True Blood Cast At The Comic-con Panel

August 8, 2009

thoralexGina McIntyre from the LA Times describes in her article the legion of devoted fans that tuned up at the True Blood’s Comic-con panel on Saturday July 25th to hear Alan Ball and the cast discuss what’s in store for the remainder of season 2.   Here is what Gina had to say:

True Blood,” HBO’s hit adaptation of the Sookie Stackhouse mystery novels from author Charlaine Harris, has its own legion of devoted fans keen on the show’s sexy, campy aesthetic, and plenty of them turned up Saturday to hear cast members Anna Paquin (on her birthday, no less), Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Nelsan Ellis, Michelle Forbes, Deborah Ann Woll and Alexander Skarsgard and creator Alan Ball talk about what’s in store for Season 2 and beyond. It was Skarsgard, though, who might have earned the most enthusiastic reception — he plays vamp heavy Eric Northman on the Louisiana-set series, and well, there just must be something about those centuries-old former Vikings who become powerful immortals. They make the ladies swoon.”

The audience also got to view a trailer of what is in store for us and were able to ask questions of True Blood’s cast,  Alan Ball True Blood’s creator and author Charlaine Harris:

“After screening a brief teaser reel promoting the second half of the current season, the cast took turns answering questions posed by moderator Kate Hahn from TV Guide and members of the audience, several of whom focused on the tension between Eric and Paquin’s Sookie, who happens to be romantically involved with Moyer’s Southern gentleman vampire Bill Compton.

Anna responded to the personal growth of her character since last season:

“After Sookie’s experiences last season — when she suffered the loss of her grandmother and was in almost constant danger of losing her own life — she felt that her character had become stronger and tougher, but conceded that she still gets into trouble.”Good thing she has her vampire boyfriend.”

As far as Stephen is concerned regarding his character of Bill Compton:

Bill intends to make sure that HE remains Sookie’s beau.”I’m not sure Bill’s just going to roll over and let that happen,” he said of any potential developments on the Eric-Sookie front. “He might not be as polite.”

Alexander Skarsgard talking of the development of his character and his advances toward Anna’s Character Sookie had this to say:

Eric’s most likely not going to drop his advances toward the plucky cocktail waitress   any time soon.”Eric’s been around for a very long time. He’s kind of over humanity, then she comes along and there’s something different about her. For the first time in a long time, he’s curious. Which means things could turn ugly, and fast.”

Skarsgard also went on to say:

“He’s enjoyed working on the series’ second season, as it’s allowed him to develop the character: “Eric was misunderstood. People would say, ‘You’re the bad guy,’ and I had to defend him. He is a bad ass, but as an actor, you have to have layers. . . . He doesn’t care for a lot of people, or vampires either, but the ones he does, he’s very loyal to.

For another tidbit show related, which we already shared with you:

Ball announced that TruBlood (an all-natural blood orange soda sold in replica bottles that look just like the props on the show) will be available for purchase Sept. 10, just in time for the Season 2 finale. Fans will be able to place orders at”

For all Charlaine Harris fans she had this to add:

“She revealed during the panel that she’s signed a contract to write three more, which should take her up through 2014.”

Obviously good news for all True Blood fans as Alan Ball gwill have more then enough material to wrk with to keep the series going for many more seasons.  Gina McIntyre’s article can be read at:

(photo credit:


True Blood’s Valerie Cruz Interview

August 6, 2009

0721cruz_articleLee Hernandez of promised himself he would not watch Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV series True Blood until as he put it:

True Blood came to their senses and hired a Latina to appear on the show”

Well we know his wish came true with introduction of Isabel Beaumont played by Valerie Cruz. Lee describes Isabel‘s character:

Isabel Beaumont, an elegant, 600-year-old Spanish vampire-with-a-soul (think RobPattinson in Twilight) who rolls with the super-scary Dallas coven of vamps! I called Ms. Cruz to get all the deets on her biting new role, and the gracious (and super-intelligent) actress, who is perhaps best known for her role as Silvia Prado (Jimmy Smits’s wife on Dexter), gave me the 411 on all things True Blood, including why the evil Dallas vamps are not to be messed with, why her character may be on Bill and Sookie’s side after all and why a certain Oscar-winning Spanish actress may have served as the inspiration for her character’s Spanish accent.”

When Valerie was asked about her character and not being your typical Vampire:

“As far as vampires go, no. She has a penchant for humans and a vulnerability. She wants to try to find a way to coexist with them.” And also commented to the interviewer when she was asked, So in a crowd of evil vamps, Isabel is like the Edward Cullen of True Blood—a vampire with a soul? Yes, definitely! That is actually a very accurate description.”

Also adding on her age of being 600 years old and whether she feels it:

“She lived during the Spanish Inquisition and she’s 600 years old!
I think she does in the sense that she’s become a little world-weary”

When asked about her inspiration of the characters accent:

“I’ve been doing accents for a long time. The people I modeled it after would have to be  Penélope Cruz or Antonio Banderas, or somebody from Spain. That was very important for me [to get the accent just right], because when you have a character on a show that has a big cast, every bit of that character matters—from her hairstyle and accent to the way she dresses.”

When asked about The Dallas Vamps and her take Valerie responded:

“They’re big city vampires. They are crazy. Stan is crazy. They are looking for domination, and there are vamps in their nest that have no qualms about taking human life. They definitely feel like they’re the superior race, so to speak—if you can call vampires a race. There are definitely some crazies in there too. That’s why Isabel is so intense with Stan, because she’s outnumbered in regard to her feelings of starting a war—she doesn’t want to start a war”

The interviewer also brought up the perceived tension between Stan and Isabel and whether the tension was sexual in nature:

“No, they are definitely not. You’d think so, because they’re kind of these sexual beings, vampires. It’s like when Bill and Eric fight—there is a sexuality there, a tension that’s always there between, even the male to male vampire relationships. These are two people who can bite each other in the jugular, so there’s a basic carnal sensuality to those kind of people even when they argue.”

On the relationship between Valerie and Anna Paquin’s character who plays Sookie Stackhouse and was there tension:

“By next week, you’ll see that that is not the case. When they first introduced me, you don’t know who’s where, and you don’t who who lands on what side of the fence. You don’t know who’s for or against the heroes, which are Sookie and Bill. But that’s what adds a sense of danger to the show. You’ll see…”

On Valerie’s self admitted True Blood obsession while filming Dexter:

“Yeah! I was an absolute traitor! I would watch Mad Men followed by True Blood. It was so funny because every time we were nominated that year for an award on Dexter, those were the two shows we were up against—not that I don’t love Dexter. I think Michael C. Hall is one of the best actors out there, period!”

On the interviewers question regarding what makes a Latina vampire Different Valerie responded:

“That she has a definitive sense of style! She has a sensibility of her own sort of persecution too, which lends to her a sensitivity that the other vampires don’t have.”

To read the full article from Lee Hernandez:

(photo Credit: HBO )


True Blood and Society’s Vampire Fascination

August 1, 2009

_46111602_trueblood1_226apPeter Bowes from BBC News looks into society’s fascination with Vampires in his article titled “Vampire Show Goes For The Jugular”.  He looks into the genre using True Blood as an example for the continuing fascination we have with, as he calls it “bloodsuckers”.   In his overview he starts with a synopsis background of True Blood:

In the wake of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel, society’s enduring fascination with vampires has spawned another US TV show about bloodsuckers. Based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries novels by Charlaine Harris, True Blood is the brainchild of Alan Ball – best known for writing the Oscar-winning film American Beauty and producing Six Feet Under. Set in Bon Temps, a fictitious small town in northern Louisiana, it is a coming-out story in which vampires are striving to be accepted in normal society. Having recently emerged from their coffins, the bloodsuckers co-exist with humans with the help of a synthetic blood substitute.”

Anna Paquin (who plays Sookie Stackhouse) talks about her feelings on “the crazy rideTrue Blood takes:

“All sorts of odd, weird, creepy and scary stuff starts happening as soon as vampires start emerging,” explains the 27-year-old, who admits her violent, sexually explicit show is not for the squeamish. “If you have a weak stomach you may need to close your eyes a few times.”

On the author’s intellectual perspective of the show:

“The storyline focuses on the conflict between man and vampire and the varying degrees to which the monsters are accepted in society”

To which Stephen Moyer (who plays Bill Compton) responds:

“I was just blown away by how funny and brilliant the script is,” says British actor Stephen Moyer, who plays Paquin’s 173-year old boyfriend. “Alan has built this framework which just looks like a vampire story. But underneath it’s a very intellectual take, in a very popcorn way, on what the vampire mythology is.”

On Mr. Moyer’s perspective of the parallels of Twilight and True Blood:

“By the very nature of the overused term ‘zeitgeist’, when two things are thought of at the same time there’s a friction in the air and everybody jumps onto it,”

Nelsan Ellis who plays Lafayette Reynold gave a bit of a different perspective stating:

“That True Blood “is not a family show”.  There is a lot of blood, a lot of guts and a lot of nudity,” he says. “Twilight is very safe and you can bring the kids.”

Stephen Moyer shares his take on what the attraction is for vampires:

“They are incredibly powerful,” says Moyer. “They have a magnetism and they can hypnotize.”Women are treated quite well but quite roughly at the same time. I think that’s very romantic and sexy.”

Anna Paqiun finishes up with her opinion on the subversive story line of True Blood:

“I didn’t set out to push the boundaries, but I’ve never been particularly conservative in my taste,” says Anna Paquin. “If you’re going to commit to a job for possibly seven seasons, it had better be something like this where there’s a lot to engage.”

To read the for the full article:

(photo credit: HBO)


True Blood Season 2: A Chat With Michelle Forbes

July 31, 2009

michelle-forbes-sam-trammell-216-john-p-johnson Michelle Forbes, who portrays Maryann Forrester, and the infamous Maenad, on Alan Ball‘s hit HBO TV vampire series True Blood was interviewed by recently as she attended the Polaris 23 convention in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Michelle was asked during the interview the significance of the pig. Michelle stated:

“All you can say is bring it – let’s go. I knew I was going to need to take some vitamins because it was going to be one hell of a ride” She also says on the pig’s role for Maryann ,” I can’t really say anything except that you will find out what happens with that oinker!”

The interviewer brings up the issue of Michelle getting to know the pig and the handlers responsible for him to which Ms. Forbes responds:

“Yes, in fact there are two pigs, sisters. I’ve gotten to know them, their wranglers and trainers, and they have wonderful lives. Everyone on set gets very excited when the pigs are going to make an appearance. Except one of the pigs didn’t like a crew member, a grip, and actually charged him on set during the dollhouse scene with Chris Bauer (Det. Andy Bellefleur)

When asked about the music picked for scenes in True Blood Ms. Forbes replied:

“Music plays an enormous role on True Blood. I’ve been a fan of music supervisor Gary Calamar for ages, since his show on KCRW in LA. When we get a script, the music is already laid in, and each episode is named after a song. With every script I get, I download the music and listen to it, use it as a soundtrack for rehearsing and filming, to really ignite the imagination. I find it ends up costing me a lot of money, because I end up discovering other music. Before I know it, I’ve downloaded $250 worth of music, so reading a script can become costly! He searches for local talent and really brings that element to the show.”

“A final thought … when asked about upcoming episodes of True Blood, and whether Maryann had a hand in the attack on Sookie, she stayed tight-lipped on details, but emphatically shared, “It becomes so insane and outrageous this year it will blow your mind!”

Video coverage from Polaris 23


(photo credit: HBO Inc. /John P Johnson)


True Blood And The Growing Vampire Trend

July 28, 2009

trueblood1In case you haven’t come out of the coffin lately (yeah, haha), the interest in all things vampire has exploded.  Media news and Nielsen online have reported the demographics for the growing trend toward vampiric entertainment.  According to their reports:

“There has been increasing mainstream interest in and gravitation towards all things vampire, most recently spurred by the Twilight books/movies and the HBO series, TrueBlood. And even if these aren’t familiar topics to you yet, marketers are keen to the vampire mystique”

The article also reports the growth of vampire related websites:

Vampire-related sites are drawing audiences on the Web. In June 2009, the official Twilight movie site was the top online vampire-related destination, garnering 553,000 unique visitors who spent an average of two minutes and 45 seconds on the site during the month (the New Moon trailer is a minute and 47 seconds long). Vampire Wars on Facebook and Vampire Wars on ranked No. 2 and No. 3, with 386,000 and 272,000 unique visitors, respectively.”

Top 10 Vampire Sites Ranked by Unique Audience for June 2009
RANK    Site    Unique Audience    Average Time per Person

1    Twilight    553,000    0:02:45
2    Vampire Wars on Facebook    386,000    0:12:23
3    Vampire Wars on Myspace    272,000    0:37:13
4    225,000    0:17:59
5    The Twilight Saga    211,000    0:15:44
6    Twilight Guide    209,000    0:06:52
7    142,000    0:28:42
8    120,000    0:02:06
9    105,000    0:25:34
10    78,000    0:10:55
Source: The Nielsen Company

Although Twilight is marketed towards, and written for, young adults; interestingly enough,  it showed a surprisingly high index for people in the 25 to 34 age range.  Nielsen reported:

“Women are also 44 percent more likely than the average Web users to visit the site.”

Demographic Profile for Twilight for June 2009
Demographic Group    Audience Composition Index    Unique Audience
Male    50    131,000
Female    144    422,000
11-Feb    **    **
17-Dec    159    72,000
18 – 24    122    61,000
25 – 34    187    149,000
35 – 49    98    156,000
50-64    57    71,000
65+    **    **
Source: The Nielsen Company

**These web sites have insufficient sample sizes for reliable projection of audience size.

The article goes on to discuss the unique ad campaign HBO is using to market the second season of True Blood:

True Blood, hired Digital Kitchen to create an interesting ad campaign that would top the campaign for season one. Digital Kitchen enlisted the help of at least six major brands, from Harley-Davidson to Gillette, to create mock brand ads targeted to vampires. In advance of the new season, HBO increased their online image-based advertising for the show by almost 5,000 month-over-month, displaying 72.3 million online image-based ads in June 2009.”

Also discussed in the article was the surge in online conversation about True Blood:

“While buzz on Twilight eclipsed online discussions surrounding True Blood, there was a surge of conversation after the season two premiere. The number of online mentions nearly tripled the day of the premiere, increasing from .03 percent of all online conversations on the 13th to .07 percent on the 14th, which in turn also helped HBO buzz to increase during the days surrounding the launch of season two.”


With the return of True Blood, HBO experienced a marked growth in viewership:

“With the second season premiere of True Blood on June 14, HBO experienced double digit growth month-over-month in unique viewers of video online, total video streams viewed, and time spent viewing video online. Total video streams viewed on HBO increased 299 percent, growing from 1.6 million streams in May 2009 to 6.4 million in June. Unique viewers of video increased 101 percent, while time spent viewing online increased 182 percent month-over-month.”

In its summation the article points out that while both Twilight and True Blood have sparked renewed interest in vampires, vampires have been popular from Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ To Anne Rice’s ‘Interview with the Vampire.’

Source for the original article is available at:

(photo credit : goremaster news)


Nelsan Ellis From True Blood Surprised At His Character’s Popularity

July 28, 2009

023f843687_23elli1Finally we are enjoying the second season of Alan Ball’s True Blood. We also have the answer to what happened to one of our favorite characters, Lafayette Reynold, brilliantly played by Nelsan EllisNelsan Ellis is a Julliard trained actor and playwright focusing his writing on events that have profoundly affected his life.  Amy Amatangelo from The Boston Herald talked with Nelsan recently to get Nelsan’s take on the popularity of his character, his family, and what in his life has affected him most.
When talking about keeping the secret that Lafayette would remain on the show Nelsan said:

“I was getting very upset with getting asked that question a million times a day,” Ellis said and then laughed during a recent telephone interview from Los Angeles.“My father would call me four or five times a week and say, ‘Your Aunt Esther, she wants to know if you’re dying. She just wants to know.’ Or, ‘My friends from work want to know if you’re dying.’ ”

On what he can reveal that is in store for Lafayette this season Nelsan confided:

“He’s sort of beholden to Eric (Eric Northman played by Alexander Skarsgard), how deeply, that I can’t say. And he goes through post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s not the Lafayette that we know. That was hard. These new circumstances that he’s in calls for a completely different mind-set and attitude and behavior, and I kept going, ‘I want to have some fun.’ But you can’t really when you’re going through post-traumatic stress disorder. He’s not the tough Lafayette. He’s not the sharp-tongued Lafayette. He’s another Lafayette entirely.”

He spoke of his writings which are based on events that have had a profound affect on his life revealing:

While he was attending Juilliard, his sister was murdered by her boyfriend, and he wrote a play about domestic violence that he hopes will be produced for TV. “It’s an epidemic of great proportion,” he said. “People responded to it. It sparked conversation that otherwise might have been taboo.”

Talking about how surprised Nelsan was to find out how popular Lafayette is, Nelsan shared:

“I’m just around, for the most part, my family and friends,” he said. “And my family don’t really dig the show because I have a very conservative Christian family. In my mind, I thought everybody felt like my family and friends.”

Nelsan has put his full trust in writer and creator of True Blood, Alan Ball, the only thing Nelsan added in closing was one request:

“I think his mama should make an appearance, since she apparently has been a big influence negatively on Lafayette. That’s the only thing I would actually say to Alan Ball:‘Can his mama make an appearance and can she be played by Viola Davis?’ ”

Source for the article and to read more :

(Photo credit: The Boston Herald/HBO Inc.)


Alexander Skarsgard: No “Sock” Required

July 27, 2009

asphotothomasengstromSPOILER ALERT:  Alexander mention a spoiler plot towards the end of the article,  so you have been warned.   Alexander Skarsgard who portrays the vampire sheriff, Eric Northman on Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV series True Blood recently visited his home country of Sweden for two weeks. While there along with visiting  family and friends, he took time out to talk about his recent success in the U.S.  From his start as Brad Colbert on HBO’s Generation Kill to his gaining popularity on True Blood, Alexander‘s star is definitely shining bright.  Just recently he  landed a role alongside James Marsden and Kate Bosworth in Straw Dogs. Alexander discussed in the interview his struggle to succeed in the U.S.:

“During the first three years, Alex lived on a couch at a friend’s in Hollywood. “I fought hard for the roles, just as so many others and many of my talented friends here are still trying to; I realize how fortunate I am.”

In a brief paragraph the interviewer provides some background on Alexander’s recent and rising success:

Alexander started with” Generation Kill” about a group of U.S. Marine Corps soldiers during the invasion of Iraq.” True Blood” will lift him even higher. He loves the series’ the mix of sex, desire and danger of the impermissible.”

In regards to Alexander’s feelings about his character Eric Northman on True Blood:

“There is an attraction; it’s easy to go wrong. Eric is not as crazy as many think, but he has a strong will and can justify his actions.”

Alexander also spoke candidly on his feelings on nudity:

“For me, it is no big deal, I’ve been naked in other roles I have in the past both in the theater and in films. Here they wanted to test everything from a sock to body-colored mini underwear, but it just felt weird. I prefer to be naked instead.  So long as you and your co-star know how t works, it is okay and we are a tight bunch that makes this series.”

There is some hint that Alexander has an upcoming nude scene and will have sex with someone on True Blood but Alexander refused to go into details.  We will just have to keep on watching True Blood to find out.  When he was asked if he was surprised at his success Alexander simply responded:

“No, not at all.”



True Blood Triangle Ignites!

July 26, 2009

aussiello-filesThat may have got you guessing True Blood fans, jump to no conclusions just yet…
The Aussiello Files just posted this video interview from Comicon with True Blood’s Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse), Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton), and Alexander Skarsgard (Eric Northman). Hmmm… wonder how much more things are going to heat up; jeez I already need a cold shower after some of these episodes!
Enjoy this fun little talk, they all play off each other well in interviews they are a fun group to watch!

(photo Inc.)


True Blood Season 2 Spoiler For Episode 9

July 25, 2009 just released information regarding an upcoming scene that was filmed atop of the Adolphus Hotel in North Texas. It featured an unnamed True Blood actor playing a vampire bursting into flames at sunrise. Now those of you who have read Charlaine Harris’ books may have some idea as who the vampire is.  However, this being Alan Ball‘s HBO TV series True Blood the answer may not be as obvious and as we have seen so far in the series to not automatically assume anything.  Until episode 9 airs, we will be left wondering as to who the vampire may be and the circumstances surrounding his/her demise.   The scene is described as the following:

“A character was on the roof and had to burst into flames when the sun came up,” said Janis Burklund of the Dallas Film Commission, The scene is for the ninth episode of the second season of the show, which is set in Louisiana” Dallas, however, has been a side trip for some of the True Blood‘s characters lately. Burklund added there’s a strong possibility that the show will return for additional North Texas shoots”.

source for the full article:

(photo credit:


True Blood In The Heat Of Louisiana

July 25, 2009

truebloodx-largeStacy Plaisance, from  Associated Press, provides us with a glimpse onto the set of Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV vampire series True Blood during its shoot in Clinton, Louisiana. In her report, Ms. Plaisance presents some details regarding some of the scenes that are being shot in Louisiana, which to some,  may be seen as spoilers.  Therefore, a word of caution for those who wish not to be spoiled.   Ms. Plaisance describes one of the scenes that viewers will see later on in the season where  Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and Sookie (Anna Paquin) return home from Dallas :

Sookie Stackhouse and her brother Jason are returning from Dallas to the tiny Louisiana town of Bon Temps. But something is wrong: Newspapers drift in the steamy air; fruit stands and flower stalls are overturned; graffiti assaults signs and a courthouse statue; and trash and clothes litter streets and lawns.”

They can only imagine the chaos that the town has endured as we get to enjoy every moment as it unfolds.

Ms. Plaisance’s description of Clinton, La allows the reader experience the atmosphere of the surroundings and explains why Alexander Woo felt it would be perfect for the sets backdrop:

“The sticky heat, mossy greenery, white columned houses and slow-moving lifestyle also added to the allure, and gave a dimension and authenticity to the series that can only be captured here.”

Mr. Woo adds:

The moment you step off the plane, you feel you’re in the world of the show, “You don’t  have to imagine you’re there.”

Ms. Plaisance also goes onto describe the frustration we all felt of  True Blood’s Emmy snub:

“Despite its critical acclaim and strong fan base, the show got only two Emmy nominations last week, for outstanding casting and main title design. Nothing for star Anna Paquin, who picked up a Golden Globe for her role as Sookie, or for Ball. Fans Twittered and blogged their outrage. “It is rather frustrating that the Emmys have continued their tradition of ignoring genre work except in the technical departments. … We can only hope that next year is the year that finally brings down the wall,” one blog read.”

The actors discuss how the extreme Louisiana heat affect their performance and actually helps them get into character:

“It makes you move slower, which is interesting for character,” Moyer said. “I understand now why people move so slow down here.”

Anna Paquin added:

“You have to move slower, or you’ll pass out,” Paquin said, laughing.”

The scene that was being shoot the day that Ms. Plaisance was on the set is a spoiler that will broadcast later in the the season:

“The sequence shot on this day was a dance scene. Paquin, in a sundress with her hair in a sleek up-do, and Moyer in black suit, do a modified jitterbug to the Jerry Lee Lewis song “Before the Night Is Over.” Between takes, the actors chill out in a back room at the B&B where stylists touch up their makeup.”

The author tells us on when we could expect to see the episode that was filming:

“Footage from the Louisiana shoot will appear in upcoming episodes and the season finale, set to air on Sept. 13, which is expected to include the dance scene”

To read the Full article by Stacy Plaisance in the San Francisco Chronicle:

(photo credit: HBO Inc.)


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