The Vampire Diaries joined the vampire romance genre launched by Twilight and True Blood in film and television. The love triangle between Elena (Nina Dobrev), Stefan (Paul Wesley), and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) kept viewers coming back for many seasons and helped launch two spinoffs. So why do women love vampires so much? The The Vampire Diaries cast and creators had some ideas.
Dobrev, Katerina Graham, and Wesley were on a Television Critics Association panel with producers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec in 2009. They all shared ideas about the romantic popularity of vampires. The Vampire Diaries is streaming on HBO Max and Peacock.
‘The Vampire Diaries’ cast loved vampires
Dobrev, Graham and Wesley spoke about the appeal of vampires. For The Vampire Diaries‘ female cast, vampires were mysterious.
“I think it is the mystery, right?” Graham said. “It’s the mystery.”
Dobrev added, “There is something about a man who lurks in the dark.”
If you’re not a vampire, don’t try lurking in the dark stalking women. Wesley joked about how that sounds.
“There is something about a man who lurks in the dark,” Wesley said. “It’s a good thing.”
The producers of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ loved vampires
Plec and Williamson had some insight into the appeal of vampires, since they adapted The Vampire Diaries from L.J. Smith’s books. Plec thought vampires were the ultimate bad boys like the dreamboats of My So-Called Life and Beverly Hills, 90210.
“To me in my head if Jordan Catalano was a vampire or Dylan McKay, that naughty-bad boy that you want to believe, like in reference to Jordan, you want to believe there is so much going on behind those eyes. You want to believe that they have epic amounts of knowledge and soul and spirituality and intelligence lurking behind those eyes. And in the real men, you often don’t get that. So in a vampire, just by definition you are getting the bad boy with the brain.
Williamson found himself drawn to vampires, too, even if they weren’t from his show.
“At The CW party, Nina and I stalked Eric from True Blood,” Williamson said. “We just stalked him. I thought he was southern.”
Alexander Skarsgard played Eric on True Blood. Dobrev said he was not in Eric mode at the party.
“He was cool,” Dobrev said. “We hung out with him. He was a cool guy. It was nice. But he is really method. He wouldn’t get out of his accent, he was doing some movie. He was shooting a movie and he wouldn’t get out of his accent.”
Vampires aren’t going anywhere
The Vampire Diaries wasn’t the beginning of the vampire craze, nor was it the end. The Vampire Diaries universe itself continued with The Originals and Legacies, and we’re still seeing new vampire tales. Renfield comes out this year.
“It’s not really a fad,” Dobrev said. “It’s timeless. Don’t you guys agree? It’s timeless. Vampires, they don’t die. They’re always around. They’re eternal. And it just seems like right now, people are really responding, and they really like it.”
Williamson remembered your father’s vampires.
“Everything is cyclical,” Williamson said. “When I think of The Lost Boys, I get all excited, you know. And I think of Near Dark. So I mean, I have great, fond memories of that. I hope maybe we’re building that for this generation.”