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Hamilton: "It's so Hardy Boys"    Jake: "Yeah, meets Nancy Drew"



Ocean Drive Magazine Interview

Smashing success as a pretty face was just a foothold for this ambitious, romantic actor who just loves to rock the boat.

"If his looks could kill, we'd all be dead"
Ian Somerhalder is one of those rare inchoate It-listers--an unaffected star amid Hollywood's glutted galaxy. He flipped off this year's Golden Globe Awards ("It wasn't such a great year"), won't discuss all the commercials he has done ("In case anyone has actually seen them"), and doesn't dwell on that whole modeling thing he did a few years back ("I've done stuff for Guess?, Versace, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabanna, Gucci--but I don't live by it"). Somerhalder was the face of Guess? for two consecutive Fall seasons until he landed the role as Hamilton Fleming on the WB's Young Americans. "I saw modeling as a stepping stone to an acting career," explains the 22-year-old Louisiana native. "When I finally got the chance to pursue my dream, I had to call Paul Marciano [founder of Guess?] and beg him to let me out of my contract."

    A sympathetic Marciano agreed to his release, and Somerhalder has focused on film ever since. His spot on Young Americans led to a role in the MTV feature Anatomy of a Hate Crime, the story of 21-year-old gay college student Matthew Shepard's attack and murder. The program debuted in January, launching the network's yearlong Fight for Your Rights: Take a Stand Against Discrimination campaign. "This program teaches people that it only takes a single unlucky moment to lead to tragedy," he says. "If you come into contact with one really f***ed-up person, they can truly take your life away."

    Somerhalder wrapped his big-screen flick, Life as a House, just last month. "Itís one of those really special, amazing projects that come along, with a fantastic director [Irwin Winkler] and brilliant script," in which his character "pimps out Kevin Klineís son to old men for $300 a week." The film, also starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Mary Steenburgen and slated to hit theaters this fall, tells the story of a man searching for lifeís meaning and a relationship with his son.

    While Somerhalder "works [his] butt off" in L.A. trying to book his next feature, he makes regular trips to New York to visit his "absolutely beautiful, driven, determined" fashion-student girlfriend. "You canít get anywhere without the people who have come into your life. I thank my girlfriend for getting me out of bed every morning and making me want to work," explains Somerhalder, who installed Kodak Videophones above both of their computers so, although they live on different coasts, they can eat breakfast "together" and watch each other work. "Every project I do is one step closer to her."

Written by Suzy Buckley for Ocean Drive Magazine


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Copyright © 2001 Hardy Boys meets Nancy Drew.