Ian Somerhalder Discusses The Vampire Diaries and Stefan’s Relationship with Elena

Ian Somerhalder as Damon in 'The Vampire Diaries'
Ian Somerhalder as Damon in 'The Vampire Diaries' - Photo Courtesy of The CW
Listening to Ian Somerhalder discuss season five of The CW’s The Vampire Diaries while at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con, it sounds as though the series will have a change in tone from seasons three and four. But given this is a series that isn’t afraid to either kill off fan favorites or rip apart on screen relationships, Vampire Diaries fans shouldn’t expect all the major characters to suddenly find happiness or lasting relationships.
 
Damon and Elena are finally together. How is that going to play out?
 
Ian Somerhalder: “I think you always have to be cognizant of the fact that it’s The Vampire Diaries and you can’t remain happy for too long in any one given scenario, because then there’s no conflict. But I think it is cute to see them in their interactions together. I think anyone, whether it would be Nina [Dobrev] or Paul [Wesley] or myself, it’s typically going to be a lot more fun to play the bad guy or the bad boy or the bad girl because it’s just more dynamic. They’re more fun to play. It is cute to see Damon and Elena and their interaction. Damon’s just smitten. He’s in love and it’s cute. Not to say he wouldn’t rip her throat out… You know what I mean? It’s the guy who would have the same smirk on his face if he was saving a kitten out of a tree or ripping someone’s head off. You’ve got to preface this by this is the type of man you’re dealing with.”
 
How does this newfound relationship with Elena affect his relationship with his brother, and now his doppelgänger?
 
Ian Somerhalder: “Stefan’s gone, so there is no relationship with Stefan.”
 
So he doesn’t make it out of the watery grave?
 
Ian Somerhalder: “Not, meaning ‘until further notice’. One thing that’s quite interesting about it actually is that the dynamic now has changed by virtue of the fact that Stefan’s gone, and that this Silas guy is here now. It really does change the dynamic of the whole show, and we like that. I think, just to preface it again as we’re going into season five of the show, usually these storylines have already been played out. We’re very fortunate right now because we have a new, rejuvenated sense of coming into the show in season five. The dynamics of the characters have changed quite a bit. We’re also going back, from a production standpoint, we’re extremely dialed in the way we may have been in season one. We were flying by the seat of our pants, we’re shooting the story that were like little movies every week. We’re going back to that, even photographically. Dialing it down. Color, way down.
 
Remember when it was so dark sometimes we had to squint at the television to see the reaction of the character? But the movies that we love seeing are like that. Not everything is bright and poppy and sunny. We got away from that in season three and four of the show, so we’re excited to go back to that. And bring it back down to instead of condensing an A, B, C, D, E, F, G storyline all in one 46 minute episode of television with things are exploding, we’re going back to this really human interaction…well, not necessarily human…but the interaction between characters is really what it elicits in the audience. We’re digging it.”
 
Is Jeremy really moving in to that boarding house?
 
Ian Somerhalder: “Jeremy? It’s not really a boarding house. [Laughing] That was like the beginning of season one when it really looked like a boarding house. It’s just a mansion. Yeah, he is living there. Getting him ready for school, cutting the crust off his P, B and J’s for him. I said to Julie [Plec, executive producer], I think the funny thing would be like Elena comes back to the Salvatore mansion and there’s game rooms and rooms with stripper poles in them. It’s the boys! He’s 18; Damon’s 172. You know what I mean? There’s a good mix of demographics there.”
 
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The Vampire Diaries returns for season five on October 10, 2013.

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