What’s the best thing about playing Eric, the 1000-year-old Viking vampire in True Blood?
"As an actor, the last thing I want to play is a typical handsome leading man. It’s always great when you play a complicated character like Eric."
So there’s more to him than just biting necks?
"In the first series, people thought he was just a bad guy, but there’s a lot more to him than meets the eye. We’re now seeing his loyal, caring and sensitive side. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still the same old Eric – there’s just more to him than being an evil vampire."
Why do you think True Blood is so successful?
"It’s over-the-top, wild, sexy and funny. Viewers can also look at the vampires and draw parallels with our society in terms of alienation and prejudice."
Do you have a problem with the show’s sex and violence?
"It’s pretty full-on and very graphic and gory, but sex and violence are always something that attracts an audience. I don’t have any problems with getting naked."
Your father Stellan is one of Sweden’s most famous actors. Did he encourage you to take up acting?
"My parents never dragged me to auditions, things just happened. I had lots of TV roles when I was a kid, but the fame was scary and I hated people staring at me on the street. When I was 13 I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore."
What made you take it up again?
"When I was 20, I moved to Leeds for six months. I was watching football, hanging out, getting drunk and into trouble. I was wondering what I should do with my life and decided to give acting one last go."
Are you more at ease with fame these days?
"Actually, I am flattered by the attention. People come up and want autographs and take pictures, but I have no crazy stalkers after me."
What was it like being in Lady Gaga’s video for Paparazzi?
"I didn’t know Lady Gaga at all before. She was really cool and interesting. She’s very driven and we had a blast."
Are you a music fan?
"I’d much rather be a rock star than an actor. My favourites are Van Morrison and The Clash. Because I’m Swedish, people think I must like ABBA, but they were always much bigger in the rest of the world than they ever were in Sweden."