Ian Somerhalder

The Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder can sum up Damon Salvatore's attitude early on this season in one word: Pissed. Not only is his brother on a serious downward spiral, but now Damon is tasked with being the sole person to protect the woman that the Salvatores love, Elena. TVGuide.com checked in with Somerhalder who explained the three things viewers need to know about Damon in Season 3. 

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3. He's angry.
Damon always wanted his brother to feed on humans just like he does, so now that he's doing so, what's the big problem? Stefan's only hanging with Klaus these days. "He tried for two seasons to get his brother to do what Damon was all about:  destroy everything in [their] path ... and eat and munch on every sorority girl he can reach. He tried for a really long time to make that happen to no avail and now Stefan's running around doing that exact thing, but with Klaus, who is a prick. And he tried to kill Damon! So you can see where his frustration comes from."

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2. He doesn't want to save the day. Although Damon would do anything to protect Elena and Stefan (and maybe a few others), he does not want to be the resident hero. "He just never saw his life going down this road," Somerhalder says. "He's the anti-hero and even though he's supposed to take on this role he doesn't want it."

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1. He's no longer convinced he should be with Elena.
Damon is in love with Elena and her boyfriend is on the road, so it's prime opportunity to swoop in, right? Not quite. "I know a lot of people would like for that to happen, but the reality of it is that he's done some pretty messed up stuff," Somerhalder says. "Even if he does get in her good graces he'll always do something to screw it up." Also, they're polar opposites. "She wants a life of peace with no death and he's [into] destructive killing. It's like trying to watch a lion and a gazelle be friends, it's just not meant to be. They're just two different animals. One is a predator and one is prey."

Watch our "Vampire Diaries Bite" below to find out the one thing that Damon has over Stefan when it comes to Elena: