Thanks to Lori Fradkin at New York Magazine

Ian Somerhalder met Kevin Williamson about a decade ago when the young model-actor appeared on Dawson’s Creek spinoff Young Americans. Now he stars on the writer’s latest show, The Vampires Diaries, in the role of Damon Salvatore, a 170-year-old vampire set on stirring up trouble for his earnest brother, Stefan. The third episode airs tonight on the CW, and Vulture caught up with Somerhalder to chat about his new character and returning as Boone for Lost‘s final season.


How did your role on Vampire Diaries come about?
I found out about the meeting about nine or ten o’clock — I was in Las Vegas — and I had to be there at 11 a.m. and I hadn’t even read the material. So I literally taped my sides together and drove across the desert at, you know, five in the morning while my girlfriend slept. And that’s how I worked on the material, driving, just memorizing. It’s funny because that’s exactly what I did for The Rules of Attraction many years ago. I remember that feeling of going, Wow, again I’m doing this.

Was there something about playing the evil brother that appealed to you?
Yeah, Damon has a lot of fun. Obviously we can deem him as evil by virtue of his actions, but going further and not judging him for them [laughs], I’ve never really played anyone who was that fun. There’s something about showing up to work every day and not taking yourself so seriously — there’s a certain amount of levity that comes with that. And it’s refreshing.

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I think it would be more fun to play the bad guy. How often do you get to do that stuff in real life? I haven’t read the books, but I’m really enjoying the series so this was fun to read.

Do you think CW is adapting the books well? What do you think of the interview?