It is CW day at the TV Critics Press Tour and the little-netlet-that-could is kicking the festivities off with their panel on "The Vampire Diaries"... which premieres September 10th.
9:19: We're watching a clip reel... very dramatic. Vampires are going to bring The CW a whole new level of success... maybe.
9:20: The lights are up. The cast is here. Except for Ian Somerhalder (aka "Lost"'s Boone). WTF?! OMFG.
9:20: "Degrassi" question for star (and "Degrassi" alum) Nina Dobrev. Such a great launching pad. She agrees.
9:21: Critic asks when this vampire thing is going to end. Producer Julie Plec says, hopefully not before September 10th. She gets laughs.
9:22: Critic asks "Elena"... um, her name is Nina (Dobrev)... who she'd choose if she had to pick between the two lead vamps (Paul Wesley and Boone). She dodges the question: "...They're both great guys, I'll tell you that." Sigh. Come on, one of 'em must be kind of a jerk... No? A little self-centered? Bad breath perhaps?
9:23: Have the cast members read the books upon which the series is based? They have. The show is trying to stick closely to the books, yet breathe new life into the characters.
9:24: Robert Pattinson question for Paul Wesley. RP is the prototype for this sort of role. What does he make of that? Wesley says he purposely didn't watch "Twilight" prior to shooting the pilot for "VD" (haha, "VD"... that ain't never gonna get old)... Anyhoo, he didn't watch it before shooting the pilot, because he didn't want it to influence his performance. No actor should base their performance on another actor's performance, he says. Wesley still hasn't seen "Twilight" in its entirety, but he likes what he has seen. Assumed it would be campier, but it's not. Dobrev likes it too, but makes a point to say "VD" is a totally different thing: "It's not 'Twilight,' it's not 'True Blood,' it's 'Vampire Diaries.'"
9:28: Vampire rip off question. Yes, the producers were worried about jumping into this genre that's already overdone. But they're doing it and will put their own spin on it hopefully.
9:30: Paul Wesley gets a "You're a young man, but playing a really, really old dude" question. It's cool, producer Kevin Williamson explains, because Wesley's a very old soul. Wesley adds that his character is experiencing love and all these new things that he's never had before, so his experience is genuine, not "pervy." Yeah, I think he said "pervy."
9:35: Kevin Williamson ("Dawson's Creek," "Scream") is apparently a big Twitter-er. Gets a question about all the stress he expresses via his tweets. Follow Kev on Twitter!
9:38: Atlanta question. Why are they shooting there? The pilot was shot in Vancouver, but Atlanta is being very competitive with their tax breaks. Plus, the show takes place in Virginia, their vamps fought in the civil war, so Atlanta gives them that nice, Southern, small town feel.
9:40: What's the big deal about vampires, anyway?, someone asks. Katerina Graham (the other sexy girl on the show) says it's the mystery. Dobrev says: "There's something about a man who lurks in the dark." Producer Julie Plec ("Kyle XY") likens the whole thing to characters like Jordan Catalano or Dylan McKay (I thoroughly approve of these choices): "You want to believe there's something going on behind those eyes," she says. "You want to believe there's epic soul and..." Shoot, I got distracted. But anyway, she said you want to believe there's all these amazing things behind those eyes. Things you don't usually get with, you know, real dudes. Amen, sister.
9:42: Kevin says, "Nina and I stopped Eric from 'True Blood' at Comic-Con." Sounds like they're big fans. Who isn't? Dobrev says Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) is really method though. Guess he wouldn't stop talking in a Southern accent when they met. Yeah, that's sort of weird. He's from like Sweden.
9:43: Oh, apparently the show doesn't do the whole crucifixes, garlic, mirrors thing. You do have to be invited in though, they're sticking to that vampire rule. Also, they've got this whole "The more they feed, the stronger they are as vampires" idea happening... and for the good vamp (Wesley), feeding on human blood is not really an option.
9:43: Now they're talking about something called "the verbane"... verbena? vervain? Shoot. I really need to do more research on this vampire business... They've segued into whether or not the town will knows what's up. Sounds like they will. Williamson talks about a new character, a new series regular who will step in in a few episodes, has an agenda of his own... Hmm, what hot piece of *%! is going to play this person?
9:44: Some critic wants to know if people still keep diaries. Good question. Do they? Katerina Graham does. Aww. Sweet.
9:45: Last question. Critic who called Nina "Elena" is told by CW comic, Paul McGuire, that he'll be allowed to ask it as long as he doesn't call Nina "Nancy". Laughs.
Oh well, the last question is actually for Williamson. What's the difference between working for The WB and The CW? Williamson doesn't say anything mean. Damn. He says it's an intimate experience, he does well in smaller environments, he's having a great time... That's awesome, but um, where is Boone???? In Atlanta, shooting, I know...
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VIDEO: 'Vampire Diaries' teaser