TVLINE | How successful is Stefan going to be on this new path of moderation?
Only time will tell. I don’t think Stefan is going to, you know, go back to ripping off heads and being maniacally out of control anytime soon, but I don’t know. That’s one of the most important things about Stefan, that no matter how moderate he becomes and how stabilized he is, in supporting that as an actor, I always convey that sense of danger around the corner, that he could potentially bite somebody’s head off at any minute. That’s what makes him compelling and interesting and dynamic.
TVLINE | Elena witnessed him feeding. What does that mean for their relationship in the next episode?
It’s just another reason to not trust him, another reason to push away from him [and] say, “God, this guy is completely out of control, and not the one for me.” It brings to light the reality of their relationship, which is they’ve had so much darkness come between them, it’s almost impossible to go back.
TVLINE | It’s been a very, very tough season for Elena and Stefan. Are there any words of hope you can offer the fans?
The fans should definitely maintain some hope. … The thing to remember is that Stefan and Elena have this love that is so strong, and it was sort of the core of Season 1 — you can’t entirely disregard that. The fans should definitely be aware of the fact that Stefan and Elena are very much a possibility.
TVLINE | Are you rooting for them to get together right now? Is that something you’d like to see?
Not necessarily, but I’m also not against it. I just feel like things have to happen naturally, and I don’t want anything force-fed. I don’t want the audience to get sick of any one relationship. Quite truthfully, I think they needed to break up — and I think eventually they’ll need to get back together.
TVLINE | While they were broken up, Elena got a lot closer to Damon. How is Stefan feeling about that relationship and how it’s evolving?
There’s a sense of betrayal, but there’s also an odd sense of inevitability to it. Stefan went down this dark path and made a very conscientious decision to do it. He was aware of the fact that Elena and Damon had a little spark. So I don’t think that he’s been completely taken aback by this. And at the same time, in an odd way — in the most bizarre, twisted way — it’s brought the brothers to a place of camaraderie [because] they’re both in love with the same girl.