‘Blood’ Lust: Q&A with Ryan Kwanten

by | June 14, 2009 at 12:03 PM | True Blood, TV News


Those of you truly, madly, deeply in love with ‘True Blood‘ probably can’t wait for the sun to go down so ‘Bad Things’ can start to happen once the best TV theme song in years lets it rip.

(My colleague Julie Zied, who’s on the pulse of all things cool, has an exclusive interview about the killer tunes from the show that even non-fans of the HBO series would love.)

So giddy up, fangbangers! The second season of the fangtastic (sorry, I’ll just never get tired of that one) vampire saga returns tonight.

And I had a one-on-one chat with one of the show’s many swoon-worthy stars.

Check out the smokin’ hot cast in our photo gallery.

If you thought Jason Stackhouse was hot, well, his portrayer Ryan Kwanten is even hotter: He quotes poetry. And he’s Australian.

Nothing makes an American girl go crazy like a sexy foreign accent, particularly one of the Aussie variety. (Hear it for yourself in Ryan’s interview here with true-blood.net.)

Warning: There are a few spoilers revealed in my interview with the ‘True Blood’ star, so fans who like to be surprised–please take the SPOILER ALERT notices seriously.

One thing you won’t get a peep out of me on is the fate of vampire blood-drug dealing prostitute Lafayette (Nelson Ellis). Nope, not a word. Nuthin’.

Now, who’s out for more ‘Blood’?!

Series creator Alan Ball says the new season will be “more of everything,” sex, violence, gore, humor….
“Absolutely. If we sort of opened the door to ‘True Blood’ in the first season, this second season kicks it down.

There are new characters, and we’ve moved out of Bon Temps, well, a couple of us have; the majority of the season takes place in Dallas. I try to find myself there–and my faith. Just the sheer scope of the show is much bigger this year.”

The freshman season was pretty damn sexy and gory. It’s hard to imagine how this year could rank any higher on the shocker scale.
“Oh, it’s gonna be tenacious, it’s going to be awe-inspiring, and it’s going to be macabre.”

The bad boyish Jason Stackhouse has a rather ironic new storyline. Like many lost souls, he seems to be finding (some kind of) religion.
“He really starts the second season with a void inside of him and is looking for something to fill it. What really what lies inside of him? A small boy. He thinks this ‘Light of Day’ and the church sect is his way out.”

SPOILER ALERT

Is this ‘church’ a full-fledged cult?
“Yeah, as more and more information unfolds, even someone as simple as Jason sees the cracks in the foundation. Reverend Steve Newlin tends to go a little AWOL, and he turns his God-loving group into a vampire-hating group [he thinks vampires killed his father]. That’s when Jason starts to question things–and that’s also when Sookie becomes [*#@%^*], so it all becomes…there are some great things to look forward to.”

Season 2 is setting up one hell of a showdown for the Stackhouse family: brother and sister are deeply entrenched in complex themes of light and dark. Jason’s a soldier for an evangelical anti-vampire group, while Vampire Bill–and Vampire Eric–sink their fangs even deeper into a very willing Sookie.
“Those worlds collide. [The arc this season] sets up those two worlds, raises the stakes and does it in such a way, that when they do meet, it’s quite catastrophic–and people will die.”

SPOILER ALERT

Will it be a major character death?
“[pause] It will be, yeah. [Kwanten clears his throat, then laughs] I’m getting nervous….”

Your character has more sex than anyone in Bon Temps, La. How did you feel about all those sex scenes in Season 1?
“Yeah, he came out of the gate pretty strong. Every script I get continues to surprise me, and that kind of stuff you’re referring to, when it comes to playing Jason, I just fly by the seat of my pants.”

Bloody Good Sneak Peeks and Interviews Here

What does your family think of your sexed-up role?
“They love the series. But they’re back in Australia; I’m glad I didn’t have to watch it with them because that would be awkward. My mum has seen me naked in my early years, of course, but not in those, uh, compromising positions.”

Jason’s new relationship with God must mean less sex scenes for you now, I imagine.
“Jason’s all buttoned up with nowhere to go.”

It’s admirable that he’s trying to clean up his act, but for how long can Jason’s no boozin’ and no broads rule last?
“He’s not known for his willpower. But he’s giving it a good shot. He realizes that something in him has to change. It reminds me of that Ralph Waldo Emerson quote:

‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.’

So who is your love interest this season? There are at least three potential candidates: There’s definitely electricity between you and the reverend’s wife Sarah; there’s a Christian singing cutie; and even Bill’s newly acquired, and naughty, vampire brat Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) seems like she could be Jason’s type.
“That’s funny. He is trying to have a relationship with God, at this early point. He’s trying to steer clear of letting his hips lead his every direction. Use his heart, use his head, instead. He’s trying.”

How do you prepare for all those shirtless scenes?
“I always keep myself in good condition, it’s part of being an actor. In a way, I’m a bit of a masochist at heart.”

SPOILER ALERT

There’s also new blood this season, most notably, Michelle Forbes’ ‘mysterious creature.’ What is the deal with this Maryann character?
“No one is who they seem. She seems unbelievably sweet…but she ends up turning the whole town into quite bizarre little creatures. It’s all kinds of hush hush, but it gets very…SEXUAL. And I’m not involved in it for once. I got a lot of my sex out of the way in the first season. I can’t word it without giving it away, but she’s not what she seems to be.”

We’re also awaiting the arrival of Evan Rachel Wood, who’s playing the Vampire Queen. Is there anything you can tease about that?
“She hasn’t started working yet, but we’re excited to have her on board. She’s the oldest vampire we’ve had on the show–which then makes her the most powerful, so that gives you some idea.”

Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) has telepathic powers. As her sibling, why doesn’t Jason have any kind of powers?
“Well, Jason THINKS he has powers [laughs]…that’s kind of all that matters.”

SPOILER ALERT

Speaking of gifts, Sookie discovers something surprising while she’s on a mission for Vampire Eric in Dallas.
“I don’t want to say too much, but Sookie meets someone she has a surprising connection with.”

The show has an awesome soundtrack. What’s Jason’s theme song?
“Yeah, it really does. He’s definitely something in the rock world, at one point his ring phone was an AC/DC song, but he’s definitely a getting-the-adrenaline-pumping kind of guy.”

Vampires have captivated people for, um, ever…what do you think makes them so sexy?
“I don’t know if I’d say they were sexy. To me the allure, I guess, is that it’s the devil you don’t know.”

New episodes of ‘True Blood’ premiere Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.