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When you spend eight years working 16-hour days together on the set of a television show three to four months out of the year, you had better enjoy the people you work with.

That’s certainly true of Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley, a pair of actors who became household names thanks to The Vampire Diaries, one of the most popular shows in The CW’s history.

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley smiling
(L-R) Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley | Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

Plenty of love between Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley thanks to ‘TVD’

The pair played brothers on the show, who, like many real-life siblings, have a love-hate relationship while trying to battle their internal demons and mortal enemies due to both of them being vampires. Sibling rivalries among vampires become exacerbated when you consider the brothers were more than 150 years old in fictional Mystic Falls, Virginia

So, yeah, they’ll be some antagonism there that eventually settled into an uneasy alliance. When Elena Gilbert threw wrenches into the brother’s plans, everything changed and their vampiric bloodlust came to the forefront.

Fortunately, Somerhalder and Wesley both recognized they had a good thing on their hands. Even though getting into vampire makeup (including painful contact lenses) wasn’t pleasant and not everyone on the cast had good memories of the show, the Brothers Salvatore fostered a friendship off-screen that may well last a lifetime.

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley became lifelong friends on the set

In a recent interview with Us Weekly, Somerhalder revealed that he saved Wesley’s number under “Stefan” in his phone. The bond shared between the two on the set has translated into happy times now, even though the show stopped producing new episodes five years ago.

The two are very close and have shared many drinks of whiskey over the years, on and off screen. In fact, they enjoyed their friendship so much that they started a bourbon brand together.

The bond between brothers led to a new bourbon brand for Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesely


Paul Wesley Reveals the Moment He and Ian Somerhalder Bonded for Life

Like many celebrities who own businesses as a way to diversify their incomes outside of acting and endorsement deals, Somerhalder and Wesley are partners in a business venture they named after their time on the show.

The actors launched Brother’s Bond Bourbon in 2020, according to The Spirits Business. But the brand is more than just about sharing drinks. In October 2021, the brand announced it had purchased regenerative grain to use in its whiskey with the goal of reversing climate change and making the company more sustainable.

Consumers listened. Reserve Bar reported that Brother’s Bond Bourbon achieved the highest number of sales over a 24-hour period in the history of the e-commerce website. 40,000 cases were shipped in the first 60 days of launching the bourbon, which would make it one of the fastest-selling brands of super-premium whiskey in the United States.

Environmentalism and eco-friendly causes are in the hearts of both actors. Somerhalder was an executive producer, meaning he put up his own money, to make the environmental documentary Kiss the Ground, while Wesley advocates for veganism to help reduce climate change. Thank you both for your efforts and advocacy, gentlemen!