The Vampire Diaries alum Ian Somerhalder doesn't just star in the new Netflix show V Wars, he's also a producer and directed one of the 10 episodes of Season 1. He stars as scientist Dr. Luther Swann, with Arrow alum Adrian Holmes as Swann's best friend Michael Fayne, who becomes a vampire after the outbreak of a mysterious disease.
Netflix is expected to drop the trailer for V Wars tomorrow (Tuesday, November 19) before the premiere of Season 1 on December 5. The first season started filming in June 2018 and finished in October 2018, but Ian Somerhalder spent the next full year in post-production.
Adrian Holmes talked to CinemaBlend about what impressed him about working with Ian Somerhalder, particularly with Somerhalder playing double duty as an actor and director:
He's got a really good eye, he pays attention to detail. Coming from The Vampire Diaries, he's familiar with the genre already, so it was nice to have that comfort, that security. If there's any questions or anything, he was there. He's a hard worker and it was great to watch him direct, as well, because he actually played quite heavily in the episode that he directed. So to see him, you know, put on the director hat and take it off for the scene and act opposite me to do a scene, then cut, boom, and then go back to directing -- it was a real trip, but at the same time so impressive and inspiring. Yeah, it was really cool to witness that as an actor.
Here's the praise Adrian Holmes posted right after wrapping the V Wars episode Ian Somerhalder directed:
And here's a look at Ian Somerhalder directing on set, in a clip he shared earlier this year:
Ian Somerhalder is fresh from The Vampire Diaries, where he played vampire Damon Salvatore for eight seasons, ending in 2017. So he knows his stuff. But not only does he play a human on V Wars -- and one who is very different from snarky Damon -- the show itself is very different from TVD. Plus, this was Somerhalder's first time delivering a show as a producer. It took over a year of his life, balancing time working on V Wars with raising his now 2-year-old daughter with wife Nikki Reed, and at one point he said he wasn't sure if they were going to be able to deliver the show to Netflix on time.
I know that he was under a lot of stress... He's fine, he's healthy, he's well, he's cool. He was just, yeah, just a little bit stressed over work and it just caught up to him. So you just gotta take care of yourself don't overdo it sometimes. Don't push it too hard. But he's healthy and well now and we're very happy it wasn't too serious.
Adrian Holmes admitted he had a bit of an injury himself while they filmed V Wars. He said he went for a run without stretching first and ended up pulling some muscles in his leg. That left him unable to do some V Wars stunts for a spell.
I didn't think it was anything too serious but it definitely interfered with some of my action sequences. So I leaned on my stunt double for a few days. But I got back in fighting form and was able to get the job done. But I learned a lot, now I love stretching, I stretch all the time!
Stress and accidents aside, it sounds like filming V Wars was a blast. Here's what Adrian Holmes told me about the set's light tone:
We had a lot of fun, we always were singing. ... There's so many moments of just laughter and just cracking jokes and singing songs. We kept it light. But I think when you're doing a heavy show, when you're dealing with some heavy moments and scenes, keeping a level of levity is healthy. ... We did a good job of that. We were professional, we got it done, but we were also able to keep it generally light.