In 2002, Somerhalder played bisexual character Paul Denton in Roger Avary's adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' novel, The Rules of Attraction, alongside James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, and Jessica Biel.
Recently, he has helped raise funds for Disaster in the Gulf, to help the people affected by an oil spill on the coast. He embarked on a modelling career from the age of 10. While working on the Vampire Diaries, Ian dated his co-star Nina Dobrev from mid-2010 to May 2013. He has 3 cats with Nina Dobrev; Jama-Lynx, Dennis and Moke. He is currently in a relationship with Twilight star, Nikki Reed.
By the time he was in junior high, he opted to put modeling on the back burner and focus more on sports and school.
A few years later, when the opportunity to model in Europe arose, Somerhalder grabbed it, embarking on an enriching path of work, travel and study that took him to cities including Paris, Milan and London.
A talent manager visiting a client on the set spotted Somerhalder in a crowd scene of 400 and immediately signed him for representation.
Happy to be anchored in New York, Somerhalder spends much of his time studying acting, writing and practicing yoga.
In 2011 Somerhalder visited Savory in Africa and announced he was making a documentary about him with the goal of winning him a Nobel Prize.