Alan Ball Talks True Blood: Myths, Mushrooms and Severed Heads

May 2, 2010 by  

Can we ever get enough of Alan Ball talking about True Blood? I don’t think so.  Alan recently chatted with journalist J. Rentilly about working on the hit show.

True Blood is really the most fun I’ve ever had on a job. Yesterday I was in a production meeting and someone walked in and said, “OK, I’ve got the severed head. Where do you want it?” I work in a fun house now and I love it.

Alan spoke about how he loves the Sookie Stackhouse novels and why he wanted to bring them to the small screen.

They’re funny and they’re sort of sly and witty and really violent, and they’re very sexy. One of the reasons why the books are so successful is because they actually work.

When asked about how the show walks the line between sticking to the books and remaining fresh and surprising, Alan says that the writers try to remain faithful to the spirit of the books, but don’t simply want to give the audiences what they are expecting. For example, Lafayette was supposed to die in the series, as he does in the books, but Alan was so knocked out by Nelsan Ellis’ performance as the cross-dressing cook with pizzazz that he decided to keep Lafayette alive.

For Alan, the stories and characters in True Blood are like those of the ancient myths, full of flawed individuals in crazy situations, and the show plays the same role for a contemporary audience that myths played for people in the past.

We all have a primal need for some kind of connection to nature that our culture tends to not take care of, the way earlier cultures might have had festivals and get around the fire and beat drums and eat mushrooms and go crazy … Perhaps a show like True Blood fits in there somehow.

So I just have to ask the question – who does the severed head belong to? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

You can read the full article here.

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Photo credit: HBO Inc.