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March 11, 2011

The Hectic Afterlives of Ian Somerhalder

Wanted, Dead and Alive: Ian Somerhalder of CW series The Vampire Diaries talks of his whirlwind life - shooting Vampire Diaries in Atlanta and ABC's Lost in Hawaii at the same time - and how the "dead" guy he plays really, really knows how to live.

By Paula Hendrickson

Ian Somerhalder of CW series The Vampire Diaries.

Life's been hectic for Ian Somerhalder.

While costarring as Damon on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, he also resurrected Boone, his character on ABC’s Lost, for some scenes in the final season.

Making it slightly more challenging: The Vampire Diaries was shooting in Atlanta, while Lost was filming in Hawaii, some 4,500 miles away.

Somerhalder credits the line producers of both shows for making it possible.

“For me, it’s just a matter of getting on the plane,” he said during production.

“It ends up that I’m only in Hawaii for a day, usually, because I have to come right back. So in forty-eight hours I will have traveled about twenty hours in the air. It’s a pretty interesting whirlwind, but I’m not going to complain.”

Damon and Boone couldn’t be more different, but Somerhalder sees some parallels. “Boone is dead and seemingly comes to life at times. Damon’s dead, yet lives life very well,” he observes.

Some fans have commented that the Boone seen in Lost’s “flash-sideways” seems different from season one. Somerhalder says that’s because Boone was in his element on the plane.

“Yes, he had a little infatuation with his stepsister, but all in all, he was a pretty together guy," Somerhalder explains. "But on an island in the middle of the Pacific where you’re faced with life or death at every turn — that was not Boone’s environment."

"He had a big heart and wanted to do the right thing," he continues, "but he was afraid and he never got to find his power. That was very unfortunate."

Damon, on the other hand, ceases to relinquish that power, Somerhalder observes. "He generally has the upper hand in every conversation and relationship, and he wants to enjoy himself. That’s truly all he wants: he wants to have fun.”

The travel was worthwhile, Somerhalder says, because both shows benefited from shooting on location, which forges a bond among castmates.

“The fact that we’re all so comfortable with each other and so close does come across on screen. It creates a work environment that is conducive to efficiency and absolute creative openness. You become a family. When we go back out into the world, for a while it’s going to feel a little odd.”

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