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Vampire Diaries' Damon And Stephen Actors Recall 'Insane Anxiety' On Set

During its eight-season run on The CW, "The Vampire Diaries" sustained itself on TV audiences' apparently unquenchable thirst for tales of good-looking, undead teen vampires preying on gorgeous everyday human teens and turning them into even more... well, you get the drift. Springboarding off tried-and-true hemoglobin-centric franchises like the "Twilight" films and the "True Blood" series, "The Vampire Diaries" tweaks the existing formulas slightly by featuring a pair of vampire bros at its heart: Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore and Paul Wesley as his brother Stefan. And, since no series in this eternally popular genre is complete without a torn-between-at-least-two-lovers romantic interest, undead or otherwise, there is Nina Dobrev's soulful orphan Elena Gilbert at the nexus of the show's triangular love constellation.

As the stars of the supernatural smash, Somerhalder and Wesley each haunt the environs of the show's Mystic Falls for over 170 episodes. But as Somerhalder revealed in an interview alongside Wesley with Page Six, both actors were made inordinately jumpy while filming for reasons that have nothing to do with the show's anxiety-inducing twists and turns. Rather, they blame the massive amounts of caffeine consumed during "take after take," per Wesley, on the set of the show.

The hyper-caffeination culprit on the set of The Vampire Diaries was tea

As Ian Somerhalder revealed in the above Q&A, the cast endured "the most insane anxiety issues because there was so much caffeine" while working on Season 1 of "The Vampire Diaries," due to downing entirely too many cups of tea during shoots. And the explanation for all that consumption has to do with keeping actors sober while doing repeated shots of scenes involving repeated shots of a certain alcoholic beverage. As anyone familiar with this series can tell you, the show features almost as many scenes of actors sucking down whiskey as it does actors sucking down blood. And so, in the name of sobriety, iced tea became the on-camera substitute of choice.

But as a result, Somerhalder said, "You're drinking 20 to 30 cups of tea, so by the end of the day you're, like, 'Ahh!'" He added that all the tea-swilling even affected their off-set lives, saying, "We didn't [sleep]." After that initial season, however, the cast and crew came up with a common-sense solution. As Wesley said, they "switched to decaf, so we felt a lot better." Now, Somerhalder and Wesley get to drink the real brown stuff day to day, as the two recently launched their own whiskey: Brother's Bond Bourbon.