Ian Somerhalder Interview: The Vampire Diaries

INTERVIEW WITH IAN SOMERHALDER

Ian Somerhalder
Ian Somerhalder

Tell us about your character Damon.
?Damon is a vampire who is approximately 150 years old, stuck in a 23 year old?s body. Essentially, he comes back to Mystic Falls to find out why his brother Stefan is there.

Stefan and Damon have found an individual in the town who bears a striking resemblance to someone in their past who was very very important to them. So he comes back to find out why she?s there.

He also feels as if he?s been very wronged by his brother and has promised Stefan an eternity of misery – so he just wants to keep his word.?

What is the most challenging aspect of playing a vampire?
?The most challenging aspect of it is living the life of someone who is 150 years old. Imagine the amount of knowledge and cynicism you would have developed by that point in your life.

You would be walking around, living in a normal society, blending in as a normal person. However, every sense that you have; sight, sound, smell, hunger and emotions are heightened by 10,000 per cent. Imagine how difficult that would be. Communicating that and experiencing that on a real level is interesting. It?s a challenge, but its fun!?

Are there are a lot of special effects used to turn you into an evil bloodsucker? Do you spend much time in make up?
?At the beginning of the season we were in make up quite often but now we?ve decided it?s easier to use CGI. The effects level and the value of it are just amazing. They?re doing such an incredible job. They put dots on our face for the effects and it saves a lot of make up time. It?s very convenient!?

You are best known for your role as Boone in Lost who was one of the good guys. Do you find playing an immoral character like Damon more fun?
?So much more fun, so much more fun! I get better lines and that?s the beauty of it, it?s the role I?ve always wanted.?

If you had to pick one thing you and Damon have in common what would it be?
?We both have impeccable style.?

Do you think Damon has the potential to seek redemption like Stefan has or is he purely evil?
?Without a shadow of a doubt there is potential. There is plenty of room for the tables to turn and the pendulum to swing the other way. What we?ve seen of Damon so far is just the tip of the iceberg. These characters are very layered, when you start delving into someone who is more than 150 years old, you get into some very deep, very cool stuff.?

If you could choose to have one vampire attribute (ageless/mind manipulation/being able to move fast/disappear, what would it be?)
?Mind manipulation ? that would come in so handy!?

Damon?s a very intense character. Do you find it hard to shake him off at the end of a long day?s filming?
?I get into major Damon mode and I have to excuse myself and relinquish any responsibility for some of my actions on set. It?s good to have an excuse!?

What has been your highlight of the series so far?
?There are so many of them. There?s a highlight around every corner, there?s something new and interesting and fun and amazing. Just being on the show in general is a highlight.?

What?s it like filming in Atlanta?
?I think it works out really well for us to be in Atlanta because when you?re in LA or New York there?s so much access to everything. There are people and fans and so much going on that it can distract from the work.

Being down in Atlanta really lends itself to focusing us. Plus you are forced to forge really deep bonds with each other.?

Who or what were your influences when deciding on how to play the character of Damon?
?Three big ones. Josh Holloway, (Sawyer in Lost) Cary Grant and Dionysus. The marriage of a crazy crass redneck with the class of an eloquent man like Cary Grant is an interesting way to play a crazy well rounded 150 year old guy who likes a dance and the finer things in life ? like blood, wine and Beethoven. Then you add in Dionysus ? Damon is essentially Bacchus, he is that figure.?

Why should ITV2 viewers tune in to The Vampire Diaries?
?Because it?s a great ride. It?s a lot of fun, it?s beautiful, it?s scary and it?s sad. It has all of the elements we use to escape and really go to another place. The storytelling is beautiful, it?s shot beautifully and it?s directed beautifully. Every actor steps up to the plate and really pours their heart out on screen. It?s steamy ? there?s hot boys, hot girls, this show has got it all!?

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