The onscreen brothers played by Paul Wesley, left, and Ian Somerhalder on CW''s 'The Vampire Diaries' have been through a lot together.(Photo: CW)
The Vampire Diaries stars are ready to let their characters die. Permanently.
After spending much of the last decade biting, staking and fighting over the same girl, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder’s vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore have one episode left. After eight seasons and 171 episodes,CW is airing the series finale Friday (9 ET/PT, after a retrospective at 8).
And no, the boys will not be back after that: no reunion, no movie, no reboots.
“All good things must come to an end, and let’s end it on a good note,” says Wesley. Vampire Diaries "shaped my entire existence, and a lot of my formative years in my 20s. The show is forever going to be ingrained in my personality. I’m grateful for it, (but) I think I’m closing the chapter.”
Damon officiated the wedding between Caroline and Stefan in the second-to-last 'Vampire Diaries' episode. (Photo: CW)
Somerhalder won't be reprising his role, either. “In 10 years I’m probably going to be living on a ranch in Wyoming, and you’ll never hear from me again,” he says.
But before the actors flee Mystic Falls for good, there’s plenty of drama afoot. After a penultimate episode that saw Stefan and Caroline Forbes (Candice King) finally have their June wedding; Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham) protect the Gemini twins from a fire caused by the resurrected Kelly Donovan (Melinda Clarke); and a glimpse of Vicki Donovan (Kayla Ewell), the finale sees an important death and the return of former co-star Nina Dobrev. Of course, the actors won’t say whose funeral they attend onscreen, but know this: Reading the finale script had Wesley in tears.
“I read the script on the plane (and) I got a bit teary-eyed,” says the "cold-hearted" actor. So he took a red-eyed selfie from the sky and sent it to the show’s co-creators.
Somerhalder — like Damon — was much less sentimental about the whole thing. “Up until the second they yell cut, it’s the same (stuff),” he said.
Nina Dobrev (left, as Elena) is returning for the 'Vampire Diaries' series finale after leaving the show at the end of its sixth season in 2015. (Photo: Bob Mahoney, CW)
But it didn’t feel that way for Somerhalder in Season 1, before the series saw hell unleashed on Earth.
“The newness of it in the beginning was very special,” he says, citing the show’s sixth episode, “Lost Girls,” as his and Wesley’s decisive favorite.
"That's when we were like 'This show's pretty good,'" Wesley says. Since then, “I died 17 times and killed 18,000 people, and I’m still the hero,” he says, jokingly.
Same goes with Somerhalder’s dark protagonist.
“It was wild," he says. "Damon could’ve walked into an orphanage and in cold blood killed 20 orphans, and people would say, ‘Well, he was really upset about Elena.'”
Paul Wesley (left) and Ian Somerholder (as Stefan and Damon Salvatore) would sometimes interrupt their bloody murder scenes with jokes. (Photo: CW)
There’s no telling what borderline-unforgivable things the Salvatore brothers will do in their last episode, but Wesley promises a “satisfying” end for the characters.
“We’re going out with some pride and dignity,” says Wesley. “Wait, do we have any dignity left?”
“No, there’s no dignity,” jokes Somerhalder.