Belfast Telegraph

Nina Dobrev: Parents taught me so much

Nina Dobrev wants her The Vampire Diaries finale to be "epic and powerful".

The 26-year-old actress was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, but relocated to Canada aged two with her mother Michaela and older brother Alex.

Nina's father had relocated to Toronto a year earlier to secure work, delivering pizzas and pumping gasoline for money. Her parents' efforts still inspire the star to this day.

“My mom crossed into Canada to meet him at Niagara Falls with one suitcase and a kid in each hand,” she told Self magazine. “I learnt hard work from them."

Her foray into performing began when she started ballet and jazz dance classes, as well as competing in gymnastics. But when it came to choosing whether to pursue acting or the sport, Nina had a tough decision to make.

“It was either continue with the gymnastics and try to go to the Olympics, or audition more. Gymnastics was four hours a day, six days a week. There wasn’t time for both," Nina sighed. “I would take the subway, and then four different buses. Nothing was ever handed to me.”

She ultimately chose acting and after taking classes she landed her first big role in TV show Degrassi: The Next Generation, before bagging her most famous part as Elena Gilbert / Katherine Pierce / Amara in The Vampire Diaries in 2009.

In April Nina announced she would be leaving the hit show after six series as a lead and despite knowing it will be an emotional experience filming her final scenes, the star is ready for a change.

“It’s important for me that it be epic and powerful. I feel like I’m a completely different person than I was and I’ve grown so much. It’s been a big part of my life, and I want it to be beautiful. I want it to end well," she smiled.

“I’ve loved working on this show. It’s been such a crazy, awesome adventure, and I’ve been surrounded by so many people who I consider family. I know this is a new exciting step in the right direction for me, but it’s going to be so strange not to be with them."

While she hasn't confirmed or denied them, rumours are swirling that her departure is down to working with ex-boyfriend Ian Somerhalder, who stars as blood sucker Damon Salvatore and recently tied the knot with Nikki Reed.

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