Paul Wesley Wants to Direct, Go Really Dark on The Vampire Diaries

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At The Vampire Diaries convention in Chicago yesterday, Paul Wesley dished on swimming with dolphins, yearning to direct and taking over Ian Somerhalder's body for a day - but first he dispelled a rumor started by Daniel Gillies.

During his Q&A session at the event, Gillies said Wesley took the longest of all TVD stars to get primped for a scene. But Wesley offered to bring in proof to contradict this claim - call sheets that detailed how he was only required to show up 30 minutes prior to a scene for makeup, versus one hour for the other two leads - and concluded:

"I think he's just confused because I look the best."

It was that kind of informative, fun hour with the actor. I've recorded most of the back-and-forth below...

Paul Wesley Promotional Picture

What was it like going from playing a werewolf to playing a vampire?
I went from playing a werewolf Wolf Lake to an angel on Fallen to a vampire on The Vampire Diaries. I'm covered all the mythological characters in my career. I'm gonna be a Succubus in my next role. I found playing a wolf was more innate for me… vampires are less animalistic and more like… poets. It takes a lot more work as an actor.

What was it like working with dolphins in Beneath the Blue [which The CW aired a few weeks ago]?
I'm trying to be this cool vampire and here I am petting dolphins. I feel like it could have stayed in the video section. Instead, our Vampire Diaries viewers tune in on a Thursday night to see Stefan the Ripper and instead they see me, snorkeling.

What was your favorite TVD episode?
Definitely, the 1920s Ripper [in "The End of the Affair"]. It was a lot of fun for me to play uninhabited Stefan who was just dark and evil and had no conscience. It was the antithesis of what I had been playing in season one and two. I really hope I get to revisit that era.

Would you ever like to direct?
Yeah, in fact I'm lobbying to direct. I need to convince the producers to let me direct an episode next year. I think I'd do a swell job… I have very strong opinions when it comes to directing… so I'd like to put my money where my mouth is.

If Stefan and Damon were humans for a day, what would they do?
Nothing they can't do now. I mean, what can't they do now? Oh… reproduce! There would be like seven Stefan babies.

If you could change one thing about Stefan, what would it be?
Look, I think the Elena/Stefan storyline is an integral part of the show. I think their love is infinite and blah, blah, blah… but, at a certain point, I think he should stop being so mopey… I love the dark side of this character and when he falls into that overprotective, sort of father mode, I'm like 'Oh, I don't wanna do this.' But I'm so grateful for the character, so… not a lot.

How did you get started in acting?
You know the theme from Jeopardy? When I was young, I was singing that and my mom was like, 'That's so good!' and she put me in acting class.

What's the funniest thing that ever happened on set?
It's in the blooper reel from season one. We all thought we were so cool in our 1920s wardrobe… and then Nina fell on her ass in that big dress. It was great. We needed it. She didn't get hurt, so it was great.

What was your hardest scene to shoot and why?
Remember that scene when I'm on the phone with Elena, at the end of an early season three episode? When I was shooting that scene, we were outside, in public, and, God bless the fans, but there were like 40 fans in my eye line. And I to be on the phone, keep my eyes up and look directly at these people who were, like, waving. I was supposed to be having this really intense scene, crying, calling Elena… But they filmed it and edited it and made me look like I was a good actor

If Stefan could form an alliance with another fictional vampire, who would it be and why?
R. Patt? We'd be the duo with really quaffed hair, invading your hair salons… or maybe Willem DaFoe in Shadow of the Vampire. We'd sit in his cave and discuss issues, vampire issues.

What's your favorite type of music?
I think I like every kind of music imaginable, except, what is that? [Makes techno sounds.] I like old music, like 60s, 70s. I like swing! When I was wanna feel mature and cool, I put on swing music.

What would you do if you woke up one day and you were in Ian's body?
Jesus Christ! Pass out from anxiety… do I get a time limit? Can I get out? Because if that's the case, I'll probably go make a fool of myself. Walk around the mall. Hit on some babes. 'What's up, babe? Yup, it's me.'

What cologne do you wear?
I don't wear cologne. I'm not a cologne guy. All natural, baby.

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
I wouldn't mind having the show movie to Vancouver because I love Vancouver. Then I could snowboard everyday… I'd want there to be a Stefan and Damon episode where they get to go off and venture throughout Europe and we get to shoot on location. Didn't Gossip Girl do that? Why the Hell do they get to go to Paris and we don't? It's ridiculous.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to relax. I love snowboarding. I really love traveling, that's why I do so many of these conventions. I love going to all these cities. You guys are secondary [laughs]… I love eating food and wine.

If you weren't an actor, what profession would you have right now?
I know what I was aspiring to do. I was big into hockey, but I never would have made it. I really wanted to get into journalism. I wanted to be an investigative journalist.

What is it like working with Joseph Morgan?
I just love him… He's very committed to what he does. When we do a scene, I know he's always gonna know his lines, always gonna know what he wants to do. And I appreciate that.

What would be your dream role and who would direct you?
My favorite book is Catcher in the Rye. I don't think I'd ever want to see it as a film, but if it's a dream world, I would play Holden Caulfield… and I would want Stanley Kubrick to direct.

If you could write for Stefan, what would you write?
I would make Stefan dark, dark, dark, dark. I would write flashback episodes like every other episode. I would explore every era.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Vampire Diaries Quotes

Dear Diary, a chipmunk asked me my name today. I told him it was Joe. That lie, will haunt me, forever.


Put the damn crossbow down, Pocahontas.