Stephen Moyer Interviewed by BBC News

October 7, 2009 by  

_46497741_moyer226_apCurrently at his home in London, Stephen Moyer has been doing publicity for True Blood to prepare for the HBO show’s debut on Channel 4 in the UK. In an interview with BBC News, he talked about his character, Bill Compton, and vampire mythology in general.

Getting in character is a total transformation, complete with a deep, Southern accent that harkens back to Bill’s Civil War days, much different from his natural English accent. Stephen says that fans are often surprised when they hear him speak:

“However much press that Hugh Laurie does and however many interviews they see him sounding English, when they meet him in the street, they still can’t believe it and that’s the reaction I get. It’s lovely for me, you know, I have dark hair in the show and I’m pale and I have the dark sideburns so it’s like a whole costume by itself. It’s very enjoyable.”

Stephen has had experience playing a vampire, on the BBC series Ultraviolet, but he enjoys the complexity of his True Blood role. Bill is tortured and struggles with his vampire nature:

Bill, for all his attempts at being a decent–for want of a better word, human–is conflicted and he won’t prey on the innocent. But he’s quite happy to find people who cause pain to Sookie and if he finds them, he will take them down.”

As for Stephen’s favorite portrayals of vampires, he likes both classic and newer ones:

“For me, the original Nosferatu is just so compelling and dark and weird. Our fascination with vampires didn’t really start until after that and they made the vampire attractive. I’m a massive fan of Gary Oldman and I also love Hammer and the new Swedish movie, Let the Right One In, was an extraordinary film.”

Stephen knows the vampire craze will eventually fade from pop culture, but he thinks that True Blood has many other elements that appeal to people, from the pantheon of supernatural creatures to the fascinating human relationships. Not only that, but Alan Ball brings depth to the story, with vampires as a metaphor for social outcasts:

“As soon as you get told that Alan Ball is involved, you have to take it a bit more seriously. It’s not going to be just some camp romp, although there is some of that.”

Stephen says that it is not difficult for him and fiancee/costar, Anna Paquin, to keep work separate from home:

“We both love the show, Anna and I, and if we have a scene coming up, maybe we feel that we’ve seen before, we’ll try and do it in a different way and we’ll talk about work then. We always try and make it fresh, but when we’ve done that–it just becomes about life, not vampires anymore. We met on set, and everyone knows us on set and as a couple, but that’s really where it stops.”

Speaking of life, Stephen is getting ready to celebrate a big moment: his 40th birthday! He’s rented a country house and hired some entertainers (including an Indian Elvis). His friends will be coming and they are going to “make merry.” Happy birthday, Stephen! And happy True Blood debut, England!


(Photo credit: Associated Press)

  • antonio

    I’d like to say that I think SM does an incredible job bringing the character of Bill Compton to life on the small screen!
    I know each of us has our favorites on the show. For Some its Sam…for some it may be Jason for others it may be Sookie or Tara or Lafayette. Of Course there is Team Eric and Team Bill.
    I’d like to tell you why I like Bill better than Eric.
    Eric Northman is cool. In Many ways He is the typical,traditional Vampire…Ruthless,Bloodthirsty,Angry,Relentless Indifferent Selfish. Bill Compton is NOT your typical run-of-the-mill Vampire! BC is deeply troubled as he is wrestling with self loathing He Sees Himself as a Monster and yet Sookie was able to see Love in him. She did NOT see him as a monster…She saw something Beautiful in him. She saw him as Desirable not just for his rugged good looks but for the nice,kind man he was!
    Lorena “turned” Bill because she saw that he was a good,kind passionate man..Someone desired to have in her “life”.
    In the episode “Hard hearted Hannah” Bill and Lorena descend upon a drunk unsuspecting wealthy couple for Jewels and $$.
    At 1 point Bill takes the expensive jewelry off the woman’s neck and gives it to Lorena. He drapes it gently around her neck. She says “Oh Bill, You’re So Sweet..Always Thoughtful!”
    She is reminded of this when she touches that piece still about her neck. Eric just exists for his Own pleasure. Even when he Was alive it seemed All he was interested in was glory of battle and war and personal power. The difference between Eric and Bill? Eric delights in being a Monster..a bloodthirsty power-hungry Vampire. He gets his kicks asserting his dominance.
    He remains indifferent. Bill However despises the vampire way
    It troubles him greatly that he had to take lives and feed of humans! He struggles to hold onto that which made him human.
    He wants Love to feel whole complete!
    He sees in Sookie his chance for happiness To feel Real again
    That is a redeeming quality I think.
    Bill is more like Us our fragile,broken humanity.
    Eric is more like the perfected super vampire…Although last season we Did get to see a Different side of him.
    It seems he did want to help Sookie when she was hurt.
    Of Course, when godric destroyed himself waiting for the sun
    Eric wept for his maker I think this touched Sookie too
    Bill and Sam are the ones I’d want to help me out if I needed it!
    I’ve bloviated enough here! Suffice it to say I’m Team Bill All The Way!! He and Sam are my favorites and Sookie,too!
    Although if they “tamed” Eric perhaps it wouldnt be as good
    Alex does a great job with the character also.

  • Nia

    Hi Lizzy, antonio, Now how did I know I’d find you here????
    Its always good to meet up with you both at these great sites!
    I just love Stephen. He is such a warm, funny, happy, loving…..I can go on but I’ll stop there……guy! I want to add sexy, gorgeous… but its his birthday, I think I need to cut a him break. He needs to celebrate with his family and friends and his love, Anna (lucky girl).
    He better be getting some awards this year!!!!!!!! He so deserves it. He has given us so much, its time we gave back!!

  • antonio

    What a Terrific interview! I enjoyed it immensely! Its funny how Mr.Moyer and I have the same ideas about his character Bill Compton! I like what he had to say about his work and the show.
    I,too have always seen Bill as a troubled Anti-Hero. I think that vibe makes the show,also. I agree with him about the classic vampire films. He seems very grounded,very professional and he has a nice sense of humor,too. When I saw him on Regis and Kelly, I thought he was really funny! I really do wish him all the best! Happy Birthday,Steph!!! God Bless!
    Remember Life Begins at 40! or so they say 🙂 🙂

  • antonio

    I’m glad for Mr.Moyer..He really seems to be enjoying his success! Much Continued Success and Best Wishes!
    I’m glad he will have at least some time off to be with family and friends.

  • Lizzie 1701

    Nice interview. Glad he will be celebrating his 40th with family and friends. Sounds like it will be a fun weekend!