Alexander Skarsgard, Anna Paquin, and their fellow actors are our entertainers of the month

By Tim Stack
Updated August 28, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

It’s a testament to True Blood‘s outstanding ensemble that we kinda want to live in Bon Temps, Louisiana — despite all the vampires and supernatural baddies. In its second season, HBO’s sexually graphic, gorily gruesome vamp series has become pretty much the only thing we can talk about come Monday morning. From the Bill/Sookie/Eric triangle to Maryann’s creepy orgies to Jason’s stint in the Fellowship of the Sun church, every moment has made us Blood-thirsty for more.


Setting the tone for each episode of the Southern gothic series is singer-songwriter Everett’s twangy track ”Bad Things.” Thanks to its TV exposure, the atmospheric single — off Everett’s June album, Red Revelations — is climbing the charts: It topped iTunes’ country chart in the U.K., and broke into the top 50 in the U.S.


SWEDISH SENSATION Born and raised in Stockholm (his father is acclaimed actor Stellan), Skarsgard was a child actor and is now a marquee name in his native land. It was while he was on vacation in L.A. with his dad that he landed his first U.S. role — as a male model in 2001’s Zoolander.

STEALING SCENES As the enigmatic vamp Eric Northman, Skarsgard oozes sex and swagger. ”I had a blast this season,” the 33-year-old says. ”It’s been fun to show that there’s more to Eric than first meets the eye. He’s not just the evil guy.” But the role has held Skarsgard back…from getting a tan. ”In July when we wrapped season 2, the first thing I did was chill out at the beach the whole day.”

LOST IN TRANSLATION For the Viking flashback in which Eric first meets his maker, Godric, Blood’s writers asked Skarsgard to translate the dialogue into Swedish himself. ”No one behind the camera understood a single word. We could have said anything we wanted.”

NEXT UP Skarsgard will play the bad guy again, this time in a remake of Straw Dogs with Kate Bosworth and James Marsden.