Storytellers are some of the greatest advocates of humanity: Ian Somerhalder
New Delhi: Actor Ian Somerhalder says he won't hold himself accountable if his latest series "V-Wars" doesn't measure up to the mammoth success of "The Vampire Diaries" as he believes he is in the business of creating art.
The American actor, who shot to international fame as the mercurial vampire Damon Salvatore in the long-running popular fantasy show, said his aim with the Netflix series is to give something to his fans to be proud of.
Somerhalder plays Dr Luther Swann in "V-Wars" and his character tries to find out the nature of the disease that has turned his best friend Micheal Fayne and many others into vampires.
Calling "The Vampire Diaries" a "stand-alone anomaly", Somerhalder said not everything can be a win.
"I know 'V-Wars' will be a hit but not everything is a win. You have to accept that. 'Vampire Diaries' was a stand-alone anomaly. There are very few shows in the world that make it to that level of success. Around 1.1 per cent of every show ever made gets to that stage.
"I won't hold myself accountable if it doesn't have the global popularity of the size of 'Vampire Diaries'. But given that a core audience that will love the show, we want to make something they are proud of and there's something beautiful about that," the actor told PTI in a telephonic interview from Los Angeles.
Somerhalder, 41, said he doesn't worry about the comparisons, adding he aims to start a conversation on relevant issues.
"I know my business is that we're making art. Storytellers are, by far, some of the greatest advocates of humanity in our society. If you go all the way back to Egyptian times to the ancient Greeks, storytellers have the ability to entertain and inspire.
"We want to do that and provoke thought and create conversations because for me, it's all about having conversations about many things," he added.
There are no risks and it boils down to someone who lets people take the risk, the actor added.
Citing the example of his 2014 sci-fi action thriller "The Anomaly", Somerhalder said it was hard to deal with the debacle of the movie given the fact he waited till four seasons of "The Vampire Diaries" to work on a film.
"It had Brian Cox as my father and how do you go wrong with Brian Cox? But the film didn't do well. It was a hard one to swallow. But then, you keep moving," he said.
The actor, who has also directed "V-Wars" series finale and serves as an executive producer, said they were racing against time to complete 10 days of reshoots in six days, so much so he landed in hospital due to exhaustion.
"My body just said 'take a break for a second and we'll pick back up tomorrow'. I learnt a lot from that. I won't do that again. But I do know that's when we know how passionate you are about something that you don't even notice when you're pushing yourself."
Unlike the "sexy, funny vampires" the audience is used to seeing, Somerhalder said, creatures in this new show are terrifying.
"These are murderers who are just as confused as their victims about what is going on. We wanted to ensure that they were scary.
"If you were in the room with one of these people, you won't make it out (alive). We wanted to craft nuanced and grounded performances."
There are more sides to the actor's personality and, he uses his influence to honour causes such as education, environment and animal rights.
While all the causes are close to his heart, empowering the youth is a priority.
"Kids are going to run the world, they are the most untapped natural resource that we have on the planet. It's not oil, water or land, it's the children," he said.
Somerhalder has a theory about why schools don't teach the youth about "polarising" issues like climate change.
"They don't teach kids how to handle finances. Why? That will harm the banks. They don't want us to eat healthy food. What will happen to the medical industry? Healthy and happy people pose threat to the set system," he said.
"V-Wars" is currently streaming on Netflix.