mmmmm … Ian Somerhalder

mmmmm…Ian Somerhalder
by Theresa Bane

The Vampire Diaries, vampries, LJ SmithI don’t watch too much TV, but being a professional vampirologist there are some shows that I must watch as part of my basic job requirement. When the CW announced that they were putting out a show called “Vampire Diaries” I knew that I was going to have to watch it, and I did. I was visiting my dad on the night it premiered and with a very little bit of prodding he let himself be tricked into watching it with me. In truth I think he was planning on watching it anyway.

As soon as the character of Damon Salvatore walked onto the screen in full view my dad let out a long and sincere fatherly sigh saying “Well, there’s your new TV boyfriend.” What can I say, my dad knows me. All I could respond to his bit of insightful snark was “Damon Salvatore, he’s so dreamy.”

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the show here’s the deal: two vampire brothers move into the town of aptly named Mystic Falls, VA. One is bad boy Damon, the other is a good boy named Stefan. The beautiful and popular girl, Elena looks exactly like Stefan’s last love who died 100 years ago. Elena keeps a diary of her life and recaps the events of each show at the end of the episode, ergo the name of the series. Stefan and Elena instantly fall for one another. Damon thinks it would be funny if Stefan’s new girlfriend died as well but wants to ruin and destroy- subtly mind you- everything else first. It all takes place in a high school backdrop.


The idea for “Vampire Diaries” came from the series of books of the same name written by L. J. Smith. Her website opening flash proclaims to “Remember, no matter how dark the night, every LJ Smith book has a happy ending, but first you have to make it through the night” followed by fading into a lovely picture of the author wearing a white princess gown and petting a unicorn. My point is this: the books and the show are made for an audience of little girls ranging from ages of about 6th grade to college freshman. If you are younger or older OR a guy, I doubt that this is a TV show or book series is for you.

Although I knew after one episode I was not going to be a rabid fan of the TV show I was fascinated by the actor my daddy saw me get giggly at. Next day, in a very non stalker-like fashion I logged onto the net and did a bit of casual digging into the man who plays the evil and irrepressible Damon, Ian Somerhalder. Had to admit that I was shocked to learn that he was also the actor who played Boone, the brother who was romantically involved with his step sister on “Lost” (as in ‘I don’t care how many awards this show has won I have watched three seasons of this kack and still have no idea what is going on, I am ‘lost’). Have to admit that he made my skin crawl when he was in the story line but in VD he clearly did not. Same guy, different characters, totally different set of emotional responses. Reality closed in and it suddenly occurred to me – this guy’s got talent. Wow.

I went on not stalking him through the web and did a bit more research, yea, let’s call it “research.” Turns out that Ian was adorable as a kid, did some modeling and went on to continue to do so until he was about high school age. Then he did a wonderful thing-in the midst of a booming and growing career he left the biz to get an education. Color me impressed. In the articles I read about him, he said that he looked all around him and realized that he was not going to have a basic let alone good education if he did not stop his career and go back to school. Everything I ever learned about the modeling industry I learned by watching the Ben Stiller movie “Zoolander” and the occasional Tyra Banks Show. Somewhere between the two I’m sure the truth lies and based on that alone I’d have to say that I think he made the right decision. Sexy and smart. This boy just gets better and better.

So back to Ian. He goes to school and gets his education and decides to start acting again but here is what impresses me most about him at this point-he decides to take acting lessons. Not so much because he needs them but rather to hone his skills. And even now, to this day, after he’s been in three score of TV shows and a dozen movies he is still taking lessons, still perfecting his craft. How cool is that! How very smart, sexy and rational of him. After all, people who work with computers keep updating their knowledge about the machines and programs they use. Doctors read medical journals and take classes to keep up to date on new techniques. Even car mechanics have to keep on top of things. Why shouldn’t actors continue their training as well?! I know of few actors I’d like to hear were taking lessons, and in no particular order they are: Jim Carrey, Julia Louise Dryfus, Sandra Bullock and Jean Claude Van Damn to name drop a few for the search engines.

In other news, Ian will be up on the silver screen in a movie being called “The Tournament.” Basic plot: once every 10 years the world’s best assassins come together and compete in a deadly game. Think “Blood Sport” but without the ‘suck.’ And speaking of… he even did a SyFy made for TV movie called “Lost City Raiders.” Although the movie did get a record number of viewers for the station according to Nelson Ratings, no doubt because of our boy Ian, I myself did not see it. I hadn’t even heard of it until I started looking into what other movies Ian has done. I’ll watch it later when I get the chance, that’s what Hulu and Netflix are for. Or on a rerun, SyFy does tend to repeat stuff.

We girls are such funny creatures, as we like to sort and classify and compartmentalize stuff like our shoes, accessories, silverware and especially hot guys. When it comes to “choosing sides” we kind of corner the market on it. Are you on team Spike or Team angel? Hot for Dean or Sam? Going with Edward or Jacob. Like Vampire Bill or Eric? From the world of Ann rice do you dig Louis or Lestat? Which Dresden brother do you prefer Harry or Thomas? Now we can add to the ever increasing mix the next question for the ages as the battle lines are drawn: are you pulling for Damon or Stefan?



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Theresa Bane

Theresa Bane

QrT – Theresa Bane Vampirologist and one of Jim Butcher’s Asylum Inmates.
Theresa Bane