Before he found Emmy gold for HBO’s Big Little Lies, Alexander Skarsgård was the resident bad boy of Bon Temps, bringing the heat to True Blood (which is available to stream anytime on HBO Now) as the eternal Viking Eric Northman. If you needed someone who could kick ass, take names, and wear the hell out of a leather jacket, Eric was the vamp for you. He made being bad look oh so good, and while you may not want to take it to the extreme of using a beating heart like a juice box, there are still a few attitude adjustments that could make your next night out a little wilder.
If you’re ready to shake off your normally mild-mannered everyday self and raise your cool quotient at the bar, break out one of these classic zingers (and don’t forget the leather).
“Please don’t take this the wrong way, Sookie, but shut up.”
If you’re going to be a bit more of a badass, you’re going to have to value your time and who you give it to. Do you really want to listen to the latest boring office gossip from Susan in HR or about what Kevin from purchasing ate for lunch today? No, you really don’t. Eric was a man with a plan, so when someone sought to derail that mission, like Sookie (Anna Paquin) when she didn’t quite read the room at Russell’s (Denis O’Hare) home, he had to find a way to get silence. While the physical mouth grab will deservedly get you punched, a well-deployed dismissal will certainly save you valuable time. People may think you’re rude, but deep down they’ll be glad someone said it.
“I think I’m gonna cry.”
Part of being a bad boy is letting things slide off your back. Sure, someone may sling the occasional insult your way, but who cares? You know you’re awesome, they know you’re awesome, they’re just trying to chip away at that rad exterior. Eric certainly had plenty of folks calling him out — spreading V and running a vampire sex bar will always ruffle some feathers — but did he let them dim his shine? Of course not. He never let the pesky words of mere mortals get in his way, so why should you?
“Lilith can f*cking blow me.”
An essential part of Eric’s personality is the air of simply not giving a f*ck. He’s not going to let a deranged witch goddess who was resurrected to wreak havoc on the vampire race ruin his good time, so you shouldn’t let the small stuff throw you off your game either. Worries are for the real world. When you’re letting your inner freak flag fly, forget that you have to take the trash out/mail that package/pay that bill. For tonight, that stuff can blow you.
“You have a lot of love for him.” — Sookie
“Don’t use words I don’t understand.” — Eric
Dealing with your emotions has a time and place, but not when you’re trying to have a good time. True emotional connection really only came easily to Eric when he was a temporary amnesiac (certainly not when he was dealing with the potential loss of his maker, Godric), but you can simply put it off for a more convenient moment. While compartmentalizing to the extreme will probably land you in therapy, letting pesky little things like sadness or regret ruin your night is just not the bad boy way.
“See anything you like?”
A huge part of seeming irresistible is maintaining an air of confidence. Sookie was getting an eyeful of what to expect from vampire lovemaking when Eric whipped out this smooth line, so it’s safe to say he was feeling pretty good about himself. Chances are you don’t have the abs and accent of a vampire to help you out, but play to your strengths. Good with a joke? Up that charm. Good hair? Put in the time and pomade to make those follicles sing. But the most important part? Liking yourself enough to get other people to like you. If you realize that you’re a catch, other people will probably follow suit.
“Oh, Billy. This paranoia, it’s really quite unbecoming.”
Every bad boy needs his Good Guy™ foil, and Eric has his in Bill (Stephen Moyer). Eric is literally Mr. Steal Yo Girl — hence Bill’s Sookie induced jealousy — and while you don’t want to go around seducing your friends’ significant others, it may be good to keep around someone who is slightly less cool than you are. You may not be proud of it, but having that friend who makes you look like a more dangerous option never hurts if you’re trying to get a little bit of cred.