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The Hot Seat: Alexander Skarsgård

TONY schools the True Blood star on Twihards and fang bangers.

Illustration: Rob Kelly

True Blood fanatics insist that Alexander Skarsgård could floss his teeth with Robert Pattinson. As Eric Northman on HBO's hit series, the actor spends most of his screen time brooding, biting and just barely concealing his dreamily undead bod. He's come a long way since his small part in the 2001 flick Zoolander ("orange mocha Frappuccinos!"): He carried HBO's critically acclaimed miniseries Generation Kill, scored a part in theforthcoming Lars von Trier film Melancholia and is set to tantalize True Blood fanatics everywhere when the show's third season premieres on Sunday 13. We sat down with the smokin' Swede to talk vampire fetishes and fraternal mix-ups.

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Let's start with a confession: Certain TONY staffers—and we'll avoid using names here—are total fang bangers.
What's that?

Oh, you know, people who want to make vampire babies.
That's always good to know when you're doing an interview.

Sadly, we haven't happened across many fangs to bang.
You haven't run into any vampires lately?

Do you think being a fang banger is edgier than being a Twihard?
What's that?

A Twihard. Like a Twilight obsessive. Don't you know what a Twihard is?
Uh, no.

We're actually impressed. Speaking of deadly things—how did you end up playing Lady Gaga's murderous, eye-patch-wearing boyfriend in her "Paparazzi" video?
The director, Jonas kerlund, is a friend and fellow Swede. He told me, "You push Lady Gaga off a balcony and try to kill her, then she comes back and poisons you." It sounded like fun. With Jonas, you know it's going to be edgy— it won't be walking down the beach holding hands.

Which is the better accessory: an eye patch or retractable fangs?
I really dug the eye patch—I felt like a pirate. An updated version of Captain Hook.

The last season of True Blood asked a lot of Eric. In one episode you eviscerate a human prisoner; in another you're wistful after the loss of your maker, Godric. Quite the range for a heartless vampire.
Yes. When we started the first season, people thought Eric was this businessman with zero feelings. It was nice during season two that—without losing Eric, without making him too soft—I could at least show that there's another side to him.

It was also a very sexy season, full of vamp-on-human hookups. But while Eric was very flirtatious with Sookie—Anna Paquin's character—he didn't get much action.
Eric's got plenty of time. No rush there. He's, you know, enjoying the progress.

But the season-three previews show you topless and talking with Sookie. Please tell us they finally...fang bang.
There is a lot going on in season three. The attraction to Sookie will not subside—it's strong and growing stronger. But of course I can't tell you. That'd be a huge spoiler, wouldn't it?

C'mon, just a little hint about what's coming?
It's about revenge for Eric. You find out that he lost a group of people 1,000 years ago that were very, very dear to him. Suddenly he's presented with an opportunity to avenge them, and that's something he's been awaiting for a very long time.

We've seen some clips with werewolves, too. What was it like working with wolves?
Pretty amazing. When you're up close, they're so majestic and beautiful and powerful.

Any scary moments on set?
There were a lot of scary moments, but none involving wolves...

Intriguing. Now that True Blood is the most watched HBO show since The Sopranos, you probably get recognized a lot.
Yeah, a lot of people think I'm Peter Sarsgaard's brother.

How do you feel about that?
He's an amazing actor. So I always say, "Yes, we're brothers."

Season three of True Blood premieres Sun 13 at 9pm on HBO.

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