Ian Somerhalder says ''parents are superheroes''.

The 'Vampire Diaries' alum is used to playing supernatural creatures on television, but has said in his latest role as Luther Swan on Netflix show 'V Wars', he's playing a real ''hero'', because his character is a scientist and a parent.

Ian - who became a father for the first time in July 2017, when his wife Nikki Reed gave birth to their daughter Bodhi - said: ''I wanted to play a guy whose superpower was just being a good dad. He's a dad, he's a husband, he's a doctor. Literally, that's the guy's superpower.

''To me, scientists are superheroes. Great parents are superheroes. I am a parent now. I do recognise that it takes being a bit of a superhero to be a good parent, and that's all I wanted to play - just this guy. What we realised was people don't want an ordinary hero. They want an extraordinary hero. We retooled this entire trajectory of this guy.''

'V Wars' - which debuts on December 6 - sees Ian step back into the world of vampires, though this time he won't be playing a bloodsucking creature himself.

But the hunk admits his time as Damon Salvatore on 'The Vampire Diaries' gave him a sense of ''social responsibility'' to use his platform for good.

He added: ''When I first started 'Vampire Diaries', the success of that show catapulted us into a place where we had very specific, let's call it level of access to the public, the population. You do feel a certain social responsibility to help in every way that you can.

''I think Luther Swan only wanted to do the best that he could. ... It's all relevant. It's all very now. I think I'm going to have to do some deep therapy and I'll find out why I wanted to be Luther Swan.''

And Ian has assured fans his character is ''doing the best he can trying to save humanity''.

Speaking to Us Weekly magazine, he said: ''Once you start sort of opening up the curtains, and you start peeling back the layers of the onion of Luther Swan, you're going to find things start to unravel. The deck is very quickly stacked against this man, but he's doing the best he can trying to save humanity.''