When Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder met in 2009 for fang-fittings, they had no idea what it would lead to. Fast forward 12 years and the Vampire Diaries alums are the faces of Brother’s Bond Bourbon, a hand-selected straight bourbon whiskey that sold 50,000 cases in the first four months.
“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a product that has almost 12 years of IP built into it. Our souls are in this bottle and it’s so many years — over a decade — of us having, not just an association, but a legitimate sort of connection, like, a family connection,” Somerhalder, 42, told Us Weekly exclusively on Wednesday, September 1, while kicking off National Bourbon Heritage Month. “It’s pretty wild. This is our baby. If Stefan and Damon had a baby together, it’d look like this.”
The duo, who played vampire brothers on the CW drama from 2009 to 2017, admitted that their bond is a rare one since they’re so opposite.
“We’re very yin and yang in the sense that we actually are very different people. I’m always negative. He’s always positive. I’m glass half empty, he’s glass half full,” Wesley, 39, told Us. “I think that is actually why we work well together because we introduce different elements that I think instinctively neither one of us would not necessarily have. So sometimes, if I’m being too much of a pessimist, he brings me up or if he’s doing he’s being unrealistic, I’ll pull him down. It’s kind of this nice balance.”
That balance was also formed on the set of the supernatural series, the former costars said.
“We did a television show for so long together. It is like running a company. I mean, there were 130 people in that set every day that rely on you to be a pro and to show up and be a team, right? So even when you’re tired or sick or you don’t feel good, you’ve got to show up and be a team,” the V Wars alum shared. “As for business, a lot of time is spent tiptoeing around things. … If I have an idea that really is not going to work, Paul literally looks at me and goes, ‘That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.’ And instead of getting all defensive, I’ll go, ‘Oh, you know what you’re right. Actually, that won’t work.’”
The push and pull between Somerhalder and Wesley actually began on day one when they met.
“When we met each other, we were at a fitting to get our fangs. We’re in a dental office, and I remember meeting him in the parking lot in Burbank, early in the morning, and just saying, ‘This guy is going to be my brother,’” the Lost alum recalled, with Wesley adding that he “wasn’t convinced the show was going to be a success,” since not every pilot gets picked up.
“I was like, ‘Alright, we gotta work together on this pilot. Who knows if it gets picked up. If it gets picked up, maybe it’ll last a season or something,’” the Tell Me a Story alum remembered, as Somerhalder added, “I was thinking, I’m going to have to spend the next five years with this guy.”
That conversation continued on their flight to Vancouver to film the pilot.
“[He’s the] eternal optimist. [I’m the] eternal pessimist. I remember on the way to Vancouver, we shot the pilot in Vancouver,” Wesley said. “I was like, ‘You think the shows going to be successful?’ He’s like, [yelling,] ‘What are you talking about? Of course!’”
The Louisiana native replied, “I was yelling at you on the plane,” adding that he remembered thinking, “It’s Twilight on TV! It’s going to crush!”
Somerhalder and Wesley will host a special toast at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday on the Brother’s Bond Bourbon official Instagram Channel to kick off National Bourbon Heritage Month.