Holy s–t, Stefan is a doppelgänger, Silas’ doppelgänger to be exact! When did you make the decision to bring in another doppelgänger and why Stefan?
Last year after we wrapped season three, some of the writers and I stayed on for an extra five weeks talking about story for season four. We knew that we wanted to give Stefan and give Paul Wesley specifically an opportunity to sort of spread his wings a bit more. He did such a good job playing Ripper Stefan, so we wanted to play a long-foiled plan into motion that we weren’t sure if we’d get to it before the end of the season or not; we always had it in our back pocket to reveal it right around the time it felt right. The way it played out we chose not to reveal it until the last beat of the last episode basically teeing up what season five would be.
So what’s next for Damon and Elena?
Next for them as a couple is a long-distance relationship as Elena heads off to her new life at college and Damon sticks behind In Mystic Falls to hold down the fort.
There were some complications to introducing another doppelgänger character. In Season 2 and early in Season 3, when Nina Dobrev was playing both Katherine and Elena regularly, she grew worn out, physically. Some of the decision-makers behind “The Vampire Diaries” were concerned that playing two characters could take a similar toll on Paul Wesley. “We had to convince a lot of different people of how it could work and what could make it work,” Julie says.
Is Stefan going to be buried for a long time?
We’ll have to see. Certainly no one’s gonna want to watch The Vampire Diaries without their Stefan alive and well and hangin’ out. So we’ll try not to prolong the torture for too long, but it is gonna be torture. So it will definitely change him. If and when he finally gets free, he’s not necessarily gonna come out of there all sunshine and rainbows.
Can he really fool everyone into thinking he’s Stefan?
He’s going to give it a good college try. He is, after all, psychic, as well. So he can get inside people’s heads and make them think whatever he wants. It’s not like we’re going to play an entire season of The Parent Trap. [Laughs] But there will be some funny times right at the beginning of the season.
How long before everyone finds out that Stefan is really Silas?
Plec: Truth be told, I don’t think it’ll be too long. I think that there’s more fun to be played with people learning quickly, but independently of the other so there’s a lot of good bait-and-switch Katherine-style stuff that could happen early in the season. And people that know Stefan well will be able to catch on pretty quickly I would hope.
Can we expect double Paul Wesley scenes?
Plec: Part of the fun of having an actor play two roles are those opportunities to put them face to face, but they’re difficult to shoot and they take a lot of time and the stuff we do even with Katherine and Elena we do so sparingly. So we’ll definitely see it, but of course Stefan will be on his own journey presumably at the bottom of the [lake] floor so we’ll see when and who gets him out of that mess.