Credit: CW

Things are often pretty grim on The Vampire Diaries, but behind the scenes, things are definitely a bit nuttier.

Case in point? Ian Somerhalder, who plays bad boy vampire Damon, recently pulled a naughty prank on real-life love Nina Dobrev when they filmed the opening scene for the series' third season.

"I'd spent almost two days on set completely naked, which is kinda awesome, because as if I wasn't close enough to our crew members, I feel really close after that," he tells Entertainment Weekly.

Before Somerhalder was scheduled to begin shooting with Dobrev, 22, an assistant director suggested he visit a prop master to make elephant ears.

"The first thing we see is Nina's reaction, so what if I was completely naked and we had elephant ears and double-stick tape, and I put them on each of my thighs, and ultimately, she would be staring at a very small, young elephant," Somerhalder, 32, explains.

"The reaction that we got was f--king amazing," he laughs. "I hope and pray that that is what we used in the edit because it was such a natural  'Ohmygod!' reaction."

The Vampire Diaries premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.