Things are often pretty grim on The Vampire Diaries, but behind the scenes, things are definitely a bit nuttier.

Case in point? Ian Somerhalder, who plays bad boy vampire Damon, recently pulled a naughty prank on real-life love Nina Dobrev when they filmed the opening scene for the series' third season.

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"I'd spent almost two days on set completely naked, which is kinda awesome, because as if I wasn't close enough to our crew members, I feel really close after that," he tells Entertainment Weekly.

Before Somerhalder was scheduled to begin shooting with Dobrev, 22, an assistant director suggested he visit a prop master to make elephant ears.

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"The first thing we see is Nina's reaction, so what if I was completely naked and we had elephant ears and double-stick tape, and I put them on each of my thighs, and ultimately, she would be staring at a very small, young elephant," Somerhalder, 32, explains.

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"The reaction that we got was f--king amazing," he laughs. "I hope and pray that that is what we used in the edit because it was such a natural  'Ohmygod!' reaction."

The Vampire Diaries premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.

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