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Vampire Diaries Stars Spill Secrets on Season Two, That Kiss and...Ashlee Simpson?!

Warning: The Trifecta of Hotness that is otherwise known as Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley may scorch your retinas.

Watch the video above with an emergency eye-flush kit on hand.

I just caught up with The Vampire Diaries stars to talk about that insanely good season finale and what's ahead for season two. So why were we talking about Melrose Place's (RIP) Ashlee Simpson appearing on The Vampire Diaries?

Turns out, Ashlee was the CW's first choice for Nina's role of Elena/Katherine.

"We all independently looked at a bunch of [audition] DVDs," co-executive producer and director Marcos Siega told the crowd at a recent Screen Actors Guild event for TVD. "We couldn't find the girl we wanted. The network wanted us to hire Ashlee Simpson...But Nina [Dobrev] sent this DVD back and we all were home looking, searching, and we came in the next day saying, 'We should look at Nina again.' We showed it to Peter Roth, and Peter only saw her on that tape and he said, 'That's her.'"

"Half of Hollywood I think went out for the role, for all our roles," Nina tells me. "I guess I did something right, here I am. We had to discover and find our characters. Every episode we learned something more and something more, and eventually we created and molded these amazing, awesome characters."

Paul reveals he also auditioned many times for the role of Damon before Ian came in and swooped it up.

"You're just too sweet, Paul," Ian teases his onscreen brother from the same mother.

"I just think you're too evil," Paul shoots back.

"No one is arguing that," Ian counters.

As for what's ahead in season two, the cast says they're taking nothing for granted and prepared to make it another fantastic year with their tried-and-true season-one formula: hard work.

"We want the second season to be as good as the first season," Paul tells me. "We start shooting relatively soon, and it's gonna go by like that, so as much as we're celebrating, we're also bracing ourselves."

"Typically the second season of every show is generally its best year," Ian adds, "so I think we need to make it an unbelievable year of television."

So what about any sort of real relationship between Damon and Elena? Ian hints only that "the dynamic is going to change between the three of us."

"It basically picks up right where we left off," Nina reveals. "That's the only thing we're gonna say."

"If they told us, they know that we would we tell you, and then they'd chop our fingers off," Ian teases.

As long as he keeps his toes...

Hear what Nina and Ian have to say about the porch-scene kiss in the video above, plus the shameless footsie moment with Ian Somerhalder that made me squeal like a little girl riding a pony...made of chocolate...dipped in magic. And they say I'm not the consummate professional journalist. Pshaw!

What are you hoping will go down on TVD for season two? And can you picture Ashlee playing Elena/Katherine? Sound off below.

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Still trying to figure out what that other Ian Somerhalder show was all about? (Psst...Lost.) Go here.

Did he turn down Sexiest Man Alive title?