Image Credit: HBOIt’s been a month since we were introduced to Coot, the biker who helped abduct Bill for the King of Mississippi, played by Grant Bowler. But that was definitely a memorable first impression — for everyone. “When you get an audition scene where you’ve got a silver chain wrapped around Bill Compton’s neck and you’re feeding off him and howling, you kinda go, I think I’m a werewolf addicted to V,” Bowler says. “That was a love scene. It took all day to shoot, and Stephen Moyer and I laughed so hard in the back of the car — we were almost blowing takes, we were giggling so much — that we actually fell in love. We’re having a bromance.”

Moyer may have some competition. Bring up how fantastic Don Swayze was on the other side of Moyer, and Bowler — who phoned PopWatch yesterday while on a break from shooting the adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged — can’t help but rave. “Don Swayze was irrepressible. Swapping the blood [with the front seat passenger] was in the script, but the entire way Don went about doing it, the complete wrongness of it, that was all him. ‘Shall I lean in right over his mouth?’ Ahhh. Don is fearless. He’s absolutely fearless. We’re in the back of that shot, and I’m howling with laughter and it’s all that Moyer can do to keep a straight face and look like he’s in agony ’cause Don Swayze just pushed the boat out and let go.”

How will last week’s cliffhanger resolve itself? You might recall that Coot and the other werewolves at Debbie’s initiation/engagement party started transforming in front of Sookie. (“I think that’s just the best way to get engaged, to brand your intended with a hot iron,” Bowler quips. “That screams romance to me. And love. Commitment!” ) Well, he’s not saying. “Look, Coot absolutely delights in Bill Compton’s misery… I get a wonderful chance to revel in his misery. That’s about as much as I can tease. I can’t get in trouble with Alan.”

Two things Bowler will cop to: How he got into character — “I grew up in a neighborhood [in Australia] that Coot would come from, so I’d put on AC/DC, turn the volume up to 11, drive to work, and I’m there” — and the reason transforming into his furrier half was even cooler than getting to work with Moyer and Anna Paquin: “Because my daughter is obsessed with the fact that I can change into a werewolf. She went to school one day, chanting under her breath, ‘My daddy’s a werewolf. My daddy’s a werewolf. My daddy’s a werewolf.’ And that’s all that matters to me,” he says. His daughter, by the way, is seven. “Oh yeah, she watches the show,” he says. “No. NO. But what I am gonna do is just snip out those two, or three, or four transformation moments so she can watch them. There’s one on-stage there that I don’t think has anyone else naked in it, which is good.” (This felt like as good a time as any to ask him just how large Joe Manganiello’s upper body really is. “Joe’s enormous. He’s just enormous,” he says of the actor who plays Alcide. Glad we got that confirmed.)

We’re not sure how excited his daughter is for The Killer Elite, the film Bowler has also been shooting with Jason Statham, Clive Owen, and Robert De Niro based on the real-life efforts of a private British vigilante committee to eliminate a band of contact killers, but he’s obviously thrilled. “Just being in a picture with De Niro’s name on it is really cool,” he says. Bowler plays an SAS officer and war hero who’s one of the targets. “I’ve already done big action sequences with Jason, and I’ve learned from him. He’s incredibly clear on how physical action needs to be done in terms of storytelling — that it’s not just a bunch of people rolling around or pretending to slap each other or whatever, but that it actually tells and progresses a story. I found it quite interesting.” (So far, he notes, he’s escaped injury. “I couldn’t lift my arms up for a few days.”)

As for what else we have to look forward to: Bowler has recently wrapped The City of Gardens, an indie Peru-set prison story in which he co-stars as a character that the trades described as “a schizophrenic named Jesus Christ who is stuck in solitary confinement.” How does one prepare for that? “Well, I had to look at delusional disorders and schizophrenia. I actually decided to go with delusional rather than schizophrenic. And then you find out what that is, how that walks and talks and operates. Talk to psychologists and psychiatrists and read some material. And then kinda figure out what type of person would choose Jesus, go backwards from there, and then figure out which Jesus you want to be. He’s a bit like Elvis, he went through phases. I went with sort of God-Jesus,” he says. He’s also deciding which of three projects to do next. We offered to have our readers help him decide if he wanted to share his options, but, “No. I never talk about a job before the contract is signed and I’ve shot the first three days,” he says. “I’ve been caught with my pants down on that one before.”

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Episode Recaps

True Blood, Anna Paquin, ... | In the season 3 finale, vampire Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) made Bill confess to Sookie — who can't read vampire minds — that he let her…
True Blood

Sookie, Bill, Eric, Lafayette, Sam and the other residents Bon Temps deal with vampires, werewolves, fairies, and shape-shifters—not to mention romance and drama

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