'The Vampire Diaries' Steven R. McQueen: Carrying grandfather's famous name is 'a little fuel in the fire'

tvd-mcqueen-vanityfair.jpgWhen I caught up with "The Vampire Diaries" star Steven R. McQueen at New York Comic-Con this October, he'd just come from a photo shoot for Vanity Fair magazine on a beach outside the city. Now, the resulting photo - and the interview with it - have finally been released.

Vanity Fair, which refers to "The Vampire Diaries" as a "naughty mix of 'Twilight' and 'Gossip Girl'" profiles the actor in relation to his very famous grandfather... yes, that Steve McQueen.

Steven says that playing Jeremy Gilbert has been a "therapeutic" experience. He spent most of his childhood on the move, living with his mom and his stepfather, Luc Robitaille, a pro hockey player.

"When we were living in Detroit, I had a real lack of direction," Steven tells the mag. "I started watching movies all day long."

Though he never met his grandfather, Steven still got to enjoy him through movies like "The Great Escape" and "Bullit." Of course, when he decided to move to Los Angeles and take acting classes, it wasn't all about following in his family's footsteps. "I watched my grandfather's projects with admiration and looked up to him, but at the end of the day you have to be true to what's inside," he says.

According to the mag, Steven was up for roles on both "The Vampire Diaries" and the short-lived new version of "Melrose Place."

Lucky for us -- and for him -- he chose wisely. He decided to play Jeremy because the angsty teen was "as messed up as possible in the head" - which appealed to Steven.

As for his grandfather, Steven says he's lucky that there's a generation gap between their fans, because he doesn't have to bear the pressure of the comparison too much. "More than anything it's a little fuel in the fire," he says.
Photo/Video credit: Vanity Fair