- Paul Wesley, who played Stefan Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries, worried about being typecast and took on theater roles during his time on the show to combat this.
- Hollywood actors, like Wesley, often avoid certain roles to prevent being pigeonholed in their careers.
- The Vampire Diaries both played into and avoided certain teen drama archetypes, and Wesley has managed to successfully avoid playing the same types of roles after the show’s conclusion.
The Vampire Diaries star Paul Wesley reflects on his time on the hit CW drama, revealing that he had fears about being typecast. First airing in 2009, the CW series, which is created by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, stars Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert, with Wesley costarring as Stefan Salvatore.
In a recent interview on Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast, Wesley reveals that there was a time when being part of The Vampire Diaries‘s cast had him worried about being typecast later on in his career. In an effort to combat this, the actor branched out from Stefan and took his talents to an entirely new medium. Check out Wesley’s full comment below:
“By season 3 or so, you’re going, ‘Oh, sh-t. I need to do some other stuff.’ I started to like really get into the whole, ‘I need to be a thespian.’ And so I started to do New York theater. That was my thing during hiatus, I was just going off and doing obscure off-Broadway plays.
I think I had the energy (because), first of all I was younger, but also you’re so… Look, I’m not knocking the show, but at the end of the day you’re doing a one-hour CW drama.
You don’t want to be typecast, and also you’re like, I have this pop culture thing to a degree, but am I respected? I want to be respected by fellow actors and so you’re striving to do different kinds of things.”
Wesley’s Typecasting Fears Explained
Wesley has seemingly been able to avoid being typecast during and after The Vampire Diaries and has since appeared in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Flowers in the Attic: The Origin, and Tell Me A Story. While the actor has managed to take on a fairly varied set of roles, his fears about being pigeonholed are certainly not unfounded.
Many actors in Hollywood have taken or not taken certain jobs as part of a conscious effort to avoid playing the same types of roles over and over again. Christina Applegate, for example, passed on the opportunity to star in Legally Blonde out of fears that she would be repeating herself after Married with Children. These fears are perhaps compounded in the landscape of TV teen dramas, which frequently deal with archetype characters.
From the lead with a tragic past to the mysterious love interest to the generic bully character, teen dramas often hit similar notes. The Vampire Diaries managed to avoid many of the archetypes that plague the genre, but some characters did end up feeling a little familiar. While Wesley may have feared typecasting during his time on the show, it’s clear that his extracurricular efforts ended up paving the way for a successful and diverse acting career following the show’s conclusion.