Nina Dobrev on Her New Sitcom 'Fam:' "I Was Not Looking to Return to Television"
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the former star of 'The Vampire Diaries' opens up about her "scary and exciting" shift into comedy.
Nina Dobrev spent six years as a series regular on the supernatural drama The Vampire Diaries, which aired on The CW and was one of the network’s biggest hits. Nearly four years since her departure from the show, she’s found a new home on the CBS sitcom Fam.
“I cringe when I watch the pilot, to be honest with you, because I feel like I was very stiff and didn’t know what I was doing, and you can see the fear in my eyes — or at least I can," Dobrev told The Hollywood Reporter In Studio about her new series. "But as the season goes on, I found my character, I found my groove, I started to feel more comfortable and I’m hopeful and excited that we’ll do a season two, because I want to keep doing this."
On making her move back to TV, the actress said, “I was not looking to return to television."
"It was not on my radar at the moment, but the opportunity came up and I loved the character, I loved Tone Bell and the medium was different. I had never done a sitcom before and I love comedy, I love doing things that scare me,” Dobrev said. “This is in front of an audience of 300-plus people, so it’s one of those things where it was scary and exciting and it got my heart rate up, so I knew I had to try it. … It definitely makes me want to try theater now.”
On the show, Dobrev plays Clem, a newly engaged woman who has lied to her fiancé that her family is dead, but her dad Freddy (Gary Cole) and her little sister Shannon (Odessa Adlon) are unexpectedly brought back into her life.
“Odessa is Shannon in so many ways. She was 17 when we started filming; she’s 18 now and she graduated high school when we were on set," Dobrev said of her young co-star. "I feel very much like she is my little sister."
Dobrev also opened up about co-star Bell, with whom she previously worked on the 2018 film Dog Days: “It’s pretty interesting because the film was [Tone’s] first movie — he had never done a feature before — and he came to me and said, ‘If you have any tips or anything, take me under your wing,’ and when I came onto the show [Fam] I gave him the same speech. I said, ‘I don’t know what the bleep I’m doing, so please help me out!’ And he did. I learned a lot from him.”
When asked if viewers can expect to see her former Vampire Diaries co-star Paul Wesley as a future guest star on Fam, Dobrev said, “He came and watched one of the tapings one night. I talked to him about it that night, and a few other people. ... I remember watching Friends and Bruce Willis did a cameo, Brad Pitt did a cameo. Everyone and their mother was on that show. My goal is to have anyone and everyone that is a friend, that’s funny and that wants to — I want to have as many cameos as possible.”
Fam airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.