As if starring on HBO’s latest breakout hit True Blood weren t enough to invoke jealousy, Carrie Preston, who plays Merlotte’s waitress Arlene Fowler, also spends her workdays surrounded by some of Hollywood’s hottest men – including Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Alexander Skarsgard and new cast member Joe Manganiello.
Posed with the question: Who’s the hottest of them all, Preston tells PEOPLE it’s a tough choice. “They are all gorgeous,” she says. “We have some beautiful men of all different body types. All of them are attractive in different ways. We ve got tall. We ve got ripped. We ve got more delicate.”
Of Manganiello, who plays werewolf Alcide, Preston laughs and says, “Yeah, his body is pretty amazing.”
Resident Bon Temps ladies’ man Jason Stackhouse (Kwanten) also turns up the heat on set. “We all kind of marvel at Ryan s body,” Preston says, “because nobody is quite sure how he gets that body.”
Kwanten “doesn t seem to be obsessed” with fitness says Preston, but the actor – who hails from Australia – keeps active by running, hiking, surfing and playing racket ball, according to his costar.
Still, there is pressure for the guys to look their best. “Lately in Hollywood the bar is set so high for men,” says Preston. “At lunch I ll hear the guys talking about how they re staying away from carbs and what exercise they are doing and who their trainer is.”
As for the show, Preston has a meaty storyline to focus on during season 3 – plus she doesn’t have to worry about her character’s figure.
“The whole season is very much about my character grappling with being pregnant. It s unexpected and Arlene is having to figure out what she has to do,” says Preston. “We re finally getting to see a more intimate side to my character. It s a season about identity, about soul-searching, about internal conflict.”
Asked if her real life husband – Lost star Michael Emerson – will ever make a guest appearance on True Blood, Preston is hopeful. “I know he s a fan of the show and they are fans of his,” she says. “I think it would be great.” –Marla Lehner