July 03, 2011 8:36am PT by Jethro Nededog
'True Blood's' Ryan Kwanten on Jason's Tight Friendships, Tight Situations, and His Tight Uniform
In the year in which Sookie (Anna Paquin) was away in fairyland, Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) has made some big changes in the newest season of True Blood. He has become a cop, began taking care of Crystal’s (Lindsay Pulsipher) werepanther relatives, and he has done a fair amount of growing up.
“This is the season of the biggest growth for Jason,” Kwanten tells The Hollywood Reporter. “He started, in my view, very low on the evolutionary totem pole, so he could only go up. This is a real season of where the young boy turns into a man. He’s been given a position of power and he’s now a cop. He’s forced to try and raise a whole tribe of people, and then eventually fight for his life.”
The Season 4 opener found Jason as a sort of drug counselor to new sheriff, Andy (Chris Bauer), who’s fighting a very strong addiction to "V" aka vampire’s blood.
“The little dynamic duo,” Kwanten calls the pair. “It’s almost like they’re struck by lightning and Jason takes on Andy’s authority and Andy very much starts acquiring a lot of Jason’s naivety and addictiveness.”
“It’s scary that Jason is helping anyone,” he adds. “The fact that he is sort of experienced in addiction, he knows the highs and lows, so he can talk Andy through it."
As a deputy now, Jason finds himself in a whole new position of authority in Bon Temps that comes with wearing the uniform. Oh, and that uniform. It wouldn’t be True Blood if the men’s best physical assets weren’t highlighted, right?
“It’s even tighter off-screen,” he says. “There was a good amount of laughing when I tried it on and then some squeamish looks as if to say, ‘Hang on a sec, what if you need to run in this thing?’”
“Running in it is relatively painful,” he continues. “So if you ever see Jason running in it, you can see a slight tinge of pain in my eyes.”
In fact, the show seems to be exploring a twisted connection between pain and Jason’s “do-gooder” transformation. That seems to be all that his new attitude is getting him in the beginning of this season. For example, when we last saw him doing a food drop at the werepanther settlement, Hotshot, it ends with an ambush and Jason trapped in a freezer.
“This season really forces him to confront [the werepanthers] full-on, because he’s now dating one,” he tells us. “When [Crystal] turns out to be not what he expects, there’s some very interesting repercussions.”
We’ll soon discover that Crystal and her kin have very specific plans for Jason. So, have we seen the end of his tight deputy uniform-wearing days?
“He needs the skills that he used to become a cop to try and get out of that icebox and get out of that hellhole he’s found himself in,” Kwanten explains. “I’m going to say no, but the harder answer is how he actually does it.”
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro
Additional reporting by Lesley Goldberg.