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Winner Experience: The Vampire Diaries Convention with Ian Somerhalder

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The Vampire Diaries may be over, but Penelope was able to live out her wildest vampire dreams when she had lunch with Ian Somerhalder at The Vampire Diaries Official Convention in Chicago. Read on to hear all about her experience and the unexpected way she met the other cast members.

What was it like at the convention?

I’ve never been to a convention before, so I didn’t really know how it worked. Everyone there was really nice and showed me around. I got to meet other fans like me and it was really awesome seeing all the panels. I also got autographs from the cast and a photo with Andrew Lees and Oliver Ackland, who are in The Originals.

Did you meet anyone else from the cast while you were there?
I did! I met Paul Wesley, Zach Roerig, Kat Graham and Daniel Gillies. Pretty much all the cast members were there.

Do you have a favorite panel you went to?
I loved all the panels, but I guess my favorite would be Paul and Ian’s panel. They are both really funny. I got to sit on the stage because Ian told me I could sit on the side while they had their panel.

How was lunch with Ian?
It was really overwhelming. I was getting really nervous right before he walked in, I was telling myself, “Please don’t cry. Keep it together.” I’ll never forget that moment. I knew what questions to ask him but it wasn’t coming out because I was so nervous. He made me feel really comfortable, and he was really sweet!

What kind of things did you guys talk about?
We talked about ISF, the project he’s working on right now, my school and what I was studying. We talked about his pets because I really love animals, so I was like “How’s Moke? How’s Neech?” I also asked him about his favorite music and stuff like that.

Is there a highlight moment for you?
When me and Ian were done with our lunch, we went backstage and he took me through the backstage hallway. I turned around one second and Paul Wesley was standing there. I was like, “Holy crap!” When I turned around again, Zach Roerig was there. It was just so cool to meet them personally.

Sounds like a blast! We have a feeling she’s handling the series finale just fine. Thank you to everyone for supporting the Ian Somerhalder Foundation and their mission to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.

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