Without Twilight here to compete at Comic-Con, the most in-demand vampires are those living in Bon Temps. Creator Alan Ball and the cast from HBO's True Blood were met with the accordant shrieks at the show's Friday panel. And they were plenty talkative about this season (witches!), behind-the-scenes antics (socks that aren't for the feet!) and the future (Sookie and Bill 4ever!)
How do the menfolk on True Blood handle all that nudity? Joe Manganiello (Alcide) said there are a few options: "Sock with a draw string, a plastic-backed thong, which apparently breaks if you're running fast, or the man panty, or manty, which reduces you to a Ken doll."
Did Alexander Skarsgard come off a little two-dimensional during the panel? Yes, but he had a good excuse. Skarsgard had said he wouldn't be there because he's busy shooting a movie, but Anna Paquin and Steven Moyer carried out a cut-out of the actor on stage. The ladies in the audience screamed anyway, and Paquin lovingly caressed 1-D Skarsgard. Ryan Kwanten, who plays Jason, was also missing from this year's lineup.
Hasn't Tara suffered enough? One would think so. But things aren't going to get any easier, to hear it from Rutina Wesley (Tara) and Ball. Asked about her bad taste in men, Wesley began singing "looking for love in the all the wrong places," before explaining. "When Tara gets close to loving someone, she immediately runs away... She's unstable right now but I'm hoping for stability in the future." Ball added, "There will be a brief break for her at the end of the season, but it won't last." And there you have it, Tara fans.
Will fans will ever learn why Franklin is a bit, er, off? Ball said no, he just is. "He does care [about Tara] in his own twisted way. Unfortunately, he is also a psychopath."
What's more challenging for the cast, the sex scenes or the violence? "Well, you have to fake the violence," Paquin said. Also, she prefers to get naked earlier in the day and kill people later, "that way you're not all messy for lunch."
We heard there was a porn version of True Blood. True? Ball said not only is there a porn version of, but the Sookettes in the Snoop Dogg music video — an ode to Sookie, which you can view here — wore the same wig that Porn Eric wore.
What's up with Sookie's all-mighty microwave fingers? Paquin said viewers will find out what's behind her other power before the season's end. She added that she's enjoying getting to do more of the ass-kicking this season. "I never got any action in X-Men... I wore some really hot gloves."
How long are fans going to wait to see Jessica and Hoyt reunited? Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica) hinted that it might be awhile. "You have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else," she said. "With the confusion of becoming a vampire I don't know if Jessica loves herself enough, so we have to wait for that first."
Any celebrity fans we don't know about? Elizabeth Taylor, according to Kristin Bauer van Straten (Pam), who's friend is Taylor's lawyer. Harris also said Anne Rice is a big fan. Did we hear the word "cameos" just now?
Which is Bauer van Straten's favorite live animal on set? "Skarsgard's not so bad once you get used to him," she dead-panned.
Is there any character who Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, is most excited for viewers to meet? Sookie's great-grand father. Harris gave no further details.
What is Paquin's favorite gross-out moment? With so many to choose from, it must be like choosing a favorite child. But she settled on the scene in Season 2 in which Sookie enters Gran's house after it has been run over by neighbors under Marianne's spell. "There was a small naked man in my sink doing something quite intimate with what looked like intestines... that was pretty interesting," she said.
Is there any hope that Bill and Sookie will end up together? Ball is rooting for the couple. "I do believe they're soulmates," he said. "I believe their love is genuine and it really is true," he said. Harris's books on the other hand? Relationships may not end up the same way. "I think [the books and the series] are separate entertainment experiences," she said. "I've had my ending in mind for the past 8 or 9 years."
Watch the trailer for the second half of Season 3 below: