Ian Somerhalder Reveals How Damon Is Dealing With the Loss of Elena

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It can't be easy losing the love of your immortal life, so Damon Salvatore is doing the only thing he knows how: hitting the bottle.

Considering Elena (Nina Dobrev) is asleep in a tomb for the next several decades, Damon is "thinking about how much booze he can drown himself in for 60 years," Ian Somerhalder, who plays the bad boy vampire on the show told People. "But Elena said, 'Look, go live your life. You wasted away waiting for Katherine, there's no need to do that right now. Live you life.' And I don't think that's something in the cards for him right now, but I know that he's got a lot to grapple with."

"The town is gone, the house is gone, his brother made a deal with the devil, his mother has basically reinserted herself into the sort of sphere of his life at Mystic Falls, in his orbit, and it's a hard time for him," he continued. "But of course what he's going to do is he's going to have a good time with good ole Alaric, like in that opening scene, drinking his face off."

When the season 7 premiere aired Thursday, we saw Damon and Alaric (Matthew Davis) having a blast in Amsterdam. Drinking aside though, Damon is trying to turn his grief over the loss of Elena into strength for Alaric. "[Damon]'s really taking a lot of that energy and he's putting it into Alaric," he said. "Alaric's sort of helped him forget his own sadness, and ultimately he's just really being there for his best friend. He also has Bonnie (Kat Graham) there sort of as a caring watchdog."
As for how it's been to shoot episodes without Nina this season, Ian said, "There's still very much that presence. You still feel Elena. She's not gone, she's in the box, but there's still a lot of action as a result of that. So it's an evolution, an evolution of the story that's actually a lot of fun. I really think people are going to like it. There's some great stuff with the brothers, you meet all of these new Heretics, and they're funny and nasty and snarky, and they're very much like Damon, they're just prettier and they have better accents."

We'll definitely be tuning in. Don't miss the next episode of Vampire Diaries when it airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on the CW.

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