Ian Somerhalder: A Study in Scarlet

Ian Somerhalder: A Study in Scarlet


American actor, model, and activist Ian Somerhalder is best known for his roles as Boone Carlyle in the popular television series “Lost” in 2004 and as Damon Salvatore in the supernatural drama “The Vampire Diaries” on The C.W.

He has been filming the fourth season of his popular program for the past three months in Atlanta, but he is now headed to L.A. to attempt to find a movie. Given his acting abilities and stunning good looks, landing a role would not be too difficult for him.

Speaking of, Somerhalder is a candidate for the lead role in “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and it would have been obvious that he could pull off the job given how similar his character in “Vampire Diaries” is to portraying the lead in the BDSM-happy smash blockbuster book trilogy.

Ian Somerhalder talks about his character in “The Vampire Diaries”

Ian Somerhalder has been playing as Damon Salvatore in the supernatural drama “The Vampire Diaries” on The C.W. for years, and now, he’s in his fourth year playing the role; of course, it is natural for him to feel a connection to the vampire he plays.

“You don’t really have a choice. We’re on episode, I think, 85, which is crazy. And it’s pretty wild when you piece together that you spend about 240 days a year filming like that. And right now, it’s movie season, which means me and the other actors are busy flying between here and Los Angeles trying to get movies, meetings with producers, things like that.”

Additionally, Somerhalder claims that he sees himself in the role he portrays, saying, “He used to be a truly maniacal killer, which I am, so I kind of miss the fact that he no longer is. It’s the way that I work with this woman, Ivana Chubbuck – she’s my coach – that in order for me to be connected to the material, I have to marry it to something that’s truly happening in my life. It’s the only way I can find true connectivity to what’s happening with the character.”

As a matter of fact, he wasn’t actually interested in making television series at the time but doing “The Vampire Diaries” tempted him because it had a strong following.

“Because it had a lot of leg. When you first read the pilot, you think, oh, this is Twilight, but on television. But after talking to Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson about the heart of the show and where it was going, it was very clear that the show was going to separate itself very quickly from that, and it wasn’t going to be in that realm of a teen vampire show; it actually had a lot of heart and a lot of soul.”

Good thing, he shared further facts or other things about the program that we weren’t aware of since this isn’t the only thing you might not know.

“Paul Wesley is one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. We have the best craft service in the business. We have the most incredible crew on the planet, and I show up to work and bite hot chicks every day. It could be worse.”

Speaking about the actor portraying one of the series’ well-known vampires, vampirism has recently taken on a certain amount of popularity. When questioned about what it is about vampires and the legend around them that is so alluring, he answered, “We love things that are dangerous; that’s sexy. We love things that are powerful and wise and that allure of mixing something that’s wildly dangerous yet wise. To be honest with you, I don’t remember exactly when the switch happened where vampires went from being grotesque anomalies, this kind of ostracised abominations, to these more aesthetically appealing forms. My favorite vampire movie is – well, I loved Interview with the Vampire, but my favorite is Shadow of the Vampire with Willem Dafoe. It’s hard to describe what the feeling of death really is, but at the end of the day, these guys are dead.”

“We used to use a lot of the mythology at the beginning of the show to identify these aspects of vampires. We’re always cold, so can we drink coffee? Caffeine actually brings your body temperature up, so you have this caffeine-drinking lush of a vampire, and that’s totally Damon. Little things like that.”

“I remember watching that movie, Shadow of the Vampire, watching how committed Willem Dafoe was. And I think that Damon when you first meet him, has very, very ill intentions. But they were for righteous reasons. He truly believed in what he was doing. Whether he was ripping someone’s head off or saving a kitten out of a tree, this man had the exact same smile on his face. And he was maniacal in that aspect. I think that’s just why people are drawn to this stuff, and this is why I’m drawn to it.”

As a result of his appearance on the program, Somerhalder has gained notoriety as a teen sex icon or heartthrob, and the actor is aware of how the show got popular, so he must deal with the celebrity that comes with it. In fact, even he said that such praises were a considerable vote of confidence for him.

“I don’t know about sex symbol, but I know that a lot of our audience is skewed towards a younger demographic – look, here’s the great thing about teen enthusiasm about anything, whether it’s a sports figure or an actor or musician. They have this ability to explain to you their commitment or appreciation for a character in a specific decibel level. It’s loud. It’s awesome. You definitely know. It’s a great vote of confidence.”

Ian Somerhalder discusses how he made the switch from modeling to acting

Throughout his modeling career, Ian Somerhalder got featured on the covers of prestigious publications, including Guess, Nautica, and Versace. He reportedly signed a modeling contract with Ford Models at age 10, which prompted his family to rent a home in New York, where he resided with his mother until he was thirteen. Meanwhile, he also said he began acting when he was approximately seven years old and even did some theater at that time.

“I started acting really when I was about seven, I think, doing a little theatre. My mom brought me into acting classes when I was about 10. I took a break when I was young, and then when I was 16, I ended up back in it and did that for a while, and really knew openly that what I wanted to do was acting, and studied a lot. I was enrolled at William Esper, a very well-known acting studio in New York. It was giving up on that world of fashion and moving around the globe a lot and hunkering down in New York City, and making sure I was focusing on the work. I was lucky to work with some really phenomenal acting coaches. There’s a man named Anthony Abeson who, when I was 17, taught me so much. Then Will Esper – learned so much. And I ended up now with this woman in my life, Ivana Chubbuck; she’s my entire career. These people change the film business; actors don’t just show up to work; they work on the material with these people that you never even hear of, who really come up with the cohesive, connective tissue to create the words that the characters say and the dialogue and how that fits into your life to bring it alive on screen. I don’t know why people never thank them more.”

The actor likewise revealed that from the age of seven, he understood that acting was what he wanted to do.

“Here’s the thing. I’ve known I wanted to do this since I was seven years old. So there was never a question of ‘if’ – it was ‘when.’ You know, if I didn’t know I wanted to do this, I would’ve been a marine biologist.”

He even had a lengthy list of actors and filmmakers in mind with who he wanted to collaborate with since.

“When I was growing up watching movies, the ones I watched daily, almost, were the old Pacino movies, the Godfathers. If Cary Grant were still alive, I would love to do a movie with him. You have phenomenal directors like Clint Eastwood, actors like Sean Penn, Ed Harris. Look at what Ben Affleck did with Argo. There’s so many incredible filmmakers out there, and so many incredible actors. I would love to do a scene with a guy like Robert Duvall, Daniel Day-Lewis. I met him at this Oscar party, and it was so cool; that guy is my hero; he completely embodies the work that I would love to do.”

When asked what they talked about, he disclosed: “Funny enough, just how much of a huge hero he is to me and what a cool experience he must be having. He was looking for his kids – he said, “Where are those little buggers?” And I pointed in the direction. It was just a human conversation; I wasn’t geeking out like a fangirl, even though secretly, inside, I was freaking out because he really is just so amazing.”

Ian Somerhalder on his ground-breaking performance in “Lost” as well as his role in the film “Time Framed”

Ian Somerhalder’s breakout role came when he portrayed Boone Carlyle in the popular television series “Lost.” Still, despite the movie making him more well-known in the entertainment industry, he stated that he wasn’t even interested in the part.

“Really, what it was, was that I had come from that New York acting studio world, and I’d just finished a television show where actors would show up not excited to be at work, really not giving the material what it deserved. I’m not speaking from a hierarchy standpoint, I’m saying I was really excited to be working, but to be with people who were not as excited, that really blew my mind. There was a television show I did a long time ago, Young Americans. It was short-lived, and it was disappointing to not get picked back up, but I just wanted to do movies, and I remember having a conversation with my manager during pilot season. She called me and said, ‘Look, I have this pilot.’ It’s not even a pilot, just a set of pages from a pilot called Lost. And I said, ‘I thought we had a conversation about this. No television shows.” And she said, ‘Look at it, and look at the director, and look at the location.’ So I remember I was driving home, and then I looked in my fax machine, and I looked at the project, this thing called Lost, and I looked at the director, and it said, JJ Abrams. The location was Hawaii. I called immediately and said, ‘Screw that movie thing I was talking about.’”

Even though he ultimately came to like his part in the show, the fact that his character was killed off in the first season obviously disappointed him.

“Of course, it was disappointing to leave such an incredible show. When you work on a show like that, your cast and your crew basically become your family. So you don’t want to leave them, and you don’t want to leave such an amazing show. It’s heartbreaking; it’s like going through a divorce.”

Moving on to the movie industry, Somerhalder also starred in a number of short films titled “Time Framed” and discussed the making of the movie in depth.

“Time Framed is a lot of fun. One of my dearest, deepest, oldest friends, Sinisha Nicevic, called me about creating this very cool character. Basically, the theory is that there’s so much energy in the atmosphere that if you were able to harness that, you would basically be able to create a free energy grid. Now, what does that mean? Energy is the one thing that’s really destroying us from the ground up. Our desire and need for energy is literally what’s changed the face of the planet. It’s had the greatest impact out of anything in the history of the world. So this machine is built, and somebody steals it, and this guy, this sort of CIA operative, goes after the [thief]. We’ll find out why later, but it’s just a very cool way to get a lot of interesting facts about the environment and the world around us, where we’re going, and how it’s happening. I drive the coolest electric car in the world, the Tesla. And wear a really badass suit.”

Ian Somerhalder addresses his potential role as Christian Grey in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie adaptation

Ian Somerhalder is competing to play Christian Grey in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie adaption due to his popularity in “The Vampire Diaries,” since his character isn’t enough distinct from Grey. At this moment, the actor is unable to offer any other details.

“There are so many guys up for this role. I’m having a meeting with the producer of that movie like many, many, many other actors are. It would be a very cool experience for whoever gets that role, but until there’s more information, that’s really all I have.”

Each title has been adapted from books, and while the characters are nearly identical in both, the difference in dealing with widely known source material is, in his opinion, how it has a built-in audience already.

“What’s really incredible about that whole thing is that you have a built-in audience. But when people are already excited about a project and already so invested in these characters, they know so much about it, so a lot of times they could be very disappointed because you’ll never quite get it exactly the way everyone wants it. People always say, ‘Oh, the book was so much better.’ A book you have for days; it might take you three months to read a book. And a film is a 120 minutes. So I always laugh at people when they say that because they’re not taking that into consideration. But this is going to be a huge franchise, and it’s going to be a huge opportunity to tell a really awesome story.”

Ian Somerhalder owns an energy company and has a foundation

Given how busy Ian Somerhalder is with his acting profession, he could spend part of his spare time traveling or relaxing during his break from working on projects, but to him, he doesn’t have much to do in his downtime.

“I don’t have any. I started an energy company called Go Green Mobile Power, and we have the most powerful LED light system in the world, and we’ve developed these really phenomenal applications for it. It’s very difficult launching a big company like this, and I’m also building the largest tree-free paper company in the world simultaneously, so that is my free time, on top of trying to find a movie that I’d love to do and hanging out with my animals. My foundation and I are actually building a farm, a huge animal sanctuary out in Louisiana that’s also a youth-education camp and a sustainable agriculture farm.”

In light of this, Somerhalder is not only an actor but also an environmentalist. His Ian Somerhalder Foundation donates money and resources for developing green energy technologies, deployment, and instructional materials. So far, he has only been able to provide us with the following details: “It’s just been this really incredible experience of uniting people and projects to positively impact the environment, empowering our youth, and bringing together for-profits, other non-profits, government bodies, to really make substantial generational change in the world.”

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