Ian Somerhalder had a conversation with E! detailing why he no longer is near the Hollywood scene these days.
The actor and wife Nikki Reed, who live on a domestic farm far outside the city, put aside their beachside Los Angeles home and never looked back.
“Walking through the farm with kids and dogs and family,” the actor detailed in an exclusive chat with E! News, “every stop, you’re pulling off of trees or off of bushes, pulling up out of the ground and feeding everyone as you’re moving through the farm.”
The two have been parents to Bodhi, 6, and a 5-month-old son growing lavender, rosemary and cucumbers on their estate. In addition, the duo have been raising a collection of animals including cows and mini donkeys to protect their collection of goats from coyotes and other predators.
“It is a lot of work,” he acknowledged of farm living. But there are more than a few payoffs. “It’s unbelievable when you see these amazing creature life forms,” he marveled, “and how they all live on the farm together is really special.”
It’s been roughly four years since The Vampire Diaries alum, 44, and his Twilight actress spouse, 35, have been in any new acting roles, claiming they are working toward a different passion project.
“We’re farm people, we produce most of our own food, I live in my cowboy boots,” noted Somerhalder.
As of late, Somehalder mentioned in his interview that he has only been inside of a studio to narrate his 2020 documentary titled Kiss the Ground and its newly released follow up Common Ground. Each of the projects detail how many these days can focus on regenerative farming and improve the word’s soil to combat climate change.
“I stepped away from acting a little over four years ago,” noted Somerhalder, “to raise my kids, build my companies and get these films launched.”
“By using healthy soil management practices, we are building a secure future today, or tomorrow,” he explained. “And once you do have children, you realize I am no longer alone here. I am leaving this to my children.”
The star created Common Ground with a large amount of celebrities involved including Laura Dern, Jason Momoa, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, and Donald Glover as a “love letter to our children,” he said. “As a parent, you never want to have to look at your kids and say, ‘I’m sorry.’ You want to be able to look at your children and say, ‘We did something. And as a result of that we secured our future.'”
Somehalder also offered advice for those who are not sure where to get started on being better toward the environment.
“You have the ability every day you walk out of your house to have the single most powerful vote on the planet, which is to vote with your dollar. What companies are you going to support? Are those companies good stewards of not just the environment, but of the communities that support that?”
The star admitted that a lot of brands have approached him about his eco-conscious lifestyle, even pet food brand Nutro tapped Somerhalder to give voice to their animated short film Tail of Two Farms detailing their mission.
Though he wears quite a few (cowboy) hats thanks to projects like the Brother’s Bond Bourbon brand he shares with former onscreen sibling Paul Wesley, his environmental work is what keeps him grounded.
“I was asked why I care about this,” Somerhalder said of fighting against his image as just another Hollywood heartthrob. The answer, quite simply, “is because I’m building my entire life and world to do that exact thing.”
When asked about the future he added in the conversation, “I will be a rancher and building legacy brands, whether it’s my bourbon or my health and wellness company, and the regenerative agriculture and healthy soil management practices that I live by and our family lives by. That’s where my life was going. So when people say ‘Why do you care?’ That’s why I care. Because that’s who I am, that’s what I’m going to become.”