Now, I’m not going to name any names, but there are a number of actors out there, who appear to be capable of expressing only ONE emotion, using ONE facial expression.
Freddie Prince Jr., Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, that Creepy guy from the Erectile Dysfunction commercials . . .
Fortunately for us TVD fans, Ian Somerhalder is NOT one of those actors! In fact, as Damon Salvatore, Ian Somerhalder has portrayed a wider range of emotions in 1.5 seasons of The Vampire Diaries, than some actors twice his age have exhibited throughout their ENTIRE CAREERS! I think that deserves a round of applause. Don’t you?
In celebration of his work, I thought it might be fun to pay a little tribute to some of my favorite “Faces of Damon Salvatore.”
OK, I know it’s supposed to be a “FACE” post, but how could I possibly write a blog entry about Damon Salvatore, without including AT LEAST one BODY SHOT?
[By the way, inspiration for this post came to me by way of two FABULOUS posts, courtesy of my blogging pal, Cherie. Fellow TVD fans should be sure to check out her Damon Salvatore Mixtape, as well as her kickass post regarding the Sartorial Stylings of Stefan Salvatore (a term trademarked by the Always Brilliant Amy, over at Imaginary Men).]
So, what do you say, we stop yapping, and start getting some serious “face time” with our favorite vampire?
Face #1 – Flirty Damon, a.k.a. “Eye-Thing” Damon
No HUMAN girl could resist the charms of Damon Salvatore, when he’s working his Flirt Magic on you. And if his smile alone, hasn’t already melted your heart, his “Eye Thing” most certainly will . . .
When we get to see him: Flirty Damon usually makes an appearance, when he’s trying to get something he wants out of someone of the “female persuasion.”
Early on in Season 1, Flirty Damon came out to play ALL THE TIME, with practically EVERY lovely lady on the show, from Elena to Caroline to Bonnie to Vicki to Aunt Jenna to Matt’s Slutty Mom. Heck, I think he may have even come on to Alaric a few times . . .
And yet, ever since Damon has come to realize his true feelings for Elena, we can’t help but notice that Playboy Damon has been a bit less playful, of late. Love can do that to a vamp, sometimes . . .
Why we love him: Isn’t it obvious? We love Flirty Damon because he’s FUN and SEXY AS HELL! Besides, a guy who will flirt with anything that moves, will surely flirt with us! Right? *nods head, hopefully*
What it says about his character: Damon’s flirty nature definitely gives him an air of confidence. This is a guy who’s hot, and KNOWS IT! Damon is not afraid to use his charm and good looks to get what he wants. Aside from purely strategic reasons, Damon likes to flirt, because it’s FUN! He enjoys spending time with women. And he loves the attention they give him.
However, as we’ve come to learn in Season 2, there is a bit of falseness to Damon’s flirting. When Damon REALLY loves and cares about someone, he finds it much more difficult to flirt with her. Because, while lust may be a game for Damon, LOVE is serious business for him . . .
Flirty Damon Video Tribute:
Face #2 – Drinking Damon
When Damon says he likes to drink “Bloody Marys,” he means that quite literally. Nice knowing ya, girls named Mary!
When we get to see him: ALL THE TIME! (Have you ever noticed how Damon drinks both BLOOD and ALCOHOL, in just about every episode?)
Why we love him: Just because Damon is a vampire, doesn’t mean he can’t get wasted, just like everybody else.
And when Damon gets drunk (like most of us), it lowers his inhibitions . . .
Sure, sometimes that loss of inhibitions makes Damon do BAD things (like kill Vicki, and almost kill Jeremy). But it also makes him do GOOD things, like bond with Alaric, or have heart-to-hearts with his brother, or slur out hilarious drunken jokes, or let Elena know how much he really cares for her.
What it says about his character: Damon has always been one to try and “turn off” his feelings – something that being a vampire allows him to at least pretend to do, on certain occasions. Don’t forget that this is a vampire with 140 some-odd years of pain and heartbreak to overcome! He would LOVE to “turn off” his feelings of hurt and anger, over having pined over the same woman for a century-and-a-half, only to find out that she never loved him. He would LOVE to “turn off” his feelings of betrayal over his brother’s decision to force him to become a vampire, so he wouldn’t have to go through eternity alone. And he would LOVE to “turn off” his love for Elena, a woman for whom he cares so deeply, and yet feels he does not deserve.
Damon drinks in hopes of dulling his pain, in a way that just “being a vampire” no longer can. Ironically, however, Damon’s drinking has the opposite effect of what he intends. It actually seems to make him MORE emotional, and, therefore, more likely to reveal his feelings to the very same people he wishes to hide them from.
Drinking Damon Video Tribute:
(click on the embedded link)
Face #3 – Compelling Damon
When we get to see him: The power to compel is pretty much the BEST SUPERPOWER EVER! Just imagine the possibilities. Throughout the show, we have seen Damon use his compulsion power for a number of reasons . . .
To be naughty (and get laid) . . .
As part of a Master Plan to vanquish enemies . . . and . . . most recently . . .
To make the ultimate sacrifice for the woman he loves.
Why we love him: This is going to sound totally shallow
Then again, most of this post is totally shallow, but did you ever notice how, every time Damon compels someone on TVD, we get to see this AWESOME CLOSE-UP of his EYES?
On a (slightly) more intellectual level, there is something very frightening, yet, at the same time, intriguing, about falling into someone’s eyes, and allowing them to have total control over you. I think the “compulsion” aspect of vampires is part of what fascinates so many people about them.
They also tend to be REALLY hot.
What it says about his character: Damon’s compulsion ability adds an extra layer of danger to a character that’s already pretty darn dangerous. (I mean, this guy snaps necks, with the same ease that most people break twigs.) Human beings are in danger around Damon — not only because he can literally kill them with his bare hands, but because he has the power to basically make them do his bidding, at a moment’s notice.
Damon’s compulsion of Elena was a really turning point in our understanding of his character, because it was the first time, Damon compelled another human being, for completely selfless reasons. He truly believed that making Elena forget that he loves her would be in her best interest. Delena fans obviously VEHEMENTLY disagree . . .
Naughty Compelling Damon Video Tribute:
(click the embedded link)
Nice (and heartbreaking) Compelling Damon Video Tribute:
(You know the drill!)
Face #4- Enraged Damon, a.k.a. “Crazy-Eyes Damon”
“You wouldn’t like me, when I’m angry!”
When we get to see him: In early Season 1, Damon reserved his Crazy-Eyes for his brother, Stefan. Once Stefan and Damon put their differences aside, however, Crazy-Eyed Damon came out to play, whenever someone (generally a supernatural being) threatened him, or the people he cares about. This includes the Hidey Hole Vamps of Season 1, as well as Uncle John, Mason and Tyler Lockwood, Katherine, and the Originals, so far in Season 2.
“Mason, you’re looking a little tired. Why don’t you lay down, and take a load off?”
Why we love him: Anger can be REALLY sexy, sometimes! Even at his calmest, Damon is a force to be reckoned with. But when he’s MAD? That man is unstoppable! He’s strong, virile, masculine, and SUPER hot. In short, he’s best damn bodyguard a girl could ever ask for!
“I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll BLOW YOUR HOUSE DOWN!”
What it says about his character: On one hand, Damon’s rage, is a source of strength for him. It allows him to defeat his enemies rather easily. Yet, untenable anger can also be a liability. When Damon “Hulks Ou,t” he tends to lose all sense of logical reasoning and control. A perfect example of this can be found in Episode 1 of Season 2, when Damon lashed out at Jeremy, after being rejected by Elena. If not kept under control, Damon’s rage can cause him to hurt the ones he loves. It also might allow those who are more in control of their emotions (like, for example, The Originals) to get the best of him.
Enraged Damon Video Tribute:
Face #5 – Brood and Smoulder Damon
When we get to see him: Lately? Quite often, actually. Damon first started showing signs of Brood and Smoulder around Mid Season 1, when he first learned that Katherine was NEVER locked in that tomb, he sacrificed so much of himself to open. As it turned out, Katherine had been alive all along! She just never cared to see Damon, despite the fact that she was the ONLY person he ever loved . . . well, at least until Elena came along.
This season, Damon’s brooding and smouldering has mostly been over Elena. Despite his being head-over-heels in love with the girl, for the first few episodes of Season 2, she wouldn’t even give him the time of day, due to the whole “Jeremy Incident.” Recently, Elena seems to have, at least partially, forgiven him, thanks to his saving her live NUMEROUS TIMES, and to his performing quite a number of selfless acts for her friends. However, that arguably makes things even more difficult for Damon, who is now frequently treated to a “front-row” seat to the Endless Love Saga that is “Elena and Stefan.”
Why we love him: Nothing in the world is more relatable than a man suffering the slings and arrows of unrequited love. There’s something about a guy who suffers heartbreak in silence that is just so endearing. It makes us want to heal him. Sexual healing?
What it says about his character: What Stefan says about his brother is the absolute truth. Damon’s ability to love, first Katherine, and now, Elena, is the link to his humanity. His love for Elena, in particular, has caused him to do many brave and selfless things. Damon’s ability to love and suffer in silence, on one hand, shows tremendous courage and strength, and on the other, a bit of fear. Remember, Damon has already been rejected by Elena once, and by Katherine multiple times.
Clearly these girls are NUTS! Although, much of Damon’s decision not to let Elena know his true feelings has to do with his belief that Stefan is “better for her,” a bit of it might also have to do with his unconscious fear of being rejected again.
Brood and Smoulder Damon Video Tribute:
Thanks again schochokeks1189! (I’ve used your awesome video twice already!)
Face #6 – Smug and Snarky Damon
“Enough with the depressing love stuff, Recapper. You’re boring me!”
When we get to see him: Damon Salvatore has the best one-liners on the ENTIRE SHOW! Never one to spare a friend or family member’s feelings, Damon is always ready with a quick and insulting comeback for even the most banal of remarks. No matter how sweet or broody Damon gets, that awesome mean streak will (hopefully) never go away!
Why we love him: Damon is our ID! He says all the stuff we would LOVE to say to people, but would never dare. Did I mention the dude is FRIGGIN HILARIOUS?
What it says about his character: You can’t be snarky, without being smart. And if his snarkiness is any measure at all, Damon is a GENIUS! He’s also someone who’s got a genuine passion for life (and undeath). Damon has a great sense of humor. He’s not afraid to laugh at himself. And he’s certainly not afraid to laugh at others! Sure, some of that mean-spirited bravado is a defense mechanism to hide his pain and heartbreak (see Brood and Smoulder explanation above). But, in the words of Damon himself, “Ughhh! Who cares?”
Snarky Damon Video Tribute:
(Don’t let the intro fool you, it’s a Damon video, all the way!)
And finally . . . (drumroll please) . . .
Face #7 - Hero Damon
“We’re off to save Elena . . . again.”
When we get to see him: For a vamp who started the show off as a Big Bad Villain, Damon sure does spend a lot of time being heroic, doesn’t he? Damon saved Stefan from the Hidey Hole Vamps. He’s saved Elena from . . . well . . . everyone. And without Damon’s blood, Caroline would literally be dead (as opposed to undead). Now, with the Originals after Elena, and at least one new werewolf in town, I’m guessing Hero Damon will be sticking around for quite some time.
Why we love him: Well, geez! Do I even have to answer that? Who WOULDN’T want to be rescued by a big manly vampire, who looks like Ian Somerhalder?
What it says about his character: If Damon’s love for Elena is his link to humanity, than his heroism is evidence of it. Sure, Damon can do some REALLY bad things to people, but he knows how to protect the ones he loves. When the people he cares about are in danger, Damon is intensely determined to do whatever it takes to get them out of harms way. This vampire is definitely not afraid to take some risks and kick some ass, when such things are required of him. Did I mention, he’s also pretty handy with a stake?
“Is that a big stick in your hand, or are you just happy to see me?”
Hero Damon Video Tribute:
(OK . . . admittedly, this is a Team Badass, a.k.a. Damon and Alaric video. But it definitely gives off the hard core hero vibe I was seeking. So enjoy! – Thanks MoraineEllisande!)
Thank you for your faces, Damon Salvatore! We love them ALL!