Ian Somerhalder had to achieve his character’s beefed-up new look in V Wars in the space of two weeks.
The actor’s character Dr. Luther Swann undergoes a physical transformation to become a muscular, formidable-looking warrior in the finale episode of the Netflix vampire thriller.
In a short video about his new look, Somerhalder explained that by the time they came up with the storyline, he was 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) underweight and a “tired skinny mess” because producing the series was so taxing, and he had two weeks to turn it around.
He called upon Jance Footit, his trainer from The Vampire Diaries, who put him on a strict diet and tough exercise regime.
“He immediately put me on a clean and strict but yummy diet of protein, fats, vegetables, good carbohydrates and loads of water. Five or six meals per day and all of the vitamins to feed rapid muscle growth!” Somerhalder recalled.
“With 10 days to go, I was not feeling very confident that I was looking like the new Swann 2.0. so Jance met me in Toronto with this one goal in mind. His method was incredible,” he explained. “It is simple: Train four days hard. Rest four days and shoot or compete. Only four days of training BUT three-four times per day! The goal is to train with so much frequency in those first few days to produce so much damage to the muscle they have only one thing to do: grow. Rapidly.”
The 41-year-old admitted the “first few days were brutal” because he was juggling training with his many other duties on the show, but he managed to achieve his goal.
“Come day of shooting, Swann was ready for the camera. I put on eight pounds of solid muscle in less than two weeks my arms had grown almost two inches. Swann looked like someone had temporarily inflated him with a bicycle pump. And that’s how Swann will stay for a good while,” Somerhalder concluded, adding that his new look will continue in season two.
V Wars season one is streaming on Netflix now.
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