EXCLUSIVE: Paul Wesley Dishes on Directing 'Shadowhunters' and His 'Vampire Diaries' Deja Vu!


Paul Wesley is back in the vampire game! Well, sort of...

Paul Wesley
is back in the vampire game! Well, sort of

The former Vampire Diaries actor has stepped behind the camera to direct Monday's all-new episode of Shadowhunters -- and Wesley is opening up to ET about how he scored this bloody fun role.

"I directed five episodes of The Vampire Diaries and my goal was to continue directing television and film after [TVD] ended. I had more time on my hands, and this sort of was a natural fit," Wesley explained. "It just all sort of came together and I was really fortunate to get to work with such a great crew and really generous and really sweet actors."

In order to prepare for his Freeform directorial debut, Wesley revealed that he studied the Shadowhunters Wikipedia page and read up on each character's background.

"I hadn't seen the films The Mortal Instruments but had heard of them and I knew the books were very popular, so I just went online and tried to understand the mythology as much as possible," he said.

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Surprisingly, the self-proclaimed "retired vampire" admitted that he did not have any Vampire Diaries déjà vu while he was directing his episode of the supernatural teen drama.

"I was in such a foreign environment. I was in a different city, I was with different actors and a different crew. Vamprie Diares was a great part of my life and I understand the genre and that the [Shadowhunters] audience may be similar, but I tried to approach it with a completely different perspective."

When asked why series like The Vampire Diaries and Shadowhunters resonate so strongly with teen audiences, Wesley was quick offer up a perfect explanation. "I think it's escapism, quite frankly. I think it's as simple as that," he said. "I think people sometimes want to forget about the daily life and they want to escape from them and this is how they can."

Catch Wesley's episode of Shadowhunters tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Freeform.