The "Tell Me a Story" star opens up about his time on the pop culture phenomenon CW series and how he influenced the direction of his character, Stefan Salvatore.
For a certain generation of fans, Paul Wesley will always be Stefan Salvatore, the immortal 17-year-old boy of their dreams who ripped his way into their hearts for eight seasons on "The Vampire Diaries."
It's only been two-and-a-half years since we said goodbye to the Savlatore brothers and Mystic Falls, but it's all fans wanted to talk about when the "Tell Me a Story" star swung by the "Watch What Happens Live" clubhouse on Monday night. And the actor proved more than willing to go there, even if it meant revealing his true feelings about the show that arguably made him a star.
When asked if there was any chance of him reviving his character for the spinoff series "Legacies," currently airing on the network. "Oh, no," Paul laughed, emphasizing that -- spoiler alert -- Stefan was dead and he was "very happy" that the writers agreed to kill off his character.
"I actually had requested that he die. Because he did a lot of bad things and I felt like he deserved death," Paul explained. That said, the closing moments of the series finale kind of showed how death isn't necessarily the end for people in this world. In fact, that kind of became the show's biggest problem for Paul.
One viewer asked if there was a point in the show's eight-year run when he felt it had perhaps jumped the shark, and Paul with almost no hesitation laughed and gave a drawn out, "Yes."
Honestly, it was surprising how candidly he was willing to talk about it when pushed by Andy Cohen to offer up an example. After all, Paul remains tied to the franchise, even returning to direct an episode in its first season.
Nevertheless, he was quite candid when he said that one of his biggest problems with the show as it progressed was that "everyone was a supernatural being."
"What the hell?" he asked. "There needs to be some humans, we're in the real world!" He's not wrong, as one by one even the human characters seemed to succumb to some supernatural fate or another. And even the few characters who did manage to hang on to their humanity (or regain it) always had wildly supernatural things happening to them or temporarily changing them.
"Everyone in the whole town was a mystical creature," Paul joked. "I feel like it should have been 50/50." Well, while it may have started that way, it definitely didn't wind up that way toward the end.
Speaking of all those bad things Stefan did throughout the run of the show, and particularly during his "Ripper" phase, Paul took some credit for that as well. "I was playing the good guy," he said. "I felt like I was starting to become a little bit typecast as the good brother and I really tried my best to influence them to allow me to be the bad guy and they made that happen."
By Season 3, Paul had emerged as the "ripper" and the shift between the brothers started to become more dramatic ... hell, everything started to become more and more and more dramatic with each passing episode.
So with his belief that the show may have jumped the shark and gone too far with making everyone supernatural in one way or the other, how would Paul have ended the show differently? In the original run, he sacrificed himself and helped restore humanity to Damon and Elena so they could live happily ever after ... just not forever and without all the bloodsucking.
" I honestly think both brothers should have died," he confessed of the creators choosing to keep Damon alive.
But his vision didn't stop there. "I would have liked that we both died and that Elena ... all of her memory was wiped and she went on to live a normal life and forgot that we ever existed. I think that would have been nice."
In other words, all the horrors she had endured would have been wiped from her mind and she could have simply moved on and forgotten about all the awful things that go bump in the night. What about all the people she lost along the way? Maybe she'd forget about them completely.
As the series was a romance -- though both he and Damon actor Ian Somerhalder believe the biggest romance (non-sexual) of the series was between the brothers -- perhaps that would have been an even more romantic ending, in a tragically sweet sort of way.