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Interview: Ian Somerhalder From ‘The Vampire Diaries’

Interview: Ian Somerhalder From ‘The Vampire Diaries’

I visited the set of The Vampire Diaries a few weeks back, and had the opportunity to speak with several members of the cast about what the rest of the season had in store for our favorite characters. I have all those interviews coming your way now that The Vampire Diaries is returning this Thursday!

The hardest cast member to grab a couple minutes with was Ian Somerhalder, and while I didn’t get as much time with him as I did the rest of the cast – he was able to spare a couple minutes to answer some questions. It was the day after his birthday, which he revealed he had enjoyed immensely while being basically naked all day in a bubble bath with a beautiful woman.

“I was here on set all day… basically naked. I was naked in a shower scene, and then I took about a 3 and half hour bubble bath with a beautiful woman on set…. Pretty much naked. And then munched on her a little bit and then I was brought an amazing gigantic cake by the crew, and sang to as I’m in a bubble bath with a beautiful woman. I also launched my foundation which is just the coolest thing. It really was such a memorable day. The energy floating around was just so palpable.” Ian commented.

I mentioned how his birthday had trended on Twitter, and a smile spread on his face, “I know it’s crazy! And I’m just so thankful to all of you guys, the media and the fans. It was a really powerful day. I was exhausted by the end of it, so I know it was so full. It was awesome. I couldn’t have picked a better way to celebrate it. If I had to work, to be around this group of people and to be naked all day with a gorgeous chick… it could be so much worse.” Ian replied.

So speaking of gorgeous chicks, how does Ian personally wanted to see the Damon and Elena relationship progress? “I just want him to make out with her eventually.” Ian paused. “I mean Stefan gets both of them, and I think it’s just time to pay the fiddler. I have no idea how that’s ever going to happen by the way. I would just like to see him be in her good graces, for her to see that he’s not such a dick… but the problem is that he is. So I don’t really know where I want that to go. All I know is that him to protect her.”

When asked about the biggest challenge in playing Damon, Ian had a cute jingle for us. “The softer side of Sears. It’s like “Come see the softer side of… Salvatore…(sings)” It’s tough, because there has to be truth, and there is a lot of real pain buried in that humor. The maniacal killer in him is starting to wane by virtue of the fact, not to sound like a broken record, but all the stakes have been raised because he cares about people now. There are stakes.”

As Ian ran back to shoot a couple more scenes, we chatted with Julie Plec about what was to come (this interview is also coming this week!). And then just when we thought we weren’t going to get any more time with Ian, he popped back in for another couple minutes.

When Ian returned he talked a little bit more about the confliction his character had faced this season, and how he actually thought that Damon was becoming soft. “He’s starting to feel things that he doesn’t want to feel. He doesn’t like feeling anything for anyone, because then there are stakes. And when there are stakes, you risk losing someone.” Ian explained, “It was really counter-intuitive for me initially because I was just so used to him being a bad guy. To have these layers was difficult for me. I was like ‘wait a minute! Damon is becoming soft’ and then he tried to kill Jeremy and I was like ‘Oh yeah. Never mind.'”

And almost as quickly as he had sat down with us, he was whisked back into filming. This was my 3rd time sitting down with the charming Mr. Somerhalder, and I eagerly look forward to next time so I can get to all those other questions that were on my list to ask!

Article By: Emma Loggins

Emma Loggins Emma Loggins is the Editor in Chief of FanBolt. As an internationally recognized "Geek Girl", Emma updates daily on the latest entertainment news, her opinions on current happenings in the media, screening/filming opportunities, inside scoops and more.  She’s been writing on the world of geekdom and pop culture since 2002 and is also considered to be one of the top Atlanta bloggers and influencers!


  1. They’ve also recently put together a set for Ian’s bedroom… so excited to see what is going to look like… and to see if there is going to be any action in there 😉

  2. There’s a terrific opportunity for Damon to develop depth as a character. They’ve done a great job developing the ‘bad boy’ side–sexy, snarky, impulsive, jealous, vengeful–but have only begun to explore what else he can be. Some great possibilities!

  3. They really have done a great job developing his character. I love the snarky comments and the bad boy image… and knowing that he’s got a sweet side buried under that – it’s made millions of girls fall for him!

  4. Yes, I read an article about how we will get to see his bedroom in the next episode – very excited for that! I never want Damon to lose that smart-alec side of him! What a great way to spend his birthday, but I wonder who that woman is? And yeah, I agree with him – just when I thought Damon was getting a soft side SNAP goes Jeremy’s neck – I’m just scared now that he’s not waiting on Katherine anymore he will find love and become soft – let’s hope he finds love on the dark side 😉

  5. Damon having the ability to be both fierce and tender seems like a powerful, sexy combination to me. There’s some inner heroism that’s just beginning to be tapped with the Klaus/Elijah story line. It would be interesting to see Stefan have to wrestle more with his dark side, than always be ‘good’; and to see Damon face challenges, in romance and in battle, that help him grow. I’m thinking eternity would be a lot more interesting with real relationships, in all their complexity and passion, than with an endless series of hook-ups. My vote would be, Damon-Elena continues to heat up, and a real rival for his affections comes onto the scene, someone he can’t compel or control. Re the bedroom, Damon seems like the guy who would have a great sound/video system, i.e., sleek, hi-tech gadgets.

  6. “Damon having the ability to be both fierce and tender seems like a powerful, sexy combination to me.” – Couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂

  7. Emma, when you named the ‘sweet’ side of him in your previous post, what came to mind is how much of what seems like Ian’s sweetness and depth inform our hopes for the complexity and potential evolution of that character. In different hands, Damon could have been much more of a jerk, much more one-dimensional. I read the books after watching the series, so to me there will always be notes of Ian’s version of Damon, in that character. He’s played out a really great blend of sexy, witty, aggressive, and now, being as emotionally conflicted as any human can be; that’s such a great irony of the show, to see the vampires struggling with ‘human’ issues. I hear a lot of subtext in fan comments about whether they want the character to be boy or man, and what ‘maturity’ involves for a human or vampire. Does having emotions equal being soft? I don’t think so, but it does involve tolerating some pain in order to have a life that’s about more than being numb. Just like with humans.

  8. You bring up some great topics. I feel like society says that guys can’t show emotion or they are considered soft. And I don’t feel that’s a fair statement. Showing emotion is being human (which by the way is also a great show on Syfy that deals with this topic as well). So what we’re seeing is Damon’s human side more than a “soft” side. Ian definitely does a great job at adding dimension to Damon. Awhile back Ian had said that he had pulled some of his inspiration for the portrayal of Damon from Sawyer on Lost. Sawyer was also this bad guy that had moments where he was or wanted to be the good guy. I think that was an excellent idea on Ian’s part to pull a bit from that character, and I think that definitely helped with adding to the complexity of the character.

  9. Thanks for the tips; I have been resisting the pull toward watching Being Human–Vamp Diaries keeps my brain busy enough!:-) To the point about what is is to be a mature human, or vampire, and what is our/their true nature, in the books, Damon gigs Stefan for being “St. Stefan”–i.e., a little too holy. While that could be seen as Damon’s envy of him, there’s also a grain of truth. In previous episodes of this show, there have been some comments about Stefan resisting his ‘true [i.e., vampire] nature’, which at the time, to Damon, was a simpler concept than it is turning out to be. To me, Damon and Stefan are interesting sides of the same dilemma. Stefan tries to live within the lines of human/spiritual virtue, but sometimes it seems as though he’s pulled back on his power a little too far, whereas Damon has had challenges in pulling back from using his power(s) too much and too often. One of Stefan and Elena’s better moments this season, to me, was the scene in which he’s agonizing over being unable to be physically strong enough to protect her without drinking blood–essentially, whether he can ‘controlled drink’ in the service of a bigger cause–and she decides despite her reservations to let him try, with her blood and her faith deepening the bond between them. Damon’s role in setting up that scene I thought was a well-written and well-played small moment, a place where the larger interest–protecting Elena–took precedence over any of his other agendas (e.g., defeating his rival in order to win Elena). The show has done such an excellent job with bigger topics–addiction, domestic violence (the Caroline-Damon arc), loss, identity–as well as with this compelling question of ‘deeper nature’. I’m glad they’ve decided to go for a broader audience, anchoring it in the dilemmas of adolescence but concurrently doing so much more than that. How we/they wrestle with our/their ‘dark side’ is certainly a big enough question to keep them going for many s

  10. I like how Damon is showing more emotion yet still keeping his sarcastic side and Ian does his character awesomely and couldn’t see anyone else doing the part! The show is so much better than the books, no offense to L.J. Smith, who is awesome herself, but I am better entertained by the show. I would like to see Damon in more serious relationships, he’d definitly go on a rampage on anyone who messed with his woman, lol! And I can’t wait to see Damon’s bedroom, has to have a gothic style darkness. Hey Emma, you should try to do your next interview in Damon’s bedroom, lol!

  11. Yes, yes, and yes! Thanks for the tip in your other post about the guy who’s writing an alternative direction for the characters. Will have to check it out 🙂


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