Ian Somerhalder is visiting Brisbane for Supanova.
Ian Somerhalder is visiting Brisbane for Supanova.

Sexy vampire’s fear of ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’

WHEN actor Ian Somerhalder jets his away across the Pacific on his way to Brisbane, he's not going to look down.

It's not that he's afraid of heights, it's the state of the ocean beneath him that has him scared.

Ian Somerhalder in the Vampire Diaries
Ian Somerhalder in the Vampire Diaries

As one of the stars of The Vampire Diaries, and the upcoming Netflix vampire drama V-Wars, he's pretty immune to scary sights. But on the way to Brisbane for Supanova - which runs from this Friday until Sunday - he'll pass over the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest collection of plastic and floating trash in the world's oceans.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Picture: phys.org
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Picture: phys.org

Located between California and Hawaii, it is difficult to quantify the exact size of the patch due to conjecture surrounding sampling. Somerhalder has no doubt though that our
oceans are in trouble.

"At some point very soon, there'll be more pieces of plastic in the ocean than fish," he tells U on Sunday ahead of his trip Down Under.

"One company that is extremely inspiring to me, and should be to all of us, is (non-profit organisation) The Ocean Cleanup.

"They are testing right now in the Pacific garbage patch as we speak. Finding use for all of this plastic (at land source) is something we would need to come up with right now."

Ian Somerhalder and wife Nikki Reed. Picture: Dave Mangels/Getty Images
Ian Somerhalder and wife Nikki Reed. Picture: Dave Mangels/Getty Images

The 39-year-old has used his television fame to further his humanitarian and environmental work through The Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which he established in 2010, and runs with wife, fellow actor Nikki Reed, 30.

His goal is to reach and mobilise his followers on social media. And his numbers are impressive: 16.5 million on Facebook; 14.2 million on Instagram; and 7.37 million on Twitter.

Ian Somerhalder with a dog he resuced from traffic. Picture: Instagram
Ian Somerhalder with a dog he resuced from traffic. Picture: Instagram

Somerhalder and Twilight actress Reed are also animal lovers. They recently lost one of their longtime companions, Ira, a german shepherd, who succumbed to cancer. The pair, who have a 16-month-old daughter named Bodhi, are constantly fostering animals in need.

"We have eight permanent residents," Somerhalder says when U on Sunday asks how many animals he currently has at home.

"And (we) have a revolving door with many other furry friends coming and going. My wife and I can house up to 15 at any one time. Which we have before."

On his upcoming trip to Brisbane ("Your country is one of the most beautiful in the world and I'm so humble to be coming back again," says Somerhalder at one point), he is keen to use Supanova as a learning opportunity.

Ian Somerhalder with Maggie Grace in scene from Lost. /TV/programs/Titles/Lost
Ian Somerhalder with Maggie Grace in scene from Lost. /TV/programs/Titles/Lost

The former Lost co-star, took on directing duties during the final two seasons of The Vampire Diaries and is attached to both act and direct on V-Wars which is based on the anthology series of the same name, written and edited by Jonathan Maberry.

These sorts of events provide him with a chance to listen to what fans want.

"I love my interactions with the fans," he says.

"The beautiful thing about living in this day and age is that it makes it so readily possible to interact with the fans. I'm always creating with the intention of them in mind."

Also appearing at Supanova alongside Somerhalder and others, will be Addams Family star Christina Ricci, Torchwood's John Barrowman, Dean Cain (Lois & Clark), Bonnie Wright (Harry Potter series) and Julie Benz (Dexter).

Supanova, Nov 9-11, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, full guest list: supanova.com.au, tickets: moshtix.com.au