For the last five years, Nina Dobrev has been seeing double on the hit CW show The Vampire Diaries. After playing several dramatic roles on the cult favorite–thanks to doppelgängers and creative plot twists–it looks like the 25-year-old gets to focus solely on the character of Elena Gilbert for the foreseeable future.
“I’d like to see how she copes and deals with things post-Damon and see how she’s going to be able to move on and if she’ll have a normal life,” Dobrev said. “Everything in Elena’s life is complicated.”
We caught up with the 25-year-old actress and her stylist, Ilaria Urbinati, about the new season of The Vampire Diaries, her upcoming role in the comedy Lets Be Cops, and getting ready for the red carpet.
The cliffhanger this past season was killer—literally! Is there hope for fans of Damon and Bonnie?
“I think they knew I would be doing all of these interviews today, so they didn’t give me the script—I get it tomorrow—so I have no idea what’s happening. Except for the fact that I will be returning, that’s for sure.”
The Other Side is gone, what kind of repercussions will that have?
“Well, for one, when someone dies they’re dead for good, they can’t come back. They’re dead, they’re gone since there’s no place for them to come back from. So that’s going to be one of the main repercussions of the other side disappearing.”
What do you want to see happen for Elena in the upcoming season?
“I don’t know. I’d like to see how she copes and deals with things post-Damon and see how she’s going to be able to move on and if she’ll have a normal life. Everything in Elena’s life is complicated, it’s never easy, everyone’s dying around her.”
If you could only have one supernatural power/trait of Elena’s as a vampire, which would you pick?
“Compelling. I’d like to be able to compel people. I’d like to be able to get everything I want and mind control everyone. ‘Look into my eyes…’ [Laughs]”
On the show you’ve played several roles thanks to being a doppelgänger, who are you most like: Elena or Katherine?
“I think I’m a combo of both. I have a little of both of them in me, I guess.”
Elena and Katherine have such different styles, do you work with the costume team on the show to create looks for each character?
“I do, yeah. That’s also a collaboration, they’re characters I’ve created so I work with the wardrobe designer on the show to help design the looks on the show as well. It’s cool. I love fashion and I love clothes and so collaborating and putting pieces together is a passion that I have.”
You’ve also got Lets Be Cops coming out. What was it like working on a comedy?
“It’s scary, I’m not going to lie to you. Comedy is probably a lot harder for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing drama for so long or maybe it’s because… you don’t want to search for a laugh, you can’t try to be funny, you just have to naturally be funny or be in a situation that’s funny. It’s is a lot a harder and people aren’t able to laugh on set, either, so when you make a joke, it’s silent and you’re like, ‘did that land?’ I’ve seen the movie and it actually is hilarious, so fingers crossed. I hope everyone likes it.”
You always look great on the red carpet, what’s your best fashion advice?
Ilaria: “Color is so happening right now and royal blue is the color I saw the most of on the runways. For me as a stylist, I like to use color all the time. She looks so good in it and I think that’s why we were excited to work with Alcon, too. The Air Optix color contact lenses were just another way for us to collaborate.”
Nina: “Whether it’s a bright shoe or a clutch or a lipstick, I’ve had a lot of fun using color contacts as an accessory. They won’t change your eye color, they’ll just enhance your eye color. So green on mine makes them look hazel, which is what I’m wearing right now. So I asked Ilaria to get a green dress to match it to my eye color.”
What are some other tips for dressing for your eye color?
Ilaria: “You can either wear the same color as your eyes or you can wear the opposite color. You can use the color wheel, which is very old-fashioned, so if I’m wearing the blue contact I’ll wear a red lipstick or something, you know there’s all these different kinds of tricks you can do. There’s nine colors so you can try a lot of different stuff.”
With The Perks of Being a Wallflower behind her and a handful of movies on the horizon—including the action comedy Let’s Be Cops and the horror flick The Final Girls—it’s clear the 25-year-old doesn’t shy away from reinvention. This is what being an actress is all about, after all, and it’s a quality that makes her the perfect fit for our annual denim issue.
You can see Dobrev show off her good genes (sorry, had to!) when the magazine hits newsstands on July 30. But first, get a sneak peek at everyone’s favorite vampire cool-girl below.
“People feel like they know you when you’re in their living room, weekly, for five years. But I always get uncomfortable when people know more about me than I know about them.”
“I was not a girly-girl growing up….I liked fashion, but I wasn’t very fashion savvy. I didn’t always have all the best outfits….For a while there, we actually shopped at The Salvation Army.”
On her red carpet persona:
“It doesn’t feel real because I don’t live in that world. When I go to those events, I’m in town specifically for that, and then I leave later that night. I’ve maybe stayed for the after-party once, ever. It still feels like I’m a fan, in a way. A lot of people are very cynical and very jaded, but I’m not there yet.”
On acting in a comedy:
“It’s terrifying. I can get to an emotional place and start crying, but there’s pressure when you think you have to be funny….You really have to be uninhibited and fearless.”