Hollywood heartthrob Paul Wesley is more than an on-screen vampire. The actor is also a self-proclaimed tennis fanatic, who happens to be close pals with Gael Monfils.
"I met Monfils through friends, we became buddies, so I started following his matches,” the Vampire Diaries' star told Steve Weissman on Tuesday’s edition of Tennis Channel Live.
“It went from following every one of his matches to watching every single match. I would wake up at 3 a.m. to watch matches in Europe. I got hit with the bug. I just love it.
“The thing about Gael that I respect so much is he’s that he’s an unbelievable athlete, but on top of that, he’s just a good guy. He’s able to have fun and play with the audience in front of thousands of people,” Wesley said.
Paul Wesley at the 2015 US Open- Getty Images
Although he’s only been paying close attention to tennis the last few years, Wesley had a perfect response ready when Weissman posed the question, “What similarities do you see between tennis and acting?”
"Subconsciously, I think that’s why I gravitated toward tennis," Wesley said. "I feel like acting, in a way, isn’t a competition, but it is a mental endurance. It’s a game of trying to persevere, not over think, and use your instinct."
Clearly Wesley knows his stuff. At the highest level, where the margins are the smallest, players are separated more by mental strength than physical.
"When I watch tennis it’s an art form to me. I love sports but when I watch basketball and football they aren’t the same because it’s a team effort. Tennis is purely psychological one-on-one warfare."