After spending eight years in the supernatural world of The Vampire Diaries — and directing five episodes of the series — Paul Wesley decided to stop through New York to visit the arguably more supernatural world of Shadowhunters. Wesley directed Monday’s episode, which sees Clary and Jace embark on a mission while Simon contemplates telling his family the truth about what he is. But before Wesley could step behind the camera, he had to brush up on the new, very complicated Shadow World. sits down with Paul Wesley to talk about the differences between directing Shadowhunters and The Vampire Diaries;

“They sent me a PDF with a bit of backstory on all the characters,” Wesley tells EW. “Then, honestly, I went on the Wikipedia page and looked at that.”

Unlike his past experiences on TVD, he not only had to get to know a new world on Shadowhunters, but he also had to get to know the actors. “I don’t know their mannerisms and I don’t really know any of these cast members very well. On The Vampire Diaries, I sort of understood how the actors functioned, so I was able to direct them and guide them,” Wesley says. “There was a bit of an advantage there. With this, it was more acquired knowledge. That was the biggest difference. It was actually, I thought, really refreshing to have to learn a new set of skills.”

One of those skills was directing an hour with a lot of green screen, which required Wesley to put his trust into the digital effects department. Another skill? Directing with the flu. “I was sick,” Wesley says. “I had like a 103-degree fever while I was shooting all those exterior scenes. All these pictures came out where I look like an Eskimo and literally I had a massive flu. It was like -10 out. And it was my first show that I directed outside of the series I had been on and I really wanted it to come out well.”

Shadowhunters airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.

It’s been more than four months since The Vampire Diaries wrapped its eight-season run on The CW, and some people are still angry about the way things ended for Stefan Salvatore — but his portrayer, Paul Wesley, isn’t one of them. TV Line sits down with Paul Wesley to talk about the series finale and Stefan’s ending;

“It was something I was really hoping for,” Wesley tells TVLine of Stefan’s untimely demise, which came less than 24 hours after he and Caroline Forbes became husband and wife. “I’d put in a good word, because I felt it needed end that way. I thought he really needed to die.”

Unlike many of the fans who forgave Stefan for his (countless) transgressions over the years — because, come on, it’s a show about vampires! — Wesley isn’t about to let his character off so easily.

“It was important poetic justice for all the bad things he’d done,” Wesley continues. “He was a murderer ultimately. He’d found so much redemption, yet was still tormented. For me, him making that ultimate sacrifice was a great way to say goodbye.”
Wesley’s line of thinking certainly lines up with that of showrunner Julie Plec, who had this to say about Stefan’s death back in March: “When we landed on the idea of Caroline needing to leave [Stefan] behind in honor of protecting her family, and then him needing to leave her behind in honor of protecting his, it felt somehow like the responsible outcome of a responsible relationship.”

When asked about a potential cameo on The Originals next year, Paul Wesley told TV Guide the following;

“I don’t think so. I think Stefan has been laid to rest … I’m trying to sort of do the opposite of what I’ve being doing for eight years for the most part. I don’t think I’ll be doing a supernatural show anytime soon, that’s for sure. I’m trying to branch out and do different things.”

The Originals will return in the spring of 2018.

SHADOWHUNTERS – “Day of Atonement” (Freeform/John Medland)

After a trip to the Seelie Queen threw a wrench in Simon and Clary’s relationship when Clary was forced to kiss the man she had feelings for and that man was Jace, it’s fair to say the love triangle is now even more complicated. And in the episode airing July 17, Clary will find herself alone with Jace when the two of them go on an unsanctioned mission to test out some new rune powers. As for Simon, he struggles to tell his family the truth about what he is. (Thankfully, Maia’s there to help him.)

All of that action will be brought to Shadowhunters fans by former Vampire Diaries star Paul Wesley, who directed the July 17 episode.


Last season, Joseph Morgan, who plays the deposed king of New Orleans Klaus, made his directorial debut on The Originals. Now, it’s time for Charles Michael Davis, who stars on the CW drama as Marcel, Klaus’ surrogate son and current ruler of the city, to do the same.

Davis stepped behind the camera for Friday’s episode, an intense hour in which Freya (Riley Voelkel) traps Klaus, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), and their daughter Hope (Summer Fontana) in the compound for their own safety. Ahead of the episode, EW hopped on the phone with Davis to talk about how he prepared to take on this new role on the show, discovered his directing style, and his favorite parts of the episode.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So let’s start from the beginning: How did it come about that you were going to direct an episode this season?
It all started from finding out that Paul Wesley had directed [on The Vampire Diaries] and just chatting with Paul. This was when I first moved to Atlanta. So this was season 1 of when we were shooting and they were still in season 4. But it just sparked the idea and I just started asking around. People told me the best way is to shadow and to show up at meetings and soon enough people will start talking about your episode and, “I can’t wait to be a part of your episode.”

I shadowed for about two seasons, two years, and I would fly back to L.A. from Atlanta to sit in the writers’ room for two or three days. Later in the year, I’d fly back and sit in with the editors for about three days. Then I even came back and sat in on a sound mixing session, and then I would also follow directors around on set. I would go on the set of Containment and go onto the set of Vampire Diaries and see how certain directors operated. Then we got to talking about it, and they gave [Joseph Morgan] an episode in season 3, and he did very well. So, it opened up the door for me and Daniel [Gillies].

Which directors did you shadow on The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, and Containment?
Chris Grismer, I shadowed on all three, and I shadowed Michael A. Allowitz. I shadowed Matt Hastings a lot because he was our creative director and always on set. And Jeff Hunt, it was great to get his process.

What did you learn from shadowing these directors? Did you learn something new about your show after seeing it from a different perspective?
Yeah, I talked to the [directors of photography], too, and learned from their perspective about what the rules of the show were. That was the most interesting thing. It helped me because there were particular camera moves or certain lighting setups that we would stay very close to. So it made my choices for me. But before, there’s this phase when it seems like this big daunting task. Then, when you learn the rules, it’s like the rules of soccer: Here’s the field, you just can’t use your hands, you can kick the ball forward, and don’t go off sides. You’re like, “Oh I can handle that. I can work with that.”

Each director was different. Jeff Hunt, he was the Steadicam operator, so he had this very lyrical and smooth movement of how he liked to connect his shots. He taught me a lot about transition. Matt Hastings, he loved suspense so he taught me a lot of suspense, and he loved insert shots. So, he taught me the value of insert shots. Grismer had a very free-flowing style because he had so much experience that he was just very calm in the pocket no matter what was going on. He kind of showed me that you could also creatively come up with something or trust your actors. But what they all taught me is that they have their particular styles. So I knew I would be ready when I could come in and say, “This is my style. This is what I like,” as opposed to, “This is what we should do. This is what so-and-so did.” They were all fully realized as directors with their own style. Hunt even joked around that they called certain transitions, [where] you knew you were going to fade into black or go behind something, his trademark. I was like, “Oh, that’s really cool. I gotta figure out what my trademark is.”

And, did you figure out what it was?
Yeah, I did. I took a look back at some of the things I’d done and shot, and I loved rhythm. I also loved to move the camera with a certain flow and a pace, and I also leaned more towards the sentimental undercurrent. So I was really glad Carina [Adly Mackenzie] was writing my episode, because she loves a really good Act 6 — like, she just wants tears flowing by the time we get to Act 5 or 6. And I like sound transitions, so I had her work in some audio transitions.

It’s interesting that you mentioned rhythm, because the last time we spoke, you said you were taking ballet classes and djembe drumming lessons. Did those skills inform your directing?
Oh yeah, very much so. I’m still obsessed with rhythm. I was just chatting with a painter and I said, “What exactly does it mean when a painting is lyrical?” And I’m here in New York studying Shakespeare. So rhythm was everything for me. Alejandro Iñàrritu, in an interview, said directing is all about rhythm. If you’ve got good rhythm, you can be a good director. So I put a lot of weight into that. When I went back into editing my episode, I was very aware of the rhythm of when you get into a scene, how many seconds before you cut, how fast certain actors talked. We even paired sort of the older characters who speak a little bit slower with younger characters so that the scenes could move forward with a certain rhythm. It was a very, very conscious thing and something I still explore to this day.

What did you think would be the most challenging part of the episode when you first read the script?
Oh, all of it. I actually texted Carina afterwards and I said, “You’re joking, right?” I said, “For one, the script is really long, and two, there’s fire elements and there’s death and there’s new characters.” I was like, logistically, I can’t even wrap my head around [it]. I go, “Is there lighting everywhere? Is there rain everywhere? You guys realize this is my first episode?” She goes, “Oh no, Charles, I’m not holding back. I love this episode.” I was like, “So, you’re serious, this is my episode?” Then from there, I knew we would have to pare some things down and maybe remove some scenes and then work with the producers about how we were going to shoot this, logistically. I knew that time and money were also constraints.

How did you learn to handle to those fire elements and other big effects?
Preparation, that’s what a lot of people told me: as long as you’re prepared and you have an idea of what you want to do. So, I walked the sets and I imagined it in my mind. We have a great, great crew of people in their departments. They’re all true artists, so they really stepped up and they had a lot of suggestions about how we could do something, how we could make it work. [For example], the logistics of, is there a makeshift altar out in the cemetery? No? Then, what are we going to make this out of? I don’t know. But, Bill [Eigenbrodt], can you help me out? And he did, and he made it work for the camera and he knew we would probably want to shoot in this direction. Things started to fall in place. But, like I said, the script and the show itself already set the rules. It was just my job to fit everything in like it was a puzzle, like a little Tetris design just to make it work and keep that in mind and keep communicating it to everyone, like, “I only need this for the shot. I know we got fire and we got wind, but all I need for you to do is stand up and then we’re out of the shot and we can move on.” Just turning it into sizable pieces that we could really digest.

As you mentioned before, Joseph directed for the first time last season. Did you get any advice from him?
Yeah, he said, the politics will probably amaze you most of all, because you don’t really prepare for the politics of it. I got to really discover what that really meant. You know, different departments, by nature, are at odds with each other. So, it was about making decisions and moving forward. He also said the best advice he got from someone was, “Make a decision — any decision — even if it’s the wrong decision. You just don’t want to be standing there looking like a fool,” because then the crew loses confidence in you and the whole thing just goes to s—. After he said that I was like, “Okay, so where are we going? You wanna go? Are you going to walk out? I’m going to go grab my—” And he goes, “Charles, make a decision — any decision — even if it’s the bad one.” I just go, “Right, okay.”

What was it like directing your fellow actors?
It was great because they treated me like a director. They really trusted me. They looked to me in a way that was very open and receptive to direction. They cared for my opinion. They didn’t fight me at all or anything like that. And I would just go up and whisper in their ear. I would just make a few little suggestions here and there, but I would always speak to them very intimately. When I liked something, I mean, everybody knew I liked it. I would just cheer. My job was also to be everyone’s biggest cheerleader. So when the cameraman really hit a moving shot in two takes, you know, I was there yelling, “F— yeah! Way to go Ian [Forsyth]!”

When Yusuf [Gatewood] does this thing where he sets the skull down and turns it and he starts to chant up to the sky, I was just like, “That is an iconic shot. Hopefully that shot will be forever remembered. I will always seek to recreate that shot in anything I ever do again.” I didn’t even direct him. I was about to yell cut because I thought he wasn’t going to turn the skull forward, but he did it in this beautiful rhythm. So, I actually got to talk to him as if I was a fan, which I am. I really got to express that through direction.

Part of this episode involves Freya trapping Klaus, Hayley, and Hope in the compound for their own protection. How did you approach that storyline? Did you try to go for something more claustrophobic, for example?
I just had to look at it in comparison to the other plotlines to see what the other characters were going through. I had to find their arc. First Klaus discovers he’s going to be grounded and then he tries to deal with that frustration, and then it all comes boiling out between him and Hayley. But, it’s nice because now you see a different side of Hayley and Klaus’ relationship. I wanted people to really see that they’re really good parents and maybe that they could actually work together and be together. And the actors are really intelligent. So, they knew how to bring out those levels. It was nice because it was all on the stage and it was all in one room and it grew in its intensity. Yeah, that was one of my favorite ones to shoot.

Tune in for an all new episode tonight! We’re desperate for a fifth season. <3

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;

Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from the series finale of The Vampire Diaries. Read at your own risk!

After eight seasons of love triangles, brother bonding, decade dances, and immortal foes, The Vampire Diaries ended with Stefan Salvatore saving the day. But this time, saving the day cost him his life.

In the show’s series finale, Stefan sacrificed himself in order to kill Katherine Pierce and destroy hell. In doing so, he was able to find peace, and by hour’s end, a human Damon and a human Elena would join him in that peace, with both of them reuniting with their families — Elena hugging her parents on her front porch and Damon getting one last brother hug at the Salvatore mansion.

As for everyone else: We left Matt contemplating a run for mayor, Bonnie on her way to travel the world, and Caroline and Ric opening a school for their daughters and other “gifted” children like them. (Yes, Klaus Mikaelson was a major donor.)

So while fans figure out their feelings on the finale, EW talked to the cast about their reaction when they first read the show’s farewell:

Candice King (Caroline Forbes): As a viewer of television and a lover of series finales, from just a fan perspective, I think it is incredibly fulfilling and emotional and it leaves doors open but it also brings a lot of closure. I was just excited. I kind of knew some tidbits just from talking with Julie [Plec] before, but I just thought it was a beautiful ending to eight years of twists and turns and characters and love interests and heartbreaks and triangles and ships and death and life and all that’s in between.

Matt Davis (Alaric Saltzman): I got pretty emotional about it. Anytime you have that moment where characters from the past reappear and merge, I always get emotional about that.

Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore): Well, it’s not the ending that Paul and I always thought we would get — just the two bros in some Speedos on the beach drinking some rum. These things are hard to write. You obviously want to pay off an audience for going on a very long journey with you. The writers themselves want to pay off their own artistic integrity. And so it’s invariably difficult to satisfy everyone, and that’s what I find so interesting about the endings of TV shows that people go on and on and on discussing. You’re never going to satisfy an entire populous of people. The interpretation that you leave is what you leave. This is the end of our show.

Zach Roerig (Matt Donovan): I think ending this show was probably the hardest thing Julie’s ever had to do in writing. She and Kevin [Williamson] did a great job. But I just really loved Stefan’s sacrifice — that was a beautiful way to end it. It kind of diffused any of the feelings that were going on from all the things that have happened before, especially with Bonnie. I thought it was really beautifully written.

Paul Wesley (Stefan Salvatore): I didn’t [know ahead of time about death]. I had been telling them that I think Stefan should die. He’s been the Ripper; he was the one who caused his brother to turn into a vampire. All the murders Damon did were all my fault really, if it comes down to the genesis of it. I just felt like he’s been the hero of the story to a degree and it only made sense for him to die at the end. They totally teased me and said that he wouldn’t die, so they really taunted me for a couple months. I read the finale script on an airplane. The first five acts, I was kind of like, “Okay yeah, this is interesting,” but it didn’t really hit me until the sixth act. And then the sixth act I teared up and I never really tear up when it comes to sentimental Vampire Diaries-esque things. I thought how it ended was powerful.

Nina Dobrev (Elena Gilbert/Katherine Pierce): I am satisfied with the way the show ends — the fact that Elena finds peace and becomes human, which is what she always wanted. She gets to be with the man that she loves, which is what she always wanted. She gets to say goodbye to her former love and now best friend. I cried during a lot of moments. I didn’t get the chance to be at the final read-through unfortunately but maybe that’s for the best because I would’ve been a mess. I cried during Stefan and Caroline’s final moments, because it broke my heart. I cried at the end when I read that Elena was writing in the diary again, when Elena basically says the same sentence that I did in the pilot eight years ago.

And me… personally? I feel like a vampire who has just turned on her humanity. I’m all over the place. I’m happy with how it ended, but at the same time I would’ve loved for it to go on for another run, knowing that it was really the time to end.

The day has finally come to say goodbye to Mystic Falls, the Salvatore brothers, and eight seasons worth of shocking twists as The Vampire Diaries airs its series finale. And to honor the show that’s been so special to so many, cast members — both main cast and guest stars — took to social media Friday to say thank you and share memories of their time on the show and what it’s all meant to them. shared.

I have a bloody good relationship with @emmalalonde1 #tvdforever I think this was for a dream sequence in Season 6

Een bericht gedeeld door Candice King (@craccola) op

Regram @kevwilliamson ?❤️Season 1 #tvdforever

Een bericht gedeeld door Candice King (@craccola) op

Me and Dobreva- London circa 2010

Een bericht gedeeld door Paul Wesley (@paulvedere) op

the book is closing. i still can't believe i'm lucky enough to say i have my own little chapter in it. this show was such a force, and its impact on my life i'll be forever thankful for. to the creators (@kevwilliamson and @julieplec) and the cw, thank you for taking a chance on a young girl that was hoping and praying for a role like this. child actors tirelessly dream of landing on such a stepping stone. it ushered me into the next phase of my career in such a seamless and graceful way. i am overcome with awe to this day of how timely everything fell into place. to the cast and crew, thank you for your open arms. you all taught me so much and made this one of the most positive and unforgettable experiences of my life. and lastly, to anna, who i am so honored to have portrayed. what a truly beautiful character and journey. from her quirkiness and innocence to her depths filled with longing and pain. she became more than a character and words on a page. she was so very real to me, and i'm so glad that others were able to fall in love with her the way that i did. #tvdforever and ever.

Een bericht gedeeld door ᴍᴀʟᴇsᴇ ᴊᴏᴡ (@malesejow) op

From the pilot. Our very first picture together! @iansomerhalder @kevwilliamson #tvdforever #tvdmemories

Een bericht gedeeld door Kevin Williamson (@kevwilliamson) op

Season One wrap party. @craccola @nina @kaylaewell @saracanning @kevwilliamson #tvdforever #tvdmemories

Een bericht gedeeld door Kevin Williamson (@kevwilliamson) op

ELENA GILBERT’S CRYING. Standing in the Mystic Falls cemetery where she’s said many goodbyes — and even a few hellos — Elena’s surrounded by everyone she loves. Well, almost everyone. One person is missing. Did we forget to mention that this is a funeral?

It’s a sunny January day in Atlanta as the Vampire Diaries cast films its last group scene in the woods. In between takes, there’s laughter and excited whispers about who’s in town for the upcoming wrap party, but when showrunner Julie Plec, the director of the show’s final hour, calls “Action,” an emotional fog sets in. This is a goodbye — and it’s a big one. “We wanted to go big, emotionally, with the action, and with the spectacular of it,” says Plec, who co-wrote the episode with co-creator Kevin Williamson. “We were absolutely feeling epic.”

When The Vampire Diaries premiered on The CW in 2009, it found itself smack in the middle of the vampire craze. With the success of both Twilight and True Blood, this was network television’s chance to see if fans still thirsted for blood, and when the Vampire Diaries pilot attracted the largest audience of any series premiere in CW history at that time, all signs pointed to yes. “I remember being in Vancouver with Ian [Somerhalder],” Zach Roerig, who plays Matt, says of filming the pilot. “In the hair and makeup trailer, Ian’s like, ‘Hey, kid, get ready for the ride of your life.’” Somerhalder adds: “Twilight was very much the zeitgeist of pop culture. There was just that sense that the market desired this genre. This material was going to work.”

The Vampire Diaries took what fans loved about the genre — suspense, shocking twists, forbidden romance — and, to borrow from the show, heightened everything. Out of loss, it built an epic love story between one girl and two brothers, the likes of which launched some of television’s most passionate shippers. Eight years later, many fans remain firmly Team Delena or Team Stelena, or have dedicated themselves to another ship entirely. But the one thing everyone can agree on: The show can’t end without Elena Gilbert.

And it won’t. Dobrev, who left the show when her contract expired at the end of season 6, has returned to give a proper farewell to the unflinchingly selfless Petrova doppelgänger. (The finale airs March 10.) “The nostalgia is insane,” Dobrev says of being back on set. “I keep getting triggered by moments: a piece of wardrobe, a person’s voice, a crew member’s laugh. It’s like a trip down memory lane, and I have so many beautiful memories of the six years that I spent here. I’m really glad that I got to be a part of it.”

Back at the cemetery, the emotional fog is replaced by a literal one. This is Mystic Falls, after all. And in an instant, heartbreak seamlessly turns into romance when one of the show’s main couples share a passionate kiss. Watching the kiss unfold, Plec gets within an inch of the monitor. “I want to see that tear,” she announces, prolonging the scene until she gets the perfect blend of romance and tragedy that has become the show’s signature over the years. The moment that tear falls, she calls “Cut.”

JULIE PLEC’S CRYING. Sitting in the middle of the town square, Plec watches as two longtime characters walk off the screen for the final time. “That was so good,” she says through her tears as she makes a note of the take. That one’s a keeper.

For Plec, her emotional roller coaster started three years ago when the show hit its 100th episode and she realized that, unlike the vampires she’d created, it wasn’t immortal. “I would cry just thinking about what that would feel like,” she says. “So the minute we started talking about this as the last year, everything made me emotional, because closure is so powerful both in life and in fiction. Each goodbye is real.”

And those goodbyes are starting now. With less than two weeks left shooting the finale, Plec just announced the first “series wrap” on Michael Trevino, whose Tyler is one of many returning faces in the finale. He and Plec exchange I love yous and one last hug before she returns to her director’s chair, and he heads to wardrobe to quite literally step out of Tyler’s shoes for the last time.

“It’s this very interesting melancholy,” Paul Wesley says of the feeling on set. “I did Stefan’s final scene with Elena. It was strangely emotional for me.” Wesley pauses as if coming to terms with what he’s about to say in this very instant. “You’re saying goodbye to this time and this moment. The two of us are never going to be playing these characters ever again, and these were really important characters in television for eight years.”

They’ve been important characters both on television and in the personal lives of everyone involved. All the cast members, when asked about their time on the series, share a similar sentiment: They grew up here. It changed them, or in some cases, healed them. “We all started this show, almost all of us, in the midst of some sort of life turmoil, whatever it may have been,” says Roerig. “And somehow through these eight years we’ve patched ourselves up and are now ready to face the world again.”

His castmate Candice King (Caroline) says, “[This show] changed my life. It’s hard to summarize at this point what it means because it kind of means everything.”

SOON WE’LL ALL BE CRYING. Sitting on a plane, Wesley read the finale script for the first time, and the actor, who admittedly doesn’t get sentimental when it comes to the show, teared up. He then took a photo of said tear and sent it to Plec and Williamson as proof, of both his ability to cry off screen and the power of the ending they’d created.

However, it’s not the ending they originally came up with during the second season. “The big finale episode that we had always planned did not happen because the show was successful and lasted eight years,” Williamson says. For example, the original ending involved ghosts, which no longer exist now that the Other Side has been destroyed. Plec adds: “While it was not a journey with a straight line — it took many, many forms along the way — the heart and the sentiment, dating back six years ago when he and I first thought we knew how the series would end to the way it’s ending, is pretty spot-on.”

Sitting on set, Plec starts singing “guess who’s back” from Eminem’s “Without Me” with one of the biggest returning cast members. Nostalgia might be a bitch, but on this set it’s also cause for celebration, and the finale is filled with it. “I feel like I’ve watched other shows where the series finale leaves you unsatisfied, but we really do come to a conclusion with all the characters and their lives,” Dobrev says. “Julie and Kevin wrote a really beautiful episode, with a lot of callbacks to the pilot.”

Those callbacks come in many forms: characters, lines, and even locations, all of which factor into what Plec calls “our love-letter goodbye to the series.” After five acts of a “wild, epic season finale,” Plec says the final 15 minutes is where they really bid adieu. “It could almost stand on its own as a little movie with all the stuff we’re tying to accomplish,” Plec says. “We’re so proud of it. It really did give closure, for better or for worse.”

Walking away from the funeral scene, Dobrev wipes away Elena’s tears. At this point, you’d think Elena would be used to goodbyes. But this one’s different: There will be no more witchy high jinks, no more Other Side. Bonnie Bennett’s no longer in the business of bringing people back from the dead. This goodbye, much like the show’s final hour, is goodbye forever — which, for a vampire, is forever-forever.

The Vampire Diaries series finale airs Friday at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.


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