Stefan Salvatore

Paul Wesley (aka Stefan Salvatore)

Starting off our Character Profile on Stefan Salvatore, played by Paul Wesley, we look into a personalized portion of his life. Nothing too personal, but something that we believe will give people a general idea of his “Being Human” part of life. The interesting thing about this article which pinged across our screens here in the UK, is that it weighs Mr Wesley up a lot, but at the same time it blows away that ‘Angelic’ image that makes many fans irritated…well, here’s to the irritated.

Five Things to Know About TV’s Hottest New Vampire

Edward Cullen, Bill Compton … and Stefan Salvatore? There’s a new vampire in Tinsel town and he’s got the looks and chops – literally! – to give Robert Pattinson a run for his money.

Starting this fall, the 27-year-old hottie appears as gentle bloodsucker Stefan in the new CW series Vampire Diaries based on the bestselling teen lit novels by L.J. Smith.

“I did a lot of research,” Wesley told PEOPLE of preparing for the coveted role. “I was Googling vampires.”

Here are five things any fang fanatic should know about the latest vamp to rule the night:

Don’t Call Him an Edward Cullen Wannabe

Vampire Diaries follows 150-year-old vampire Stefan as he falls for a teen girl named Elena (played by Degrassi’s Nina Dobrev). Sound familiar? Wesley assured that the show is not a “Twilight rip-off.” The teen book series was actually published a decade before Stephenie Meyer’s wildly-successful Twilight saga, and features an added twist – Stefan battles his villainous vampire brother Damon (played by Lost hunk Ian Somerhalder) for Elena’s heart.

He Never Wanted to Be an Actor

Growing up, the New Jersey native was more of a jock than a thespian. “I played ice hockey obsessively for 14 years of my life,” he said. After being forced into doing school plays, Wesley hired an agent “as a fluke” and successfully began landing roles. “I got very lucky and I don’t know how.”

He Has Fangs … Sort Of

“You’d think it would have [helped get me the role] but they didn’t notice it until I was on set,” Wesley said of his naturally pointy teeth. “Then they all were like, ‘Oh my god, what are the odds?!'”

He Has a Werewolf Past

No stranger to playing mythical creatures, Wesley starred as a teen wolf on the short-lived sci-fi series Wolf Lake. “[The show] became sort of a cult thing,” he said.

He’s the Coolest Big Brother Ever

Wesley counts his two youngest sisters, ages 11 and 13, as his biggest fans. “They have read all of the Vampire Diaries books,” he said. “They are my only fans actually. Them and my mom.”

Paul Wesley (July 23, 1982) is an American-born Polish actor best known for his roles as Stefan Salvatore in The CW TV series The Vampire Diaries and as Aaron Corbett in the ABC Family miniseries Fallen. Wesley was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey to polish parents Agnieszka and Thomas Wasilewski, and grew up in Marlboro Township, New Jersey. He has one older sister, Monika, and two younger sisters, Julia and Leah. In addition to English, he also knows Polish, having spent four months every year in Poland until the age of 16.

Wesley attended Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, New Jersey and Marlboro High School for a period during his high school years. During his junior year in high school, Wesley was cast in the soap opera guiding Light as character Max Nickerson. He transferred from Marlboro High School to Lakewood Prep School in Howell, New Jersey because the school was able to accommodate his acting schedule. He graduated from there in 2000 and then started college at Rutgers University in New Jersey but left after one semester with his parents’ support when more roles were offered to him, and he realized he could make a career out of acting.

 

Career

In 2005, he began to credit himself as Paul Wesley. When asked why he changed his professional name to Paul Wesley, he replied, “My birth name is too hard to pronounce! I asked my family’s permission to change it, and it really helped my career.”

He has had a number of roles on shows such as 24, 8 Simple Rules, American Dreams, Army Wives, Cane, Everwood, Guiding Light, Smallville, The O.C. and Wolf Lake. He also starred opposite Amber Tamblyn in CBS’ The Russell Girl and had the lead role in “Fallen” miniseries. He was listed “Sexiest & Hottest Men of 2011” in the Glamour Magazine UK.

He also had a minor role in Roll Bounce starring Bow Wow’s. Wesley is currently starring as vampire Stefan Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries which premiered September 2009 on The CW. In the series, he plays a younger brother to Damon Salvatore (played by Ian Somerhalder) as well as the love interest of a mortal 17 year old girl named Elena Gilbert (played by Nina Dobrev). His wife, Torrey Devitto, currently works alongside him in The Vampire Diaries as the Psycho Doctor of Mystic Falls. In May 2011, he joined the cast of The Baytown Disco.

 

Personal Life

He enjoys playing ice hockey and snowboarding. Wesley has also expressed an interest in directing and writing.

 

Born July 23, 1982 (age 29)

New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.

Occupation         Actor

Year’s active       1999–present

Spouse       Torrey DeVitto

(2011–present)

PASADENA, Calif. — Actor Paul Wesley was often in trouble when he was a teenager. In fact, he was booted out of two high schools in New Jersey, where he grew up. “I was a little bit of a troublemaker, not in a malicious way,” he says, easing his lean body into an overstuffed chair in a hotel room here.

“But I’m glad. I’m glad I didn’t conform to the system of the school. I’m a law-abiding citizen now. I haven’t brought it to the soundstage,” he grins.

The first altercation happened at a Catholic boys school. “It was with a bunch of jock-y, racist kids. I thought, ‘This is an expensive school. My parents paid a lot of money.’ And I got into a fight every day. It was just like this weird atmosphere.

“And they finally kicked me out, and I was really depressed about it. And then later it dawned upon me that, thank God, I didn’t fit in with those kids because I don’t want to be anything like those kids. So that’s when I realized it was OK to sort of do my own thing. That’s kind of like when I found a safe haven in acting. I think it may have been a catalyst.”

Wesley, now 27, earned his diploma, but schooling was always secondary to his acting career, which materialized when he was 16. “I got forced to do a school play when I was in the third grade because we all had to. … They put me in a ‘Phantom’ mask, and I was miserable at first. But then I kind of fell in love with it and ended up being, I guess, according to the teacher, pretty good at it,” he says.

That teacher cast him in every play at elementary school. “No matter how academic I was, no matter how much my father stressed studies, I always gravitated toward the arts because to me — you can read as many textbooks as you like — but to me life is about observing people and understanding things and nature. And art to me captures all that. It’s just invaluable, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

 

Though he has been an employable actor since his voice changed, intense attention focused on him when Wesley was cast as Stefan, the good vampire brother on the CW’s “The Vampire Diaries.” Like everything else in his career, it was tough landing the job, but Wesley wasn’t about to give up.

“I had to really fight for it because … they were being pretty meticulous about the actor. They didn’t know if they wanted to go with someone 17 or someone in his 20s. ‘What do we need to do because we have to get that worldly thing where the person’s been alive for 160 years but yet maintain innocence.'”

He kept reading for the role of Damon, the bad vampire brother. “And they decided no on that. When I initially read the script, it was Stefan, but they didn’t see me as Stefan. Then after casting Ian (Somerhalder) as Damon, I think they thought this could work.”

Shooting in Atlanta doesn’t give Wesley much time with his family here, and his relatives in Poland. He lived there part of his childhood and still speaks fluent Polish. “I used to spend four months out of every single year there until I was 16 years old,” he says.

Work leaves no time for romance, either. In fact, he says, “I don’t have a personal life. I’m not complaining, but I literally don’t have a personal life. Let me put it this way: When I wasn’t on this show and I had a lot of personal life, I was much more miserable. So let’s just leave it at that,” he says and throws back his head and laughs.

(Thank you to Luaine Lee, MCCLATCHY/TRIBUNE NEWS, for this article published onto the Public Domain)

© Mystic Falls Diaries Production 2012

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