The end of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES’ innagural season is almost upon us, so we here at iF Magazine thought it would be a perfect time to talk with one of its young stars, Ian Somerhalder. Damon is his name, and being a bastard is his game. The cynical brother of leading man Stefan (Paul Wesley), Damon gets to have all the fun on the show by just being his bad self. Here’s what he had to say about the first season of the CW’s hit show, what to expect before season one is in the books, and a little jab at TWILIGHT.
iF MAGAZINE: What’s been the biggest surprise about the whole VAMPIRE DIARIES experience?
IAN SOMERHALDER: This whole experience is a surprise. It’s like having a secret that we didn’t tell anyone and we were hoping that they would like it as much as we did. And they did for now! Until people stop watching! The whole experience is amazing. This group of people, our crew, is the most phenomenal crew I’ve ever met in my career. And this cast, I love and adore them. We have a blast. I have so much respect for them. And have amazing craft service. The best.
iF: Will the people who have read THE VAMPIRE DIARIES book, will they know what’s coming or are you guys going to go in a different direction?
SOMERHALDER: We deviate a bit. Not a bit, a lot. And it’s necessary just for production reasons. This isn’t a movie. This is a show that’s going to evolve and we’re going to get to evolve with these characters and we’re going to get to see hopefully everyone of these girls half naked. It’s for the audience. I want the audience to be satisfied.
iF: You and Paul Wesley seem to have a great onscreen rapport. Was it there since the day you started?
SOMERHALDER: We love each other. We are like brothers. We dress alike. It’s kind of freaky. But we do have a great rapport. The thing is I realize this: I could be doing this with anyone else… Paul is such a phenomenally talented committed actor, and he’s my good friend, and we could be doing this with anybody else and we got lucky. We worked really hard to get these roles and we’re going to continue to work even harder to keep them.
iF: Damon and Stefan have quite a history together, with Damon often pulling of some outrageous antics. What do you think is Damon’s motivation for his behavior?
SOMERHALDER: Love. Love and loneliness for his brother and missing his girl and missing his brother. Damon’s a lonely bastard. Imagine being that old.
iF: Are you inspired by other past vampires such as Kiefer Sutherland from THE LOST BOYS?
SOMERHALDER: I was so obsessed with THE LOST BOYS. Really one of my favorite vampire movies is SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE because it was just so not this romanticized, physical, sensual beautiful thing. It was really what I always imagined vampires to be. In that film, you almost feel like what it would be like to be cold and death. Willem Dafoe is on another planet as far as how talented he is.
But, you know, no. I think the inspiration that I have is more… this comes from other actors that I remember watching growing up and just wanting to be those people.
iF: Have you seen any of the TWILIGHT movies?
SOMERHALDER: I haven’t seen any TWILIGHT movies, none of them. I didn’t want to make that comparison. And I’ve never read any of the books. So to answer your question, I will not be seeing them. Maybe I’m one of the only people in the country who will not be seeing them.
iF: The story line is similar, but the show seems very different.
SOMERHALDER: There are some common denominators, but it is its own entity. (Creators) Kevin (Williamson), Julie (Plec) and everyone have worked very hard to make sure that it is its own entity. It’s a living, breathing, evolving show, on its own.