Ocean Drive sat down for an interview with the beautfiul Nina Dobrev about her role in ‘Flatliners’ and more;

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Flying back and forth from Canada to NYC to LA, shooting TV shows, feature films and magazine covers, working out (she recently signed on as an ambassador for Reebok and Les Mills), saving sharks, and squeezing in an occasional night out, the living, breathing world for Nina Dobrev is hardly as carefree and glamorous as it seems. “I have been jet-setting like a maniac the last few months. It’s hard to keep track anymore,” says the 28-year-old actress. Later this month she stars in Flatliners, a sci-fi thriller about medical students who, intrigued by what lies beyond life, experiment by stopping their hearts, triggering near-death experiences. “I had so much fun playing this character and kind of playing my first adult role in a professional sense.” It is a departure of sorts, after breaking onto the scene in cult-classic school drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, followed by the supernatural Vampire Diaries, which catapulted her to TV stardom. But today, Dobrev continually proves there’s no role (in acting or real life) that she can’t conquer.

You’re taking improv classes at the UCB—for fun or career?
I’ve always loved improv and I do it day to day and in my work, but I haven’t done formal classes since I was in theater school. I wanted to brush up on it, both professionally and personally, to be on my toes and keep flexing that muscle, because if you stop using it, it atrophies.

Your dog Maverick is a “doctor-certified emotional support animal.” She seems so important in your life.
She is a bundle of joy and her resting position looks like she’s smiling and it makes me so happy to have that energy around me all the time. She’s cuddly, cute, fun, and makes my heart happy. I can barely remember life without her. I did have another bundle. My cat, who passed away a couple months ago, was the other light in my life and I miss her every single day. I guess I need to always have a furry friend.

Let’s go way back. When you were young, you trained 4 hours a day, 6 days a week as a gymnast, but made the choice instead to be an actress.
I was getting to that age where it was the point of no return. I knew I wasn’t going to go to the Olympics and that level of competitiveness, so I had to make the choice. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was definitely great training for the path that I did choose [because of] the regimen, determination, and persistence that you have to have. It prepared me for the rejection, and [taught me] to keep going further and working hard, to not take no for an answer. I grew thick skin in gymnastics and even thicker skin as an actress.

Were you able to do any crazy gymnastics poses?
If I was on my knees, I’d be able to roll onto my stomach and then my feet would go over my head and in front of my eyes and I could keep my feet in front of my eyes and do split leaps and all these crazy things. You have so much flexibility because your limbs and your bones are Jell-O at a young age.

How did your humble Canadian upbringing influence you?
I moved around a lot. My parents grew up in Bulgaria, and I was born and lived there for a very short amount of time before we moved to Canada. Every summer we’d go back to Bulgaria and do a lot of road trips to Turkey and Romania and all the neighboring countries, so I definitely got the travel bug young. I didn’t have a privileged life, but I had the privilege of experiencing many cultures and meeting people from all walks of life.

As an immigrant to Canada who has now come to America, how do you feel about the current political climate?
I keep expecting to wake up and find out that it’s not real. It’s a very unstable political climate at the moment and it scares me to see the negative repercussions that will come as a result of all of the work that’s been done—especially with the environment, the way it is in its fragile state, seeing the direction that it’s going in, and the decisions that are being made in the White House. The decisions that the administration makes at the moment affect the world, not just this country.

Are you a dual citizen here?
No, I have a green card. I cannot vote. I did not have the option to make an impact on this election other than with my voice and the platforms that I have access to.

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Source to article: https://oceandrive.com

You’re on People’s Most Beautiful list, and constantly get named on Maxim and FHM’s lists. But you stand for so much more than just external beauty…
It’s so not real—that’s the scariest part. And now we have apps that can Photoshop anything and everything, which puts out an image that’s not realistic. Young girls see this image and think that’s what they should be and that’s how they should wake up. That was one of the main reasons that I wanted to be a part of that issue [People’s Most Beautiful] and especially proud to represent the section [with no makeup on]. I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis. I try to reflect that on my social media, too. When I do Instagram stories, I’m not all dolled up and glamorous, it’s a peek into my day-to-day life, which is kind of normal and average. I get pimples and zits all the time and I deal with them just like anybody else, with zit cream. Sometimes I walk out of the house with the zit cream and forget about it. And that’s just life, it’s unpredictable and awkward and we all feel insecure all the time but that’s completely normal and okay and everybody has good days and bad days. It’s especially important now to show young girls that and to make them aware that they are perfect exactly the way they are.

Is there something that you’re insecure about?
I’m very busy and on the go and I don’t sleep that much. I have terrible dark circles under my eyes as a result of that, so I’m constantly aware of covering up my dark circles and trying to look like I’ve slept 10 hours when I’ve only slept 3.

How do you handle the online critics?
The online world can be beautiful but also vicious, and it’s very much like high school in the real world. After you graduate, you’re still a student and you still get bullied and have good and bad experiences. The thing about the online world is that it’s almost worse because they can hide behind a screen and say what they want without face-to-face confrontations. So as a result, they end up saying worse things because it’s harder to say something mean to someone’s face. I just try to ignore it. I don’t read comments often if I can avoid it. I try to practice what I preach, and if I put good vibes out there I hope that they’ll come back to me and karma will bite them in the bum.

You recently said you picked up healthier habits like eating more. Was it hard being a teenager growing up in front of the camera?
I think everyone is always self-conscious, whether you’re in front of the camera or not. Everyone always loves to look their best, so of course I was always aware of it, but I think it comes down to education. I didn’t learn until later in life that the more you eat, the more your metabolism works at a healthy rate and you’ll actually lose weight and be more toned if you keep it on a consistent schedule. I would never starve myself then but I would definitely choose different things and eat smaller portions.

Set the record straight—there’s a great photo of you and some bridesmaids hitchhiking at Julianne Hough’s wedding. What happened?
The bus broke down from the wedding to the reception because they were at two different locations. We didn’t actually hitchhike. We were joking. But we took that opportunity, as we waited for the rest of the vehicles to come back around, to get an awesome photo of all the bridesmaids. It was a joke. We didn’t really get in the cars of any strangers, but we would’ve if anybody had stopped.

Your new movie, Flatliners, deals with bringing people back to life…
We went through a rigorous medical boot camp to learn about everything to do with reviving a human in a dire situation— CPR, how to use the defibrillator, how to get heart monitors, and if that’s not working, how to physically check the body. We had to do that so that we would look believable on camera as if we had been doing it for years. I don’t want to say that I could save a person’s life, but I could definitely assist in keeping them alive until the proper paramedics came if something were to happen. My character especially, she’s the most hardheaded, stubborn, by-the-rules kind of girl, and she’s competitive, so she wanted to go above and beyond and test the limit. The film explores different themes of life and death and moral compasses and doing the right thing. If you don’t do the right thing, does it weigh heavy on you? Will you do something about it or will you just turn a blind eye?

Is it difficult dating in Hollywood?
You’re the subject of paparazzi but you do a very good job of keeping it private. That is between me and my dating life and it will stay that way and that’s why I’m so good at it because I avoid these questions.

We’re so focused on the ocean in Miami and so are you, with your commitment to sharks as an ocean advocate.
Sharks are so misunderstood and we have a terrible fear of them because of movies and they get a bad rep because of the press. On the rare occasion there’s some sort of accident, you hear about it because it gets publicized, but you don’t hear about all the times when nothing happens, which is more often than not. There are sharks in the water all the time swimming with people, and they don’t do anything because they don’t care about us. They’re animals and they make mistakes so every once in a while, you have to realize that if you’re in their home, you have to play by their rules and you are taking a risk when you’re in the water with them, but they’re not really interested in humans. I want to spread that awareness and make sure they get protected because they don’t have anybody looking out for them. I’m going to be the voice for these amazing and beautiful creatures.

Flatliners hits theaters September 29. For information on how to get involved with protecting sharks, visit oceana.org

Nina Dobrev likes a challenge!

The 28-year-old actress is opening up about her decision to leave The Vampire Diaries after starring on The CW show for six seasons, revealing that it was her plan all along to move on, ET Online publishes;

“That was the plan from the get-go,” she says in the September issue of Harper by Harper’s Bazzar — which she guest-edited. “If anything, the fact that [leaving] terrified me drove me even more. I needed to feel that fear of ‘Oh, my God, what if I never get a job again?’ That just made me want to work five times as hard to make sure that didn’t happen.”

Dobrev portrayed Elena Gilbert for six seasons on The Vampire Diaries, shocking fans of the vampire series when she announced in 2015 that she would be departing the show. Since then, she’s taken roles in films such as Crash Pad and xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

“The things I want to do aren’t necessarily the things that are expected of me,” Dobrev confesses. “I don’t want to play a teenager anymore. I want to play adult roles and be challenged and work with great filmmakers and tell incredible stories, and that has meant being really picky.”

Her decision to make a big move in her career also stems from her love of living an adventurous life.

“My rule of thumb is, I’ll try anything once,” she expresses. “I have a healthy — or possibly unhealthy — obsession with trying things for the first time. Nobody imagines me to be by myself backpacking, so they just think, ‘It can’t be her.’”

Nina Dobrev will not be returning to her supernatural roots — at least not on the small screen, EW.com says;

Some fans had hoped that Dobrev, who starred as Elena Gilbert (and her doppelgängers) on The CW’s The Vampire Diaries might reprise her role in the fifth and final season of the show’s spin-off, The Originals. But the actress squelched those hopes during a recent interview with EW, saying, “No, I will not be on The Originals, no.”

Asked if she would ever want to head back to Mystic Falls, Dobrev says she has her eye on other projects, “We literally just wrapped a few months ago. I doubt that would be in the books for me,” she says. “But, yeah, no, I’ve been so busy with all kinds of other things going on right now that I don’t know that I’d be able to sign on.”

And she has another reason. “I’m not a young twenty-something anymore. I don’t think I could play a vampire,” she adds, laughing. “I’m getting old.”

Back in March, Julie Plec, who served as showrunner for both Vampire Diaries and The Originals, suggested the possibility of a revival in the distant future. “I could see our universes coming together in five years, 10 years, when people miss the shows,” Plec told EW. “There’s still stories to be told for The Originals that our characters here very smoothly and seamlessly fit into, so if we don’t get to do that while The Originals is still on the air, I think that one day, if somebody wanted it badly enough, it could exist.”

At least fans will be able to catch Dobrev on the big screen this fall; she stars in the remake of the 1990 paranormal film Flatliners, alongside Ellen Page, Diego Luna, and James Norton. Flatliners opens in theaters on Sept. 29.

If you’re a big fan of xXx: Return of Xander Cage, then you’re in luck, because there’s going to be another installment coming your way with all of the cast!

On Sunday (June 11), D.J. Caruso, the director of the 2017 film, took to Twitter to tease that the next installment of the xXx trilogy — which stars Vin Diesel in the title role — will feature Nina Dobrev, Deepika Padukone and more Xander Cage alums.

The announcement came after Ruby Rose, who played Adele Wolf in xXx: Return of Xander Cage, posted a teaser message on Instagram on Friday hinting at her involvement in the upcoming movie.

“And while I’m here I can’t forget my training for Adele in xXx… but… more new exciting news on that soon ;),” Rose captioned a picture of herself hanging out with giant weapons in the desert.

A fan then asked Caruso on Twitter whether or not this meant fans would soon be getting an update on another film from the franchise. Caruso replied, “Yes meetings next week. Honing in on story and start dates.”

To make fans even more happy Caruso shared a few more details. On Twitter user asked specifically about Nina Dobrev coming back for the sequel, and the director quickly replied, “oh yes.”

Another fan wrote, “Hey sir, What’s the movie’s title? and did you replace any co-star in the sequel or that all are brought back?”

While Caruso didn’t share the movie’s title, he did make all of our movie dreams come true by addressing the casting question. “All coming back,” he wrote keeping it short, but sweet.

This means Diesel, Dobrev, Rose, Padukone, Kris Wu and more are all going to be coming back for more action, assuming they are all available for filming.

Diesel previously told Variety that Paramount was looking to make a fourth installment in the franchise.

“Well, it’s funny. I was in the middle of an interview and Brad Grey — who runs Paramount — calls me and says, ‘Will everybody come back to work in May?’ I’m like – everyone’s in interviews right now!” Diesel told Variety back in January.

And while I'm here I can't forget my training for Adele in xXx… but… more new exciting news on that soon 😉

Een bericht gedeeld door Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) op

[People’s Choice Blog]

Nina Dobrev doesn’t shy away from playing with new makeup looks and hair trends for the red carpet, but in real life, the actress is much more low-key.

“At the end of the day, you are what makes you beautiful,” says the former Vampire Diaries star, 28, who posed without a stitch of makeup for PEOPLE’s annual World’s Most Beautiful issue. “Your personality, your aura and who you naturally are.”

Dobrev also isn’t afraid to step out bare-faced. “I absolutely feel comfortable going out in public and being on social media without makeup,” she says. “It’s real. When I have a lot of make-up on, that’s usually work. At home, I just let it breathe.”

Just like many other girls growing up, “I don’t think I was always comfortable with myself,” she admits. “But as I get older, I start to care less. I feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin now.”

Dobrev — who stars in the upcoming drama Flatliners — frequently swaps makeup and clothes with her tight-knit group of girlfriends, including BFF Julianne Hough (“We have a very open, awesome, giving relationship“) and her longtime hairstylist Riawna Capri (“She is definitely my secret weapon”).

As for her favorite beauty tip? “Audrey Hepburn has this quote that happy girls are the prettiest girls,” says the star. “I believe that to be very true. Your smile is your best accessory, and I try to wear it every day if I can.”


[Warning! The following contains major spoilers from the series finale of The Vampire Diaries. Read at your own risk!]

The Vampire Diaries series finale was not messing around. After making viewers think Damon (Ian Somerhalder) compelled Stefan (Paul Wesley) into letting the eldest Salvatore sacrifice himself to save Mystic Falls, “I Was Feeling Epic” delivered the devastating twist that Stefan was actually the one to die in TVD’s final hour.

But the series finale wasn’t all tears and heartbreak. It also gave us Damon and Elena (Nina Dobrev) getting their happy ending together, Caroline (Candice King) and Alaric (Matt Davis) opening up a school for (magically) gifted children and — most importantly — Stefan and Damon finally finding peace.

Co-creator Kevin Williamson spoke with TVGuide.com about why Stefan had to die, that Klaroline letter and the Delena proposal that had to be cut for time!

Why did you decide to end the series with Elena and Damon reuniting with their family in the afterlife?
Kevin Williamson:
Well, that’s a little interpretive, if you ask Julie [Plec], I believe. The idea was the montage shows a direction and we had our characters suggest what happened to them. And Damon, like the voiceover tell us, he was worried he would never see Stefan again. It was just Elena assuring him that there would be peace. That we’ve dealt with this other side of darkness for several seasons, but there’s also light out there and there’s peace, and Damon will find it. If you search for it, you will find it. And we wanted to get that last moment to see that yes, Elena found it and yes, Damon found it too, and it looked just like his brother.

Everyone else looks approximately the same age they were when they died. Why did Damon and Elena both still look so young? Did you just not want to mess with old age makeup?
You know, it is interpretive. The idea that this whole show was about loss and grief and losing people and ultimately, I guess the final message is that all these people who shaped and guided us along the way live within us and if you look within, you find peace. And so we kind of stepped out of reality in that moment and showed what that would look like. In reality, they did live lives and they did grow old. But in the voiceover, I can’t remember it word for word, but I think she says, “Damon will find peace.” And we know what that peace looks like. And then she looks to the porch and sees her family and then Damon returns to his home and sees Stefan.

I loved that the final shot was of Stefan and Damon together.
That was important. Well, the important thing for me, I can’t speak for anyone else, but the important thing for me was that I wanted the last lines to be the last lines.

“Hello brother” has become such an important line in this show. When you were working on the pilot, did you have any idea of the significance that phrase would come to have?
No, but there’s always those lines. Like in Dawson’s Creek it was, “See you, Joey.” And so it’s the same thing kind of. And I wanted a “Dear diary.” That was the other line that was really important. I wanted Elena to say, “Dear diary.” Originally in the montage, it started with everyone else and ended with Elena. And then at the last second I was like, “No, no, no. We have to start with ‘Dear diary.’ We have to put her in the graveyard.” And Julie was like, “Yes, yes, yes!” And then we started it and ended it with her.

Do you have any other favorite callbacks that you managed to work into the finale?
My favorite line was, “That’s for me to know and you to dot dot dot.” I’ve always liked that line and I used to say that. That was something I would just say all the time as a writer because you’d always write dot dot dot. And so I’d always go, “You know, blah blah blah, dot dot dot.” And so I’d always just say it in the writers’ room when I was explaining something. “Well, you know the rest, dot dot dot.” And then I put it in the line and I felt like, “You know what? Katherine’s older than Damon. Where did Damon get the line? Oh, he got it from Katherine. Let’s have Katherine say it.”

The show started out about two brothers fighting over a girl, but became much more about the intricacies of the brothers’ relationships than any one romance. When did you first notice that shift happening?
From the beginning we wanted to write a show about a family. The show was about family and loss and grief, because it was really about Elena losing her family. And it started off with her and Jeremy dealing with the worst-case scenario. And then of course, how do they find that family? And for Jeremy, it was how does he find his way, and for Elena, it was how does she find life again, and then once she comes to life, how will she ever be able to trust someone to love them? And then the triangle opened up. But it was always about Stefan and Elena both dealing with loss and grief and trying to learn how to live again. And she turned towards some good vampires along the way.

Julie told me that up until two weeks before the script was written, someone else was supposed to die. Can you reveal who that was?
Oh, everyone was supposed to die. There were so many conversations in the writers’ room. Everyone had these great ideas. I’m only sad that we couldn’t put everything in there because it was only 42.5 minutes. But there were so many possibilities. It was very important for us not to kill Bonnie. Bonnie should not have to die for Elena’s happiness. It was this conversation of, “Oh, Bonnie can go be with Enzo because that’s exactly what she would want.” Like, no. That’s not what Enzo would want. Bonnie needs a full, rich life. She needs a happy ending. So that was important to us, so we couldn’t kill Bonnie. And we can’t kill [Matt], because if he’s lived this long as a human, he needs to continue on. If we were going to kill him, it had to have been in Season 4. You can’t do it in Season 8. It was really between Damon and Stefan. You know, we got rid of Katherine. We killed Katherine. We knew we were going to take her out. There was a conversation that Damon and Stefan both died. And then there was a conversation that it just ended with Damon killing Katherine and saving the town and saving everyone. For me, where the story was when I came in and got involved, Stefan had just been the Ripper for a long period of time and killed Enzo. And the only way for him to come back from that, I felt, was to kill him. That’s why he had to die.

The Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) appearance after Stefan died made his death much easier to bear. Why do you think Lexi was the perfect person to lead him into the afterlife?
She was always there for him. She always had his back since Day 1. I think she showed up in the series, and because of her, you liked him more. Once you learned, oh, they’re best friends. And once we figured out who she was and what she did, in that one little moment she propped Stefan up for Elena when they were getting to know each other. And seeing Lexi gave us another whole side of Stefan at a time when he was just a brooding vampire. It just sort of opened him up a little bit. You’re like, “Oh man. How did they end up friends? I’m interested in that girl. Now I’m interested more in Stefan.” It really helped shape him as a character. And she’s always been there for him. It turns out she was the one who helped him with being a Ripper. She’s just always been there for him and had his back. She’s perfect.

A recurring issue in this show has been the idea that Stefan is the better man, but the finale indicates otherwise. Do you believe that Damon really is the better man?
I think that’s kind of what Katherine said and I think she was doing it because what happened was Damon became the better man. And I think that’s the eternal arc, is that he truly became everything his brother wanted. He became everything his brother was hoping he would become. And because his brother sacrificed himself for him, Damon got to live a better life.

Stefan sacrificed himself almost immediately after his wedding to Caroline. Are you at all nervous about the reaction from the Steroline fandom?
Yeah, that one’s a little tricky, possibly. I hope that the audience understands though that the greater good, which is that Stefan — he kind of said it to her. “You’re not going to put your children in harm’s way ever. It’s always going to be about family. You understand that more than anyone. And because it’s always about family, you’re going to understand what I’m about to do.” And she understood it. “It’s always about family.” And she didn’t like it and life hurts and life is painful, but she understood it. And we also threw in a little nugget of Klaus (Joseph Morgan) with the letter!

Why did you decide to include that letter and hint at Klaus and Caroline having a future together?
That’s the one storyline that we sacrificed. You know, Klaus went off to another series and we never really got to play that story out, because had Klaus stuck around, clearly that would have been a relationship and road we would have gone down for at least a storyline. I miss that storyline. I always wanted to see it. But things happen. No regrets, for sure.

The letter definitely felt like nice ways to honor one of the show’s most passionate fandoms. When working on the finale, how did your desire to please the fans influence the process?
That was the guiding force. That was the whole thing. Julie and the writers, we were like, “We have to say thank you.” We started talking about finales in general and why we like finales and which ones we like and why do you like them and why don’t you like them. And we felt that when we watch finales, we like being rewarded. What you really want the finale to do is say thank you. And so that was our goal and I really hope the audience understands. And it really is hard to please everyone. And in another universe, if Elena hadn’t left the show in Season 6, we might have had another ending because I am a Stelena ‘shipper, always. But this ending just makes me cry and makes me smile at the same time, and that’s what we really wanted to do. We wanted to cry, cry through laughter.

Based on the massive ring on Elena’s finger, she and Damon got married in the future! Was there any talk of ever showing some of the nuptials onscreen?
Yes. We actually had a moment, which we didn’t have time for — everything got cut. I think the first cut came in 18 minutes over. And there was a moment in the show where he proposed and she responded after medical school. And the whole point of that moment was just to show that she became a doctor. And so we thought, “Oh, we’ll just put her in scrubs and we can cut that piece.”

Bonnie is now off traveling the world and living her life to the fullest, so how has her dynamic with Enzo’s (Michael Malarkey) spirit changed? Are they still actively involved or does he only watch her from afar?
He’s watching from afar. He’s going to let her have her life and live her life. I imagine that’s what peace looks like — is those people who guided us and shaped us and who we loved are always going to be there within us. And we just visually showed what that looked like.

Do you imagine that when Bonnie (Kat Graham) does eventually die, she’ll be reunited with Enzo again?
If that’s what she wants, I think she will be, because that’s what peace is.

When we get glimpses into everyone’s future, they’re all off doing these great things and being with the people they love, but Matt’s (Zach Roerig) big accomplishment is getting a bench in his honor. What do you think that says about who Matt is and what his priorities are?
I think when we first started, Matt didn’t know who he was. He felt like the bad pawn of some reckless parents. He had such a dysfunctional family. And he came into his own. He became a man people look up to and applauded. And he’s also been in a lot of ways the gatekeeper of Mystic Falls now and he’s prepared for it. And now he’s going to have an entire community of people counting on him. He’s turned into this beaming light of responsibility and courage and he’s truly — I think he’s a hero. We just see a bench, but the thing about having a bench dedicated to you, you usually deserve a lot more than that. I have a feeling that bench was representative of a lot more.

What do hope The Vampire Diaries legacy will be?
I would hope that people look back on it with a big smile and that it’s nothing but great memories. You want people to remember it fondly and go, “Wow. I loved that show. Boy, was it a great show.” Big ol’ smile.

Kevin Williamson returned to The Vampire Diaries once again in its eighth season, this time to write the TVD series finale, “I was Feeling Epic,” with his co-creator Julie Plec, who directed the episode. (Fans with long memories will remember that Nina Dobrev’s Elena Gilbert used the word “epic” to describe her first encounter with new boy in school Paul Wesley’s Stefan Salvatore.)

Williamson shares why they wrote what they did, what could have been, and how they hope fans will appreciate the final show no matter if they are on Team Stefan or Team Damon! The article was written by TV Insider.com

You set the scene for another edition of the franchise with Caroline (Candice King) and Alaric (Matt Davis) opening the Salvatore School for Special Children. Do you see a spin-off, whether on the network or streaming?
That’s something Julie wanted to lay the space for because she felt we can revisit that in the future if there’s a desire. It’s a seed that we planted and who knows if it will grow or not.

Sweetening the pot was the big check from The Original’s Klaus (Joseph Morgan) for the school. Could Caroline show up in New Orleans to see her old beau?
Maybe…or Klaus could show up as a speaker at the school. The idea behind that was that I felt that because we lost Klaus to The Originals, we were never able to explore their relationship. I thought if we kind of hint at that, it would be kind of cool.

You made what some might call a dangerous decision in declaring that Damon was a better man in the final tally than Stefan. Why did you make that, debatable decision? Are you ready for some angry reaction?
Possibly. But keep in mind Stefan as The Ripper killed Bonnie’s love Enzo (Michael Malarkey). He did so much damage, how could he ever come back from that? Including what he did his brother. By turning Damon into a vampire, he took his humanity from him. That has been weighing on him for all of these years, and so the idea that he can finally be free came in the moment when Damon said, “Let me do this for you,” [sacrifice himself and send Katherine to Hell] and then Stefan said, “No, let me do it for me.” He wanted to be free, to find peace. It was really important to Julie and me that after eight years of every episode being about death and doom, and trying to save this person, or solve this problem, that we can finally let our characters breathe in peace—let then reach whatever that light is opposing darkness..

Considering Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec wrote it, the episode brought a happy ending to mostly everyone; they all seemed to make it to that good place. Hell must be lonely for Katherine Pierce!
Yes! Happy ending, please. And I hope people will understand, all the Stelena shippers too; I am one of them. In another universe, had Elena had more story with Stefan, we might have looked at a different ending. I feel like this is where the story drove us. We always wanted to end the series on our two brothers, because it’s always been about family. I think the spirit of our ending remains intact from the very beginning. That’s what was so beautiful about it for us, that we were able to hold onto that final moment, “Hello, brother.”

Why did you end with the trio, Elena, Stefan and Damon all being human again?
We wanted them to get their humanity back and find peace.

Caroline is still a vampire, and unless she chooses to end herself, it could be a very long time for Stefan to wait.
Yes. Caroline chose not to take the cure because she was a better human as a vampire.

There are some show fans who never thought Stefan and Caroline should have been more than friends. Did you separate them at the end partially as a nod to that? Or did it just fit into the story you wanted to tell?
It fit into the story, because as much as they had a genuine love, they were at odds with each other ideologically. Stefan wanted to be human and Caroline wanted to be a vampire. How is that going to look when Stefan dies as a human and Caroline’s going to have to go on for how many more centuries without him? And then you have the idea, too, that Stefan is responsible for so many people dying and that is always going to haunt him. He was always going to be this haunted human, but now he’s not. He’s been released and he lives in peace. Caroline can take some comfort in the idea that the man she loved got what he wanted and she is that good that she would understand that.

So you put Stefan’s old pal Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) there to greet him in heaven or wherever the light is.
Absolutely. She would be there to greet him at the pearly gates, because she was the one person who always had his back, whether he was The Ripper or in a love story with Elena. She was, in that way, family, which is what this was always about.

Hence the scene with Elena and her adoptive and biological family. How difficult was it get Nina back this season?
She had so many scheduling conflicts. We would have loved to have her in the last season, in the last six episodes, in the last three, but we barely got her for the week. She had to be in Hong Kong on set one day. But she was trooper; she didn’t sleep much.

How bad would it have been if Nina hadn’t made the finale?
We had a backup plan, but it wasn’t nearly as good without Elena and Katherine there. What was great is that Nina did want to return and she figured it out. Major gratitude to her.

Besides the return of Vicki (Kayla Ewell) and Lexi, you had a batch of characters in cameos. Was anyone missing?
We would have liked to have had Anna (Melese Jow), but she had a scheduling problem, and we had to film Sarah Canning (who played Aunt Jenna) separately; we spliced her into the family reunion scene. We filmed all those cameos around the wrap party.

It was a nice gesture not to make Bonnie (Kat Graham) suffer even more than she has every season. She gets to live a real life! That’s why it was very important for her not to die to bring Elena back. Stefan can be the martyr, but Bonnie deserves to live the life she was meant to live. She’s the one that truly gets to leave Mystic Falls and go out in the world and find out who she is. Also, she’s always struggled with being a witch and it was nice that she figured it out and saved the entire town with the power of the Bennett witch legacy.

Does she wind up with her great love Enzo, now in some ghostly realm, eventually? Not everyone agrees, but I thought their love story was kind of, well epic.
I also loved their chemistry together. I kind of like the idea knowing he’s there watching her have this amazing life and knowing that he’ll see her again.

It was fun that you had one of your famous movie references in the finale. When Damon heard that Elena was trapped in a boiler room, he said he knew that was in some horror movie.
[Laughs] That was my Nightmare on Elm Street nod to Wes Craven.

Well thanks for exercising my tear ducts. Any last thoughts?
The thing about a finale is you want to want to say thank you. We were really trying to show our gratitude to the audience and fill the show with as many moments as we could that would remind people of all the moment along the way.

Here’s a short video of The Vampire Diaries’ cast who celebrated the series finale.

I have added 700+ 1080p screencaptures of The Vampire Diaries’ Special “The Vampire Diaries: Forever Yours” to our photo archives;

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from The Vampire Diaries series finale, “I Was Feeling Epic.”]

“While his death is absolutely tragic for many reasons, there’s also a sense of full circle to his experience,” co-creator and showrunner Julie Plec tells The Hollywood Reporter about that finale death;

After being nearly destroyed countless times throughout eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries, the small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia was saved yet again in the show’s series finale — but not everyone made it out alive.

The evil Katherine (Nina Dobrev) returned to make sure Mystic Falls was engulfed in hellfire, but Bonnie (Kat Graham) devised a way to destroy her once and for all — it just required one of the Salvatores to sacrifice himself too. While Damon (Ian Somerhalder) stepped up to the plate, Stefan (Paul Wesley) decided that because his brother had finally returned to his pre-evil vampire self, he would do it.

Bonnie, after summoning the strength of the Bennett witches, was also able to wake Elena from her slumber. Bonnie set out to travel the world, Elena and Damon got to live happily ever after together, Matt served as Mystic Falls Sheriff (and got a nifty bench, too), Caroline started a boarding school for supernatural children with Alaric’s (Matt Davis) and Jeremy’s (Steven R. McQueen) help, and in the final scene, the brothers reunited with a tearful hug.

Co-creator Julie Plec spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the finale, including alternate endings for some characters, the importance of callbacks to the pilot, and Dobrev’s big return.

The Original Ending
The plan wasn’t always to have Stefan sacrifice himself so his brother could find happiness. Plec and co-creator Kevin Williamson first came up with an ideal ending back in season two. “There have been so many different versions of that in our mind,” Plec tells THR. “Back then, the show ended with both brothers dying and watching Elena go out and live her life as a human and grow up and be happy and have kids and get married. And all the sacrifices that they had made so that she could be human and safe made it worth it, and they could’ve gone and passed on into oblivion.”

Plec continues, “Then of course we created the Other Side and then Elena became a vampire and then Nina left the show. Once Nina left the show, all the plans of how it would end one day had to shift because ultimately it became less about ensuring Elena’s safety and future and more about the relationships between the brothers themselves and their own path to redemption. There was a pitch on the table that was a very good pitch where Damon didn’t make it to the end, and then ultimately the pitch that made it to the end was, I think, the best one.”

Stefan’s Sacrifice
While Stefan’s immortal life was tragically cut short, Plec says that he was still able to have meaningful life experiences. “For me, Stefan got to have life and happiness. He struggled with his — we’ll call it his addiction — his entire vampire life, but he had his best friend in Lexi, he had true love in Elena, he had the redemption of his brother, and then he got to fall in love a second time and find a partner and a mate in Caroline. And while his death is absolutely tragic for many reasons, there’s also a sense of full circle to his experience that he was the one that sort of got them into this mess and now he’s going to get them out of it.”

Damon’s Redemption
Damon, on the other hand, was “a whirlwind of chaos,” Plec says. “His last moment of innocence, and I would even say sweetness, was when he was still human 160-some-odd years ago. And so for Stefan to be able to give his brother that opportunity to experience the simple peace and happiness of everyday life as a human and with his girl and all the things that Stefan was able to have I think is the greatest gift of all.”

She continues, “Damon’s done a lot of really crappy things in eight years. He has not been a model citizen. He has been extremely, extremely dysfunctional and extremely disruptive. While in no way are we trying to say the lesson is that the bad boy can be changed by the love of a woman, in this case it’s true — and the love of a brother. And so now Damon Salvatore gets to have a second chance at humanity.”

Cutting Steroline Short
Stefan’s death was perhaps most tragic for Caroline, who had approximately one day of wedded bliss before he sacrificed himself to save Mystic Falls. But Plec says that eventually Caroline will be able to move on. “Stefan and Caroline found beautiful best friend partnership marital love, familial love, and everything you wish for as an adult that you want out of a partner,” she says. “And that’s after Stefan had epic first love — fall down the rabbit hole, drown in it, painful love — with Elena. So there’s no reason why Caroline can’t move forward in her life and find a different kind of partner before her currently eternal life is over. I’m not saying it’s going to be Klaus, but it certainly leaves a door open for anybody.”

Bonnie’s Alternate Ending
After spending at least a decade of her life sacrificing herself for the greater good of Mystic Falls and her supernatural friends, Bonnie needed to have a happy ending. “She has earned the right to be happy,” Plec says. “Bonnie needed to survive and to grow up and to live a long life and to have everything she ever wanted. There was a pitch on the table at some point that maybe Bonnie and Matt Donovan would end up together and have children together. There was a pitch on the table that maybe Bonnie takes a series of great French lovers and never has another real relationship again because Enzo is her one true love and she’ll see him again in peace.”

Matt Donovan’s Survival
There was no question in Plec’s mind that token human Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) would make it to the end of the series alive. “That’s my personal battle,” she says. “I’ve argued with a dozen people over the years about the importance of Matt Donovan remaining alive in this universe. It seemed to me that as the token human, his survival, him going down fighting and being willing to sacrifice himself at any time along the way in the name of the greater good of the town and then to be left standing in that town at the end, it’s a beautiful closure for him and so I really wanted to make sure that he lived to tell the tale.”

The Crow, The Cemetery, and Other Callbacks
Throughout the final hour, Plec and Williamson, who co-wrote the episode, sprinkled in references to the pilot and other key moments in the series — including the shot of Elena writing in her diary in the cemetery with a crow. “The crow was classic Kevin,” Plec says. After being tasked with writing that scene, “he came back with that section with that beautiful voiceover and the crow and Damon coming to meet Elena at the cemetery. And to me, it’s one of the most beautiful moments of the show. That is all him wanting to reflect back on his favorite elements of the first season.”

One of the most personal callbacks for Plec was including music from the pilot. “I have, like, a Pavlovian response when I hear them. I just burst into tears. One of which is the return of the Fray song that ended our pilot. If you watch the [episode] with someone who was a fan in the first couple of seasons and maybe hasn’t watched it since then, there is so much for them to enjoy about it and so many little nostalgic shout-outs — not to mention all the little Easter Eggs for the fans who know the show intimately.”

Family Reunion
The eighth season saw the return of several key characters, and the final episode brought back a few more (including Sara Canning as Aunt Jenna and David Anders as Uncle John). That was important to Plec personally, because the TVD crew is close-knit, but also story-wise.

“This is a show that was borne out of loss and grief. When we met Elena, she had lost her parents and didn’t know if she could continue and didn’t know how she was going to make her way through life under the weight of this loss. And when we end the show, we’re ending the show in peace — which I would go so far as to say is the Vampire Diaries version of what heaven means. These characters, some that were ripped away from us very tragically, some that we weren’t sure what their ultimate destination would be, to be able to show them at peace with themselves and in a version of their own peace, however you want to define it, was the perfect bookend to the grief and the loss that launched the series.”

The Final Scene
The end, which sees Elena reunite with her parents and Jenna and John, “To me, that’s peace and you can define it however you want,” Plec said. “You can define it as closure, you can define it as heaven, you can define it as some sort of spiritual other world. Whatever it is that you want to define it as, that is what peace means to me — which is that somehow you find yourself at peace because you have everything you ever wanted.”

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