Lasting an impressive eight seasons, The Vampire Diaries is one of the CW’s most popular dramas. It aired on the network from 2009 until 2017 and accumulated a massive number of fans. The show was big enough that it has resulted in not just one, but two spinoffs, The Originals and Legacies. The fan-base is still very much alive and can’t get enough of their favorite supernatural characters.
Fans don’t just love the characters and story-lines, they also know everything about the actors who play them and know tons of details about the making of the show. Any series as popular as The Vampire Diaries has its fair share of drama behind the scenes. A lot of time and effort goes into creating 171 episodes, and it doesn’t always go smoothly. There were off-screen relationships, bad audition tapes, and cast members even had a few run-ins with law enforcement.
The show was on the air for so long that there are plenty of crazy events that have taken place when the cameras weren’t filming. While Vampire Diaries has been over for a while, here are 20 Wild Details Behind The Making Of Vampire Diaries for fans to sink their fangs into.
19 Stefan And Elena Were Supposed To End Up Together
While many fans were obsessed with Damon and Elena’s relationship, they weren’t supposed to end up together. The original plan was for Elena to be with Stefan by the finale.
Kevin Williamson, co-creator of the show, originally pictured her with the younger Salvatore brother. He saw Elena and Stefan as the “anchor” of the show, but after Nina left for the final season the plans had to change. It would have been hard to fit a romantic shift that dramatic into the finale when she finally returned.
Fans of “Delena” would have been upset if Elena and Stefan had rekindled their romance, but it was definitely a possibility to the writers and creators. The love triangle was a key aspect of the plot and viewers weren’t quite sure who she would end up with until the very end.
18 There Was A Lot Of Romantic Drama Off-Screen
Any television cast will have their fair share of drama behind the scenes. With that many beautiful people working in close quarters, relationships are bound to blossom. A lot of the on-screen couples were couples in real life at one point or another.
Candice Accola and Zach Roerig, who played Caroline and Matt, were a couple for about a year. Paul Wesley, who played Stefan, also dated his co-star, though they weren’t in an on-screen relationship. He dated Torrey DeVitto, who was Dr. Meredith Fell on the show.
The most popular off-screen couple, however, was Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder. The chemistry between Elena and Damon was obviously real enough for the pair to date in real life. Their breakup also reportedly caused tension behind the scenes.
17 The Cast Was Arrested
Multiple actresses from The Vampire Diaries were arrested at one point, though it wasn’t the most improper behavior in the world. Nina Dobrev, Kayla Ewell, Krystal Vayda, Sara Canning, and Candice Accola, got in trouble with the police for disorderly conduct.
Apparently, the group was doing a photo shoot on a bridge near Smarr, Georgia, and drivers mistakenly thought it was something else. Witnesses said they thought the girls were in danger by “dangling” off the bridge. Others said the girls were purposefully showing themselves to the drivers below, unable to see they were just taking photos.
The photographer, Tyler Shields, was also arrested alongside the women. After each person paid $1,000 they were released.
16 Paul Wesley Directed Some Episodes
Paul Wesley is more than just an actor. While he played a great Stefan, he also directed a few episodes during his time on the show.
It’s certainly a lot of work to play a character while you direct, but he was up to the challenge and the rest of the cast was supportive. He directed a total of five episodes between 2014 and 2016. Vampire Diaries was his first time directing anything, but he clearly learned a lot and has a talent for being behind the camera.
Since then, he’s directed quite a few other projects, including Shadowhunters and Roswell, New Mexico. It seems his directorial debut led to a possible career as a director.
15 Ian And Paul Refuse To Do A Spinoff
Vampire Diaries was so popular that fans still don’t want to let the show go. While there have been two spinoffs already, The Originals and Legacies, viewers still have hope they will see their two favorite Salvatore brothers again.
Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley loved playing Damon and Stefan, but neither are interested in reprising their roles anytime soon. Wesley reportedly said “absolutely not” when asked if Stefan would make an appearance on Legacies.
While they loved their time working on the show together, it makes sense that the two would want to move forward with their careers after playing the same vampires for eight seasons. Despite how much fans want it, they’ll never see Damon or Stefan appear again.
14 Nina Dobrev Wanted To Exit The Show Early
Not many shows lose the main character and continue on, but Vampire Diaries did things differently. Elena isn’t a part of the final season.
The character fell into a coma because Nina Dobrev didn’t want to be a part of the show anymore. She reportedly left simply because she wanted a break and to move on to other opportunities, though there were rumors it had to do with her split from Ian and his quick engagement to actress Nikki Reed. The actors quickly put that rumor to rest.
The final season was a little rocky without Elena, but she did come back for the show’s finale. She’s always said she’s grateful for all The Vampire Diaries did for her career.
13 Ian Somerhalder Was Rude To Fans
While Ian Somerhalder insists he loves his fans, there have been a few times when he hasn’t been very polite with them. The most well-known example of this is a video that surfaced during his honeymoon with Nikki Reed.
He was leaving their hotel in Paris when he was greeted by a group of fans asking for pictures. The actor immediately cut them off and gave a speech about it being “his day” and how he didn’t want to take any pictures or be followed. Some fans even cried while they begged him for a picture but he wouldn’t take one.
While every actor can get frustrated by attention from fans, people thought his refusal to meet them was a bit rude and over the top. He was trying to be nice but he heavily disappointed his fans.
12 Romance Behind The Scenes
When Ian and Nina dated, it caused a lot of controversy behind the scenes. Their relationship led to a lot of rumors and questions from fans.
According to rumors, Ian may have actually been with her while with his now wife. Nina and Ian dated for three years before suddenly breaking up. Not too long after, the actor was engaged to Twilight star Nikki Reed. The amount of time between the breakup with Nina and marriage to Nikki was really quick, leading people to jump to conclusions.
Years later, however, the two women let fans know that they never disliked each other and didn’t ever fight over Ian. With all the rumors and speculation, it’s hard to know what actually happened between all the actors.
11 7th Heaven's David Gallagher Almost Played Damon Or Stefan
It’s hard to imagine any actors other than Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley playing the Salvatore brothers. They’re the perfect Damon and Stefan, but an actor from 7th Heaven, David Gallagher, almost played one of them instead.
Apparently, he read for both parts but wasn’t the right fit for either part because he was so closely associated with 7th Heaven. The creators were impressed with his acting, however, and kept him in mind for other parts. He did appear on the show later on as the werewolf Ray Sutton.
His character had quite a bloody ending involving Klaus, but he still got to be a part of the show after all. He just wasn’t a Salvatore.
10 Ashlee Simpson Almost Played Elena
Just like another actor almost played Stefan or Damon, there were other choices in the running for Elena Gilbert. Ashlee Simpson was one of the top choices for the part in the beginning.
The network actually looked at her to play Elena before the producers even considered Nina Dobrev. It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the show’s main character, but it nearly happened. The producers ended up looking further at other audition tapes. After watching one of Nina’s, they decided she was the better option.
She ended up being the perfect choice for the part, so it’s a good thing they decided to look at other actors before making such an important casting decision.
9 Zach Roerig Was Going Through A Real Battle
Matt has his fair share of drama on The Vampire Diaries. While he was dealing with protecting his ex-girlfriend and falling for Caroline, the actor who plays him had his own personal drama going on off-camera.
Zach Roerig went through a tough custody issue while he was filming the show. He had a two-year-old daughter with an ex-girlfriend and was working to get her in his care. His ex was in jail after pleading guilty to multiple crimes.
He won custody of her, but it was a tough situation to go through, particularly when he was living his life in the spotlight because of the show. Everyone knew what was going on in his personal life.
8 Tyler Wasn't Supposed To Be A Main Character
Tyler Lockwood was such a big part of the early seasons of Vampire Diaries, it’s hard to imagine the show without him, but it seems he wasn’t originally supposed to be a part of it.
The creators thought his character was such a jerk in the first book that the first season of the show could do without him, but his werewolf story-line would be so important later that they needed to include him. They originally decided to put him in as a supporting character, but his role quickly became more than that.
He ended up having a much more interesting story-line than they had anticipated, leading him to stick around as a regular character.
7 Paul Wesley Originally Auditioned For Damon
Paul Wesley played Stefan for so long that it’s hard to picture him in any other role. While he was a perfect Stefan, that wasn’t the part he originally auditioned for.
The actor read for the part of Damon. The two brothers are so different, it’s weird to think about. Damon is sarcastic, flirtatious, and fairly evil at the beginning while Stefan is a mild-mannered, hopeless romantic who always tries to do the right thing.
It’s hard to see how reading for Damon turned into playing Stefan, but something added up right and each actor ended up in the right role for the show, though Wesley did have to audition a total of fifteen times before landing the show.
6 James Van Der Beek Almost Played Alaric
The cast of The Vampire Diaries could have looked very different with all these famous actors who were considered for different parts. James Van Der Beek was one of them. He almost played Alaric Saltzman instead of Matthew Davis.
Fans of Dawson’s Creek would have been excited to see a familiar face pop up on the vampire drama. Kevin Williamson did help create both of those shows, after all. Van Der Beek didn’t get the part, of course, and Davis went on to do an amazing job as Alaric, but it’s strange to think what could have been.
While Van Der Beek was rejected for the part, he was considered to direct an episode of the show later on.
5 Each Episode Title In Season 8 Is A Quote From A Past Season
Fans of The Vampire Diaries were incredibly invested in the show. They studied every movement between characters, every outfit choice, and every line. The dialogue has been practically memorized by some.
That’s why the creators decided to name every episode in the final season with a famous or important quote from a previous season. The season premiere was called “Hello Brother” in honor of the famous line from the pilot episode, which has been quoted countless times, and each one after was named something fans would remember.
The unique and creative idea gave fans plenty of nostalgia for the earlier episodes while they came to terms with the fact their favorite show was almost over.
4 Nina Dobrev's Audition Was Awful
Casting the main character of a show is an extremely important task. Make the wrong choice and the show could crash and burn. Nina Dobrev played Elena for eight seasons, but she wasn’t the perfect choice at the start.
Reportedly, her audition was awful. After watching her first audition, creator Julie Plec said, “none of us thought about her twice after that first try”. Thankfully, they gave a second tape Dobrev sent in a try and loved her performance in that one. Apparently, it blew them all away.
The second audition saved her career and quite possibly made the show. She fought for the part and rightfully got it after her hard work and determination.
3 Salvatore Was Almost Changed To Whitmore
If Vampire Diaries fans hear the name “Salvatore” anywhere, they immediately think of their two favorite vampire brothers. Would the name “Whitmore” have held the same significance?
In the original script that went around, the writers changed the name Salvatore to Whitmore. Creators Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson thought Salvatore sounded too “beefy Italian” for the small-town, American vibe they were going for in the show.
After some thought, they decided to scrap that idea and went back to Salvatore, which was Stefan and Damon’s last name in the books. Whitmore may have seemed more relatable, but Williamson later admitted that Salvatore was the better choice and they were stupid for thinking otherwise. Whitmore was used as the name of Elena’s college instead.
2 Ian Somerhalder Was Almost On True Blood Instead
Ian Somerhalder always planned to be a part of a vampire show, but it wasn’t Vampire Diaries. He auditioned for a part on True Blood before he took on the role of Damon Salvatore.
Although he ended up playing a vampire on Vampire Diaries, he actually read for a human role on True Blood. He wanted to play Jason Stackhouse, the brother of the main character, Sookie. Ryan Kwanten ended up snagging the part instead. Somerhalder was so bummed, he couldn’t even watch the show when it first came out.
While he could have played a great Jason, fans of Vampire Diaries are quite glad he didn’t get the role and instead moved on to play their favorite bad-boy vampire.
1 A Phone Number On The Show Actually Worked
Fans love when their favorite shows hide little surprises for them within episodes. Vampire Diaries played around with this concept when they showed a phone number on screen long enough for people to fully notice in detail.
When a viewer dialed the number 919-399-2507, he or she would hear a recorded message from the actors as their characters Katherine, Damon, and Stefan. Each character was trying to convince the fan listening to side with them in the current conflict that was occurring in the show.
The creators of the show knew that some fans dissected each episode enough that they would attempt to call the number, and it clearly worked. It was a nice treat for dedicated fans.