The supernatural series The Vampire Diaries developed a rabid fan base due in large part to its attractive and talented cast, which spawned two spin-offs: The Originals and Legacies.
The cast of The Vampire Diaries was made up of mostly unknown actors, except for Somerhalder, who appeared as Boone Carlyle on the ABC series Lost.
As confirmed, the network was leaning heavily towards another actor. Many actors auditioned for the role of Damon, including The Vampire Diaries members Michael Trevino (Tyler Lockwood), Zach Roerig (Matt Donovan), and Nathaniel Buzolic (Kol Mikaelson).
Ultimately, the network decided to trust Williamson’s instincts. Damon became an antihero from The Vampire Diaries who, after taking The Cure, lived out his days with Elena in Mystic Falls.
David Gallagher, who played Simon Camden on the long-running series 7th Heaven, was an early favorite. Another contender was Paul Wesley, who read for the role of Stefan from The Vampire Diaries but was turned down because he was considered older.
Once Somerhalder was cast (he was 30 at the time), Wesley was reconsidered for the role of Stefan. When it came time to test Dobrev’s chemistry for The Vampire Diaries, Wesley said:
“I knew I wanted to go to the bedroom with Nina and that our first scene in The Vampire Diaries was literally the first time we spoke, which is exactly what I required.”