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Paul Wesley for Fashionisto #8

paul wesley fashionisto 001 Paul Wesley for Fashionisto #8

The Vampire Saga–Playing brooding protagonist Stefan Salvatore on The CW hit show The Vampire Diaries, New Jersey-born actor Paul Wesley found his calling early. Required to participate in his elementary school’s annual musical as a child, he eventually found himself “really falling in love with acting.” Growing up so close to New York City, Wesley felt that it “was a fortuitous thing. Otherwise, I’m not sure that I would have had the same opportunities. Also, thanks to my parents I traveled often and I think those experiences can shape a person’s mind.” In particular, Wesley’s parents insisted that their family visit their native land of Poland frequently during his childhood. Wesley remembers, “I would go to Poland once a year for several months as a kid. It was the most memorable time for me, particularly because of my strong relationship with my grandparents. Each trip was a new experience and every time I came home, I had a new understanding of people and cultures.”

paul wesley fashionisto 002 Paul Wesley for Fashionisto #8

Wesley’s aptitude for dealing with new places comes in handy when filming The Vampire Diaries. The show films in Georgia, where Wesley finds it tough due to missing friends and family but he has picked up “some places that [he] loves, but truth be told [he] works so much that [he] rarely gets the chance to go anywhere. However, there are some amazing restaurants and a new rising culinary scene that is pretty special.”

paul wesley fashionisto 003 Paul Wesley for Fashionisto #8

When in Atlanta for the show, Wesley finds the fans’ attention to be quite mellow in comparison to some of the European countries. “Believe it or not, I actually think the show has a much larger fan base in Europe.” Despite his success at playing a vampire, the actor did not see himself playing the mythological figure at first. “I certainly never in a million years thought I’d be associated with vampires in my acting roles. It just didn’t seem like my thing. And I’m still not sure what to make of it.” However, Wesley has gone on to appreciate the appeal of the vampire in pop culture, “I will say that the vampire is an amazing archetype for all sorts of characters. It symbolizes many different things, and I think that is why it has become so wildly successful and has been a part of storytelling for so long.”

paul wesley fashionisto 004 Paul Wesley for Fashionisto #8

Concluding the fourth season of The Vampire Diaries; Silas, the show’s first immortal revealed himself to Stefan as a doppelgänger. Locking Stefan in a safe and dropping him into a quarry, Silas replaces the Salvatore brother next season. Wesley can “happily say that [he] will be the villain. It is infinitely more exciting and entertaining for an actor to play the bad guy so to speak. I connect deeply with Stefan’s dark side, so when the opportunity to play Silas came about, I jumped on it.” Wesley hasn’t had too much experience playing two characters yet, having only done it for two lines or so but his “secret hope is that Stefan stays down in the safe for a while.”

paul wesley fashionisto 005 Paul Wesley for Fashionisto #8

Originally published in Fashionisto #8. Grooming by Andrea Pezzillo using Oribe.