‘The Vampire Diaries’ Star Ian Somerhalder Auditioned to Play Christian Grey in ’50 Shades of Grey’

Everyone’s favorite fictional vampire was almost the star of a major movie franchise. Ian Somerhalder, who starred in The Vampire Diaries for all eight seasons, was one of the many actors who auditioned for the role of Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey. However, he sadly didn’t get the part.

'The Vampire Diaries' star Ian Somerhalder wears a brown jacket over a black shirt.
Ian Somerhalder | Photo by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

‘The Vampire Diaries’ star Ian Somerhalder was one of the many actors to audition for ’50 Shades of Grey’

Per Insider, Ian Somerhalder originally auditioned to play Christian Grey in the 2015 film 50 Shades of Grey but ultimately lost to Jamie Dornan. A few of the other actors who producers considered for the role were Chase Crawford, Ryan Gosling, and Charlie Hunnam.

Many fans of the book series, which inspired the film, campaigned for Somerhalder to get cast as Christian in the Universal Pictures production. A fan-made trailer featuring Somerhalder and Alexis Bledel in the lead roles even went viral.

However, even though The Vampire Diaries actor didn’t get the part, Ian Somerhalder wasn’t upset. He told HuffPost, “It’s so funny, you read these blogs: ‘Ian Somerhalder angry, livid he’s not Christian Grey’ — I mean, no, no, no, there’s none of that.”

The actor added that while he is “unbelievably grateful for all the support and all the cheering and the love” from people who wanted him to play Christian, the role would have taken him away from The Vampire Diaries. “I’m on a TV show that shoots 10 months a year,” he concluded.


‘The Vampire Diaries’ included a ’50 Shades of Grey’ Easter egg in season 8 as a nod to Ian Somerhalder’s audition

Since Ian Somerhalder’s character, Damon Salvatore, was often the source of comic relief in The Vampire Diaries, it makes sense that he would be the one reading 50 Shades of Grey in the show. However, all the dots connect now that we know the actor’s history with the book and film adaption.

In The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 1, while Damon and Enzo are on a killing spree to appease the vault monster, Damon reads the popular book. According to Insider, the producers included this detail as a nod to Somerhalder’s audition for the movie.

In the scene, Damon defends his reading choices to Enzo. He says, “Hey, this is a really good book.”


Ian Somerhalder Auditioned for ‘True Blood’ Before Booking ‘The Vampire Diaries’; He ‘Always Wanted to Play’ a Vampire

The actor also tried out for a different vampire show

While speaking with Newsweek in 2009 about The Vampire Diaries, Ian Somerhalder revealed that he was a fan of vampires. The actor also mentioned that he had auditioned for True Blood before booking The Vampire Diaries.

“I’m from New Orleans. There’s a lot of vampire mystique and mythology that resonates there, and I was fascinated by it,” Somerhalder shared. “I always wanted to play one. I auditioned for True Blood, I just couldn’t convince [creator] Alan Ball that was my role. And then I didn’t get it, and I was very bummed. I couldn’t watch True Blood until now.”

All eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries, starring Ian Somerhalder, are now streaming on Netflix.