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Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley were ‘anxious’ in ‘Vampire Diaries’

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley were so high on caffeine while filming ‘Vampire Diaries’ Season 1 that it began to affect their health, Page Six has learned.

Somerhalder, who played Damon Salvatore on the CW series, exclusively told Page Six this week that the actors actually use “iced tea” when pretending to drink whiskey during a scene.

“We had the craziest anxiety issues because there was so much caffeine in it,” the 44-year-old actor said at a party for his Brother’s Bond Bourbon brand of whiskey and the Tennis Channel at JW Marriott Marquis of Miami on Tuesday.

Wesley, who played Somerhalder’s brother Stefan Salvatore, recalled doing “take after take” with copious amounts of tea.

Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder drinking in a bar in a scene from "Vampire Diary."
The actors drank iced tea instead of alcohol in scenes where they were supposed to drink whiskey.
Ian Somerhalder holding a cup of coffee.
Somerhalder said he drank around 20-30 cups in a single day of filming.

“You drink 20 to 30 cups of tea, so at the end of the day you’re, like, ‘Ahh!'” Somerhalder added, waving his hand nervously. ” We do not have [sleep].”

Luckily, the cast and crew finally got two and two together after filming a full season and found a solution to their problem of not being able to drink alcohol while filming their show.

“We switched to decaf so we felt a lot better,” Wesley, 40, said at the event, with Somerhalder adding that they drank “herbal tea”.

Although the co-stars weren’t drinking alcohol on set, the cast shared some fun hangouts in Atlanta, where the series was filmed and where they shared apartments next door.

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“The South is kind of a great place to drink bourbon, so that’s part of the reason we started Brother’s Bond, because we drank a lot of it off and on set,” Wesley told us. “It was kind of like being in a slumber camp.”

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley seated in front of a large sign saying "It's time to bond."
Somerhalder and Wesley lived in Atlanta while filming “Vampire Diaries” and formed a strong friendship.

Somerhalder added, “Our cast and our squad were so tight. We had local watering holes, but it wasn’t just the cast showing up. It was casting, it was handles, it was electricity, it was assistant directors. It was everyone.”

“Vampire Diaries” was a supernatural teen drama about two vampire brothers in love with the same woman, played by Nina Dobrev.

The show was an instant hit and aired for eight seasons from 2009 to 2017.

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley in a scene from "Vampire Diary."
Somerhalder and Wesley starred in all eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries.
©CW Network/courtesy Everett Collection

The show launched several spinoffs, including “The Originals,” which ran from 2013 to 2018, and “Legacies,” which ended in 2022 after a four-season run.

Since leaving “Vampire Diaries,” Somerhalder and Wesley have continued their friendship and business partnership with Brother’s Bond Bourbon.

Although the couple are passionate about their new booze endeavors, they aren’t necessarily moving on from the past.

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley drinking whiskey and smoking cigars.
The friends and former co-stars have now launched their own line of whiskey called Brother’s Bond Bourbon.
Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder in a promotional photo for Brother's Bond Bourbon.
Both stars said they plan to continue working in the entertainment industry while continuing to promote their liquor brand.

Wesley, who currently plays Captain Kirk in “Star Trek: Strange New World,” said he believes the two industries can “work cohesively together.”

“Nowadays the 22 episodes per year model no longer exists, thankfully that’s what we were doing back then,” he said. “So I think now you do 8-10 episodes and you can focus on the brand and there’s a good way to do both and they both help each other.”

Somerhalder shared that, for his part, he has “one show left” that he’s going to do but is open to other projects if “something comes up that’s amazing.”

In the meantime, he says he has bought the rights to a show, in which he will produce, produce, direct and star, but did not provide further details.

Somerhalder also has a second baby on the way with wife Nikki Reed.

New York Post

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