Paul Wesley was featured in CBS’s Watch Magazine Hot Off the Screen, along with Shaun Sipos and Matt Latner. This is an awesome article, as it explains the sacrifices that he has made to channel his character “Stefan”.
Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson
Growing up with Polish immigrant parents gave the actor even more of an understanding of the outsider’s perspective. “I remember thinking, ‘I wish we could just be American, and drink soda and watch baseball,’ ” he admits. “Of course, as you get older, you realize how cool it was to be different.”
Similarly, after roles in five failed pilots in the past few years, the actor says he also came to appreciate how nice it is to be steadily employed, on a hot new show with major buzz. Originally having read for the part of the other brother Salvatore, bad-boy vamp Damon, Wesley was brought back in as Stefan after an exhaustive search by the show’s producers. In L.J. Smith’s early ’90s Vampire Diaries book series, Stefan “has long dark hair and green eyes,” the actor explains. “I just have the green eyes,” he says, modestly.
But actually, Wesley has worked hard on landing the right look for Stefan, losing 15 pounds before the production of the show’s pilot— and even more since—to look like a noble vampire who subsists, unhealthily, solely on animal blood. And there’s plenty of time for mental preparation, too, on the Vampire set. Filmed on the outskirts of Atlanta (standing in for fictional small-town Mystic Falls, Va.), the show is far from the bustle of everyday life in Los Angeles. Out in the Georgia woods, he shuts off his cell phone and even shuns too much social interaction with the rest of the cast—“which is very difficult,” he adds, “because I really like everyone.”
It’s all to get in the right, brooding mood to channel Stefan, who, Wesley says enthusiastically, will continue to show “more layers, where he’ll be flawed, and make mistakes, and even experience the dark side a little bit.” All of which, the actor hopes, will give him something tasty to bite into for seasons to come.