Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder reveals why he was jealous of Chris Wood's Kai
The Vampire Diaries creators have talked a lot about the importance of a great villain for the series, and in its later seasons, there was one villain that stood out among the rest: Kai Parker (Chris Wood). Introduced in season 6, the sociopathic siphoner quickly became a favorite in the TVD fandom, and for Ian Somerhalder, whose Damon Salvatore was the series' first villain, Kai marked a significant shift for the show.
In episode 6 of EW's Binge: The Vampire Diaries, Somerhalder recalls his hesitation about Damon becoming a good — or at least better — guy in the show's third season. "I was so upset about the trajectory of Damon," Somerhalder says. "So much so that at one point I was sitting across from [executive producer] Julie [Plec] in her office in Atlanta almost in tears so angry about this."
Plec, along with her co-creator Kevin Williamson, explained that Damon couldn't be what they called a "one trick pony," that he was going to be the villain at times and the hero at others. But that's precisely why Somerhalder says he was jealous of what Chris Wood got to do as Kai in season 6. "That's why I was always so in love with what Chris Wood was doing on screen, because up until that moment, there was never a character in the show, other than Stefan in the Ripper age, that actually had the ability to not be so serious, to do horrific things but do it with a smile," Somerhalder says.
As far as Wood's inspiration for Kai, Wood, who's also on the podcast, says, "We talked about Ted Bundy if he was really funny. It was the worst person in the world who's also like maybe a good hang if you can get him to shut up for a second. That was sort of what I was always going for."
For more listen to the full podcast episode, featuring Somerhalder, Wood and executive producer Julie Plec, below:
To listen, subscribe to EW's Binge: The Vampire Diaries feed via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also subscribe to EW's YouTube page to catch all the video interviews, and stay tuned to EW.com.
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Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.