. But Dobrev didn’t give up. She made a second audition tape and sent it to producers. When Plec saw it, she said everyone was “blown away by how wonderful, magnetic and interesting she was.”
With those characteristics and how hard she fought for the part, Dobrev scored one of the most coveted roles of show.
14 Guest star sentenced to 18 years
Shannon Guess, who also goes by Shannon Richardson, had minor roles in various TV shows, including The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries. But she won’t be remembered for playing a zombie or being on The Vampire Diaries. In 2013, Guess was arrested for sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg.
At first, the actress blamed her husband after she found a storage container of ricin in their Texarkana home. Shannon’s first thought was her husband was trying to slowly poison her. Police couldn’t tie the ricin to Nathaniel, who stated he was positive it was his wife’s. Shannon was pregnant at the time. One month after the initial investigation, Shannon admitted to sending the letters. About one year later, she was sentenced to 18 years.
13 Actresses Arrested for "Indecency"
More actresses from The Vampire Diaries were arrested, but this time they played main roles. Five total were brought on charges of disorderly conduct in the state of Georgia. Three weeks before the show was set to premiere, seven motorists called 911 to complain that women were dangling from a bridge and exposing themselves. The witnesses thought the girls were in danger, but one caller explicitly told the dispatcher they were flashing cars below the overpass. The women included Nina Dobrev, Kayla Ewell, Krystal Vayda, Sara Canning, and Candice Accola.
The group was doing a photo shoot on the I-75 bridge near Smarr, Georgia, but drivers happening by wouldn’t have known that. The photographer, Tyler Shields, was also arrested. They were booked, but after each arrestee paid $1000, everyone was released the same day.
12 Ian Somerhalder rejected fans
Real life drama sometimes collides with popular actors of a television show. The most common interaction for a television culture icon is with fans. Ian Somerhalder made the news when Nina Dobrev and Somerhalder broke up, and he married Nikki Reed shortly after. Somerhalder hit the headlines again when he became rude to fans in Paris.
Somerhalder and Reed were on their honeymoon, and a crowd of fans stood around waiting outside the newlywed’s hotel. When the couple left, Somerhalder refused to pose with any of them. He told the fans, “Everybody stop…I love you guys, but I’m not taking a single photo today. It’s my day.” He then requested that none of them follow. “It’s too much.” His recent ex - Dobrev - posted an Instagram photo allegedly in response to the modest rant.
11 LGBT Deaths Controversy
The most controversial episode of The Vampire Diaries occurred in the 7th season episode, “Days of Future Past”. Prior to the episode airing, Ian Somerhalder had warned viewers that it would be an “explosive episode” and have character deaths. He went on to say there would be two deaths that will jar fans. He gave viewers plenty of time to prepare emotionally, but it didn’t stop the backlash when the two deaths were both lesbian characters. While the deaths were meaningful, fans rioted.
LGBT fans of the show blasted The Vampire Diaries, saying they “[hopped] on the trope bandwagon” and “Bury tropes, not us.” Around the same time, LGBT characters also met their deaths on The Walking Dead and The 100, both of which also received critical backlash.
10 Stefan and Elena were original supposed to end up together
As the show went on for multiple seasons, it seemed likely to continue for many more, the creators had numerous relationships and characters to work with. It seems there’d be an endless supply of storylines, romances, and TVD mythology to explore. However, creator Julie Plec had one plot on her wish list.
Although Plec loved to write the character of Caroline Forbes, Julie had always wanted to see if she could somehow bring Stefan and Elena back together again. It would probably require some creative magic, but in TV, anything is possible. Plec said that when Nina Dobrev left the show, “that sealed ‘Delena’ in for life.” Meaning, it would be implausible to suddenly split Damon and Elena to see if Stefan and Elena would work again.
9 Why Nina Dobrev left the show early
A television show that runs for many seasons usually becomes the actor or actress’s life. It’s all they’re known for, giving them little time to take on other roles in TV or movies. The Vampire Diaries went for 8 seasons, pushing 171 episodes over those years. Even though the show was successful, and fans still revere it, that’s a long time for the main cast.
Nina Dobrev, who played Elena Gilbert, left before the show ended. In the 6th season, Dobrev made the decision to end her role on TVD. With the long hours and the two demanding roles she played, Dobrev became tired. Dobrev stated she is “simply ready to get some rest.” She wanted back some of her freedom and have the chance to take on other roles. Dobrev did make a guest appearance in the series finale.
8 Ashley Tisdale was offered Elena first but rejected it
Ashley Tisdale is well-known for her parts in the High School Musical series and playing Maddie on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. She also released two albums in 2007 and 2009. But Tisdale had an opportunity to score the sought-after role of Elena Gilbert. She was nearly guaranteed the part if she simply had showed up to the audition.
However, Tisdale turned down the audition for The Vampire Diaries. At the same time, she declined auditioning for Pretty Little Liars, apparently a show she would have exceledl in also. Instead of trying out for either of those shows, Tisdale choose to audition for another CW show called Hellcats, written by Kevin Murphy. It was a show about competitive cheerleading and lasted one season for twenty-two episodes. Not exactly Tisdale’s best acting choice.
7 Ian Somerhalder's Infidelity?
Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev dated for three years when they suddenly broke up. One reason that circulated was their relationship started as a “showmance” and work and private lives mixed. Another reason, which came more from Dobrev’s friends, was Nina was ready to dwelve into a serious relationship with a goal of settling down.
But speculation ran rampant three months later. At that time, Somerhalder married Nikki Reed, star of another popular vampire series, Twilight. It had been apparent Ian and Nina had been having issues for some time, but a tweet sealed infidelity rumors. She tweeted, “Quote of the day: Ask for forgiveness, not permission.”
With the short amount of time between the break-up and Ian’s marriage to Nikki, it was believed he had been cheating on Nina even before they split.
6 No Revival Or Reboot
When the series ended in March 2017, it didn’t take long for hardcore viewers to call for a revival or a reboot. Like a movie or limited-run series similar to what Twin Peaks or The X-Files did. But two members of the main cast quickly spoke out in an interview the same day as the final episode aired.
Paul Wesley, who played Stefan, and Ian Somerhalder, who played Damon, both said there will be no revival. Wesley said, “I think I’m closing the chapter.” Somerhalder stated there’s “something beautiful about closure.” Mostly, the show wouldn’t work with older characters. “We’re stretching out as it is,” Wesley said. Somerhalder believes the show will live on through new viewers through the modern digital world of streaming. “We’re going to be able to watch it. I think that’s really interesting,” he said.
5 Klaus Was Almost Just a TVD Storyline
Klaus Mikaelson (Niklaus), played by Joseph Morgan, was first talked about in the second season and made his appearance in a later episode. As an Original vampire and also a werewolf, he is considered an Original Hybrid, and quite possibly the oldest vampire in history. He quickly became one of the most popular antagonists on The Vampire Diaries.
The plan for Klaus was to kill him off after a single season. Besides the positive fan and critics’ response to the episodes Klaus was in, Morgan loved playing the character. He boldly asked the producers for an additional season. Instead of adding Klaus to another season, the creators decided to run with the spin-off that had been in the works and have Klaus in that instead, moving his planned storyline to the new show. That spin-off? The Originals.
4 7th Heaven Star Rejected
David Gallagher played Simon Camden in the long-running WB/CW show, 7th Heaven. When The Vampire Diaries was accepting auditions for various roles, Gallagher jumped at the chance. He auditioned for two roles, Damon Salvatore and Stefan Salvatore. Unfortunately, David was rejected for both characters. Creator Julie Plec said about the initial try-outs, “He impressed us so much originally.” The producers weren’t sure if he could get past the whole 7th Heaven typecast.
But when the movie Super 8 came out, Plec realized Gallagher was able to move past his previous Christian role. Thhey allowed David to read for a a part, a werewolf named Ray Sutton. He did such a great job, Plec knew she had to get him into the TVD world, to show off his “dark and edgy chops.”
3 Somerhalder's True Blood Disaster
Ian Somerhalder shot to TV stardom when he took the role of Damon Salvatore. He had had minor roles in motion pictures, TV movies, and TV shows. The show Lost brought his name up the Hollywood ranks, but The Vampire Diaries quickly propelled him to a household name. Before cementing his role in The Vampire Diaries, he tried out for a character in another vampire show, True Blood.
He went in to try to get the part of Jason Stackhouse. The actor admits he butchered the audition for True Blood. He’s stated that for some time after the audition, he didn’t think he could pull up a vampire role. He wouldn’t be convincing enough. Luckily, that didn’t stop him from going for the Damon role. And Ian is fine with not getting the True Blood role since he was on an equally popular vampire series.
2 Tara auditioned to play Elena 4 time
Prior to The Vampire Diaries, actress Alexandra Chando’s main roles were on Rockville CA and As the World Turns (playing Maddie Coleman for many years.) When it was time for TVD to cast its main characters, Chando immediately auditioned for the role of Elena. Producers must have felt Elena Gilbert needed the perfect actress because they auditioned many girls for the part. They allowed Chando to audition four times!
Not that any of the auditions were better than the other. The producers felt that Alexandra wasn’t right for the part and eventually chose someone else. Even though it took nearly a decade, Chando did make it onto the show. In 2017, she played a young doctor named Tara in the season 8 episode called “We Have History Together”.
1 Creator Was Apprehensive About Making TVD
Creator Kevin Williamson almost didn’t want to make The Vampire Diaries. The concept was too Twilight, ˆwanted to do something more The Twilight Zone. However, he felt TVD was Dark Shadows enough to work with Julie Plec in creating the show.
As he read the first book in the series, he thought, “This is Twilight. This is just like Twilight.” Plec encouraged him to continue reading, which prompted Williamson to realize that it was different. While the basic premise was similar, The Vampire Diaries had vastly different themes. He knew it would be an uphill battle to get viewers to watch something with more vampires, with Twilight and True Blood going against them. But Williamson found TVD vampires the “new version of a bad boy[s]…For a whole new generation.”
Did you watch The Vampire Diaries? What did you think of the show? Let us know in the comments!