I give them props for being so nice with all the yelling going on, hope HBO gave them a nice bonus for appearing.
Ryan Talks to POPWRAP
Just when it looked like the world had seen every side of Jason Stackhouse -- mostly the backside, but I digress -- actor Ryan Kwanten teases that "True Blood" season four bathes Bon Temps' resident himbo in an entirely new light: one of maturity and responsibility.
But don't mistake those adjectives for "boring" synonyms. In fact, seeing this new side of Jason reinforces just how far the character has come since the series premiere, which outfitted him in nothing more than a sock. And not the kind that goes on your foot.
Taking Jason from horizontal mambo to upstanding citizen has been one of the greatest experiences of Ryan's career -- but he's even more enthusiastic about the unique hurdles that lie ahead in season four!
PopWrap: What excites you about this new season?
Ryan Kwanten: Jason started so low on the evolutionary rung that he can only improve as a person. This season is the biggest jump in his growth because he has got to man-up and use the skills, however limited they may be, that he’s acquired in his life to survive, look after an entire village of people and to keep his wits about him in many life & death situations. I thought they were poking and prodding me and pulling me in a bunch of different directions the first three seasons, but this year takes it to a whole new level.
PW: How much fun have you had showing all these sides to of a character that many people wrote off as one-dimensional at first?
Ryan: Well, I can only take so much credit – almost all the praise rests on the shoulders of Alan [Ball] & his phenomenal writers. The layers they give Jason are extraordinary. What’s great and amusing to me is that I like how quickly people are to make snap judgments on his character because he is that local lothario who is being led by his nether regions. I think when you look deeper into the reason why he does things, there’s a great insecurity that stems from a need to be loved. A need to be accepted. And I think everyone knows what that feels like.
PW: Whether or not Jason turns into a werepanther -- like he does in the books and the trailers hint at -- what are your thoughts on him being one of the few power-free humans on the show?
Ryan: If anyone in Bon Temps wants those powers, it’s Jason – so the fact he doesn’t have them is frustrating, and that frustration can lead to some hilarious results.
PW: On that topic, I have to say that your ability to mine comedy from dramatic moments never fails to impress me. Do you consider yourself "funny?"
Ryan: It’s hard to say yes to that without sounding like an ego-maniac [laughs]! I had done my fair share of comedy but I never set out to make Jason comical. The moment you try to be funny, the audience sense that – and if they can tell, it ceases being funny. With Jason, it’s the situation that’s funny and how he reacts to the situation that’s funny, not so much how I’m playing it.
PW: What can you tease about Jason in season four? Will he continue to find himself in those kinds of situations?
Ryan: Yes, yes – Jason just has a knack for finding trouble. This year, there are several points where he really is on the brink of death. It’s quite a dire state. Beyond that, Jason has been given a sense of authority, which is a dangerous thing for someone as lacking in forethought as Jason is. I think leaving authority in someone’s hands like that is very risky. And then, well ... it’s so hard to talk about this show because we’ve been sworn to absolute secrecy. And I feel like with every season that passes, we have to be more and more careful with what we say, so I apologize if it sounds like I’m a politician [laughs].
PW: But it's got to be fun to be on a show with such a ardent fanbase this kind of secrecy is essential.
Ryan: Absolutely. I’m sure there are plenty of shows that would kill for our hard core fans. The fact that “True Blood” affects people in this way is incredible to me – the fact we have to go to such great lengths to hide storylines just proves the cache our show has. I will add that everything you loved about “True Blood” in the past is amplified this season. But at the same time, it’s very hard to just start with this season. You have to have a knowledge of what’s happened before.
PW: Well, if people aren't watching "True Blood" at this point, screw em!
Ryan: [laughs] You’re a good advocate, I’ll take it.