VAMPIRE DIARIES STAR NINA DOBREV
FINDS ETERNAL LOVE.
Photographed by HEIDI HARTWIG
Don’t be fooled — Nina Dobrev may be a pretty young thing, but the similarities with her peers end there. Calling her “determined” is an understatement. “Dedicated” and “devoted” come closer. This is one young actress so consumed by her craft that she actually considers being sequestered in rural Georgia for the filming of her show The Vampire Diaries a blessing rather than fretting over its effect on her social life. The precious few hours she does steal away from her relentless pursuit of a Rachel McAdams-esque career — fellow Canadian and Dobrev’s hands-down hero — are spent in her bed sleeping or, big surprise, watching movies.
To say that Dobrev’s commitment is essential to her success might be something of an overstatement. After all, she spent only about five months auditioning in Los Angeles before landing the coveted role of Elena Gilbert on the CW’s runaway new hit The Vampire Diaries, also starring Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley. Her characters, like the actress herself, are much more Little J than Serena or Blair. Following in the footsteps of its tastemaking cousins on the network, Diaries features a hot young cast of hot-blooded high schoolers — emphasis on the blood. It would be impossible to discuss the show without putting it in context alongside that other vampire love story, of which Dobrev freely admits she is a fan. In spite of some obvious similarities, Diaries has a take on the subject all its own, and, in fact, is based on bestselling books released prior to the Twilight series.
Not one to rest on her laurels, the 20-year-old Dobrev already has designs on a more adult career. She feels fortunate to have gotten the lion’s share of growing as a person done before entering the spotlight and is eager to grow as a performer. So far she’s cut her teeth in the fairly safe and familiar territory of television geared toward teenagers and those with (understandable) pangs of nostalgia for their days on the quad. Chloe, director Atom Egoyan’s latest effort staring Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried, and Dobrev’s first foray outside her comfort zone, will be about as removed from her former roles in The American Mall and Degrassi: The Next Generation as her young audience can handle. The movie focuses on the increasingly malicious relationship between an unhappily married woman and the prostitutes she hires to seduce and spy on her husband. Dobrev, ever mindful of the bigger picture of her career, has been careful not to alienate her audience entirely and taken the role of the daughter to Moore’s troubled mother, because, as she says, “I want my audience to grow with me.”
Determined, not ruthless, Dobrev is quick to sing the praises of her contemporaries and heroes, waxing enthusiastic about the incredible careers and talents of actresses like McAdams and her friend Seyfried. Far from one-upping, she is much more likely to take pleasure in their continued success making Dobrev a refreshing departure from her peers yet again. Summing up her dreams of success at this fickle game called film, she says, “I want to be respected for the work and the things I’m doing as an actress. The work is why I’m here; it’s the most important thing.” BOO RILEY
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