Nina Dobrev Biography

Actress (1989–)
Nina Dobrev is a Canadian actress who is best known for her role as Elena Gilbert on The CW's 'The Vampire Diaries.'

Who Is Nina Dobrev?

Born in 1989 in Bulgaria and later immigrating to Canada, Nina Dobrev is a television and film actress. She got her start in the teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation and left the show for an even bigger role as Elena Gilbert in the supernatural drama series The Vampire Diaries on The CW. On the big screen, Dobrev has appeared in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) and Flatliners (2017), among others. Dobrev famously dated her Vampire Diaries co-star Ian Somerhalder from 2010 to 2013.

Nina Dobrev Photo

Nina Dobrev

Movies and TV Shows

'Degrassi: The Next Generation'

In 2006 Dobrev earned her first major role as an actress in the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. Dobrev played the character Mia Jones through three seasons before moving onto her biggest role yet: The CW's The Vampire Diaries.

'The Vampire Diaries'

In The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017), Dobrev won the starring role of Elena Gilbert who first falls in love with a good-natured vampire named Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and later his older brother, the wicked vampire Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) — both of whom protect Elena from supernatural villains that threaten the small Virginia town of Mystic Falls.

Dobrev remained on The Vampire Diaries — also appearing as a variety of doppelgängers — throughout its six seasons. She did voiceover work on its seventh season, and after The CW extended the show for a final eighth season, agreed to appear as a guest star.

When the series finale wrapped up in early 2017, Dobrev discussed her experience. 

"This goodbye feels different than it did when I left the first time because I was leaving and the show continued, and now the show’s ending for everyone," she told Entertainment Weekly. "It feels more final. It’s more almost like closure. Everyone’s been very nostalgic; it’s a bittersweet ending. I’m very happy that we were able to make it work and that I came back because I really missed the whole family and wanted to be part of the final goodbye."

'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'

Post-Vampire Diaries, Dobrev turned her focus to film, appearing in big-screen projects like Chloe (2009) and The Roommate (2011). In 2012 she starred in the film adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, opposite Paul Rudd and Emma Watson. That same year she also starred in the comedy Let's Be Cops

Other films include: The Final Girls (2015), Crash Pad (2017), xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017) and Flatliners (2017).

For some actors, the volume of projects Dobrev has chosen to take on since Vampire Diaries would seem rather light. However, the actress says there's a reason for that.

"I don’t want to play a teenager anymore," she told Harper's Bazaar in 2017. "I want to play adult roles and be challenged and work with great filmmakers and tell incredible stories, and that has meant being really picky."

Among her upcoming projects, Dobrev is set to star in CBS' comedy Fam and the family dramedy Dog Days (2018). She is also working behind the scenes producing, writing and directing.  

Relationship With Ian Somerhalder

Dobrev dated Vampire Diaries co-star Ian Somerhalder from 2010 to 2013. The duo was fiercely private about their off-screen romance, but after their split, they publicly celebrated their strong friendship. 

In 2015 Dobrev opened up about her ex. "I've said this before, that we didn't break up because anything bad happened or because there wasn't love or friendship," Nina told E! during an interview. "I love him and the friendship is still strong and I think he's great and I care about him. And that didn't change. Yes, we're professional and that's fine. We were friends long before we dated and we still are now."

Even after Somerhalder married Twilight actress Nikki Reed in 2015, Dobrev remained close friends with both him and Reed, even sharing photos on social media of the three of them spending time together.

Early Life

Nina Dobrev (full name Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva) was born on January 9, 1989 in Sofia, Bulgaria. When she was two years old, she, along with her parents and older brother, moved to Toronto, Canada.

“We didn’t come from money,” she said about her family. “In the beginning, we lived with another family in a one-bedroom apartment. My parents had to work really hard.” 

Despite the financial difficulties, Dobrev had a healthy upbringing. She took acting classes in her teens and eventually attended Toronto's Ryerson University as a sociology major. However, she cut her studies short after deciding to pursue acting full-time. 

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