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'The Vampire Diaries': Director Paul Wesley explains why he nixed a shirtless moment in this week's episode -- LISTEN!

Paul Wesley stepped behind the camera to direct the April 17 episode of The Vampire Diaries, and while the hour will give viewers answers about new arrival Markos (Raffi Barsoumian) — “This guy is creating this alternate reality that is manifesting in Stefan and Elena’s mind, and that alternate reality is actually a set of clues leading to something,” he teases — there is one thing it won’t have: Stefan shirtless. The script originally called for it: “It was this beautiful scene where Stefan takes Elena, and he picks her up and kisses her, and they go on the kitchen counter and things get kinda hot and heavy. But rather than sexualizing it, I decided to make it romantic,” he says in an interview airing Thursday on Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM 105). “I pitched it to the writers – I was like ‘Guys, I think this should be romantic and not sexual,’ and they fell for it. Suckers!” READ FULL STORY

'Vampire Diaries' sneak peek: Stefan's PTSD take a toll (on furniture) -- VIDEO

the-vampire-diaries-06.jpg

Now that Stefan has his memories back on The Vampire Diaries, he’ll struggle, understandably, with those of the months he spent drowning in a submerged safe. Watch an exclusive clip from the Nov. 21 episode below.
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'Vampire Diaries' scoop: Meet six fresh faces for season 5

When The Vampire Diaries returns for its fifth season on Oct. 3, fans may feel like they’re watching a new show: Elena (Nina Dobrev) is officially with Damon (Ian Somerhalder), and she and Caroline (Candice Accola) are now students at nearby Whitmore College. Damon is living with Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), who’s still the only one who knows Bonnie (Kat Graham) died while resurrecting him. And Stefan (Paul Wesley), villain Silas’ surprise doppelgänger, remains trapped in a water-logged safe drowning over and over again. “He has all these weird dreams and visions,” Wesley says, “and when he gets out, it’s almost like PTSD.”

All those changes mean many new, and very pretty, faces will be joining our Mystic Falls favorites. We asked exec producers Julie Plec and Caroline Dries to make some introductions. Click on Launch Photo Gallery for the who’s who.

'The Vampire Diaries' season 5 promo: Flirting, fighting, and ... spelling? -- VIDEO

Vampire Diaries fans have been waiting all summer for their first glimpse at a human Katherine, a happy Delena and, of course, the big bad who looks a whole lot like Stefan. And now, the first season five promo gives us all those things, with an added bonus of bathtub bubbles and a few (literal) sparks.

From Damon and Elena exchanging heartfelt “I Love You”s to what appears to be Silas (?) getting up close and personal with Katherine — who’s in Damon’s bathtub — and telling her that “human looks better on you than I would’ve thought,” this promo is full of all of the right kinds of tension. And could that flirtation be what tips Damon off that Silas is not Stefan? We all know that Stefan isn’t exactly Katherine’s biggest fan. Unless, of course, that’s Stefan flirting with Katherine, in which case things are really going to get interesting.

Other notable moments: What looks like Jeremy getting in a fight, and somebody’s car crashing into a pole. Oh, and Damon doesn’t know how to spell doppelganger.

Watch the promo below: READ FULL STORY

'Vampire Diaries' season 5 scoop: Showrunner teases sexy Damon and Elena scenes

The Vampire Diaries may have wrapped up season 4 with some major cliffhangers, but you won’t see the immediate aftermath in the fall premiere.

“It’s a time jump,” exec producer Julie Plec tells EW. “Summer has passed in which poor Stefan has been suffering at the bottom of the quarry and Damon and Elena have been having hot lovin’ sex.”

Though the premiere will pick up with move-in day at college (yes, they’re actually enrolling!), Plec promises fans will get to see some of the steamy action that went down over break.

“We found a stylized way to show the audience how things went over the summer, what everybody was up to,” says Plec, who reveals that the title of the episode is “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”

Keep reading for a breakdown of what’s coming up in season 5…
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'Vampire Diaries' stars answer your questions at Comic-Con -- VIDEO

When the Vampire Diaries stars aren’t filming, what do they miss most about the set?

A fan sent that Twitter question in to EW’s Sandra Gonzalez, and Paul Wesley definitely had the best answer.

“I miss gazing into those eyes,” Wesley said while staring lovingly at co-star Ian Somerhalder, who even has a Photoshopped pic of the bros holding hands on his iPhone case.

For more Vampire fun, check out the video below:
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'The Vampire Diaries' at Comic-Con: The cast on Elena and Damon, the big 100th episode, and college plans

The Project: The Vampire Diaries

The Panel: Nina Dobrev (Elena), Ian Somerhalder (Damon), Paul Wesley (Stefan), Kat Graham (Bonnie), Candice Accola (Caroline Forbes), Caroline Dries (writer), Julie Plec (Executive Producer), moderated by Debra Birnbaum

Footage Screened: Before the panel began, the audience got a three-part recap of the past four seasons, with one focusing on the most recent and Silas. The others played as a kind of “best of” compilation of Elena and Stefan, and Elena and Damon. It got pretty sexy.

Snap Judgment: The people have spoken screamed and Damon is the vampire of choice. Somerhalder even pulled out a chair for Executive Producer Julie Plec when she came to join the panel and then gave her and Kat Graham kisses on the cheek. Smooth fellow. But overall, things seem to be in transition in The Vampire Diaries universe, and everyone is getting their footing in these new settings and relationships. Somerhalder said of Elena’s choice, “I thought they were joking. Damon never gets the girl. It’s always Stefan.” Wesley quickly chimed in: “Don’t underplay your sexy blue eyes. Don’t downplay the Smolder-halder.” Then, Wesley added with a laugh, “Enjoy it buddy. I did it for three years.”
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'Vampire Diaries' finale postmortem: EP Julie Plec on the cure, the Silas twist, Bonnie's future

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched The Vampire Diaries season finale, stop reading now. Exec producer Julie Plec talked to us about who was originally going to get the cure, how long that Silas twist was in the works, and how much of Bonnie we’ll be seeing next season… READ FULL STORY

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