It's the television series that brought us one of pop culture's most polarizing love triangles. Whether you shipped Stelena or Delena, one thing is indisputable: "The Vampire Diaries" was a show alway worth watching! To celebrate star Ian Somerhalder's 43rd birthday on Dec. 8, 2021, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at what he and the rest of the stars of "TVD" have been up to since the hit supernatural teen series came to an end in 2017.
Let's start with the man of the day…
Ian Somerhalder portrayed bad boy vampire Damon Salvatore, who's initially recognized for his manipulative and self-serving ways.
Following the show's conclusion in 2017, Ian Somerhalder starred on the short-lived 2019 sci-fi anthology series "V Wars" based on the Jonathan Maberry comic book series of the same name. In 2020, he appeared in (and executive produced) the Woody Harrelson-narrated documentary "Kiss the Ground," which discusses a "new, old approach" to farming referred to as "regenerative agriculture." That same year, he launched Brother's Bond Bourbon with former co-star Paul Wesley, a drink inspired by their long friendship. Aw! Ian, who previously dated "TVD" co-star Nina Dobrev, married actress Nikki Reed in 2015. They have a daughter, Bodhi Soleil.
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Elena Gilbert, the show's leading lady, was portrayed by Nina Dobrev. Elena falls in love with sympathetic, brooding vamp Stefan Salvatore before eventually developing feelings for his brother, Damon. Of course, this wasn't the only character she played… Nina also portrayed Katherine Pierce, a vampire and former love interest of the Salvatore brothers.
After leaving the series in 2015 — she returned as a guest star in 2017 — Nina Dobrev appeared in a handful of films including "Flatliners," "XXX: Return of Xander Cage," "Then Came You" and "Lucky Day." The Canadian actress's most recent flick, the Netflix holiday romantic comedy "Love Hard," hit the streamer in 2021. She has three movies on the way: "Redeeming Love," "Sick Girl" and "Reunion." Nina — who split from "TVD" co-star Ian Somerhalder in 2013 — dated actors Austin Stowell and Glen Powell and screenwriter Grant Mellon after leaving the show and got together with pro snowboarder Shaun White in 2020.
Paul Wesley played Stefan Salvatore, Damon's kind-hearted polar-opposite vampire brother.
From 2018 to 2020, Paul Wesley starred on the psychological anthology series "Tell Me a Story," which reimagined classic fairy tales (like "Beauty and the Beast," for instance) as dark present-day thrillers. Paul ventured into the alcohol biz in 2020 when he and his former "TVD" co-star Ian Somerhalder founded Brother's Bond Bourbon. In 2021, he appeared in the horror-comedy flick "Killer Movie: Director's Cut" alongside ex-wife Torrey DeVitto (whom he divorced in 2013). Paul, who will next appear in the 2022 miniseries "Flowers in the Attic: The Origin," took his second trip down the aisle in 2019 with Ines de Ramon following a four-year romance with actress Phoebe Tonkin.
Kat Graham took on the role of Bonnie Bennett, Elena's best friend who evolves into a powerful witch.
Soon after the conclusion of "The Vampire Diaries," Kat Graham tried her hand at voice acting, playing reporter April O'Neil on Nickelodeon's "Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" from 2018 to 2020. In 2020, she began voicing Rhythm & Blues on the "Trolls: TrollsTopia" animated series and starred in three films: "Emperor," "Cut Throat City" and Netflix's "Operation Christmas Drop." She'll next appear in the 2022 romantic comedy "Love in the Villa." Kat and Darren Genet, a cinematographer on "The Vampire Diaries," took their romance public in 2020.
Caroline Forbes — Elena and Bonnie's close friend — was portrayed by Candice King (née Accola). While she's initially envious of Elena, after turning into a vampire, she becomes more compassionate and self-assured.
After "The Vampire Diaries" came to an end, Candice King reprised her role as Caroline Forbes on the fifth season of "The Originals" in 2018. In 2020, the actress — who married The Fray musician Joe King in 2014 and went on to welcome two kids — appeared in the romantic drama "After We Collided." Since 2018, she's co-hosted the podcast "Directionally Challenged" with her former "TVD" co-star Kayla Ewell.
Joseph Morgan portrayed Klaus Mikaelson, an Original Vampire who, while in Mystic Falls to assemble "hybrids," ends up falling in love with Caroline.
He'll always be Klaus to us! After departing "TVD" in 2016, Joseph Morgan went on to star on the spinoff series "The Originals" until its end in 2018. A year later in 2019, he landed a recurring role on the critically acclaimed drama series "Animal Kingdom." Joseph, who's been married to actress-singer Persia White since 2014, also starred on the short-lived Peacock sci-fi series "Brave New World" in 2020.
Steven R. McQueen played Jeremy Gilbert, Elena's younger brother who becomes a vampire hunter. He's also Bonnie's love interest.
Steven R. McQueen left "The Vampire Diaries" in 2015 and returned for an episode during the show's eighth and final season in 2017. He also reprised his role as Jeremy Gilbert on a 2018 episode of "Legacies." The actor — who's the grandson of "King of Cool" actor Steve McQueen — starred on "Chicago Fire" from 2015 to 2016. He also appeared in the 2020 movie "The Warrant." In 2018, he announced his engagement to model Alexandra Silva, though they split later the same year.
Matt Donovan, Elena's longtime friend and ex-boyfriend who eventually dates Caroline, was played by Zach Roerig.
Zach Roerig reprised his role as Matt Donovan on two episodes of "Legacies" in 2018. From 2019 to 2020, he starred on the single-season teen drama series "Dare Me," which was based on the Megan Abbott novel of the same name. Unfortunately, Zach had a run in with the law in 2020 and was charged with DUI in his hometown of Montpelier, Ohio. He made his return to the screen in 2021 when he starred in the television holiday movie "A Christmas to Savour."
Kayla Ewell portrayed Vicki Donovan, Matt's troubled older sister. She meets an early end at the hands of Stefan after she's turned into a vampire by Damon.
Though she initially left in 2011, Kayla Ewell still made appearances on "TVD" — she had a recurring role in 2014 — until its conclusion in 2017. After guest starring on several shows, Kayla landed a starring role on the YouTube Red comedy series "Me and My Grandma" in 2017. Since 2019, she's portrayed Nora Truman (alongside former "TVD" co-star Michael Trevino) on The CW's "Roswell, New Mexico." She also appeared on an episode of "Batwoman" in 2021. Kayla, who co-hosts the podcast "Directionally Challenged" with Candice King, has been married to her "Roswell, New Mexico" co-star Tanner Novlan, with whom she shares daughter Poppy Marie, since 2015.
Michael Trevino portrayed charming werewolf (later, "hybrid") Tyler Lockwood, who's Matt and Jeremy's best friend.
In 2019, Michael Trevino made his return to the small screen on The CW's "Roswell, New Mexico," which was renewed for a fourth season in 2021. In 2020, he took to Instagram to celebrate his one-year anniversary with model Bregje Heinen.
Matt Davis played heroic Alaric Saltzman, a vampire hunter who's Elena's history teacher. He was romantically involved with her late Aunt Jenna.
The only actor from "The Vampire Diaries" who, thankfully, hasn't left the universe? Matt Davis, who has continued to portray Alaric Saltzman on "Legacies" since its debut in 2018. In 2019, Matt ventured into the world of Hallmark Channel movies when he co-starred in "Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses." He's also a happily married man! In 2018, Matt wed actress Kiley Casciano. They welcomed a daughter in 2020.
Rebekah Mikaelson, Klaus's loyal younger sister, was portrayed by Claire Holt.
From 2013 to 2018, Claire Holt reprised her role as Rebekah Mikaelson on "The Originals." She went on to appear on an episode of "Legacies" in 2021. She also starred on the short-lived NBC period drama "Aquarius," which ran from 2015 to 2016. Claire married second husband Andrew Joblon in 2018. They share two children: a son, who was born in 2019, and a daughter, who was born in 2020.