“award shows are like theme parties.”

by liza darwin

We admit it: we use our addiction to The Vampire Diaries as an excuse to stay at home on Thursday nights- tonight included. But on Sunday night at the Emmy Awards, series star Nina Dobrev took over our TVs for a different reason- her showstopping Donna Karan dress- giving us a whole other reason to love her. On a rare day off, the 22-year-old actress fill us in about the show, her (other) TV favorites, and....oh yeah, that dress.

You were just in LA for the Emmys, and you film The Vampire Diaries in Atlanta. Where in the world is Nina right now?

I'm at my place in Atlanta. I had a rare day off, so I slept in and tried to rest up from all the Emmys craziness.

What do you do on your days off besides sleep?

They're so few and far between that I usually just sleep! I slept like, 12 hours last night, which I rarely do because my brain will rarely cut off. But I try to cook and I usually have to study lines.

Let's talk about your amazing Donna Karan Emmys dress. How did you pick it out?

Everything sort of fell together perfectly, which was awesome. I was working with a stylist who was amazing, but when I'm away in Atlanta, she has to send me photos of dresses in models and then I choose which ones I think will work. I always try to dress for the occasion. For Teen Choice Awards I do something a little more teen friendly, and for Emmys it's a little more glam. It's fun to dress up; award shows are like theme parties...or Halloween!

Who would you say is your style icon?

I'm a chameleon as a person and as an artist. The characters that I play and the events that I go to, you have to be a different person each time, so I have a different inspiration each time. One of them is Kate Beckinsale; she has great style because she's always so classy and put together in a very clean way. Zoe Saldana takes a lot of risks, but is still very classy. I love Diana Agron, Emma Watson, Olivia Wilde, Emma Stone...they're all so great.

Would you say your style is more like Katherine or Elena in real life?

My style is both of them. I have a say in a lot of the things I wear on the show. I feel like I dress like Elena during the day and Katherine at night. Like right now, I'm wearing a t-shirt and sweats. It just depends.

What TV shows do you like?

I don't have a lot of time for TV, but when I do, I watch GLEE! Everyone knows I love GLEE. I also love Chelsea Lately more than I can tell you [laughing]. She's hilarious. Netflix is also my friend when I'm working or traveling, because I can just watch a movie whenever.

You have a role in the upcoming adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. How was it?

It was such a wonderful experience. I played an important role, but it was small; Emma Watson was the lead who gets to carry the project on her shoulders [laughing].

Had you read the book?

I hadn't read it at first, but I read it after I got the part. I was one of those few people who didn't have it on their school reading lists! It was really cool because Stephen Chbosky, the writer of the book, wrote the screenplay- it's like his baby.

What music are you into right now?

Let me open my iTunes and tell you...I love the Black Keys, Adele, Coldplay, Arcade Fire, M.Ward. Everyone always makes fun of me because I can never remember names, but I can still sing along to all the words!

Last question: if Katherine, Elena, and Sookie from True Blood were thrown into a ring, who would win the fight?

Hmm...I think because Katherine and Elena are related, they would end up teaming up and defeating Sookie. Yeah, that's what would happen. [laughing].

The Vampire Diaries airs tonight at 8/7c on the CW.