1. She’s more than a triple threat!
Not only does Nina have the triple threat abilities – singing, dancing, and acting - down pat, but she’s also a former model and gymnast! She even represented Canada internationally in gymnastics!
“I went to a performing arts high school. I lived a Fame life. It was very competitive but it was productive too, and I got to meet a lot of cool people. I got to perform in high school, and that’s how I got started in the business,” Nina told The Vancouver Sun.
If you’re a relatively new fan of Nina’s, you should definitely check her out in the movie musical American Mall!
2. Her passion for acting
Nina has delved into all forms of performing arts, but right now her passion lies in acting. Nina believes every role she takes helps her grow and that she’s continually growing not just as an actress but also in life. At just 21, Nina already has an array of roles under her belt – from teenage mother Mia Jones in Degrassi, to musical heroine Ally in The American Mall – and starred alongside some Hollywood greats such as Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson in Chloe. Apart from season two of The Vampire Diaries, Nina will also star in the film Deathgames with Kellan Lutz and Samuel L. Jackson.
“This is a girl who walks in the door and she’s ready. She’s a natural. She knows what she’s doing. We haven’t even begun to tap into what’s in there. I don’t know that we ever will on this show. It might be a movie in 10 years from now that taps her true ability,” Kevin Williamson, creator and executive producer of The Vampire Diaries, told The Vancouver Sun.
3. She’s a prankster.
Sure Nina looks like a sweet girl, but she’s also quite the prankster and always up for a laugh! “We don’t really joke around too much because it’s a lot to do in a little amount of time, but the biggest troublemaker? Nina, for sure. She’s the sneakiest,” Candice Accola, who plays Caroline Forbes, told E-Online.
“We all play pranks on each other, and if we’re shooting in a dark, mysterious house, I’ll run up and scare the boys out of nowhere or just pop out of a closet and freak them out,” Nina told Tigerbeat.
And if you heard the rumour that Paul Wesley (Stefan) was really a vampire, the culprit behind that rumour was Ms Dobrev herself! “Paul has fangs. And he just appears places and he’s very brooding,” she reasoned to E-Online.
4. Her fabulous fashion style!
Nina’s definitely a favourite of ours when it comes to celebrity fashion, so we were excited when it was announced that she was going to be collaborating with KRMA designer Nicholas Bowes on a new line of leather jackets!
“I’ve always been interested in fashion and I keep up to date. He’s a friend of mine and he’s incredible and talented and wonderful,” Nina told The Examiner about her new venture.
5. She’s a real life Little Miss Sunshine!
Nina’s happy go lucky attitude and bubbly personality makes us love her even more and we’re not the only ones!
“I love Nina. She’s like an actual sister to me,” Steve R. McQueen, her plays her TVD brother Jeremy, told Tigerbeat.
“She’s the one who will throw her arms around you, take a picture, put it in a frame and send it to you as a gift. She’s that sweet, nice girl who encourages people to hang out and have fun,” said Julie Plec, TVD executive producer, to TV Guide Magazine.And Nina definitely feels the love towards the TVD cast and crew too. ““Paul and Ian are basically like my family because we spend every waking moment of the day together, and we’ve just become really, really close, the three of us a trio. But I also have a core group of girlfriends from the cast – Candice, Sara, Kayla and Katerina – who are on my team and who, no matter what happens, will support me and look out for me,” she told Seventeen magazine.
6. She kicks butt!
Sure we love watching Nina on screen as nice girl Elena Gilbert, but we can’t help but be mesmerised watching her play the deliciously destructive vampire Katherine! Nina loves vamping out as Katherine and loves filming the flashback episodes on TVD.
“I got to do some crazy things – some really, really, crazy crazy things that the boys get to do all the time, but I don’t get to do! The character is just so different from Elena and so different from myself and I love stepping into those shoes,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
Nina has also said that she’d love to play an Angelia Jolie action type role one day too!
7. She’s well travelled and loves learning accents!
Born in Sofia, Bulgaria on January 9, 1989, Nina Constantinova Dobreva and her family then moved to Toronto, Orantario, Canada, when Nina was two years old. For TVD, Nina then had to relocate to the USA, where the show is filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. “I’m kind of a globetrotter. I’ve been travelling since I was born and living in different locations,” she said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. In the past few months, Nina has also travelled to London, Monte Carlo and Australia too!
All the travelling she’s done, also means that Nina’s picked up a few accents along the way, some great attempts, some not so much. “The British accent is really cool...We were doing a press tour and I’m shopping for shoes and I decided to play a character. I’m an actress – I like to be different people,” Nina told contactmusic. “I got busted! The girl was looking at me like ‘You’re not from here, why are you speaking like that?”
8. Her determination.
Landing the role of Elena Gilbert wasn’t an easy feat for Nina, and her determination to land the role just makes us love her even more. When Nina initially auditioned for the role of Elena, she was sick and so the producers didn’t take much notice of her. She then flew back to Toronto to film Chloe, but decided to try again and send a tape of another audition to producers and this time it worked! They watched it and knew they had their Elena.
“It was a long process and I really had to fight for the role because there were so many girls who wanted to play Elena. I was very lucky, and I still feel like I have the coolest character – or characters on TV,” she told Jezebel magazine.
Can you imagine Ashlee Simpson as Elena? Neither can we, but that’s what the CW wanted before Nina blew them away!
“We couldn’t find the girl we wanted. The network wanted us to hire Ashlee Simpson...But Nina sent this DVD and we came back the next day saying, ‘we should look at Nina again’. We showed it to Peter Roth (CEO of Warner Bros Television), and Peter only saw her on that tape, and he said ‘that’s her,” Marcos Siega, co-executive producer and director on TVD told E-Online.
Nina’s determination and dedication to go after what she wants doesn’t just go back to her landing the role of Elena, but back even further to when she wanted to become an actress.“I came from a very modest household,” she told Seventeen. “If I wanted the things everyone else had, I had to earn them myself.” So Nina used to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to deliver newspapers, also worked at the mall at Hollister, and juggled both jobs with school, acting classes, auditions, and gymnastic competitions! Wow!
“When I wanted to do gymnastics, it was all me, and my parents just signed me up. And when I wanted to do the acting thing, I would take an hour bus ride downtown for auditions and classes. When you love something, you want to be successful. I guess it’s the Capricorn in me. I’ve always been driven.”
9. She loves vampires!
Starring in a hit show about vampires, means that Nina isn’t immune to the allure of vampires. “There’s just something about vampires that’s sexy...It’s the same reason why women go for the bad boy – you want them but you shouldn’t have them,” Nina told WWD.
In fact Nina loves True Blood and considers herself a Twi-hard, long before the term was even invented!
“I read the Twilight books before the movie and the whole craze happened. And then I loved it. I was in love with Edward before every other girl that she’s in love with him was,” Nina dished to Entertainment Weekly.
10. Her love for chick flicks
Just like most females on the planet, one of Nina’s favourite films is The Notebook, and she would love to emulate fellow Canadian and The Notebook, star Rachel McAdam’s career. Nina has also said that she’d love to do a romantic tragedy film one day.
11. She has fantastic music tastes.
Sure her co-stars Ian and Paul may poke fun at her for her mainstream music tastes and don’t appreciate her need to pump out Black Eyed Peas first thing in the morning on set to lighten up the mood, but we think Nina has great taste in music!
“My playlists are all over the place, I listen to all different kinds of music. I like to mix it up. I like musicals so therefore I have Glee on here, and Spring Awakening. I have Hedley, which is a Canadian band, Kings of Leon, Katy Perry, The Fray, Coldplay, Carrie Underwood, P!NK. Just tons,” she told The Examiner.
12. She respects her roots.
Prior to TVD, Nina was best known for her role as Mia Jones – teenage mother turned European model. What started off as a few episodes ended up turning into four years, and unlike many actors that bite the hand that fed them, Nina has nothing but kind words about her time on Degrassi.
“I did Degrassi for four years. It was my constant, no matter what movie I would do on hiatus or whatever u would do elsewhere, every year I would always go back to Degrassi, to my family, and they really sort of taught me all the groundwork and got me started,” she told Seventeen.
13. She keeps it real.
There are some celebs whose faces we see plastered everywhere – TV commercials, magazine pages, billboards, but Miss Dobrev keeps it real and will only take on a project if she’s passionate about it. It’s not about the paycheck but about respect and doing work that she can be proud of.
“I’ve always wanted to constantly challenge myself and play different characters in different genres, whether it’s action, drama, romantic comedy or a period piece. I’ll never take a part just for a pay check or to fill time. I want to do projects that I really enjoy,” Nina said in an interview with Jezebel magazine.
14. Her spirituality.
Part of what makes Nina so unique is her spiritual and visionary approach to life. Not only is Nina very keen on Yoga, but she also keeps a vision board of quotes and photos to represent her hopes and dreams to keep her focused on her goals. She even inspired her fellow TVD cast members Kayla Ewell (Vicky Donovan), Candice Accola, and Sara Canning (Jenna Sommers) to create their own vision boards to hang in their trailers!
Nina also believes in the self help and spiritituality book The Secret, which is all about how positive thinking can make your life better, and also recommends The Secret Language of Birthdays. “It’s a massive book on horoscopes – it’s so accurate, it’s amazing,” she told Seventeen.
15. She loves her fans!
Nina loves her fans and is so appreciative of their support, and even acknowledges that without the fans TVD wouldn’t be the huge hit that it is right now.
“If the fans weren’t watching and supporting and loving what we’re doing then we wouldn’t be here doing it for them, and we wouldn’t be making the show. So thank you. They rock. Their enthusiasm got us renewed, and their enthusiasm keeps us going,” Nina expressed to The Examiner.
16. Her vibrant and outgoing personality.
The sweet and fun nature of Nina’s isn’t an act, but rather a charm of hers since she was a child. “I was always a really outgoing kid. My parents didn’t know what to do with me because I was so high energy, and my friends and I were always putting on little plays at home,” she told Jezebel magazine.
17. Just like us, she admires Elena too!
Unlike certain heroines today, despite her kind hearted and sympathetic nature, Elena is one tough chick with a backbone and isn’t afraid to fight back – all the more reason why girls want to be friends with her and guys want to date her. So it’s nice to see that Nina shares our admiration for her alter ego too!
““She’s very strong and courageous, and she takes on every challenge to the best of her ability, so no matter what happens in the future and what gets thrown her at her, she will gracefully try to deal with as much as she can,” Nina said to TV Guide Canada.
18. She geeks out when she reads too!
It’s nice to know that celebs get excited and fangirly too! In the case of Nina, it’s over Harry Potter, which she lists as some of her favourite books alongside The Lovely Bones and The Lord of the Rings.
“I’ve read all the Harry Potter books and I’ve watched all the movies. When I went to London, I got to visit the set. It was insane. It’s huge! The whole place was massive. It was the Hogwart’s set and I sat in Dumbledore’s chair,” Nina gushed earlier in the year during the 2010 Winter TCA Tour.
19. She makes her own jewellery out of forks!
Having witnessed this personally in real life, this is a pretty awesome talent of Nina’s! “I was in a diner when my fork bent out of shape. So, I wore it as a bracelet! Now I look for antique silverware to make into jewellery,” Nina told Self Magazine.
20. She’s Team Defan!
Nina has always positioned herself as Switzerland when it comes to picking between Team Stefan and Team Damon, and considering how ridiculously good-looking both guys are, it’s not hard to see why Nina diplomatically declares herself as part of Team Defan!
“I would take Defan – the other brother...Or Stamon, who has qualities of both, who is sweet and nurturing but has an edge, and can be fun and crazy at times,” says Nina.
21. Her tweets
If you’re not already following her on twitter at link
then go! We love following Nina on Twitter, whether it be for the on set pics she tweets, or partaking in Twit-a-longs during episodes of TVD, or simply sharing little tibits about hanging out with friend and fellow actress Amanda Seyfried! “Finn! Amanda S has THE coolest dog. I aspire to be just like him when I grow up! Haha :)”, Nina tweeted in June.
22. She’s single and proud of it!
All the single ladies (and guys) out there, sure felt a lot better when Nina declared that she was happy being single and we love her for doing so!
“I don’t need a boyfriend to be happy. If I meet someone and I want to be with him, then I will be. I’m very confident in being single until I find someone who I’m extremely crazy about and who I want to devote my time and love to. Until then, I will just be on my own and I am totally fine with that,” she told Seventeen magazine.
Just because she’s single, doesn’t mean that Nina isn’t immune to celebrity crushes like the rest of us! She’s admitted that her celebrity crush is Sam Worthington from Avatar.
23. She’s helped build a school in Kenya!
During her time on Degrassi, Nina got involved with the non-profit organization ‘Free the Children’, and even travelled to Kenya in 2007 with some of her fellow Degrassi cast members to help build a school for the children there! A documentary about the trip was even made for MTV in Canada.
“I actually went to Africa with Free the Children and I’ve been there first hand and I’ve seen how we and every single person can change a child’s life. I really believe in the cause and I try to promote it and spread the word as much as possible. Because any way we could possibly show it and spread the word to get as many people excited about it and interested in it to do their part – then the better!” she said in an interview with vervegirl.
24. Her athletic ability
Not only is Nina a talented gymnast, but in her rare free time, Nina also enjoys yoga, volleyball, soccer, swimming, rock climbing, wake boarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, scuba diving, and horse riding.
25. She doesn’t take anything for granted.
Nina knows just what a lucky lady she is and isn’t taking any of her success and good fortune for granted!
“Every morning, I think to myself, ‘This is so cool. I’m so lucky.’ I realise it, and I don’t want to let it slip away. I went to London for the first time, and I got to go to Elton John’s charity event. I got to go to the premiere of Sherlock Holmes. I met Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr – idols of mine. I’m in such a great position. I live a lovely life,” she told The Vancouver Sun earlier this year.