'True Blood's' Alexander Skarsgard on Eric's animal instincts and fondness for tracksuits

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We think you'll agree that "True Blood" star Alexander Skarsgard has found a way to play vampire Eric that keeps him quirky and deadly at the same time. We now understand a bit more about the actor's process in playing the character.

When Skarsgard was preparing for the role, he was watching a nature program on lions in Africa, which gave him the brilliant combination that makes Eric.

"There was this moment when a huge lion was just chilling," Skarsgard tells FHM. "He was so relaxed, and he looked at the camera, and man, he just f**king stared you out. It was so cool because you didn't know if he was going to attack or fall asleep. He just stared at the camera guy and I was mesmerized." 

So, Skarsgard decided that's exactly how Eric should be played. "He's so f**king confident he doesn't need to be loud or big or aggressive. I wanted to recreate the feeling that you didn't know if he's going to rip someone apart or fall asleep."

But, how did the lion-like Eric end up wearing his trademark tracksuit from Season 2? Skarsgard has a practical reason for making that choice, as well.

"When I read the first episode of the [second season] I thought that it would be good if Eric dressed like an Italian gangster from New Jersey," he says. "In Season 1 there's a lot of dressing up, so I thought it would be fun if when people see him when he's just doing s**t in his office, he's just chilling and walking around in a tracksuit. Plus, I really like the idea of ripping a guy apart in flip-flops."

Gosh, it's odd. But, doesn't Skarsgard make good sense?
Photo/Video credit: HBO
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