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When Nina Dobrev was a young girl growing up in Toronto, she had a habit of talking to strangers. But don’t worry, she usually got the better of them. “When my mom would eventually meet the person, she’d find that I’d given them a fake name, a fake background, a fake everything,” recalls the 27-year old actress who was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and moved with her family to Toronto when she was two. “I was creating characters from when I was tiny.” Dobrev, makeup-free and dressed in a flowing floral pantsuit, leans back in her chair and smiles at the memory. “I thought it was fun to see how far I could go in convincing someone of something that wasn’t real. I found pleasure in it.” Continue reading
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It’s only 10 AM, but Nina Dobrev’s already lived a full, eventful day. An appearance on Live With Kelly had her up and out early, and despite the mid-morning time, she admits to having more than one cup of coffee. When the star opts to order another — her third, she says casually — we don’t really blame her. We know what it’s like to feel tired, and, after all, Nina’s not a vampire.
Still, if Nina’s exhausted, she certainly doesn’t show it. Her makeup is flawless, her outfit’s adorable, and her freshly cut bob is full of voluminous curls, giving off a glamorous old-Hollywood vibe. She’s more than happy to tell us about her new film, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, in which she plays a tech wiz, Becky, and reveal a bit more about her on-set prank wars with co-star Ruby Rose. Continue reading
The casts of Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries are no stranger to teaming up to support good causes, having previously worked to save dogs and support World Water Day. Now, actresses Shay Mitchell and Nina Dobrev, stars of Pretty Little Liars and the Vampire Diaries, respectively, star in an advertising campaign called “We Are Stronger Together” to support Free the Children.
The campaign encourages people to purchase Rafiki bracelets for $10 at we.org. The bracelets are handmade by women in Kenya, and a gift – water, healthcare, school supplies, healthy meals – is unlocked with each purchase. The campaign aims to help break the cycle of poverty and create a better future for partner communities of Free the Children in Kenya, India, Ecuador, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Nicaragua, and rural China.
Each bracelet has a unique code that allows the buyer to enter it online at trackyourimpact.com and track the gift in the community it is given to provide much needed help.
“I hope everyone joins me in supporting this campaign to help transform the lives of those who need it most,” Shay Mitchell said in a press statement. “It’s a powerful fashion statement when you wear your passion for changing the world. I’ve had the opportunity to visit Free The Children’s partner communities in Kenya and connect with the Maasai Mamas who make these beautiful Rafiki bracelets. Seeing the impact first hand is an experience I’ll never forget.”
Rafiki bracelets symbolize a movement of young people leading local and global change across North America. By spreading the message that we are stronger together, Free The Children and IPG Mediabrands hope to empower a generation to get involved in creating solutions for a better world.
“Entering our fifth consecutive year partnering with IPG Mediabrands, we are incredibly grateful to collaborate with a partner whose values align so closely to ours, and to work with a roster of world-renowned individuals who are passionate about making a difference,” Craig Kielburger, the co-founder of Free The Children, said in a press statement. “The Rafiki bracelet has become a symbol of social good that provides alternative income and opportunity to women and their families in developing communities, proving that when we all come together, we can change the world.”
Rafiki bracelets are also available at select retail stores including Walgreens, PacSun, and Nordstrom.
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An Instagram account, a ping pong table, and a ball gown were among the first things to enter onto the scene of actress Nina Dobrev’s edgy, femme West Hollywood abode. The 1929 Spanish-style, four-bedroom home, chicly outfitted into a sleek and cozy modern bungalow with the help of Consort Design (the L.A. design team helmed by MyDomaine’s own Mat Sanders and his partner Brandon Quattrone), channels a clever juxtaposition of effortless California cool and luxe sophistication. Keep scrolling to hear the story behind our exclusive tour.
“I gravitate toward open, spacious homes,” Dobrev tells us. “Light and bright is my favorite aesthetic. Maintaining the original character and history of the space was important.” Original crown molding and dramatic arches adorn the living room, flush with natural light and complemented by organic materiality in the way of soft hued linens and warm woods. “A house has a soul and a journey. I’m just a small step and a passenger on the path of this home. It has good energy. You can feel that people have lived here. There is a Zen vibe. “
Teaming with Consort, Dobrev sought to balance the original mission style architecture with modern counterpoints. The artfully imperfect aesthetic is laden with intelligent accents and soulfully curated details collected from Dobrev’s travels both stateside and abroad. “There is a story behind everything,” explains Dobrev, pointing out a pair of vintage books found filming in Vancouver and an assortment of pillows acquired on location in Atlanta.
“I was living in Atlanta for six years during my run on Vampire Diaries. During that time, I was constantly on the Internet looking at houses in L.A. I never really found what I liked, not everything,” Dobrev tells us. “One day at Julie Plec’s house, the creator of our show, I was getting ready for the MTV Video Awards and saw the listing. It was one block away. I ran straight over in my full-length gown. My realtor and I walked through the house in five minutes, and I put an offer in right then and there.”
Social media played an unexpectedly pivotal role in the design process. Dobrev credits “Instagram stalking” for sourcing both her designer and key pieces of art throughout the space. “I’ve been following Mat on MyDomaine for some time and was a long-standing fan of his aesthetic,” Dobrev tells us. “I love Consort’s Instagram. I reached out and we were all so excited to collaborate.”
A focal point of the living room is an original commissioned work from street artist Bradley Theodore. “I kept seeing Bradley’s work sprinkled throughout New York City. When I found out who the artist was, I stalked him on Instagram. We became friends after I DMed him. I asked if he would make me something for the house.”
Theodore’s work, a colorful portrait of Audrey Hepburn in full Breakfast At Tiffany’s iconic LBD glamour, hangs prominently in the living room. “Audrey Hepburn is my idol,” Dobrev beams. “I wanted to have a raw, distressed vibe to add a little roughness to the traditional living room set up. Punk it up a little bit.” We think Holly Golightly would approve of such a break with convention.
A recurring motif of the space is the consistent use of high contrast black and white tones. Used to maximum impact throughout, the iconic juxtaposition dramatically highlights architectural details and statement pieces alike. Dobrev credits Consort with the idea of experimenting with dark, rich hues. “There was a moment I was afraid we were going gothic,” Dobrev confides. “I never would have done it on my own, but one of my favorite things about the house is all the accents of black. Mat and Brandon were able to make my home feel both feminine and airy with a bit of edge. It’s totally me. It’s perfect.”
The fireplace proved a joint collaboration. Consort lobbied to paint the structure black. One idea entirely Dobrev’s own was to line the inside with glass. “I’m from Canada,” she says, “I come from cold weather. I thought, ‘I’m in L.A. now. It’s hot. I’m not going to use the fireplace.’ It was my idea to get antique mirror and put candles inside. They reflect off the backboard so beautifully. It really came together quite well. It’s a big hit while entertaining.”
The most extensive construction work occurred in the kitchen. “The original kitchen used was wood floors, black countertops and silver accessories. We gutted the whole thing. Mat and Brandon had the idea to do herringbone white floors with brass and copper hardware. The banquette nook we built.”
The open flow and inviting décor prove ideal for entertaining, a goal of Dobrev’s. “I entertain quite a bit, whether it’s game nights, dinner parties or just cooking at home. When the house isn’t filled with friends, I want to feel comfortable,” she tells us. “I’m not a super modern aesthetic person. I feel it’s cold. When I see a modern couch I don’t necessarily want to sit on it, I want to appreciate it as art.”
An original, oversized black and white painting of a film camera X-ray by Dobrev’s mother, Michaela Constantine, hangs above the actress’s favorite piece of furniture in the home, a Restoration Hardware Cloud Sofa. “I watch a lot of movies. I’ve dedicated an entire room to it. You sit on this couch and don’t leave for three days. It is the most comfortable couch I have ever encountered.”
Summing up the playful mixology built for generous entertaining, Dobrev’s firs purchase for the house was a ping-pong table.“I love ping-pong so much, and for the first time I had a space that could fit a table,” says Dobrev. “I figured if push comes to shove, I can sleep on the ping-pong table with a sleeping bag. I didn’t even have a mattress yet.”
That’s sound logical to us.
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Nina Dobrev is featured in the October 2015 Who What Wear, where she talks about life after leaving The Vampire Diaries.
On getting married: “I believe in the timing of my life. I’m so happy for Julianne [Hough, Dobrev’s newly engaged friend]. I don’t think she could be with anyone more perfect than Brooks, but she wasn’t on a show for six years. I feel like I’m playing catch-up on basic life things that I didn’t get to do working so much.”
On buying her first home: “I’ve been getting ideas from [my designers, Consort’s Brandon Qattrone and MyDomaine editor at large Mat Sanders] and stepping out of my usual patterns and doing things that I never would have done. I’ve been trusting them a lot and taking risks, but it has paid off.”
On what she is looking for in future roles: “I want to do something dark and gritty. I want to work with directors that I admire and that will make me better and actors that will challenge me and scare the shit out of me.”
On learning by working with more experienced actors and directors: “That’s how I was in gymnastics. I started really late for my age, and everyone said I would never amount to do much. Because I was older, they put me in the age group with much better gymnasts. And when I was around them, because they were so good and I felt insignificant in comparison, it made me work a lot harder. That’s the Capricorn in me: very ambitious and very competitive.”
On the idea that she is facing a lot of beginnings and endings: “It’s very accurate and explains a lot of why I am the way I am, what I’ve achieved, and where I’m going.”
On her new film, The Final Girls: “It’s something I hadn’t seen or read before. We make fun of horror movies, break them down, and challenge the stereotypes.”
On calling her girlfriends the Unicorn Gang: “[Unicorns] are mystical, they are beautiful, they are rare, and they are special. And we think we are all of those things, and we celebrate each other as women for that reason.”
On the possibility of getting bangs: “I didn’t know I could pull that off, but now I do. Who knows? I might cut my hair.”
Nina Dobrev To Star In ‘Arrivals’
Izzy is the love interest of the main character, Calvin, a hypochondriac college drop out who now works as a baggage handler at the Cape Town airport in South Africa. Feeling depressed, he begins to work on an unconventional bucket list.
The screenplay, written by Feral Rock, was a 2013 Academy Nicholl semifinalist.
Arrivals will begin filming in South Africa this winter.
Dobrev will appear in The Final Girls, coming out October 9 in limited release. She is best known for her role as Elena Gilbert on The Vampire Diaries, a role she played for six years. Her other work includes The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Let’s Be Cops.
Nina Dobrev covers the June 2015 issue of Self, where she discusses leaving the Vampire Diaries.