Rutina Wesley’s No Nonsense Character on True Blood

January 31, 2009

rutinahboRutina Wesley’s character on Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV series “True Blood” doesn’t mince her words and tells people straight in their face what she’s thinking. Rutina Wesley portrays Tara Thornton, a foul-mouth, anger young woman raised by an abusive, alcoholic mother and best friend to the main character in “True Blood”, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin). Rutina explains that people may have this image that she is tough like Tara but in reality she is the opposite of her. Rutina states that she can understand her character and the anger that is always simmering on the surface but can also convey a sense of vulnerability and sweetness lying deep inside of her. Rutina states that she herself may appear to people to have a very tough exterior but she is the opposite and is really very sweet inside.

For her audition for Alan Ball to get the part of Tara, Rutina had to act out the scene from Episode One where she is working at the “Super Save-a-bunch” store and bad mouths to a customer and her boss before quitting. Alan Ball chose this scene to cast the character because he wanted someone to

“establish her as the smartest citizen of the fictional backwater town of Bon Temps, La., but also as a hot-tempered, curse-happy person who doesn’t suffer fools. “Other actresses played it for laughs, like something on the CW,” Mr. Ball said. “But Rutina was the first person who showed her vulnerable side.”

Rutina’s character is perhaps the one character in Charlaine Harris’ books who has been changed the most by Alan Ball in his adaptation of “True Blood”. In the books Tara is Caucasian and is not foul mouth and in your face as Alan Ball’s version. In fact Tara doesn’t really have a large role in the Charlaine Harris’ novels however, Mr. Ball wanted to expand her character and change her around. Mr. Ball stated “It’s in Louisiana — it couldn’t be all about the Caucasians”.

On “True Blood” Tara may swear at people constantly and put them in their place but when it come to Sookie’s brother, Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) she has a soft spot for him. Rutina states that Tara believes that one day Jason will realize that she is the one for him and they will get married, have children and live happily ever after. Unfortunately Rutina states that Jason see and treats Tara like one of his buddies.

Rutina’s decision to follow an acting career may have been influenced by her parents who were both being entertainers. Rutina’s mother, Cassandra Wesley, was a feather-headed showgirl and her father, Ivery Wheeler, is a professional tap dancer. Adding to the fact that she grew up 10 minutes away from the Las Vegas strip, the glistening lights may all have contributed to her decision to attend Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual high school. Afterwards she received a full scholarship to the University of Evansville in Indiana and majored in theatre arts. She states that it was a quite a culture chock for her during her freshman year there because of two main factors: she was the only African-American female in the theatre performance department and her hometown setting set her apart. She recently graduated from Juilliard and appeared on Broadway in David Hare’s “Vertical Hour” and a movie entitled “How She Move” (2007). “True Blood” is the first television series that she has worked on. Currently she is married to actor Jacob Fishel and divides her time between Los Angeles and Astoria, Queens. In closing Rutina states that the concept of vampires being seen as outsiders is something she can relate to and how sometimes people need to look beyond the surface.

“I get to create this girl and make her not the stereotypical — for lack of a better phrase — black woman with an attitude,” Ms. Wesley said of moments like these. “We see a lot of that. But with Tara we’re also going to see a woman who has been through a lot of things.”

SOURCE: “Television – Flesh and Blood in a Town of Vampires – NYTimes.com.” The New York Times. 2008.

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)

Share

True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten Comfortable With His Role

January 30, 2009

Academy of Country Music Awards ArrivalsRyan Kwanten’s popularity has steadily increased since starring in Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV series “True Blood”. His popularity may be the result of the character that he portrays, the over sex-driven brother of the lead protagonist Sookie Stackhouse, (Anna Paquin) Jason Stackhouse. Ryan states he is not bothered by the fact that the audience sees him more often without clothes then with clothes on. Ryan commented that Australia is a very open-minded society and tends to not be shocked by nudity. However, in terms of the various sexual positions that he finds himself in, he says some may be shocked regardless of where the person comes from. For Ryan he says it is all part of the fun.

Alan Ball states that the Jason character in the Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, (which “True Blood” is adapted from) appealed to him and he wanted to incorporate him more in the show. He felt that Jason was a big character who had his own story to tell and wanted to explore the character’s hesitation to grow up. He sees Ryan’s character having similarities to Peter Pan or Nate in his show “Six Feet Under’ or even Kevin Spacey’s character in “American Beauty”. Ryan states that doing nude scenes for Alan Ball is easy.

“I’ve been in the business now for 15 years and I haven’t had an experience that comes close to the one I’ve had with working with Alan and HBO,” he says. “They’re so embracing of the artist. You know anything you want to bring to the table, no matter how ridiculous it may seem, they’re willing to listen. It really is an absolute rarity in this business to have that, and a lot of it comes from being associated with Alan. They trust his judgment and his choices.”

Jason lives for the moment and simply wants to have fun and that fun is sleeping around with whatever woman is around at the time. Ryan on the other hand, finds playing Jason interesting because Jason is so unlike him in real life. In closing Ryan explains that perhaps the intrigue of vampires and what draws people to the concept is that the vampires were once human who now have some special abilities and that makes them a possibility in the world.

SOURCE: OUT Magazine – Dec.2008/Jan.2009

(Photo credit: AP Photo Isaac Brekken)

Share

True Blood Nominated for the Motion Picture Sound Editors Award

January 29, 2009

billandsookienewThe Motion Picture Sound Editors have

announced their nominees for the 56th Golden Reel Awards and Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV series “True Blood” has been nominated. The sound editing team on “True Blood” has been nominated in the category of Best Sound Editing: Short Form Dialogue and ADR in Television for their work on Episode 8 “The Fourth Man in the Fire”. Other nominees in the category are Californication – “The Raw and the Cooked”, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – “Bull”, CSI: NY – “Hostage #421”, Fringe – “Safe”, LOST – “Confirmed Dead #402”, Mad Men – “The Jet Set”, and The Tudors – “Episode 210”. The Golden Reel Awards are presented each year to its members for recognition and acknowledgement of the year”s best work in the various areas of sound editing: Dialogue & ADR, Effects & Foley, and Music in Motion Pictures and Television. The award ceremony will be held on February 21, 2009 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles where during the ceremony the 2009 MPSE Filmmaker”s Award recipient will be announced and the 2009 MPSE Career Achievement Award will be presented to Ben Burtt.

The Golden Reel Award is rewarded not to just one individual but to a whole team of sound editors working behind the scenes of a show to create the right mood casino and setting for the scenes. The “True Blood” sound team nominated consists of:

  • Supervising Dialogue Editor: John Benson
  • Supervising ADR Editor: John Benson
  • Sound Editor: Jason Krane
  • Sound Editor: Jason Lezama
  • Sound Editor: Steve M. Stuhr

Additional Crew:

  • Assistant Dialogue Editor: Nate Hankins
  • ADR Mixer: Jeremy Balko
  • Loop Group Supervisor: Joyce Kurtz
  • Dialogue Re-recording Mixer: Elmo Ponsdomenech
  • Production Sound Mixer: Roger Stevenson

Several of the nominees have extensive experience working on various projects and have received nominations for their work in the past. John Benson has been nominated 4 times for a Golden Reel Award and 2 Primetime Emmys for his work on “Ready To Run”, “The Miracle Worker”, “The Pennsylvania Miners’ Story“, “Anne Frank: The Whole Story”, and “Warm Springs”. His resume of work also includes “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”, and “The Hunt for Red October”. Jeremy Balko has worked on many productions including “Saw”, “Saw II”, “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”, “88 Minutes” and “The Hills Have Eyes II” just to name a few. Elmo Ponsdomenech’s body of work includes 4 Primetime Emmys and 4 Cinema Audio Society Awards for his work on “Dexter”, “ Sleeper Cell: Youmud Din”, “NYPD Blue”, “Six Feet Under”, “Sleeper Cell: Fitna”, and “Sleeper Cell”. Jason Krane is known for his work on “Heroes”, “Monk”, “Dexter”, “Desperate Housewives”, and “Ugly Betty” just to name a few of the many productions he has been involved in. All the members on the sound editing team have extensive credentials in the entertainment industry. Congratulations to the sound editing team’s recognition for their hard work and dedication on “True Blood” and we wish them the best of luck at the award ceremony on February 21, 2009.

SOURCE:

Motion Picture Sound Editors

IMDb.com

(Photo Credit: HBO Inc. and IMDb.com)

Share

HBO True Blood T-Shirt Special for Newsletter Subscribers

January 29, 2009

HBO has new t-shirts available EXCLUSIVELY TO NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS but you have to hurry the offer expires February 1, 2009. A prefect gift for your vampire love for Valentine’s Day. So do not delay and sign up for the newsletter and then you will be able to order these t-shirts.  To sign up for the HBO True Blood newsletter please click on this link.

tb_vday_2009

Share

What Are You Doing Until True Blood Return This Summer?

January 28, 2009

bill-and-sookieAlan Ball’s fantastic HBO TV Series has developed a huge fan base and as a result many fans are waiting in anticipation for season 2. So we here at truebloodnet.com would like to ask you our readers a new poll question.

Share

Ryan Kwanten Talks about True Blood in a Video Interview

January 28, 2009

ryanktlaJust before the season finale of Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV series “True Blood” aired, Ryan Kwanten had the opportunity to dropped by KTLA to discuss his portrayal of Jason Stackhouse. During the interview Ryan was asked about being seen as a heartthrob and his feelings regarding the explicit scenes that he has in the show. What was interesting was his explanation to the interviewers his wardrobe for the show and the definition of a “modesty patch”.

SOURCE: KTLA

Share

True Blood’s Nelsan Ellis Interview with AfterElton.com – Part 3

January 27, 2009

nelsanimg4In the third part of Nelsan Ellis’s interview with AfterElton.com Nelsan discusses in the video interview where he got the inspiration for Lafayette’s mannerisms and attitude.

Gay video from AfterElton.com

SOURCE: Interview with Nelsan Ellis from “True Blood”

(Photo credit: HBO Inc. and AfterElton.com)

Share

True Blood’s Nelsan Ellis Interview with AfterElton.com – Part 2

January 27, 2009

nelsanimg5This is a continuation of Nelsan Ellis’s interview with AfterElton. In part 2 Nelsan mentions in his video interview his sister’s reaction to his role as a gay man and the reaction of his gay fans in his portrayal of Lafayette.

SOURCE: Interview with Nelsan Ellis from “True Blood”

(Photo credit: HBO Inc. and AfterElton.com)

Share

True Blood’s Nelsan Ellis Interview with AfterElton.com – Part 1

January 27, 2009

lafayetteaftereltonAfterElton.com had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Nelsan Ellis regarding his role on Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV series “True Blood” and discuss how he obtained the role on the show and how he developed the character of Lafayette Reynold. As an overview Lafayette is the flamboyantly gay short order cook at Merlotte’s Bar, however he engages in other activities to supplement his income including being a drug dealer, gay video porn website producer and male escort.

Since this was the first time Nelsan Ellis played a gay character, AfterElton asked if he had any concerns or was afraid of the reactions he may receive from straight or gay people or even Southerns. Nelsan explained that he didn’t care what straight people thought but was more concerned what gay people thought because he didn’t want to offend anyone. He states:

“I didn’t care what straight people thought. I cared what gay people thought, to be quite honest. Because Alan didn’t want a caricature. He said that quite early on, because I was a caricature the first audition. My concern was if I was going to offend anybody. I don’t want to offend nobody. So I had great concerns with black people and gay people. Black people are going to say this, gay people are going to say this …. My career is going to be over. People are going to hate my guts if I don’t do this right.”

Nelsan discusses how Lafayette is a complex individual neither too feminine nor masculine and at the same time neither good or bad. Regardless of the negative activities that he pursues Nelsan explains he basically is doing what he needs to do in order to survive.

There are 3 individual video clips that accompany this interview. In part 1 Nelsan discusses his Southern roots and how that helped him shape the character of Lafayette. In part 2 Nelsan mentions his sister’s reaction to his role of a gay man and the reaction of his gay fans in his portrayal of Lafayette, and finally in part 3 he discusses where he got the inspiration for Lafayette’s mannerisms.

Gay video from AfterElton.com

To read the complete interview, click the link below.

SOURCE: Interview with Nelsan Ellis from “True Blood”

(Photo credit: HBO Inc. and AfterElton.com)

Share

Which True Blood Male Actor Would You Rank #1?

January 27, 2009

hunky-billFrisky.com posted a poll asking people to vote on who is the most desirable man and Stephen Moyer was one of the men on their list. While we agree with his inclusion on their list we decided to create our own poll.
Stephen Moyer – Bill Compton
Alexander Skarsgard – Eric Northman
Ryan Kwanten – Jason Stackhouse
Sam Trammell – Sam Merlotte
Todd Lowe – Terry Bellefleur
Nelsan Ellis – Lafayette Reynold
Jim Parrack – Hoyt Fortenberry

[poll id=”6″]

Jan 31, 2009 @ 14:29
Poll is now Closed. Thanks for voting and having fun in our Fun Stuff area!

Share

Next Page »