It's CW day at the TCA press tour, where panelists wearing sparkles abound. The network has spent the morning launching its new shows, starting with The Vampire Diaries and The Beautiful Life. Read on to learn more about the CW's take on models and vampires — and see lots of new photos of both shows.
- First, The Vampire Diaries: Not surprisingly, many of the questioners wanted to know why vampires are such a craze right now. Nina Dobrev, who plays the nonvampire Elena, probably had the line of the panel with her explanation: "There's something about a man who lurks in the dark." Co-creator Julie Plec added that you want to believe there's just a lot going on behind those deep, soulful vampire eyes — "and in real men, you don't often get that."
- Paul Wesley, who plays vampire brother Stefan, said he's seen Twilight but has tried to stay away from emulating the performances. "If there are similarities to Robert Pattinson's character in Twilight," he said, "So be it."
- Ian Somerhalder wasn't in Pasadena for the panel, so co-creator Kevin Williamson talked about his character — Stefan's brother Damon — in his absence. "He has an agenda, and it's big and it's huge and it goes beyond Elena," Williamson said. And contrary to stereotypes, Damon's a happy vampire: "He tap-dances through life — oh, let's kill this person!"
- Plec noted that there's a whole process on the show for how somebody becomes a vampire: "There's an actual choice element when you are reborn," she said: feed or die. She said there will be flashbacks to 1864, so we can see what made the now-mild-mannered Stefan choose to feed.
- For fans of the books: Plec and Williamson said they'll follow the first three books in the series quite closely and then branch out. After the panel, Dobrev said things happen fast in the show, with new revelations coming quickly in the first couple of episodes.
To hear some highlights from The Beautiful Life, just
- On the panel for The Beautiful Life — which only some of the cast could attend because of shooting schedules in New York — Executive Producer Ashton Kutcher said the show will draw some stories from his own experience of being discovered. But even though one of the characters is a farm boy from Iowa, he said his own story was closer to that of Sara Paxton's character, Raina, who becomes a hot new thing nearly overnight. "There are lots of stories about young adults becoming adults in an industry that puts the 'next big thing' on a pedestal," he said.
- In response to questions about Mischa Barton, Kutcher said she's currently shooting in New York and "was never unavailable for a day of work." He said he was happy to have her on board as a relative veteran in a cast of newcomers. "Her sort of navigation and guidance for the rest of the cast — I think it's essential," he said.
- Corbin Bleu said he understands some of what his character, Isaac, is going through: Isaac was a successful child model now having trouble transitioning to the adult world, a question he's been confronting himself post-High School Musical. In a very not-High School Musical twist, Bleu said Isaac will encounter "a sugar mama" who helps him pursue his musical career in addition to modeling.
- Elle Macpherson, who will now be a regular on the show, said it's important for her that the show portrays the modeling industry in an authentic way and "is not a manufactured, dramatized version."
Stay tuned to see what the Melrose Place folks had to say!
The Vampire Diaries
The Beautiful Life
Photos courtesy of The CW