Exclusive Interview with Stephen Moyer
In an exclusive Skype interview Shadaliza spoke in November 2014 with a relaxed and bearded Stephen Moyer about the Concussion film, Killing Jesus, the end of True Blood, his future projects and more.
All the fans who frequent AllStephenMoyer.com are definitely true and loyal Bill Compton fans. We even have a special section on this site devoted to our favorite Vampire Bill.
Recently a member of the AllStephenMoyer forum posed the question: Why do you love Bill?
Here’s what she wrote:
Hey guys. :) I’m going to be completely upfront here: I’m Team Sookie all the way. That said, I have a question for you guys and I really want to love Mr. Compton.
Why do you love Bill? The Rattray incident makes it pretty impossible for me to love him. What’s up with that?! Am I missing something? Letting her almost get beaten to death so he could get his blood in her is just… unforgivable to me. On top of that, he lies to her at almost every turn and killed her uncle! What about the Lorena flashback? The hatefuck where he twisted Lorena’s head?! I get the southern gentleman thing he’s got going on, I do. I just don’t understand how his indiscretions are excusable. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not on the Eric bandwagon either, or Alcide for that matter. Forced to choose, I’d say Sam is Sookie’s best bet.
I just want to understand the Bill love.
Here’s my answer:
My answer to this is not plain, nor is it simple, but the fact that Bill Compton is a vampire who hates his very nature and finds himself in a constant struggle to live with that nature, makes for an irresistible combination.
It’s that struggle within him that makes him so interesting and unforgettable. He came to Bon Temps on a mission and he was surprised to fall in love with Sookie. I truly believe he loves her, and that everything he has done since he fell in love has been for her. Yes, it’s true he ‘waited’ to save her from the Rattray’s but, he wasn’t yet in love with her at the time, and he none the less, saved her. Yes, he killed Uncle Bartlett, but it was done for Sookie.
And, the “hatefuck” scene was not a sexual act, in my opinion, but more about Bill’s hatred for Lorena and his feeling of utter despair at his situation. Stephen Moyer explained it well at Paley when he was asked about it. He stated that he originally had concerns for that scene and even spoke to Alan Ball about it. However, he came to realize that it wasn’t what it seemed to be, but instead, a means for Bill to express his hatred for his maker. Stephen said, “It’s the only thing that he has over her. He can be completely fucked around by her, but he can “fuck her”. The frustrating thing about this, and why Bill screams in outrage at the end of the act, is that there is nothing so hateful that Bill could do to Lorena that she wouldn’t love and want him to do, and, at that moment, he realized it’s futility. Therefore, in my opinion, this act shouldn’t be judged on the same basis as sex with any woman or vampire.
Below is the video of how Stephen Moyer explains Bill’s motive in the twisting head scene:
Bill is the most interesting character because of his struggle, his complexity and because he is a tortured soul who would love to be human and live a normal existence. His dislike of his own vampire nature makes us feel for him, and the fact that he wants to be more like us, forms a bond with those who love him. Right away in the books and in the show I gravitated to Bill, and with the additional charm that Stephen Moyer has brought to the part, (which cannot be denied or ignored), Bill is irresistible. I’m a Bill lover through and through and always will be.
When this question was posted on the forum, we got a flood of responses from many of our members. Below are some of the best:
I’ve read all the books and even though Bill basically disappeared from sight after the first few, I fell in love with him then and there. I believed in his love for and devotion to Sookie.That has never wavered. Bill made mistakes … sins of omission and commission … both in the books and in True Blood.
Stephen’s portrayal of Bill solidified my feelings from the books. He’s done an amazing job as the brooding, tortured Mr. Compton.
The love for any character is a very subjective thing. I guess you either feel it or you don’t.
I am convinced that Bill loves Sookie. He may not end up with her. They may not get back together again. But he will die protecting her if need be. The journey continues. I do believe Bill and Sookie have a strong connection. I hope they can work through the problems and come back to each other. Maybe “yes,” maybe “no.” From my little corner I will be cheering them on.
I too had some similar feelings,however I do feel, still feel, and have always felt Bill and Sookie truly love each other.Sometimes I have wondered if my feelings for the love Steve and Anna have has influenced my feelings for Bill and Sookie, but I don’t think so.I feel that Sookie loves Bill and she may come to love Eric too, but I don’t think she will ever stop loving Bill. This [True Blood] Bill is in no way the book Bill. And that is thanks to Stephen Moyer. This is just my humble opinion. Personally, I prefer Bill. But I like Eric too.
I love Bill because he is incredibly earnest and charming. He’s made mistakes, no doubt about it, but his love and devotion to Sookie have never been in question for me. He would do anything to protect her. He didn’t know the first night they met that he would fall head over heels for her. I think she came across as an intriguing and quirky young woman, but not the instant love of his life. He had orders to seek her out and he did. I think what shocked him was that the subject of his work turned out to be someone he truly loved. In his defense, he didn’t want to confess all to Sookie for fear that he would lose her. I totally get that. She does tend to fly off the handle all the time, sometimes over nothing.
Now if it wasn’t the beautiful Mr. Moyer in this role, I MIGHT be more inclined to lay more blame and resentment at Bill’s feet. But, the earnestness, charm and beauty are three reasons for me to defend him to the bitter end.
I love Bill because he just never gives up. He fought his way back to finding his humanity after being violently turned against his will just as he was about to reunite with his family, he fought his way back to love even when he never expected to find it again, and he continues to fight against both his inherent nature and the shackles of vampire society to try and make some sort of life for himself (and for Sookie, and for Jessica).
I wasn’t a fan of the Rattray reveal and hope there’s more to the story, but that was just when Bill and Sookie met. He didn’t know her, he certainly didn’t love her. At most he was intrigued by her, and he was sent to do a job – the details of which we still don’t know fully (though I’m assuming it falls in the “procuring” realm). Falling in love with Sookie complicated that for him, and it really does add even more meaning to his “miracle” speech at the beginning of season 2. I think in a lot of ways Bill had given up on “life” and love before he met Sookie, and she brought him back to life in many ways.
Does all that Bill has done for Sookie since that night with the Rattrays make up for it? I don’t know. He’s saved her time and again, many times to his own detriment, and I think that means something. But who knows what Sookie thinks or will do? I’m sure she’ll be very mad for a long while, as she should be. The only way I could see her turning to Eric after the heinous ish he pulled on her last season – intentionally! – is with the amnesia thing, so that makes some sense. But IMO any relationship Sookie has in season 4 will be a rebound from Bill, and I’m curious to see how she’ll live her life apart from him.
I started reading the books about 8 yrs or so ago. I fell hard for Bill and haven’t waivered one iota since.I only continue reading the books for the few tidbits of Bill .I feel he is absolutely the most intriguing and mysterious character in the entire series. That CH doesn’t get that is bewildering to me.There is nothing about him I do not want to know, the good, the bad, the bloody, I want it all. Stephen being cast as Bill was icing on the cake. I love Bill endlessly and unashamedly.
I’ve chewed on this question more than once. It’s great that you can look at the whole Bill conumdrum straight on and not sugar coat it. And yeah, I’ve still got a whole lotta love for Bill. I’m probably a little different than others though. I do not see loving Bill meaning that Bill and Sookie will end up together – but I digress.
Season1 Bill had a multitude of good stuff going for him. There was the whole sexuality/magnetism thing (thank you Stephen Moyer). I could not. look. away. In his relationship with sookie, Bill clearly had the advantage, but never abused it. Yes, he killed Sookie’s uncle. And every girl who has ever been touched inappropriately cheered. And Bill has lied quite a bit. Ok…I did have some trouble with this. But the thing is, from Bill’s standpoint, everything he does in relation to sookie is for her, not to her.
But the most important thing about Bill (imo) is that he’s a human wannabe. As a vampire, he’s been released from all the problems of human existence. But, instead of finding a way to enjoy it, Bill is trying to find a way back to humanity. I really love this part of him. The Lorena head twist sex along with that right jab to the face really bothered me for awhile. But we know that Bill has realized that he doesn’t want ‘live’ that way anymore. That’s what’s really beautiful about Bill. He makes some hellified mistakes. And we’re going to watch him pay for them. But he just keeps trying to be a better being. He started this journey back to his humanity before he met sookie, and I think that he will continue it, with or without her.
I love Bill because he’s the most complicated, interesting, and sexy character on the show.
Bill is no saint but he’s more than proven himself.
He a true tragic romantic hero…lines like, “I can smell the sunlight on your skin”, or “We’re all kept alive by magic”…the man/vampire’s a poet. And considering what a sadistic piece of work his maker was…no surprise that he has a vicious side. But whatever the original intent of his coming back to Bon Temps, he fell in love, and everything he did or does is out of love for Sookie…she means that much to him.
I love Bill because he is the most complex and interesting character on the show. And I so enjoy watching Stephen bring him to life.
Hmmm because it’s Stephen who plays him?? Well mostly, but I also think he’s the ultimate vampire, dark, brooding, beautiful, dangerous but still struggling to be better.
I love Bill because to me he is the romantic hero that I use to love reading about in the fairytale stories I grew up reading. Bill is a tragic character which makes me interested in him because he didn’t deserve to be turned in the first place and I see him as this good man who has made terrible choices but tries to redeem himself. Granted that the Rattray incident did get me a little mad at him because it disillusioned my idea that Bill was a perfect vampire that can do no wrong. Although I realized that Bill shouldn’t be held in a high standard because of the way Stephen portrays him. Bill is the most human out of all the characters on the show where he makes all these mistakes and still he tries to correct them even though it can lead to problems such as with Jessica where the situation was beyond his control but still he tried to make her as comfortable as he could which in itself was pretty sad.
He is just a deeper character to understand and that, to me, is better and I hope that he wins in the end whether it is having Sookie or not I just want Bill to have his happy ending because he deserves it.
I presume that Bill has not been in love with a human before, except of course, when he himself was human. His relationship with Sookie is his first vampire/human relationship. So, it is as new to him as it is to Sookie. Just something else to the throw in the mix.
I love him and will never stop.
Ever since he walked into Merlottes I have loved that vampire. I lost my mom three years ago and my favorite aunt the same year 2008. I went into a deep depression, me and my daughter. I gained weight, I gave up on my art and was a all around gloomy gussette.
Stephen changed that for me. Thank-God for him. I lost over 37 pounds, I started writing again, My daughter started to watch and felt better, too. “God and Bill helped me, mom, ‘snif snif’.” I was a happy woman.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave a comment below or, better yet, join us at the AllStephenMoyer.com forum at this address: http://allstephenmoyer.com/forum
Bill is my favorite character on the show. I love how complex he is, always struggling to do the right thing. When he fails, he feels remorse for the bad things he does. So many times he does bad things in order to protect Sookie. I really enjoyed bad Bill. It was so interesting to see a totally different Bill. In episode 5.8 when Salome wants Bill to snack on the woman who has a 4 month old daughter, you can see the struggle that Bill goes through, and I love the part where Bill visits his daughter on her death bed. Incredible acting. Once Bill loses his billith powers, he realizes what he did to Sookie, and is clearly pained by it. I would not want Bill to be some perfect guy. Bill is so handsome, so sexy and I love the southern gentleman that he is. Stephen is such a terrific actor, and director for that matter. I love that Stephen truly appreciates his fans, and that he is such a kind person in real life. I love listening to Stephen in interviews, he is so interesting and funny, and love the accent.
He has this old fashioned boyish charm about him, it just reaches out and grabs you. Love the eyes and the stare.
Because Bill actually cared for Sookie...he cared for Jessica. A rock you can count on. Bill is mine. Click.
He is just very genuine - never turns away from fans even if he is exhausted and because he appears to love and respect his family - he gives his wife credit and never makes a conversation all about him.
No other actor who could play Bill Compton but Stephen. Bill is such a conplexed character. It takes a brilliant man to play such a role like he does. I like both Bill and Stephen.
Because he is amazing, so down to earth and easy to talk and hang out with. Love him as the mean vampire, but really have loved him since episode 1. Nice or mean.
I haven't seen all his other movies but i only love Bill.like i only love Eric and not the part in what maisy knew.i love Jason but i didn't like not suiteble for children.......
Love him cause he is cut and sexy as hell I love his role as Bill Compton madly in love with me (sookie) Lol Lol
He have a heart thats why I love Bill..and Stephen is a great actor,nice,sweet and he have the heart on the right Place.Can say so much about Stephen...he have a smile that light up my day anytime....
Bill is strong, sexy, carring, hateful and determined. A vampire that has not lost his humanity. He is so interesting character to try to predict.
I don't like Bill, but but I appreciate Stephen Moyer. He is a great actor. Bill is traitor. Especially in the 4-6 season Bill show up with worse aspect. Nonetheless I can not imagine True Blood without Bill.
Reasons I love Bill: 1. He is totally goth, in the old-school Victorian sense. 2. He sings! And plays piano! And dances! 3. He plays video games. 4. He has a killer right-hook...and left hook. 5. He listens to ridiculous music. 6. He's an animal in the sack. 7. His entire world revolves around Sookie and no matter how nuts his actions might seem, she is his motivation. 8. He only curses when he's seriously p*ssed off. 9. He drives a badass car (or he did). 10. He lives in a badass house. 11. He wears awesome clothes. 12. He has old-fashioned manners and patterns of speech. 13. He's unpredictable and constantly surprising.
Well I saw my answer above with the others my answer was : Hmmm because it’s Stephen who plays him?? Well mostly, but I also think he’s the ultimate vampire, dark, brooding, beautiful, dangerous but still struggling to be better. I'm impressed with your others answers...but I'm not THAT into Bill. In my eyes he hasn't got a chance to Stephen who's the real deal. But I can write a whole essay on why I love Stephen maybe instead ;)
Thanks for posting this here Lynn. I see part of my response is already posted here. I tend to get rather wordy when speaking of Bill so I will just add : Yes we are well aware Bill is a vampire and all that entails. Bill's determination to regain as much of his humanity as possible for a vampire, in spite of all the seemingly insurmountable obstacles thrown in his path, is a testament to his strength of character. He forges ahead. Bill is romantic and affectionate and would make sure you know you are the only woman in the world for him. He places the well being of the woman he loves before his own. What is not to love? Again I L♥ve Bill endlessly and unashamedly. I am forever Bill's babe. Whispers* Don't tell Bill but I am smitten with Stephen.
Thanks Lynn. Why do i love Bill?, where do i start, Bill has such a tragic history and he is doing what he can to be good,time and time again he has been forced to go do things that went against his good nature, he always tries to make amends, he has proved his love for Sookie over and over. Bill had his life, his world,his family cruelly stolen from him, forced to become something he dispises by a crazy obsessive vampire who wanted to make Bill in her own image dispite choosing him for the gentleman he was and still is, yes he let his vampire nature rule him in the beginning following Lorena but being able to turn his back on his own maker to fight that part of him, to try and be good shows amazing inner strength and strength of character.His love for Sookie shines through in everything he does, even sacrificing his own happiness in order for her to be safe, he fought hard not to be the vamipre Lorena wanted him to be,he is willing to protect Sookie with his life as well as helping others, he maybe a vampire and yes he makes mistakes sometime, he is not perfect no one is yet he is willing to pay for his mistakes and the mistakes of others. he is a tormented soul, this ,his sterngth of character,the vampire inside fighting against the good man within, makes Bill the most complex character on the show, add all this to Stephen Moyers mind blowing performance of Bill and you have the perfect combination, Why do i love Bill? he really is one of a kind
Thank you Lynn for this post from the forum, my reason for loving Bill forever are everything mentioned so well above and then my two cents: Godric touched on the concept of what Bill has and that I admire and love; "he's evolved as a vampire". Bill wants to live amongst humans, mainstream (is this just an act? time will tell!), and he is always referring to "the cause or our cause" proves to me he is not the Lorena/Russell/Franklin type (even though Franklin was an amusing character as bad as he was). I am speculating and feel in my heart that the Rattray incident is not fully explained and more revelations about that night are to come. Yes he has lied or withheld almost everything about his vampire/secret life from Sookie and this is his big betrayal, b/c she did not fall in love with the real Bill, did I? (I don't wish to speculate but I have my guesses who he really is and am happy with him). Somewhere, someone blogged that Bill is Rochester like from Jane Eyre, so true. This innocent girl reedemed his lost soul but he did so wrong her....... CH 's books have veered off course from JE but I have faith in AB.
What is the life for a vampire?? Okay, not life - existence. Blood, sex and power. Very few of them had shown that despite more than a advanced age, they are able to see the big picture - power not just for more blood and sex, but for something more. Something bigger, further away from monsters and closer to understanding the unity of all being. And Bill, so young for a vampire, sees it as an achievement of his own happiness - simplicity of the good life. Because the only real and simple things really matter - community, family, love, fidelity to the word. Bill has it all. And my love too.
Thanks Lynn for summing up exactly how us BillsBabes feel out one William Thomas Compton! Bill is the classic example of a tragic hero. And what is there not to love about the tragic hero? He has goodness in him. He has learned to love again. Bill continually struggles to maintain his humanity in a very dark, dangerous vampiric society. He remembers what it is like to live as a human, his actions show that he wants to be a good, decent person. But, he's lost his way a time or two. There are many people out there who think Bill fans cannot see his faults and only see him through rose-colored glasses. That couldn't be further from the truth, IMO. We see his flaws and call him out on them. I probably wouldn't be a Bill fan if he was presented as this knight-in-shining armour who always does the right thing. I like complex and flawed. That's our Bill. We've already seen the good aspects of the tragic hero. And then we got the Rattray reveal. The brutal downfall of our hero. It was beyond a flaw. Yes, it was just a job for him at that point, but it doesn't make the hurt any less. Bill's punishment will be harsh. And while Sookie will certainly turn away from him, I think he'll end up punishing himself even more. This, IMO will be his epiphany. And now the next phase of what tragic hero's go through: His redemption. It may take a while, but I think Bill redeem himself. In what way? Who knows, but I have absolute faith that Alan and the writers will come up with something fantastic for us to feast our eyes on. Thank you Stephen for grabbing this character and running with him. You can have all the great writing in the world for a character, but you need a great actor to play it out. To draw people in. To get people to care. Stephen has done that in spades!
Bill and Eric are vampires so each has done some pretty terrible things by human standards, but that make sense within the vampire world the show has created. From Sookie's human perspective what Bill did in letting her get beaten up is probably unforgivable. But from the world the show created, where vampire rulers are absolute and must be obeyed no matter what, it's an example of a vampire underling being put in a terrible position by their sovereign. Lorena was obsessed with Bill for 150 years, but when Russell told her to kill him she was going to. Eric hated the idea of vampires selling blood to humans (otherwise what would be the justification of his treatment of Lafayette in the basement?) Yet when the queen told him to sell V, he did it. The thing I find so fascinating about the Eric fans' rabid hatred of Bill is that many of the things they hate him for are things that Eric would have also done if put in the same position. Only Eric was lucky enough that he wasn't put in that position. If the queen had chosen Eric to seduce Sookie and told him to let her get beaten up so he could give her his blood, he would have done it. I've seen nothing in the show to justify any argument that he would not have done it too. Eric has no consideration of humans in general. Now that he's fallen for her he wouldn't do it, but neither would Bill if he had been told to do this after he had started to fall in love with her. When Bill was almost completely drained of blood and unconscious and started unknowingly drinking too much of Sookie's blood, how would Eric have somehow controlled himself when he was unconscious to keep from doing the same thing in that position? Even in the books, where CH has an unrelenting vendetta against the character she created, the incident in the trunk isn't portrayed as some personal failing of Bill but as an act of an unconscious vampire who didn't know what he was doing. I get people perferring Eric, enjoying the character more, I get Bill not being everyone's cup of tea. I just don't get the rabidness of the hatred when many of the things they hate him for aren't personal failings but a condition of his being a vampire that would apply to any vampire in the same position. The biggest personal failing of Bill is the lying, but if you were in his position where the first happiness you had in 150 was built on a house of cards you were desperate to hold together, the lying is explainable. But at least that is a personal, character-driven failing he can be legitimately criticized for.
thanks for creating this thread Lynn. i never tire of sticking up for my favorite tragic hero. Alan Ball and his excellent team have written a rich, multi-faceted Bill Compton and Stephen Moyer has brought him to life in all of his idealistic and neurotic glory. bill IS true blood for me. every episode, i wait with butterflie in my stomach - where is bill? and then - there he is! my heart swells and i'm happy. and then just as quickly, he's pissed me off again because he's done something stupid. i'm sceaming at the television and wanting to throttle him. and it always has something to do with that Sookie!! and i want to say "just give her up, Bill!!" Give up the girl, Achilles! Give up the girl, Othello! She'll be the death of you! but I know that he can't and he won't. and i love him not because he's perfect, but because he has things that he believes in and stands for and will follow no matter the peril to himself or the outcome. Stephen, I know that you will tire of inhabiting Bill Compton long before I will tire of watching you.
Why I love Bill...his character brought me to a dream place. Stephen's Bill was the man I dreamed of as a little girl and young teen. His gentle way and gracious manor, something we don't see much of anymore. I fell in love with him as I watched him fall in love with Sookie. This character makes me dream of gentle southern nights, fireflies, and strong, protective men. He inspires me to create and look at the world in a different way. I think maybe a little of Stephen shows through in his Bill. So when I think of Stephen I think of Bill and vise versa. But with what we know of Stephen...what is not to love?
Thanks Lynn. Loved this one. I agree with you so much. Started out loving Bill in the books even though he has become such a secondary character. When Stephen was first cast, I thought...that's not what Bill looks like. But I fell in love with Stephen's version of Bill even more than the book version. As soemone said, Stephen is just icing on the cake.
Lynn, My bad! I neglected to thank you for your hard work in putting this together. Excellently well done. I know it was a labor of love. Anything that pertains to Bill turns out that way for us Billsbabes.
What a lovely and poetic way to say why you love Bill. Bill does invoke about those dreamy feelings.