Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Photo: Nina Dobrev Laughs at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 18, 2011

Today, January 9, The Vampire Diaries’ Nina Dobrev (Elena Gilbert) turns 23. Watching this classy, cultured Bulgarian beauty is one of our fave parts of the show, so to show our appreciation for her and all that she does, here are 10 reasons we love Mystic Falls’ sweetheart.

1. She’s worldly. Nina is Bulgarian-born, Canadian-bred, and now lives in Atlanta, GA.

2. She used to play Mia Jones on Degrassi: The Next Generation. And don’t even tell us you don’t think that’s cool!

3. She speaks 3 languages fluently. Which ones? Bulgarian, French, and English, natch.

4. She’s dating Ian Somerhalder (Damon). Actually, that one kinda makes us jealous of her, too, but they do look good together.

5. She gives back. Nina and her Degrassi cast mates once built a school in Kenya through Free the Children. She also co-hosted Free the Children’s We Day with pop star Joe Jonas in 2011.

Credit: Twitter Photo: Nina Dobrev Kung Fus the Camera

6. She’s health conscious but doesn’t go overboard. Nina believes in all things in moderation, but she is ridiculously into yoga and cites it as the main way she keeps her slim physique.

7. Her quotes of the day. Nina is an avid tweeter, and she often posts inspirational picture quotes of the day, such as, “Express the courage to speak that which you know yet the humility to hear that which you do not know.” Deep, girl!

8. She seems like a cool chick. Look how much fun she has goofing around on set!

9. She’s dedicated to her craft. Case-in-point: She played two characters — Elena and her evil vampire doppelganger Katherine — for over a year. The price? Many, many sleepless nights. The result? Awesome TV.

10. And last but certainly not least, her hair always looks soft and shiny. (She swears by hair masks!)




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Credit: YouTube Photo: Watch How Nina Dobrev Plays Both Katherine and Elena in This Vampire Diaries Season 2 DVD Extra