Being around your ex is already awkward, but working alongside them on a hit TV show? That could be the textbook definition of cringe, but according to Claire Holt, such wasn’t the case for Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder. Ian, 42, and Nina, 32, called it quits in 2013 after three years together, but they continued to portray Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert, respectively, on the series until her departure in 2015. So, was it until then? “I was on The Originals at that point, so I don’t know the timing,” said Claire, 32, on the Monday (May 17) episode of the Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast. “But, honestly, they were really – they kept is super professional.”
Claire — who played Rebekah Mikaelson on TVD and its spin-off, The Originals – said that Nina and Ian were able to maintain a positive work environment after their breakup. “It never got weird,” said Claire. “Like, props to them. They did a great job at managing that. But it’s hard, like – for a lot of people. It’s really tough.” Since then, Ian went on to marry Nikki Reed in May 2015. As of 2021, Nina has been romantically involved with Olympic snowboarder Shaun White.
The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Bodhi, in 2017. Since the breakup, Nina and Ian have maintained a friendship, one that she defended during a 2019 episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. “I don’t think [being friends with Ian and Nikki] weird at all. I think that’s great,” she said. “Why can’t everyone be friends? I think that they have a beautiful baby and they are happy, and so am I. And what’s bad about that? I don’t see any problem with that.”
However, while Nina and Ian could keep things amicable, the same could not be said about her and Paul Wesley – at least, not during the start of TVD. Paul, 38, played her on-screen lover, and that was quite a challenge at the start. “Paul and I didn’t get along at the beginning of the show,” she said during a 2019 episode of the Directionally Challenged podcast. “I respected Paul Wesley, I didn’t like Paul Wesley.” Nina said that people would ask if she and Paul were dating in real life because they thought they 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 for maybe the first five months of shooting.”
“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,” Paul said months later after Nina’s revelation, “and then [we] developed this wonderful friendship. So, it’s like this nice, happy ending.”