Alan Ball and Sam Trammell Talk Tolerance and Romance at GLSEN Respect Awards

October 12, 2009 by  

Alan Ball, Stephen Moyer, and Anna PaquinTrue Blood HBO‘s Alan Ball, Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte), and Michelle Forbes (Maryann Forrester) attended the 5th Annual GLSEN Respect Awards, held at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

GLSEN (which stands for Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. HBO was honored at the awards ceremony for their movies and series which stand as an example of diversity and which set an example for the positive portrayal of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community.  Also honored at the event were Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice producer Shonda Rhimes for incorporating diversity into her shows and David Bohnett who has been a long time supporter of GLSEN’s work.

Sam Trammell spoke with AccessHollywood about the GLSEN organization, the importance of tolerance, and about the opportunities he sees on True Blood and in Hollywood for strong LGBT characters.  According to Sam:

I think we’ve come a really long way. I mean if you look just 15 years ago, I mean, there were very few main characters who were gay or even supporting roles who were gay, and now there’s all kinds of shows…On our show, we’re equal opportunity for straight, gay, lesbian, all that, you know, so everybody…everybody gets naked, and everybody sucks blood.

Sam-Trammel-Michelle-Forbes-Alan-Ball-GLSENProducer Alan Ball spoke to People Magazine at the event and revealed that he knew about the budding romance between costars Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton) and Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse) long before they officially revealed their relationship to the cast and crew of True Blood.

I know that they think that nobody knew about it until the end of the season, but I knew about it by episode two.

Stephen comes into the bar, and takes [Anna‘s] hand, [and] I thought, “Wow, they have chemistry!” But sometimes actors have chemistry when they’re acting together, but they cannot stand each other while off set.

When I found out that they were dating, my reaction was, ‘Uh-oh! I hope that this doesn’t blow up in our face.’

But this has been happening long enough that it’s very clear that it is the real thing. They’re very, very happy, and I’m just thrilled for them.

That off-screen chemistry between Stephen and Anna showed in their work on-screen, adding heat to an already intense character-driven script, and, interestingly, the scene which Alan describes as tipping him off to their secret is the one which was featured at the Emmys for True Blood‘s award-winning Breakthrough Performance.

SOURCES:,, and AccessHollywood

(Photo credit: HBO)