10 Best Nina Dobrev Movie & TV Performances, Ranked

September 28, 2023 - Movies

Nina Dobrev has been appearing on our screens since her days on the Canadian television show Degrassi: The Next Generation. The Canadian actress, originally from Bulgaria, played Mia on season three of the teen drama, and it was here that she first gained notoriety. Since then, Dobrev has gone on to star in feature films alongside Julia Roberts, Elliot Page, and Emma Watson, as well as scoring the lead role in one of the premiere teen dramas of the 2010s, The Vampire Diaries.

Dobrev’s portrayal of Elena Gilbert on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries is by far her most recognizable role to date. She played the high school student turned vampire for six years alongside Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Candice King, and Kat Graham. The Vampire Diaries is currently streaming on Netflix and officially wrapped up its last season several years ago. Dobrev’s newest work is the comedy film Sick Girl from director Jennifer Cram which will be released in October 2023. In honor of the sixth anniversary of the series finale of The Vampire Diaries, here’s a look at lead actress Nina Dobrev’s best movie and TV performances so far, ranked.

Updated on September 27th, 2023, by Amira Abdel-Fadil: This article has been updated with additional content to keep the discussion fresh and relevant with even more information and new entries.

10 Degrassi: The Next Generation

Nina Dobrev on Degrassi

Degrassi: The Next Generation was one of the most popular teen drama franchises when it first aired in the early 2000s. The Canadian-based television series ran for 14 seasons on CTV, TeenNick, Family Channel, and MTV, massing over 450,000 total viewers. Dobrev’s portrayal of Mia Jones, the model who first appeared on Degrassi in season six, was the actress’ first acting job ever.

Dobrev isn’t the only star to come out of Degrassi: she starred alongside the extremely successful entertainer and her long-time friend, Drake. Due to the show’s great success, a spinoff was created in 2016 called Degrassi: Next Class, which is available to stream on Netflix.

9 Love Hard

Love Hard

The romance/comedy Love Hard, directed by Hernán Jiménez, is one of Dobrev’s most acclaimed and well-received movies. This Netflix original movie is a funny, comfortable, and easy-to-watch holiday film centered around a writer in Los Angeles named Natalie Bauer, played by Dobrev.

She thinks that she found the perfect guy through a dating app, but when she goes to surprise him for Christmas, she realizes that she was catfished. The appeal following Love Hard is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and Dobrev gives a great light-hearted performance.

8 Flatliners

Nina Dobrev in Flatliners

Nina Dobrev is probably best known for her work on television during the beginning of her career, but recently she has been focusing largely on films. The 2017 thriller/sci-fi Flatliners, directed by Niels Arden Oplev, is one of the more interesting films Dobrev has starred in.

The movie follows medical students taking a dangerous voyage to explore what possibilities lie beyond life. Alongside Dobrev, Flatliners is packed with an extremely talented cast, including Kiefer Sutherland, Elliot Page, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, and Diego Luna.

7 The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Logan Lerman and Nina Dobrev in The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a fan-favorite and one of those movies that everybody should see at least once. Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Johnny Simmons, and Nina Dobrev star in the romance/drama. Rooted in love, friendship, and finding yourself through the help of others, this movie is a reminder that we are all struggling with our demons, but we are never alone.

At the end of the day, good people who support us are out there. Charlie, played by Lerman, is a very shy and awkward boy who becomes friends with the airy and bright step-siblings Sam and Patrick, both of whom help bring Charlie back to life. Charlie is doing much better until he realizes that his friends will be leaving soon, and he is left to discover who he is on his own.

6 The Vampire Diaries

Katherine talks to Bonnie
  • CBS Television Distribution & Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Coming in at number one on the list is Nina Dobrev’s most iconic performance of all time, her portrayal of Elena Gilbert on the CW mystery/drama The Vampire Diaries. Elena is a lonely teen girl who feels dead inside due to dealing with the recent loss of her parents. Just when she’s about to give up all hope, Elena meets Stefan Salvatore, the mysterious, gorgeous, and angelic new kid in school. He brings her back to life and the two fall in love before Elena realizes Stefan and his older brother Damon Salvatore are vampires.

The series, which lasted for eight seasons, focuses primarily on the ongoing love triangle between Elena, Stefan, and Damon. In addition to Dobrev, Paul Wesley, and Ian Somerhalder the show also stars Candice King, Kat Graham, Zach Roerig, Michael Trevino, Steven R. McQueen, Matthew Davis, and Joseph Morgan. One of the most impressive aspects of Dobrev’s work on The Vampire Diaries is the fact that she played four different characters during her time on the show — Elena Gilbert, Katherine Pierce, Amara, and Tatia — showing how versatile she is as an actress. The amount of The Vampire Diaries fans out there is insane and even today, six years after the show went off the air, TVD is finding new audiences on Netflix and other streaming platforms.

Related: Here’s Where the Cast of The Vampire Diaries is Today

5 Let’s Be Cops

Nina Dobrev in Lets Be Cops

In the fun-filled comedy, Let’s Be Cops, Nina Dobrev stars alongside Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans. Two buddies, Ryan and Justin who are not satisfied with how their lives are panning out, go to a costume party dressed as cops. However, they are taken seriously on the streets which inspires them to take advantage of it and see what benefits they can reap. That is until their amusing play turns serious, and now they must face real mobsters and rely on themselves.

These outfits change their lives and allow them to unlock a side of themselves they like. Nina Dobrev plays Josie, a waitress whom Justin fancies. Nina Dobrev is charming in her performance as Justin’s love interest. Unrealistic, entertaining, Let be Cops is for those who want a no-brainer kind of evening.

4 Fam

Fam nina dobrev

Fam is a TV miniseries starring Nina Dobrev, Tone Bell, and Odessa Az’ion. Nina Dobrev plays Clem, the older sister to Shannon, who is living with her fiancée. However, after not getting on well with their father, Shannon decides to move in with Clem and her fiancée. The sitcom seems to be a hit or a miss for the audience.

They either hate it or love it. However, even though the first few episodes are the weakest, the show progressively gets better and so does its comedic tone. It’s refreshing to see Nina Dobrev playing a lead character in a show other than the Vampire Diaries and this time, in a sitcom where the portrayed character is completely different.

3 Then Came You

Nina Dobrev in Then Came You

In Then Came You, a terminally ill teenager and a hypochondriac’s lives are merged in what turns out to be an inspiring story of growth. The movie stars are Asa Butterfield, Maisie Williams, and Nina Dobrev.

The motion picture deals with the delicate subject of illness and wraps its ultimate message in the portrayal of platonic friendships, love, hope, dreams, and fears. Nina Dobrev plays a flight attendant and the love interest of Asa Butterfield in this emotionally resonant narrative that perfectly blends comedy, drama, and romance.

2 Dog Days

Dog Days nina Dobrev
LD Entertainment

Set in Los Angeles, California, Dog Days follows different individuals and their canine pets who are brought together by their love for animals. Sweet and uplifting, Dog Days showcases the beautiful love pets can give their owners.

This love always seems to mend the difficult emotions and emptiness they feel. There is family, there is love, and there is a bit of comedy. The ensemble cast includes Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, and Adam Pally.

1 Redeeming Love

Nina Dobrev in Redeeming Love

Based on the best-selling novel by Francine Rivers, Redeeming Love is a story an emotionally touching love story that goes through trial and tribulations that tests the solidity of its fabric. Angel who comes from a background of prostitution hardship, and self-hatred, meets Micheal, a kind farmer who teaches her to love herself through his love which slowly allows her to heal.

However, breaking away from her old life and breaking the toxic cycle is difficult. The film shines a light on how difficult it could be to choose better, even with a good support system. Nina Dobrev plays Angel’s mother in the film who has had a huge impact on the development of her daughter.

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