‘Vampire Diaries’ actor takes bite out of DC politics 

The star of the CW Network’s “The Vampire Diaries” would know — he plays a maniacal vampire on TV and just finished up his third trip to D.C. in a year to meet with lawmakers. Somerhalder, a fierce supporter of environmental conservation and creator of the IS Foundation, lobbied Congress on Thursday to provide funding for wildlife preservation efforts.

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Yet between serious talk of saving endangered species, Somerhalder, 32, could be seen posing for pics throughout the day with starry-eyed congressmen, saying, “I take pictures with all of them. They’re awesome.”

Somerhalder even wonders aloud about working his environmental advocacy into a future episode of his hit show, calling it “not beyond the realm of possibility at all.” He says maybe he can talk to the producers about having his character, Damon, drive an eco-friendly car: “It’s a funny thought … [Damon] will rip someone’s head off but save a kitten and drive a hybrid.”

And don’t be surprised if some Washington power players wind up on the teen drama. As for his pick for a congressional guest star, Somerhalder says it would have to be Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) because “he’s kind of a comedian.”