When Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder bombed their first The Vampire Diaries audition for Elena and Damon
Throwback to when Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder bombed their first The Vampire Diaries audition for Elena and Damon and nearly lost the parts.
Now that we have seen the show, we can’t imagine The Vampire Diaries without Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder. The actors were pure magic as Elena and Damon. They shared flawless chemistry and defined romance for us for years. It is impossible to imagine any other actor playing those parts in the teen drama series. While they did end up doing a remarkable job, both Ian and Nina nearly lost the part after blowing their first auditions.
The show, that featured Ian as Damon and Nina as Elena, first aired on the television in 2009 and ran for 8 seasons. While the actress ended up quitting the series in season 6, Ian was a part of it till the very end. During a media interaction in 2012, the actor revealed that his first audition of the role of the elder Salvatore brother was a disaster. Speaking about the role, he said he knew he was meant to play it.
“The process of booking a television show is an extensively nerve-wracking, nail-biting, awful experience. You can believe in yourself so much but when you realize you want something in life, the stakes are raised. I knew this was my role. I wanted this role — I knew I could do it,” the actor said during the CW show's panel at Paleyfest in Beverly Hills. The actor mentioned that he went through a series of testing before he met the director, producer, and writer of the show.
“You go through a series of testing, you meet the directors and producers and writers, and then go through a testing phase, and then you get an offer. Then you go and test for the studio — in this case Warner Brothers — and then you test for the network," he explained the casting process. He then revealed that he had failed to impress the network with his first audition. "Whether it was too much coffee, that B12 shot I gave myself, who knows? I bombed it,” Us Weekly quoted him as saying.
Ian mentioned that he had to go back and re-test because the creators of the show were convinced that he was Damon. He recalled seeing another actor waiting to read for the part, and at that moment he thought to himself, “You know what? Screw this. This is mine. This is not his.” He went back and gave another audition and ended up getting the role of Damon Salvatore, an ethically challenged blood-sucking vampire.
“I went in and did it and oddly enough, ended up getting the call. But it was after 10 days of virtual hell. And you don't always win. But every time you lose, you get better," he said. Reportedly many actors, who ended up playing different roles in the show, auditioned for Damon Salvatore. In fact, Paul Wesley, the actor who ended up playing the role of Damon’s younger brother Stefan Salvatore, also auditioned for the part. Show’s developer Julie Plec once told E Online that Paul had auditioned 15 times for the role.
Something similar happened with Nina’s first audition. The actress did not leave a very good impression on the creators after they first tested her for the lead character. “There were two [audition] scenes. It was meeting Stefan in the cemetery and then dragging Jeremy into the bathroom and telling him, “Don’t be this person” when she catches him with eye drops. The funniest story about the first impression of Nina is that she didn’t make an impression,” Julie told Entertainment Weekly in 2015.
Julie mentioned that none of the people who took Nina’s audition remembered her after her first audition. “Then she, through her agents and the casting directors, said, “Hey, listen—I was sick that day, I didn’t do my best work, I really really want this part.” [She] put herself on tape, which then got sent to us and it was so magical and so perfect that she basically had the job from that minute forward,” the creator recalled.
While it wasn’t the best start, everything worked out well for the actors. The two played each other’s love interest for about 3 seasons and the fans still can’t gushing over their chemistry. They even ended up dating in real life for three years before breaking up in 2013. Their onscreen romance continued even after they decided to end their real-life relationship. Nina’s fans were heartbroken when the actress finally said goodbye to the show.
ALSO READ: When The Vampire Diaries’ Ian Somerhalder admitted he was furious about Damon Salvatore becoming a good guy
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