For eight glorious years, Ian Somerhalder brought all our “bad boy” fantasies to life while playing Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries. Now the actor is gearing up to return to the world of vampires and gore in the new Netflix series V Wars, only this time he won’t be the hunter — he’ll be the one getting hunted. Somerhalder plays scientist Dr. Luther Swann on V Wars, who finds himself in a race against time to create a cure for a mysterious virus that begins to change people, including his best friend Michael Fayne, into vampires.
And these aren’t the ruggedly handsome, lovable vampires you came to know and love in Vampire Diaries' Mystic Falls. These creatures are highly dangerous and very thirsty, which basically puts the fate of humanity directly in Dr. Swann’s hands. But how far will he go to save humankind, along with those already infected, and can he do it before an all-out blood war ensues between humans and vampires? At least some of those questions are bound to get answered throughout the show’s 10-episode first season, but the more jarring plot twist in all of this is seeing Somerhalder once again immerse himself in a vampire-filled world, but as a mere mortal. However, it’s those key differences that made returning to the vampire genre so appealing to the actor since it allowed him to play the exact opposite of everything Damon was.
“I wanted to be a normal good man. He's a dad, a husband, and has a true love of science and medicine,” Somerhalder told Cinemablend during an interview about his V Wars character. “Swann's superpower is simply that he's a good dad and loves helping the world through science. Things turn in his world very quickly, but he will always remain that core strength. But we'll see the evolution of this man and what he means to the world.”
Somerhalder was also eager to veer away from making the vampires seem sexy and approachable like on The Vampire Diaries. “These are murderous creatures,” he told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview. “There’s nothing romantic about them. And we’re very proud of that. If you imagine them literally ripping into you, oh my god, it’s powerful. And to think that there could be hundreds of millions of these things running around, it’s really scary.”
So if you were hoping to delve into another vampire love triangle be prepared for disappointment. Think less romance and more Stefan’s Ripper phrase, but times ten. However you feel about that prospect (the ripper phase was a controversial one), it's certainly interesting to see Somerhalder on the lower end of the food chain this time around.