A Conversation with True Blood's First Kid Vampire Jacob HopkinsJune 18, 2012
If you caught last night's episode of HBO's hit series True Blood 'Authority Always Wins,' then you got your first glimpse of young actor Jacob Hopkins in his role as Vampire Authority member Alexander Drew. Even at his young age, Jacob already has a fair bit of acting work under his belt and is looking to keep doing more.
I recently had a chance to speak with Jacob about his True Blood character and the show itself.
You portray Alexander Drew, a member of the Vampire Authority. What can you tell us about your character?
Well, my character, Alexander Drew, is supposed to be this sneaky and very mean vampire. He's very wise, doesn't care what anyone else thinks and strongly has his own opinions. He was turned at the age of 9, but he's supposed to be a pretty old vampire. Looks can be deceiving!
Indeed! Do you happen to know exactly how old Alexander is supposed to be?
I get asked that a lot. I just know that Alexander is obviously pretty high up. I mean, he's a chancellor of The Authority, so he's very important and wise. Looking like a kid has nothing to do with his position in The Authority. He was turned at the age of 9, so obviously he can't help it!
Looking like a kid doesn't stop him from saying what he wants to say.
I feel like his age makes him an even more threatening vampire since he has the illusion of innocence on his side.
Well, all vampires are very threatening!
(Laughing) Very true! The Vampire Authority is a group that's been discussed in every season of the show, but Season 5 is the first time they've been on display. Can you shed some light on this long running underlying narrative coming to the forefront of the storytelling?
Yes, this season you meet The Authority and there's a real power struggle between The Authority and the fundamentalist vamps. Now, the fundamentalist vamps believe in feeding on humans and that humans are basically their food source. They feel that they are superior to humans. The Authority is the opposite. We believe in "mainstreaming" (vampires and humans coexisting) and drinking True Blood. My guardian, Roman (portrayed by Chris Meloni), says that mainstreaming is essential to the survival of the human species. But the humans outnumber vampires and if we don't mainstream, the humans will rise up against us. With The Authority and my character's relationship with them, we all have that same goal, mainstreaming. We all want to support that same goal, but just like any other council in the world there's debate. We argue a lot and have disagreements. We basically have the fate of the vampires on our shoulders, so things can get a little heated!
I bet! It would seem coming onto a show with an already established ensemble would be a bit unnerving, but all of your fellow Authority members are also new to the cast. Did that help make it a smoother transition or was it not even an issue?
Well, sometimes it doesn't really matter to me. Like, what you're saying about how we're all new people making up The Authority, but yeah, it doesn't really matter to me. I'm having a lot of fun. I'm the only kid on set when we work, but everyone treats me so nice. The people that aren't new obviously have more experience, but it doesn't really matter to me.
Gotcha. How did landing your True Blood role come about?
Well, my dad helped me prepare for the role of Alexander. I decided I was going to go in there more important than anyone in the room. I wanted to seem like the best vampire ever and be very brave and strong.
So when I went in there were these six producers and Alan Ball (True Blood TV Series creator/Executive Producer) was one of them. After I auditioned it was within a couple of hours that I found out that I got the role! It's pretty cool!
For sure! You must have made quite an impression! You and Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton on True Blood) previously worked together on the film Priest. Was it cool to get to work with him again?
Oh yeah! I had seen him on the set of Priest, but most of my scenes were with Paul Bettany. Then seeing him on set again it was really cool. It was a coincidence. We got to see each other again and know each other. Now we always sit together with our Ipads and it is just fun to work together. Although last season, Stephen killed an Authority member, so he's in hot water with us now!
Indeed he is! True Blood is a show filled with classic monsters like vampires, werewolves and shape shifters? Do you have a personal favorite?
I'd say a shape shifter. I mean, I love vampires but, aside from them, I like shape shifters because you can be whatever you want. Shape shifters can turn into a vampire too, or a werewolf or a dragon or a bird or anything you want!
It does seem pretty awesome. You've already got a fair amount of acting credits under your belt. Is acting what you think you want to do as a lifelong career?
Yeah, I've already been acting as a kid so maybe I'll go on acting until I'm too old to act. Maybe I'd also want to be in the FBI. I think being an officer is pretty cool. I'd get to have all these cool weapons like a tazer. That's not my favorite weapon, but that would be pretty cool. Of course, I love acting and it's really awesome, but if I change my mind that's what I'm going for.
Haha, very cool! Is there anything you'd like to say to all the die-hard True Blood fans out there?
I just want to say to all those True Blood fans out there that you're in for a treat with Alexander Drew and all of the other Authority members through Season 5. It's going to be great!
- Matt Hardeman