Frank Ockenfels 3/The CW
August 30, 2011 at 09:25 PM EDT

We’re just over two weeks away from the start of The Vampire Diaries’ third season (The CW, Sept. 15), and to get you in the mood, how about an exclusive first look at the stars’ sexy solo gallery photo shoots? If you stare at the picture of Ian Somerhalder long enough, you’ll think you see his eyebrows move. That’s when you know you’re ready to return to Mystic Falls. 

Frank Ockenfels 3/The CW

Nina Dobrev looks stunning as usual in another dreamy gown Elena will never actually get to wear.

And Paul Wesley is serious as ever. The good news: We’ll see a different side of the actor this season as Stefan hits the ripper road with Klaus (Joseph Morgan). “In the first couple of episodes, there’s still a lot of one-foot-in, one-foot-out of this situation he’s in,” Wesley tells EW. “Something’s gonna happen that drastically changes that, and then at that point, he commits and doesn’t look back. Then he can really enjoy it. The truth is, I can be a dark guy like any other, but I love humor, and I love goofing off, and I love being silly, and playing a character that’s constantly burdened for years, it can be a little depressing after a while. To play a character who has absolutely no conscience, that literally felt like taking a load off my shoulders.”

How will we get our Stefan back? That’s a good question. “There’s gonna be a lot of killing. As far as Stefan is concerned, he can never go back to his old life. Imagine Stefan sitting in high school. Apart from the fact that I just look weird sitting in high school,” he laughs, “he’s murdered all these people. What do you think, we’re just gonna go hang out now? As far as he’s concerned, he’s moved on. He’s past it all.”

Read more:

‘Vampire Diaries’: On-the-set photos from the season 3 premiere!

‘Vampire Diaries’ DVD sneak peek: Candice Accola sorts out Caroline’s connections — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

‘The Vampire Diaries’: New promo photos tease David Gallagher’s new, intense character

‘Vampire Diaries’ casts ‘Supernatural’ star Sebastian Roche as mysterious vampire hunter — EXCLUSIVE

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.
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