True Blood is all about werewolves this season — and not the pretty-boy Twilight kind. We're talking vicious, neck-branded neo-Nazis who drink vampire blood to feed their addiction. TVGuide.com caught up with Grant Bowler, who plays werewolf pack leader Cooter in seven episodes this season, to find out who Cooter really works for, how far is too far for executive producer Alan Ball, what it will mean for his relationship with Bill (Stephen Moyer) and what's down the road for Sookie (Anna Paquin).
TVGuide.com: What can you tell us about Cooter and his pack?
Grant Bowler: Cooter is a joy to play. I play him like a redneck Romeo. [Laughs] These werewolves have a very strong agenda; they're not just kicking around looking for someone to beat on.
TVGuide.com: What can we expect between Cooter and Bill now that Bill seems to be cooperating with the King of Mississippi (Denis O'Hare)?
Bowler: It starts off professional with them, but it gets personal very, very quickly. I love the relationship that develops between the two. They just hate each others' guts and need each other dead. It's a really strong, fun dynamic to play.
TVGuide.com: Were you a fan of the show before signing on?
Bowler: Yes. Right from the beginning, I felt like Alan was writing a comedy — like the world's darkest comedy. And I love it. I got on to the show very quickly.
TVGuide.com: What's it been like acting in some of those really dark, graphic scenes?
Bowler: The amazing thing about True Blood is how far they're prepared to go. I've never heard one of the directors, or Alan, or any of the writers once say, "Uh, that's going too far. Can you pull back?" Whenever I was on set and it felt like we were pushing it too far, we'd look over at them and they'd be grinning and making "go further" motions to us. I think that's unique to the show. It's incredibly freeing as an actor to be working with people who are so adventurous, unafraid and just want to push everything.
TVGuide.com: What was it like on set with that cast?
Bowler: I think there were 34 actors and every one of them was as sharp as a tack, perfectly cast, and brilliant at what they do. It just makes it a joy to walk into work and know you have to bring your best game. And they're incredibly welcoming and fun to work with. It's very laid-back, and they laugh their butts off. They have to — that material is so dark and so fraught. They just laugh from dawn until the next dawn.
TVGuide.com: Any teasers for us diehards?
Bowler: Expect stuff out of Sookie that you've never seen before. She's a bit special, that girl — a lot more special than you think.