Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for years.
The Vampire Diaries is a supernatural television drama created by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the book series by L.J. Smith. It followed Elena Gilbert as she becomes entwined in a love triangle between vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore. The show premiered on September 10, 2009 and concluded on March 10, 2017 with 8 Seasons and 171 episodes. In honor of the show's upcoming 10 year anniversary, let's take a look at some juicy facts about the beloved series.
1. According to series producer/director Marcos Siega, The CW Television Network originally wanted to cast Ashlee Simpson in the role of Elena Gilbert.
2. Nina Dobrev was born in Bulgaria and speaks Bulgarian. For this reason Katherine, who is German in the books, became Bulgarian in the series.
3. James Van Der Beek was considered for the role of Alaric Saltzman. Actor Matt Davis got the part instead; it was his first major TV role and he was best known as playing Elle's ex-boyfriend Warner in Legally Blonde prior to the show.
4. Zach Roering (Matt), Paul Wesley (Stefan) and Michael Trevino (Tyler) all auditioned to play Damon before landing their respective roles.
5. Nina Dobrev is 6 months younger than Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy), while her character is two years older than his character.
6. Author of The Vampire Diaries book series L.J. Smith says the one and only thing that threw her off about the casting for the show was Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert. In the books, Elena has blonde hair and blue eyes. Smith said it took her some time to get used to.
7. Stefan's vintage red car is a 1963 Porsche 356B Karmann Coupe, and they can sell for anywhere between $40,000 to upwards of $500,000, depending on the condition.
8. The writers wanted to cut werewolf Tyler Lockwood from the show because initially he was meant to exist as a temporary antagonist. However, viewers loved Michael Trevino (Tyler), so writers kept his plot alive.
9. In real life, Nina Dobrev (Elena) and Ian Somerhalder (Damon) famously became a couple from 2011 to 2013. Allegedly, the reason the two split was because Somerhalder wanted to start a family but Dobrev wanted to focus on her acting career.
10. The titles of every episode in Season 6 are named after songs from the 1990s, in honor of the fact that Damon and Bonnie are stuck in the past.
11. The Mystic Grill is based on a real-life bar in Vancouver that they found to shoot the pilot. Since the show moved to Georgia, they had to build a set to look exactly like the one in Vancouver. Whenever the cast wasn't shooting, they would head over to the faux restaurant to play pool, pinball and foosball together.
12. The character of Stefan Salvatore has been compared to Edward Cullen of the Twilight series. When asked about how he felt about his character's comparison, Paul Wesley said, "I think any girl would throw me under a bus to be within five feet of Robert Pattinson."
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13. Ian Somerhalder must have had vampires on the brain; before landing the role of Damon Salvatore, he auditioned for Jason Stackhouse on True Blood.
14. Nina Dobrev can speak French and Bulgarian, Kat Graham (Bonnie) speaks Spanish, French and Hebrew and Paul Wesley can speak Polish.
15. In Season 2, Episode 12, Isobel's phone number was shown. Fans that actually called the number were treated with a recorded message from Elena, Stefan and Damon.
16. Candice King (Caroline) dated two cast members during the show's run; she briefly dated Steven McQueen (Jeremy) and Zach Roerig (Matt).
17. Season 8 is an homage to Season 1. Every episode title in Season 8 is named after a quote from the first season.
18. As if the last name wasn't a big enough hint, Steven McQueen has a very famous grandfather: he's the grandson of the late and talented Steve McQueen.
19. While playing Elena's doppelganger Katherine, Nina Dobrev actually wore a curly wig to get the devilish diva's style.
20. Paul Wesley fully believes in the supernatural. He once told Girlfriend Magazine, "When I was a kid my family was staying in a rental in Rhode Island in Cape Cod. I woke up and saw a woman standing with her arms crossed, starring out the window. I realized she wasn’t with our group, so I called out to her and she turned to me and faded. I was confused and I didn’t realize it was a ghost until later, but by that point I was scared.”
21. Klaus Mikaelson was supposed to be killed off after one season, but Joseph Morgan loved the role so much he asked the producers for another season. He was ultimately given his own spin-off series, The Originals.
22. Daniel Gillies (Elijah) and Arielle Kebbel (Lexi) guest starred on fellow vampire show True Blood together in 2010.
23. Nina Dobrev initially auditioned for the part of Elena while battling the flu, and executive producer Kevin Williamson described it as "the worst audition ever" and "didn't even look at her a second time." Dobrev returned to Canada and submitted another videotape audition, which nabbed her the role.
24. Ian Somerhalder (Damon) auditioned for the part of Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey, but didn't get the part. In episode 1 of Season 8, Damon is seen reading the book.
25. Joseph Morgan (Klaus) met actress Persia White on the set of The Vampire Diaries. White portrayed Bonnie's mother Abby Bennett.
26. The Vampire Diaries was officially the longest-running vampire show ever on television. It had a total of 8 seasons, while Buffy the Vampire Slayer and True Blood each had 7 seasons.
27. The Red Cross teamed up with The Vampire Diaries for a campaign to get teenagers to donate blood; the slogan urged students to "Starve a Vampire. Donate Blood." The blood drive lasted 5 weeks and took place at over 230 high schools, and a reported 3,500 people donated during the campaign.
28. It took three hours for the actors to go from human to vampire; the long process includes special contact lenses, prosthetics, fitted fangs and make-up to create the veins under their eyes.
29. The fake blood used was actually edible; it was made of corn syrup, food coloring, salt and peppermint extract.
30. Damon and Elena weren't supposed to get together until much later in the series. Showrunner Julie Plec wanted to make fans wait three or four seasons but ultimately gave them what they wanted earlier on.
© 2019 Rachel M Johnson