With the seemingly unstoppable True Blood still enjoying worldwide success, SciFiNow took the opportunity to talk about the show’s success with its star, Alexander Skarsgard. You can read the full interview below.
You’ve played a US Marine in Generation Kill, you’re starring in the remake of Straw Dogs, what was it that struck a chord with you in True Blood?
Initially it was Alan Ball. My agent called and asked if I’d like to work on a vampire series, and I was like, ‘What? What is that?’ They said it was Alan Ball, and I said okay.
The name attracted you then?
Oh definitely, I was a big fan of his work. And then when I met with Alan, he told me about the character, this 1000-year-old Viking vampire, and I was like ‘Hell yeah, I’ll do that.’
It must have been quite a shock to the system, though? Changing between two radically different projects?
As you mentioned earlier there was a real transition between shooting in Africa for seven months [with Generation Kill], and that was very real and very gritty in the way it’s shot and written, and the next step was this. It’s so over the top – I mean it’s great for an actor, I think it’s important to find a new challenge. When you leave a project it’s important not to step into something that’s like what you’ve just done.
True Blood is an odd show in some ways, in that despite all of the sex, the violence and the drama there’s a dark humour underlying it all. How would you sell it to someone who hadn’t seen it?
It’s really a wild ride. True Blood is funny, and sexy and it definitely has that Southern flavour. But at the same time it’s very smart – it’s obviously fictional but you can definitely draw parallels to our society that we live in, and issues that we deal with.
You’re referring to the vampires trying for civil rights?
Yeah definitely, what minorities have to go through, trying to fit in with society, all of that.
Did you take much in the way of inspiration from the literary version of your character?
I don’t know about Eric, because he doesn’t play a big part during the first season. But I got the books and read the first five when we started shooting just to get a bit of knowledge and to understand the character a little. And it obviously helped me a lot to understand Charlaine Harris’s world that she created.
Can we expect an expansion of the relationship between Eric and Sookie? In the books of course, that’s quite a big thing…
Yeah, exactly. It happens later in the books though, but the tension is certainly there and Eric is intrigued by Sookie, and that definitely grows stronger for sure.
Has the exponential success of the show surprised you?
Yeah, I’ve never experienced this before. I really enjoyed it when we worked on it and I thought it was great, but you never anticipate that. It’s so wild, and it’s crazy how big it’s gotten – something happened between season one and two and it just seemed to explode when season two started. I was in Sweden for a month and I got back as the first episodes of season two were airing in the States, and it was crazy how different it was.
Moving ahead, what can we expect from Eric in season three?
I honestly don’t know. We start next month and we haven’t gotten the scripts yet – bloggers know more than I do.
Are you shooting in the same locations?
Yeah, we’re shooting in Hollywood, in and around Los Angeles. I know there’ll be more flashbacks and I’m really looking forward to that. It’s great, especially when your character’s a thousand years old.
True Blood: Season Two airs at 10pm, 26th February on the FX Channel