Nina Dobrev just wanted to have a good time on The Late Show.
As the Dog Days star explained to Stephen Colbert Wednesday, “I was preparing and getting ready for tonight. I YouTubed previous shows, and I saw Jennifer Lawrence when she was on the show with you, and she asked you for rum. And I got nervous and figured we would maybe drink today, so I ordered a lot of room service to prepare myself so I wouldn’t be a cheap date.”
Since Colbert has a bar behind his desk, he offered her another drink. “I’ll never say no to tequila. Woo!” Dobrev said. “I’m excited and very nervous. Those are big shot glasses. Oh, my goodness…” After throwing one back with the CBS host, Dobrev said, “All right! Feeling good!”
Dobrev had never been a guest on Colbert’s show before, so he began the interview by asking about her background. “Do you get tired of the stereotype that Canadians are nice?” he asked the 29-year-old actress. “Are they actually nice, or can we just not tell how they’re being rude?”
“It is a stereotype for a reason. I get told that I’m very nice, and I’ve had that experience,” said Dobrev, who emigrated from Bulgaria as a child and was raised in Toronto. “I recently went to Montreal to visit my brother, for example, and we played this game at the bar; I guess I have a drinking theme—maybe I’m an alcoholic! I don’t know!” she joked. “Here we go! Load ’em up!”
While at the bar, they put a twist on the game Rock, Paper, Scissors. “We played this game we invented called Rock, Paper, Dare. Essentially, you dare the other person to do something, and in this case, a bachelorette party was there. The girls had a tray of 12 drinks, and my brother dared me to go grab one of the drinks from the tray,” she said. “I had to go up to the strangers. I took the shot—I stole their shots—and then I said, ‘Oh, my God! I’m so sorry! It was a dare!’ And they looked at me and said, ‘No, no, no. We’re so sorry. Please, take it!’ I was like, ‘Wait, why are you apologizing? I just stole from you!’ We kept going back and forth…That’s Canada!”
Colbert then poured another round of tequila shots for the two of them. Dobrev downed hers in no time, while he only pretended to imbibe. “Oh, that was mean!” she told him. “I’m sorry!”
As the conversation continued, Colbert told Dobrev he believes “actors are very close to liars,” in that they share similar skillsets. “Have you ever used your superpower as an actress for evil?”
As it turns out, Dobrev had. Before she filmed the 2011 movie Arena with Samuel L. Jackson,
“He shooting a film in Atlanta and I was on Vampire Diaries,” she said. “A friend who knows him invited him to dinner, and I had some friends in town and I’d promised—because I was the Queen of Atlanta; everyone said I knew the city best—that I would take care of the reservation and take them to the nicest restaurant in town. I had my assistant call [the restaurant] and he dropped my name, and my name didn’t really matter. They’re like, ‘We don’t care. The restaurant is busy and we can’t take you.’ So, I was like, ‘Oh, s–t! I already promised them…”
Realizing she had just used profane language on TV, Dobrev paused her story.
“Oh! Am I allowed to swear?” she asked, looking at a producer. “Well, I did! So, there it is!”
After charming Colbert with her gaffe, Dobrev picked up where she left off. “I had my assistant call again—same voice—but say that he was Sam’s assistant,” she recalled. As she predicted, the restaurant was thrilled about serving Jackson—so thrilled, in fact, it set aside two tables for eight—one on the inside and one in a private room—”just in case Sam didn’t want to be in the main room.” To be fair, Dobrev said, “We thought maybe he would come, but as the dinner went on, he wasn’t coming. The waiters were all excited, too…By the end of it, I made up a lie.”
And when Dobrev said she made up a lie, she really made up a lie. “I was like, ‘Oh, Sam just called…[President Barack Obama] asked him to come to the White House, so he got on the jet. Sam can’t make it,'” she recalled to Colbert. “You can’t really get mad! If Obama calls—you go!”