December 31, 2008
Matthew Gilbert from the Boston Globe reviews Alan Ball’s HBO TV series “True Blood” and looks at the dynamics on the show and interesting metaphors and analogies. The article focuses on Bill and the difficulties he suffers not only for being different but because of the townpeople’s disapproval of his relationship with Sookie. The show may be about vampires, shapeshifters and a telepathic waitress but it divulges deeper into the under belly of society and the misunderstanding and suspicion that people face and see in others in real life. The author of the article gives high praise to Stephen Moyer for his portrayal of Bill Compton for his ability to give so much depth to his character. He states that the chemistry between Bill and Sookie is so compelling to watch that you feel for them and truly feel they belong together. To read this truly wonderful analysis of “True Blood’ please click the link below.
(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)
December 30, 2008
msnbc.com explores the appeal of Alan Ball’s fantastic new HBO TV series “True Blood” and why others who haven’t seen it yet should. The article looks at 5 themes that explains the fascination and entertaining aspects of the show. Themes ranging from examining the dialogue in the show to the interesting music compilations that enhances the experience and sucks the viewer into the scenes. msnbc.com does a wonderful job trying to unravel the mystery behind the allure of this seductive series. To find out more about this article follow the link.
(Photo credit: http:/true-blood.net)
December 28, 2008
Alan Ball’s hit HBO Series “True Blood” is continuing to expand internationally. Currently “True Blood” is seen in the U.S., Canada, Sweden and Finland. Beginning this December “True Blood” will premeire in Spain and France and in the new year will encompass more countries. Starting in January “True Blood” will premiere in Isreal and Brazil (January 18, 2009), and continue to expand with premieres in February 2009 throughout Eastern Europe via HBO CE, Belgium (February 1, 2009), HBO Asia (February 9, 2009), Australia (February 10, 2009), Italy (March 2009) and the U.K. in April 2009. We know that “True Blood” will be a hit with overseas audiences and will continue to develop a huge fan base.
(Photo credit: http://true-blood.net)
December 27, 2008
According to Spoiler TV “True Blood” will be adding several more characters to Season 2. As of December 23, 2008 no one has been casted for these characters however, we should have news soon as filming for Season 2 begins January 6, 2009. The following characters have been listed for casting: Sid Matt Lancaster, Sookie’s lawyer from Book 2; Shawnelle, bar patron who tries to hook up with Hoyt, not in the book; Coralee, bar patron, not in the book; Vonetta, bar patron, not in the book and a news anchor person. We will have to wait and see how these new characters not in the book play out in the show. To read the details on these characters click the link below.
(Photo credit: HBO, Inc. and Jamie Trueblood)
December 27, 2008
Recently James Hibberd from The Live Feed posted on his site that Alan Ball provided some spoiler information regarding what fans can expect for Season 2 of “True Blood”. Without giving away too much Alan stated that Bill and Sookie will have issues that they will need to resovle and new romances will develop for Jason, Sara and Tara. By reading James Hibberd’s report you can see that Alan will stay with the main plot line of Bill and Sookie travelling to Dallas however, the additional subplots will verge in a different direction from the book. To read James Hibberd’s report please click the link below.
(Photo credit: Christina Radish/Agency Photos)
December 26, 2008
Jonathan Storm, Philadelphia Inquirer Television Critic, posted in his column the Top 10 TV shows for 2008 and “True Blood” made his list. Mr. Storm acknowledges the fantastic acting of all the cast on the show and how “True Blood” audience has grown to make it the third most popular show ever since The Sopranos and Sex In The City. As a fan of the show I am pleased that “True Blood” is being recognized by various media outlets for its talented cast and highly entertainng and thought-provoking issues. To read Jonathan Storm’s Top 10 list for 2008 please go his site at the following link.
(Photo credit: HBO, Inc. and http://true-blood.tv)
December 24, 2008
We found another nice article interview with Graham Shiels who played the role of Liam in Season 1 of HBO True Blood. Thanks for Jennifer Synder at Soap Opera Source for allowing us to feature her interview with Graham Shiels.
Graham Shiels has appeared on film, stage and television with a career in acting spanning the last 8 years. His most recent role as Liam on HBO’s True Blood, has garnered fans from around the world. Graham was classically trained at the Yale School of Drama and significant credits in theater including the highlight of performances with Tony Award winner Brian Bedford, at The Mark Taper Forum in “The Moliere Comedies.” Also Graham is an accomplished improviser and alumni of Improv Olympic West.
Graham took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with Soap Opera Source about his role on HBO’s True Blood and his recurring role as Cody Paul on ABC’s General Hospital.
True Blood has garnered a lot of attention since its first season began. Why do you think it was a huge hit for HBO? What makes this vampire series stand out above the other original programming on HBO?
As for the success of TB I think it’s just plain different. Alan Ball has impeccable taste and the show mixes in a lot of humor into the world of a blood-thirsty, human-killing vampire. So it’s like no other vampire story ever told. I also think that’s where he differs from the books, by Charlaine Harris, because though there is humor in the books, there’s a LOT more in the TV show. Trying to tell the story by portraying these vampires as having real social conflict and feelings about fitting in is different–not just a horror/gore movie about vampires sucking people’s necks and speaking in bad generic eastern European accents.
True Blood pushed the envelope with the nudity and the language. Every episode there was somebody having sex. Liam’s sex scenes showed full backside nakedness. Was that something that was difficult for you to do? I mean some actors are not open to showing a lot of skin and True Blood is a series that shows a lot of skin every episode.
I was very nervous when we shot that. As, I’m sure, my co-star was, too. Had it not been Alan Ball, Oscar award-winning writer, and HBO, I never would have done it. And it was just my butt. It wasn’t full frontal. I’d never (never say never, Graham) do full frontal. I’ve done it onstage, though, in a Shakespeare play. But I knew in this case it served the story and that it would be handled with great taste seeing as it’s Alan Ball. Blood taste.
There was even an episode that you were in bed with Sookie’s brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten) during one his love scenes with a girl who had had sex with Liam. Was it uncomfortable for the two of you doing that scene together?
Working with Ryan was not uncomfortable at all b/c we both knew this was a fun “bit,” so to speak. It was very fun to shoot. Ryan had this great idea he should be holding my foot and that’s how he notices it’s me and not the girl–and in retrospect, I think we should have gone the whole way and he could have been sucking my toes, too!
Was there a memorable event, moment, scene, episode from True Blood that maybe was intense or funny that didn’t make it on screen?
There was a funny moment in ep #7 when we’re coming into Merlott’s to get Bill. Ana/Sookie is chewing out Andrew/Malcolm. When we were rehearsing I laughed like I was enjoying that she was taking Malcolm down a peg and then Andrew gave me an evil glare, like, “shut-up.” That whole exchange cracked everyone up. But it couldn’t make it into the cut b/c it really wasn’t what was written in terms of the intensity of the conflict. But it was very real–and so, funny.
Liam was a little more hardcore vampire than some of the other vamps on True Blood. Was there something that you drew from to flesh out the character?
Just from meeting Alan and he said these vampires live like they don’t know when they’ll ever feed again, so the moment they get the scent/feeling they’re about to feed, it’s absolute lusty/insane desire. And as far as sex goes, they treat these human fang bangers like lawn furniture.
You returned to GH a few months ago and your character of Cody Paul has become very much intertwined with the mob as Jason’s informant/body guard. Is this a position you like Cody to be in or would you like to see Cody branch out into other stories and with other characters?
I love working with Steve Burton (Jason). He’s incredibly talented and he’s just a fun guy to be around. He’s got such a level of ease in his work that I learn from him every day. So it’s wonderful to be there in the thick of the coffee importing business. I also think it plays to some of my strengths to be around situations that it may present, i.e., intimidating lesser men. And, yes, of course, I’d love to do more and more. More conflict introduced to Cody’s life (maybe the drug addiction stuff, maybe he’s an amateur MMA fighter?) would be wonderful, and, of course, a love interest would be dope because I’d get to show the freaky, yet soft and vulnerable, side of Cody Paul.
The writers touched upon Cody’s drug addiction when you returned, saying that he was in recovery. Is that something you’d like for the writers to build on and explore?
It’s something that the writers could touch back into because I think we all know how easy it is for an addict to slip. And, as I said earlier, that would be something interesting because it would add another layer of conflict to Cody Paul’s story. As an actor you always want more and more conflict. The more adversity the better–it’s kind of like the opposite of real life. Haha.
There are daytime actors who like the freedom of being on recurring, but there are many who like the security of being on contract. If GH offered a long term contract to you, would you take it? And why or why not?
Of course I would take it. I just want to act. On a daily basis. If I get the chance to do that in Port Charles, I’m living my dream.
Besides GH, you have other projects you are working on or have done that will be airing in the coming months. What are those upcoming appearances where fans can see you next?
Well the first thing coming up will be Jim Carrey’s “Yes Man” releasing December 19th. That should be pretty darn funny. Then I’m Guest Starring in the first episode of the new season of “Burn Notice” (the #1 scripted show on cable) in January. Matt Nix, the creator of the show, said that the USA network is VERY happy with the episode and made it a point to say the performances are great. So I’m looking forward to seeing that–I haven’t yet. Then I’ll be playing another vampire in the season finale of the upcoming season of “Nip/Tuck.” As for pet projects I am writing and I also worked on a trailer with Kent King (GH’s Lainey). All that and continuing to be brought in to Port Charles every now and then.
Fan support is important to any daytime actor. Do you feel Cody Paul has left an impression with GH fans? Good or bad? Has the returned sparked more interest in him from fans?
Fan support IS important. Unbelievably. I get tons of love from all over America and Canada for Cody Paul via my MySpace page and GrahamShielsOnline. It’s all good, yo! The number one comment, far and away, is “When will you get back with Lainey?!!!” So I think people are very interested in seeing where it’ll go with Cody because they already know he has a rich history to dive into that could explode at any moment.
Graham is currently on recurring as Cody Paul on ABC’s General Hospital. He debuted as Cody Paul, a drug addicted war veteran who served his country in Iraq and had been dishonorably discharged. Cody came to Port Charles when he followed two of his army buddies, Logan Hayes (Josh Duhon) and Cooper Barrett (Jason Gerhart). After appearing on General Hospital:Night Shift during the summer of 2007, Cody Paul was sent to jail for murdering Dr. Lainey Winters’ father. After a few months off screen, Cody Paul has returned and has kicked the drug habit, and was working on the docks as a forklift operator. Thinking he could help the local mobster Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) by keeping him informed of an activity down on the docks, Cody went to Jason with information regarding Russian mobster Karpov. He has gained the trust of Jason Morgan and is currently working as a bodyguard/informant for Morgan’s organization.
For Reprint of this Interview, please contact Jennifer Synder/Senior News Editor @ Soap Opera Source
December 24, 2008
Graham Shiels played the role of Liam in Season 1 of HBO True Blood and was recently interviewed by Jamie Steinberg at the Starry Constellation Magazine. In this interviews, Graham talks about the character of Liam and filming True Blood.
Q) Please tell us about your character Liam on the show “True Blood.”
A) I will be in the second and third episode. I did the seventh episode, too. That’s exciting! I think it’s been getting some good buzz and some good press. In the fictional world of how Alan Ball (the creator and writer) sees vampires and how the author (Charlaine Harris) of the book series see it, the age you were and the clothes you wore from the time you died is who you are. Together with the wardrobe designer, they figured Liam was just an aspiring punk-rocker from the 80’s. He’s not very fashionable. That’s when Liam got bit and became a vampire. Liam hangs out with these other vampires Malcolm and Diane. The three of them aren’t so happy about the synthetic blood because they still like the real stuff. They think they’re above the vampire law and the American Constitution. They just kind of take what they want.
Q) What made you want to be a part of the show?
A) Alan Ball just has such great taste. American Beauty is most people’s favorite film and certainly is one of mine. His aesthetic and his taste are so exquisite. He’s funny and there are just not many writers like him. Any kind of vampire thing could be taken as gore for gore’s sake or horror for horror’s sake. You knew with Alan Ball there would be a sense of intelligence about it. That was very intriguing. It was basically a dream role to be able to play something fantastic, a vampire in the world of…Well, I’m not going to compare Alan Ball to Shakespeare, but I don’t know that there are many better writers out there in terms of his taste, I find. It was like a dream project. Really, I think probably if you were to ask anybody (Anna Paquin or anyone) they’d give you the same answer. It basically would be doing like “Power Rangers” written by Shakespeare. It’s like doing something really goofy and really fun, but like doing it exquisitely.
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December 24, 2008
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December 24, 2008
USA TODAY came out with their list of the Top 10 in Television for 2008 and Alan Ball’s HBO TV series “True Blood” won several Top 10 positions. “True Blood” is listed at #6 for Best Television Show in 2008 which is quite an accomplishment considering the huge number of shows on television today. Also Stephen Moyer came in at #9 and Alexander Skarsgard came in at #10 for the Top 10 Male Performers in Television for 2008. The women of “True Blood” did equally well with Anna Paquin at #1 and Rutina Wesley at #6 for Top 10 Female Performers in Television for 2008. Congratulations to Stephen, Alexander, Anna and Rutina and the rest of the cast and creative team of “True Blood” for their recognition for being one of the best in 2008 and we know they will continue the trend in 2009. To read the complete list follow the link below and once there click on the arrows to see the various categories.
(Photo credit: HBO, Inc.)