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    33 Facts About "The Vampire Diaries" We Never Knew Until Now

    Taylor Swift inspired Lexi Branson. Wait, what?!

    It's been 10 years since The Vampire Diaries aired on The CW and gave a new meaning to supernatural love.

    The CW

    After putting us through a roller coaster of emotions for eight seasons, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some fun behind-the-scenes facts about the show that you might not know.

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    1. The pilot episode made The CW history.

    MTV

    At the time, it generated the largest audience of any premiere since the network began in 2006.

    2. The Salvatore brothers almost had a different last name.

    Larry Marano / WireImage

    In the initial script, their names were actually listed as Whitmore, but the executive producers changed it to Salvatore to match their original names in the book series.

    3. Co-creator and executive producer, Kevin Williamson, initially turned down The Vampire Diaries pitch.

    John Sciulli / Getty Images for The CW

    "A long, long, long time ago, Alloy had brought the books to my office, saying, 'What about a movie?' I basically didn't read the books," Williamson told The Hollywood Reporter. "I said no on the premise and the idea. It just seemed, in the wake of Twilight, that it shouldn't be the direction I take. Then, years later, The CW came to me with it."

    4. Nina Dobrev bombed her audition.

    The CW

    "The first impression of Nina is that she didn’t make an impression," TVD co-creator and executive producer, Julie Plec, told Entertainment Weekly. "None of us remembered seeing her for the first time."

    Dobrev admitted she was sick during her initial audition and later sent them a new audition tape to make up for it. They loved her.

    5. Casting Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert caused backlash from fans.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    In the book series, Elena Gilbert is described as having blonde hair and blue eyes. Dobrev, obviously, looks the complete opposite.

    Dobrev told PopSugar, "Kevin specifically told me that the angle we wanted to go for was the relatable, nice, girl next door, who the audience roots for. So he made a conscious decision to change that."

    6. Ashlee Simpson and Ashley Tisdale were considered for the role of Elena Gilbert.

    Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images, Michael Buckner / Getty Images

    Ashlee Simpson was the producers' first choice for Elena Gilbert, but after looking at Dobrev's new audition tape, that idea went out the window.

    Ashley Tisdale was also considered, but she ended up landing another show on The CW called Hellcats, which only lasted one season.

    7. Several cast members auditioned for Damon Salvatore.

    Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images, Chris Mckay / Getty Images, Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    Paul Wesley, who eventually went on to land the leading role of his on-screen brother, Stefan Salvatore, initially auditioned for the role of Damon Salvatore. Other Vampire Diaries cast members also auditioned, like Michael Trevino (Tyler Lockwood), Zach Roerig (Matt Donovan), and Nathaniel Buzolic (Kol Mikaelson).

    8. David Gallagher was considered for the role of Damon Salvatore.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    That's right, David Gallagher — you know, Simon from 7th Heaven — tried out. "He impressed us so much originally...but the whole 7th Heaven thing, I wondered if he'd ever be able to get past that," Julie Plec told E News. She later cast him as a werewolf on the show after seeing him in Super 8.

    9. Ian Somerhalder bombed his audition.

    The CW

    "Whether it was too much coffee, that B12 shot I gave myself, who knows? I bombed it," Somerhalder said during a panel. "I had to go back and re-test. I went in and did it and oddly enough, ended up getting the call. But it was after 10 days of virtual hell."

    10. Ian actually auditioned for a different vampire show.

    HBO

    "I always wanted to play one," Somerhalder told Newsweek. "I auditioned for True Blood (Ryan Kwanten's role: Jason Stackhouse). I just couldn't convince Alan Ball that was my role. And then I didn't get it, and I was very bummed. I couldn't watch True Blood until now."

    11. Tyler Lockwood wasn't supposed to be a major character.

    The CW

    "He was strictly in a supporting role," Plec told THR. "He is somebody who we could have done without, perhaps, in the beginning of the show. We knew [his werewolf/hybrid storyline] was going to be really important, so we wanted to include him in the series regular group."

    12. The Vampire Diaries' co-creators thought the show was going to tank.

    Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

    "Kevin and I were convinced that the launch would be the most embarrassing thing that ever hit network television and we would be dead in the water," Plec told THR. "We were convinced this would be the thing that spawned 1,000 articles about how vampires are over."

    13. But Nina Dobrev had a feeling the show was going to be a hit.

    The CW

    Nina believed in the show's future so much, she bought a house in Atlanta, where the series filmed.

    "It felt right. Everyone made fun of me because I was the only one who bought a property [in Atlanta] when we first started shooting the series," Dobrev told THR. "Cut to five years later and I'm the only one who didn't have to pay five years of rent."

    14. There were A LOT of romantic relationships happening on and off the set.

    Christopher Polk / WireImage, Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    Besides the obvious love connection that happened between Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder, and the marriage (and divorce) between Paul Wesley and Torrey DeVitto (Dr. Meredith Fell), there was a lot of romance going down on set.

    Candice King dated Zach Roerig (Matt Donovan) and Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert). She's now married to The Fray's Joe King.

    Paul Wesley dated Phoebe Tonkin (Hayley Marshall). He's now married to Ines de Ramon.

    Joseph Morgan (Klaus) met Persia White (Abby Bennett Wilson) during Season 3. They later married in 2014.

    15. The co-creators didn't want the show to be too supernatural.

    The CW

    Although co-creators Williamson and Plec were inspired by the book series, they made sure to make the TV show their own. There are a lot of differences between the show and the book, and that includes Williamson and Plec's choice to limit the supernatural presence in the series.

    When "angels, foxes, mystical creatures, and hell dimensions" were introduced in the book, that's where they drew the line.

    16. The main cast earned equal pay.

    Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

    Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, and Ian Somerhalder made $30-40K per episode.

    17. Nina Dobrev is younger than Steven R. McQueen IRL.

    Stefanie Keenan / WireImage

    On the show, Steven R. McQueen plays Nina Dobrev's younger brother, Jeremy Gilbert (later revealed to be her biological cousin). In reality, Dobrev is six months younger than McQueen.

    18. Katherine Pierce was orginally going to be a minor character.

    The CW

    Elena Gilbert's doppelgänger, Katerina Petrova (Katherine Pierce), was only supposed to be in the series during Season 2, but fans were immediately drawn to her character.

    19. Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce's roles were reversed.

    The CW

    In the books, Elena is the popular, mean-girl type, and Katherine is introduced as naive and innocent. In the series, their personalities are reversed.

    20. Katherine Pierce is Bulgarian for a reason.

    The CW

    Katherine Pierce, also known as Katerina Petrova, speaks Bulgarian fluently because Nina Dobrev is Bulgarian. Dobrev's real name is actually Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva. In the books, Katherine's real name was Katherine von Swartzschild, deriving from German roots

    21. Season 6 was dedicated to the '90s.

    Netflix

    Remember when Liv Parker sent Damon and Elena back to the '90s to save Bonnie? Well, the producers thought it would be fun to have each episode title named after a popular '90s song.

    22. Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder directed episodes.

    Michael Buckner / Getty Images

    Wesley directed five episodes including "Resident Evil" and "Things We Lost in the Fire," while Somerhalder directed three episodes including, "The Downward Spiral" and "We Have History Together."

    23. There's a Fifty Shades of Grey connection in the series.

    Jason Merritt / Getty Images

    Somerhalder auditioned for the role of Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey. He didn't get it, but you can see Damon reading the book in Season 8, Episode 1.

    24. There's also a Dawson's Creek connection.

    John Sciulli / Getty Images, The CW

    James Van Der Beek auditioned for the role of Alaric Saltzman. It ultimately went to Matthew Davis, but it's fun to know Williamson (Dawson's Creek creator) thought of Van Der Beek for the role.

    Julie Plec also dreamed of having Joshua Jackson (Pacey Witter on Dawson's Creek) on the show.

    25. Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley didn't connect off-screen in the beginning.

    Instagram: @nina

    "Paul and I didn't get along at the beginning of the show." Dobrev told Candice King and Kayla Ewell on their podcast, Directionally Charged. "I respected Paul Wesley, I didn't like Paul Wesley."

    26. Sarah Michelle Gellar turned down The Vampire Diaries.

    Getty Images

    Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec really wanted Sarah Michelle Gellar to play Rose.

    "She was very appreciative but just said no," Williamson told the New York Post. "She was the only stunt casting we'd have ever agreed to. [Laughs.]"

    27. Lexi Branson was inspired by Taylor Swift.

    Larry Busacca / Getty Images

    Stefan's BFF, Lexi Branson, was inspired by Taylor Swift. Co-creator Kevin Williamson is apparently a big fan of the singer.

    "I'm desperate to have [Swift] come play a vampire," Williamson told E! News. "Wouldn't she make an amazing Kirsten Dunst circa Interview with the Vampire-type? Oh my God, I cannot tell you how hard I'm trying to get her. I would kill to have her on the show!"

    The role eventually went to fan-favorite Arielle Kebbel.

    28. The Mystic Grill was a real hangout spot off-screen.

    Getty Images

    The Mystic Grill is based on a real bar in Vancouver, Canada, where the pilot episode of The Vampire Diaries was shot. Because the rest of the series was filmed in Georgia, they decided to build an identical set to replicate the bar. So, whenever the cast isn't filming, they hangout on the Mystic Grill set playing pool, foosball, pinball, and other games together.

    Due to the excitement and fandom from the show, a real Mystic Grill opened up in Georgia.

    29. Season 8 paid homage to Season 1.

    Netflix

    All of the episode titles in Season 8 are lines from Season 1.

    "We talked about different ways we can celebrate the first season," Plec said during a Comic-Con panel. "There are all kinds of different tricks and tools and fun things we’re trying to do."

    30. Several series endings were discussed.

    The CW

    Original ending: "Both brothers should die in the name of saving their girl and then be watching her like ghosts—because we had introduced the Other Side—as she went off into the sunset to live her life," Plec revealed to EW, "and maybe marry Matt Donovan or maybe become a doctor, but that those brothers would be side-by-side watching her live."

    Williamson and Plec came up with this ending way back in Season 2.

    31. Nina Dobrev's exit changed their series finale plans.

    The CW

    Revised ending: "There were two pitches on the table: one that gave perfect closure to the season and then another that gave closure to the whole series," Plec explained to EW, adding they had "just as many discussions over killing Damon as we did over killing Stefan, and let me tell you, for a very long time the pendulum swung the other way."

    32. The final words in the series sounded a little different too.

    The CW

    "Hello, brother" were the first words Damon spoke in the pilot episode and they just so happened to be the final words spoken in the series, after the Salvatore brothers were reunited.

    Here's the original line they had in mind: "Oh, I see they have hero hair in heaven," and then they would hug.

    33. The Vampire Diaries is the longest running vampire show...ever!

    Bob Mahoney / The CW

    Unlike True Blood and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which both lasted for seven seasons, The Vampire Diaries is the longest-running vampire series, lasting for eight seasons.

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