One of our favorite things about The Vampire Diaries is the talented (and attractive) cast. Here are the names you need to know:
Nina Dobrev pulls double duty as both Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce. These doppelgangers have been caught in love triangles with the Salvatore brothers, and now they’re both vampires. Good thing they have an eternity to choose who ends up with whom! Born in Bulgaria and raised in Canada, Nina did a stint on Degrassi Junior High. It was The Vampire Diaries that really put the brunette beauty on the map, though. She’s since had roles in movies such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Roommate.
Ian Somerhalder plays the drool-worthy Damon Salvatore. No stranger to TV, Ian started his career as a model who turned to acting. He caught everyone’s attention as Boone on Lost, and he’s tried to parlay his fame into something positive with his Ian Somerhalder Foundation. His smoldering good looks definitely contribute to making Damon so desirable on TVD. The elder of two vampire brothers, Damon is a fan of bourbon and murder (mostly when it’s justified), though Elena brings out his vulnerable, tender side.
Paul Wesley is Stefan on TVD, the more sensitive, journal-loving Salvatore. He and Elena have been off and on more times than a light switch, which is bad because she usually keeps the Ripper at bay. Underneath is good-guy demeanor beats the heart of a killer, a side of Stefan Paul enjoys playing. Maybe it’s because he’s used to playing the bad boy? On his turns on The OC and Everwood, Paul was definitely edgier than his somber TVD alter ego.
Candice Accola portrays gorgeous blond vampire Caroline Forbes. Before her acting career took off (Candice has had roles on Supernatural and How I Met Your Mother, as well as bit part in the movie Juno), she was a musician who toured as backup singer for Miley Cyrus. As Caroline, Candice has showed off her acting chops more than once: Vampire Barbie is tougher than her nickname suggests, both emotionally and physically, having survived torture quite a few times, as well as the loss of her father. (Coincidentally, he was one of her torturers.)
Joseph Morgan joined the cast as Klaus in Season 2. The British actor used his accent and good looks to help turn the villain into a charming and suave psychopath. Throughout his career, Joseph has been busy behind the scenes, producing independent movies. He also achieved big-screen success with Immortals.
Steven R. McQueen plays Elena’s little brother Jeremy Gilbert. Well, he’s not so little anymore. Over the years, Jeremy has morphed into a big, buff vampire hunter. Before he whipped Jeremy into shape on TVD, Steven, who is the grandson of the legendary Steve McQueen, appeared in CSI: Miami, Without a Trace, and Everwood.
Kat Graham is Mystic Falls’ resident witch Bonnie Bennett. On screen, Kat works spells and sacrifices herself for her friends all too often. But when she’s not on TVD, Kat is working her behind off as a musician, writing songs, touring, and making videos.
Michael Trevino wolfs out as hybrid Tyler Lockwood on TVD. Tyler is one of the characters who’s evolved the most on the show, going from jerk to hero in four seasons. You may recognize Michael from Disney’s Cow Belles, The Riches, or 90210.
Zach Roerig holds down the human fort as Matt Donovan. Elena’s ex is a good guy who makes an honest living (someone has to pay the bills) in the supernatural town and always strives to do the right thing. Soaps launched Zach’s acting career — he had parts on One Life to Live and As the World Turns — but many fans may remember his turn on Friday Night Lights.
Daniel Gillies brings gravitas to the role of Elijah, but his real-life Twitter page is one of the funniest things we’ve ever read. Original Elijah is in some ways the vampire equivalent of Matt, but he isn’t quite as moral as the human. Despite Elijah’s accent, Daniel was raised in New Zealand. He’s extremely proud of his movie Broken Kingdom and his gorgeous wife, Rachael Leigh Cook.
Claire Holt is the only Original sister, Rebekah. The blond vampire is a bit of a foil for Caroline — and everyone else, for that matter. Australian beauty Claire got her start on another supernatural show, H2O: Just Add Water, which was about mermaids.