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Ian Somerhalder on Vampire Diaries

Published January 28, 2010 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of CW
Vampire Diaries Vampire Diaries
When The Vampire Diaries returned from holiday break, they set a love triangle in motion by sending Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) off on an adventure together. It challenged a lot of Elena’s, and the audience’s, preconceptions of the show’s romance, and Somerhalder loved every minute of it.

Ian Somerhalder Talks Vampire Diaries


“We really, really had a lot of fun on that episode,” he said. “There’s a very interesting thing that happens with Damon and Elena, and that is that when you take the ring out of the picture, Damon has to really make a decision whether to be really devious or actually be polite. Whatever that decision is, he makes a decision and sticks to it, and delicately creates a balance. Elena has a good time with Damon. He says things that are true. Damon is very truthful when he speaks. Even if he’s a deviant bastard, he’s still telling you the truth, and I think Elena feels that she’s been lied to by Stefan. In Stefan’s defense, he’s essentially had to lie to her to protect her.”

It’s fun to play the bad boy and Damon gets a lot to do. For the actor, playing a vampire is “a little strange. I actually don’t like blood. It freaks me out, a little bit. But, when you think about being hungry, and you think about a time when you were stuck on a plane or you were somewhere without food, or you see people that are starving in the world, and you think about how intense that is, and then you imagine being a vampire and having 160 years of life experience, and the knowledge of humanity, love, death and history, and on top of that your senses are heightened by 1,000 percent, it’s a very intense proposition. So, trying to inhabit someone who has that much knowledge of the world is a feat. I hope I’m doing it right and living it as truthful as possible.”



At 31, Somerhalder has a lot to catch up on when it comes to Damon’s life experience. “Damon is 162 years old. It’s not that it’s weird, but it is interesting. We spend our lives searching for knowledge and learning history, art, music and film, and we travel, and Damon has so much of that. When he does talk to Elena, who is 17 years old, he finds a commonality there that is unexplainable. There’s chemistry. My niece is a year and a half old, and the time that I have with her is my most cherished time on the planet. When you’re sitting there with this person who is this big, everything they do and say blows your mind, and you connect with that child, even though she’s 30 years younger than I am.”

Even at 162, Damon is mainly focused on antagonizing his brother and the long lost crush of Katherine. “That’s all it’s about for him. It’s pretty interesting that this person who has access to the most unbelievable historical events, and access to monetary and travel resources, he still wants to be in this small town in Virginia, with his brother and to find his girl. That’s powerful.”

Follow Fred Topel’s celebrity encounters on Twitter @FredTopel.

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