The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder Reflects On 'Very Difficult' Process To Get Cast As Damon

The Vampire Diaries Ian Somerhalder Damon Salvatore The CW

(Image credit: The CW)

The Vampire DiariesIan Somerhalder has reflected on the “very difficult” process of getting cast as Damon on The CW series. Many fans will undoubtedly agree that Somerhalder was the perfect fit to play Damon Salvatore, but getting to see him sink his fangs into the part was more of a process than fans may have imagined.

Reflecting on the tenth anniversary of The Vampire Diaries’ pilot airing, Ian Somerhalder shared the story of his casting process. After pulling off a well-received audition for Warner Bros., Somerhalder’s test for the network did not go as smoothly. As in, it did not go well at all. Somerhalder told TV Guide:

It was very difficult to get this show. That was the pilot to get that year, and it makes sense why because it became this giant f---ing hit. I don't know if I went home [after the studio test] and drank too much coffee, or I think I gave myself a [vitamin] B12 shot. I don't know what the f--- I did, but I went back and my first take at the network test was terrible. I was just sort of jittery, I wasn't in control. Kevin Williamson stopped the audition. He's like, 'We'll be right back,' and he grabbed me, pulled me outside the room, and he goes, 'Well, that sucked.'

How do you come back from such a rough audition? Well, Ian Somerhalder clearly managed to do it. He knew his take on Damon was more than one not-so-great audition. He had what it took to get cast, so Somerhalder endured.

Using that mindset, the future Vampire Diaries star gave a persuasive speech at his next audition. He was confident that he could play Damon Salvatore, and he let it be known. Ian Somerhalder relayed how he implored the network’s powers-that-be. Explaining what he told them, Somerhalder said:

This is my role. I know I can make this something that is fun and push myself, and this can change my whole world.

Did it ever! The Vampire Diaries landed immediate hit status in the ratings. A success that Ian Somerhalder has previously revealed he believed would happen following a particular episode. The show’s legacy keeps living on a decade after the pilot.

Damon Salvatore became a breakout character, who remained for all eight seasons of the show. The love triangle between Damon, Elena, and Stefan propelled a great deal of drama for the vampiric saga.

Of course, some fans had their preference for how that triangle should get resolved. Many of them got their wish, which has set up the potential for Damon and Elena’s legacy to be felt on The Vampire Diaries’ spinoff, Legacies. Speaking of Damon and Elena, Ian Somerhalder recently opened up about his feelings on Delena shippers.

As a fan, I could undoubtedly sense that Ian Somerhalder seemed to be having fun playing Stefan’s villainous brother in Season 1. He also pushed himself a great deal in the role as Damon went from all-out villain to reformed rogue.

Ian Somerhalder is still fond of the vampire genre. He has V-Wars coming up for Netflix, which sounds incredibly intriguing. If you are still wondering what Damon Salvatore is up to post-finale, Somerhalder has shared his thoughts. On that note, fans are hoping that Damon and Elena’s daughter will put in an appearance on Legacies. Will it happen? Stay tuned.

It is neat to hear about the process of Ian Somerhalder getting cast. You have to wonder how different things might have been if he had not made that speech and gotten the role. Legacies is proof that The Vampire Diaries still has and will keep having one of television's greatest...well, legacies.

For now, you can binge The Vampire Diaries in its entirety on Netflix along with new content. The second season of the series’ spinoff, Legacies, will be among this fall’s premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.