Steven R. McQueen

The Vampire Diaries' Jeremy Gilbert has had it rough. His parents died in a car accident, his first love, Vicki, became a vampire who was staked shortly thereafter, and his second crush, Anna, also a vampire, died just as things were going great for the couple. So when he and his sister's friend Bonnie became close, (most) viewers were thrilled by the possibility of a romance. Star Steven R. McQueen, who plays Jeremy, was among them. "Our characters ended up having such great chemistry ... and it's been a blast to unravel that new path," he says. "At the beginning of Season 2, he starts from square one. When Bonnie is added into the equation, he goes into throwing his heart on the line."

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Jeremy has gained a more positive perspective in Season 2, McQueen says. But with the confirmation that vampires, werewolves and witches do exist, and often threaten the safety of his sister, Jeremy is on a one-way path to save and protect the people he loves. "He's opened Pandora's box, found all the secrets, and is liking them," McQueen says. "He's not going to step back from that."

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Watch the full interview below.

The Vampire Diaries returns with new episodes on Jan. 27 at 8/7c on CW.

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