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September 1, 2015

Ian Somerhalder Talks 'Vampire Diaries' Season 3: Drama, Nudity & More

by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 14th 2011 7:00PM
Ian Somerhalder, 'The Vampire Diaries'After last season's huge cliffhanger finale -- hell, cliffhanger season -- we're now faced with some big changes over at 'The Vampire Diaries.' Stefan is bad, Damon is good ... oh, this is gonna be fun.

I caught up with star Ian Somerhalder to talk all about Damon's latest dilemma: Having to take care of the girl he loves but can never have.

He also teased some more Damon drama in Season 3 (premieres Thurs., Sept. 15, 8PM ET on The CW), including how "pissed off" he is that his brother Stefan has taken off with that "prick" Klaus, and why Damon's annoyed with the idea of spending another three-quarters of a century in Mystic Falls.

Then we dished about the status of the Damon-Alaric bromance, all the nude scenes he's had this season and how, personally, he's enjoying the simple pleasures in life with his on-screen temptress and off-screen girlfriend Nina Dobrev.

What can you tease about the Season 3 premiere? Anything that will set the tone for this season?
Um, well Damon's naked. [Laughs] That sets a tone. I spent a couple of days naked on set, which always brings you closer to your fellow grips and electricians ... which is pretty awesome. [Laughs] Such a strange statement.

[Laughs] Well it sounds like you all have been listening to your fans ...
I've had my head so buried in working! But the premiere is so indicative of 'Vampire Diaries' -- a lot happens in the 48 minutes that the show airs. Season 1 was just incredible storytelling, and Season 2 was a season of a lot of mythology -- it set up a lot of what we're doing for the next 80 episodes or whatever we get, provided they don't cancel us. But I think ultimately, Stefan and Klaus pose very serious issues. Stefan's gone to that other place, and Damon's seen this before ... he knows, he's seen his brother. So one thing that Damon's feeling, in all honesty, plain and simple is he's pretty annoyed. He's pretty pissed off. He's angry because I don't think he ever saw his life ending up this way.

So he's not thrilled to finally have a shot with Elena?
No. I don't think he ever saw being stuck in Mystic Falls, taking care of this young, beautiful creature he's totally in love with ... he is totally in love with this girl, but he can't have her. A) She doesn't want him, and B) it's his brother's girl. Even Damon's not gonna stoop that low. So he's thinking, alright, so she's 18, right? She's gonna live another 70 or 75 years, with modern medicine, so he's thinking, "Sh*t man, I'm stuck in Mystic Falls for another three-quarters of a century, taking care of this girl that I can't have." That is not something that I think sits very well with him. He wants to take care of her, he wants her to be happy, he wants her to live a full, amazing life -- but she wants Stefan back.

And that could take a while, getting Stefan back, right?
Yeah, and Damon's a little more realistic about how long it's actually gonna take to get Stefan back to the place where we need him to be. So, you know, Damon's got to do things he doesn't want to do. It's not a role or job that he wants to accept, and so I think there's kind of a big misconception there. He keeps getting pushed into sort of this hero role, and he doesn't want it. It's the sort of thing where, when Damon's frustrated and annoyed, what does he do? It's pretty sadistic to say, but he goes and rips some beautiful girl's neck open and gulps her down. But he can't do that anymore, and that pisses him off!

Because Stefan is doing it for him. It's almost like one of them is forced to behave if the other one is being bad -- that's their balance.
Damon tried for two seasons to get his brother to do that exact thing! To run around and eat every sorority girl and just destroy everything in their path, to no avail. Stefan wanted nothing to do with it. Now Stefan's running around doing that exact thing with Klaus, who's a prick. Damon hates him -- he tried to kill him! So you can see the world of frustration in which Damon is living.

If Damon is so frustrated, how much time does he have to take advantage of having Elena all to himself?
Yeah, you know, it's definitely crossed his mind. When the cat's away, the mice will play. But he's doing the right thing. He's trying to get him back. And, you know what's cool about this? Damon and Elena, their banter ... sometimes they sound like a little old married couple. They fight back and forth with each other, and it's pretty darn cute. Damon gives her something, I think, that Stefan doesn't necessarily anymore: he makes her smile.

Obviously a lot of the first part of the season will be tracking down Stefan and Klaus and protecting Elena, but who else has Damon gotten to play with.
Really just Elena. Well, Elena and Alaric. The bromance continues!

[Laughs] People were actually hoping that maybe a Tyler-Damon bromance might build as well, out of all the tension.
That would be fun, man, because he could do all these cool hybrid things!

Well, on a personal note, I'm so happy that you and Nina are finally talking about being a couple in real life. You've kept things under wraps for so long, is it kind of a sigh of relief that you can finally just admit you're dating?
[Laughs] Well, I will say that when you spend that much time around someone ... this is like a family. We spend a lot of time doing what we do. And in whatever capacity we hang out, it's very nice to simply enjoy the simple pleasures of life with the people that you hold dear and want to spend time with. It could be a lot worse.

Follow Maggie on Twitter @TheTVShowGirl

Watch more of our favorite 'TVD' interviews here

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