Began modeling at age 10, modeled for Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabanna, Gucci, Versace and Guess.
Was the face of Guess? for two consecutive Fall seasons.
He doesn’t like to talk about his modeling career because of the impressions people might get of him as being just another pretty face.
Played varsity soccer and baseball.
Ironically, the first actor to be cast as one of the survivors in “Lost” (2004).
In 2005, he bulked up, adding about 20 to 30 pounds of muscle to his slim frame, so he would be considered for more leading-man-type roles.
Has said in an interview he was planning to buy a home in Hawaii when filming the hit show “Lost” but couldn’t after his character was killed off in the show.
He has a brother, Robert (Bob), and a sister, Robyn. Their parents divorced when he was thirteen.
His father, Robert Somerhalder, was a building contractor of French and English descent, and his mother, Edna, who is of Irish and Choctaw descent, grew up on a pig farm in Mississippi.
Grew up with his mother, whom he has described as being “very spiritual”.
Attended Catholic school.
The surname “Somerhalder” originates from his adoptive great-grandfather. His biological great-grandfather, a wealthy English landowner, got one of his mistresses pregnant and paid an immigrant worker of his to marry this woman and give the baby a name, which was Somerhalder. The biological great-grandfather’s name was Hull.
Was compared to looking like “a young Rob Lowe” by Rosie O’Donnell on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (2009) (November 6, 2009).
Ian and his siblings own a pizza parlor in Idaho.
He didn’t graduate high school because he traveled to Europe to pursue his modeling career.
Has his own foundation called “Ian Sommerhalder Foundation”.
Has been in a relationship with costar Nina Dobrev since 2010.
If he hadn’t become an actor, he would have chosen a career in marine biology, writing, or advertising.
His favorite film is The Graduate (1967).
He lent a helping hand to the disaster-stricken areas of the BP oil spill. He devoted his time off for summer to work in the Gulf region, particularly his home state. Ian also participated in Larry King’s special two-hour telethon “Disaster in the Gulf: How You Can Help” on CNN, along with other celebrities.
Ian supports the charity Love Letters to the South, which pays tribute to all those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
His favorite actor is Sean Penn.
In April 2012, Ian and big brother Bob Somerhalder opened a reclaimed furniture shop named “Built of Barnwood” where they build and sell pieces themselves.