The Vampire Diaries Exclusive: Ian Somerhalder on Missing Alaric, Loving Elena and Finding Compassion

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Damon Salvatore misses his best friend. That much is evident in this Vampire Diaries clip from tomorrow night's "Memorial."

And the character isn't alone.

"F-ck Damon. I miss Alaric," Ian Somerhalder told me over the phone yesterday. "I miss Matt Davis in my life."

Damon Promo Pic

The second (TERRIFIC!) episode of The Vampire Diaries Season 4 will give viewers multiple opportunities to see how his drinking buddy's passing affects Damon, but Somerhalder says the loss goes beyond a lack of someone to meet at the Grill.

"Losing Alaric signifies something bigger, it raises much bigger questions in Damon's world," the actor explains. "He wonders: 'Why are you dead? What did I do to contribute to it?'"

And it sets Damon off on a dark, lonely path.

"He's missing his best bro, but he's also telling those around him: 'I tried so hard to make you guys see my point of view. And now what's happened? Alaric is dead. Elena is dead.' Damon was right. And now he's saying: 'This is who I am. I tried to play nice and know what? It didn't work.'"

Yes, it's a return to the cynical side ("This is me. Take it or leave it," Somerhalder describes his character's current outlook) of Damon Salvatore, which the star has made clear over the years is his preferred role to play.

"You can't just be a cool lunatic all the time, I understand that. You need to grow and change and evolve," Somerhalder says of the journey Damon has taken. "Still, you are who you are at your core."

And who is that person?

Damon has always had "ill intentions, but he had them for righteous reasons," Somerhalder says. "He believes in what he's doing and he enjoys it so much… whether he's ripping your throat out or saving a kitten from a tree, Damon has that same smile on his face. It's sadistic but true. And the only person he isn't that way around is Elena."

So does that mean Somerhalder is glad he didn't get the girl? Wouldn't a relationship with Elena set Damon down a much lighter path? Somerhalder needed a moment to contemplate that question.

"If you look at why Damon came back to Mystic Falls, it was for love. Even being a sort of maniacal kind of killer at times, he wants what we all want: to be loved."

In his personal life, meanwhile, Somerhalder has found a different sort of love. As most fans know, he's deeply involved in charity work. His latest "ginormous undertaking" is the building of an animal sanctuary in Louisiana.

His goal is to create a safe haven to house neglected animals and introduce them to similarly-mistreated teenagers.

"It's all about compassion," Somerhalder says of his vision to combine troubled animals with young bullies. "I can't sleep at night thinking about all these kids we're losing [to suicide due to bullying]. Aside from them being sons and daughters and nephews and nieces, of course, they could be the next President... It's absolutely insane."

Overall, with the global population over seven billion and resources being stretched thin, Somerhalder believes more than ever that "we need innovators, we need educators and we need compassion. They all go hand in hand."

Visit the Ian Somerhalder Foundation for more information on how you can help.

And tune in to tomorrow night's brand new episode of The Vampire Diaries. It's one of the best in show history.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


It is so cool that Ian Somerhalder has his own foundation geared towards the conservation of the environment! And I pretty much agree with what everyone else is saying: I miss Alaric! I think he (along with Elena) made Damon a much better person. Damon deserves happiness, but now he's lost Alaric and Elena chose Stefan, even though she should have chosen Damon. Go Delena!

David and sabrina 2014

It seems kind of disappointing for Alaric to be gone and how Damon reacts about it but that was some episode of Memorial. =O =|


:-< :((( my Damon.................. he is in the same situation wit me :-<


Damon is my favorite character in the show and I wish him all the best in this new season.I so agree with Nightmagic. I am sick of Stephan and his Holier then Thou attitude and image. Elaina is pissing me off as she runs to Damon when she has a problem but never gives him the love and respect that he deserves. Stephan THE RIPPER is SUPERFICIAL in his goody 2 shoes attitude. I know his heart is Blacker then Damon's will ever be. I love the compassion of the inner spirit/core, as he loves Alaric and mourns by visiting the grave rather then sending up a Lantern and a candle. He has been going to Alaric's grave for sometime lighting candles, talking to him and mourning the lose of his besties. He is loyal and true to who is and I love him ;)


At this point I could care less if Delena ever happens. In my opinions Elena doesn't deserve him anymore. I want Damon to find someone else.


I have no idea about Ian's personal life, this is the first Interview of him, I ever read but it sounds nice! And for Damon...What can I say? I watch this show for Damon so I am sad and happy, both coz Damon didn't get his love but happy that finally, my season 1 Damon will be back! It will be so much fun! :)


fuck you plec you sunk my ship, i will never forgive you for this I want DALARIC not DE fuck DE


Ian is such a kind compassionate guy to start this foundation .As for Damon i feel so sorry for him over missing Alaric and not even getting the girl .i hope Delena still does happen and Damon gets some kind of thank you to .he really really stayed by Elenas side last year when he could have left .He did alot of things for elena last year and before for unselfish reasons .he deserves some sort of acknowledgement !!!Im tired of stefan and his hollier than though attitude and always judging Damon to .i hope there is more of improvement in this season because last season started so well with delena in a non romantic way becoming so close .


Oh shut up already


I so agree with all the wonderful comments above regarding Ian being an inspiration. What a guy!!!

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Vampire Diaries Quotes

You want a love that consumes you. You want passion and adventure, and even a little danger... I want you to get everything you're looking for. But for right now, I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing I'm in town yet. Goodnight, Elena.


When 9 Russians tell you you're drunk, you lie down.

Enzo [to Bonnie]