Ian Somerhalder On Directing 'The Vampire Diaries'

Damon and Stefan Salvatore are on the road and about to visit some interesting places on their mission to serve Cade on “The Vampire Diaries.”

Ian Somerhalder went behind the lens for Friday’s midseason return of the The CW drama, directing his fellow cast members in an episode that was filmed in just seven days.

“It’s kind of baptism by fire,” Ian told AccessHollywood.com by phone earlier this week of directing the show again. “You have a very limited amount of time. I shot this episode in seven days. That’s all I had to shoot it, so with that, most people would probably think that’s a negative thing, but I always try and find what’s the most positive aspect of any situation and just go with that.

“By virtue of the fact that I only had seven days – one thing you have to do is you have to economize, so you have to be unbelievably prepared kind of for all of it – for everything, which is great. It’s a great exercise,” he continued.

The new episode – “We Have History Together” – features the Salvatore brothers heading to an anger management group looking for prey.

“We find Damon and Stefan at a support group, sort of … ‘Fight Club’-ish, looking for their next victims. Stefan is in a space we haven’t seen him for quite a while. He’s in full ripper mode. He’s trying to control his feeding by not ripping anyone’s head off and that’s the sort of trigger for him. And while it sounds really morbid and a little sick, it’s true. So you have all these sort of interesting dynamics happen,” Ian said.

Stefan Salvatore turned off his humanity to get the job done in the midseason finale, but Damon might not be all-in.

“Stefan kind of questions Damon’s commitment to their mission as Damon sort of shows … these little glimmers of humanity,” Ian said of the episode’s drama. “We have Sybil still alive and teaching our high school students now, which is definitely not a good thing for the students, and she uses her leverage to get Caroline to locate an artifact that can be used against her. In that vein, it’s definitely the nice villain-esque manipulation, but it’s great. So you have the boys under Cade’s [spell], you have Sybil and Caroline … on this sort of journey together — these sort of odd bedfellows — and then Stefan and Damon do some pretty dark stuff. They basically test the morals of a young doctor, Cara, played by Alexandra Chando, and Stefan kind of – he takes her on sort of a little assignment, but he goes a little too far.”

Ian said there will be some interesting moments for Matt and Peter Donovan, as viewers learn more about their family history and they connection they have to an object siren Sybil wants.

“It was a lot of fun to shoot it, it was a lot of fun to act in it, it was a lot of fun to just be there and produce it and just watch it all unfold and just go back to the time that I love the most on this show, which was Season 1, when this show broke,” Ian said of the episode as a whole.

“It wasn’t about things blowing up and murdering people and having to get 10 angles of cars flipping, it was really just about people and I just got to put cameras on these people that I love to play these characters that we all love and it’s that simple, you know? It’s that simple,” he added.

“The Vampire Diaries” continues Friday at 8/7c on The CW.

Jolie Lash