Paul Wesley is about to become a triple threat. He’s a well-known actor (the screams at “The Vampire Diaries” PaleyFest panel can attest to that), he’s a producer (he produced and starred in the movie “Before I Disappear,” which won the Audience Award at SXSW) and now he’s making his directorial debut with an episode of “The Vampire Diaries.” That’s one impressive resume.
Wesley’s episode, “Resident Evil,” airs on Thursday (April 17), and he couldn’t be more excited for fans to see all his hard work pay off. “It feels very good. I’ve always aspired to do all three and it’s incredibly fulfilling to be a part of the experience in the pre-production phase like as a producer or a director,” Wesley tells Zap2it. “I think acting is incredibly fulfilling in many, many ways. It’s an important profession but in a way, it can be somewhat frustrating to not have a certain say in different factors that you wish you could. So it was a very fulfilling experience for me to have more control.”
And Wesley promises that his episode is a doozy. Since it’s so close to the season finale, “Resident Evil” is filled with complicated stunts, powerful scenes, game-changing twists … everything we’ve come to love and expect from a later-season episode of The CW’s hit show. “It’s funny how complex my episode was,” Wesley says. “I had like two different crews going on two different days, I had stunts, I had a 50-foot blue screen, I had VFX, I had flashbacks, I had harness work, I made somebody disappear midair. I was incredibly grateful that they entrusted me with all of that.”
Despite all the complicated aspects of the episode, Wesley assures that the hour won’t feel different than what fans have come to expect on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET. “It’s not revolutionary or anything. I don’t want audiences thinking I’m like recreating the show,” Wesley says. “It’s an episode of ‘The Vampire Diaries.’ I followed the formula that is very good and has proven to be very successful.”
He continues, “And there are a couple things I really like about the episode. But one thing in particular is this one storyline where there are some really nice throwbacks to Season 1, some really interesting visions and flashbacks with Stefan and Elena. It’s just really nice to shoot such a nostalgic episode because Seasons 1, 2 ad 3 were my favorite seasons of the show. I was able to recreate some of that which was really nice.”
Wesley is talking about these “sex dreams” that the promos for the episode teased, which gave Stelena fans something major to look forward to. “I can’t tease much other than the fact that these dreams are not just arbitrary or random dreams,” Wesley says. “There is a reason behind these dreams and they all lead to one conclusive thing that occurs at the end of the episode.”
Could that have anything to do with the Travelers’ leader Markos, who was just brought back from the Other Side? Wesley’s not spilling, but he did reveal that he was happy to incorporate some of the Other Side’s storyline into his episode.
“Now that the Travelers brought Markos back things are starting to fall apart,” Wesley says. “I’ve been able to do some really cool visual stuff with the Other Side falling apart and disintegrating. I’m so glad I got to recreate the visual aesthetic of the Other Side because it was so interesting to me, getting to work with the production designer and the creative team to try to make a new way of telling the Other Side’s story.”
And for any super fans out there, keep your eyes peeled for a common theme Wesley wove into his vision scenes like easter eggs. “There’s an interesting thing I did in some of the visions, and I wonder if anyone will pick up on it,” Wesley says. “It’s not like a big deal, and I don’t want to sound pretentious but there’s kind of an interesting theme in the vision sequences that I’ll be curious to see if anyone picks up on. It’s a fun little clue for the fans.”
“The Vampire Diaries” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.