Fans of The Vampire Diaries are often carried away with tales of adventure, danger, and romance, but they so rarely get a glimpse behind the scenes at what it takes to make this successful series come to life. Recently, Entertainment Weekly gave fans of The Vampire Diaries one of those rare glimpses in an interview with Vampire Diaries star Paul Wesley. In addition to playing Stefan Salvatore on the hit series, Wesley directed this week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries, which will be the second time he has directed an episode. Mr. Wesley’s directorial debut came with last season’s 18th episode, entitled “Resident Evil.”
The episode airing this week, entitled “Woke Up With a Monster,” came easier to Paul. The actor-turned-director feels that this episode was less stressful to direct, partly because the entire episode was shot indoors, on the studio lot. Mr. Wesley cites issues such as weather conditions and limited natural sunlight as problematic in his past experience with directing The Vampire Diaries. Also, Wesley admits to feeling much more comfortable with the directing process.
This was also the second time Wesley cut a shirtless scene from The Vampire Diaries. In “Resident Evil,” it was Ian Somerhalder’s shirtless scene that was cut. In “Woke Up With a Monster,” it was his own scene. What does this Vampires Diaries star have against a little flesh flashing?
“Stefan wakes up and then he has to walk around the house and I’m like, ‘Does he wake up shirtless and then you want me to do like nine scenes shirtless, walking around the house? This is ridiculous. He wakes up, I need to put a shirt on.’ That was my pitch. Because that’s what I would do. If I had to go downstairs and talk to [people], I would put a shirt on. It’s like the Playgirl mansion or something…”
Mr. Wesley recently told The Hollywood Reporter that this episode was a completely different experience from his first time directing an episode of The Vampire Diaries, because of the overall complexity of the show. Some episodes rely heavily on visual effects, but this week’s episode, “Woke Up With a Monster,” is more action-based, relying much more on stunts than on visual effects. Wesley feels that each episode of The Vampire Diaries is diverse and should be approached with a unique mindset from a director’s standpoint.
“It’s a much more faster paced, high intensity. But at the same time, there are some emotional moments, especially towards the end of the episode — there’s this sort of climactic thing that is riveting. The trick for me with this episode, the fun, the challenge, was the tempo, the tempo. Keeping the audience entertained, but then taking the time to find the little moments where they have a deep level of connection with this character, whether it’s empathy or fear, or whatever.”
Paul also expanded on his interest in directing, expressing it as something he would like to pursue further in the future, both on The Vampire Diaries and with other shows. Wesley confesses that while his schedule with The Vampire Diaries limits his availability, directing seems to be the next step in his career, and he hints that this may be the direction his own career heads when The Vampire Diaries concludes.
The Vampire Diaries airs on Thursdays on The CW.
Paul Wesley’s Vampire Diaries co-stars have been making headlines as well, following Ian Somerhalder’s recent engagement to Nikki Reed.