How did you find out that you won the role?
I had three meetings with Alan Ball. [After the last one], I got a call from my agent and manager. And whenever you get a call from your agent and manager, you have a pretty good idea that something good is about to happen.
What was your reaction when they told you?
Iâ€™m not afraid to admit that I started crying. I was just so excited. Itâ€™s a dream come true. When I was a little kid, the nun at my elementary school said if you pray for something hard enough, itâ€™ll happen. And I would pray every day with all of my heart that God would turn me into a werewolf. And when it didnâ€™t happen, I kind of thought, â€œYou know what? Maybe this stuff doesnâ€™t work. Maybe Iâ€™m getting gypped.â€ So here it is 25 years later and my prayers got answered and Iâ€™m going to be a werewolf.
What was it about being a werewolf that appealed to you?
I just loved Halloween. When I was 4, my mother dressed me up as a vampire and brought me to a haunted house. When I think about it now, bringing a 4-year-old kid to a haunted house is pretty intense. There was a vampire in the haunted house that jumped out of a coffin and I went up and tried to climb into the coffin with him. He wound up picking me up and putting me in the coffin with him and closing the lid. I [just] always liked monsters. There was something interesting about having this thing inside of you that you canâ€™t control that comes out when you get angry. Thereâ€™s something cathartic about the idea of having a beast inside you.
Are you a fan of the show?
Huge fan. Iâ€™ve seen every episode.
Have you met Anna Paquin yet?
Not yet. They wanted me to read with her. That was going to be my final audition, a chemistry read with Anna. But she wasnâ€™t available so they had me come in by myselfâ€¦ I think itâ€™s going to be great. Iâ€™ve seen a ton of her movies going all the way back to The Piano. Iâ€™m excited.
When do you start shooting?
Late January, so Iâ€™ve got some time. Every day right now is all about the Werewolf Workout. It consists of Krav Maga, which is an Israeli fighting technique, and Cross Fit, which is kind of a gnarly crazy high-intensity workout. And Iâ€™m doing a little bit of weights in between.
Was this something Alan Ball asked you to do?
No. This is something I wanted to do on my own. Iâ€™m a big guy to begin with; I work out a lot anyway. In my mind, I see the character as having a big chest, big arms â€” ripped the way an animal would be. Vampires have a supernatural strength to them, so you can have a vampire that is a little slighter. But a werewolf is this big, powerful, half man, half animal. I want to get as close to that as I possibly can.
Will your Alcide be different from the Alcide in the books?
Alan Ball and I had a conversation about that at one of my auditions. I think itâ€™s up in the air. I know that, at least initially, fans of the book will be pleased with my character.
Whatâ€™s your take on Alcide?
Heâ€™s really big. Heâ€™s giant. When Sookie first meets him, she opens the door and looks up, and then has to look up some more. So thereâ€™s this giant presence standing in the doorway with dark hair and dark features. Heâ€™s strong and protective. He comes from a construction background; his father is in the construction business. Heâ€™s heroic and romantic. I donâ€™t think itâ€™s a secret that he has a broken heart when he shows up. He had a really rough go of this relationship with Debbie Pelt, so thereâ€™s a lot of friction there. Debbieâ€™s doing a lot of things to get back at Alcide.
How long are you committed to the show for?
Right now weâ€™ve just talked about this season.
What can Alcide offer Sookie that Bill and Eric canâ€™t?
Warm flesh and blood. Thatâ€™s the neat thing about my character: Although heâ€™s not entirely human, he is flesh and blood. He has a lifespan. In the books he hugs Sookie and she feels his skin and itâ€™s just radiating heat. So I think the fact that he has some kind of sunburnt heat-radiating skin is just completely different. Itâ€™s [similar to when] she met Bill and what a relief it was for her to not be able to hear his thoughts.
Are you ready to be thrust into the Eric/Sookie/Bill fan frenzy?
For me itâ€™s fun. I could see how if I was a 100-pound Hollywood actress it would probably be pretty scary, but Iâ€™m a big guy, so people donâ€™t necessarily scare me in that way. With that said, Iâ€™ve had to go to the police a couple of times for stalkers.
They were really bigâ€¦ I donâ€™t know how I want to describe it but they were guys. Iâ€™ve had two guy stalkers that Iâ€™ve had to go to the cops about. But other than that I think itâ€™s a blast. Itâ€™s so fun to get caught up in that. Itâ€™s so fun to have fans care that much. Itâ€™s that whole Comic-Con, fanboy crowd. I love that. I started my career in Spider-Man, so Iâ€™m completely familiar with them and I love that kind of stuff. And you hear about love triangles all of the time, itâ€™s going to be interesting to see how the love square works out.
God, this guy is so hot, Anna Paquin is so lucky to get to "act" with all these stunning hot men...