Alex Skarsgard talks about the new season of True Blood, Eric’s “vulnerability”

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These are photos of Alexander Skarsgard at last night’s PaleyFest 2011 – it was a panel discussion for True Blood fans which included Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Alan Ball. Before I get into what I think are some spoilers for the next season, can we just talk about how Alex looks really good in this suit? Like, really good. My only quibble is with the buttons – if you’re not going to wear a tie, a man should unbutton one more button, just to make it look more relaxed and sexy.

Okay, here’s a short video preview of Season 4:

And here is E! News’ SPOILER-filled report on what went down at PaleyFest:

When True Blood returns to HBO this summer to showcase a new menagerie of supernaturals (Blood boss Alan Ball offhandedly mentions “witches, mediums, ghosts and possessions”), all those new kids are going to have to work overtime to distract us from the real focus of this show: Alexander Skarsgård’s notorious and deadly Eric Northman.

Sadly, this season, fan-fave antihero Eric won’t be nearly as dangerous as usual, because…

Our favorite Viking vampire suffers from amnesia for a large portion of the season—as Skarsgård puts it, “He messed with the wrong people,”—and because he loses that crucial matchup, he also loses his memory and therefore his entire personality.

At the 28th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival in Beverly Hills, Skarsgård told assembled fans, “This powerful character is just gone—it’s not what we’ve built up over the past three years; it is just gone. And it’s a lot of fun for me because it’s the polar opposite of who Eric really is…He is lost. He doesn’t know how he is, he knows he’s a vampire, but he slowly finds out stuff, like, ‘Did I do that? I killed those people? Why would I do that? Oh. Really?’ It’s not easy to hear—and not knowing who he can trust, who’s a friend or an enemy. He’s very vulnerable.”

Vulnerable Eric? Seriously? Swoon! Eric’s partner in crime Pam (Kristin Bauer) tells us that we’re in for a comedic treat during this storyline saying, “[Eric's] being 10 years old, basically. He’s so sweet and cute, because he’s got amnesia. So our whole dynamic has changed. You’ll see how incredibly comedic and brilliant Skarsgård is, which everyone doesn’t know.”

Of course, being sweet isn’t exactly safe in the world of True Blood, so we’re going to have to keep a close eye on Fangtasia’s finest. As Skarsgård says, “Things are definitely not stable for Eric. He doesn’t know who he is, so 1,000 years of resentment for humanity is just gone. He’s very innocent…So Eric needs help.”

The moderator asked, cannily, if Sookie (Anna Paquin) would be giving Eric any help, and Skarsgård teased, “There are a lot of friendly people in Bon Temps who are kind enough to give him help.” Hee. Also on board for some assistance? “Pam is obviously very helpful as well—my lovely daughter.” Awww…

Speaking of Pam, it sounds like she’s in for a rollicking good time this year. The lovely Ms. Bauer told us, “Because I don’t want to ruin anything and I want to keep my job, all I can tell you is what I was shooting this week was so fun and so astounding and so challenging. It involves the whole vampire world, and it’s present-day, and the s–t is going down. It is so compelling. It is a really, really meaty, great storyline with stuff I have never gotten to do, so it’s very exciting.”

Last but not least, another one of our favorite Eric relationships isn’t dead yet, despite both parties now having other significant others. Nelsan Ellis says, “There’s still going to be a little somethin’-somethin’ between Lafayette and Eric.” Winning!

[From E! News]

I hope that didn’t mess you up too much, True Blood fans! But seriously, it sounds like they’re going to be doing some fun stuff this season, and they’re not afraid to mix up. Good for them.

I also included a photo of Alex from last week, dressed casually. Just because it’s easier to imagine him without clothes when he’s casual.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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58 Responses to “Alex Skarsgard talks about the new season of True Blood, Eric’s “vulnerability””

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  1. mln76 says:

    I am getting excited now, I can’t wait till summer. Alex looks hot as usual.

  2. Samigirl21 says:

    My fiance’ and I were talking about True Blood early this morning. Ready for this. The 4th book, which this season is based on, is my favorite. I LOVE Sookie and Eric’s relationship :)

  3. kiks says:

    This story line was my favorite in the books and I have been waiting for it! I just hope that Alan Ball doesn’t veer too far away from the books because this plot is solid. Yay for more True Blood!

  4. Jenna says:

    Hopefully we won’t have to imagine what he looks like naked and this season they’ll actually SHOW it finally. Come on HBO, what are you good for if not showing a penis here and there?

  5. Eileen says:

    Oh Kaiser I know you’ll use any reason to do a post on Alex…..and I thank you for that! lol
    Yay can’t wait for True Blood to start!

  6. aa says:

    He needs a nose job.

  7. guesty says:

    My son is absolutely addicted to this show.

  8. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

    @samigirl and @kiks, it was my favorite book of the series as well. I too hope that Alan Ball doesn’t veer too far from the plotline. Season 2 was really a snoozefest. It took a 2 sentence blurb (about the maenad) from the books and made it into a season long storyline. I just didn’t get why he would do this when there was better material to work with.

  9. Jenna says:

    I thought season 2 was the best so far. I loved all the Godric/Fellowship of the Sun stuff. I hope Steve Newlin makes some more appearances.

  10. Chloe says:

    I will take care of you, sheriff Northman.

  11. hairball says:

    “Our favorite Viking vampire suffers from amnesia for a large portion of the season—as Skarsgård puts it, “He messed with the wrong people,”—and because he loses that crucial matchup, he also loses his memory and therefore his entire personality.”

    I’m late to the game for “True Blood” but LOVE this show. I used to be a Bill-Sookie fan, now totally an Eric-Sookie fan.

    But I’m worried that they’ll make Eric into a whimpy character with no sex appeal and most importantly, he absolutely cannot lose his voice. If they turn him into a ‘ten year old’ as they say and his sexy voice is gone. Ugh, I don’t know if I’ll care about the show.

    Also, they need to stop with the 100 other story lines. All we need is Eric, Sookie, Bill, and Lafayette.

  12. Brittany says:

    They’re going to do something with Eric and Lafayette? Weird…

  13. freyja says:

    @aa No he does not, there’s nothing wrong with his nose, it’s what makes his face.

  14. DreamyK says:

    Looking forward to Sookie folding up Mr. Happy in the shower..WOOT!

  15. JM says:

    @ Jenna:
    I agree with you re: The Gracious Plenty. I’ve been saying since S1, Alan Ball needs to call Alex’s bluff & have him put his $$ where the perverbial c*ck sock should be. I’m sorry but if Charlaine took time enough to name the d@mn thing, Alex could do us the courtesy of showing it. :p

  16. Gwen says:

    He sure is a fine man :D

    I really hope Alan Ball doesn’t mess up this part of the story too much. I’m really looking forward to it – I want that showerscene!

  17. CoffeeTalk says:

    I see I’m not in the minority here-that book was my favorite and I adored the storyline. I hope as well that Alan Ball doesn’t screw with it too much because that book was really good and it read like television episodes.

    hairball-don’t worry about Eric not being sexy just because he’s lost his memory. He still knows how to get down- just in a different way. Most people who I know who have read the books were actually really happy that this happened to him because it showed something else besides ruthless a-hole.

  18. Darlene says:

    DAMN that man is fine and perfect in EVERY WAY.

    want. very much want.

  19. Kloops says:

    He’s so hot. Read the book and it wasn’t my favourite, but I’m sure Alan Ball will put his own twist on it and make it hot and funny and it’ll be a fun departure. Eric is going to be very different, but they’ll make up for it in “other ways”. Can’t wait until it starts!

  20. Devon says:

    Brittany, Lala’s has had Eric’s blood, much more than Sookie’s and we know he’s been having dreams of the viking. It would most likely be a dream sequence.

    I just about starting hyperventilated when I saw that promo. Book 4 (and the Gracious Plenty) are my favourites of the whole series. 98 days, 4 hours & 45 minutes!

  21. Cyberologist says:

    I’m really looking forward to the amnesia storyline for Eric its my favorite of the series so far with the well discussed “shower scene.” I’m hoping the series doesn’t distort this story because its been said by many fans that this is the best book of the series.

    He should keep this one in tact for many of us book readers who have waited a long time for this to play out.

  22. Shay says:

    When this show first started, when it started in the news (around the same time the Twilight crap with its absurd vegetarian vamps, chaste characters and other rubbish posing as romance), I thought ‘more Twilight-like vampire crap’. Then I watched one episode, and had to watch every single season after.
    Now it’s the dreadful wait for the next True Blood season.
    I’d like to see the new Pam-Eric dynamic. I love Pam’s sarcasm and fashionista attitude.
    I think my son is more embarrassed that I’m addicted to True Blood.

  23. Becca says:

    @aa…nope. Owen Wilson needs a nose job. :)

  24. Lynda says:

    if Eric N. needs a refresher, i’ll be glad to help.

  25. YvetteW says:

    I am scared to hope that Alan Ball won’t mess this up. He already missed the subtle seduction of Eric being barefoot and Sookie cleaning his feet. Who told Eric to put on those old man bedroom slippers? Is he going to have on swimming trunks in the shower scene? If my imagination is better than HBO, I can save $30 a month.

  26. hairball says:

    @CoffeeTalk: Thanks, I needed to hear that. :)

    I picked up “Club Dead” today and I have to say I just can’t get into it. I haven’t read any of the other books, just got this one because of the Season Three for True Blood.

    The writing is just so bad and boring almost. I know I defended the Twilight series so I see the irony, but it’s bad.

    I am going to get “Dead to the World” since it’s the fourth one, but if the books are so different from the series, I’m not sure why to even bother with the books since it is the tv series I like so much.

  27. Devon says:

    Eric in Dead to the World is the real Eric stripped of all the defences he puts up in order to survive. CH brought him back to his basic nature in this book and it changed the shape of the series, Sookie & Eric.

  28. Snarky_Pup says:

    Such a beautiful man! Can’t wait for the new season of TB!

  29. jenni says:

    i love true blood, but alex is boring and the fact that he dates lame kate bosworth makes me like him even less.

  30. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    He is sooooo Hot!! I cannot wait till True Blood comes on!

  31. Canuck says:

    Can June come quickly please?

  32. amanda says:

    Yay! I’m not ashamed at all to say that I’m totally addicted…but mainly it’s because of Eric Northman. It definitely helps to read the books, especially if you’re a Bill fan, because Bill gets pretty quickly delegated to major a-hole status in the books. Meanwhile, Eric becomes this really interesting character. I still want to punch Sookie, but I find her less punchable when Eric is in a scene with her. Anyway, I’m so happy they decided to use the amnesia subplot. It’s really integral to the whole relationship between Eric and Sookie, which is so much better than the relationship between Bill and Sookie. If you haven’t read the books, it may seem that’s not the case, because amnesia Eric isn’t the guy that we’ve all come to know and have dirty fantasies about…but actually, that guy is there all the time. I’m pretty sure they’ll do the shower scene, too, because if they don’t, I’m willing to bet there will be rioting. I will be among the rioters.

  33. Devon says:

    “I still want to punch Sookie, but I find her less punchable when Eric is in a scene with her.”

    AMEN! I can’t stand Sookie most of the time in the books & show but with Eric she’s tolerable. I actually hate her more on the show and wish it was all about the vamps rather than the glowing hands of fail. At least in the books she’s a little smarter.

  34. dovesgate says:

    I loved book 4 so this is going to be really interesting. I also hope they dont veer too much from the book itself.

  35. JM says:

    @ Devon & Amanda

    I co-sign with the Sookie punching! She’s become a whining, wishy-washy biotch in the books and does not deserve our beloved viking but the scenes she shares with him does make her more tolerable. However, if book 11 is as horrible (boring, confusing etc..) as book 10 was, I’m done with the series. I’ve really grown tired of the high school boyfriend mentality Sookie has. She’s been through so much, it’s time Charlaine stopped the “who will Sookie chose” ongoing storyline and pick one. I’d much rather root for a COUPLE who overcome things TOGETHER than read another book where Sookie blames everything on her & Eric’s blood bond. It’s way past time for her to grow up & put on her big girl panties.

    *I do think Anna does a stellar job acting with the material she’s given. Let’s hope the writers improved over last season. Oh, and I will riot with the rest of the fangbangers if there is no S4 Eric/Sookie shower scene!*

  36. amanda says:

    @JM: I agree! With everything you wrote! Book 10 was so odd. I read them all really fast, but book 10 is the one where (spoiler alert to people who haven’t read the books) Sookie and Eric finally get together, right? And it was so ridiculously anticlimactic that I wanted to throw the book at the wall (except I was reading it on Kindle on my phone, which obviously could not be thrown). CH spent so much time on her relationship with Bill, and even her stupid non-relationship with Quinn, and then with Eric it was just…it wasn’t very good. It’s The Viking, for eff’s sake! The Viking who is totally (and inexplicably) devoted to and smitten with Sookie. And you’re right, she’s always blathering on about the blood bond. And acting like a high school dumb a-hole, instead of the boring human chick that gets to nail viking ass whenever she wants. I also hate the way she refers to him as “my honeybun”. Anyway, I hope that the show at least does some justice to things that CH screwed the pooch on.

  37. Canuck says:

    Bummed about the shoes :( and he’s apparently not running down the road towards her house like in the books either. That last was important to the whole witch plot… I hope they managed to get that in some other way.

  38. Camille says:

    Love him and I love the show. I miss it and can’t wait for it to start down here.

  39. DEBorahof the dead says:

    He is Beautiful , he doesn’t need a new anything ! I Love Anna too! but a little spoiler I do believe Pam is finding him on the road not Sookie ! and they are not going to let her jump into the shower scene with Eric . they call that blowing there load in a series. when we want something so so bad they want us too just keep watching with teasers but the real action is dragged out or never given . I loved book 4 so much and the entire book set I hope for a naked and sexy eric too with all the sweet moments CH gives them in the book but if I hope too much I think I will get disappointed . so I will be happy with the loss of memory to see the sweeter side of the beloved viking warrior with 1000 yrs old values.

  40. Canuck says:

    @DEBof the dead: that doesn’t sound like Pam’s voice in the trailer, it sounds like Sookie’s.

  41. Missouri58 says:

    Ref: aa’s remark that he needs a nose job, forget you, Alex’s imperfections are simply beautiful makes him human. Also if you think Alex needs a nose job get a gander at the Joe guys nose eek.
    Ref: JM’s post that AB should call Alex’s bluff ref his getting naked it’s not a bluff Alex really would love to get naked it is the up tight conservative power base that dictates what the viewing public should be allowed to see that is preventing us from enjoying the full frontal experience.

  42. Moops says:

    Hmmm, I just don’t know. I’ve become addicted to the books after getting hooked on the show, and like others book 4 is my favorite. I think it’s really going to piss me off how Alan Ball will change the script. In the book, amnesiac Eric is still a vampire, still a viking warrior at heart – just without all the vampire politics. He would NEVER say, “I killed those people? Why would I do that?” He’d say, “I killed those people? No wonder I have earned the fear and respect of my underlings.” :) Just from the clip, you can see the change. In the book, amnesiac Eric on the road was not like a little child – he was dazed, sure, but he was totally in vampire-defense mode when he met Sookie. Many things build from that moment, and I’m afraid Alan will miss the subtleties of what could be a lovely season.

  43. hairball says:

    Ok, just read “Club Dead” and onto the fourth book. Club Dead got a lot better and I have to say I am really enjoying the fourth book “Dead to the World”.

    I too got a little concerned though hearing Eric’s voice in the clip – it wasn’t his usual sexy confident self. Agh, please don’t ruin the season.

    To me, Alex in interviews is ok, it’s his persona and voice in True Blood that got me hooked – and I don’t even like blondes!

  44. Marlene Emmett says:

    Alexander’s Looking wonderful.
    Looking foward to Season 4.
    Just hope that we can get
    Chapter 6/book 4,Pages 116-126 “AS IS”~
    that means NOT TOO MANY CUTS/EDITS,
    ALL ADDITIONS WELCOME.
    SHOWER & SEX SCENES INTACT.
    And Sookie finally with Eric!.

  45. Maeve@WoS says:

    Alex is my number one man, if he quit dating that skinny Bonesworth, I know he’d love me, I’m just so gorgeous and worthy. And not delusional. Yuummmyyy Swedish goodness…got to make some pretend nude shots of him.

  46. Canuck says:

    @Maeve@WoS: hehehe… :)

  47. hairball says:

    SPOILER ALERT QUESTION:

    Someone said above it wasn’t until book 10 or something that Eric and Sookie get together. I just read the mentioned pages 116-126 and they did in fact get together. Right…? It’s not going to come back and say it was a dream etc.

    Eric and Sookie actually had sex? That would be awesome to have that in Season 4. And yes, agree, seeing Sookie tuck up Alex’s Mr. Happy would be worth the extra money I’m contemplating to pay for HBO before Season 4 starts. I don’t think Alex the actor would seem to mind.

  48. Canuck says:

    ********SPOILER ALERT ANSWER********

    They get together in Book 4, but when his memory comes back he’s forgotten all that happened during his amnesia, including the relationship with Sookie that started during that time. Obviously “Alpha Male Vampire Eric” comes back with the memories too.

    They got together knowingly, willingly and in their right minds in Book 10.

  49. hairball says:

    @Canuck. Thanks! Not sure if you’ll see this thread, but are these books worth reading? If it’s a big stretch out of will or won’t she have sex with Eric, takes several books and then is like one sentence (Twilight series), I seriously almost don’t want to bother.

    What’s your take? Is it too distracting if you like the HBO series and read the books too since they are different? From reading above comments it sounds like the books just start getting old and boring?

  50. Canuck says:

    @hairball: I read the books and really enjoyed them, they make for good light beach reading or airplane books. Then I bought the videos for True Blood and really enjoyed those as well.

    If you’re worried about them being boring compared to the show, I would suggest that you maybe just read the first three or four (book 4 was also my fave) to start. Book 3 was definitely better than TB Season 3.

  51. Cookie says:

    Who cares about his nose when someone is that hot and has the most gorgeous pair of blue/greenish eyes, not to mention that skarsgasmic eyebrow thing lol His nose isn’t even that enormous that he’d need a nose job and he has a really really beautiful profile, haven’t you noticed? Stop dissing that awesome man he’s God of Bon Temps and True Blood!

  52. hairball says:

    Thanks Canuck. I have to say I am really liking Book 4 (Dead to the World).

  53. lcat says:

    This may finally mean the actual end of the Bill-Sookie relationship!! He was kinda starting to poison me against her. It also means a whole lot of Eric this season!!

  54. Canuck says:

    @hairball: You’re welcome :)

  55. Amanda says:

    @canuck
    There is definitely sex in book 4 when Eric has amnesia. But the books get progressively more annoying with regard to Eric and sookie after that (I think, anyway). They do get together for real in book 10 but it’s super anticlimactic. I just feel like I should warn people reading the books that if you’re expecting some kind of romantic epiphany with Eric and sookie, you’ll be disappointed. I’m hoping the show does a better job. You might argue that it’s not in Eric’s personality, but as it turns out, it is. Besides that, sookie is so apparently nonplussed by her relationship with Eric that She continually blamed it on having had so much of his blood. She basically just shrugs and appears to just give in to being with Eric. Like she’s too exhausted to bother fighting it anymore. So lame.especially given The fact that Eric does everything for Ger, especially in the books. CH did not do a good job writing a great story.

  56. hairball says:

    ^^^^ That is so disappointing to read! I am extremely surprised CH didn’t go full force and develop that relationship. I got sucked in to it because of the little things (and big protection things) Eric does for her. And to hear CH doesn’t develop that properly and turns it into something non-significant is REALLY disappointing. There is so much she could have done with that relationship. :(

    I find Bill SOOOO annoying now. He was my total favorite for so long and I barely acknowledged Eric. But as I watched the tv series, I really got into Eric – esp after the books.

    Maybe I’ll read Books 1 and 2 since it was recommended, but not sure I’ll read the rest after 4.

  57. amanda says:

    @Hairball…
    Sorry, I meant to address my post to you, not Canuck. Yeah, I mean, I enjoyed reading the books, I guess, but I rushed through them and ignored most of the time-wasting stuff to get to the good stuff- Eric. And I was really disappointed with the way she ended up writing it. It’s not that it’s non-significant, exactly, but it’s weird. Sookie is written so oddly. 1/3 of the time, she’s fiercely attached to him, and then the rest, she’s blaming their relationship on the blood exchange and, when he asks her if she loves him, she’s like, “eeeeeehhh, maybe?” They get together because he jumps into bed with her and says something like, “I’m here to take what’s mine” and she’s like, “Oh, okay”. Total shrug-fest on her part. I don’t know. I mean, it’s a book, for crying out loud. It’s a fantasy. It’s the Viking. I just think it could have been a lot hotter and more romantic than it was, especially since I know CH is capable of writing that way, because she did it in book four when Eric had amnesia. I wouldn’t tell you not to read it, but I would tell you not to expect much in terms of a big emotionally-orgasmic scene with Eric and Sookie.

  58. hairball says:

    Thanks Amanda. I went today and got Books 1 and 2 (I’ve read 3 and 4) and then 5,6,7,8. I love reading so I’ll just read them. Dammit! :) But I am glad to know this fair warning a head of time, seriously.

    THanks.