Ian Somerholder is an American actor who gained a massive fan following due to his role of a hunky vampire, Damon Salvatore, in the hit American series ‘Vampire Diaries’. The blue eyed heartthrob has appeared in many movies and TV shows and is one of the most popular American actors across the world. He started out as a model and has worked with renowned brands like Gucci and Versace as a supermodel prior to his film and TV career. He appeared as Boon Carlyle in ‘Dawson’s Creek’, and it proved to be the much needed breakthrough for his acting career. He hasn’t looked back ever since. He appeared in the long running survival drama ‘Lost’, which gained him a cult following. His godly looks made him popular among women of all ages. Ian kick-started his film career with the 2009 film ‘The Tournament’ and has appeared in quite a dozen films ever since. Also a philanthropist, Ian actively participates in social campaigns. Ian is an environmentalist and has expressed a deep concern about the constantly changing environment and the loss of natural habitat of wildlife. The Ian Somerhalder foundation works towards spreading awareness about the environment.
Rise to Fame & Career
Ian started modelling when he was 10 years old and continued that until he was 17. He earned name and fame as a supermodel and walked the ramp for some of the best designers working at that time.
His glorious run as a model continued until he bagged the role of Hamilton Fleming in a spin off series of ‘Dawson’s Creek’ titled ‘Young Americans’. The series was short lived and was largely unsuccessful. But Ian’s talent didn’t go unnoticed and soon after it was over, he appeared as a bisexual character Paul Denton in Roger Avary’s ‘The Rules of Attraction’.
Ian got the necessary exposure to the industry and bagged the most important role of his lifetime that turned around his professional career. In 2004, he played Boon Carlyle in the cult TV series ‘Lost’. Although he only appeared in the first twenty episodes of ‘Lost’ before he was killed off, he gathered massive following. Several polls stated that he was the most loved character on the show and killed off too early. On popular demand, the producers made him a reappearing character and Ian kept showing up in several episodes here and there. After that Ian kept making appearances in several big and small roles in films and TV shows such as Fearless, Smallville, Marco Polo, Lost City Raider etc.
In 2009, Ian appeared in the role of an assassin in the American film ‘The Tournament’. He became a household name when he was finally cast for the show ‘the Vampire Diaries’ and that changed his life forever. He played a lovable anti-heroic vampire named Damon Salvatore as one of the two main characters in the show. The show garnered CW network the highest ever rating for a TV show and continues to be be the most popular show for the network. Somerhalder’s performance was praised and he won numerous awards for it such as Teen’s Choice Awards and People’s Choice Awards.
Ian has also showed interest in direction and has even directed a few episodes of Vampire diaries, which were quite well received. He has also indicated that he may direct a full length feature quite soon.
Ian has reportedly signed a movie ‘Time Frame’ and will soon be seen playing the leading role on big screen once again.
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Behind the Curtains
Ian Somerhalder was born on December 8, 1978 in Louisiana, USA. His mother, Edna, used to be a massage therapist and father, Robert Somerhalder, was a building contractor. Ian is the second of three children. His father was of French descent and his mother Irish.
Not much is known about his childhood but Ian has mentioned that he had quite a troublesome childhood as his parents constantly fought with each other. They divorced while Ian was 13 years old, and this had a deep impact on him. He was then taken into custody by his mother, who was an avid follower of eastern medicine and pushed him from the early childhood to lead a healthy life. Ian heeded her advice and was stuck to a healthy clean diet and regular workout, which eventually prepared him for the modelling career.
Being an active and athletic kid, Ian loved outdoor sports like horse riding and soccer.
He has stated in many of his interviews that he was always fascinated with the world of show business. The modelling offers started pouring in as soon as he turned 10. Eventually, he got tired of modelling and expressed his desire to be seen as more than just a perfect face.
Ian didn’t finish his high school education and left for Europe midway for pursuing modelling. Prior to that, he was an above average kid in academics and he also actively participated in almost all the extracurricular activities in school.
He also showed a keen interest in writing and said that if he wasn’t an actor or model, he would have made a career in writing or advertising.
Strangely though, he regrets his modelling days stating that he was taken as just a pretty face back in the days and he would love to never talk about that time.
Apart from acting and modelling, Ian is actively engaged in philanthropist work. He has expressed his concern quite a lot of times about global warming and the depletion of natural resources. He initiated the Ian Somerhalder foundation in 2008 for the purpose of environment preservation and spreading social awareness about protecting the planet.
Ian is also connected to several other charitable organisations and constantly appears in their events. He is a constant supporter of the charity ‘Love Letter to the South’, which works towards renovating the Katrina hurricane affected areas across USA.
Ian also happens to be the owner of a pizza parlour co-owned by his brothers back in Idaho.
Love Life & Marriage
His dating life was quite public. He dated his Vampire Diaries co-star, Nina Dobrev, from 2011 to 2013. They separated citing some mundane problems. In mid 2014, Ian started appearing with the actress, Nikki Reed, and expressed his desire to marry her, which eventually came to life when he married her on 26th April 2015. On May 2nd 2017, the couple shared the good news with the world that they were expecting a child.