With 160 episodes aired so far, and a few more to come, "The Vampire Diaries" will leave a hole in many people’s heart when the series finale airs next March 10, 2017. It has been a long journey since the once number 1 among CW’s TV series premiered in September, 2009 — for fans, characters and cast. The fate of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), the Salvatore brothers, and their friends will be sealed when the final credits roll, but what about the actors who brought them to life?

The Vampire Diaries didn’t leave much room for other roles through the years

It’s a recurring problem for TV actors: they have to try really hard if they want to be something else.

When star Nina Dobrev chose to leave the show once her six-year contract ended, there was a lot of speculation about the reasons behind her decision. Was she upset due to her ex-boyfriend Ian Somerhalder’s relationship with Twilight actress Nikki Reed? Didn’t she care about her character anymore? Did she have a fight with executive producer Julie Plec? The answer was no.

Dobrev was very clear: she wanted to pursue a movie career. TV shows usually shoot several months a year, making it complicated to schedule a film between breaks. Yet, Nina Dobrev worked on some movies during her years on the show. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (2012) was probably the most successful, and still not enough to give her the status of a known movie star.

Her co-stars Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley did movies as well; not as successful, though.

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The critics didn’t like Somerhalder’s "The Anomaly" (2014), and the actor himself didn’t promote the movie when it was released. Wesley, on the other hand, starred in his first play "Cal in Camo" (2016), and received praise for the role.

So, what’s next?

It’s safe to say Nina Dobrev took her movie career to another level since she left The Vampire Diaries in 2015. So far, the actress has landed four roles, including Vin Diesel’s franchise "xXx: Return of Xander Cage" (2017). While his ex-girlfriend is building a name for herself in Hollywood, Ian Somerhalder’s acting future is uncertain — which is not to say he doesn’t have a plan. The "Lost" alumn recently started a production company with his wife Nikki Reed, and the couple signed a deal with Warner Bros Television. Paul Wesley followed the same steps, signing a similar deal with WB for his own production company, and already has some projects in development for other networks. Both actors have directed episodes for "The Vampire Diaries," and are now producers of the TV series’ last season.

Fans will get to see Dobrev in the movie theaters soon, however the Salvatore brothers seem to be choosing a life behind the cameras.