Just days before the cast of HBO's "True Blood" descended upon San Diego to sink their teeth into Comic-Con, news broke that the sexy series would return for a seventh season — no mean feat considering it recently lost one of its key players. (And, no, we're not talking about you, Russell Edgington.)
"It's really rare territory for HBO," star Joe Manganiello, who plays werewolf Alcide Herveaux, told MTV News of the renewal after executive producer Alan Ball's departure. "Usually when the showrunner stops doing the show, the show stops. I mean, you don't do 'Deadwood' without David Milch. You don't do 'Sopranos' without David Chase. We're moving on. We're powering through."
Much of that "powering through" can be credited to the smooth transition from Ball to new showrunner Brian Buckner, who's been with the series since the beginning.
"He was brought in during season one to take over the show for season two. Alan was only going to be on for one season and leave, but he was having so much fun and the show did so well that he stuck around," Manganiello explained. "So Bucky, as we call him, had to wait five seasons. So it's in good hands. He knows what he's doing."
In fact, Manganiello said he couldn't be happier with his character's new attitude since taking over as Shreveport packmaster — especially since it has meant fewer critical phone calls from his real-life father.
"I'm glad that he's not taking anybody's crap anymore," Manganiello said of Alcide. "There's only so many times you can get punched, shoved, cheated on, just repeatedly. It gets so frustrating, and I know when that happens to me, the next day after the episode airs, I'm going to get a call from my dad. 'Why didn't you kill him? You could destroy him. You can kill everyone! Why are they letting this happen?' I just don't want those phone calls from my dad. This year's great. He's getting punched in the face and then he's just knocking people out, which is the way it should be. Don't punch an angry werewolf in the face. If it seems like a good idea at the time, take a nap."
If Manganiello does ever quibble with the "True Blood" writing staff, it's only over the small stuff.
"The stuff I bring up with the writers is usually dude stuff," he said. "They'll have [a scene direction] 'exterior church, car pulls up' [and] it's like a girl driving me inside. No big dude in the South is going to be rolling up to wherever in the passenger seat. The dude's driving."