You could barely wipe the smile off Paul Wesley's face when he was playing The Ripper version of Stefan in 2011, so you can imagine how elated he was when I hit up The Vampire Diaries set as he was bringing to life another pseudo-Stefan, Silas. Meanwhile, his OG incarnation is drowning over and over at the bottom of a lake, unbeknownst to anyone. So to say Paul Wesley is having a killer time this season would be a massive understatement.
Fans are set to have an equally excellent experience watching Wesley as these paired performances bring forth his best work to date, and I'm only talking about episode one!
In addition to reveling in Paul's permagrin, I found out what the future holds for Stelena now that Stefan heard Elena's admission of Delena love and discovered that a pairing fans have been 'shipping for seasons might actually come to fruition!
ETonline: Given how much I know you enjoy mixing things up, is it safe to say you were excited upon finding out this doppelganger twist?
Paul Wesley: [laughs] Oh, just a little. It's that feeling of being excited and intimidated but I try not to get into my head too much and just have fun with it. But I was thrilled to do something new.
ETonline: How does playing Stefan-as-Silas compare with playing Stefan The Ripper?
Wesley: It's so different because Ripper Stefan was, other than the 1920s flashback, always apprehensive about being The Ripper. Silas doesn't really apologize or have regrets. I try to layer him in terms of having issues and being tortured but that's so deep it's almost like it's not even there. And that's fun to play because you don't have to think as much.
ETonline: What's Stefan's mental state inside that safe?
Wesley: He's hallucinating and losing his mind, so when he gets out, he's not suddenly going to be fine. He's really screwed up in the head. Like, PTSD almost. I mean, it's like an Edgar Allen Poe poem about being buried alive. It's so awful if you think about it. It's so awful that I don't even know how to think about it. You're underwater for eternity and don't even having the luxury of dying -- it's infinite torture. It's pretty sh*tty. Only The Vampire Diaries writers could come up with something this twisted [laughs].
ETonline: Will the PTSD make him a liability for the group?
Wesley: I don't think anybody can be an objective helper. I don't think Stefan is any bigger of a liability than any other character since I think we've all proven to be jackasses at one point or another. No one can be trusted on The Vampire Diaries because everyone's personality is ever-changing.
ETonline: Adding insult to injury, the last thing he heard before getting submerged was Damon and Elena telling one another "I Love You."
Wesley: Yeah, this guy is really getting f*cked left, right and center this season [laughs]. What the hell man?!?
ETonline: Obviously he's got a lot on his mind with dying over and over for eternity, so is that revelation weighing on him at all?
Wesley: You'll find out that the only way he can sustain himself is to bring about hallucinations and those are revealing to him. In a way, he's having epiphanies down there. It's like he's on iowaska or something [laughs].
ETonline: Does hearing Elena say "I Love You" to Damon change Stefan's feelings towards her?
Wesley: Yeah, it's natural that they would. And I'm excited for the fans to see this new permutation of their relationship because I think it was becoming a little bit redundant. They moved to a very platonic place towards the end of season three and to be honest, I didn't see it as a love triangle anymore. They really became friends in my eyes, so to have something thrown in that's totally bizarre -- like being at the bottom of a quarry, drowning over and over -- is cool because it throws in another variable that can stir things up and maybe lead to a weird new romance.
ETonline: Like between Stefan and Caroline? That's something the fans have really wanted for a while.
Wesley: Thus far it's been relatively platonic between them, but, again, some upcoming circumstances will cause Stefan to see her in a new light. I don't know how she's going to feel about him though...
The Vampire Diaries premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.