'True Blood's' Joe Manganiello on Why Alcide Is Sookie's Match

"[He's] somebody that can take her to brunch," the actor jokes with THR.
John P. Johnson/HBO
Joe Manganiello on HBO's "True Blood."

Alcide’s return to the fourth season of True Blood in Episode 3 presented a couple surprises into the season’s already complicated brew. First, there’s obviously still something stirring between him and Sookie (Anna Paquin). That chemistry is of course complicated by her relationships to Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), but now there’s a new challenge.

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His unstable werewolf girlfriend, Debbie (Brit Morgan), is back and she has made quite a physical change from the V-addicted woman who jealously kicked down a door and attacked Sookie last season to someone who offers her finger foods and wears sweater sets.

“The joke was that she was a character from Big Love,” Joe Manganiello, who plays the werewolf Alcide, tells The Hollywood Reporter.

“Alcide gives her another shot,” he continues. “And so there's a part of you that wants Debbie to make it, and you want to give somebody a second chance and hope they can redeem themselves. But there is a part of you that kind of looks out of the corner of your eye like, ‘Can this leopard change its spots?’ ”

Even without Debbie’s return, Alcide’s introduction into the series last season as yet another character vying for Sookie’s love will continue to complicate their lives.

“Alcide is kind of [Sookie’s] fantasy of being able to get away from it all,” executive producer Alexander Woo tells us. “They have conversations which continue into this season about someday they could just ditch all this and get away from everything. So, he certainly represents a kind of fantasy to her, because she’s so inextricably intertwined. And she knows -- and Alcide I think also knows -- that she can never really leave this world.”

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So, does that mean that in a perfect world Sookie and Alcide should end up together? Manganiello thinks that his character, even with his supernatural qualities, definitely offers her a less complicated existence.

“Well, you know it's interesting that Charlaine Harris [author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, which True Blood is based on] said in an interview, supernatural creatures included, who would she rather marry [Sookie] out of all the creatures or even humans, and she actually said a werewolf. I thought that was funny,” Manganiello laughs.

“Yeah I think Sookie's situation is very difficult,” he adds. “Obviously her heart belonged to Bill and got broken, and then there’s Eric, someone she would have never given a chance to be with her because of his duplicitous nature. But, obviously, this season you can see that Eric has softened quite a bit and is a different person. So, I think you get a character like Alcide, who has great morals, great values, and also can take her out during the daytime and I think that's interesting -- somebody that can take her to brunch.”

So with all that romantic potential, where does Alcide and Sookie’s relationship stand now as they’ve just been reunited again and his ex-girlfriend is back in his life?

“You're going to see Alcide actively trying to protect Sookie again,” Manganiello says. “Not because of any debt that Alcide's father owes Eric, but simply because at this point Alcide cares and therefore his heart is getting pulled in two directions.”

Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro


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