Nina Dobrev (born Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva Bulgarian: Николина Константинова Добрева; January 9, 1989) is a Bulgarian Canadian actress and model. She played the role of Mia Jones, the single teenage mother, on Degrassi: The Next Generation, in seasons six to nine (2006–09). She then played the role of Elena Gilbert on The CW’s supernatural drama, The Vampire Diaries, from 2009–15.
Dobrev was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, as Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva (Bulgarian: Нина Константинова Добрева), and moved to Canada at the age of two, where she was raised in Toronto, Ontario. She speaks fluent English and Bulgarian. She has an older brother, Aleksandar Dobrev. Her father, Konstantin Dobrev, is a computer specialist, and her mother, Mihaela Dobreva (née Radeva), is an artist.
Dobrev attended J. B. Tyrrell Sr. Public School, where she started ballet and jazz classes, and competed in rhythmic gymnastics. Then, she attended the arts program at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts in Scarborough, Ontario, and Ryerson University in Toronto, majoring in sociology. She left in 2008 to pursue her acting career. She took acting classes at Armstrong Acting Studios in Toronto.
Dobrev has appeared in a number of feature films, including Fugitive Pieces, Away from Her, Never Cry Werewolf, and the teen television series Degrassi: The Next Generation. She also starred in a number of Lifetime original movies. In 2007 she appeared in the music video of You Got That Light performed by Wade Allain-Marcus and David Baum. She also was in the MTV movie The American Mall. She starred in The CW’s supernatural drama The Vampire Diaries, playing the role of Elena Gilbert, a girl loved by two vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon Salvatore. She also had a minor role in the erotic thriller Chloe, theatrically released by Sony Pictures Classics on March 26, 2010. The film had enjoyed commercial success and became director Atom Egoyan’s biggest moneymaker ever. In April 2011, Dobrev was cast as Candace in the film adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, alongside Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Paul Rudd.
In August 2014, she starred alongside Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. in the 20th Century Fox comedy Let’s Be Cops. On April 6, 2015, Dobrev announced via Instagram that she would be leaving The Vampire Diaries after season six ended. In September 2015, Dobrev was cast in the film Arrivals, opposite Asa Butterfield, and Maisie Williams portraying the role of flight attendant Izzy.
Dobrev is close friends with her fellow The Vampire Diaries cast members Paul Wesley, Kat Graham, Candice Accola, Hillary Harley, Kayla Ewell, as well as actresses Julianne Hough and Jessica Szohr.
In September 2009, Dobrev was arrested for disorderly conduct while participating in a photo shoot over an I-75 bridge in Smarr, Georgia. She was released from the Monroe County Jail the same day after paying $1,000 bond.