“The Vampire Diaries” is, without a doubt, the biggest success story for The CW this season and as its first year comes to a close, there are several questions looming.
Like, um, is Damon really in love with Elena? Korbi TV got some quality time with Ian Somerhalder, who was kind enough to share his thoughts on the subject and give us a little preview of what we can expect as the season ends…
The finale is upon us.
Ian Somerhalder: Yeah, it’s a good episode. There’s a lot of stuff that happens and it’s fun. It took a long time to shoot and there are eight cliffhangers. I think people are going to like it. I hope.
IS: (Laughs) Yeah, there’s a lot of them.
Of course there are. “Vampire Diaries” doesn’t really mess around. Seems like there’s always something big going down, so I imagine the finale will be, well, epic.
IS: Yeah, I was talking to a very good friend of mine who said that he was a little concerned because every episode has so much great stuff in it. He was like, how can they sustain it? But there are four or five books to pull storylines from and then we have the insanity of [producers] Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec‘s writing [to rely on], so we’re lucky.
And in the season finale, I’m hearing we may be seeing a different side of Damon. He’s teaming with Alaric to stop Johnathan Gilbert from destroying the Founders Day festival?
IS: Yeah. You know, it’s a weird thing for Damon. He came into this town, not giving a s**t about anybody or anything. He wanted Katherine, and that’s really it. He loves his brother, but he just wanted to get his girl and get out of there. And I think what surprised the hell out of Damon is he’s started to find himself caring about things, some of the people and this place, and that is a weird notion for him. It puts him into this protective mode and he goes to work and he’s literally fighting for [something other than himself]. It’s a different Damon. To be honest with you, it took me some time to get used to. It was strange to [experience] Damon being sincere or a hero, you know? It’s just not Damon.
You were uncomfortable with it?
IS: Yeah. You know that moment, in life, when you’re spending time or maybe on a date with someone that you’re really in like with and then all of a sudden you realize you have major feelings for this person? And then the second part of that notion is, damn it.
Yes. Because, ultimately, you’re then in a vulnerable position.
IS: Yes. And being vulnerable is not Damon’s shtick. There are bits of vulnerability in Damon at times, but having this openly vulnerable Damon, to be honest with you, does not sit very well with me. It was not easy for me to play. Because Damon’s always in control and, as Ian playing Damon, I feel the same way. So we both sort of empower each other in this odd relationship that I have with this alter ego and having him be even remotely vulnerable took away a bit of that power and sort of leveled me a little bit. Usually when I’m on my way to work, I’m working on my dialogue, just running [my lines] and when I get out of that car, I am so [focused] and I have a little pep in my step, I feel like I’ve got the world in my hands. I know I’m about to go jab at someone or be funny, always in a position of power. But during the 11 or 12 days that we shot this last episode, I remember getting out of my car and just feeling strange. I’ve actually never said this out loud, so I can’t even articulate it.
Actually, it makes perfect sense. Now, do you think this more vulnerable Damon is someone we’re going to see more of in Season 2?
IS: (Laughs) I hope not. No, you know, I am up for the ride. I am really a passenger on this train and [the writer-producers] are driving this sucker.
Based on the way the season finale ends, do you have a clue as to which way it will go?
IS: I don’t know. I’m not sure how to answer that. He gets some stuff thrown at him [in the season finale], big time. And that’s going to be a problem.
I assume some of that stuff will have to do with Elena. We know he cares about her, but do you think he is actually in love with her?
IS: Well, I think it’s pretty complicated. I mean, look, if you were in love with someone for 145 years, only to get your heart ripped out by her, and for him to realize how stupid that was, it’s also got to be so unbelievably strange and confusing to now have this girl who is literally her doppelganger [come into his life]. Talk about dating a younger woman, Damon’s something like 168-years-old, she’s like 150 years younger than him!
Well Katherine is someone who’s perhaps a bit more age appropriate for him. I’m assuming we may catch a glimpse of her in the finale. Kevin and Julie have both said she will be back in the mix at some point.
IS: Yes she will.
Now knowing how she betrayed him, can you anticipate how Damon will react to seeing her again?
IS: I honestly don’t know, because I haven’t really spoken to Kevin about how she becomes intertwined back into this for both Damon and Stefan. Because, don’t kid yourself, Stefan is just as in love with Katherine as Damon was, if not more. I mean, they both see her faults and sort of despise her in this weird way, but they both are so wrapped up in her at the same time. You know, she was their Creator. She was their lover. They thought she was their soulmate. She embodied all these roles for them, so when she comes back, I think it’s going to knock the hell out of both of them.
And how worried do you think Stefan should be about Damon’s burgeoning feelings for Elena, especially given that Damon does seem to be the sort of guy who gets what he wants?
IS: Yeah, I think probably pretty worried. It seems to me that it would even the score between them, since Damon truly believes that Stefan is the reason Katherine was taken from him. So taking Elena from Stefan would probably even the playing field. Damon probably won’t rest until he’s gotten Elena.
Makes perfect sense.
IS: Makes perfect sense.
And Damon now knows something pretty monumental about Elena, who her biological father is. Will that be something he addresses in the season finale?
IS: Oh yeah. John Gilbert (David Anders) plays a big role in this episode, he wreaks havoc in this episode, so there’s a lot going on with that. For sure.
But it seems as though John and Isobel, her biological parents, may not be as evil as we had originally thought. At the end of the day, they really seem to be sort of looking out for Elena.
IS: That’s the irony. He really is just looking out for her. That’s the strange thing about the whole John Gilbert [storyline]. I, as a viewer, feel sort of bad for John Gilbert, because in actuality, he’s really just protecting his town and his family. Vampires, man. It’s like, if you jump into [the ocean] and you’re swimming around with piranhas, you’re not thinking any of them are going to be nice to you. How would you rationalize being sympathetic to the cause of this supernatural, vampire world? Of course John Gilbert wants them dead. It’s just [complicated] that Elena happens to be in love with one of them.
Okay, last thing, forgive me, but everyone wants to know, will we see you shirtless again in the season finale? Or are we going to be waiting all summer for another one of those scenes?
IS: That’s a Season 2-er.
We’ll have to put a special request in with Julie and Kevin.
IS: You absolutely should.