Paul Wesleywas meant to be an actor. His first thespian experience came in the third grade when the future Stefan Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries was cast in a school play not because he was eager to go on stage, but because all the kids had to participate. Only guess what? "I kind of fell in love with [acting]," he told the Chicago Tribune of his early experiences, "and ended up being, I guess, according to the teacher, pretty good at it." In high school, Paul was a real bad boy — shades of The Ripper! (okay, not quite) — thrown out of two schools in New Jersey before graduating. His troubled school experiences showed him that it was, "OK to sort of do my own thing. That's kind of like when I found a safe haven in acting." Paul was cast in the classic CBS soap opera Guiding Light when he was still in high school. He did try college — Rutgers — but only for one semester. With his parents' approval, he decided it made more sense to go after the acting career he really wanted. Before you could say, "I want to suck your blood!" he was all over the small screen, with parts in such shows as 24, Everwood, Smallville, and Fallen. And then, of course, The Vampire Diaries. We're so glad his grade school teacher forced him into the play!