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Damon Salvatore: Sexiest beast

The Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder weighs in on how it feels to hold the title

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Twihards, your passion has met its match. Fans of The CW?s The Vampire Diaries mobilized to crown Damon Salvatore—a vampire who (gasp!) has sex, kills, drinks human blood, and spews biting dialogue—as the ultimate Sexy Beast. Damon defeated vampire Edward Cullen by 3,902 votes in a final round that saw more than 273,000 votes cast in 72 hours. ?It makes you realize how much fun the fans are having,? says a humbled and grateful Ian Somerhalder, who plays Damon. ?They?re making the success of the show happen.? He didn?t get to vote due to filming. ?We were shooting flashback stuff, and I always have this fear that if I bring my cell phone or computer, then it?s going to throw me off.? But he did offer a tweet of thanks to his fans at the start of the finals: ?That Pattinson guy will end up kicking my butt, however thanks for taking the time, that?s really cool :)? And his castmate Matt Davis (Alaric) got in on the action. ?I think he text-messaged Justin Bieber and said, ?Hey, will you please vote for my friend?? I?m not even kidding,? Somerhalder says. What does the actor think is behind Damon?s appeal? ?He loves what he?s doing and he?s enjoying the hell out of his life despite the amount of pain and anger that he has inside of him.? Season 2, which premieres Sept. 9, should be a ball. Damon deals with the return of Katherine (Nina Dobrev), the vampire lover who jilted him. And we can always count on the sticky weather in Atlanta to keep things interesting. ?I walk around set with my shirt off half the time anyway now, so we might as well shoot it on camera,? Somerhalder says. The Sexy Beast voters thank him for it.