The Vampire Diaries is a show that many people were sad to see come to an end. While there were always rumors swirling around about on-set relationships and dynamics, especially involving star Nina Dobrev and her love life, it's clear that The Vampire Diaries cast and crew are truly like a family.
When it comes down to it, it looks like behind the scenes there was nothing but love. Especially while wrapping the 8th and final season of the show, the cast really got sentimental with each other and the fans who have been along for the ride from the beginning.
We're going to take a look at some candid moments on set, as well as off, from season 1 all the way up until the final day of filming. It may come as a surprise that multiple cast members also directed episodes in the series. Show creators Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec really made sure to make The Vampire Diaries a fun, collaborative experience for everyone involved.
Though The Vampire Diaries still somewhat lives on through the spinoff The Originals and Legacies, we will never quite have another show like this one. The Vampire Diaries took the CW by storm, and fans never wanted to see the day it would all end. But all good things must come to an end, and now all we can do is look back at some behind-the-scenes photos and learn a few more secrets about our favorite series.
Here are 25 Behind-The-Scenes Photos Of Vampire Diaries That Change Everything.
25 Stefan Goes Behind The Camera
While most hardcore fans are probably aware of this, many may not know that Paul Wesley did more than just star as Stefan Salvadore in The Vampire Diaries. He also directed five episodes of the series between 2014-2016.
While Wesley had always expressed an interest in directing outside of acting, it wasn't easy at first.
He told The Hollywood Reporter, "the most daunting thing [about directing] was whether or not I could psychologically embody the feeling of a director toward the cast." Wesley admits that he was nervous, "but when I got to set," he said, "the cast was so supportive."
24 Nina Snoozing In A Coffin
The Vampire Diaries cast may be full of professionals, but even the biggest stars have their on set moments. Nina Dobrev remember's Elena's final scene fondly, which included her actually falling asleep!
“I’m pretty sure at one point during this scene in the finale, I had fallen into such a deep sleep that I started snoring,” Dobrev tells TV Insider. “That was awkward. But everyone laughed—as family would.”
They probablyt cut Dobrev a little slack for dozing off in what looks like a pretty comfortable coffin. It was her last scene, after all!
23 Quality Time with Nina and Matt
Here we see Nina Dobrev (Elena) and Matt Davis (Alaric) getting camera ready. While The Vampire Diaries is a pretty serious show, the cast has no problem goofing off behind the scenes.
The cast always talks about the incredible bonds they formed while making this show.
Davis spoke to Entertainment Weekly about being on a show that spanned almost all of his 30s. "There are no real words that will give it justice," Davis said, "it’s more than just a creative experience. It was more than just being on a TV show.”
22 Unimpressive Salvatore Mansion
It's not every day that we get to see the creators behind our favorite shows. Here we have Kevin Williamson, one of the creators of The Vampire Diaries. He is standing along side Michael Travino who plays Tyler Lockwood in the series.
While it may be hard to decipher what we're looking at without the usual smoke and mirrors - the two are standing in front of the Salvatore Mansion.
It's not so big and spooky when you look at it from this point of view!
This photo was taken during the last season of filming, when the cast and crew were feeling nostalgic for where it all began.
21 Enemies become friends
We always love to see our favorite characters hanging out and taking time to bond on set. But what also stands out in this picture is Nina Dobrev. One of the more impressive parts of The Vampire Diaries is watching Dobrev go seamlessly between playing Elena, Katherine, and Amara.
Here we see Dobrev in full Katherine costume.
All three of these costumes, by the way, are exquisite. Dobrev admitted that costuming along with other physical parts of the character really helped her separate the three characters.
While Elena and Amara are more natural, Dobrev says Katherine is more "selfish" and "dolls up and overdoes everything."
20 It Takes A Village To Make a Love Scene
When it comes to filming a hit show, no stone can be left unturned, and every detail must be perfect. The Vampire Diaries is no different, and here we get a glimpse into just how many people need to pay attention on set at all times.
Crew members are responsible for all kinds of duties - including making sure that every hair on Nina Dobrev's beautiful head stays in place, or that the actors are exactly on their mark at all times. In a show full of chaos, we sometimes forget how meticulously planned every scene is. Props to the hard working crew!
19 Vampire Eyes
If you've ever wondered how The Vampire Diaries was able to achieve that creepy vampire eye effect - look no more. While the dots on Ian Somerhalder's eyes may suggest simple motion capture, the reality behind the editing is far more complicated.
Mat Beck, senior visual effects supervisor, detailed the special editing process they used to make each vampire unique. "What we did was generate 3D mapping of the skin, " Beck explains, "so whatever tweaks are done to the veins are automatically run through a module that customizes it to the facial movements of the actor."
Confused? So are we. It's just another intricate detail that makes this show so great!
18 Salvatore Brothers Getting Along
While filming the episode "Black Hole Sun", the 4th episode of the final season of The Vampire Diaries, Paul Wesley (Stefan Salvatore) and Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore) admitted to messing around with each other.
While the Salvatore brothers aren't always on best terms in the show, behind the scenes it's another story.
Wesley remembers, "Ian and I were trying to make each other laugh between takes... it’s one of our favorite scenes with the two Salvatore brothers.”
We have to concur-- seeing them laughing together is a breath of fresh air.
17 An intensely public confrontation
This behind-the-scenes photo is a great look at all the minor details that go into setting a scene.
If you look on the floor you'll see the actor's marks that they have to hit.
Someone even had measuring tape to the left to make sure everything is precise. The camera also appears to be on a roller, which would make sense seeing as how this scene got a bit chaotic.
This scene takes place after the decade dance in Season 1 where Elena (Nina Dorbev) learns that she has accidentally given a violent vampire an invitation into her home.
16 Getting Staked
It looks like here Anna got the short end of the stick - literally! Malese Jow who plays Anna, and Robert Pralgo, who plays Mayor Richard Lockwood, aren't looking so hot in this photo.
In a show filled with vampires and other mystical beings, more than a few characters saw their untimely demise at the hands of someone else.
Jow's staked chest looks pretty real thanks to the makeup and costuming department. She also doesn't look too pleased about being offed - and neither does Pralgo!
Unfortunately no character is safe on this show.
15 In Memory Of Sarah Jones
This clapperboard is significant in a lot of ways. Not only is it from the last episode to ever be filmed of The Vampire Diaries - you can see Season 8, Episode 16 on the bottom right corner - this clapperboard is also a tribute.
On top of the board we see "For Sarah Jones, Never Forget."
Sarah Jones was a Vampire Diaries crew member who tragically lost her life in an on-set accident while filming Greg Allman's Midnight Rider in February of 2014. Her accident sparked a huge push to bring awareness to on-set safety, which can also be seen written on the top right of the board.
14 Sneaking A Peek At The Script
Paul Wesley may have thought he was being sneaky, but he was still one step behind show co-creator Julie Plec. Here we see Wesley trying to sneak a peak of the season finale's script before anyone else in the cast.
Plec was quick to close her laptop and keep it all a secret.
Co-creator Kevin Williamson shared this candid moment on his Instagram page. Don't worry fans, you are not alone in your obsession of knowing what comes next. Actors are just as curious, and if you're Wesley, you'll try anything to get a spoiler!
13 Slumber Party in Damon's Room
This is another fun crew moment that Julie Plec caught and shared on her Instagram page.
This was the last scene filmed in Damon's bedroom, and what an epic bedroom it is!
One of the great things about The Vampire Diaries is how the sets mix reality with TV magic. As you can see here, majority of the set is the real deal, but if you look out the window behind the crew, not so much.
The Vampire Diaries always truly made us feel like we were transported back in time when we stepped through the Salvatore mansion.
12 Not-So-Intimate Moment
Talk about a not-so-private kiss! It's no secret that the intimate scenes in The Vampire Diaries are anything but intimate. In fact, kissing scenes can be down right awkward when you have to perform in front of a bunch of crew members scrutinizing your every move.
Thankfully Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder are total pros, because they really don't seem to be phased in the slightest by the makeup artists doing her touch ups.
The only question we have is - was this before or after the couple's real-life relationship?
11 It's A Wrap!
What would the last day of filming be without a customized wrap cake? Whoever baked this creation left no detail behind. From miniature cast and crew members, to the Mystic Grill, and even the camaro. They even included Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec on the clapper board with the final date of filming.
We would have loved to get more of a behind-the-scenes look at the wrap party, but some things are left for the cast and crew to enjoy themselves. After 8 seasons, these guys are more like family than friends.
10 Kat Goofing Off
One of fans' favorite character evolutions on The Vampire Diaries has always been Bonnie, played by Kat Graham. Here we see Kat fooling around on set, exuding the same fun, strong energy we came to know and love from her on the show.
When reflecting on The Vampire Diaries coming to an end, Graham admitted that Bonnie really became one with her.
"There are moments where I felt bizarre parallels between the character and my own journey" Graham told Entertainment Weekly. She described playing Bonnie as her "saving grace" through hard times.
9 Mystic Falls at Night
When a show goes on for as long as The Vampire Diaries, the cast and crew learn to love filming locations just like a second home.
Much of The Vampire Diaries was filmed in Convington, GA - known in the show as Mystic Falls.
Here we get a beautiful night shot of the town we all came to love over the years. Julie Plec, co-creator of the show alongside Kevin Willimason, posted this on her Instagram as a fond farewell to everything that made The Vampire Diaries what it was.
8 Nina Takes A Study Break
Behind the scenes photos often capture the silly moments that fans don't normally get to see, but sometimes we get candid shots like this too. Here, Nina Dobrev, who plays Elena, is deep into her script, studying lines for the scene she's about to shoot.
Dobrev takes her acting very seriously. When talking about her exit on the show with US Weekly, she explained why she's ready to move on: “I don’t want to play a teenager anymore, " Dobrev admits, "I want to play adult roles and be challenged and work with great filmmakers and tell incredible stories and that has meant being really picky.”
7 Sibling Love
This picture is from Steven McQueen's last day on set. He played Elena's younger brother Jeremy in the series, and everyone was definitely sad to see him go.
The cast and crew weren't letting McQueen go without one last party.
Everyone on set dressed up as superheroes for his last day, which is where the hulk hands came from, as well as getting him a cake to celebrate. It's clear that The Vampire Diaries gang is very close, and it's nice to know that McQueen felt the love on his last day.
6 Kat Graham, Hard At Work
Kat Graham probably has some of the most emotional scenes throughout The Vampire Diaries. No worries here, because Graham has the acting chops to keep up with her ever struggling character.
Here we get a glimpse of what it looks like through the director's perspective.
Graham admits that working on The Vampire Diaries gave her a new perspective as well.
"I think a lot of young girls see actresses... and they don’t really think about the breaking down of a script and what that requires and what you would need to pull it off" says Graham.
Her hard work has definitely paid off!
5 Friends For Life
When people work on a show for years together they can either become best friends or worst enemies. In the case of on-screen BFFs Elena and Bonnie - it spills over into real life too.
Nina Dobrev and Kat Graham still apparently talk and text all the time.
Phew! We're happy to hear that.
Graham told US Weekly that she keeps in contact with many of her costars, and says that "everything reminds [her] of them." After almost a decade together, their friendship has stood the test of distance and time.
4 The Final Script
While it wasn't always the plan for Nina Dobrev to come back for the season finale, it ended up happening all the same. This is a rare moment where we get to see Dobrev's final script for the entire series.
If you look closely on the bottom, you can see just how many revisions this script alone went through.
Whether or not this is the full final script we all saw in the series finale we can't be sure, but Dobrev will forever have this picture as a memory.
3 Katherine, is that you?
If you've ever found yourself questioning whether Nina Dobrev is a good actor or not, need we remind you that she played not one, not two, but three characters on The Vampire Diaries?
Katherine is wildly different from Dobrev's other characters, and it's almost surreal to watch her turn into a selfish manipulator after having gotten used to her as Elena.
Props to Dobrev, because even though Katherine, Elena, and Amara are identical physically, they truly felt like three separate characters.
Have you ever seen such a pure smile on Katherine? That's how we know this is Dobrev behind the scenes.
2 Kai and Damon Play Nice
Machalai Parker, aka "Kai," who is played by Chris Wood, is seen here goofing off with Ian Somerhalder on set. You may be looking at this picture and thinking "blasphemy" but in real life it turns out Parker is kind of a big sweetheart.
If you notice the clapper, this is an episode that Somerhalder directed himself!
No wonder he has such a big grin on his face: he's in charge this time. It's great that The Vampire Diaries gave so many cast members the opportunity to direct their own episodes.
1 Nina and Julie
You may not all know Julie Plec, but if you're a fan of The Vampire Diaries or The Originals, you should definitely become familiar with her.
Plec is the co-creator of the series, along with Kevin Williamson. She is a television producer and writer, and without her we likely wouldn't have 8 seasons of this glorious TV show.
It was actually Plec who considered ending Elena's life and surprising the audience, instead of having her return for the final season. She ended up getting talked out of it, and later admitted it was a "pretty lame" plan after all.
What's your favorite behind-the-scenes moment from The Vampire Diaries? Let us know in the comments!