‘The Vampire Diaries’ actress Nina Dobrev played two characters in the show. She came up with a wonderful way of nailing both roles during her long tenure in the town of Mystic Falls.
‘The Vampire Diaries’ has a long array of iconic characters, each of whom has his/her own dedicated fandom. When it came to Nina Dobrev, two sets of perceptions surrounded her performance in the show since she played two roles, Elena and Katherine, with utmost brilliance. Although it seemed that her artistry in the show was effortless, she put in immense work. For ‘The Vampire Diaries’, Nina Dobrev had studied two scripts at a time to perfect her acting.
- Nina Dobrev’s wild vampirical ride with two roles.
- Nina Dobrev’s ingenious method to play Elena and Katherine.
PORTRAYING POLAR OPPOSITES
As obvious by its name, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ was not a straightforward show. It made the ‘Twilight’ films look normal with its complex storylines and emotionally wrung characters. This also included the presence of doppelgängers in the show, Elena and Katherine being the primary ones.
It is hard to imagine anyone except Nina Dobrev as the leading lady of the show. The actress wonderfully fulfilled the demanding responsibility on her shoulders of playing two vastly contrasting characters. While Elena was young, innocent and all things good, Katherine was an agent of chaos.
The opposing traits of the two did not deter Nina from rising to the occasion and portraying the truth of both ladies. Before we get into how Dobrev studied two scripts at a time for ‘The Vampire Diaires’, here is a glimpse of how the experience of depicting two different people in the show was for her.
During a conversation with ‘Entertainment Weekly’, the actress recalled the challenge thrown at her by ‘The Vampire Diaries.’ She mentioned that in terms of the filming schedule, it was a “crazy” experience to shoot both roles as she had to film with herself at times.
However, she also expressed that while it was a “wild learning experience” as an actor to finesse two characters, it was also “really fun.” We can only imagine that. Any other television actress would love to be in her place and rise to the coveted ‘The Vampire Diaries’ stardom.
Now let’s find out exactly how Nina Dobrev flawlessly played Elena and Katherine together.
AN ACTOR’S MASTERSTROKE
Once actors fully commit to their roles, they put their heart and soul into understanding and preparing the characters. But Nina Dobrev has exemplified that it’s not just a matter of acting technique and commitment but also active thinking.
Besides her passion and acting skills, the actress made ingenious use of her mind. Nina Dobrev studied the scripts for Elena and Katherine together to nail both roles. This must seem confusing. So let’s see how Nina herself described this process to “EW”,
“I remember carrying around two separate scripts — one for each character — because I had to break down what Elena was going through in that episode and what her intentions were, and then having a separate script for what Katherine wanted out of every scene and circumstance.”
In simple terms, here is what Dobrev did. She used two copies of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ script, one for Elena and the other for Katherine. This made it easier for her to identify and compare the motivations and reactions of each character separately for every scene.
Thus, Nina Dobrev studied the two scripts for Elena and Katherine at a time to make separate notes for the characters and then simultaneously play them in the show. This technique of understanding the fictional people as two distinct personalities was also applied by actor Jake Gyllenhaal for his film ‘Enemy.’ The film also put him in the same position of playing two opposite characters in the same story.
Gyllenhaal had also expressed that his job demanded a “literal comparison” of both the characters, which is similar to what Nina Dobrev did by studying the two characters with two scripts. Perhaps, even the ‘Enemy’ star would have made his job easier by using two scripts to create a blueprint for his roles, as Dobrev did.
What do you think of Nina Dobrev’s dual performance as Elena and Katherine in ‘The Vampire Diaries’? Do you think she nailed it or was she average, despite having studied two scripts at a time? Comment below!