It's been several episodes since Nina Dobrev left Vampire Diaries for good, and Ian Somerhalder is opening up about how her exit affected the show as they filmed season seven.
"I personally think everyone thought it was going to be a huge departure after Elena (Nina) was gone," he told Variety. "And I was one of those people. I thought it was going to be a huge departure for the typical formula of our show. By virtue of the fact that it wasn't a huge leap for mankind, as far as changing it up, there were some differences that sort of mixed up the formula."
"What we've just started shooting is such a departure (from what is expected of the show)," he continued. "I just started shooting episode 10, which is a concept episode. The episode was really about Damon, but that's not why I think it was the best at all. The way the story was put together...every artisan from set to producers to wardrobe to everyone was just so on-point."
Ian said the Civil War episode, which he felt was "so well executed" it could be submitted for acting awards, was so intense that he ended up dropping weight by the time it was done. "I was covered in dirt and gunpowder with things blowing up around me," Ian said. "From a Monday to a Friday, I lost six pounds." We can't wait to see it.
Meanwhile, Nina previously shared her thoughts on whether she'll ever return to the show, telling Entertainment Weekly in September, "That chapter is closed, sadly – bittersweet." She went on to tell Women's Wear Daily, "I want to do something dark and gritty. I want to work with directors that I admire and that will make me better and actors that will challenge me and scare the sh*t out of me."
So far, Nina has not only starred in Final Girls since leaving Vampire Diaries. She will also star in the upcoming Crash Pad alongside Christina Applegate and Arrivals alongside Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams.
It looks like she's on her way.