After six years of pining over vampires — and occasionally playing one — on The CW. Nina Dobrev is returning to TV in a new CBS sitcom, marking a significant (and intentional) shift in her career.
“The reason I took the show when the opportunity presented itself was that it was so different from anything I’d ever done before.”
The former Vampire Diaries star told TV Line:
“It was also scary, which only made me want to do it more. Anything that’s challenging and scares the s–t out of me is exciting. The laugh lines on my face are getting deeper and deeper, and I couldn’t be happier about it.”
But while there’s no denying that Clem’s family is a hot mess, Dobrev says the show carries an underlying message:
“accepting people for who they are and loving everything about them.”
In preparation for her first TV sitcom, Dobrev visited the sets of fellow CBS comedies The Big Bang Theory and Mom (just two days after star Allison Janney scored an Oscar!) to watch sitcom veterans in action, however, Dobrev says it still took some time to adjust to the unfamiliar format.
“I’ve grown so much,” she says looking back at the season, which has wrapped filming.
“I was terrified when we filmed that first episode, but as the season progressed I got much more comfortable and really began to understand who Clem is. She’s evolving a lot as the season goes on. If you like the pilot, it will only get better from there.”
Part of Clem’s constant evolution is her “vibe and aesthetic,” for which Dobrev drew inspiration from Jennifer Aniston’s character on Friends.
“We told the wardrobe designer that we wanted the looks to be effortless,” she says, “kind of like Rachel’s were.”
The show’s first season leads up to Clem and Nick’s wedding, though she says we’ll have to wait and see “whether or not they go through with it.” (Ruh-roh.) But if things do go south for the TV couple, at least Dobrev’s real-life fam got to share in the fun of Clem’s big day; her mom joined her for Clem’s dress fitting at Monique Lhuillier.
“It really felt like I was getting married,” Dobrev says. “I made the joke on Instagram, ‘I’ve got the dress… now I just need the husband.’”
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