Ian Somerhalder Calls Vampire Diaries' Damon Salvatore 'One Of The Best-Written Characters' On TV

Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore The Vampire Diaries
(Image credit: The CW)

Genre shows never get enough respect. The Vampire Diaries ran across eight seasons on The CW and gave a truly impressive arc to actor Ian Somerhalder's character, Damon Salvatore. While promoting his new Netflix TV show, V Wars, Somerhalder has been pointing out the differences between his new human character Dr. Luther Swann and vampire Damon, while also praising the work he got to do on Vampire Diaries:

Getting to play Damon Salvatore was the coolest thing in the world. That was one of the best-written characters on television, and I mean that in all humility. It wasn’t about my performance, it was what was on the page, and I just worked my ass off trying to bring that to life. Coming out of that, I really wanted to play a character that’s just a normal f-cking awesome dude. To me, good husbands, great parents, scientists — those are superheroes, because of their dedication, authenticity and integrity. Luther’s a good, normal dude. But people don’t want an ordinary hero. They want an extraordinary hero. So the metamorphosis he goes through in a 10-episode arc is substantial.

I love that Ian Somerhalder has so much respect for the writing of Damon Salvatore, as he showed in his interview with TVLine, while also honoring the human hero that is his new V Wars character, Luther Swann. The Vampire Diaries was co-created by Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson, but based on the book series by L. J. Smith. While Somerhalder is humble about his own role in shaping Damon Salvatore, there's no question the Lost alum is directly linked to the success of that character as one of the best on TV.

Damon started out selfish and sarcastic -- the bad cop to brother Stefan's good cop -- but developed over time, showing his true heart. Sure, he and Stefan both did a lot of terrible things over their vampire lives, which is why both Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley didn't think Nina Dobrev's main character, Elena Gilbert, should've ended up with either one of them in The Vampire Diaries series finale.

But Damon was no two-dimensional villain or "hot guy." We really got to know him across the 2009-2017 season, and I'll attempt to speak for many fans to say we were glad to see him get a happy ending with Elena. He earned it. He also got to be human again, and apparently he and Elena had children, including a daughter Stefanie named in honor of Stefan. Ian Somerhalder knows about Stefanie so I will not stop going on about her until she shows up on Legacies in Season 4, 5, 6, whatever.

Really, Damon? Legacies' Biggest Midseason Finale Twist Was That Vampire Diaries Update

Ian Somerhalder did express interest in returning to Mystic Falls to direct an episode of Legacies, just like Paul Wesley did last year for Season 1. For now, fans can watch Somerhalder as Dr. Luther Swann, who does indeed have his own transformation across the 10 episodes of V Wars Season 1. Here's hoping we get to see what he does next in V Wars Season 2, since he's definitely ready to roll.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.