Vampire Diaries Director Paul Wesley on Caroline Replacing Elena, Sheriff Forbes' Future and Losing Jeremy

Vampire Diaries Spoilers

The Vampire Diaries returns from winter break Thursday (The CW, 8/7) and second-time director Paul Wesley promises three things: “dynamic” action, a major Forbes family moment and an “oh, s—t” final twist he’s, honestly, pretty proud of.

“I loved the last episode I directed, but I actually prefer this episode,” Wesley says, referring to “Resident Evil,” Season 5’s what-if hour. “It was a different energy, it was nostalgic and very slow. There’s something about the pacing of this next one that makes it really engaging.”

Read on for our full Q&A with Wesley, which touches upon — among other developments — the director’s favorite moment from tonight’s episode, his thoughts about Caroline essentially becoming Elena’s replacement in Stefan’s life and how he feels about losing Steven R. McQueen at the end of the season.

TVLINE | How is it decided which episode you’re going to direct? The last one was pretty Stefan-heavy, which must have been difficult.
We don’t get the scripts until maybe two weeks before we film — sometimes it’s more like the day before — and I think they arbitrarily choose an episode number, depending on director availability. When they go to write that episode, they keep in mind that I’m directing it, so they try not to make it Stefan-heavy. This particular episode coming up is certainly not Stefan-heavy, but it’s also not Stefan-light, because he is one of the main characters. There are other characters, like Caroline, Sheriff Forbes, Kai and Elena, whose workloads are much more heavy than mine.

TVLINE | What was the biggest change between your first time directing and this one?
People came up to me this time and said, “You’re so relaxed and calm.” I was really nervous my first time, and while I still had some jitters this time around, it was much easier. I knew what I wanted to do and I knew what everyone was capable of. You share your vision and you trust a lot of people; you can’t try to micro-manage everything. It’s really important for directors to let people do the jobs they’re good at, which is something I learned.

Vampire Diaries SpoilersTVLINE | Which actor surprised you the most as a director this time?
It’s interesting to work with guest stars or recurring actors because they haven’t been on the show for six years, so they can surprise you. They make you go, “Oh! I didn’t expect you to say your line that way.” The series regulars, including myself, all have a cadence and a disposition that we’ve assigned to our characters. … Chris Wood is so good in my episode. He really is so great, the perfect blend of dark humor and true danger, just a really talented guy. Candice Accola and Marguerite MacIntyre also really nailed it in this episode. They’ve got some great stuff.

TVLINE | Is there a specific scene you’re excited for us to see?
There’s a scene at the end of the episode, the final sequence, and it really puts my episode on the map in terms of having an effect. It’s really effecting. I don’t want to reveal what happens, but it’s a scene that has a really interesting twist and leaves you going, “Oh, s—t!”

TVLINE | What would you say Stefan’s main focus is right now?
In a weird way, his main focus is Caroline. That’s sort of been his M.O. lately. She’s sort of a huge part of his life now as a friend. Stefan and Elena were so inseparable, bonded, etc., and Caroline and Stefan are now sort of the duo. Everything he does revolves around Caroline at this point.

TVLINE | You’ve always been a big supporter of Stefan and Caroline’s relationship. Why do you think they work well together?
Honestly, I’m just a fan of Stefan doing anything unexpected. I’m a fan of any character that does something people would find uncharacteristic of them, but not something arbitrary just for the sake of being arbitrary. Our characters are vampires, they’re hundreds of years old and I just think Stefan should remember that he’s an old soul who can do crazy things once in a while. The minute a character becomes predictable, it becomes a little boring.

Vampire Diaries SpoilersTVLINE | Stefan’s fake proposal to Elena earlier this season was definitely unpredictable. Is the door still open for those two?
I’m telling you, all it takes is one shift in writing. All it takes is one intelligently shifted moment or new storyline to sort of diverge and — boom! — we’re back on the Stefan and Elena train. I have no idea what the writers are doing or planning on doing or if that’s something they’re even interested in, but I wouldn’t eliminate anything from the equation.

TVLINE | Lastly, how do you feel about losing Jeremy — and Steven R. McQueen as a series regular — next year?
It’s weird. We’ve gone through this before, but certainly not in Season 6. I love Steven. He’s such a sweet and nice and kind kid. Of course it’s sad, you know, but he’s a young actor, we’re in Season 6 and I’m excited to see what he does next.

How are you hoping Elena and Caroline factor into Stefan’s future? Do you think the vamps will find a way to save Sheriff Forbes? And will you miss Jeremy/McQueen next season? Drop a comment with all of your thoughts below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Nara says:

    Steroline is so forced. Killing her mother to make a ship happen is the worst

    • Reena says:

      So true. I don’t see any chemistry between them.

      • Guest says:

        With Elena everything felt forced: his cruch, her love, his angst, her boredom with him and following cheating on him with his own brother. It was the standard recipe for predictable melodrama.
        With Caroline, it does feel more organic: Stefan cares about something other than how pretty she is, Caroline genuinely cares about him and not how he makes her feel, neither is trying to gain attention by flirting on the other’s best friend/sibling. Unlike Elena, Caroline actually has eyes only for Stefan. Like anyone that has been unceremoniously dumped, Stefan truly does have self-steem issues, they actually support one another like a genuine couple would.

        • Guest says:

          *crush, not cruch

        • Amanda says:

          Shes been with like every guy on the show…Caroline is fake period and seems to fall for everyone… She was so in love with Tyler after dating Matt and what happened to that? she slept with Clause and Tyler got mad and it was like “oh well, I can bat my eyelashes at the next man” I mean seriously the writers try to make her character interesting but really shes always been as annoying as Elena is now. Lets not forget she slept with Damon…Time for the next Salvatore brother though am I right? please Caroline and Stephan are so forced and gross that the only people I see actually shipping them are the whining Delena fans… “OMG Damon is so hot! who cares if the relationship is dysfunctional and Damon kills Elena’s brother every once and a while! He is so the better brother!” Give me a break….

          • Jessica says:

            I soo agree!

          • Elizabeth says:

            Agree 100% oh he challenges her don’t give me that carp! He has killed her brother kidnapped him almost killed her in the first season. He only wanted elena when.Katherine was out of the picture. He is a bad guy and not for Elena the wrighters screwed up. Elena would not change this much just because she is vampire. No one else did. Who you are is magnified. She should.have.become even.more loving and caring

          • Jordan says:

            Don’t think so I actully loved stefan and elena better because stefan doesn’t go on a killing spiral everyone he gets turned down or gets mad stefan is the better choice

        • Elizabeth says:

          I have always wanted elena with Stefan but the person she has become makes Stefan to good for her. Unless she becomes human again and comes to her senses I want Stefan happy. But I just don’t feel the chemistry between Caroline and Stefan. I want elena back to normal in love with Stefan

        • Jennifer says:

          Like Caroline Had Eyes For Tyler Only, Caroline Is As Scandalous As Much As Elena Is.. My Opinion Is That Elena And Stephan Should Be Together

      • jae says:

        I agree 100%

    • madge says:

      My thoughts exactly!

    • Lindy says:

      They r boring together..

    • Caterina says:

      I agree 100%. I say if Stefan would see Caroline more than a friend they would of been in a relationship a long time ago. My opinion is tat they suld put back Stefan/Elena and now tat Jeremy is lving it suld be Damon/Bonnie

      • Jola says:

        OH GOD BLESS YOU, GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE. The best thing will be Elena/Stefan and Damon/Bonnie seeing as Jeremy is Leaving the show. The whole time Damon Spent with Bonnie makes it a classic way for them to be together. They have been forcing the Elena/Damon thing from the start tbh. And if they do it this way, they can spin the story for more seasons. Plus its going to be very shocking seeing as Damon/Bonnie will be such an unexpected couple everyone will definitely have a comment about. Now that’s the way to good TV.

        • Joey1013 says:

          Well the minds are not working well. Damon and Elena best couple in VD. They are final item in books as it was meant by creator Smith.

        • Jessica says:


        • Elizabeth says:

          I know show is losing ratings they need to do something big. Not have Caroline screw the last guy left. And they need time for damon to get.over elena. Elena should become human again and without memories fall in love with Stefan for good. Have Caroline get.mad at her.

    • Jessica says:

      I agree!

  2. I find Stefan’s storyline with Caroline really predictable, boring and not exciting: with Elena, he was different, ALIVE. Now he is like a dead character.
    Stelena was never forced like steroline: making steroline happening because of Liz’s death is disgusting.

    • Letti says:

      Agreed so much. With Elena he had something, he’ll never have with Caroline. And to kill her mom for that…no comment. But hey, anything to please Delena fans.

    • ec says:

      I find the opposite true – with Elena, Stefan seemed boring, droopy, sad. When he started having more scenes with Caroline, it was an “Ohhhh, he knows how to smile?” moment. I’ve been yelling “Make out already!” when they’re on the screen together at the TV since season 2, so it doesn’t feel forced to me. To each his own.

      As for anything on the show being ‘disgusting’, I mean it’s the Vampire Diaries – I don’t think it can be taken *too* seriously. At it’s best, there were still at least 7 unintentional laugh-out-loud moments per episode (more if you have wine handy).

      • DF says:

        I feel exactly the same way! Ever since Stefan has been with Caroline, he’s happy. He actually laughs, I only saw that once in a blue moon with Elena, and Damon makes Elena more alive. I feel Delena and Steroline just work.

      • anonymousz says:

        I’m a stelena shipper but I totally agree with you.

    • Jana Moraes says:

      Só li verdades. Ainda acredito que Stefan e Elena possam ficar juntos e serem um casal perfeito como eram, a química entre eles é muito bonita e os atores estão de parabéns…

    • Jordan says:

      True true and true I agree completely never break the bond with stefan and elena . Damon will never be the person elena wants him to be never ever he kills sooooo many INNOCENT people . And in the beginning I thought it was a little sad that jenna died but before the other side went away wouldn’t elena see jenna because she was a vampire ?

  3. Cas says:

    I had no idea Jeremy was leaving. I’m sure they will kill him off.

  4. Amy says:

    STEROLINE STEROLINE STEROLINE. I LOVE THEM. And you know a ship is good when it brings out the haters from rival ships, ha ha! :DDD

  5. Ican’t wait to se Steroline happening <33 my otp is the best for each other

  6. Allison says:

    Stelena forever.

  7. Jules says:

    Great interview. Stefan is my favourite character and I definitely want him with Caroline! I did really love him with Elena seasons 1-start of 4 but I think it would be weed if they got back together. Rooting for him and Caroline! And my friends are too.

  8. Oh my god the show had better not let us down with Steroline, I didn’t have high hopes when the season began but I have been loving every second we’ve gotten so far!!! *crosses fingers and toes that it keeps going that way*

  9. Cathe says:

    McQueen should have a good career ahead of him and will be missed. Stefan and Caroline… opposites attract? I can see where he would like her honesty and be amused by her actions, but I still miss her lighting up Klaus’s eyes. They were just so teaseingly cute together.

  10. Nicole says:

    Say what you want, but Caroline will never replace Elena for Stefan. You don’t love someone the way Stefan loves Elena & then just somehow jump onto her best friend a few months later..

    • Guest says:

      Lets face it, no man can endure what Stefan did and not be repulsed by someone like Elena. The fantasy that he could even forgive something such as what Elena did with Damon is ridiculous. Caroline is not replacing anyone, Elena ruined her own place in Stefan’s life long before Stefan dared himself to believe that someone like Caroline could lay eyes on him.

    • N2 says:

      Tell that to Elena who VERY QUICKLY jumped onto Damon who I would say is Stefan’s best friend.. being brothers and all

  11. Dmac says:

    I am kind of surprised that he is very careful on how her frames the Stefan/Caroline relationship. He stressed it was “as friends” and backed away from his former stance that they should be in a relationship, he deflected the question like a pro. I know there are some on this site who are passinate Steroline fans, but from what I have been hearing it is going to stay “best friends” and I don’t have a problem with that. Caroline’s story should not always be defined by her love life and not every relationship has to turn to love.

    • Allison says:

      Dude, yes. Caroline’s character seems to always be defined by her relationships with men. She has been with almost every character on the show. STAHP IT. The only male character she hasn’t been with (Jeremy) is leaving. They just need to let her be alone because by herself, she is a cool character.

      • Bird says:

        Actually, I’ve found it’s men the ones that seemed to be defined by their relationship with Caroline: Damon was deemed a monster because of what he did to her, Matt as a knight in shining armor because of the way he related to her, Tyler was a survivor so long as he was involved with her, Klaus was a suprisingly romantic during his interactions with her and now Stefan is downright suprising – if not unpredictable – in his interactions with her

  12. Brigid says:

    Stefan, Matt and Bonnie are the only 2 I can stomach on this show any more. I use to get so excited about watching this show before and now it isn’t must see anything.

  13. Daisy says:

    Steroline will happen because Caroline mom will die? Steroline seem so forced and to make that relationship happen just because Liz is dying? That is a very very low punch on the fans face. That is gross, shame on you writers to make that happen. Whatever happen to theTVD from Season 1 2 and 3? Nothing from there is left in the show now, not even one mii ounce. Everything start to fall apart the moment Elena was turn into a vampire, everything from there started to get worse and worse in the show

    • DF says:

      Honestly I don’t think that they’re going to kill Liz off, I feel that they’re going to spontaneously find a cure to the mistake Caroline made by feeding Liz her blood. I feel that Stefan willbe by her the whole time, bringing them closer romantically. It may feel forced but I don’t think Caroline will get with anyone until she knows her mom is okay or not.

  14. Jessica says:

    I can’t stand Steroline. It is so forced.

  15. Lia says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t see how Steroline makes Stefan unpredictable, if anything both Stefan and Caroline have become the most boring characters this season because of that romance

  16. bob says:

    Haha look at all the sers complaining you say Steroline is forced and se got together in the first ep they didnt become friends first and then date they just automatically got together. The other funny thing is do you forget SE’rs that stefan got together with elena after her parents died he was their for her just like he is for caroline. Also Sers shouldn’t call any one boring since they have that title. as always Se logic not found

  17. BrianR says:

    The most important thing is to get Nina and Candace in lingerie or a bikini as much as possible

  18. Lindy says:

    Second time directing.who knew! Anyway I guess it makes no difference really to the viewers who directs, but kudos to Paul and Ian for their directing gigs.
    Having said that Steroline is a snoozefest and its mind-numbingly boring and so predictable, Steroline can never be like Stefan and Elena. That’s a joke! How convenient that Caroline’s mum has to be terminally ill so as to bring these two closer. Steroline needs to just be killed off

  19. N says:

    I love Stefan and Caroline’s friendship however my greatest my greatest wish is to see Stefan and Elena back together again.

  20. DF says:

    I’m just being honest here, but I hated Stefan and Elena together since day one. I always routed for Damon when everyone else thought he was the “bad guy”. Maybe he is the bad guy but he brings out the best in Elena and she does the same to him. Without Elena, Damon would still be the monster he used to be, and without Damon, Elena would be with Stefan and not know true passion

  21. Skaddadle says:

    Am I the only one who actually misses Stelena and wants a reunion? lol. I kinda hope they are endgame even though i’m sure it wont go that way..

  22. Skaddadle says:

    And I actually will be really upset if Steroline happens. They just don’t do it for me. I liked Tyler and Caroline more and saw them as a wayyyy better couple for me. I guess Steroline has the brother sister vibe to me? Not sure what it is but they really really bother me as a couple.

  23. sum says:

    They should just kill off Elena.

  24. Jrd says:

    I totally agree with Daisy. The show has gone down hill ever since Elena became a vampire. It was more exciting and unpredictable when two vampire brothers were fighting over a human girl. It made both Stefan and Damon unpredictable. Stefan and Elena seemed like the real deal. Elena is not the same character now that she’s with Damon. Stefan and Caroline are a bore fest! Stop it fast. The show unfortunately has taken a downward spiral from the first few seasons.

  25. stephana says:

    I love steroline i think they are perfect, I don’t know what it is but its always more exciting watching them together than it was watching stelena…

  26. Lies says:

    Well sadly for the show, the writers will never let delena go, there are so many people who want stelena and bamon and klaroline to happen, but delena’s fanbase is to big so they will stay together, and that means that steroline will also be together because they don’t know what to do else with stefan. It’s a shame that a show that was so good has become something so different.

  27. forever stefan says:

    Stefan needs someone new or rebekah. It wouldnt be right for stelena to reunite.klaroline is better and should be further explored.delena has become such a bore. bonnie and stefan would be a welcomed suprise since they dont really know what to do with them.saving elena is so boring can they move on from that now.alaric seems to be my only reason for watching. Ty needs a better role and so does matt

  28. Christie says:

    Me and my friends are against steroline happening romantically they are better off best friends. Stefan will never love Caroline the way he loves elena plus I heard ian might leave the show.

  29. Linda Milazzo says:

    I would rather see Caroline and Enzo fall for each other!! From the past episodes they spent together were comical and sexy together!! Caroline brings out the best in Enzo! They are funny together!

  30. H swartz says:

    how is it possible that caroline become elena? Is it really end for dalena only chemistry in show. Hope damon and bonny not for ever.

  31. MIK says:

    Always liked Jeremy ,but they sort of wrote him out a while ago!

  32. Jonah peter says:

    Well,what i have in mine is this.since stefan and caroline are getting more likely to each other,i think it be will likely for damon to be part of this new season so that him and elena will get in touch again in this season..damon is my favourite and i am his fan,so i will really like to see him take part in this season

  33. Rachael says:

    I think its great I love Caroline and Stefan. Carolines wanted him from the start and shes finally going (hopefully) to get him its romantic I hope their together in the end. End game so cute I am looking foward to them developing more together. I think there is lots of chemistry they seem so shy and embarrassed when there caught looking at each other its cute love they are my favourite characters and hopefully they will both find some happiness together, they deserve it. Just my opinion :)

  34. Colleen says:

    please let Stefan and Caroline become a major super couple pls. Let Bonnie come back from the other world and maybe have a relationship with bad boy witch Kai Parker. Now that would be exciting.

  35. Niaain says:

    i want stephen and elena together.

  36. I don’t watch the show as much as I was but I think Stefan and Caroline’s story is incredibly forced. I guess it’s true that Stefan has smiled around Caroline but it’s more like “friendship smile”, like when he’s with Lexi — a true friendship.

  37. Jonah peter says:

    I really get it,.yeah stefan and caroline will make a grt couple..bonnie should return nd b with d bad guy kai..and nv forget abt damon and elena,they are just perfect to be together,.i f it should be like i say,then the show will be interested as it was.

  38. Jessica Duran says:

    I’ve watched the show since season 1 started and only continue to watch it in hopes that Stefan and Elena would get back together. Damon and Elena just don’t seem right together. Sadly, I probably wouldn’t watch much more of it cause their relationship isn’t ver exciting to me. Team Stefan all the way!

    • Jordan says:

      True Stephen is the better brother he’s caring and amazing while Damon he can be really sweet but he doesn’t know how to handle anger as well as Stephen he has no control whatsoever I hate the idea of Caroline and stepfan together why stephan is mentioned to be with elena and it will always be elena sorry Damon h 2 just don’t work together your a murderer and she’s a sad girl who really doesn’t need you to give her a hard time and maybe even tell Jeremy he will kill him AGAIN

  39. Jonah peter says:

    With damon,elena finds true love,if stefan and elena should be together,then what abt damon,we all knw that if elena is leave damon,then i dnt think the show will be worth to be watched..yeah i like the idea of stefan and caroline,the bth of them will make a romantic and perfect couple…

  40. vanessa says:

    I never even knew this show existed until about 3 months ago, therefore I Netflixed the ENTIRE series 1-5 in about a months time or less. It was highly addictive up until season 4. Sadly it’s taken a turn for the WORST lately. I really don’t know if I will continue watching if it keeps going in this direction. I find myself falling asleep or finding more exciting stuff to watch instead. Steroline is definitely 2 DULL.. Delena is played out…. losing Jeremy is stupid and Matt, Tyler, Alaric need more lines in the script! Ohhh and they REALLY REALLY REALLY need to bring back the ORIGINALS to this show for at least a few more episodes to breathe life back into this lame story line! A.S.A.P. please cuz for reals your about to lose another viewer real soon. I don’t see this show lasting past season 7 (if that). On that note Goodnight all.

  41. Nofan says:

    I’m surprised that some fans still want Stefan and Elena together after she moved on with his BROTHER. Fictional character or not, would you really still pine for this girl? Would you even want her back?

  42. mira says:

    I totally love stefan and caroline together. Besides how can stefan go back to elena who left him…she ruined her chance with him. Stefan needs someone new. He just seemed so pathetic after elena left him.

  43. Violetta says:

    Soo true stefoline Stefan+Caroline delina Damon+ Elina =❤️What do you guys think above this?, if Stefan and Damon ever had seen Elina what would elena’s and her brothers life look like?

  44. IMO says:

    At the beginning of the series I would have bet $1,000 that Stelena was end game. Even when she became a vampire and got with Damon, I was still so sure. I feel like they kinda changed their mind halfway through but I guess that happens in real life a lot too so why not? In the end I am glad it’s Caroline and Stefan getting together because I grow reeeeeeally tired of Elena and how everyone is so obsessed with her. Bout time Caroline gets a great guy and about time Stefan gets a girl that will be all about him. Love it! But I am annoyed that all of a sudden Damon is the most important character. I miss Sefan! I feel like he’s been sidelined as a supporting character. And why is he so dull lately?

  45. estella says:

    I was hoping Stafen and elena would get back together

  46. sara says:

    I use to love lifetime now it sucks..I was gald they were doing something new The Client List and then witches of East we have little women of La.intervention, hoarders , killer kids for real this stuff supposed to get more viewers then witches of East End please give me a break

  47. justask says:

    Steroline is so cheasy and fake, horrible writing, no chemistry. It does look like they realize that by Damon telling him to end It. Enzo should have been written off eons ago. . No one cares about his obsession vendetta.

  48. coco says:

    No chemistry between Caroline and Stefan more like siblings kinda not right to see them kiss. Elana snd Damon are so old Elana should have stayed with Stefan they had so much chemistry! The whole Elana and Damon thing has been so old! She should move on!

    • Jordan Taylor says:

      I completely agree. Even though in season 1 Caroline had a crush on Stephan I think her and Clous should be together. Stephan and Elena were so intense and they were perfect together and Stephan was happy and they wanted to protect eachother! I feel as Damon is only using Elena to make her into what she is not, which is Katherine. He is making Elena be the Katharine that he wanted, the one that will be iN love with him. Damon shouldn’t be with Elena it’s just like lust between them two, and he should be with Bonnie…

  49. Divine says:

    Honestly i think stefan should be with elena there just good together but with Damon no way! And yeah Damon and Bonnie should be together on the other hand caroline should be with klaus since he adores her!

  50. adiadiadiadi says:

    I love caroline, i love steroline