Ian Somerhalder Talks Damon's 'Softer Side' On 'Vampire Diaries'

'It's not easy to play,' actor says of his typically devious character.

That old adage about villains having more fun couldn't be more fitting for "Vampire Diaries" star [movieperson id="261735"]Ian Somerhalder[/movieperson]. The 31-year-old actor (who moonlights as an alternative-energy activist) has created quite a stir — and obsessive fan following — with his portrayal of devious Damon Salvatore.

And yet, according to Somerhalder, all of Damon's dastardly acts are motivated by one thing: love.

"The dynamics in which this guy lives by are so skewed," Somerhalder told MTV News recently. "But at the end of the day, and it sounds so cliché, but at the end of the day, he does everything — like all of us do — for love. In some fashion or another, that is why he does what he does. He may go about it in very unconventional, unorthodox, unethical ways, but he does them nonetheless, and he believes in what he's doing and he has a blast at what he's doing."

Somerhalder said one thing that has tripped him up a bit this season is playing out the changes in Damon's sensitivity. "There's been this turn, and it's tough," Somerhalder said. "It's not easy to play. This softer side of Damon is really difficult for me to find. It's very counterintuitive."

Regarding what's next for Damon, and the rest of the characters on the show, Somerhalder offered a craftily worded teaser for Thursday's (September 23) new episode.

"We find out some interesting stuff," he said. "The whole werewolf aspect, Mason poses a massive threat to Damon and Stefan and everyone, really. It's a big problem, and I think we address a lot of that, which people have been very eager to know."

Another question on fans' minds is how Elena is feeling after witnessing a horrific act in the previous episode.

"The question of 'How does Elena feel right now? Can she even look at [Damon]?' She's going to have to deal with him, because he's around," Somerhalder explained. "There are a lot of issues to deal with. He wants to kill her best friend, Caroline, one of her best friends, and there's this problematic supernatural element that's running around the town, and it literally poses a serious threat to all of them — every single one of them: Katherine, Damon, Elena, Stefan, Caroline, everyone. So dealing with that and getting into that is necessary, and that's what this episode is going to start to touch upon."

Sounds like the makings for action-packed TV, aside from one missing element: "Unfortunately, Damon doesn't get to make out with anyone," Somerhalder said with a sigh.

What do you hope happens this season on "Vampire Diaries"? Let us know in the comments!

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