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Nina Dobrev Before She Was Famous

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Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva isn’t a household name by any stretch. Heard of the name? You’ll be forgiven if you haven’t.

Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva isn’t a household name by any stretch. Heard of the name? You’ll be forgiven if you haven’t.

Here is a name you won’t get a free pass for not knowing – Nina Dobrev. She’s a more than famous actress, best known for the series “The Vampire Diaries”. She’s the same Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva you’ll have trouble recalling anything about.

That said, The Vampire Diaries is not the only project in her acting career. It’s only natural, right?

Nina has featured in more than a dozen films since she debuted as an actress more than 10 years ago. Looking at her awards and nominations list, it’s safe to say she’s been a success. Besides, getting a nomination alone is enough proof of kick-ass cinematic capabilities.

And Nina Dobrev has a lot of them.

But how was her life before fame (and the money)? How did she find herself among the who’s who in the acting industry?

Let’s explore.

Nina as a Kid

childhood photo of nina dobrev

Nina Dobrev isn’t a Canadian citizen by birth. She was born in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. There, she was given the name Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva.

She didn’t stay for long though.

At the age of two, her father Konstantin Dobrev, a computer specialist and her mother, Mihaela Dobreva, an artist, moved the family to Canada. The city of Toronto has since been home to her and older brother Alexander.

School Life

Just like any good kid out there, the multilingual actress attended school—J.B. Tyrell Sr. Public School—and Vradenburg Junior Public School.

For her post-secondary studies, she attended Ryerson University in Toronto, where she pursued Sociology. Too bad she never got to graduate, because a career in acting was calling. Performance arts seemed to have been ingrained in her way back, even before her tertiary studies.

Going back to J. B. Tyrell Sr. Public School, Dobrev immersed herself in ballet and jazz classes. That’s not all. She also took part in rhythmic gymnastics competitions and classes in acting and arts.

Now that’s hard work right there.

Nina Dobrev, the Actress

Nina’s acting world spun off with a couple of movie appearances back in the mid-2000s. “Away from Her”, “Fugitive pieces”, “How She Move” and “The Poet” are some of the films she starred in at the start of her professional career. Prior to that, she had already been exposed to the limelight trough appearances in commercials and film auditions.

Nina Dobrev as a young actress in Degrassi

Her first huge role was on the television series “Degrassi: The Next Generation”. In this teen drama TV series, Nina played Mia Jones—a teenage mother. She played the Mia role for three seasons straight – 6, 7 and 8 – from 2006 to 2009. She still had major roles in different films for those three years, for instance, Loren Hansett in “Never Cry Werewolf” and Ally Shepherd in “The American Mall”. Both of the films were released in 2008.

After Nina called it quits on Degrassi, she landed a leading role, portraying Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce in “The Vampire Diaries” television series alongside Paul Wesley (Stefan Salvatore) and Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore), who ended up becoming her real-life boyfriend from 2010 until 2013.

Fun fact: even after they stopped dating, Nina remained friends with Ian and today counts his wife Nikki Reed amongst her pals.

Nina Dobrev held down the role(s) for a good six seasons. Aside from her other TV and movie performances, this is the one that helped to cement her place as a prolific actress among lovers of mystery series.

Frequently Asked Questions

How old was Nina Dobrev when she played Elena?

The actress was 20 when she was chosen to play 17-year-old Elena Gilbert.


Why did Nina Dobrev change her name?

The Canadian actress with Bulgarian roots simply shortened her name from Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva to make it more memorable.


Did Nina Dobrev date Paul Wesley?

Certainly not, quite the opposite. The 2 actors actually did not get along on set during the filming of the first seasons of the Vampire Diaries.


How much is Nina Dobrev worth?

Her current net worth stands at an impressive $10 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Not bad at all!


Can Nina Dobrev speak French?

Yes, she does! As a Canadian, it’s not unusual to master the country’s second, official language.