The character actor will play Sookie's grandfather Earl Stackhouse
Gary Cole has made a career out of upstaging his co-stars in movies like "Office Space," "The Brady Bunch" and "Pineapple Express."
He'll look to continue the trend in the fourth season of HBO's "True Blood," which premieres June 26. According to a throw-away line at the end of a press release sent out on Wednesday, he'll play Earl Stackhouse, who we know from previous plot points is Sookie's grandfather.
The "True Blood" wiki says Earl Stackhouse "died some time before 2008" and that he "knew things about people, things that he should have had no way of knowing." The suggestion is that "Earl is the one from whom Sookie inherited her telepathic abilities."
Considering that the character is presumed to be dead and that Cole, at 54, would seem to be too young to play the grandfather of Anna Paquin's character, we can speculate that Earl Stackhouse will be appearing in a flashback or dream of some kind — but who really knows with this show?
Cole may or may not appear in the premiere episode — HBO has provided few spoilers, as you can see by reading the network's official plot summary for the June 26 installment:
Sookie (Anna Paquin) journeys away from Bon Temps; Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) and Bill (Stephen Moyer) try to win back the human public; Jason (Ryan Kwanten) learns that no good deed goes unpunished; Tara (Rutina Wesley) finds refuge in close quarters; Sam (Sam Trammell) bonds with his own; Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) debate the dinner menu; Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) urges Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) to join a coven; and Terry (Todd Lowe) tries to alleviate Arlene’s (Carrie Preston) fears about the baby.
Cole's casting should marginally appease those still miffed that his Fox pilot, "Tagged," didn't get picked up.