Allan Hyde: Rising True Blood Star

November 20, 2009 by  

“That was a fantastic experience when tiny little me stood in front of the camera

and my two meter tall cast mate Alexander Skarsgard fell to

his knees in front of me. I felt the magic of

being an actor then.”


Allan Hyde, the twenty year old Danish actor, has made quite an impression on HBO’s True Blood fans. Allan plays the 2000 year old vampire Godric, Eric Northman’s (Alexander Skarsgard) maker in the hit HBO series. Although he appeared in only four episodes of True Blood’s second season, Allan Hyde’s Godric has become extremely popular with True Blood’s viewers.

He is a man of many talents. Besides his native Danish, he also speaks English, German and French. He has won the literary Robert Award for Best Short Story (2009) and amazingly, he also finds the time to play the guitar and sing. In Denmark, Allan Hyde has a string of appearances on both the Danish stage and screen. On stage, he has, for example, played Gavroche in Les Miserables but he is perhaps best known for his part in Denmark’s TV3’s 2900 Happiness. He has also provided the voice dubbing for Ron Weasley in the Danish release of the Harry Potter films. However in 2009, he was cast in the critically acclaimed HBO series True Blood as the 2000 year old Godric and the rest, as they say, is history.

In 2009, international acclaim came knocking on Allan Hyde’s door. Allan Ball happened to need a Scandinavian teenager for True Blood. Allan Hyde’s agent heard about it and convinced Hyde to send a tape to Alan Ball who was so impressed with it that there was no need for Hyde to undergo a formal audition. Hyde, at this point, was two months away from graduating from his high school in Zealand, Copenhagen, but he seized at the chance and moved to Los Angeles immediately. He explains his seemingly hasty decision,

“It was my dream. To be a professional (full-time) actor. To live off what I love. And it wasn’t the most important thing about high school to get a certificate with grades on. Most important were the knowledge and friends I’d already won through those three years.”

We are thankful for his decision because the character Godric has proved to be highly popular with viewers and with creator Alan Ball. Hyde’s performance of Godric has brought Hyde acclaim, catapulting him into the hearts of True Blood’s fans. In a recent interview, Allan Ball has also hinted at the possible return of Allan Hyde as Godric in flashbacks in Season 3.

Of his role as Godric in True Blood, Allan Hyde says,

“When I agreed to do it, I had no idea how big it (True Blood) was. I hadn’t heard about True Blood yet. And to be completely honest, I felt that a vampire series was a little boring. I only knew Buffy and that was a girl’s show.”

True Blood, set against a vivid Southern Gothic mise-en-scene, has captured viewers’Godric and Eric Northman imagination with its gloriously gory, fiendish, darkly funny script. Populated with charismatic vampires, small town kooks and other assorted supernatural beings, True Blood is hardly filled with the usual vampire clichés which were the initial responses of critics and naysayers who subjected True Blood to lukewarm reviews.

Instead, proving his critics wrong, Allan Ball, Academy Award-winning writer, has sprinkled his magic dust over the HBO series and bewitched critics and viewers alike. According to HBO, True Blood’s Season 2 averaged 10.8 million viewers per episode, up 39% from last season, proving to be an even bigger hit than HBO’s The Sopranos. Indeed, True Blood’s biggest strength lies in its ability to appeal across a wide demographic spectrum.

As Allan Hyde further explains,

“I realized at once that this would be a unique and intelligent series. Vampires are an allegory for the darkside of humanity. Their race is prone to a mixture of homophobia and racism, and that’s what the series deals with in a brilliant way, I think. That’s why I fell for True Blood – instantly and completely.”

Allan Hyde’s portrayal of Godric, an immortal being who also happened to be older than Jesus, was pitch perfect. But at the same time, Hyde acknowledges that, as the youngest cast member, he felt the least experienced,

“I was utterly inexperienced and everything was overwhelming. To be the show’s alpha among the vampires on top of all this felt like immense pressure on me. The directors wanted me to be exactly like I was on the videotape they fell for. But they had never seen me ‘live’. That’s why I had a certain insecurity in the beginning. Would I really be able to deliver or was the tape just a lucky coincidence? […] There I was, in a foreign country and was supposed to play a character who was as different to mine as may be. At the same time, everything took place in English which meant that I needed to repeat my lines many times before every take or I’d stumble over the words.”

But it is a testimony to the highly talented and mutually supportive ensemble cast of True Blood that Allan Hyde rapidly became comfortable in his role as Godric,

“[…] I felt I caught the character and people around me backed me with praise and recognition. That was a fantastic experience when tiny little me little me stood in front of the camera and my two meter tall cast mate Alexander Skarsgard fell to his knees in front of me. I felt the magic of being an actor then.”

Now that Season 2 of True Blood has finished its run in the US, Allan Hyde has been a very busy man. He has, for example, auditioned for a new Gus van Sant movie. Allan Hyde explains:

“It is as if all the big shots want to see what I am able to do now. I’m going to lots of auditions that aspiring actors who have lived in Hollywood for years don’t even get close to. There’s no doubt that I have to play my cards now. I have to try and get more parts as my name is hot over here because the clock is ticking in L.A. It’s all business.”

Meanwhile, a stage role awaits him in Denmark in 2010. However, when it comes to English language roles, Hyde feels that one of the hurdles he faces is the language. While he speaks the language fluently (he has a Danish mother and a British father), he feels that it’s difficult for him to hide both the British and Danish accents. He elaborates,

“That’s the biggest issue right now. I’m doing everything I can to change it. I practice all the time and work with a dialect coach on a daily basis. I almost got the accent now because at my last audition they didn’t even realize that I’m a foreigner.”

However, it is new found fame that Hyde admits take some getting used to. He admits:

“It needs some getting used to and one has to forget about Danish Jantelovn. Over here, people would be offended if you wouldn’t show your pride and appreciate the chance you got. To downplay your own results is a Danish thing and one you should avoid here […] At home, it’s not like everybody and anybody is writing to me that I’m ‘suerpcute’ and ‘superhot’ and therefore I’m immensely flattered. But on the flipside, I have no idea what kind of people they are. I’m not looking for praise on the internet but sometimes it’s unavoidable. And my mom’s reading it too. She’s my biggest fan and she’s sending me links whenever she finds something funny about me online.”

Judging from the recent interview with Allan Ball, fans of Allan Hyde can no doubt look forward to his appearances in Season 3 of True Blood. As to further appearances in his subsequent Hollywood career, we wish Allan Hyde all best wishes for his future roles.


Photo credit: HBO Inc.