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Locke out for Ian; Exclusive Alongside the hero doc Ian Somerhalder's Boone is the hottest thing in Lost .. but will a plot twist change all that.

Byline: By Craig McQueen

THEY may only have entered our lives last week,but already the castaways of TV drama Lost are becoming familiar faces.

Andone of the more striking cast members is hoping the series will show he's more than just a pretty face.

Ian Somerhalder modelled for Versace and Calvin Klein before opting for a career as an actor five years ago.

And by refusing to shy away from the most controversial of storylines, the 26 year-old from Los Angeles has managed to make the grade in the most difficult of industries.

Lost sees Somerhalder starring as Boone, a good-looking rich-kid who has a bizarre relationship with his sister Shannon.

As the series develops, viewers will be shocked to learn the reasons why the pair are constantly at each other's throats.

But the actor is staying tight-lipped on the scenes later in the series that have enthralled American viewers.

He said: "I can't tell you much, unfortunately. But as with all the characters, there is much more to Boone than meets the eye.

"But later onwe find out why Boone and Shannon treat each other the way they do."

He does reveal that viewers should keep an eye on scenes involving Boone and fellow castaway Locke.

He said: "Boone's growing relationship and admiration for Locke will eventually get him into trouble. He and Locke discover something that will change everything."

The role is a dream come true for the actor who, as a teenager, would travel from his LA home to New York every summer for modelling work.

Despite other varied interests such as marine biology, advertising and writing, he spent time modelling in Europe before getting his first big break as an actor when an agent spotted him working as an extra on a New York film set.

Since then he hasn't looked back, but he admits being taken seriously as an actor hasn't been easy.

He said: "Like any transition, it has its moments, but I'll be the first to say that I worked my ass off and also got lucky.

"I'm not happy with, or comfortable with most of the work that I've done so far, but I'm sure that I'll get to that place at some point."

Before starring in Lost, Somerhalder was best-known for starring in the movie The Rules Of Attraction, where he shared a gay kiss with ex-Dawson's Creek actor Jason Van Der Beek.

He said: "It was definitely not the most comfortable thing I have ever done. His face was so scratchy."

The film was a critical success but Somerhalder faced criticism from fans unhappy about the way he handled interest in the scene after the film was released.

He later insisted it would be the last gay kiss he'd do. He said: "It's not such a big deal actually, but I've noticed from experience it's not me who can't handle it - it's the audience.

"Seann William Scott didn't get all of the backlash that I received when he did the same in American Pie. It was completely unjustified fans and outraged men saying that I was making anti-gay remarks.

"I wasn't and those very close to me who are gay were visibly upset.

"I'd never make a disrespectful remark about anyone, especially in public, about one's sexual preference."

He's also had to get used to rumours about his private life and the attention of fans ASHORT-LIVED relationship with it-girl Nicky Hilton thrust him into the public eye and made him wary about revealing too much.

So he's remaining tight-lipped about rumours of a relationship with his on-screen sister Maggie Grace.

Sources on the set of Lost's second season have said the pair are sharing a home nearby.

But Somerhalder will only admit that he's seeing someone and is even unsure about calling her a girlfriend.

He said: "That word is too much - I shouldn't call her that - but, I guess one could say, yes."

Jealously guarding his love life might have something to do with his parents - a massage therapist and a building contractor from Covington, south LA - having split up when the star was a teenager.

He said: "I was 14 when it happened. Handling it wasn't a problem. I think that I was the one saying' just do it already.' "But my relationship with my parents has always been a bit different than other kids.

They're more like my friends.

"Divorce is never an easy thing. As a kid one must try to understand that life will change, but it's not the end of the world, parents are just people."

Despite the experience, he still believes it's possible to find true love, and that there's more than one soul mate out there for us.

He said: "I think there are several. I've come to find out that who you thought was your soul mate at say, 20, will not be at 25. So I truly believe the people in our lives, at whatever time they are there, are there for a reason and maybe a mate to your soul.

"But what the hell do I know? I was with Nicky Hilton for six months."

While he's now getting more comfortable with the attention of fans, it hasn't always been the case.

He said: "I have 14-year-old girls and women in their thirties coming up to me. They know me from The Rules of Attraction or Life as a House and Young Americans.

"After I did that show, I'd come out and find teenage girls sitting onmy car. It was frightening."

Somerhalder loves outdoor pursuits, from boating, swimming and fishing to skiing, horse-riding and even archery.

And he's convinced he'd be able to get by on a deserted island if he were to find himself stuck there.

He said: "I would survive very well. I grew up camping, reading about, learning and practising how to survive if stranded."

There's even some truth in the rumour that he and some of his fellow male cast members like the great outdoors too much.

Maggie Grace claimed some of them liked walking around the Lost set in the nude, and Somerhalder is happy to reveal the truth.

He said: "We do not walk around on the set nude - that'd be weird. However, at pool parties or on the beach, we have been known to disrobe quite frequently.Why not?"

And he agrees with the fans who are fed up seeing him wearing the same clothes.

He added: "I do get to change eventually - just watch

CAPTION(S):

CASTAWAYS: The stars of C4's Lost are becoming household names; MIND GAMES: Somerhalder and Shannyn Sossaman in Rules of Attraction; FAMILY AFFAIR; Somerhalder as Boone and Maggie Grace as sister Shannon
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 18, 2005
Words:1117
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