How Ian Somerhalder & Kat Graham Went from Enemies to Best Friends

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The Vampire Diaries is, sadly, over… but the friendships among the cast members (well, at least for some of ’em) will last a lifetime; Ian Somerhalder & Kat Graham are one such pairing that plans on remaining close, despite not filming opposite each other every day. “He’s the person I can say in 30 years will be one of my closest friends,” Kat told AOL. And that’s coming from the woman who revealed that she and the TVD heartthrob once hated each other!

You remember how Damon & Bonnie couldn’t stand each other at the beginning of the CW television drama? Well, it looks like art imitated life. “Ian and I used to not like each other at all,” Kat said. “We hated each other first season. Now he’s my best friend in the cast.”

“We wanted to kill each other,” she continued, “but I was a kid and we were both very strong people. I was still finding myself, and throughout the years, he’s helped me find myself and is now one of my greatest inspirations.”

BUT, while you may think that continuously shooting a TV series opposite each other forced them to get along, it was actually something you wouldn’t ever guess that bonded the 27-year-old beauty and the 38-year-old hottie. “I think what bonded us was that… Ian, at the time, was working with [acting coach] Ivana Chubbuck, and I started working with her after he started working with her, and I think she was the one that kind of helped bring us together; it was the work as an actor,” she revealed to us on the set of her recent Foster Grant photo shoot in NYC.

“But I’ll definitely say that once we started becoming friends, and once we realized that the other person was really serious about making the world a better place, we would talk about a lot of things (like things that I don’t think anybody else wanted to talk about),” she added with a laugh. “But we had each other there to talk about our concerns in the world and about politics, and it was good to have a friend like that on set.”

Kat & Ian also have philanthropy in common. Kat is the Goodwill Ambassador for Empower 54, which is an organization that rehabilitates IDPs and refugees in Africa, plus she’s been working with GLAAD on LGBTQ rights. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. “Ian’s got a foundation,” she said. “He and I have kind of collaborated on some things like the water project with ISF [Ian Somerhalder Foundation]. And Nikki [Reed] does a lot of great stuff for animals and PETA and stuff like that.”

If you’ve been missing Kat, stay tuned — her new movie, All Eyez on Me, comes out on June 16!
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