Fans Gather for Alexander Skarsgard’s Birthday Celebration

August 24, 2009

For the past two months, Sundays at 9 p.m. ET has been an hour of celebration. The airing of a new episode of HBO’s award-wining series “True Blood,” for many fans, has become a time of agonizing anticipation each week. This week, “True Blood” fans have another reason to celebrate — the 33rd birthday of one of the series most beloved cast members.  Alexander Skarsgard who, to the delight of many fans, plays 1,000 year old  viking vampire, Eric Northman.

Alexander, a star for many years in his native Sweden, showed us his zany side in the 2001 comedy Zoolander. Recently he stared in the critically acclaimed HBO “Generation Kill” and is currently filming the remake of the 1971 classic ‘Straw Dogs.” Skarsgard has many projects on the horizon, all of which bring more and more fans to this charismatic actor.

A group of “True Blood” and Alexander Skarsgard fans have found a unique way to celebrate their idol.

Tuesday Aug. 25, 9 p.m. ET. Fans are invited to a Virtual Birthday Party.

Fans organizing the party tell us there is no fee to attend. There will be no commercials or spam associated with the event. The party is fully funded by a small group of dedicated fans. “It is just a way for us to join in the celebration of Alex’s birthday. It makes us feel closer to him,” says L. Clisto. During the event, fans will share pictures and video clips of Alex’s career along with some fan-generated videos. Party guests are encouraged to send in and share all Skarsgard related information. “We couldn’t find many celebrations for Alex’s birthday, so we decided to have our own,” organizers say.alexander_skarsgard_true_blood_tails_for_whales3

What is a “Virtual Party?” Organizers say they more or less made up the term. It is away for mutual fans to come together and sing “Happy Birthday.” The group will be connecting through a webinar where computer screens and audio will be connected.

To participate, you will need a computer with an Internet connection and a microphone. If a guest does not have a microphone, they will be able to connect their audio via telephone service.  There will be trivia contests, prizes and lots of fun. Fans have begun to send in their ideas, virtual gifts (money is no object and the sky is the limit) and birthday wishes. Guests should be prepared to sing “Happy Birthday” in English and Skarsgard’s native Swedish.

If guests are so inclined, they may offer more than a virtual gift. Alexander supports Amnesty International, which is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally-recognized human rights for all. He is also an advocate for Tails for Whalesalex-deb, an international campaign to protect whales.  Although the party organizers are not asking for a fee of any kind, they will provide guests with brief information on these charities. Guests will also be offered the  voluntary opportunity to contribute to the “Alexander Skarsgard Birthday Charity Fund

The proceeds collected will be donated to the Choroideremia Research Foundation.   The birthday charity has been arranged with the editors of   www.alexskarsgard.net.

Choroideremia Research Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to find treatment and cure for Choroideremia, a rare inherited degenerative disease that causes blindness. This is a condition brought to our attention by “True Blood” cast member Deborah Ann Woll, who plays newly turned vampire, Jessica.

The party is scheduled on Skarsgard’s birthday Aug. 25. It will start at 9 p.m. ET time and run for an hour. There will be games, discussions, virtual toasting and loads of fun.  Any fan wishing to join in on the celebration and raise a glass in honor for one of their favorite actors can receive party information by sending an

RSVP e-mail to  Tru _ Blood _ Fan @ Yahoo.com

Wherever Alex is on his birthday, there will be many toasting his name. Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah!   Remember, to bring your party hats, toasting glass and favorite clip of Alex.

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Sam Trammell Talks About The Frenzy On True Blood

August 22, 2009

As HBO’s True Blood closes its second season, we find the town of Bon Temps in total chaos. True fans of Alan Ball’s award-winning series make one important distinction between the “Sookie Stackhouse, Southern sam-merlotteVampire Mysteries” by Charlaine Harris and the television series: although Sookie, played by Anna Paquin, is the main character, True Blood is not written from her perspective. This is very obvious right now as Sookie has been absent from Bon Temps for much of the second season.

While Sookie’s been away, a viscous Maenad has taken up residence — not only in her town, but in her home. The one constant voice of reason in town has been shape shifter and bar keep Sam Merlotte, played by Sam Trammell.  A creative, new storyline for the series brings the conniving creature, Maryann Forrester, played by Michelle Forbes, from Sam‘s murky past to the forefront of lusty pleasures. Sam may feel responsible for bringing the Manead to town but he is still the voice of reason.

“I’m kind of trying to rein in everybody,” admits Trammell in an interview with Toronto Sun Columnist, Bill Harris. “I’m the bedrock of town. At the beginning, Sookie is ready to just run off with this vampire and I’m warning her not to do that. I’m warning Tara not to go off with Maryann,” says Trammell.

Just as no one expected the trouble with Maryann to escalate to a full fledged war, Tramell didn’t expect True Blood or his character Sam would receive such a  phenomenal reception by millions of fans.

“When I saw the words ‘created by Alan Ball‘s and ‘HBO‘, I was interested before I even read the pilot, and of course you hope things take off,” Trammell said. “I was hoping we might be half as popular as Six Feet Under (Ball‘s previous series). But right now it’s at a frenzy.”

Sam spends most of his time as a human, but very often finds that life as a collie can make being the town watch dog  simpler. Perhaps for the storyline, it’s best that Sam’s warnings aren’t being acknowledged, as it is giving an opportunity for more diverse shape-shifting.

Trammell said he wasn’t a die hard devotee of the vampire genre prior to True Blood, but he now finds himself drawn to all the old horror movies many of us watched as kids that he missed.

“I love the idea of running away from something that’s trying to kill me.”

Looking at coming attractions for the final three episodes of the season, a lot of running (or flying) seems to be what is in store for .

SOURCE: Toronto Sun

(Photo credit:  HBO Inc.)

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Name Charlaine Harris Character To Benefit The American Heart Association

August 18, 2009

Names like Sookie, Lafayette and Tara are not exactly Mary, John and Sally, but they have become household names with millions of fans of renowned fiction author, Charlaine Harris. Where do character names come from? Some names like Sookie Stackhouse may seem overly complex for an outwardly simple barmaid. Some characters like Bill Compton carry names that seem far too simple for a complicated, remorseful vampire. However, just as Sookie has many complicated facets, many of the characters names and personalities of the Sookie Stackhouse, Southern Vampire Mysteries span the realm of exciting and complicated to simple and mundane.charlaine-harris1

How character names are chosen is as individual as the writer and character. Was “Tara” ultimately taken from a fictional plantation in a classic novel? Perhaps a reference to a Saviour Goddess from Buddhism? In the end,  it was just a lyrical sounding name. Some writers are open about their naming choices, while some keep the information personal. Whatever the origin for Ms. Harris’ character’s name, Tara is one of many on the lips of millions of fans. With the adaptation of  Ms. Harris’ novels into Alan Ball’s award- winning HBO original series “True Blood,” the simple, unusual, significant or whimsical characters in Charlaine Harris’ novels will achieve immortality like so many of her supernatural beings.

One lucky fan will have the opportunity to share in the quest for immortality. Sept. 1 opens the bidding for a charity auction. The lucky winner of this charity fund raising auction will be allowed to “Name a Character” in a novella to be included in the companion book to her hugely successful Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse) series.

The 10-day auction will be held on the Ebay auction site by member AMHEART-SEA.  For the second year running, this very special fund raising auction has been generously donated directly by the renowned fiction author.

All proceeds from this auction go directly to the Greater Southeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association.

The character’s chosen name must be mutually agreed upon by the winner and Ms. Harris and the auction winner will release all rights to the created/chosen name’s use within the specified novel.  Additionally, if the character is named after an actual individual, the said namesake must agree to the use of their name.  There is no direct or implied financial benefit for the winner or any namesake.  At this time, the date of release for the next book, a novella, in this series is scheduled for first half of 2010. This is an incredible opportunity to be a part of literary history.

Bidding will begin on Sept. 1 and end on Sept. 10. Further details can be found at:

http://cgi3.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=amerheart-sea

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True Blood: A Personal View Of The Book vs. TV Show

August 18, 2009

bill-and-sookie-love-togetherSeveral years ago, a blessed event took place which would forever change the life of Charlaine Harris: the conception of Sookie Stackhouse and the residents of Bon Temps, LA. Harris gave birth to a dozen happy healthy babies, which she nurtured as they grew. As a family, she guided them wisely. Harris had a vision of greatness for her children, each as different in mind and spirit as they were in looks. As with any good mother, she wanted her children to prosper beyond the confines of her home. Her love, vision and aspiration for them was so great that she made the ultimate sacrifice: after long and hard consideration, she chose an open adoption for her offspring.

Father figure Alan Ball also saw great potential in Harris’ children. Their adoptive father, he promised to love and honor the spirit their mother had instilled in them, while carrying each far beyond Harris’ loving arms. Yes, names and lives were changed, but only to bring this happy and healthy dozen through a new chapter in their lives. Ball, recognizing that each was different, knew they must ultimately take different paths to greatness. Ball was determined to allow each to spread their wings and fly. Some would fly to other nests, some would stay close to home, but all would be free to choose.

Many of their extended birth family do not agree with the new directions Ball has provided for his charges. They feel the dozen should be kept as a unit, unchanged, enrolled in their old alma mater, keeping to their family values and customs. However, with Harris’ blessing, Ball has sent each of them off to their own schools, hoping that each will find their perfect path of destiny.

Being an open adoption, Charlaine Harris visits her babies regularly. Ball consults with her on their life choices. Both are proud of the lives their children are building. They are confident that each of this happy dozen will find their own future, prosper and bring happiness to not only their extended birth family, but to millions more who gladly watch them grow and evolve.

(Photo credit:  HBO Inc.)

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Can True Blood’s Vampires Love?

August 17, 2009

HBO Producer Alan Ball has taken the ageless question of love flourishing between different ethnicities or cultures to a wider stance as he closes the second season on his award winning series “True Blood.” Each week millions of fans explore love and humanity trying to flourish between species or, to be more exact, between humans and the un-dead. After her first close encounter with a vampire, Tara Thonton, played by Rutina Wesley, looks thoughtfully out a window and asks,“ Do you think they are capable of loving a person?” bill1

Alan Ball has challenged fans with what may be the central core of the show, an important dilemma in the search for our souls. How much morality and humanity is needed for love to flourish?  Must some seed of morality and humanity be planted or can one will themself to evolve into new dimensions? The AVL (American Vampire League) advertises, “Vampires were people too.” A handsome and remorseful Bill Compton insists, “I am not human” yet professes his undying love for Sookie Stackhouse. Conflicting messages given throughout HBO’s “True Blood” leave me wondering, “Are vampires susceptible to and capable of human emotions? Can their morality evolve toward the humane? Or, like their physical appearance are they doomed to the limits of their emotions as they were when turned?

True Blood’s three sexiest and intriguing male vampires, Bill Compton, Eric Northman, and Area 9 Sheriff, Godric (Godfrey), give us mixed views.

Bill Compton, dark and brooding, played by Stephen Moyer was turned a hundred and forty years ago. He is merely a teenager in the immortal life span of a vampire. In Bill’s thirty human years, he was an honorable family man. His high moral character, religious beliefs, and patriotic duty led him to a military position. Having survived the horrors of the civil war, his family reunion is tragically destroyed by Lorena, an old vampire who is immediately drawn to Bill’s morality and sensitivity. Lorena, although intrigued by Bill’s humanity, leads him into decades of death and destruction by feeding off the lives of humans. It may have taken years for Bill’s remorse to will out his blood thirst, but ultimately, his suppressed morality wins and he becomes the repentant and loving creature that has captured not only the heart of True Blood’s favorite waitress and telepath, but millions of fans throughout the world.

Our sexy controlling vamp, Eric Northman is played by the long, lean 6’4” Swedish import, Alexander Skarsgard. Eric, a former viking, was born in 1047. Most Vikings of that era did not live past 40 years old, thus it was common for men before they were  20 years old to marry brides as young as 12.  If we are to apply the common life of Vikings in the 11th century, we can assume Eric chose the life of a soldier and left his family at a young age. Given that vikings were well known as sailors, he would have traveled to many parts of the world. Our speculation is strengthened by the scene of Eric being turned in 1077 at the age of 31. Fresh from a viscous battle, fellow soldiers try to comfort a gravely wounded Eric, who makes the comment “wherever I am, there will always be women.” Now, we have the vision of a sailor with a girl in every port. Our conclusion is drawn that Eric was what we would refer to in today’s world as a “player” Not to suggest that he was of low moral character, but more to the idea that, although Eric had many women and sexual encounters, there was never love.  With a thousand year afterlife under his belt, Eric dresses, talks, and has the strut that he is undeniably a “player” with no outward display of regret.

Danish heartthrob, Allan Hyde plays Godric, sheriff of Area 9, and the newest vampire on the scene.  Having been turned early in his human life, he still has the look of a teenager. Godric, however, is well over two thousand years old. He is the oldest vampire in North America. With an afterlife so lengthy, he implies that the thirty three years of Jesus’ life is a mere moment to him. True Blood’s creator has left much of Godric’s past open to speculation. We can infer by his Ancient Roman tattoos, he may have been a gladiator or soldier. Both of which would have started training as early as 14 years old. Strong in his conviction, absolute in his authority, Godric fans have little problem with this conclusion.

Our first image of Godric is at the turning of Eric Northman. Unlike Lorena’s savage and unwilling turning of BillEric’s turning is kinder, with a promise of love, companionship, and family. After brutally killing Eric’s companions, Godric gives a near death Eric, the choice of an afterlife.  Godric must surely have fulfilled his promises, seeing the respect and loyalty Eric, after a thousand years, still shows for his maker. We know of only one instance, but being vampire and having survived over two thousand years, we can only assume Godric has had many moments of savagery and taken his share of lives.

We find Godric as a willing hostage to the Fellowship of the Sun Church. He is fully aware that he is to “meet the sun” and his ultimate destruction. Why is he so willing to end it all? Is it that he has evolved into humanity, or was the morality always inside him, thus gradually making him remorseful for the lives he has taken? At what point did the remorse begin? How many, decades as with Bill, or centuries did it take for Godric’s evolution to humanity? Having freed the human traitor, Hugo, and showing respect for his lieutenant, Isabel‘s feelings, we clearly see that he not only recognizes, but also understands the concept of love. Actions, which have endeared Godric to his own legions of faithful fans.

Now battle lines have been drawn,  Sookie & Bill vs. Eric. Millions have seen the interest Eric has shown in the telepathic barmaid. Is it just her special abilities Eric wants? Many would argue that there is something there. Bill sees it, and even Eric may admit, there is something…. But what? Eric admits he does not understand the concept of love.  As a player, does Eric see Sookie as just another of his many conquests? Conquering Sookie would certainly put the hierarchy of sheriff planted firmly in Bill’s mind. Is Eric’s toying with Sookie a game, pure entertainment, or is it rooted in an unknown emotion? Eric takes pleasure in teasing Bill‘s “love” for Sookie. Is Eric’s taunting simply to hide the fact that Eric himself has been bitten. A feeling with which he clearly, is not accustomed.

What is behind Eric’s desire for Sookie? Many fans would cheer for Eric to realize he love’s Sookie. But, is it possible? Can a thousand year old vampire who has never understood love, evolve to enough humanity and morality to accept the concept?  Does Eric secretly thirst for the ability to love?  Can he will the evolution of his feelings? Must the seeds have been planted before he was turned? If the latter is the case, Eric’s dalliances with Sookie will be looked upon as pure physical lust and sport, thus, crystallizing his bad boy persona.

Many of Eric’s fans will vote for the evolution of his humanity.  This evolution will, however, bring a new set of problems. Will he know how to act and react with his new found feelings? His 31 human years and thousand year after-life may not provide him with enough emotional experience to carry an adult relationship. Has Eric‘s recent flirtation the resemblance of pulling a little girl’s pigtails so she has to look at you? Is it too late for Eric? He may find that his new feelings will bring him more anguish than happiness.

Do we have enough facts to solve our dilemma? Bill knew love, knew what it was to lose his humanity. He fought very hard to get it back and find love again.  Eric, we can determine, although he may have had some sense of morality, true love most probably had always been a foreign concept to him. We only have hints of Godric’s level of morality before he was turned. We can, however, see that he now has a clear understanding of morality, humanity, and love.

Unfortunately, we have no concrete answers. After all, humanity, morality, and love are the most complex of human issues. Maybe that’s why Vampires prefer the unemotional lifestyle. We will have to wait and see what Alan Ball has in store for Eric and his Fans.

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