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Ian Somerhalder Says V-Wars Is Way Less Supernatural Than The Vampire Diaries

'It's more about the science instead of supernatural fantasy'

Lindsay MacDonald

If you think Ian Somerhalder is crazy to dive headfirst into another vampire-based TV series after wrapping up The Vampire Diaries two years ago, he's well aware and ready to prove you wrong. While fans of The Vampire Diaries were busy celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the CW show's pilot earlier this week, Somerhalder was hard at work putting the finishing touches on his new series,V-Wars, as it prepares to launch on Netflix later this year.

"I love this genre so much so that I ended up finding myself back in the genre. I doubled down, heavily -- not just even as an actor; I'm producing, directing, and starring," Somerhalder told TV Guide. "I know some people keep asking me, 'Do you think people are going to think you're nuts that you spent eight years on a vampire show only to find yourself on another one?' And no, I don't think people are going to think I'm nuts. And if they do, when they see it, they'll see how different it is."

The Vampire Diaries Stars Look Back at Filming the Pilot for the Show's 10th Anniversary

As an executive producer and director of the series, Somerhalder said he has been incredibly hands-on in crafting the first season of V-Wars. From sound mixing to VFX to color-grading, there's not a single frame of the series he hasn't touched, and he credited a lot of his knowledge and abilities to his time spent on The Vampire Diaries, on which he eventually became a producer and director.

"I'm really grateful for how much I learned on [that] show," said Somerhalder. "What I'm able to put into V-Wars is a direct reflection of the understanding and the skill sets that I developed on The Vampire Diaries, for sure, both in the production and post-production side. ... The Vampire Diaries was an anomaly; it was one of those rare, golden doves that come out of nowhere. While it takes a lot out of you, it is easy to show up and be the star of a hit television show. It's a different world to build one from the ground up, and I've put my soul into this show... I'm up at 6 in the morning and there are hundreds of things that need to be taken care of each day."

Whether or not fans of The Vampire Diaries will follow Somerhalder and his smolder to his new series, which has more freedom since it's streaming and not beholden to broadcast television rules, has yet to be determined. But the actor is confident that, should they tune in, they'll find a world very different from Mystic Falls. Not only will Somerhalder be playing a human this time around, the distinguished Dr. Luther Swann, V-Wars is steeped in less mythology than The Vampire Diaries and its spin-offs. Consequently, the series will focus less on magical curses and spells and more on the grounded reality of a medically-based phenomenon.

"It's more about the science instead of supernatural fantasy," explained Somerhalder. "These creatures come as a result of a disease. They're not 165 years old; it's happening brand new, in real-time. You're experiencing it as it's happening. What that does to the world is going to be insane."

V-Wars 10-episode season is set to premiere later this year Netflix.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)