"I was really getting sick of him," says actor Paul Wesley about the character that made him a supernatural teenage hearthrob overnight.
You see, playing a kind-hearted vampire - the less edgy of two ridiculously good-looking brothers - was getting a bit dull for Wesley. "I was so happy to embrace not being the moral compass of the show," he explains, as we sit down for a chat about series 3 of hit US drama The Vampire Diaries.
"I find the most interesting characters to be flawed and I just wanted them [the producers] to make Stefan as flawed as possible. They certainly did that with me ripping people's heads off," he adds.
It wasn't just Wesley who wanted Stefan to take a darker path and stand up to his fierce brother Damon. Fans of the show, which has racked up two People's Choice Awards as well as many Teen Choice Awards, seemed to be yearning for it too.
"He instantaneously became more likeable, which I found ironic," Wesley agrees.
The main focus of the series, set in the fictional small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, is the love triangle between the gorgeous Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and the vampire-brothers Stefan Salvatore (Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), meaning the show has been compared to supernatural film franchise Twilight, starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.
Wesley says he never saw himself "as a vampire in a million years" and admits he had reservations about The Vampire Diaries at first: "When I got the script I thought 'Oh no, this is going to be Twilight for TV.'"
Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley star in The Vampire Diaries
But is there anything more than Stefan and Damon's powerful sex appeal to attract teens to the show?
"I certainly hope so, otherwise we are just boy toys," Wesley laughs.
"I think the teens gravitated it to it because there is a vampire craze, but teens aren't dumb and they watch it and are really moved by the characters."
With all the fame that comes with playing a heartthrob vampire, presumably also comes crazed teenage fans? Has he got it as bad as R-Patz?
"I don't know, I think he definitely gets a lot more of that than I do. But it depends what city I'm in, I definitely feel like it's not good for my ego to be in certain cities because the show is pretty popular.
"I thought Paris was pretty interesting. We couldn't leave our hotel because there were so many people outside, which was really flattering, but in certain places people couldn't give a crap."
Wesley, who changed his Polish last name from Wasilewski in 2005 to further his career, notes TVD is also popular in Poland.
"I went there a week ago visiting my family and it was nice because a lot of them knew I was of Polish origin and my real last name, so it wasn't just like 'oh you're the guy from the show,' I felt kinmanship," he says.
Having recently turned 30, Wesley has got his eye on making the transition into adulthood, he says, "if not in real life then at least on-screen." With three years left on his Vampire Diaries contract and little time to work on anything else in between, he admits this hasn't been easy, but adds: "I've got a movie coming out next year and I've got the chance to do one next year.
"What I'm trying to do is some adult-orientated, humanised sort of roles, rather than these supernatural-esque teen things."
But that doesn't mean Wesley wants to move away from TV and just focus on films, in fact, he explains just the type of show he likes and it's surprisingly British...
"It's very ignorant these days to say films are the be-all and end-all, television is so compelling. I was just watching a BBC show that you guys have, I thought it was so well shot, it's called Sherlock.
"I was just blown away. It looks better than 9/10 films that I see in the cinema... Of course I'd love to do film because in film you get to play all sorts of roles. Playing the same character for seven years is a big undertaking."
For now though, it's on to series 4 of The Vampire Diaries, Wesley's reluctant to give anything away and hints only that "Stefan has a new girl in his life".
Meanwhile, Damon is getting nicer: "We all want to be bad boys and he's getting a lot more empathetic. He's crying a lot lately, he's very sensitive."
Wesley wants to see Stefan "fall off the wagon" with new characters. It sounds like vampire fans won't be disappointed.
Paul Wesley stars in The Vampire Diaries: Season 3, available on Blu-ray™ with UltraViolet™ digital copy and DVD with UltraViolet™ digital copy from 20 August.