Why did Ian Somerhalder leave Hollywood? Exploring The Vampire Diaries actor's career and reason behind taking different route

Ian Somerhalder, acclaimed for his role as Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries, left Hollywood to prioritize a purpose-driven life, focusing on environmental activism, sustainable living, and raising a family with Twilight star Nikki Reed.

Published on Dec 04, 2023  |  11:54 PM IST |  252K
Ian Somerhalder (IMDb)

Ian Somerhalder, renowned for his charismatic portrayal of Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries, has left an indelible mark on Hollywood. With piercing blue eyes and a brooding charm, he captivated audiences for eight seasons of the supernatural drama. Beyond acting, Somerhalder is an environmental activist, co-founding the Ian Somerhalder Foundation to promote sustainability. In a surprising move, he decided to step away from the glitz of Hollywood, focusing on his passion for environmental causes and sustainable living, showcasing a commitment to making a positive impact beyond the silver screen.

Why did Ian Somerhalder leave Hollywood behind?

In an exclusive interview with E News, Ian Somerhalder disclosed his decision to step away from Hollywood, citing a desire for a more meaningful and purpose-driven life. The actor, renowned for his iconic role as Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries, explained that the intense filming schedules and constant travel took a toll on his well-being.

In the four years since Ian Somerhalder and his Twilight actress spouse, Nikki Reed last embraced new acting roles, they've redirected their energies into a captivating passionate project. Moving beyond the glitz of Hollywood, the power couple has delved into initiatives aligned with their shared commitment to environmental sustainability. He told E News, “We're farm people, we produce most of our own food, I live in my cowboy boots. I stepped away from acting a little over four years ago to raise my kids, build my companies and get these films launched."


Somerhalder, a Louisiana native, has been a dedicated environmentalist for quite some time. However, the birth of his child in 2017 served as a catalyst, intensifying his commitment to combating the adverse effects of climate change. In this regard, he explained, “By using healthy soil management practices, we are building a secure future today, or tomorrow. And once you do have children, you realize I am no longer alone here. I am leaving this to my children."

Somerhalder concluded by saying, “I will be a rancher and building legacy brands, whether it's my bourbon or my health and wellness company, and the regenerative agriculture and healthy soil management practices that I live by and our family lives by. That's where my life was going. So when people say 'Why do you care?' That's why I care. Because that's who I am, that's what I'm going to become."

ALSO READ: Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder, Twilight’s Nikki Reed expecting second baby; See relationship timeline

A look back to Ian Somerhalder’s time with Hollywood

Ian Somerhalder left an indelible mark on television as Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries, portraying the charismatic, older vampire entangled in a complex love story with Elena Gilbert over the show's eight seasons. Following the series, Somerhalder took a brief hiatus from the screen, only to return as both star and executive producer in another vampire-themed show, V-Wars. Beyond acting, he ventured into the spiritual industry, launching Brother's Bond, a bourbon brand, in May 2021 alongside his former co-star Paul Wesley.

Somerhalder's personal life has also made headlines, particularly his three-year romance with co-star Nina Dobrev. After their split in 2013, he found lasting love with Twilight star Nikki Reed, marrying her in April 2015. The couple now shares the joy of parenting, raising two children together.

ALSO READ: Ian Somerhalder once spoke about his character Damon Salvatore's not so sweet return to The Vampire Diaries

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