By Cara Alwill
"Vampire Diaries" star Nina Dobrev graces the cover of Seventeen magazine this month, and dishes all the dirt about her on-screen love, her off-screen high school drama and how she relates to Bella Swan.
We all know that Paul Wesley is a hottie, but Nina tells us why his vamp appeal is not just evident in the character he plays — it's also a part of his own personality. "The first time Paul and I met, I met nine other guys as well because I had already been cast and they were deciding for the Stefan role," she recalled. "I had to read with like 30 studio executives, and they were just kind of watching and analyzing because that was the whole point of the test...they wanted to see who had the best chemistry. And everyone was great, but Paul had this old soul, like a history that you could feel...he seemed like he'd been around longer, and knew more, and he had a grasp for the character different from anyone else."
Now that she gets to hang out with Paul and his onscreen bro Ian Somerhalder all the time, Nina must have some juice on them, right? "They're both really great in different kinds of ways." Um, tell us something we don't know! "Paul definitely takes his job very seriously He's very professional. Ian's the prankster, the jokester. He makes light of every moment, and he's very exciting and cool. He has the best stories, because he has just experienced so much, and he's been on so many cool sets and movies. We love each other's company."
Do they love each other's company so much that any of them would ever date off-set? "I think it could definitely get sticky if you dated your costar," Nina explained. "To be completely honest, dating an actor is very complicated. There's a lot of vanity involved. And they're in their head, and they're kind of crazy. And you're always surrounded by beautiful people. I would prefer not to date an actor."
With such a charmed life, it’s hard to imagine Nina ever went through a rough patch. But she admits her high school days were no easy ride. "Looking back on high school, I just remember specific scenarios and thinking, wow, that was such a big deal at the time, but right now it feels like it never even happened. So I guess if I can give any advice, I would just say that everything will pass, and it'll feel like it was a big deal over nothing. Life goes on and then you change and other things happen, and everything feels like it's so much worse afterward. It'll always get better."
With the obvious similarities between Elena Gilbert, Nina’s character on the show, and Bella Swan, of the "Twilight" saga, it’s no wonder Nina relates to both characters. She tells Seventeen that she feels like a bit of a hybrid of the two.
"I think that Elena has more awareness of her friends and family, and everyone around her, and looking out for everyone's best interests. But Bella reflects that unconditionally in love, the blinded love that girls really do experience sometimes. They fall in love with someone, and they'll do anything and everything for that one person. I think I'm more like Elena, but I have a little bit of Bella in me. When I'm in love with someone and they're really important to me, I will definitely take care of them, but at the same time, I'm not going to throw everything away for a relationship — I still have my friends, and I still have an awareness of everything around me."
What do you think of Nina's Seventeen cover story?