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Ian Somerhalder

Larry King NowMay 01 '14

The Vampire Diaries resident bad boy Ian Somerhalder sits down with Larry to chat about the Salvatore brothers, his episode of Showtime's Years of Living Dangerously and his own Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

Ian Somerhaulder sits down with Larry King to talk about The Vampire Diaries, Lost, the Ian Somerhaulder Foundation and his future projects.


Known for playing Boone on the hit series "Lost" and Damon Salvatore on "The Vampire Diaries", the actor will appear on Showtime's docudrama Years of Living Dangerously starting this month.


The Vampire Diaries attracts an audience young and old. On what makes it such a successful show, the actor says that it's probably the great storytelling along with the combination of power, danger, sex and wisdom.  Ian Somerhaulder is needed to tell the story, as one of the show's co-creators indicated that he would walk out if the actor wasn't hired.


Is it hard to portray a vampire? No, he says. I have to find the connective tissue between me and Damon. I have been in love, I have been in pain. I know what these things feel like. The bad boy says he finds the experience cathartic.


That wasn't always the case. His audition to be a vampire on the hit HBO series True Blood was a bust, partly because he was too busy geeking out on Alan Ball and wasn't able to perform properly. "It's for the best," The actor says with a twinkle in his eye and a smile.


He is not only known for portraying vampires and heartthrobs in hit television shows. Somerhaulder is passionate about the environment and it shines through in the way he speaks about his next projects and his foundation. Showtime's The Year of Living Dangerously was pitched to him as a 60 Minutes meets Homeland, a docudrama with celebrity correspondents like James Cameron and Matt Damon. The nine episode show airs at 10 p.m. EST on Sundays.


Social media is a big part of Ian Somerhaulder's life. He uses it to connect with fans of the Vampire Diaries, but that's not all. When the BP oil spill happened, he was helped by Larry King and social media to tell people the truth and raise funds. The Ian Somerhaulder Foundation uses social media to create social change and empower the next generation to change the world, he says.


He has used his celebrity to get in touch with influential people. On meeting with the president, the actor and activist told him that he should focus on clean energy, education and healthcare. "A lot of progressives aren't happy with the president," Larry King remarks.


"Nobody is happy with the president," Somerhaulder says, then adds a joke. "I'd rather be pulling bodies out of the Ganges than have that job."


He does take his activism as seriously as he takes his career, though they are dependent on each other. Somerhaulder started acting when he was only ten years old and rose to fame when he played Boone in Lost. "First one cast, first one killed!" He tells Larry King of his experience.


"Nobody is happy with the president, I'd rather be pulling bodies out of the Ganges than have that job."


After Lost, the television star disappeared and started doing plays and indie movies, only to find out that he had lost momentum when he wanted to get back into television. "Something really cool about falling on your face is that when you get up the next time, you are a lot wiser," He says. Though he was in Lost for only a year, he still keeps in touch with the cast.


When it comes to the future of the Ian Somerhaulder Foundation, he would like to have built an animal sanctuary by the end of the year. The Foundation's five year plan involves building schools and pairing up bullies with abused animals to emphasize empathy.



As far as what's happening in his show? Damon needs to chill, the actor says. And he doesn't think that Delena and Damon should be together. "We destroyed her house. She's only eighteen. I think Damon should find someone his age."