‘The Vampire Diaries’: Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley Hated Each Other on the Show, Are They Friends Now?

Fans often confuse onscreen chemistry for real life love. But when it comes to Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley, who played Elena Gilbert and Stefan Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries, that could not be further from the truth. The onscreen lovers actually couldn’t stand each other in real life. But Dobrev left the show six years ago, so how do the two feel about one another now?

Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley of 'The Vampire Diaries' pose together
Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for InStyle

Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley’s relationship

Despite their characters’ instant onscreen chemistry, there had always been rumors that Dobrev and Wesley didn’t like one another. In 2019, Dobrev confirmed the rumors.

“Paul and I didn’t get along at the beginning of the show,” she said on the Directionally Challenged podcast. “I respected Paul Wesley, I didn’t like Paul Wesley. And I remember everyone would walk up to me after the show aired and they’d be like, ‘Are you and Paul dating in real life?’ Because everyone thought that we had such good chemistry… I realize now that there’s a fine line between love and hate, and we despised each other so much that it read as love but… we really just didn’t get along for maybe the first five months of shooting.”

According to Dobrev, that is actually quite common for stars.

 “Most of the time, love interests in film and TV don’t get along and that ends up reading as really intense chemistry,” she said.

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Months later at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Wesley confirmed Dobrev’s comments.

“I think the point that Nina was making, and I’ll totally back her up on this, is that we totally clashed [the] first couple years in terms of just getting on each other’s nerves, and then [we] developed this wonderful friendship,” he said. “So, it’s like this nice, happy ending.”

Are Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev friends now?

Despite not liking eachother, Wesley once told Dobrev that they would be friends in the future.

“Maybe we had a moment where we actually connected…and he looked at me and he was like, ‘Ten years from now, when we’re not on this show, you’re gonna really miss me,” Dobrev shared on the podcast. “You’re gonna miss these times and you’re gonna look back, and this is gonna be the good old days. We’ll appreciate each other in 10 years.’

“And he’s so f*cking right. We ended up getting to a good place and it was fine. But, of everyone [from the Vampire Diaries cast], I think I probably see him the most and hang out with him the most… We are probably the closest. We hang out a lot. We’re really good friends. And I love his wife. It’s so funny how time changes everything because I never thought that he would be one of my best friends.”

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Is Nina Dobrev friends with Ian Somerhalder?

Though for several seasons of the series, Wesley’s character was Dobrev’s love interest, in real life Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder, who played Damon Salvatore, were actually dating. The pair broke up in 2013, two years before Dobrev left the show. Somerhalder went on to marry his wife, Nikki Reed, in 2015. Despite any awkwardness there may have initially been, the former lovers are friends now.

“I don’t think [being friends with Ian and Nikki] weird at all. I think that’s great,” Dobrev said in a 2019 episode of  Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. “Why can’t everyone be friends? I think that they have a beautiful baby and they are happy, and so am I. And what’s bad about that? I don’t see any problem with that.”

Dobrev is currently dating snowboarder Shaun White.