“True Blood” star Joe Manganiello says the upcoming season of HBO’s hit vampire series is taking a page from the hugely successful “Twilight” movies and beefing up on sexy werewolves.

“They’re casting a lot of new werewolves, a lot of hot werewolf chicks,” Manganiello, 34, told Access Hollywood, previewing Season Five.

Twilight’s Taylor Lautner is the movie’s star shapeshifter and werewolves have played a major role in all four films.

“Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1” is in theaters now and the Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart led film is racking up big numbers at the box office on its way to an estimated $140 million weekend opening.

“True Blood,” based on “The Southern Vampire Mysteries” novels by Charlaine Harris, chronicles the uneasy co-existence between vampires and the humans living in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana.

Witches and werewolves have had an increasing presence on the show.

Joe says his on-screen alter ego, Alcide, will have big trouble on his hands from some new charactees.

“We’ve got Dale Dickey, who’s joined the cast from ‘Winter’s Bone,’ who is awesome,” Manganiello says. “I can’t wait to work with her.

“I think there’s gonna be some werewolves who are gonna give Alcide some trouble this season as well. I’m anxious to see who they’ll cast.”

Among other new cast members, Italian actress Valentina Cervi has been tapped for a regular role as an ancient vampire named Salome. The character is described as a “world class seductress and fiercely intelligent.”

The character didn’t originate in Harris’s books, so the show is free to create a new story line.

The season will pick up where Season Four left off. Sookie will be holding Tara in the kitchen.

The episode will also include a flashback to when Eric turned Pam into a vampire, according to show members.

Season 5 of True Blood, which co-stars Anna Paquin, premieres in summer 2012.

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