Photography: Dan Swallow
Fashion: Jessica Punter
Words: Josh Woodfin
Stephen Moyer has a a hunger, an unquenchable, animalistic desire to consume. He needs to feed, to sate his desire. His voracity knows no bounds. And there is only one thing his heart and stomach covet. Scotch eggs.
“In America, Scotch eggs are difficult to find. And I love them. On the set, our prop master went online to find me a Scotch egg, I’d told him about them and he’s absolutely desperate to taste one. I thought my world was complete, and then my sister showed me you could put a Scotch egg in the oven. I saw her eating one from a plate and she’d cut it into eights, and I asked if I could have a piece and she said no. So I reached for a piece and she stabbed the table. That’s the kind of passion Scotch eggs generate.”
And that’s a passion that pales when placed next to the fervour generated by True Blood, the darkly funny HBO series from Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball. The 39-year-old, Brentwood-born Moyer plays Bill Compton, or ‘Vampire Bill’ to his legions of fans, a 200-odd year old succubus who’s moved back to the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, in a world where vampires live alongside humans and survive, mostly, on a synthetic blood which lends its name to the title.
Moyer’s vampire is a surly, constantly scowling vamp who was turned during the American civil war, leaving him with some old-fashioned manners and not inconsiderable power. In the show he falls for waitress Sookie Stackhouse, played by Anna Paquin, making both sides get uppity with their midnight dalliances.
Moyer numbers himself alongside a growing number of British actors who’re quashing the Yanks under their thespian heels. But with great power, comes a crypt full of crazies. “You know ‘Comic-Con’? Well there’s ‘Vampire-Con’ coming up. People actually live it: say that they’re vampires and don’t come out during the day. It can be pretty hardcore. There’re some websites, there’s Bill’s Babes, Bill’s Belles, there’s Moyer’s Maidens, the Moyerettes. It’s quite intense.”
Clearly. But being one of the biggest TV stars in America surely has it’s benefits, especially after paying your dues as Sunday evening cannon fodder on Peak Practice and gritty monk-based detective show, Cadfael.
“The show first aired last year and it was getting a lot of attention, but I was in England and I didn’t know. I went to New York with some mates to see the Calzaghe fight at Madison Square Garden and as we were walking in people were going, ‘It’s Vampire Bill!’ just kind of whispering things. We got into the HBO VIP section and Bernard Hopkins, the ex-middleweight champ turned around and went, ‘It’s Vampire Bill!’ and he came over and asked to have his picture taken with me.
Now that is mental. Then we sat down in the stadium and we were five rows away, and we were in front of Danny DeVito and Michael Douglas. And they were leaning over Ricky Gervais going, ‘Mr Moyer do you want a coffee?’ it’s surreal. That’s when you’re going, ‘I think I might have arrived!’”
True Blood starts on Channel 4 on Oct 5. The DVD and Blu-ray of the first season is out Oct 26
Photography Assistants: Jon Dickson, Jonathan Leigh and Jeremy Rice
Fashion Assistant: Ciara McCullough
Retouching: Darkroom Digital
Grooming: Luca at Terrie Tanaka for Good Old Days