When you’re a centuries-old vamp—like the one Paul Wesley plays on his hit CW show, The Vampire Diaries—your style needs to stand the test of time. Paul employs a similar mentality long after he clocks out for the day as brooding bloodsucker Stefan Salvatore. “This is my general rule of thumb,” Paul says. “If I’m looking at photos 20 years from now, I don’t want to say to myself, ‘What the hell was I thinking?’ I want things to be essentially classic.” Find out what classic pieces Paul invests in when Men’s Fitness deputy editor Dean Stattmann interviews him for his upcoming new series, Style Spot, launching in May. In the mean time, you can catch Paul on The Vampire Diaries Thursday nights (8 pm ET/PT) on The CW.
For the April 17 installment, Paul assumes a brand new role: director. “Of all the years I spent on The Vampire Diaries—and I’ve been on it for half a decade now—[directing] has been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences. When you’re an actor, you have a very objective vantage point. You sort of get your line and you do your best. When you’re a director, you begin to realize how every aspect of a production is imperative. It put the whole thing into perspective.” Of course, when you’re also the star of the show, directing yourself poses its own unique challenges. “Most actors are narcissists, so [as an actor-turned-director] you try not to be a narcissist,” Paul reveals. “When you watch the playback monitor, there comes a time when you have to move on, because it was a good take. You have to tell yourself, ‘The lighting was good, the focus was good, and I’m not doing another take because my hair was out of place,” he says, with a laugh.
Speaking of hair, Paul’s modern James Dean ‘do has sort of developed a cult following of its own. But it hasn’t always been easy taming the beast. “The problem with my hair is if I just let it ‘exist,’ it would just turn into a huge afro,” Paul says. “I have no choice but to style it with a bunch of crap!”
Paul’s directorial debut, “Resident Evil,” airs Thursday, April 17, on The Vampire Diaries, 8 pm ET/PT on The CW.