Once and for all, Ian Somerhalder explains the difference between 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Twilight' and 'True Blood'

Once and for all, Ian Somerhalder explains the difference between 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Twilight' and 'True Blood'
by: Tyrone Warner
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With “Vampire Diaries” heading into the last half of its debut season, one of the stars of the series clears up some misconceptions.

When the show first debuted last fall, some detractors said that “Vampire Diaries” was almost too similar to the popular film about young vampires in love, “Twilight.”

“It did initially -- obviously -- at first sight, have similarities. Mortal girl falls in love,” Somerhalder says during an interview with CTV.ca.

“However, once you got past that first initial similarity, it changes. It’s evolved, it’s maturing, and the relationships are getting more complicated.”

“Vampire Diaries,” which stars Canadian actress Nina Dobrev, follows the story of Elena Gilbert, a girl whose life is changed after the tragic death of her parents. As she moves on, she ends up making a connection with a new guy at school, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley). What Elena doesn’t know is that Stefan is a vampire, and has a dangerous older brother who is also a member of the undead, Damon (Somerhalder), and he wants to both wreak havoc on their town and claim Elena as his own.

Some fans may not know that while the “Twilight” series is based on a popular book series, so is “Vampire Diaries.” However, the source material for “Diaries,” written by L.J. Smith, was originally published in the early 1990s.

“Vampire Diaries” isn’t alone on the dial when it comes to sexy young Draculas taking a bite out of primetime either -- the racy series “True Blood” has also been drawing rave reviews from critics and blood-thirsty fans alike.

According to Somerhalder, “Vampire Diaries” may be more family friendly than “True Blood,” but things still get a lot steamier on his show than “Twilight.”

“’True Blood’ is the R rated cable version of what we are. A 13-year-old girl couldn’t watch ‘True Blood’ with her mom… it would get very uncomfortable,” Somerhalder says.

“Then there’s no sex in Twilight! Who would want to see that?”

With that said, Somerhalder says that the popularity of “Twilight” films did re-spark interest in the vampire genre.

“It grosses half a billion dollars, and all of a sudden, there’s a trend, there’s a market formula, there’s a great way of storytelling, from an old genre that never really went away,” says the actor.

“The unbelievable box office success of this franchise paved the way for all these vampire stories… It lends itself to being available to a lot of great storytelling -- you have the feature version, you have the cable version, and you have us. You can get your fix.”

Before “Vampire Diaries” Somerhalder was best known to television audiences as Boone on “Lost,” and will appear on the big screen in “The Tournament.” He’s also guest-starred on “CSI” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.”

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