'The Vampire Diaries': Nina Dobrev on Damon's dark side and the possibility of an eternity with Stefan

tvd-dobrev-vid-atl.jpgWhen Zap2it visited the set of "The Vampire Diaries" in Atlanta, we had a long chat with our favorite doppelganger, Nina Dobrev -- and we thought we'd give you a little sneak peek of our interview to tide you over through the last weekend of hiatus.

Yes, vamp fans, "TVD" returns this Thursday, April 7, after a long, bleak intermission, and the stakes are higher than ever for Elena (Dobrev) as she prepares for the inevitable arrival of Klaus -- the greatest villain we've faced yet.

Whenever Elena is in danger, which is pretty much always, Stefan ( Paul Wesley) and Damon ( Ian Somerhalder) are on high alert. In upcoming episodes, the brothers Salvatore, who have lingered in an unlikely alliance all season, are going to turn on each other once again. They disagree on the best way to protect Elena. Plus, Damon is about to get more vocal about his strong feelings for his brother's girlfriend -- and his character will be called into question when Stefan and Elena discover that he's been compelling and feeding from the local news anchor.

There's no doubt that Damon's taken a dark turn in the second half of this season, but Dobrev is quick to point out that it's hard to blame Damon for following his natural, bloodthirsty instincts. Elena has asked Damon to "be the bigger man," and to his credit, he's put forth considerable effort.

"When we first started the show, Damon was this crazy maniacal killer, and he was basically a ticking time bomb," Dobrev says. "Then he started to somewhat redeem himself, almost for Elena, and he kept doing all these great things, but he wasn't really getting rewarded for it. To his defense, why be good if nothing ever comes of it?"

She makes a good point. Throughout the season, Damon has pulled through for Elena on countless occasions, but -- despite the fact that she has forgiven Damon for some of his more dastardly deeds -- she's still only got eyes for Stefan.

"He never gets rewarded for his good deeds, so he's kind of going back to his selfish state as well," she says, referring to his new girlfriend, Andie Starr. "[He's] doing things to make himself happy and to feel loved and get attention, even if he's compelling someone to give him that attention and it's not genuine."

Damon's influence in their lives is going to cause some strain for Stefan and Elena, who just can't seem to catch a break. Earlier this season, they took a weekend vacation. Before it was interrupted by a murderous werewolf, the question of their future together (and the implied obstacle of his immortality) was addressed. Elena didn't really want to touch on it, but we had to ask Nina her opinion on whether Elena would be ready to commit to an eternity with Stefan.

"The question of whether or not Elena will turn and become a vampire, whether for or not for Stefan -- it's always a possibility," she says coyly.

There are certain things that stand in the way of Elena making that kind of a choice. Dobrev points out that while Stefan has lived an entire lifetime and experienced all there is to experience, Elena is still a 17-year-old girl -- and though that 150 year age difference hasn't been a problem yet, it lingers there.

Plus, as she adds, "There's always the Damon thing."

Who could forget?


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