Article on the Los Angeles Times by Gina McIntyre
Lest anyone forget, there is more than one vampire-themed entertainment phenomenon in the pop culture universe right now.
“True Blood,” HBO’s hit adaptation of the Sookie Stackhouse mystery novels from author Charlaine Harris, has its own legion of devoted fans keen on the show’s sexy, campy aesthetic, and plenty of them turned up Saturday to see cast members Anna Paquin (on her birthday, no less), Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Nelsan Ellis, Michelle Forbes, Deborah Ann Woll and Alexander Skarsgard and creator Alan Ball talk about what’s in store for Season Two and beyond. It was Skarsgard, though, who might have earned the most enthusiastic reception — he plays vamp heavy Eric Northman on the Louisiana-set series, and well, there just must be something about those centuries-old former vikings who become powerful immortals. They make the ladies swoon.
After screening a brief teaser reel promoting the second half of the current season, the cast took turns answering questions posed by moderator Kate Hahn from TV Guide and members of the audience — several of whom focused on the tension between Eric and Paquin’s Sookie, who happens to be romantically involved with Moyer’s Southern gentleman vampire Bill Compton. (The couple are also an item off-screen.)
Paquin said that after Sookie’s experiences last season — when she suffered the loss of her grandmother and was in almost constant danger of losing her own life — she felt that her character had become stronger and tougher, but conceded that she still gets into trouble. “Good thing she has her vampire boyfriend,” she noted. Moyer, for one, intends to make sure that Bill remains Sookie’s beau. “I’m not sure Bill’s just going to roll over and let that happen,” he said of any potential developments on the Eric/Sookie front. “He might not be as polite.”
Which means things could turn ugly, and fast, as Skarsgard said that Eric’s most likely not going to drop his advances toward the plucky cocktail waitress anytime soon. “Eric’s been around for a very long time. He’s kind of over humanity, then she comes along and there’s something different about her. For the first time in a long time, he’s curious.”
Skarsgard went on to say that he’s enjoyed working on the series’ second season, as it’s allowed him to develop the character: “Eric was misunderstood. People would say, ‘You’re the bad guy,’ and I had to defend him. He is a bad ass, but as an actor, you have to have layers… He doesn’t care for a lot of people, or vampires either, but the ones he does, he’s very loyal to.”
For those who thirst for something else related to the show, Ball announced that TruBlood (an all natural blood orange soda sold in replica bottles that look just like the props used on the show) will be available for purchase Sept. 10, just in time for the Season Two finale. Fans will be able to place orders at hbo.com.
And there’s more good news for those who read Harris’ novels: she revealed during the panel that she’s signed a contract to write three more, which should take her up through 2014.