Fans have been dying for Eric and Sookie to hook up - what kinds of reactions have you been hearing now that it's finally happened?
I know that people have been talking about it - but I try to stay away from the blogs and fan sites. I'm a little scared ... I do meet fans in person, though, and the feedback has been great this year. It seems that people are enjoying Eric's arc, which is great because I had a blast shooting it. I love playing "Amnesia Eric." It's just such a different side of him, and it's always fun as actor to dig deeper. You learn a lot, and I definitely have this year.
Is it difficult to play a person-within-a-person?
I wanted to make sure that it was a side of Eric - not a new character. The side of him that was hidden. He's very innocent and naïve now, but I also thought it was very important not to lose the old Eric - the predator - and the element of danger there. You've got to feel that to make it interesting, I think, and it's something I focused on. You definitely see how he can get very violent, especially in those moments where he's protective of Sookie.
In this week's episode, "Cold Grey Light of Dawn," there's a drawn-out, multi-location love scene between Sookie and Eric. Was that the most involved one you've shot so far?
It's up there. I've done some stuff in other movies as well that's pretty graphic ... But these were definitely some pretty intense scenes. We were kind of all over the place. But my favorite scene is yet to come ...
Alcide gets a deflating dose of Sookie and Eric's intimacy in this episode. Do you think the werewolf has any chance at a future with Sookie?
No. I don't think she's interested in dogs.
This season, it seems that fans are even more attracted to innocent, sweet Eric than they are to dark, mysterious Eric. Any idea why that is?
I think it's a point of contrast - that they're seeing something open and vulnerable, someone who's willing to connect on a deeper level. Old Eric was very guarded and wouldn't let himself do that, so I think his sensitivity has been interesting. He lets people in for the first time in a very long time, and that's definitely something new. I'm just really grateful that people respond to him and his relationship with Sookie. It's great to play this other side of him that's been hidden for almost a thousand years.