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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Alexander Skarsgård: Rising Star


“Twilight” might rule the big screen when it comes to the vampire world, but every week this summer HBO’s “True Blood” has been delivering gripping edge-of-your seat drama, action – and not to mention, a nice dose of dark comedy – on the small screen. At the center of all the bloody fun is Swedish import, Alexander Skarsgard, as vampire Eric Northman, the undead hunk who might save your life – or suck it right out of you!

AccessHollywood.com caught with the 32-year-old actor – the son of actor Stellan Skarsgard – who said his role on “True Blood” is unlike anything he ever imagined playing.

“A 1,000-year-old flying Viking vampire is quite different from most of my previous roles,” he told Access.

After working for years in his native Sweden, Alexander garnered Hollywood’s attention after appearing in the 2008 HBO miniseries, “Generation Kill,” a project that is still helping the actor now.

“I just tweaked my accent from ‘Generation Kill’ a little and threw in a few Swedish words,” he said of his accent he uses on “True Blood,” which is set in the fictional city of Bon Temps, Louisiana.

Alexander said he was drawn to the role because he gets to walk the line between good and evil – sometimes in the same breath.

”[I love] that he drains people with an innocent smile on his face,” he said.

And when it comes to the future victims that he’ll possibly get to sink his teeth into – even Alexander doesn’t know what’s in store. But he’s hoping that Eric continues to reign supreme.

“The writers haven’t started working on season 3 yet, so I’m not sure,” he explained. “But I’m keeping my fingers crossed for world domination.”

And will fans see Eric and Sookie (Anna Paquin) get more intimate in the coming episodes?

“Maybe,” he said with a hint of excitement.

The actor said his newfound Hollywood heartthrob status is amazing – and something he’s more than willing to share with co-star Stephen Moyer, who plays vampire Bill Compton.

“The attention is very flattering,” he told Access. “I heard that fans are divided between Eric and Bill. To be honest, I’m Stephen’s biggest fan.”

“I actually founded the fan club ‘Bill’s Babes,’” he joked.

In addition to remaining episodes of Season 2 of “True Blood,” Alexander will be seen in the upcoming movies “Straw Dogs,” “13” and “Metropia.”

All of which the actor said, “are all pretty dark films. Would be fun to do something with a little less blood and death before we start season 3 of ‘True Blood.’”

Lady Gaga fans will also recognize Alexander from the singer’s 9-minute mini-movie video for “Paparazzi,” which debuted earlier this summer.

With a stellar season of the HBO vampire series coming to a close, Alexander is sure to continue producing great work and creating complex and rich characters on the big and small screen. He said he hopes to work with, “Guillermo del Toro because he never lets fear get in the way of his curiosity” and “Woody Allen because he’s a legend.”

“Thanks Access Hollywood!” Alex said. “Glad you like the show and I’m extremely honored you picked me as the ‘new Rising Star.’”

By Jesse Spero | Access Hollywood | Link to article


Ryan Kwanten's Woman's Health Interview


On HBO's True Blood, the 32-year-old actor spends an inordinate amount of time half-naked. We got him to bare even more: his thoughts on love and dating.

1. As an Australian living in the U.S., have you spotted any differences between Aussie and American women?
Australian women tend to tell it like it is—even if it's the brutal, honest truth. I think American women usually break it to you a little easier. There's a softer side to them.

2. What's one mistake you see women making in relationships?
Trying out the "I love yous" after a week or two [of dating]. You have to give it time before you start [saying that]. I like exploring the mystery of a relationship instead of laying it all out on the table at the beginning.

3. Care to let us in on your most embarrassing dating moment?
I arrived at this girl's house and her dad answered the door. The guy was huge—in my head, he seemed close to seven feet tall and 300 pounds. He looked down at me and said, "Can I help you?" I said, "Yeah, I'm here to see—" and I forgot the girl's name! I was just looking up at him thinking, Oh, God, please don't squash me!

4. You're totally ripped. How much work did you have to do to get that way?
I'm somewhat of a masochist at heart. I like to sweat. I come from a very competitive sporting background—my dad was a world-champion surfer—so it's always been a part of my DNA. I do a lot of soft-sand running, hiking, yoga, and boxing, and I compete in triathlons. But I don't have a strict diet. If I want a beer, I'll have a beer, and I've always been a chocoholic.

5. Any hidden talents?
I'm undefeated in Scrabble. I can figure out an opponent's strategy and mold mine to offset theirs. I play a couple times a week, and I'll often play a game on my bed by myself against myself, which I realize sounds completely mad.

By Christine Fennessy | Woman's Health | Link to article


Ryan Kwanten's Fitness Tips (Men's Health)


Ryan Kwanten, a thrill-seeking bad boy in HBO's True Blood, keeps his own blood pumping with a vigorous approach to life

Ryan Kwanten pauses on a ridge along the Temescal Canyon Trail, above the hazy concrete desert of Los Angeles. "What do you think everyone else is doing right now?" he says, smiling. "They're not up here, that's for sure. That's the beauty of it."

Kwanten, 32, has the lean, strong look that Holly wood loves, and he built it outdoors, focusing on functional strength rather than gym-built abs. Years ago, in his native Australia, he even moonlighted as a professional triathlete.

His pro racing days may be over, but he trains like he's still competing. Athletics keep him resilient, he says. "When I'm rejected, I can come back and say, 'You know what? I'll win the next one.'" Here's how he concentrates on the path forward.

1. Use time wisely
You're never too busy to exercise. "If you have a minute to yourself, utilize it to the fullest," he says. Between scenes he stretches, does pushups, and shadowboxes while practicing lines. It helps him focus and keeps him energized all day.

2. Break away
Los Angeles has about 7,000 miles of blacktop, but Kwanten prefers the trails. "It takes the tedium out of running," he says. "You gain balance and coordination. No two steps are the same." Instead of aiming for distance or heart-rate goals, he chooses routes with distinct midpoints. "Whether it's that high peak or the end of a beach, it's great to have something you can touch that lets you know you're halfway there. You don't find that on a treadmill."

3. Challenge yourself
Kwanten joins friends for group trail runs, bowls in a league, bungee jumps, and bikes along the Pacific. (He swims in it, too.) "There's a lot to be said for muscle confusion," he says. "The moment you have monotony, your muscles can fall asleep. Variety makes you much more balanced."

4. Strip down your diet
To prepare for a shirtless scene, Kwanten employs a get-ripped-fast trick that can help any man looking forward to a beach weekend. He cuts down on refined carbs, opting for protein and vegetables. He also avoids alcohol, and drinks water or protein or vegetable shakes instead. "It's boring, but it's not a crash diet," he says. "I'm still eating the same amount of food, and I only have to keep it up for a few days."

5. Add your own weight
Kwanten knows he can't fully build his body without strength training. He does that at home with body-weight exercises: pushups, situps, pull ups, skipping rope. "I love old-school stuff," he says. With situps, he focuses on his core and tries not to reach or stretch his neck. He favors a thick rubber jump rope and does varied intervals -- say, a minute of doubles and then 2 minutes of singles. He'll do that while watching the first half of a Lakers game, and stretch for the second half.

Men's Health


'True Blood' star Sam Trammell truly happy with show's success


Just what is an innocent shape-shifter to do when the whole dang town is going nuts?

"I'm kind of trying to rein in everybody," said Sam Trammell, who plays Sam Merlotte in True Blood.

Uh, that isn't going very well at this point, is it, Sam?

"No, it's not," Trammell said with a chuckle. "Everybody's satisfying their lusty desires."

True Blood, the vampire-based series which airs Sundays on HBO Canada and is in the midst of its second season, truly has hit the big time in the past month and a half in terms of buzz and fan attention. The series built slowly through its rookie campaign, but now it undoubtedly has become HBO's marquee property.

Trammell, a 38-year-old product of the theatre scene, didn't necessarily expect anything like this.

"When I saw the words 'created by Alan Ball' and 'HBO', I was interested before I even read the pilot, and of course you hope things take off," Trammell said. "I was hoping we might be half as popular as Six Feet Under (Ball's previous series). But right now it's at a frenzy.

"I was at the Mad Men premiere (at a theatre in L.A. -- the TV premiere of season three is tonight on AMC) and people in the business were calling relatives and asking me to talk to them on the phone.

"I don't know if it's vampires or if it's the talent of the people who have decided to write in that genre. It's a chicken-or-the-egg thing."

Trammell's character in True Blood is not a vampire, but rather a shape-shifter -- and much more.

True Blood has a unique structure. While Sookie Stackhouse, played by Anna Paquin, is the main character, the audience does not witness these bizarre events through Sookie's eyes. We actually see things more through Sam Merlotte's eyes.

"Yeah, I have thought about that," Trammell said. "I understand what you mean about my character.

"I'm the bedrock of town. At the beginning, Sookie is ready to just run off with this vampire, and I'm warning her not to do that. I'm warning Tara not to go off with Maryann.

"I'm the person that knows more than the other characters, but I don't give it all away to the audience."

Trammell said he wasn't a diehard devotee of the vampire genre prior to True Blood, but notably, he now finds himself drawn to all the old horror movies many of us watched as kids, but he missed.

"It's great when a movie or TV show really makes you feel something, whether it's a love story, or it makes you cry, or it makes you scared," Trammell said.

"There's a certain masochism in me, I guess. I don't mind going to the horrible places. If you write it, I'll go there. And they certainly wrote for that on True Blood this year.

"I love the idea of running away from something that's trying to kill me."

Don't we all. But man, you sure landed the right series, Sam.

By Bill Harris | Edmonton Sun | Link to article


Woll's Fight Against CHM Disease


True Blood star Deborah Ann Woll is helping her boyfriend raise money to research the rare disease that's slowly blinding him.

Edward 'E.J.' Scott suffers from Choroideremia (CHM), a hereditary condition that also affects his brother and grandfather.

The disease robs sufferers of their vision, and Scott, 33, is now reduced to walking around with the aid of a stick.

Woll, 24, says, "He is so proactive about preparing for this inevitability in the face of something so scary. I can only be awed by his strength and commitment."

The actress is determined to use her fame to help his plight and that of other CHM sufferers - and has enlisted a True Blood fansite to drum up support for a sponsored diet he is undergoing.

There is hope on the horizon, researchers claim they are just years away from clinical trials for a potential cure.

Woll meanwhile, is using her beau's strength to inspire her own medical battle with Celiacs disease - a severe intolerance to food types.

She said, "I honour E.J. by being equally as strong in my much less life-changing predicament with Celiacs."


'True Blood' Star Sam Trammell 'On the Record'


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Friday, August 14, 2009

(2) New S02E09 - I Will Rise Up Sneak Peek Videos