The Inquirer sat down with the love triangle at the True Blood Press Shoot back on July 14th, 2010 to discuss a few things about the show. Alexander was heading off to Sweden the following morning but he did take the time to mention our charity contest, the ” Battle of the Fang “!!!!
By Ruben V. Nepales
LOS ANGELES – AT 6’4”, Alexander Skarsgard is tall even by Hollywood standards. Anna Paquin doesn’t mind that she has gap teeth. Stephen Moyer is a lot better-looking in person.
These first impressions of the stars of HBO’s “True Blood” in a recent interview gave way to more lasting observations as our conversations, done separately, progressed.
Anna’s character, Sookie Stackhouse, is fortunate to have two charming, articulate men in her life. We know, of course, that she is engaged to Bill Compton (Stephen). While posing for photos, there was easy camaraderie among the trio who play sexy vampires in the TV series.
Anna said she has been hard at work in the hit show. So she hasn’t really heard much about the reaction to her public announcement that she is bisexual. She remarked: “At some point, I have to step outside of my bubble and go on vacation. But I am not really interested in what people have to say about that particularly.”
Stephen is a father of two kids. With his British wit, he is an extra engaging interview subject.
Alexander, who plays Eric Northman, is the son of Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard. Alex commands attention in the room with his height and good looks, but is down-to-earth and blessed with a sense of humor. He left for his native Sweden right after our talk to shoot a film.
Excerpts from our interviews:
Are you on the set when Anna and Alex do their love scenes? Can you talk about your relation to Alex considering that he plays a guy who is after your girl in the show?
I’m really lucky because the camera operator is a British guy called Simon Jayes whom we all love. He set up a closed-circuit TV monitor in my bedroom at home (laughs). So I get to watch that stuff. Alex doesn’t know that, so don’t tell him.
Alex and I are really close. I think sometimes it’s really tough for him because obviously he’s doing those scenes with Anna in the same way that Sam (Trammell) did in Season 1. I make myself absolutely scarce. I am not around when that stuff happens. We’ve got great respect and a lot of love for each other. So we have conversations about it and I am just like, “Dude, this will work. I’m going to be gone.”
In a similar way, I have scenes with other women in Episode 4 which has just gone out, like I had a lap dance with this girl and she’s got her breasts in my face. That’s tough stuff for your partner to watch whether they’re in the show with you or not. You know it’s difficult to watch your partner with somebody else. Your girlfriend could ask, “Is that real?” Because it’s raw and there’s something about that intimacy – it hits right to the gut. So I stay clear of it. I love Alex and so it’s all about trying to let them do the best job that they can possibly do and not to get too close to it.
Bill is full of lust and hunger. In playing him, did it liberate you too?
I can answer that by first talking about the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). It seems fine in our culture to watch Jack Bauer kill 25 terrorists at 9 o’clock (in the evening on US television). As soon as it goes one minute past 9, we’re allowed to watch that happen but we can’t look at a female nipple. We’re not allowed on terrestrial television and yet that may be in a scene which is about true love. I was never aware of that until I started doing this show.
I don’t want that whole kind of covering up thing and feeling repressed about sex, whether you’re a 14, 15, 16 year old kid, male or female, and not being able to talk about it. I would hate for my kids to feel like that. I would love to be able to sit with my daughter and talk and not go, “Oh, no,” like they did with me 20 years ago when they went, “Oh, no, no, no, you don’t want to talk about that.” We were all scared of talking about it. I am from a little village in England where we didn’t talk about that stuff. So you found out by fumbling which goes back centuries how it works.
I’d love to be able to think the show has made me more aware of that and it has made me think more that if my kids come to me, I will try and answer them in the best possible way and not in a way where I pretend it doesn’t exist.
Alex doesn’t mind the nudity at all. What’s it like to work with somebody who is as free as he is?
I guess it would be kind of awkward if you’re doing a nude scene with someone who really doesn’t want to be naked. But I haven’t experienced that yet (laughs).
You’re a brunette but your hair is dyed blonde for this role. What have you noticed since becoming a blonde?
The boys staring-at-the-blonde thing is a cliché kind of truth. I don’t notice it anymore but the first few weeks, I was like, “This is odd [laughs].” I guess if you look tanned, blonde and you are perky, people pay attention to you. Translation – push-up bra, bleached hair and a fake tan. I guess the eyes go to bright shiny objects like a magpie.
Can you talk about the characters that you and Stephen play in the movie “Open House”? And what about working with your brother, Andrew Paquin, who wrote and directed that film?
Steve is playing my best friend’s kind of scumbag ex-husband. We both wanted to work with my brother. We thought the script was great and we managed to squeeze in a couple of days shooting. My brother’s really talented. He can be a really wonderful director. I love working with him. I haven’t actually seen the finished film because I’ve been really busy.
When you lived in Sweden, you were picked as the sexiest man. Since you came to the US, you seem to be on every hot list around. Are you comfortable with that?
It’s not like I wasn’t happy about it (laughing). Dude, I was flattered. I wasn’t like “Oh, really – again?” I’m only human in real life. The thing I didn’t like in Sweden was that it became the focus. Because I was voted the sexiest man in Sweden a couple of times, the roles that came in were the young hot guy. I wanted to do something that was more interesting than that. I didn’t get offers to play characters like Brad Colbert in “Generation Kill” or Eric in “True Blood” in Sweden. I wasn’t looking for the pretty boy parts.
That has definitely not been the case out here. Brad, Eric or Charlie, whom I play in “Straw Dogs” are interesting characters that are definitely a lot more than just a pretty boy. Plus I’m getting older and I like that. So I’m too old to play the college boy now.
What’s been your experience with the Team Bill-Team Eric thing? Have you seen the Team Eric T-shirts or are people telling you that they’re on your team?
The fans know that I love Steve. He’s amazing. We’re great friends so it’s all fun. There’s actually this thing going right now where they are trying to raise money for charity. If Team Bill wins, I’ll have to wear a T-shirt that Team Bill fans designed. If Team Eric wins, then Steve will have to wear a T-shirt that Team Eric fans designed. The shirt will probably have something horrible written on it (laughing). It’s for a good cause so we decided to do that. Hopefully, it will be fun for the fans as well.
There is a rumor about a gay love scene so I was wondering if you could talk about that.
I can probably talk about that in a month and a half or whenever it airs.
Can you confirm it then?
No. I obviously can’t comment on anything that’s coming up. Sorry (laughing).
There are moments in the show that are so surreal and bizarre. How do you guys keep a straight face in some of these scenes?
On the night that we go to the Golden Globes, someone always has to work the following morning. You always hope that it’s not going to be you and of course, my scene was up like first thing in the morning. The morning after the big event, the parties and all, my call time was like 5:30. We had a great night and we had so much fun with the whole cast and crew. We were drinking and having a good time.
I was a little tired when I woke up and went to work. It was the day we shot … I don’t know if you’ve seen Episode 302 where we’re dressed up as Nazi soldiers and we come down from the ceiling. Allan (Hyde) and I had this moment where we were hanging on wires in the ceiling, dressed in these Nazi uniforms and you have these fangs on, just hanging and waiting for the take. You hang there for like 10 minutes and then you come down. That was one of those moments where Allan and I just looked at each other. We were like, “Pretty crazy job we’ve got (laughing).”
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