“True Blood” Goes Fully Wolf for Their Wolf Men

The creators of "True Blood" came up with a novel way of portraying their wolfmen for last night's excellent season premiere.

They, um, used real wolves. Duh.

They did it both with the pack of transformations we've seen throughout wolf man history and more recently in both "New Moon" and "The Wolfman"

"I don't want to make some man-wolf hybrid," executive producer Alan Ball said in an HBO post-mortem which followed the show. "Because we've all seen  that herky-jerky transformation."

"I figured let's just use wolves."

And it completely worked in last night's episode, with plenty of more snarling teeth to come no doubt in episodes to come. The amazing thing about these wolves, as they showed in the post-mortem, is that they are great actors who hit their mark and have a range of emotion. Even if it's limited, it's pretty effective.

For example, they are great at acting angry and really snarling. Though that takes the use of a delicious bone which the on-hand trainer then threatens to take away. Voila, you get wolf dramatic acting -- feeling angry.

It's amazing to see how "True Blood" follows the same path of the "Twilight" series, even invoking the theme of vampires and wolf men as immortal enemies. Yet "True Blood" still manages to make the superior product with every move. Here's another "True Blood" score for the au naturel wolf men.

As Ball said:  "You cannot create a version of that is as good as the real thing."

Actor Stephen Moyer said he wasn't "scared at all" about working with the wolves. But you could see he was dealing with the real thing during his on-set (and very tentative) introduction to the bad boys. As Moyer stroked the animal's coat it suddenly snapped up at him, perhaps playfully. But Moyer jerked pretty quickly away.

You can't blame him. When you work with the real thing, you have to take precautions.

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