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Vampire Diaries: Kayla Ewell talks that Vicki-Damon dance scene

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Quantrell Colbert/The CW

With one season left in The Vampire Diaries’ run, we decided it was time to start collecting everyone’s final diary entries. Every week during the final season, EW is asking those involved with the show to look back on one of their favorite moments from the series. So grab your tissues and join us on this trip down a vampire-filled memory lane.

Co-creator Kevin Williamson kicked us off by talking about the season 1 finale, and for week two, we’re sticking with season 1 by chatting with Kayla Ewell, best known as Vicki Donovan…

Season 1, episode 5, there’s an episode called “Lost Girls” and my character, Vicki Donovan, is dancing with Ian Somerhalder and we are both high on blood and don’t have a lot of clothing on. Especially for me at that time, I think I was 23 years old, and Ian had just come hot off of Lost, it was the sexiest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, especially on set. What girl wouldn’t want to dance with Ian Somerhalder half-clothed and having fun? It was the best time ever and I know he’s also come out saying that he loved it and it was a memory that I’ll never forget.

They didn’t tell us the music or anything but they did play music as we were dancing. I remember I was like, “What kind of dancing are we doing?” They were like, “Just go ahead and do what you want to do.” Just to feel that free and that sexy and have so much fun together, it was really great, and then the best part about the whole scene is then it smash-cuts to coming down off the high of the blood and now we’re slow dancing. It was just so well done. Even to this day I still love that experience.

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And then at the very end, right before commercial break, he snaps my neck. Boom, down. Then you come back to know I come back from that. The shock factor of this show is something that has kept the audience compelled for so many years. You just never know what’s going to happen and who’s going to come back and who’s going to die. They’ve done such a good job of keeping actors and the audience on our feet all the time.

I think we did all of those scenes in a day. It was toward the beginning of the entire show, so everyone was still getting into the rhythm of everything, but I believe it took about a day to do the entire progression.

There’s some jobs that take a little piece of your heart and this one definitely took a big chunk of mine and I think it will always have a big chunk of my heart. There are parts you love and there are parts you like, and this was definitely one I absolutely loved. I think Vicki Donovan was such a lost character and a lot of people, myself included, can really relate to that — feeling lost and trying to figure out life. She was such a fun character to play.

Once that death was decided, they did such an honor to me to write such a wonderful story line up until that. Everyone deserves this amazing arc right before they die and not everyone gets that. They definitely treated me well.

Also I felt this weight of okay, whatever I do and whatever we all decide ends up being the way that people morph forever. It was this idea that whatever happens is what every character is going to go through [when they transition]. We all worked really hard to make sure that it went as planned. You can’t mess that up. No pressure, Kayla. But you can’t mess that up because it’s going to be that way for everyone.

But I did think that it was a really cool experience because it left this legacy that is really fun to be able to look back on. Some of the absolute best memories of my entire acting career have been on that show and not only because of the writing and the great characters but because of the people as well. If you can have that family environment, it changes the work and the characters. We all work together and have this common goal to create this amazing, epic show that no one will forget. That is really what happened in this scenario.

Whatever she was searching for, I hope Vicki finds it. I’m hoping that she can find peace because I can be at peace with her story and letting her go. As an actor, you do keep parts of your characters inside you, so it’s been such an honor to play her and I think there will always be a little part of Vicki Donovan inside me … just maybe not so mean. I’m going to take a little bit of that out.

– As told to Samantha Highfill

The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.