When we first met the vampires of the Authority this season, they were — not surprisingly — quite creepy. Having a young boy as an ancient and powerful vampire only made the group more terrifying. We learned a few details about this childlike vampire from Jacob Hopkins, the actor who plays him on True Blood.
Hopkins had plenty to say about his new vampire character, Authority chancellor Alexander Drew.
What can you say about the character of Alexander Drew?
Jacob Hopkins: Well, Alexander Drew is… basically a troublemaker. He’s at the age of 9. He’s a really feisty and strong-minded vampire. Very wise, and he’s a bit important — he’s on the Authority. At least he thinks he is. He’s pretty much full of himself.
He’s like an old man stuck in a kid’s body. I mean, I may look young, but looks can be deceiving! I’ve been around for a long time. I mean, I’m a chancellor of the Authority, so obviously I wasn’t made yesterday. So let’s just say he makes himself heard a lot and he strongly has his own opinions. He looks like a kid, but like I said, an old man in a kid’s body.
Do you have any idea of how old the character is supposed to be?
Jacob Hopkins: I get asked that a lot. I know that Alexander must be pretty high up. I mean, he’s a chancellor on the Authority, so he’s very important and wise. I wasn’t really given the background of how old he is, but he’s… Let’s just say he’s pretty old.
When you were on the set of True Blood, what was it like working with the other actors?
Jacob Hopkins: Everyone on the set — even the actors were so nice. And they were really funny, and we all joked around between takes. And I got to work with Alexander Skarsgard, Stephen Moyer, Chris Meloni, Peter Mensah, Carolyn Hennesy, Christopher Heyerdahl. I mean, these guys are really nice and they always encouraged me. I got complimented, and I felt really part of the team. So I had a wonderful time on set — I had a really good time!
Do you have any stories from when you were there? Did anything really interesting or crazy happen?
Jacob Hopkins: You know Alexander Skarsgard, right? So we were both in the makeup department. And my character was named Alexander and he was Alex — his real name. One of the makeup people called, “Alex?” And we’re both like “Yeah?” He looked down at me and he’s like, “Oh, you! The other Alex!” And of course we laughed, and he grins down and me and says, “Seriously dude, you rocked it on set yesterday.” He’s such a cool guy. He’s really nice.
What was the best part about being on True Blood?
Jacob Hopkins: I guess it would have to be two things. One, being on the harness — it was my first experience of being on the harness. And two, it would have to be the fangs. It’s like, I’ve never had real fangs! It’s way better than those plastic vampire fangs you buy at Target, Party City or something. Yeah, ’cause they look really real. I mean, I had to get them molded on my teeth. And they had to match the color on the fang teeth with my teeth color. Mine are yellowish-whitish, so they had to do that.
So I put them in and I was like, “Wow, do I feel like a vampire!” I mean, I had the wardrobe, the red eyeliner, blood on my fingernails. And I had the makeup to make me look pale… And I was thinking, something’s missing. And that was it, my fangs!
Since you played a character that was really old and wise, what did you do to get yourself ready for the part?
Jacob Hopkins: My dad is my acting coach and he obviously helped me, because, you know, I needed help. So he helped me with that. But also there’s some stuff I’ve seen on TV or I’ve been around with a lot of people that are grown-ups. And I really know how to act like a grown-up because I’ve been around a lot of them.
Also, ’cause he’s supposed to be creepy, I have this really interesting monster book that explores a lot of monsters like — I like these characters Gollum or Jekyll and Hyde. I mean, these guys with dual personalities really fascinate me. That’s actually how Alexander is — he sort of has this dual personality. He’s really sly or angry. He sort of has that thing.
Since he’s creepy, like I said, there’s some characters from Harry Potter. You know, some of them were dark and mysterious and stuff like that. And that’s pretty much how Alexander is. So I had a lot of stuff to help me, obviously.
Since there are so many different kinds of strange beings on True Blood — vampires, werewolves, witches, fairies and others — what’s your favorite kind of supernatural creature?
Jacob Hopkins: I couldn’t really decide on which one. I have, I think, like two. One is a vampire, and the other one is… It’s like a werewolf. I can’t really decide which one is my favorite. I mean, a lot of vampires and werewolves can shape-shift, so that’s pretty hard. And they can shape-shift into a lot of things! They also both have super-speed. They also have sharp teeth, both of them, so it’s pretty hard to decide. It’s pretty hard to decide which one I like, because they both have a lot of similarities. It’s just that they both have fangs, super-speed, shape-shifting, super-strength… I mean, a vampire looks like a human, only evil. A werewolf is like a dog-man or something. So they both are pretty cool. I have to decide, but you know, it’s really hard.
Have you ever seen any parts of **True Blood other than your own scenes?
Jacob Hopkins: No… The show is aimed for a much older audience, so I can’t really watch all parts. So I’ve just watched my parts.
So what do you like to watch on TV?
Jacob Hopkins: I like to watch comedy shows, and I like to watch sometimes really serious shows… Let’s stick with the movies. You know, serious movies. Sort of funny, sort of serious is Avengers. I like Lord of the Rings, Sponge Bob, Harry Potter, Shake It Up, Good Luck Charlie. I just like to watch serious-slash-funny shows or just funny shows.
Since you’ve been in several TV shows and movies, what has been your favorite part?
Jacob Hopkins: Hmmm… Well, I guess it’ll have to be, one, True Blood, ’cause I have a million reasons why. I mean, like the special effects and wearing my harness and the fangs. So all that stuff. And, two, the other thing I like to work on was this web series I worked on called Supermoms. It’s about these four women that have super powers and they’re moms. They defend the world from this super villain called Doctor Deconstructo. And I play the son of one of the supermoms, Joey Lauren Adams. It was pretty fun… After I was filming it, I got to watch the show and it was pretty cool. I thought I did a good job, and I had such a wonderful time on set, so it was pretty cool!
When you’re not acting, what kind of things do you like to do?
Jacob Hopkins: I like to do tae kwon do, and I’m a brown belt, two belts away from black. I like playing handball, playing Super Mario Brothers, collect superhero comics and I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I like to draw and read too.
In the future, if you could play any part at all in any movie or TV show, what would it be?
Jacob Hopkins: Well, if they ever made another Harry Potter movie, I would like to be… I mean, I can’t be Harry. Because, you know, he’s already cast. I’d like to be this Slytherin so I could shape-shift into a cobra. And I could slither past people slyly and they won’t even see me.
And I’d also like to be in the… You know, they’re making a movie of Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit? So I don’t know if they cast the whole movie yet. But if I were ever to be in Lord of the Rings, I would want to be a hobbit, ’cause you know those are pretty cool. I’d like to have the sword, Sting, and since I’m small I can go into small places and I could be the only one who could fit in this really tiny tunnel or something. That would be pretty cool! That’s what I would like to film in, if they make any more movies.
If you were to leave acting when you got older, are there any other jobs you’d like to do?
Jacob Hopkins: When I get older, if I ever want to stop acting for any reason, I guess I would want to be in the FBI. That would be pretty cool, ’cause I’d have all these cool weapons and I could have my own office and stuff, I could have a tazer, handcuffs, handgun, shotgun. I could have like a club or something like that.
You can see Jacob Hopkins as the vampire Alexander Drew in the next episode of True Blood on Sunday, June 24 at 9pm on HBO.
(Images courtesy of HBO)