Why We Love 'Vampire Diaries' Liv & The Aussie Actress Who Plays Her

Listen up, Mystic Falls devotees: there's a new witch in town on The Vampire Diaries , and she's more powerful than Bonnie Bennett and possibly even sassier than the late Katherine Pierce. Liv Parker is one of the best new characters that The Vampire Diaries has introduced in a long time, and I'm very glad that we have a new lady on the show who throws out snarky lines and powerful spells. She's a badass witch with great hair and is one of the few new characters that I don't find disposable. (Please, oh please, Julie Plec, let this one survive the Season 5 finale.)

So who is the woman behind this witch? Newcomer Penelope Mitchell is an Australian actress who is making her splash in the US via not one but two supernatural dramas. Prior to her role on The Vampire Diaries, Mitchell — who formerly worked as a host on the Australian kids' variety show Toon Timestarred on Eli Roth's creepy Netflix original series Hemlock Grove as Letha Godfrey. (Spoiler alert: things didn't, err, "work out" too well for her Hemlock Grove character, which, thankfully, freed Mitchell up to take on her new role on The CW's supernatural soap.)

But acting isn't the only thing that Mitchell has on her resume. Prior to her acting career, Mitchell attended Melbourne University in Australia, where she graduated in the top 1% of her class with a degree in Media Communication. Though she may be a college graduate, her plans didn't include pursuing a higher degree. Instead, Mitchell spent her post-college years chasing her acting dream to Los Angeles, where she went in 2012 to audition for pilots. Her experience was documented on an Australian show Next Stop Hollywood , a reality TV show about a group of aspiring actors and actresses pursuing their careers in Hollywood. It seems to have paid off — at just 22, the actress is already one of TVD's newest fan favorites (at least in the eyes of this TV blogger.)

While The Vampire Diaries tends to have a revolving door of guest stars, I'm hoping that Mitchell remains a more permanent member of the cast. I'm excited to see what another witch does in the mix, and even more excited for Mitchell to keep injecting her snarky humor into the show. Keep it up, girl — you're headed for big things.

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