True Blood’s Theo Alexander On His Gay Vampire Sex Scene with Alexander Skarsgard
How do you recover from a graphic vampire-on-vampire sex scene that ended with one nasty staking and screams that literally curdled blood? If you’re actor Theo Alexander, you fly to Greece to unwind — and edit the aforementioned sequence out of the bootlegged episode of True Blood you plan on screening for your mother. This morning, the Greek actor took a break from his two-week vacation to phone Movieline and discuss the sensual way he prepared for True sex, his fear of getting in touch with his “gay” side, and his character’s 700-year romance with the King of Mississippi.
Did you prepare your family for the scene in last night’s episode?
No. Actually, my mother will get the DVD without that scene. [Laughs]
What kind of feedback have you gotten today?
All of my friends and my fans loved the character and I’m really happy about it. I want to tell them a big “thanks” for all of their support.
What was the energy like on set the day that you shot the sex scene?
Well, I think that whole week, Alexander [Skarsgård] and I were both a little bit anxious, but we were joking and being professional. Alexander is a great actor, though, and he helped me get beyond the physical part of the scene. I had been afraid of the scene from the very beginning — from the first moment that I held the script in my hand — but I’m glad I did it because every time you face your fears, you move forward. It was a good experience at the end of the day.
What aspect of the scene scared you?
Well, the part about kissing another man. I don’t really do that, so… I didn’t want to think of him as a woman. Many people told me, “Oh, just close your eyes and think of him as a woman.” But no, because that is a totally different energy and I had to be very present with Alex and his male energy. I had to open myself to be able to actually be attracted to him, like, really attracted to him. At the end of the day, it was fun, though.
How did you prepare for the big scene that day? Was there certain music that put you in the right frame of mind — or alcohol?
No, no, no. I remember that I went back to my trailer and I concentrated. I did some acting exercises. I was playing the archetype of a lover, so I put on a sexy, slow song and almost did like a belly dance. I tried to get into the mindset of just being sexy and not caring about your sexual preferences and just acting on that attraction.
Kristin Bauer told us that she found Alex to be really uninhibited. Did you find the same thing?
I don’t think any really truthful actor feels uninhibited, and I think that Alex falls into that category. It’s all about the scene, the character, the art.
What did you learn about yourself from playing Talbot?
I realized that there are no rules and that you should not care what people think. You can have your own sexual preference. You can cook or you can kill, but you should just not care what people will say.
I read that you and Denis O’Hare went on a hiking trip to nail down your characters’ history. Can you tell me about that?
Yes, we spent a lot of time together. We went on hikes, we went to dinners, we spent time together. Just spending time with Denis though… he is an amazing actor. Every time we met, I learned new things about acting and we bonded really fast and really deep because we had to create this immense love and relationship of 700 years. And even though our characters were fighting in the last few episodes, I think Denis’s performance in the next episode will show off how in love our characters were.
How do you begin to flesh out a 700-year relationship? How in depth did you and Denis get?
We thought about the important moments, like when I was turned into a vampire. We thought about secrets between us, ranging from our sexual lives to how we played good cop/bad cop in front of people, because they truly have a different persona in front of people than what they have in their own bedroom. We had secrets from our characters’ personal lives though that we never revealed to our costars. The most important thing for me was to “fall in love” with Denis as an artist and as an actor. That wasn’t difficult because he was so kind and so open. I’m very proud to call him a friend now. For a young actor to work with someone with a Tony who gets international recognition for his craft, it’s very flattering.
Was there one trip in particular that really cemented your friendship?
We bonded pretty immediately. Our first dinner was for sushi and we had such an amazing time that we spent four hours at the restaurant talking about books, what research we were doing, and our characters. Something that was very important for me playing a gay vampire was that in my mind, we were always a married couple. We got married like 700 years ago, undercover. Last week, when I heard that Proposition 8 was overruled after people had fought so long for their right to be what they wanted, I felt really proud, even as an artist, for playing a small part in that and that this couple in True Blood really stood for something.
Your character had a lot of hilariously over-the-top lines. What was the most ridiculous bit of dialogue you had to deliver on the show?
Not ridiculous, but I do not think that any actor ever in the world will have the chance to say “I had to bury werewolves under the gazebo” again.
Might we ever see more of Talbot?
Well, we may do something in season four.
Well, my vampire goes through ancient rituals and he comes back as a straight, nice vampire and he goes out with Sookie. [Laughs] At least, that is my plan for Talbot.