'True Blood': Sam Trammell on the nudity requirements for shapeshifters

true-blood-sam-trammell-nudity.jpgIt seems that one of the prerequisites for a " True Blood" leading man is that you have to look good without your clothes on. In fact, sometimes it feels like the guys are more naked than dressed on the HBO series. That's especially true for shapeshifters.

"I knew I would have to be naked a little bit," Sam Trammell, who plays Sam Merlotte, tells Zap2it. "I didn't realize every time I turned back from an animal into a human that I'm naked and very often not anywhere near my clothes that I had left wherever I turned into an animal to begin with. So I didn't really realize how much it would be."

He then jokes, "And also it is kind of like I'm naked a lot but not in a kind of romantic, sexual kind of setting with mood lighting and all that kind of stuff. I'm just out in the woods, you know, um, naked."

We're not complaining, especially because the process of covering Sam back up again can lead to some hilarious solutions.

"I mean it is sort of funny and we have a laugh and we kind of think about the 'Austin Powers' bits with the grapefruits and the watermelons," he says. "But yeah it is always interesting figuring out if I am going to be next to the car if the door is going to open at a certain point and I'll be behind the door. Yeah, it is always a different kind of trick. We have some laughs about it for sure."

true-blood-sam-trammell-marshall-allman.jpgIn Season 3, Sam goes on a bit of an odyssey to find his roots. As a result, he's reunited with his brother, played by "Prison Break's" Marshall Allman. Trammell tells us that he warned Allman that nudity on "True Blood" isn't a walk in the park -- it's a cold night in the woods. Allman wouldn't know about that, though.

"He was very lucky," Trammell says. "Because I remember the first time he had to get naked. We were out where we shoot a lot of our exterior stuff in the woods and it is usually very cold there at night. And it wasn't a cold night at all. So I kept giving him a hard time, saying, 'You got it easy. You got it easy.' But actually he hasn't had to do a really cold night yet, because that's when it is really tough -- all night and you're naked. I've had a few of those."

Trammell says that keeping himself in shapeshifting form is all about timing.

"There's different levels," he explains. "There's the level of being on a diet which is just doing the show in general for the six or seven months that we do it, and then within the doing the show there is the, 'oh, a naked scene coming up.' So I am going to have to tweak that diet a little more because I know I am going to have to be naked in four, five days. It is always about looking at the schedule and seeing where those kind of topless scenes come. But for me it is all about the gut, so topless and naked are the same thing for me. It is the same amount of dieting I have to do. So, you know, it's pretty crazy."

"True Blood" Season 3 premieres Sunday, June 13 at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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Photo credit: HBO