'True Blood' Introduces Claude!
This Sunday, True Blood will introduce Claude -- a character book fans have been longing to see on the show since he's described as a mega-hot, often-shirtless, hyper-sexual fairy. But actor Giles Matthey is more excited to see how audiences react to the drastically different incarnation of Claude that Alan Ball's TV series introduces. But let me tell you, if Claude possesses one-half of Giles' charm, fans will develop V-like addictions to the character.
I caught up with the British actor in anticipation of his Bon Temps debut to find out how he got the role, why it's good to take some liberties with Charlaine Harris' books and why even Giles is shocked his audition resulted in a booked gig.
TheInsider.com: True Blood is known for its extreme secrecy, so what is the audition process like for this show?
Giles Matthey: I had no idea who I was auditioning for. They keep everything under lock and key. And the audition was very last minute, I was about to get on a plane when my agent sent me to the audition, so I was wearing, probably, 17 layers of T-shirts and T-shirts and turtlenecks and sweaters with these massive snow boots because I couldn't fit anything else into my bags. I was sweating profusely, so I'm sure they thought I was in drug withdrawal or something. I can't imagine what they thought I was "going for" with that. But I did my thing and they must have liked what I did because I got the role and went into wardrobe the very next day. It was an interesting process to say the least.
Insider.com: And after being cast? Any more illumination?
Giles: They keep you in the dark even after you're hired too [laughs] – but I get it, if anything came out, it would ruin the show for fans. It's like those people who drove by lines of people waiting to buy Harry Potter and scream, "Dumbledore Dies!!!!!" It's horrible. They're secretive for a good reason.
Insider.com: Given all the secrecy, what's it been like learning how to give interviews about the show?
Giles: It's not like anything I've ever done before. You have to learn to do it, so I watched interviews with Alan [Ball, showrunner] on YouTube to see how he does it. See how he dodges probing questions. I also watched videos of George W. Bush to see how he's not so good at answering questions to do the opposite. It is like being a politician. It's about answering the question without answering the question because I don't want to get fired [laughs].
Insider.com: Fans have been curious about your casting because you look very different from how Claude is described in the books. Are you aware of your literary incarnation?
Giles: I am aware of the character in the books. I know that he's described very different to my physical sense. I'm quite a scrawny, skinny guy and Claude is meant to be some outrageous male stripper. Basically the same build as Joe [Manganiello, who plays Alcide] – they've done for quite a different look and I am aware some fans feel it's too different. But that's True Blood; they've always been different. Lafayette shouldn't be there and I think Claudine is still alive in the books. There are so many differences, but this is the writer's interpretation. Personally, I think it's more exciting to have some a different outlook because otherwise you'd know exactly what to expect and that's boring.
Insider.com: Has his profession changed?
Giles: You'll have to wait and see! But fairies are very sexual creatures – they smell of freshly baked bread, sex and candy, so if that is a hint at all. This season goes deeper into the fairy world, which is quite different from the books, but I think the fans will find that very exciting.
Insider.com: What are you excited for fans to see with Claude?
Giles: I'm excited for the fans reception of fairies. Obviously I have a vested interest, but I'll be curious to see how they receive them. Without giving too much away, they're very different on the show than they were in the books. We've had hints about it before, but now that we know Sookie's a fairy and vampires are addicted to our blood, we delve into what it means to be a fairy. It's leading up to a giant climax, which is so fantastic.
True Blood airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.