Ian Somerhalder has remained a top-contender to play Christian Grey ever since casting rumors began. His loyal following thinks he has the acting chops, skills and good looks to pull off the role of the sexy, kinky billionaire.

Now that a release date has been announced (August 1, 2014) casting rumors are at an all-time high. Since Somerhalder has managed to hang on to his top spot for so long, HNGN decided to point out several reasons why he would make a perfect Christian Grey.

1. He has experience with younger women. Somerhalder plays a 170-year-old vampire named Damon Salvatore in the show "Vampire Diaries." In an interview with the Associated Press, Somerhalder addressed casting rumors saying that he feels his experience playing Salvatore would be a plus for the movie.

"Technically I have a lot of experience e with younger women," he said adding "I wanna make that happen."

2. He talks about "Fifty Shades" a lot. The fact that Somerhalder admitted that he doesn't get tired of people asking him about "Fifty Shades" casting rumors is a huge plus. Once the movie comes out, that's all people will ask him about so it's better that he gets used to the attention now.

"One can never get bored of people asking about a huge project," Somerhalder told Metro Online. "Everyone has to realize every guy in Hollywood is up for this role. It could be anyone - that's how it goes."

3. He's read the book. According to several reports Somerhalder has the read "Fifty Shades of Grey" after it was given to him as a gift by ex-girlfriend Nina Dobrev.

4. He looks good naked (or semi-naked). The actor sent pulses racing as he posed naked in a bathtub. "Fifty Shades" fans went nuts over the photos. The pictures, which featured other semi-nude shots of Somerhalder, were for his friend and photographer Butch Hogan.

5. And he looks good in a suit. The character that lands the role of Christian Grey can't just look good in a birthday suit but needs the same amount of sex appeal while wearing a regular suit. Somerhalder definitely knows how to pull off the polished, professional Grey and the Red Room of Pain Grey.

6. He doesn't have a lot of "big "movie success. Even though this may sound bad at first, it's actually a bonus for Somerhalder. It's been constantly rumored that E.L. James is looking for an actor that doesn't have a lot of experience probably because she wants the actor to be automatically linked to the franchise. It's something along the lines as Rob Pattinson being known as Edward Cullen in "Twilight."

Somerhalder has appeared in "Rules of Attraction," "How to Make Love to A Woman," "Wake," and "Life as a House" to name a few. He is also currently filming his latest movie "The Anomaly."

7. He's a business man. Christian Grey is the founder and CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc., a business he started when he was young. Somerhalder is also a business man and started an organization called the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. His organization aims to bring awareness to the environment.

8. Fans already think he's Christian Grey. During an interview with the Associated Press, Somerhalder talked about the time a lady was standing behind him in line at grocery store checkout. When he turned around she was reading the erotic novel. When she noticed him she began to blush because from all the rumors she had seen she felt like Christian Grey was standing right in front of her.

"I just smiled at her and said 'That's a good read, right?' he said. "We totally had a moment."