'The Vampire Diaries': Ian Somerhalder on Damon and Elena developments

somerhalder-wb-vid.jpgThe CW recently released a "Vampire Diaries" poster featuring Stefan ( Paul Wesley) and the slogan, " There's a reason he always gets the girl."

Ouch. Poor Damon.

Still, if you're waiting on Damon and Elena's ( Nina Dobrev) grand romance, don't lose hope. Zap2it checked in with our good friend Ian Somerhalder on his last visit to Los Angeles, and of course, we had to ask him what was up next for the CW's most highly anticipated relationship ever.

In Thursday's mid-season premiere, emotions run high for Damon. As Rose (Damon's "supernatural friend with benefits" as Somerhalder puts it) rapidly deteriorates from her werewolf bite, Damon finds himself forced to re-evaluate the choices that have brought him to a surprisingly vulnerable state.

"Rose posed a very serious number of questions that he's going to have to ask himself. It's unfortunate that she had to experience a lot of pain and anguish, but he comes out of it not a better man, just maybe a man of a little more emotional understanding of himself," Somerhalder tells us. Emotions, as we know, are no friend to Damon. When he realizes that he's edging dangerously closer to humanity, he tries to reject it. When he finds himself distraught and hurting, he realizes that he needs the support of those around him... but he sure as hell doesn't want it.

Somerhalder says we're likely to see Damon attempt to be more closed off, like he was when we first met him in the first season. "He is trying to be flippant, he is trying to be as deflective as he can while enjoying himself, and seducing women and compelling journalists and getting his way, kind of being a dick in many ways," he says. In other words, he's trying to be someone Elena doesn't necessarily want to be around.

One problem -- try as he might to be the selfish, reckless man he once was, his attachment to her just won't let him cross that line. "At the end of the day, as opposed to him and his love for Katherine being the motive, it's him and his love and protection mode for Elena as well. It's not just to win. It's not just to slay everybody."

Damon isn't going to actively go after his brother's girl in the near future, though. He recognizes that he and Stefan need to team up and be on the same page if they have any hope of keeping Elena safe.

Meanwhile, that wall that Damon is trying so hard to keep up is no match for Elena's charms.

"As much of a dick as he is to her, and as many problems as he actually causes her, she inexorably, always, at the end of the day, feels for him and expresses that feeling and sort of love, in a way," Somerhalder says. "He always, always will deflect, and she tries to break down that barrier, not with much success, much to her chagrin, but she does attempt to."

After all, Damon isn't the only one in that non-relationship who is vulnerable. It's become increasingly clear that Elena's guard is up, too. For now. "She's starting to chip away at his wall, and in the same sense, he's starting to chip away at her wall," he tells us.

Photo/Video credit: CW