Stephen Moyer on ‘The Caller’ and ‘True Blood’

Bill Compton himself gets into the science of his new time travel thriller and teases Season Four's final episode.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

Stephen Moyer - True Blood Season 4

Well, I’m on Team Bill now after talking to Stephen Moyer on the show. I never really took sides on True Blood but he is such an engaging, responsive interview. Moyer stars in the new movie The Caller. Mary (Rachelle Lafevre) receives a phone call from the past, and it turns out the person on the other line can impact the present. Moyer is the night school teacher she befriends in Puerto Rico. Moyer called from Puerto Rico where the press junket is surviving inclement weather, and we talked about his movie roles and hit TV show.


Crave Online: How is it going in Puerto Rico?

Stephen Moyer: Have you heard anything about it? After the hurricane we have had a full scale blackout. The hotel is dark. We’ve got no electricity, no hot water, no power, no air conditioning. It’s interesting.


Crave Online: I’m glad you’re getting a phone signal at least.

Stephen Moyer: This is the hotel phone. It’s kind of been an adventure. All the critics and actors have been thrown in together and we are getting through it. We’re muddling through. After the screening last night, we all ended back in the hotel bar all of us together, because nobody wanted to go back to their dark rooms by themselves.


Crave Online: At least the movie theater had power.

Stephen Moyer: We had to go across the other side of town to go and actually see it somewhere.


Crave Online: Well, I have some questions of my own and some from fans, so I hope you like them.

Stephen Moyer: Me too, otherwise I’m going to be very upset.


Crave Online: What sort of movie offers are you getting since True Blood started?

Stephen Moyer: All sorts of things really. I do get a lot of genre stuff. I get a lot of thriller and horror stuff. The last two or three summers have been quite interesting because I’ve had a western, but it’s a very difficult time at the moment in the film financing market as you probably know. Again, this summer, third year running, I was slated to do a film, two films in fact, that both their financing didn’t get the final piece of the jigsaw. So I do get a lot of offers but not all of them are concrete.


Crave Online: After dealing with vampire mythology for a few years, did you want something easy to explain like time travel?

Stephen Moyer: Yeah, like time jump continuum, something like that, something simple. [Laughs] It is pretty confusing. I was interested in the idea of it, whether we could make this work, this idea. Whether it was actually real, we met a math physicist professor who talked us through the math of this to actually work out if it tracks. Mathematically, our movie is absolutely possible.


Crave Online: Your explanation as a river that diverts its path is sort of like Doc Brown’s explanation in Back to the Future II, only you address the person who still has the memory of the old timeline.

Stephen Moyer: That’s right. I know, I love this idea that the person back in the past can change it. We play with the idea that, for instance, maybe we would if we went there, but if Mary were to travel back 25 years, whether she would actually be in that space with her nine-year-old self. We don’t actually explore that but I love that aspect of it. That “My mind’s going to explode, I can’t cope with this” kind of idea.


Crave Online: What was it like working with Rachelle and how did you develop such a chemistry with her?

Stephen Moyer: We got together with Matthew. We talked about each scene and how to try and make them as real as possible. One of the things I think Matthew has done incredibly well is to track the development so that you believe – because she’s obviously so cautious to begin with because of the relationship that she’s had with her husband and the divorce and what she’s going through and moving out and her mom and then the phone call – that she’s incredibly cautious and not trusting. So that’s something we talked about a lot. Rachelle is just brilliant. I think she gives a wonderful performance. I saw it for myself for the first time last and I was really, really impressed with Rachelle. It’s one of those interesting things where you only get a certain amount of time to do it and we had had an actress drop out of the film. Rachelle had found out she was doing it at two o’clock in the morning and flew in from Canada, arrived at 4PM and I walked on set with her at 6PM having just shook her hand. We shot that first scene when she walks into the classroom. And then the scene out in the rain, so it wasn’t like we had a week of getting to know you parties.


Crave Online: I read that you’re afraid of scary movies. How did you sit through The Caller?

Stephen Moyer: I’m going to be honest with you. Even though I know how it’s done, what’s coming, I even know the script, I still jumped. I still have those moments of “oh my God, what the f*** is going to happen now?” But I really enjoyed it. I think I’m getting to a point where I’m starting to actually enjoy that feeling and starting to realize the reason people must like it in the first place.


Crave Online: Do you feel the True Blood fans may still see you as Bill when you’re in a movie?

Stephen Moyer: I don’t know. I’ve not thought about that.


Crave Online: And with Alexander Skarsgard coming out in Straw Dogs, they might see him as Eric too.

Stephen Moyer: Well, I can’t talk for Alex. I’m looking forward to seeing Straw Dogs but I don’t know what his character is in that. One of the things that I’ve been trying to do with my characters, one of the thing that does lead to me turning things down, is I don’t really want to repeat myself. One of the things I was attracted to about John was his normality, his sense of just ordinariness. He lives in Puerto Rico so we decided to make him quite warm skinned and brown and tan. My hair’s lighter and I’m obviously not doing a southern accent. I really wanted in his clothes and in the way he was, try and take him as far away from Bill as possible. So I don’t know. It’s tough, that, isn’t it? When people have gotten to know you as one thing, it’s hard for them to see you doing something else.


Crave Online: Yeah, I always say it’s high class problems though, to have a successful character.

Stephen Moyer: I agree with you all the way along the line there.


Crave Online: Was your family able to visit you in Puerto Rico?

Stephen Moyer: No, they weren’t. I was in the middle of doing another job. I left New Zealand when we shot this and I came here for nine days and then went straight onto another gig. So the truth is no, this one was nine days by myself, and I came in for two more days.


Crave Online: Can your kids visit you on the True Blood set? Can they even watch it?

Stephen Moyer: Yeah, all the time. They come in especially on the threesome stuff where I’m naked with Alex. They love all that sh*t. I’m obviously kidding.


Crave Online: I knew you were kidding about the threesome.

Stephen Moyer: Yeah. They come a lot and I like them to see what I’m doing because they can’t watch the show itself. If there’s something that really is completely tame and it’s fine for them to watch I do try and get them there so that they feel part of it, so they actually get to come and see what daddy is doing. I think it must be odd as a kid, you know your parent is in this thing which is very successful and people watch and you’re not allowed to watch it. It must be really frustrating.


Crave Online: What kind of big season finale can we expect on True Blood?

Stephen Moyer: We’re obviously leading towards a culmination of everything. We’ve just seen TommyMickens get beaten up. That’s going to have a profound effect on some of our characters. There’s going to be obviously a smackdown showdown with the witches and the vampires. It’s very cleverly pulled together how everybody plays their part. I think we do that really well. I haven’t seen episode 12 yet but I do know I certainly enjoyed it very much when I read it on the page. I thought it was the most complete finale that we’d ever had.


Crave Online: This is a question I really liked. Someone wanted to know when are you going to host Saturday Night Live?

Stephen Moyer: I’d love to do it. There are a couple of people on a couple of fan sites that are Bill fans who have started a campaign to get me on Saturday Night Live. So I don’t know. We’ll see. I’d love to do it. It would be fun.


Crave Online: What kind of character do you get to play in The Double?

Stephen Moyer: A Russian ex-army maverick who’s imprisoned and he is a nasty piece of work.


Crave Online: Do you just do accents really well?

Stephen Moyer: I think that again, what I was drawn to was the accent, doing something completely different. He’s a bit psychotic. If they see Bill in that then I’m a f***ing sh*t actor.


Photo Credit: Nikki Nelson /