Stephen Moyer Confesses He's Obsessed with Pickleball: 'I Can't Believe It Got Me' (Exclusive)

The 'True Blood' alum and 'Sexy Beast' star quips about being in "the pickleball cult" and says playing several times a day during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike "was actually kind of holding me together"

<p>David Reiss</p>

David Reiss

Stephen Moyer has a passion — a passion for pickleball.

"It's stupid," the British actor, 54, says wryly of his obsession. "Just stupid. Yes, I am part of the 'dink' cult. I can't believe it got me," he says with a laugh.

Moyer — who's now starring in the Sexy Beast, the Paramount+ series that acts as a prequel to the 2001 gangster movie starring Ben Kingsley — says that the game was critical in passing the time during the recent SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes.

"It was actually kind of holding me together," admits the former True Blood star, who lives in the U.S. with costar–turned–wife Anna Paquin and their 12-year-old twins.

Related: What Is Pickleball? Here's Everything to Know About the Fastest-Growing Sport in America

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty</p> Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin in 2021

Jon Kopaloff/Getty

Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin in 2021

He explains, "I'd take the kids to school, and then I'd go play pickleball. And then when the picket lines opened, I'd do picketing for the strike, and then go back and do a bit of pickle and then school pick up. It was like school, pickle, strike, pickle, school."

Not event the change from summer sun to wintry weather has stopped him from playing: "The other day we were clearing the snow off of our courts. It was like 34 degrees, and the wind was blowing the ball everywhere. But we still played."

Related: Why Stephen Moyer Loves Working With Wife Anna Paquin: 'I Miss Her Otherwise' (Exclusive)

<p>Sanne Gault/Paramount+</p>

Sanne Gault/Paramount+

Moyer, who also directs two episodes of Sexy Beast — in which he plays East London gangster Teddy Bass — says his love of the game possibly stemmed from his youth playing ping pong in Essex, just outside of London.

"I grew up playing table tennis right, and there is very little I find as satisfying as when you're playing really good, competitive table tennis, just the back and forth of it all. Backhand, forehand, backhand forehand. I love it."

As for tennis snobs and pickleball haters? Moyer assumes they just haven't tried it yet.

"Or of course," he jokes, "those that live next to a court."

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Sexy Beast is now streaming on Netflix.

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