1:17pm PT by Rebecca Ford
'True Blood's' Rob Kazinsky Defends His Character's Growing Romance With Sookie (Q&A)
If there is one subject that True Blood fans are extremely passionate about, it would be the love life of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin).
Sookie, a half human, half fairy, has been romantically involved with both vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard), along with a more fleeting romance with werewolf Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello).
But now in season six, it looks like there's a new man wooing the very in-demand lady of Bon Temps: Ben (Rob Kazinsky).
"I know that I am fighting an uphill battle from the very, very start just by being somebody different," Kazinsky tells The Hollywood Reporter. "However if they give Ben a chance, maybe they will see that he might be the best thing for her."
From what we know so far, Ben is also part fairy, which means he and Sookie can read each other's thoughts. They are both also in danger because vampires just love that fairy blood.
THR spoke to Kazinsky about his character's growing romance with Sookie, what kind of fairy he wants to bring to the screen and how much nudity he'll be involved in.
The Hollywood Reporter: How worried were you about playing a new love interest for Sookie? Because fans are extremely passionate about her love life.
Robert Kazinsky: I know that no matter what I do, I will be rejected by Eric and Bill's camps. I know that I am fighting an uphill battle from the very, very start just by being somebody different. However if they give Ben a chance, maybe they will see that he might be the best thing for her. Over the course of the season, you are going to see that there is a lot more to him than what meets the eye in the first few episodes. He is the first real chance that she has for happiness. He is the same as her: ostracized, lost, a fairy. He offers her a chance to actually be normal for once in her life with somebody who truly understands her. So, I think after a little while if people could kind of get over their hate of the fact that I am usurping their favorite character, they might actually grow to like him.
THR: What was the audition process like?
Kazinsky: It was pretty good. It was just two auditions. I just went in and did a reading with Anna. From the moment I read the character I was like, "I’ve got this. This is so me." I just knew from the minute I read it that I could play this character and that it felt really right to me. But I am determined to masculine up the fairy genre. I am a 200-pound hairy fairy, and I kind of want to be less Elton John and more Justin Timberlake.
THR: What would you say is the biggest threat facing Ben?
Kazinsky: That is almost impossible for me to answer without me giving away an awful lot. Let me just say that trying to be a good guy and trying to be an honest and true person never works out too well with all of the other kind of shady characters that you have around. It is never going to run smooth for anybody.
THR: What was it like joining this cast, many of whom have been working together for six seasons now?
Kazinsky: It’s been wonderful. You meet these people and work with these kind of people and you don’t expect them all to actually be good people, but they are all good people. There usually has got to be one bad egg. I usually do a lot of my stuff with Anna, and her and Stephen could not be more accommodating, more generous, more giving. They are so intolerant of ego, like if you are getting naked, you are damn well getting naked, and they make it really easy for you to do good work. They have been wonderful for me.
THR: How naked are you getting?
Kazinsky: Pretty much every episode, all season, the whole thing. I think the official word was that I am the most naked character that they have ever had.
THR: That's exciting.
Kazinsky: Not really. You think it would be, but I just hope it won't be too disappointing.
True Blood airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.