"You can't get anywhere without the people who have come into your life." Ian Somerhalder.
Starting out as a model at age 10 and was the face of Guess? for two consecutive fall seasons, Ian Somerhalder turned to acting and got his first regular role on TV series as Hamilton Fleming, the brooding Rawley Academy student and son of the prep school's dean, on the WB’s 2000 summer series "Young Americans." In 2004, after a well-received recurring role as Adam Knight, Clark Kent's mysterious romantic rival on the WB's "Smallville," Ian snagged his most popular role to date, as Boone Carlyle (2004-2006), a controlling but caring man saddled with a spoiled step-sister (played by Maggie Grace) he’s in love with, in J.J. Abrams' clever and mysterious drama about the survivors of a plane crash on a tropical island, "Lost" (ABC).
On the big screen, Ian landed his first major acting role as Paul Denton, a bisexual guy who once dated Shannyn Sossamon's Lauren Hynde, in the 2001 film adaptation of the 1987 novel by Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction. He recently co-starred with Kristin Bell, playing a computer hacker in the 2006 remake of cult Japanese horror, Pulse. Next, he will appear in a comedy movie starring Preston Lacy and Steve-O, TV: The Movie, and Aaron J. Wiederspahn's off-beat drama starring David Strathairn, The Sensation of Sight. He will also play the title role in the miniseries that follows the adventures and discoveries of the Venetian trader and explorer, “Marco Polo.”
The 5' 9" tall, blue/green-eyed model-turned-actor is of Irish, French, English, and Native American descent. He has been romantically involved with hotel heiress Nicky Hilton, “Charmed” star Rose McGowan, and his “Lost” co-star, Maggie Grace.
"Two guys kissing is not as sexy as two girls kissing. When Selma Blair made out with Sarah-what’s-her-name, that was hot. Me and James Van Der Beek making out is not hot, it’s rather disgusting. We both looked at each other and said, 'Dude, don’t stick your tongue in my mouth.'" Ian Somerhalder.
Childhood and Family:
“My mom made my baby food and had me on blue-green alga probably since I was in third grade. I never had sugar. I never got to have white bread or any white-flour products.” Ian Somerhalder.
In Covington, Louisiana, Ian Joseph Somerhalder ("Somerhalder" originates from his adoptive great-grandfather) was born on December 8, 1978. He has a sister named Robin and a brother named Bob. His father, Robert Somerhalder, was a building contractor of French and English descent, and his mother, Edna, is a massage therapist of Irish and Choctaw descent who grew up on a pig farm in Mississippi. Following his parents’ divorce when he was thirteen, Ian was raised by his mother, whom he has described as being "very spiritual," and was sent to Catholic school.
Ian went to Mandeville High School and later studied acting with William Esper, Davenia McFadden and Anthony Abeson. Ian, who owns a Shiba Inu dog, is skilled in baseball, western horseback riding, archery, riflery, football and cycling. He also supports Love Letters to the South, which pays tribute to all those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
“I have a beach house in Malibu, so I'll go there, grab a surfboard or a sea kayak or whatever, and get outta here. The quality of life is so much higher anyplace you can ski in the morning and surf in the evening--there's something to be said for that.” Ian Somerhalder.
Raising the Pulse
"To explore different parts of yourself and different emotional lives....not to hide from who you are but to actually explore who you are." Ian Somerhalder (on his reason to be an actor).
Starting out as a model at age 10, Ian Somerhalder has modeled in New York, Paris, Milan and London. His modeling credits include Calvin Klein, American Eagle Outfitters, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Versace, and Guess? (he was the face of Guess? for two consecutive fall seasons).
“I realized I had to stop modeling and start studying to be an actor, which I'd wanted to be since I was about six.” Ian Somerhalder (on his transition from model to actor).
Although he continues to model with his agency DNA Models, Ian has also started acting. At age 17, he began studying acting in New York City, and by age 19, he had studied extensively with renowned acting coach William Esper. In 1998, while working as an extra in a crowd scene in James Toback's feature film Black & White (1999), Ian was spotted by a talent manager who was visiting a client on the set. The manager quickly signed him, and Ian soon landed his TV debut in a November 1999 episode of CBS sci-fi series "Now and Again."
Ian followed it up with a regular role as Hamilton Fleming, the brooding Rawley Academy student and son of the prep school's dean, on the WB’s short-lived 2000 summer series "Young Americans," a "semi-spinoff" of "Dawson's Creek." Afterward, he was seen in Anatomy of a Hate Crime (2001), the fact-based TV movie about the brutal 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard (played by Cy Carter), an openly homosexual college student in Wyoming, and in Irwin Winkler's drama-comedy feature film, Life as a House (2001), starring Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Hayden Christensen.
In 2002, Ian got his first major acting role as Paul Denton, a bisexual guy who once dated Shannyn Sossamon's Lauren Hynde, in Roger Avary's film adaptation of the 1987 novel by Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction (also with James Van Der Beek and Kip Pardue). That same year, he also co-starred as a dashing but troubled younger man who becomes Lauren Holly's love interest, in Martin Guigui's moving drama/comedy Changing Hearts (also with Faye Dunaway), based on Daniel Wright's award-winning play "Colored Eggs," and appeared as a guest in a September 2002 episode of CBS popular, Emmy-winning crime drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." He continued to give guest appearances in the next year, in an episode of NBC cop drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and CBS crime drama "CSI: Miami."
2004 proved to be a big year for Ian. After a well-received multi-episode stint as Adam Knight, Clark Kent's mysterious romantic rival on the WB's action/adventure sci-fi series about young Superman, "Smallville," Ian snagged his most popular role to date, as Boone Carlyle (2004-2006), a controlling but caring man saddled with a spoiled step-sister (played by Maggie Grace) he’s in love with, in J.J. Abrams' clever and mysterious drama about the survivors of a plane crash on a tropical island, "Lost" (ABC). Although his character was killed off in the first season, Ian later returned in episodes of both the second and third season of Lost. In the second season he guest starred in the flashbacks of Boone's stepsister in the episode “Abandoned,” and in the third season, he appeared in John Locke's dream in the episode “Further Instructions.”
During his “Lost” stints, Ian also had a role in Tony Giglio's war drama film, In Enemy Hands (2004), starring William H. Macy and Scott Caan. He also appeared in Eric Champnella's short comedy The Old Man and the Studio and Dave Kalstein's 11-minute film Recess. Recently, he co-starred with Kristin Bell, playing a computer hacker in the sci-fi thriller Pulse, the 2006 remake of cult Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Kairo."
Ian just completed his upcoming films: Sam Maccarone's comedy starring Preston Lacy and Steve-O, TV: The Movie, and writer-director Aaron J. Wiederspahn's off-beat drama starring David Strathairn, The Sensation of Sight. As for his TV projects, Ian will play the title role in the miniseries that follows the adventures and discoveries of the Venetian trader and explorer, “Marco Polo,” and will appear in the new drama series "Tell Me You Love Me." He is also reportedly writing a screenplay about the world of modeling entitled The Jack of Dimes.
"You can spend it on drugs and rock 'n' roll, but you shouldn't have to spend it on sex; that should just kind of come to you. That should be free." Ian Somerhalder (on making the big bucks as an actor).
- Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, “Lost,” 2006
- Young Hollywood Awards: Exciting New Face – Male, 2002.