TVLine's Performer of the Week: Nina Dobrev

tvddobrevA weekly feature in which we spotlight a shining star


THE SHOW | The Vampire Diaries (The CW)

THE EPISODE | “Stand By Me”

THE AIRDATE | Feb. 21, 2013

THE PERFORMANCE | Dobrev was fantastic from the start of the episode, but when a trembling Elena lifted the blanket covering her dead brother’s face, she went for broke, rolling out what would be a tour de force display of acting. Just like that, you could see the tiny cracks in Elena’s facade give way to the emotions she’d been trying to keep out.

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“He’s dead! And he’s been dead this entire time, and I…. How long has he smelled like that?!” she cried, covering her face at the horrifying and shameful realization that she’d been so in denial, she had let Jeremy decay.

With nothing left to lose, Elena presented her shocking plan to burn down the house with Jer’s body in it, as a cover story. Without abandon, Dobrev took her character to the edge as Elena swept through the rooms, ready to destroy her childhood home and the memories of those she’s loved and lost, in a manner so reckless and wild, Caroline yelled that she was scaring her.

What followed was gut-wrenching. Unable to cope with her magnified grief, Elena collapsed to her knees. “It hurts. It hurts. Just make it stop. Please make it stop. It hurts,” she pleaded. The pain behind Dobrev’s sobs was so palpable, it felt like they were coming from the innermost part of her soul.

Then, the scene that was so captivating it made us temporarily forget to breathe: When Damon told Elena to turn off her humanity, Dobrev’s eyes ever-so-subtly, but powerfully, went blank. To see the actress go from feeling everything (and too much of it) to not feeling at all was impressive. Yet by going void of emotion, Dobrev made us feel oh so many things, including empathy, despair for all that’s been lost and, most of all, awe at her ability.

What performance knocked your socks off this week?

Comments (114)

  • Her performance was natural,spontaneous and heartbreaking I wanted to hug her . Nina dobrev is amazing.

    Comment by Marina – February 23, 2013 05:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She was awesome. But now that she has no humanity, can she please go hook up with Elijah?

    Comment by Amber – February 23, 2013 08:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You must not watch Castle, otherwise Nathan Fillion’s performance of a Dad desperate to get his daughter back would have taken over your column this week.

    Honestly- at least give him an honorable mention.

    Comment by Ag – February 24, 2013 05:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nathan Fillion is this past week’s Castle episode was flawless. The end. I can’t even handle the soap opera/boring drama that is TVD so I have no way to compare but I’m sure he out acted Nina Beautiful-Hair

    Comment by Rachel – February 24, 2013 10:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love TVD but my vote for performer of the week goes to Charlie McDermott of The Middle. Axel discovering his sister and friend want to date….priceless, hysterical, and well played.

    Comment by ldj333 – February 24, 2013 10:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Unless you watch both shows you can’t compare.You can see in most posts that these people are biased.Fillion was pretty good,but I nearly spazzed with excitement watching Nina.And she was great in Perks of being a wallflower too.

    Comment by Shaun – February 24, 2013 11:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • yup nina definitely deserved this win i never cry when i watch TVD and this made me cry, i really felt for elena i was sobbing like a baby lol. It was so good i rewinded that scene like three times

    Comment by Jasmine Heard – February 24, 2013 12:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Love Castle and Vampire Diaries-but Nina was definitely the best this week! That episode was a sobber for those of us who love the show and she was amazing! That’s what we love about Vampire Diaries, they surprise us every week and they all did some great acting this week. Still can’t believe she burned the house down, I was almost as sad about that as losing Jeremy! Great job Nina!

    Comment by Ktmelt – February 24, 2013 01:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anyone else reminded of the Buffy episode “The Body” where they dealt with her mother’s corpse?

    Comment by Johnny Hooper – February 24, 2013 05:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I honestly cannot understand why people are hating Elena. (and the writers, and Nina’s acting) Nina was phenomenal this week, and I didn’t doubt for a second those were fake tears. (I only realised now reading these comments they were, since it’s acting)
    So why are y’all hating on Elena? Because she is (or now was) into damon? Cause she’s “Whiny”? Well of course she is whiny! she’s lost EVERYONE except her brother, and now she lost her brother. I dont see how you can be annoyed by her actions. Shes trying her best to live with the life shes got. And youre complainging about her being whiny? Please someone who hates elena give me your perspective.

    Comment by kayla – February 24, 2013 10:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree with this entire statement.

      Comment by Kyra – February 25, 2013 11:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Apparently this was picked before Friday’s episode of Degrassi aired (which ironically, Nina came from). Demetrius Joyette (Dallas on the show) hands down gave Degrassi’s best performance of all time in Bitter Sweet Symphony Part 2. I can see this episode getting an Emmy nod!

    Comment by Master_K – February 25, 2013 12:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to add though that Nina was definitely second for the week! Amazing actress TVD FTW!

    Comment by Master_K – February 25, 2013 12:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree! Her acting performance was absolutely breathtaking! I could see and feel all the pain and she was so good that i cried like my own brother were dying! I can’t take it in words. We could see her acting performances geow and grow in every single episode and I don’t think it will stop growing in the next few years. Nina Dobrev is one of the actresses that will get many oscars in the next years of her life!
    I’m proud to say that I’m a DOBREVIC with all my heart!!!
    Nina you are awesome, let’s show the world!!!

    Comment by Noemi – February 25, 2013 01:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nina has always impressed me with the way she can play both Elena and Katharine and we can tell by a second or two which one she is, even when they don’t have different hair styles. She was great this week, but she’s better on weeks when Katharine is around. I do have to agree that Emily Van Camp should take the best of the week award for the scene in the raft.

    Comment by Wil – February 25, 2013 08:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think for this being her first real huge emotional scene in here entire career, she did extremely well. This was indeed the first episode I’ve cried so much through the whole thing. Kudos to Nina for being a wonderful up in coming actress.

    Comment by Kyra – February 25, 2013 11:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Actually I think her scene as Katherine losing her family was verry well done! and her scene when stephen threatened to drive off the bridge was very good. But yes this was first MAJOR emotional scene

      Comment by kayla – February 25, 2013 01:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She deserved it, it was unforgettable, I hadn’t been moved like that in a very long time. Loooved it!!

    Comment by Charmed – February 25, 2013 04:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wishing that the Emmys would notice this show (and the CW, at that)… her performance in this episode was divinely heartbreaking; I’d give her a nod based on this ep

    Comment by cc – February 27, 2013 08:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just read from Julie Plec that Episode 19 will be the prom and we will find out who’s with who then. She is not saying who Elena will be going with. The season finale will be the high school graduation. So hopefully by the end of the season, the sire bond/Silas story will be over and we will find out if Elena really loves Damon. I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything will work out for Delena and we may finally be able to move past the neverending love triangle.

    Comment by Cathy O. – February 28, 2013 02:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
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