“True Blood” is almost halfway through its fifth season, but as we learned at the HBO hit’s Comic-Con panel today (July 14), there are plenty more jaw-droppers to come.
After screening a revealing trailer, outgoing showrunner Alan Ball and his all-star cast –including the show’s love quadrangle,Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard and.Joe Manganiello — served some juicy tidbits about the remainder of the season.
Romance: “I can think of three new romances this season,” Ball said, adding, “There’s also a lot of other people having sex, but they wouldn’t be counted as romances.”
Satisfaction Guaranteed: Ball promises lots of “There are definitely some very hot sex scenes, and there are some wacky, ‘what the f***?’ sex scenes. And between those two, I think all tastes will be satisfied.”
Alpha Male! Manganiello, who drew the hugest cheers from the Comic-Con crowd (sure, it helped when he pretended to launch into a “Magic Mike” striptease), said, “I sexually eviscerate another cast member in one of the episodes coming up.” And, as we saw in the preview reel, Alcide accepts the role of werewolf pack leader.
Meet the Parents: “We will see more of Sookie’s parents in the future,” Ball said. “We’re going to learn more about Michelle and Corbett Stackhouse, and the remaining effect of what happened to them” — that they were killed by vampires, not a flood as their children had always believed — “had on Sookie and particularly Jason.”
All Hail the King: No, not Russell Edgington (who will be back in fighting/eating form soon) — tonight belonged to “True Blood” creator and exiting showrunner Ball, who received a touching tribute led by Moyer. “Thank you guys so much,” a tearful Ball said after a standing ovation from the audience and his cast. “I’d do eleventy-hundred more seasons of this show if I weren’t so old and so tired and beat up, because it’s been most fun I’ve had in my career.”
Other Panel Highlights:
- Ryan Kwanten is neither old nor tired, which he proved by doing a walking handstand across the stage. An added bonus? His exposed midriff!* Manganiello’s fake striptease sparked an outbreak among the panelists, including Rutina Wesley (who will be taking to the pole as Tara in upcoming episodes) and Alan Ball. The showrunner stood up to demonstrate his own body roll, while Manganiello showered him with dollar bills.
- Kristin Bauer van Straten said she saved “pieces of Pam” from her rotting-flesh phase. “I still have [them] in my office. An ear, part of my lip…”
- When a fan asked Skarsgard to sign his name card, she got more than she ever dreamed. Not only did he sign the card, he actually licked it and and then blew her a kiss. Swoon! When Meloni asked for his own autograph, Skarsgard kissed him on the cheek.
- But another fan, who asked Skarsgard and Manganiello to flex their muscles, was disappointed. “We’re legally not allowed to do that with Joe on the show,” Skarsgard quipped. With Kwanten’s handstands, Manganiello’s abs and all the other muscle flexing, Trammell complained, “You have made it so difficult to be a man on this show.”