True Blood Season 3 Spoilers from Alan Ball And The Writers From Paley Center

October 29, 2009

Alan BallAlan Ball and his creative writing team attended the Paley Center for Media panel discussion last night where True Blood fans were treated to lots of laughs and lots of information about Season 3 to keep us all hungering for more.

Right off the bat, we can assure you that Snoop Dog is not going to get his wish for a cameo on the show. Alan Ball feels that celebrity casting takes you out of the fictional world that they’re trying to create and distracts the audience. It made more sense for some celebrity casting on his hit series, Six Feet Under, but on True Blood, it’s not very likely. Alan can’t imagine a role that Snoop would be appropriate for.

Alan is having tons of fun working on the show, saying, “It feels odd that I get paid for it.”  Alan says that with Episode 5 of Season 1, the show really hit its stride. Bill Compton has his Civil War flashback during that episode, and Alan feels that by the time they got to that episode, the set up for the series was finished, the audience knew the characters by then, and the writers could start to relax and have fun.

Female heavy writing staff came about because Alan just hires based on skill. He reads people’s original work and gets a feel for their own voice, then uses his instincts during the meeting to know whether he will want to work with them eight hours a day or not. “The show has really strong female characters at the center of the story, so of course you’re going to hire women.”

Being on adult cable TV means that there’s almost nothing they can’t do. Fluidity between serious moments and comedy keeps the audience on it’s toes. Alan says vampires are a metaphor for sex, so it would be strange if they didn’t include that element in the show, but:

I can’t imagine a version of the show anywhere except HBO….I will admit to sitting in the room and saying “Can we get his shirt off? Come on! It’s Louisiana! It’s really hot!”

However, they did tone down the 1920s scene with Bill and Lorena. The original draft included a rape scene, as suggested by Stephen Moyer, but Alan decided that was not going to play well for the audience, so it was scrapped.

The vampire/Human marriage rights certainly mirrors the gay marriage controversy in contemporary society, but Alan does not want that to be a main focus. He says:

It’s some fun window dressing, and it’s only a symbol for the gay and lesbian community because that’s what’s going on right now. If we go back fifty years ago, it could have been African Americans. A hundred years ago, it would have been women and their struggle for equality and the right to vote.

He notes that the issue is in Charlaine Harris‘s Sookie Stackhouse books, which the show was based on, and says that it makes the story more contemporary, so it will certainly continue to be included in the story, but it’s not at the heart of the show. It’s simply there as part of the fabric of the storyline and provides context.

The theme of the outsider starts with Sookie ,who from the first thinks of her telepathy as a disability, and the outsider is part of the vampire myth as well, so it’s just one more part of that idea.

The enthusiasm level of genre fans is very high, and Alan‘s very happy about that because it shows that people are passionate about the show, which is tremendously gratifying to him. The other writers love the people who come to conventions and public appearances in costumes, and they all love that people hold the show so dear.

When asked if he had a favorite character on True Blood, Alan says:

I will preface this by saying I love every character equally. I love all of them and I want all of them to get what they want and they need in their fictional lives, but I really enjoy writing Jason and Lafayette.

When one of the other writers mentioned their love of writing for Alexander Skarsgård and how unexpectedly funny he is as Eric Northman, Alan says Alex has expressed a “willingness to go there” when it comes to being naked in Season 3, and in fact he will appear without most of his clothes in the very first episode, an announcement which was met with great applause by the audience.

When asked if there was any character that they regretted killing, the writers said they hated to let go of Gran but it’s such a big part of the book, they had to. They kept Lafayette even though he was killed in the books, but Gran had to die because it was important for Sookie in order to force her to realize that she is alone in the world. The characters, in general, since the writers know going into the season who’s going to die, are not missed as much as the actual actors whom they will no longer be able to see anymore.

Alan says that we will find out what happened to Bill in Episode 1 of Season 3, an announcement which made the audience very pleased.

When told that among fans Evan Rachel Wood is a controversial choice to portray Queen Sophie-Anne Leclerq, Alan wanted to know why people hate her so much. The audience gave a few reasons, but all responded that they are still going to watch the show and buy the DVDs, regardless. Alan assures us that she will be back next season, as will the Newlins. There are also a “boatload” of new characters who will be introduced. Maryann, however, is really dead and will not be back.

Alan says that there will be more conjecture of what Sookie really is in Season 3, and she will get closer to the answer. We will also get closer to an answer for why Sookie is something other than human while her brother Jason isn’t.

During Season 3, the main theme will be that of identity–Who am I? What am I? What do I want to be?

Alan also made it known that Stephen Moyer will not be marginalized. Bill and Sookie may go through some rough patches that will last perhaps longer than Bill fans might like, but in the TV world, they have a connection that will never die, despite the fact that Charlaine had to be talked out of killing Bill off in the last book in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery series.

The writers don’t feel that much pressure to stick to what happens in the books because they spread the story out among other characters, not just focusing purely on Sookie‘s story. That gives the writers much more freedom. They stay true to the spirit of the books, but they are not going to be bound by the novels. They want viewers who’ve read the books to still be surprised.

No weddings will happen in Season 3.  Someone will want one very badly, but that wedding will likely not take place, and the character who wants it to happen is not who we think it’s going to be.

Season 4 will include Eric getting amnesia, but there will be surprises all the same, and the writers don’t really have that much mapped out about the rest of the action in future seasons beyond a basic skeleton. The story can evolve as it’s being told, for example, keeping Lafayette on the show despite the fact that it was contrary to the novel’s plotline. The writers also acknowledge that Eric‘s story wants to be told, so we will get to see that evolve.

We will not see Bubba on the show, because there is no way to have Elvis appear on the show without having it look fake, and Alan wants to make sure that the characters are believable.

We will learn more about Nan Flanagan. He loves the contrast between the public face she shows as the spokesperson for vampire rights and the person she truly is when she appears in a more private setting.

The “blood bond” idea from the novels, which happens between a vampire and a human when that human drinks a vampire‘s blood, will be featured in the show, and there will be more of Pam in Season 3.

Alan ended up working on True Blood because he couldn’t put Charlaine‘s books down and so he pitched the show to HBO. He was completely unaware of Twilight at the time, and it was not a conscious decision to get on some kind of vampire bandwagon. He says that vampires have always been there in our culture. If it’s more than coincidence that so many vampire genre ideas are all popping up at the same time, he has no idea why that is.

The writers all love that Alan does not give them a set expectation for what will happen in each episode, but allows them freedom to be creative and take risks. Once the drafts have been revised and finalized, the person who wrote the script works as a producer during the shooting to be sure that the scenes play the way they intended.

Generally, Alan says that he does not like improvisation of the actors because the writers choose every word on the page for a reason, but Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette really surprised him in the first scene of the pilot, and that scene is the reason he could not kill him off. Sometimes he has to keep him on script, but he loves allowing him more freedom. The AIDS burger scene also really stands out as an amazing moment which caused the crew to burst into spontaneous applause after the first take.

Allan Hyde as Godric is a fan favorite. The end scene with his death was shot partly with green screen, partly on a rooftop as the sun came up and they could only do three takes before they ran out of time to shoot. More than likely, we will see him again in flashback scenes with Eric.

Please be sure to check out the full 55 minute audio of this extraordinary panel discussion.  Click the link, and then scroll down to the audio recording which appears halfway down on right-hand side of the page.

Many thanks to @KitchenBitch on Twitter who graciously provided a link to an audio recording of the event.


(Photo credit: Kevin Parry / Paley Center for Media)


Ryan Kwanten On Jason Stackhouse and Dating

October 29, 2009

ryan-kwanten-physics-true-blood-01During the hiatus from True Blood, Ryan Kwanten has been filming the movie Red Hill and spending time with family. Soon he will be back in L.A. to begin work on Season three of True Blood. In the meantime, though, he helped promote the show’s first season as it airs on Channel 4 in the UK by doing an interview with OK! Magazine.

When Ryan has to get naked for one of his sex scenes as the womanizing Jason, his first concern is making the actress feel comfortable:

“I’ve always been comfortable with my body and I think Australians have a fairly liberal and open-minded point of view when it comes to sex and nudity. More often than not, the girl is going to be far more nervous than me, so I’ll approach the girls beforehand and say: ‘Any questions, qualms, concerns that you have, just come to me.’ The more comfortable they are, the more comfortable I am and the scene will work better.”

As for what he thinks about the vampire obsession, Ryan offers an insightful reflection:

“Albert Einstein said the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious, and for many people vampires represent the absolute epitome of mystery. They have these other worldly qualities like a sixth sense–and they’re apparently fantastic in bed, they have years and years of experience.”

Clearly, the thoughtful and down-to-earth Ryan is drastically different from the character he portrays, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t found qualities in Jason that he can use in his own life:

“I tend to be far too cerebral and totally over-analyze things. But he is the polar opposite in that there’s no will power of thought, he jumps off the cliff without thinking, he dives into any situation with no recourse whatsoever. So I’ve learnt to loosen up my mentality and go with the flow a little bit.”

Still, Ryan admits to being a quiet, observant person as opposed to a highly extroverted actor. He prefers interacting with others one-on-one, but says that he’s “pretty terrible when it comes to women.” He’s not really dating at this point in his life:

“That concept has always eluded me, that whole dating thing. What I’m amazed at more than anything is marriage, the lack of thought that goes into marriage. Maybe it’s just like going to buy a sandwich: ‘How about we just get married?’ And then the next week they break up, like it was nothing.”

That’s an interesting comparison to make… Perhaps one day the woman will come along who changes his mind. For now, though, Ryan appears to be wholly invested in acting, saying that work is his number one priority. He never intended to move to Los Angeles, but now that’s where he belongs:

“The passion for the business and the craft is cemented in my veins.”

This is evident to us True Blood fans who have seen how talented Ryan is an actor! He manages to play a frequently dumb character like Jason and make him endearing to us. I am looking forward to seeing more of Ryan, in future projects and on True Blood!


(Photo credit: Cory Sorensen / Muscle & Body)


VIDEO: Nelsan Ellis Speaks From the London MCM Expo

October 29, 2009

Nelsan-Ellis-London-ExpoNelsan Ellis, who plays the flamboyant short-order cook, Lafayette Reynold on Alan Ball‘s hit HBO TV vampire series True Blood recently attended the London MCM Expo where his interview was captured on video by Essex UK TV. Nelsan discusses in detail his character Lafayette, his experiences with the fans and working on the show.  It was a pleasure to watch Nelsan and to get to know him better outside of his Lafayette character because as we all know, and Nelsan has mentioned it many times, he is nothing like his character.  Enjoy!


VIDEO: Stephen Moyer Interview From A Coffin

October 29, 2009

Stephen-Moyer-UK-Interview-CoffinStephen Moyer who plays the handsome vampire Bill Compton on Alan Ball‘s hit HBO TV vampire series True Blood recently conducted an interview with Steve Jones from UK Channel 4 from the comforts of a coffin.  That’s right you heard me correctly, a coffin!  As Steve Jones states Transylvania was too far and the local graveyard was just not right so the next best place to interview a vampire would be in a coffin.  This is a fun interview with Stephen as he discusses his character, the blood that he drinks on the show and his response to the comment about the racy scenes to which Stepehn says,

“that there is a little a bit of saucy actions every now and then and sometimes backstage as well.”

You have to love Stephen‘s interviews, they are always so much fun to listen to. Enjoy the video and many thanks to UK Channel 4 for informing us about this video.

SOURCE: UK Channel 4


Inside Look at the Making of True Blood’s Opening Credits

October 29, 2009

True-Blood-opening-scenesWe recently found a video showing a behind the scenes look at the production of the opening credits for True Blood. As the video starts we hear the crew explaining how they came up with the concept for the opening credits. They wanted the feel of a predatory creature watching humans. They also wanted to incorporate the sexiness and violence that goes along with the show. The idea of the credits was to have these feelings and emotions build and build until you felt like you couldn’t take it anymore. The credits were produced in more of a documentary fashion rather than normal film making. All types of different techniques and equipment were used. The church scene that takes place in the credits was actually a last minute shoot taken in Chicago. They cast an actual church and shot the scene in the basement of the church. You also get an inside look into how they shot the final sequence where you see the True Blood title under the blood. It was very inexpensive to create and the crew was extremely proud of how it turned out. This is a neat inside look into one more facet of this amazing show! Enjoy!

True Blood Making of and Featurette from DIGITALKITCHEN on Vimeo.

SOURCE:  Digital Kitchen


Nelsan Ellis Interviewed At London’s MCM Expo 16

October 28, 2009

Nelsan EllisTrue Blood‘s Nelsan Ellis who portrays the always fabulous Lafayette Reynold attended London’s Movie Comic Media (MCM) Expo 16.  At a round table discussion with British press, Nelsan discussed his role as Lafayette and gave some great insight into his experience working on the show.

Nelsan spoke about meeting his fans, both in Britain and back in the United States:

It’s cool meeting the fans across the pond. They’re just like the fans over in America, and they say the same things about the show, so it’s like, wow, I guess the show makes the same impact….It makes you feel good that your work has translated across the screen and some person comes from Manchester just to go, “Wassup, I like your work.” You have to appreciate stuff like that.

When asked about his character, Lafayette, Nelsan gushed that he was attracted to the role because:

…he has so many colors! I mean, it’s just, it’s an actor’s wonderland when you can just play so many things and do so many things, and I love putting on lipstick and the eyeliner and the eye stuff and do all this crazy stuff!

While he loves the character, however, Nelsan insists that he is not really like the character he plays on True Blood:

Well, they [fans] think that I’m like Lafayette. I am kind of a shy dude, but I’m not Lafayette. The luxury with being an actor is that all the things you…all the courage you wish you had, you get it out in the character. Because I don’t have Lafayette‘s character, his courage, and certainly I don’t have his sexual prowess. Many people think I do, so I’ve had some strange situations happen to me. But I’m kind of a reserved dude. But Lafayette is kind of reserved. He’s big when he needs to be big, but he’s also pretty chill.

Episode 5 of Season 1 is Nelsan‘s favorite episode because of Lafayette‘s AIDS burger scene in Merlotte’s.  He said he was thrilled when he read the script, because he was going to get to do so much in that episode:

I get to do all this stuff in one episode and so I love that! I know it’s egotistical of me to love the episode that I dominated, but I like that episode. Normally I have two scenes, and I have four in that episode and I got to do some fun, fun, fun stuff.

On the show, Nelsan does all of his own stunts, and in the round table discussion, he talked and laughed about that experience:

Well, I tell you this, bro. The first day that I had to do a stunt, they brought up some stunt dude and stunt dude was gonna do my stunt, and I was like, “Y’all just wasted money ’cause he’s gonna sit there…. I’m doing all my stunts.” And I’d do all my stunts and then they stopped giving me a stunt double. So I do all my own stunts. It’s weird, though, when I’m in a fight scene and I’m fighting another stunt double instead of the actor, ’cause nobody else does their own. Rutina does her own stunts too.

HBO is good like that. They listen to you. You can say, “I wanna do my own stunts” and they’ll go, “Okay.” ‘Cause HBO is cheap, so that helps them save money if they don’t have to hire a stunt double. So they’re like, “Cool!”

…I punched a dude in the face before! And I thought he was gonna hit me back!…It was a stunt man. He was like 6’4″, 235. I was like, “Bro, I’m sorry. It was a accident.” And they were like, “Go on! Why’d you stop? That’s the tape we coulda used, ’cause it was real!” I was like, “But he’s bleeding!”

Nelsan also opened up about some of the more explicit elements of True Blood, the way his family has reacted to the show, and the nudity in some of the episodes:

I don’t have to…well, I’m glad I don’t have to bare all like some of my other cast members, but I am from a very religious background. My father hates the show. My mother hates the show. I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me except if I have to show my ding-dong. Then I’m like, “Really? Really?” It bothers my parents, you know what I’m saying, but they’re closed minded, Southern Baptist, kooky people. The only thing that bothers me is if I have to show my…piece…my bits and pieces. Then I want a stunt double. Show his bits and pieces. I don’t wanna show all my bits and pieces. I don’t want everyone knowing my measurements. It’s crazy. Ryan Kwanten, they have all these zoom in pictures, they throw them up on the internet. I don’t wanna go through all that business!

The one character Nelsan thinks would be the most fun to portray is Eric Northman.  Nelsan says:

He’s 2000 years old, he does not know fear, so he’s just chillin’ all the time. All the chicks want him. All the dudes want him. You know what I’m sayin’? He’s just in the middle just cool, suave, collected, got it together.

Nelsan spoke about his break into showbiz, some of his other work before True Blood, and then said that the important thing he’s learned from working on the show is:

Stay committed to your instincts. Keep listening to that small voice inside of you that tells you what to do. ‘Cause when you start listening too much to people, you can sabotage yourself. That small voice has guided you through life and it keeps you true to the character.

For British fans just now getting a taste of True Blood, Nelsan gave a few hints about what they could look forward to in Season 2, just enough to whet their appetites, but giving nothing away.

The folks at Geek Syndicate posted a link to the full fascinating and humorous ten minute interview. Click here to listen to Nelsan speak, which is fantastic and should not be missed.

SOURCE: Geek Syndicate

(Photo credit: Geek Syndicate)


Nelsan Ellis At The London MCM Expo: A Fan Encounter

October 28, 2009

Our dear friend in the UK, Joao Vasconcelos, was so kind to send us a write up of his experience attending the London MCM Expo and meeting True Blood‘s Nelsan Ellis. Many thanks to Joao for sharing his experience with all the True Blood readers for it must have been a fantastic experience to meet Nelsan in person!  So let us sit back and enjoy Joao‘s encounter with the very talented Nelsan Ellis.

During the weekend of October 24th and 25th, the ExCeL Center in East London was the host to the London MCM Expo in which many people gather to celebrate many cult classics. Around the center, there were people dressed as characters from the Star Wars series to Master Chief from the Halo Series. However there was one person that I was particularly excited to see. Nelsan Ellis was there to sign and take pictures with fans. Nelsan was really kind to the fans and had no problem signing the many things that they brought to him or taking many pictures with them.

Nelsan looked completely different to his alter-ego on the show. He was dressed very smart and was unshaven. I first saw Nelsan being shown around the center before he started signing and on first look, I wasn’t too sure if it was him. It wasn’t until I looked over my shoulder that I noticed that it was him. There was a reasonably sized queue waiting to see Nelsan with many carrying various merchandise consisting of DVDs, posters and the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Those without anything had a choice of two promo shots from Season One featuring Nelsan.

Upon meeting Nelsan, he was very kind and gracious. He signed both promo pictures for me and my Dead Until Dark book. After signing, he took a picture with me and wished me a good day and I wished him one back. Before letting the next fan in the queue walk up to Nelsan, I wished him good luck on Season 3 and congratulated him on Season 2 in which he replied, “Thank you very much good sir”.


Joao Vasconcelos


VIDEOS: True Blood at the 2009 SCREAM Awards

October 28, 2009

True -Blood-SCREAM-Awards-WinIf you missed watching last night’s Spike TV’s 2009 SCREAM Awards then you missed watching the cast of True Blood walking up the stage and accepting their awards.  Well you almost missed it.  Here are a few clips from last night’s award show as the whole cast was thrilled at winning the awards.  As always they were gracious and showed how much of a close “family” they have all become.  A funny point in one of the videos was when during Alan‘s speech a group of women scream “We love you Stephen!” and everybody’s enthusiastic response particularly Anna‘s.  It was great to watch the whole cast having so much fun with each other that those few moments helped feed the True Blood withdrawal many are feeling.  Enjoy the videos!  The videos are slow loading so please be patient.

True Blood Wins Best TV Show | SpikeTV |

Stephen Moyer Best Horror Actor | SpikeTV |



True Blood Season 3: Spoilers and Casting News

October 28, 2009

TrueBloodSeasonFinale2a-thumb-550x368-24043True Blood’s third season won’t be showing up on our television screens for another 8 months or so, but filming begins in early December. This means that we can all be very excited for whatever news comes out to see what might be revealed. A casting call for the first few episodes of Season three hints at several characters that will be introduced.

What’s going to happen to Bill?! He’s going to be spending some time with an “intensely beautiful” male vampire named Talbot, described as cheerfully talkative and sarcastic, where Bill will be forced to stay as a “guest”. Also listed is a character named Cooter, aka “Coot,” the menacing leader of a biker gang. He and his crew (Louie, Jimmy, and Gus) apparently like to stab Bill repeatedly and feed off of him in order to get high on V!!!  An interesting side note is the introduction of a character named Olivia who is described as an elderly woman in her 80’s who lives in a house in the middle of nowhere who mistakes Bill as her son.  Now if according to the spoiler information above, if Bill is being held captive by these thugs, how does he end up meeting this old woman in the middle of nowhere?

How will Sam’s search for his family go? One notice calls for a series regular to play Tommy Mickens. Aged 18-25, he will be dirty but good-looking, with a big scar running across his face. Tommy works at an Arkansas tire depot and comes from a family with a bad reputation for being in debt. When Sam approaches him, he hides his identity. The role will require some backside nudity, so raise your hand if you think shapeshifter! There are also a couple of characters mentioned that Sam meets in Arkansas and asks about his family.


Is Eric pining for Sookie? This character description would suggest not! Yvetta is a gorgeous Eastern European young woman who gets a job dancing at Fangtasia and has a sexual relationship with Eric. The actress must be comfortable with nudity.

How does Jason’s shooting of Eggs affect him? Two college girls named Jen and Missy spend the night with Jason. They try to get him excited for some threesome fun by making out with each other, but he doesn’t seem very enthusiastic. Probably haunted by what he did, he admits that he can’t stop picturing them without bullet holes in their heads.

What will Tara’s emotional roller coaster bring her to next? Apparently, a sexy vampire named Franklin Mott. “Tall, dark, and handsome,” he has an immediate connection with Tara. He meets her at bar and later comes to her aid against a couple of racist rednecks. Also a pastor tries to comfort Tara and help bring her closer to her mother.

Who is going to be Lafayette’s love interest? Although this character is not specified as having an encounter with Lafayette, his description makes him seem like a good candidate! Jesus Velasquez is an attractive Latino male nurse in his 20s-30s. Taking care of people in a nursing home, this young man is good-natured even in the face of occasional racist remarks from his elderly patients. If he is in fact the one that will have a relationship with Lafayette, wouldn’t that be a great contrast to our flamboyant, outspoken fry cook?

It’s good to remember that not every spoiler turns out to be true as shows sometimes like to be tricky and throw fans off by leaking false information. We will have to wait and see what Alan Ball has planned. But this seems like an intriguing group of characters! I can already feel the suspense building.


(Photo credits: HBO Inc.)


Inside Brentwood Theatre’s Production of The TWITS

October 28, 2009

Last week, we learned that our fundraiser for Stephen Moyer’s birthday to support his hometown theatre in Brentwood, England, raised $2,400. Because of the generosity of many of you, lots young students will be able to take a field trip to see Brentwood’s holiday play, The TWITS. Preparations are now underway at the theatre with the arrival of the actors and rehearsals beginning soon. They will be doing 16 performances for the public and kids from local schools to enjoy. The people at Brentwood have shared with us some pictures from behind the scenes with the cast and crew. The characters have names like Mr. and Mrs. Mugglewump and the Roly Poly Bird. Based on all the colorful costumes, it looks sure to be a fun show!

Here The Roly Poly Bird, Jenanne Redman, met eight year old Tara who has designed her beautiful costume. Tara and her family will be coming along to the Opening Night and will meet The Deputy Mayor of Brentwood and see a very special performance by Ringmistress Natalie Verheagen. So far the tail feathers have been made.

Mrs Twit needs to be ugly and grotesque so beautiful Kate Ankers will have her work cut out, but with the help of Joy Dunn, our costumier, the job will be easier.

And here is Jessica Rose in one of her three mad, colourful costumes (wait until you see the one with birds all over it). (This is the only pic of Jessica – she had another job to go to, face painting).

Director Vernon Keeble Watson keeps an eye on the proceedings

Here we have Leigh Stevenson (Mr Mugglewump), Jennifer Skapeti (Mrs Mugglewump), Christopher Jefferies (Mr Twit) and Naomi Shields (Baby Mugglewump)

And this is Kate Ankers (Mrs Twit), Jenanne Redman (the Roly Poly Bird) and Stephen Gunshon (last year, Fantastic Mr Fox and this year our Ringmaster)

(Photo Credits: Mark Reed / Brentwood Theatre)


« Previous PageNext Page »