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Saturday July 6, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday July 6, 2013 MYT 9:56:38 AM
by sharmila nair
Rob Kazinsky plays Ben Flynn in the hit television series 'True Blood'.
A new character on True Blood
is set to steal audiences’ hearts.
MOVE over Bill Compton, there is a new man in Sookie Stackhouse’s life and he is not going away anytime soon. Joining the often-naked cast of True Blood is British actor Rob Kazinsky, who plays Ben Flynn, a fairy who also happens to be Sookie’s latest love interest.
Speaking to a group of reporters via tele-conference from Los Angeles recently, 29-year-old Kazinsky turned on his boyish charm as he spoke about his latest gig and more importantly, the nudity it involves.
“I’ve always felt that if the character is getting naked, you should get naked. As a viewer, I always feel that nothing takes you out of the reality of a show than somebody holding a vase in front of their private parts,” said Kazinsky with a laugh.
True Blood, currently in its sixth season, is notorious for its explicit nude scenes, and Kazinsky – who had buffed up for his role in the movie Pacific Rim – was confident about his looks ... until he met Joe Manganiello who plays werewolf Alcide Herveaux on the show.
“I used to think that I was in good shape. I had to put on lots of muscles for Pacific Rim, and I was proud of how I looked. Then I came to set and sat next to Joe on my first day and I had scenes with Ryan Kwanten with his shirt off and I was like ‘Well, there’s only so much you could do before genetics do everything else’.
Of course, Kazinsky was downplaying his looks. He is one of the most good looking people on television right now and was already a heart throb when he played Sean Slater on EastEnders, a popular soap opera on British television.
His contract on the show was not renewed in 2009 after a sex scandal, which proved to be a blessing in disguise. Kazinsky packed up for Hollywood and has not looked back since.
Although he is a newbie on the True Blood set, Kazinsky said that he doesn’t feel like the odd one out when working with the crew.
“I knew a few of the guys on the set anyway, I knew Ryan – we run into each other during auditions all the time and have mutual friends with Joe, I knew a lot of the people anyway so it was not like as if I was walking into unknown territory. They were all unbelievably kind and inviting.
Kazinsky had not watched any episode of True Blood before the audition and admitted that he had to undergo a two-and-a-half day “crash course” on the series once he got the part.
“It’s not one of the shows you can have on in the background; you really have to dedicate your time and for that reason I wanted to save up time to watch it.”
And the wait proved its worth. He loves the show and is now an avid fan.
Although his character only made a short appearance on True Blood (at the time of the interview) Kazinsky said that episodes four and five are pivotal for Ben.
“You’re going to find out a lot more about who he is and why he is (the way he is) and where he comes from.”
If that’s not cryptic enough, Kazinsky also added that there’s a reason as to why the producer specifically cast him for the role.
“There’s a reason why they cast me (a big, masculine guy) and not a 100 pound guy. And Ben also like everybody has a dark side and what True Blood do so well is creating characters of grey of rather than black and white. So there are other sides to him.
“I really hope that the audience will get behind him and I really hope that they’ll stick around long enough to see him show the other sides to his character as well.”
Although Kazinsky wouldn’t reveal Ben’s ulterior motives on the show, he was willing to share his character’s development where Sookie is concerned.
“I think Ben is the first character that she’s met who is a good guy, means well and has a good heart. He’s the first chance she has ever had for equality and happiness with somebody who doesn’t want to use her.
“Obviously Ben’s relationships with Sookie’s exes are exploited and he does butt heads with Bill and Eric over the course of the season.”
But who did Kazinsky feel was best suited for Sookie before Ben entered the picture?
“I liked Eric for Sookie. There was a balance. Sookie is best for Eric, but Ben is best for Sookie,” he said.
Playing a fairy is definitely a departure from all the other characters he’s portrayed so far, and it isn’t exactly the most masculine genus in the supernatural world. However, Kazinsky said that he wouldn’t want it any other way.
“There’s obviously a great attraction in being a werewolf or a vampire but having the opportunity to add more depth to fairies, to make them more appealing, and perhaps make them equally attractive, that’s the important part to me. I’ve always wanted to be a fairy but a fairy who was a raving bad a** at the same time.
“If I had told people at 16, that I wanted to be an actor, I would’ve probably been beaten up but they wouldn’t be remotely surprised if I said that I wanted to be a fairy,” he said with a chuckle.
Well, with a big-budget movie slated to premiere and a role in a hit television series, Kazinsky hopes that this would be his “year”. Nevertheless, he is aware of the impact the fame would have on his personal life.
“I was a recognisable person in England and I struggled with that for a long time. I didn’t not enjoy it. (Fame) is not why you get into the industry, but accept that it’s a by-product of,” he said.
However, he knows that there are ways to put his fame to good use. “Giving a minute of your day to sign autographs or pose for pictures can make somebody’s whole day. And that is an unbelievably privileged position to be in and to be able to give a little bit of happiness without doing too much.
“And I think the main problem in this entire entertainment industry is that a lot of people treat it as something for themselves – the fame is for their ego. A lot of people forget that the reason we make films and TV shows is to make other people happy, and that is something I will never, ever lose sight of.”
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