Best News yet!!!!!
Well Truebies, it looks like our prayers have been answered! @TrueBloodHBO just tweeted that the perpetually hot Alexander Skarsgard (Eric) will be part of the True Blood panel at Comic-Con this year.
The tweet reads, “JUST IN: Alexander Skarsgard is now confirmed to join the #TrueBlood panel at San Diego Comic-Con July 22 at 5:30 PM. #sdcc.”Wetpaint
Yeah, we’re speechless too. Last year, A.Skars was filming in his native Sweden so he was unable to go to Comic-Con, but that just makes his appearance this year that much sweeter. And hotter.
He’ll be joining cast mates Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Kevin Alejandro, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Nelsan Ellis, Joe Manganiello, Deborah Ann Woll and series creator Alan Ball — for the panel moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Tim Stack.
I'm Alive and On Fire (sounds like me today in this inferno)
Marker Blankenship's Sucker Punch!
I'm anxious to talk about Eric. His sudden "loss" at the hands of the witches -- loss of memory, loss of self, loss of control -- could be the greatest arc of this season.For one thing, it's delightful to see Alexander Skarsgaard give a brand new performance. His playfulness and innocence are such a departure from the dark and stormy Eric of previous seasons that it feels like we're watching a new actor in a new role. It speaks to Skarsgaard's skill that he's able to make this Eric as instantly convincing as the other one.
The transformation also speaks to how well the writers and directors handle the soap opera conventions on this show. A series can use the heightened, pulpy elements of soap opera storytelling -- which themselves are rooted in older forms of playwriting -- and still be sophisticated. It's totally General Hospital, for instance, to have a character lose his memory, but in this episode, we see that Eric's "great absence" is filled with deep ramifications.
Consider this: Eric has been hollowed out just as many other characters are discovering deep truths about themselves. Sookie is learning what it means to be a fairy, Lafayette is exploring his natural gift for witchcraft, Jessica is acknowledging the darker parts of her vampirism, and Tara is embracing her independence. All this self-knowing, as Ken Tucker recently wrote in Entertainment Weekly, is empowering: It's shaking up the characters, changing them, and giving them much more power as they move through the show.
How striking, then, to see that Eric, who knew himself as well as anyone in previous seasons, has suddenly been denied the very empowerment that's being granted to so many others. His great absence makes him a flickering candle in a room full of blazing fires, and that sharpens our understanding of both. Sookie's new confidence, say, resonates more when it's contrasted next to Eric's childlike happiness to discover he once bit Sookie's neck. (I watched that moment twice.) Read the whole recap/review HERE
Latest Blood Work
From TV Guide
Their characters have a lot going on under the skin, too, and in Season 4, they're grappling with some major emotional shake-ups.
Take Stephen Moyer's Civil War-era vampire Bill Compton. He had to accept that it's over with the love of his very long life, Sookie Stackhouse (played by Moyer's real-life wife, Anna Paquin), and focus on his new role as vampire king of Louisiana.
Meanwhile, Alexander Skarsgård's commanding Viking bloodsucker and cool bar owner Eric Northman is under a witch's spell that's stripped him of any memory of his badass personality, leaving him vulnerable and dependent on Sookie for protection.
Finally, Joe Manganiello's working-class hero werewolf Alcide Herveaux is settled down with the woman who last year tried to kill Sookie — while he was serving as her bodyguard.
What's next? "There's some fun stuff with Sookie and her men coming down the pike," promises Ball. "The discovery that Sookie is still alive throws Alcide's world into turmoil." As for Eric and our favorite telepathic waitress, fans of Charlaine Harris' books won't be disappointed. "The spell has created an Eric that never would have existed before, and that is the person Sookie is falling for. They're both genuinely falling in love." And where does that leave Bill? "He doesn't like it one bit," says Ball. "But eventually the clash between the witches and vampires is going to bring everyone together." First, we brought the guys together for a chat.
TV GUIDE MAGAZINE: What's it like to play your characters now that they're in such different circumstances this season?
STEPHEN: Bill had to let Sookie go. And in doing so, he's become a better man and a better king. It's been great as an actor having that sort of guiding light for him.
JOE: Alcide is wrestling with that beast inside him. I like moments where that thing inside him that he's so afraid of is also this place of great strength.
ALEX: I love Eric's vulnerability. But it's tricky because even though he doesn't know who he is, you can't play it too flat. You can't chop off his balls. Then there's his inner struggle. If they break the spell, then Eric finds out about all the things he's done in the past and who he really is, and that scares him. He's like, "Hey, I'm kind of happy in this little house with Sookie."
STEPHEN: Eric and Sookie are the tipping point of this season. The best stuff that's in the show is their stuff.
TV GUIDE MAGAZINE: So fans are finally going to see them together! Has it been awkward for you, Stephen, since Anna's your wife?
STEPHEN: It could have been really difficult, but it's about being professional. And we all really like each other. It's tougher for Anna because she's having to show emotion with somebody else, and it's been the same people on our crew since she and I got together when the show first started.
ALEX: If it was awkward for us, that would spread to the crew. They see us being so relaxed with each other and it's so obvious when the camera is rolling and when it's not, you know? And Anna's great. She's a very generous actress, very professional. In fact, we shot a scene the other night and it was one of those where...
STEPHEN: It will get people talking!
TV GUIDE MAGAZINE: What is Anna like when the cameras aren't rolling?
STEPHEN: She's merciless in her ridicule of everybody, and she expects the same back.
JOE: I spent half of last season dressed in what she refers to as "Giant Joe's Giant Jumpsuit." So Anna and Rutina [Wesley, who plays Tara] came up with a dance routine and a song that they would perform every time I wore the Giant Jumpsuit.
ALEX: [Singing] Joe and his giant jumpsuit...
TV GUIDE MAGAZINE: Joe, when you came in on the third season, was there an initiation?
JOE: The new guy on a show can feel like an outsider. There can be egos and things like that. But Anna was completely friendly, welcoming. Still, the guys won't let me make eye contact.
STEPHEN: I make him get on his knees so we're eye-to-eye.
JOE: But I guess the initiation would be wearing the "sock" [a wardrobe item that protects an actor's modesty in a nude scene].
ALEX: I put it on him. [Laughs] Someone had to show him, you know?
TV GUIDE MAGAZINE: That sounds romantic.
JOE: Alex and I did this Valentine's Day shoot. There's an animal involved.
ALEX: And a big body of water.
JOE: Water, an animal, lots of nudity and lots of screaming.
TV GUIDE MAGAZINE: Should fans expect the show to delve into new sexual territory this season?
JOE: We do some werewolf sex this year for the first time.
STEPHEN: It's quite interesting. There are different ways of... Um, yeah, I'm going to stop now.
TV GUIDE MAGAZINE: You guys have to be naked a lot. Who works out the most?
STEPHEN: Joe's insane.
JOE: Yeah. I work out twice a day, six days a week. I eat constantly.
STEPHEN: I do three days a week. I just don't want to watch this show 20 years from now and look at myself and say, "Who is that white blob?"
ALEX: I do three days a week, too. But with Joe, it's all about the pecs. He can make them dance.
JOE: Alex hasn't looked me in the eye once. I'm like, "Up here, Alex. Up here."
EW's Inside TV Dish on the lame-o dead fairy.
Okay, now let’s continue. This past Sunday’s episode concluded with Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) sucking the life out of Claudine (Lara Pulver), Sookie’s fairy godmother. The twist surprised many fans of Charlaine Harris’ book series, because Claudine doesn’t bite the dust until much later in the novels. Executive producer Alan Ball tells EW that just because Sookie’s mentor is gone doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of the fairy world. “After everything that was going on with the fairies in the first episode, I think we wanted to sort of put a pin in that, but obviously it’s not over,” says Ball. “I felt it would have more impact if it was someone we knew as opposed to just a random fairy.”It’s also another example of Blood diverging from its source material, like keeping Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) alive and introducing the original character of Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll). Says Ball, “If we did just do everything in the books, there would be no surprises. It’s not like we have a formula for what we’re going to keep from the books and what we’re going to change. If there’s a consensus that something makes sense, that’s usually the way we go.” For her part, Harris says she “was surprised” by the death of Claudine, but trusts in Ball and where he takes the stories. Says the author, “If he can be gracious to me, I can certainly be gracious enough to wait and see where he’s going.”
This week’s episode also saw the horrific scene of Jason Stackhouse being raped by the women of Hot Shot, something my colleague Mandi Bierly referred to in her recap as one of the series most disturbing moments. “Well of course it’s twisted — Hot Shot is twisted,” says Ball. “They’re crazy inbred freaks. They call each other Uncle Daddy! Hello! It’s a twisted world.”
No doubt this season of True Blood will hold even more surprises, but Ball gave EW a tease of what to expect. “It gets ugly between the vampires and the witches,” says Ball. “There’s more than one fight coming up. There’s also a very unexpected romantic attachment which you’ll start to see the beginnings of I believe in next week’s episode. We’re gonna find out a lot about Jesus’ magic that’s in his family. We’re gonna get to the bottom of what’s going on with Arlene’s baby.”