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Now back for a second series, The Vampire Diaries sits somewhere between Twilight’s innocent teenage undertones and the raunchy and highly explicit True Blood. Set in high school, two handsome vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon, reappear in the town in which they grew up more than 100 years before. Strangely, high-school student Elena is the spitting image of Katherine, their former vampire girlfriend (yes, they both dated the same girl). Elena, on the other hand, is a mortal – while Stefan tries to woo her, Damon goes on a quest to disrupt his brother’s relationship in every way possible, including killing people around them and kissing Elena.
So we’re on season two. How is Stefan dealing with his brother kissing Elena? For me, I’m broken-hearted about the kiss. Because as sociopathic and malicious as Damon is, he knows that Stefan loves him. It’s the worst insult. So at this point Stefan doesn’t empathise as much or care about Damon. He’s more like: you know what? I’m not going to deal with this guy.
Does it change his feelings for Elena? Elena, Elena, Elena. He loves her. It’s sort of a transformation. He’s coming to terms with himself. Season two is a lot more about acceptance.
What happens in the first episode of the new season? Katherine comes back, and that’s pretty intense for Damon and Stefan because she is so powerful, manipulative and sexy. She is almost more powerful, in a way, than both of them, and wiser and older and more malicious – and she is going to bring out different emotions in them, which for us, as actors, is great.
What is Stefan’s reaction going to be when he sees Katherine for the first time? Initially, probably disgust. After that, who knows what temptations lie ahead?
We’ve seen that Katherine supposedly came back for Stefan… That’s what the teaser said, didn’t it? That occurs, to an extent. Katherine is very manipulative, so what she says in episode one may not be continuous. Who knows what her intentions are?
Is he interested? It’s a mix. He thought he was in love with Katherine at one point – she’s the person who is responsible for his immortality. It’s heavy. He meets her with disgust and a little bit of interest at the same time.
Maybe he’s happy to see her again. Is he happy and just pretending, or is he unaware of it and it will develop? Maybe he’s in denial. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
Which do you prefer playing: the good boy or the bad boy? If I played the bad boy forever I’d probably say I was sick of it, and vice versa. But after playing the tortured good guy in season one, it was nice to come out of my shell. I really enjoyed doing the whole bad thing. I love playing characters like that and it came really easily to me, which was weird, whereas for Ian Somerhalder (who plays Damon) it was hard to be good.
Will Stefan be more like Damon in this series? A little more Damon-esque; a spice of Damon, maybe.
Were you a fan of horror or vampire fiction when you were growing up? I wasn’t a fanatic, but there were certain things I loved, like Anne Rice [author of The Vampire Chronicles]. I’ve played a lot of supernatural characters. I’ve played a wolf, an angel and a vampire. There’s something about playing this grand type of character that allows you to take emotions to an extreme level. For an actor, it’s really nice.
Will Stefan give in and taste more human blood in season two? I think that’s going to be a temptation that will never escape him. I think it’s a theme. He really enjoyed indulging in the blood and I guess I don’t want him to be as confused – I want him to make decisions to indulge in blood and take part in some maniacal malicious activity once in a while to fulfil that vampire need.
Do you want to do more flashbacks? I’d love to do a flashback of Stefan in the ’80s dancing to bad ’80s music.
What is it like acting while wearing fangs and contact lenses? A lot of that stuff is done in post-production and it’s amazing, the quality. I don’t know how they do it – they’re magicians, and it is unbelievable. But I do wear massive red contacts – I forget I have them in sometimes, when I walk to my trailer during lunch, and everyone gasps.
How do you feel with all these fans calling you a sexy vampire? I’m certainly not insulted!
Why are you the only one of the three lead cast members who isn’t on Twitter? That is a very important question. This is clearly an issue that needs discussion. I think it’s because I am far too uninteresting in my daily mundane activities to be Tweeting anything.
Are there any other Vampire Diaries characters you’d like to play? I’d love to be Damon for a minute. I think that would be fun.
The Vampire Diaries season two premieres on February 21 at 10pm on MBC Action.