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Paul Wesley Says He ‘Totally Clashed’ With Vampire Diaries Co-Star Nina Dobrev

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Even longtime Delena shippers know that the onscreen chemistry between Stefan and Elena in The Vampire Diaries was undeniable. And although Paul Wesley and Nina Dobrev‘s acting was so convincing that it had die-hard fans of the series wondering if they were dating in real life, Wesley revealed on Thursday (August 1) that it was actually quite the opposite. As it turns out, the co-stars didn’t get along at all for the first several years of filming—something Dobrev opened up about for the first time in a podcast this past June.

When asked about Dobrev’s recent comments regarding their rocky friendship at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Wesley completely agreed with the actress. “I think the point that Nina was making, and I’ll totally back her up on this, is that we totally clashed [the] first couple years in terms of just getting on each other’s nerves, and then developed this wonderful friendship,” he said, according to Us Weekly. “So it’s like this nice, happy ending.”

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But of course, it took Wesley and Dobrev a while to get to the place they’re at now. And Wesley believes that much of the reason the two didn’t get along at first was likely because of all the time they spent together. “I think sometimes when people work together nonstop, do press nonstop for years and years on end, you’re just—you don’t appreciate the person that’s in front of you. You’re like, ‘Oh, you know, I’m exhausted and tired.’ And I think now, it’s such a nice sort of story because we’re such good friends now,” he said.

Overall, Wesley said he learned an important lesson, which is that your opinions of people can completely change over time—so much so that he and Dobrev now “hang out all the time” and he texts her “at least once a week.” “I think it was a cool lesson to learn. It’s like the people that kind of maybe you don’t get along with in the beginning later surprise you, and I think a lot of my friendships are like that.”

Wesley and Dobrev’s renewed appreciation for one another definitely came as a surprise to them both. On the “Directionally Challenged” podcast in June, Dobrev said, “Paul and I didn’t get along at the beginning of the show. I respected Paul Wesley, I didn’t like Paul Wesley.” Still, many fans believed there was a romantic spark between the two. “Everyone thought that we had such good chemistry. I realize now that there’s a fine line between love and hate and we despised each other so much that it read as love but … We really just didn’t get along the first five months of shooting.”

Fortunately, both actors are now singing an entirely different tune, and after all that drama, the two now consider themselves to be the closest friendship of the whole cast. “We ended up getting to a good place and it was fine,” she said. “Of everyone, I think I probably see him the most and hang out with him the most. We’re probably the closest. We hang out a lot. We’re really good friends. I love his wife. It’s so funny how time changes everything because I never thought he would be one of my best friends.”