I can’t stand Elena. Or at least I couldn’t stand her in seasons 3 and 4. But in comparison with the most awful character I have ever encountered (aka uncharismatic pregnant I do not do drama at least successfully werewolf of doom) Elena is a ray of positive energy and pure light of enjoyment LOL.
And at least Nina Dobrev can act! Which means that Elena’s character is problematic due to the writing. The actress can’t do much when she doesn’t have the right material. This is why Katherine is a BOMB while sweet hypocrite vanilla Elena is not.
This is why Dobrev can play different accents; she can play with her body, her face, her movements. She can portray the bitch, the emotionless vampire, the innocent, the vanilla girl, the grieving woman, the woman in love, in pain, the hopeful, the seductress, the ironic person, the compassionate. The sister, the lover, the friend, the traitor, the daughter, the mother. This is why she can play multiple different characters with multiple different reactions. Some more successfully than others for sure but all with a solid level of good acting. Some can do that -like Nina- while some other definitely and obviously cannot. At least this is my personal opinion and view.