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Stephen Moyer Talks Season 6

The True Blood actor gets candid about playing a bad guy, directing and what happens when he brings work home with him

Stephen Moyer has plenty to sink his teeth into. The British-born True Blood star will be reprising his role as Bill Compton, the once-gentle vampire now out for bloody world domination, on June 16, when HBO’s gory Sunday-night soap opera returns for its sixth season—and this time, he’ll also be behind the camera.

After five seasons of playing a nice vampire, are you excited to embrace the dark side of Bill?
He’s always tried to do things from the right place, so even when he’s been a shit, he’s been a shit because he was doing it for what he considered the right reasons.

The characters played by you and your wife [Anna Paquin] have a tumultuous relationship. Does that ever come home with you?
It’s very difficult to avoid. Sometimes you come home and the last thing you want to talk about is work, but you’ll get into conversations like, “I can’t believe Sookie’s going to do that to him, it’s ridiculous!”

True Blood has always been seen as an allegory for what happens to outsiders. Do you think that’s still true?
Our show works best when it’s holding up a mirror. It’s very difficult to keep doing it and always be prescient and at the forefront of what’s going on. At the end of season two, we had Bill taking Sookie off to Vermont because that was the only place vampires could marry humans.

In addition to playing Bill, you’re directing the premiere episode of season six. That’s a lot of responsibility.
It’s terrifying, but I relish it. And the cast has been fantastic about me doing it. It’s like being given the keys to the kingdom.

What’s left for the characters on True Blood to battle this season?
I hesitate to say this, but I think we’ve got a really great season. Obviously I have the benefit of being behind the curtain now that I’m directing, so I know a lot of stuff prior to the other actors and I’ve seen some footage. I’m excited and I think there’s a real sense of early True Blood about some of the episodes. It’s hard to stay shocking, but I think we’ve managed to do that.