Ok, if I am honest, which most of the time I am, I will admit to being a huge fan of Ian Somerhalder and The Vampire Diaries, so I was thrilled when I saw that he was on the Saturday line up for Wizard World Comic Con Cleveland. My wife was just a little bit jealous that she would be sitting this Con out, staying at home with our newborn, so I was on my own to geek out.
I have followed Somerhalder’s acting career from his time on Smallville and Lost, and was happy to see that he was cast on The Vampire Diaries after his departure from the latter. Somerhalder is a great young actor who can play a wide range of roles. But what I didn’t expect as I sat there in the Ian Somerhalder panel with teenagers and married women in their fifties, all there to catch a glimpse of their on screen crush, was that while Somerhalder provides a great deal of eye candy for the ladies, and some of the guys, week after week on television, he is actually a pretty involved actor who has used his star power to try and make a difference in the world.
From fan question number one, it was pretty evident that this was not going to be your typical fan Q&A panel. Somerhalder had a captivated audience, and he was going to use this time to stir up his fans to go out and make a difference in the world, and the awesome part was, this is exactly what the fans wanted.
Somerhalder spoke about his love for animals and the environment, and the work that he does through his foundation, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which promotes awareness towards both the environment and animals through various educational outreaches and public service campaigns. At one point, Somerhalder even praised our educators, but called out our terrible education system, and promised that together we can change the bad for good.
I tweeted during the panel that I had discovered a new found respect for Somerhalder because of his social activism and the fact that he gets his fans involved as well, which is a pretty amazing thing considering each one of them now has a global voice because of social networks, and when he gives a call to action, they respond in full force by hitting up twitter and facebook.
Needless to say that Somerhalder is a fan favorite not only because of his talent on screen but his compassion off screen. He reminds us all that each one of has a voice, and with that voice we can change the world.