Ian Somerhalder isn't one to shy away from the flurry of storylines on The Vampire Diaries. Ask him what's coming up on The CW drama and he begins to rattle off some of the major arcs currently in play.
"There's a lot, a lot, a lot," Somerhalder told The Hollywood Reporter. "Elena wants Jeremy to kill an Original, you have Stefan telling Damon that he basically slept with Rebekah -- which is pretty cool, Stefan's stepping out. Klaus and Damon [are working together] ..." (THR premiered an exclusive clip from Thursday's episode, "A View to a Kill," between Klaus, Damon and Stefan.)
At the moment, the Salvatore brothers aren't seeing eye to eye on anything -- and much of that deals with Elena (Nina Dobrev), who admitted recently to Stefan that she was fully invested in a Damon romance. "Stefan and Damon have a pretty physical disagreement," Somerhalder said. "These two guys love this girl." And with several teams desperate to get their hands on the cure for vampirism ("It's like a reverse 'whodunit' and is a 'whogongetit'"), Somerhalder admitted that Damon isn't exactly the most gung-ho about it, which serves as another point of contention between brothers.
"This whole cure crap, Damon's thinking to himself, 'Why on earth would I partake in the cure that's essentially going to make me a normal human being and susceptible to everything. I'm having a blast!' Also, why would he want Elena to have this thing? It makes no sense to him," he said. "Anything dealing with Stefan and Damon, that's going to be playing in the background at all times. Damon wants her to stay this way; they could live happily ever after, truly."
With so many different people racing for the cure with differing viewpoints and motives, no one is being 100 percent truthful to anyone. "They're all playing each other," Somerhalder said. "It's a high stakes thing. Everyone's out to get one another."
He added, "I think this cure -- with all these people's ulterior motives -- creates great interactions with characters who ultimately don't have that much screen time together. It gives them a reason and an ability to be in a scene together."
Expect more heated confrontations between the Salvatores as the season unfolds. "There are some," he said. "It's interesting to have a Damon and Stefan scene where they have a real conversation amongst brothers and are not trying to kill each other."
For Somerhalder, seeing Stefan not pining over a girl is a pleasant change. "It's nice to see him like that. Now it just falls on Damon for a little while," he joked.
Though Damon has evolved, Somerhalder hoped to go back to the Damon from early on in The Vampire Diaries run.
"I miss that season one Damon. This guy was hell on wheels. He had ill intentions but they were for righteous reasons, and they were his reasons, and he enjoyed everything he did. Damon is the guy still who will have the same smirk on his face whether he's saving a kitten from a tree or ripping someone's head off, literally," he said. "That Damon has kind of been absent for a while because of his situation that he's been in but make no mistake about it, Damon is that guy. Damon is 175 years old, he didn't change that much."
As for an upcoming scene that stood out, Somerhalder said he relished the moments with new vampire hunter Vaughn (Charlie Bewley), who makes his debut Feb. 14. "There's some fun banter between Vaughn and Damon that I'm looking forward to seeing," he said. "It's fun to see Damon challenged physically and getting roughed up and going toe to toe with someone new."
The Vampire Diaries airs 8 p.m. Thursdays on The CW.