There’s no doubt that Nina is sexy as Elena, but as Katherine, she practically oozes sex appeal. Katherine is willing to use her sexuality as a weapon, flirting with frenemies in an attempt to manipulate them into doing what she wants. We suggest Paul ramp up some of his sexual power when playing Silas, which shouldn’t be too hard, as Stefan can be kind of a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to losing his inhibitions.
Hair is key
When it comes to telling the difference between Elena and Katherine, it’s all about the hair. Unless Katherine is pretending to be Elena, her hair usually has about a million times more volume than her doppelganger’s silky straight locks. If their hair was pasta, for example, Elena’s would definitely be angel hair and Katherine’s would be more of a cellentanti (look it up). Basically, we want Stefan as Silas to get a perm. We’d suggest something in the gnocchi to pipe rigate spectrum.
It’s all about the preparation
On the more serious side of things, Nina told TV.com that she keeps separate scripts for each of her characters: one for Elena and one for Katherine. Before filming, she goes through the scripts and “charts the emotional range” for each character (i.e. what they are going through in the episode). Sounds like a lot of work, but it definitely pays off for Nina! Actors have different methods that work for them, but we think Paul should definitely consider this strategy.
Embrace the nuance of a doppelganger pretending to be a different doppelganger
Paul has a particularly tricky job in playing Silas — at least at the very beginning of the season — in that he isn’t just playing Silas, he is playing Silas pretending to be Stefan. Not to worry! Nina has experience in this area, too. As per her example, it’s best to throw in an eye roll whenever someone’s not looking to demonstrate exasperation and contempt at your doppelganger’s silly, mundane life.
Killer vs. non-killer
We find that, whenever the line between Elena and Katherine starts to blur, it’s best if “the evil one” kills someone off — preferably a main character — to remind everyone that, though these two characters share the same glamorous mug, one of them is evil. This worked in Season 1 when Katherine killed Caroline to get to Elena. (Lluckily, Caroline had Damon’s blood in her system). See, now Elena wouldn’t have done that! This technique became murkier in the fourth season when Elena turned off her emotions and started killing people willy nilly, but we think Paul could get a solid few seasons out of it with Stefan and Silas. Stefan isn’t due for another turn to the dark side for awhile.
Do you have any other suggestions of tips Paul can glean from Nina’s doppelganger performances? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Catch the Season 5 premiere of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, October 3, 2013, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.