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Insider.com: Before you head back into a new season of TVD, is there anything you try to do to prepare?
Nina: I am a big vacationer. I love traveling and during every opportunity, even long weekends, I get on a plane and go somewhere. To get a little bit of R&R, rejuvenate and refresh. You need a change of pace sometimes. Spa weekends are big for me too – I just discovered Korean Spas, which are amazing, but weird because you have to walk around completely naked [laughs]. It’s this giant place with 8 different saunas, and steamrooms and scrubs. You can even stay the night there, which is weird to me, but it’s this giant retreat of amazingness. It’s really refreshing.
Insider.com: Given Elena’s new status, does the fourth season of Vampire Diaries feel refreshed as well?
Nina: It does feel a little different. This season is more character driven. We’re going deep into everyone’s storylines – there will still be a lot of action, but I feel like last season was too action driven and so shock driven that you started to not care about the characters. Or if you did, there wasn’t enough time to feel what they were feeling because something else would happen and your attention would be pulled somewhere else. This season, we’re focusing back in on the characters and grounding it back into reality. Without holding on to your humanity, why would anyone care about these characters?
Insider.com: You’ve been vocal about wanting to explore Elena outside of her relationships with Stefan and Damon. Does this new storyline allow for that?
Nina: Not really. Not yet, at least. She is leaning on both of the boys, and all her friends, in a big way for support. Everyone helps her in different areas, but she’s not very independent in the first part of the season. I think that’ll come, but we’re not there yet.