The True Blood stud explains the thought processes behind his thoughtless alter-ego

By Reagan Alexander
September 10, 2009 11:30 AM
Jeff Frank/ZUMA

The resident lothario of HBO’s True Blood, Jason Stackhouse, isn’t what you’d call a deep thinker, but the actor who plays him, Australian Ryan Kwanten, says assuming the role of such a glorious dimwit calls for some interesting acting techniques.

“I pride myself on my half-sentences, that’s how I get by,” he told PEOPLE with a laugh at Tuesday’s grand opening of the Katsuya L.A. Live Restaurant at the Nokia Theater Complex, to benefit After-School All-Stars. “It’s always, dot-dot-dot after everything that I say, it just makes things easier. I’ve always loved the notion that stupidity won’t kill you, it will just make you sweat. So, I think that Jason lives in this perpetual state of sweating.”

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But Kwanten, 32, stays mum on rumors that his take on Jason Stackhouse is based on our former president.

“There are a few models for Jason, and I like to keep them to myself,” he said. “I think everyone that watches the show knows someone that is a facet of Jason’s personality. If people want to read George Bush into him, I think that’s fine.”

Sweating, of course, is something vampires don’t do, and Kwanten said he doesn’t expect his character to join the ranks of the undead, like costar Stephen Moyer, who plays vampire Bill Compton.

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“I’d rather him not ever be a vampire. I think he’s loving life far to much at the moment for that,” he said. “I don’t think life, for him, could be much better.

Kwanten, who has three films coming out, added that he’s getting four hours of sleep a night, leaving him little time for a personal life. “Work is my priority at this point, and I’m fortunate enough to have a stable of friends that put up with my ridiculous schedule, and still love me, so that’s what they’re there for,” he said.