As if we needed anymore evidence that Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev (Elena/Katherine) is a badass! Entertainment Weekly just released this interview with Nina and TVD stunt coordinator John Copeman in which they spill all the gory details on that epic fight between Elena and Katherine in the Season 4 finale. How did the show pull it off?
For those who need a refresher, one of the final scenes in the Season 4 finale has Katherine trying to kill her doppelganger. The two scuffle in the halls of Mystic Falls High, and Katherine almost succeeds in killing Elena (by tearing out her heart) — until Elena shoves the cure for vampirism down Katherine’s throat. The scene took an entire day to film, which is actually kind of incredible considering how much went into to it: not one, but two body doubles for Nina; fight choreography Nina had to learn for both sides of the hand-to-hand battle; and a mission to make the scene both emotionally and physically compelling.
Nina, a former rhythmic gymnast, is “stupidly flexible,” in the words of John Copeman, and she self-admittedly takes it all very seriously. She even tries to get away with doing some of the stunts the show thinks are too dangerous to do. “I like to push the envelope,” Nina said. “They don’t like to let me do much at all. If it was up to them, they wouldn’t let me do any of it. If I was a stunt performer on our show, I would probably be a little frustrated because their whole job is to come to set and get to do the big cool crazy fun stuff, and I’ll usually ask John if I can do something. If they say no, I’ll kind of do it anyway, and then apologize later and be like, ‘Oops I forgot that I wasn’t supposed to do that!’ [Laughs] It’s always easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. They didn’t let me hit the glass, I know that for sure. But I definitely hit the locker. I try to do as much as I can if they let me.”
John praised Nina’s ability to handle both the physical choreography and acting at the same time: “Hats off to Nina for the workload she had that day: Two characters, remembering fight choreography, staying in character, throwing kicks in boots that really aren’t ideal to throw kicks in. And she’s so flexible, she had really good control. She’s throwing a sidekick at a stunt double’s throat, and she’s pulling it and just basically placing it there, but still acting still performing. So stating the obvious, but she really made this fight.” Yeah, she’s our (action) hero.
Are you as impressed with Nina’s effectiveness in this fight scene as we are? Sound off in the comments below!
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.