Ian Somerhalder Almost Didn't Star as Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries

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Ian Somerhalder, star of The Vampire Diaries, says he almost passed on the show because of its parallels to Twilight.

The Vampire Diaries portrays a love triangle between human Elena Gilbert, played by Nina Dobrev, and centuries-old vampire brothers Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Somerhalder), set in the fictional Virginia town of Mystic Falls. It delves into the larger story of strife between the town, the brothers, and old and new foes.


During its run, The Vampire Diaries played a key role in establishing The CW as a major network for younger audiences, and it became the network's flagship show.

Ian Somerhalder Dismissed The Vampire Diaries as ‘Twilight on TV’

However, at the casting stage, The Vampire Diaries' future was far from guaranteed, and Somerhalder first passed on the show, expecting it to be "Twilight on TV," in his own words.

However, as the actor stated in an interview with The Drink on NBC News, he eventually read the pilot, fell in love with it, and chose to audition for the role of Damon, the oldest of the Salvatore brothers, on The Vampire Diaries. He also explained how finally reading the pilot affected his perspective on the show and the character.

"The long and short of it is, they sent me the script for Vampire Diaries. I picked it up, and I said 'This is Twilight on TV,' and I threw it on the ground. Two days later I realized as I read the pilot, I realized, this is really frickin' awesome. And this character is unbelievable; this guy has the potential to be the coolest character on television…"

Will We See Damon in TVD Season 9?

Somerhalder's return to Damon in The Vampire Diaries Season 9 is doubtful, with the actor saying that he was satisfied with the way the show and his character's journey concluded. In the future, if the series is rebooted, another actor could take on the role of Somerhalder.


Following a brief time on Lost, in which his character is killed off in Season 1, Somerhalder's decision to audition for and earn the role in The Vampire Diaries proved to be career-defining.

Damon is widely regarded as the show's breakout character, and there is little doubt that the actor's portrayal of the bad boy bloodsucker was a great success. The series could have looked very different with a different actor in the lead role, and it might not have been as popular.