September 29, 2010
Allan Hyde (Godric) will be participating in a Question & Answer Panel on October 10th, 2010. This special event will be held at the Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend hosted by Wyndham Resort in Orlando, FL on October 8th through October 10th, 2010.
Mr. Hyde will be answering questions about True Blood outside the Siesta/Biscayne room in Salon B at 3:00 p.m. on Oct. 10th, 2010.
The doors to the Spooky Empires event will be open Friday the 8th at 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday the 9th & the 10th at 11:00 a.m.
So for the True Blood fans who will be in the area attending this Ultimate event, enjoy! You will be in for a special & handsome treat meeting and talking with Allan. Can we say Trick or Treat!
Source: Spooky Empire
(Photo credit: spookyempire.com)
February 28, 2010
Alexander Skarsgård (Eric Northman), Rutina Wesley (Tara Thornton), Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte), and Michelle Forbes (Maryann Forrester) sat down with TV.Com UK Podcast and talked about everything from dialect coaching to their off-screen relationships.
What was Eric REALLY saying during season 2’s Swedish scenes? Do the cast members believe in real vampires? What do they hope happens to their characters is season 3? All this (and more) is discussed in this two-part podcast special.
The podcasts can be downloaded for free at http://cdn.cnet.co.uk/tvcom/podcast/xml/podcast.xml. Once on the page left mouse click the mp3 and then click the “Save link as” to download it.
You can get involved with any of TV.com’s our podcast discussions via their our twitter feed @TVdotcomUK.
(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)
February 24, 2010
True Blood’s UK fans are in for a crazy, sexy ride when Season 2 arrives on FX this week. Sam Trammell and Michelle Forbes, whose characters are both major players in Season 2, told Scotland’s Daily Record what the show’s U.S. fans already know — the season is rife with new characters and plenty of excitement.
Sam, who plays bar owner Sam Merlotte, said the show took off in its second year, and attributes its success to Alan Ball‘s writing. The exciting, fast-paced tone of Season 2 bolstered the show’s success in a way no one anticipated, he said.
“It’s different, it’s scary, it’s serious, it’s funny, it’s sexy, it’s bloody. It bridges so many different genres and there is nothing else like it on television. Not many programs can mix the fantastical with very good drama but this has both, with social commentary and relationships as well as fantasy and these great creatures.”
Sam‘s character is one of those fantasy creatures, a shape shifter who turns into a dog. To prepare for his role, he took some cues from his West Highland Terrier, Flossy, he said.
“She is very helpful. In one scene last season, I had to sniff someone’s bed like a dog would, so l was rolling around on the bed naked, and l watched the dog to see how she would do it and got some good tips.”
Michelle Forbes, who plays a central role as Maryann in Season 2, shies away from maligning her character as evil — though Sam makes a point of saying she’s “bad news.
“It’s better to say she is enigmatic. Everybody thinks she is bad but, as an actor, I have to play her straight, as no one who is evil thinks they are evil. I think she is warm-hearted.”
She also praised the show’s global success, musing about its mass appeal.
“I love the fact True Blood is popular in Scotland and the way it has worked around the world. It means there’s something universal about the story, and that’s just gorgeous, isn’t it?”
Season 2 starts this Friday in the UK at 10pm on FX (Sky Channel 64 and Virgin Media Channel 157).
Source: Daily Record
Photo credit: HBO Inc.
October 26, 2009
Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV vampire series True Blood returns for season two on South Africa’s M-Net on Tuesday, October 27, 2009. Based on Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries, True Blood is picking momentum with viewers in the UK as Season One continues to air on the UK’s Channel 4. In the US, Season 2 premiered on June 14 2009 and was the most watched HBO show since The Sopranos series finale in June 2007. According to HBO, True Blood averaged 12.4 million viewers per episode, when measured across various viewing platforms, up 39% from last season. The popularity of the Louisiana vampires is undeniable; they have truly captivated the hearts and imagination of millions viewers in North America, South America, UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
At the heart of this award winning HBO series is the undeniable romantic tension between Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). The 40-year-old Stephen Moyer, who plays the 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton in True Blood, recently sat down with reporter Theresa Smith to discuss his character and the themes presented and developed in the show.
Part of the reason for the success of the show is, as Stephen explained, the casting of such an international group with Stephen splitting his time between England and the US, Anna from New Zealand/Canada, Alexander Skarsgard from Sweden and other cast members from across the US and Australia. As Stephen highlights:
“Alan (Ball) is brilliant at casting. One of the things he did was create a central core consisting of people who have almost all worked in the theatre. So we’re all much open to playing, creating and throwing things into the mix.”
Stephen provides an in-depth look at the qualities of his character, Bill Compton and the struggle that he sees his character is trying to deal with not only on the outside but also within himself.
“You’ve got this romantic, old-fashioned gentleman who also happens to be a vampire. And the audience has to wonder about that conflict within him and wonder what he is capable of […] Actually, one of the reasons I love this job so much is because we are playing with so many ideas. Like his costumes–the costume designer will come to me and say, ‘How about we try this?’ And it will be a little thing like having his collars turned up on a certain jacket that gives a hint of the Confederate soldier, just a little echo of part of his past.”
Stephen wasn’t initially familiar with the Southern Vampire Series and read them only after he got the part of Bill Compton. Stephen describes vampire Bill as a conflicted individual; a vampire who’s desperately attempting to mainstream and be a decent character but who is at the core also a killer:
“When I began playing the role Alan wrote, he (Bill) warms up throughout the season in a way the character in the books doesn’t. Sookie in the books also flits from one romance to another and if you did that with a lead female character, she would not be as virtuous as they wanted her to be. So Alan made the decision to let her have the attachment to Bill […] But he’s (Bill) still a vampire who kills.”
Fans of True Blood often forget that Stephen is a British actor with a decidedly British accent who can deliver a convincing and hilarious Cockney accent. A thorough bred actor, Stephen was helped by a voice coach in his delivery of vampire Bill’s Southern drawl.
One question that many of his fans have wondered for quite some time is why he changed his name. Stephen, whose original name was Stephen Emery, revealed in the interview that he changed his name because he didn’t want to be known as the actor playing a horse’s ass. Stephen received his Equity card for his role in the pantomine Oliver in the same week as another actor of the same name. This other Stephen, according to our Stephen, was
“playing the back end of a horse, I swear to God, it’s true”
When asked what it is about British actors that they portray vampires so convincingly, Stephen explains that the classical training British actors receive in drama schools helps actors immerse themselves in a specific role to deliver convincing characterizations, and in the case of True Blood, the training Stephen received in drama school has helped him convey the age and experience of vampire Bill.
Stephen also indicates his appreciation of how True Blood uses the vampire genre as a platform to discuss meaningful socio-political issues, albeit in a light-hearted manner:
“Alan (Ball) takes this idea of the outsider coming into the world and how everybody reacts to that outsider. The metaphor is about someone who is a pariah in society trying to prove he is not what people think he is and this can be a metaphor for homosexuality, the black and white civil rights movement, or any minority that you want to bring to the table.”
Stephen adds that one of his favorite thing about True Blood is how each episode ends on a cliffhanger, adding:
“I think Alan is a very clever film-maker because he put in undercurrents of information in the show. It can also be a rollicking funny thriller, great fast television.”
Season 2 of True Blood has now completed its run on HBO in the North America with Season 3 due out in June 2010. Of Season 3, Alan Ball hints:
“After last season you would think things would sort of return to normal – but no, that’s not going to happen!” No, there’s just as much weird stuff out there, and we’re going to meet some werewolves for the first time; we’re going to find out some roles vampires played in history, which is interesting and shocking and funny. It’s more of the same.”
While the relationship between Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) will continue to be the heart of True Blood’s narrative arc, Alan Ball explains that some of the supporting cast will be receiving more screen time in Season 3. As Alan Ball explains:
“Definitely Eric has broken out and is a big important character now. Jessica and Hoyt are still trying to deal with everything that happened to them, and Arlene and Terry are going to have a little bit more of a life and more of a presence on the show.”
Season 2 of HBO’s True Blood will premiere on M-Net tomorrow, Tuesday, October 27, 2009.
Photo credit: HBO Inc.
September 18, 2009
Alan Ball recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about what the future might hold for True Blood couple, Bill and Sookie in season 3. Alan Ball stated that he isn’t ruling out the possibility of incorporating a major (and controversial) plot point that occurs in the books, which up to now, has only been hinted at in the series. In reference to the plot twist regarding Bill‘s deep dark secret Alan states :
“It’s certainly something that I found really compelling in the books … I was like, ‘Wow.’ But I can’t really tell you what I’m going to do story-wise. So much of the appeal of the show depends on the element of surprise.”
While many Sookie and Bill fans are hoping the creator of HBO’s hit TV series doesn’t go there, Eric fans are hoping it turns around for their favorite vampire.
Bill and Sookie fans are hoping that Alan decides not to incorporate this into the show since it could drive the couple apart and set up the scenario for Eric to make his moves onto Sookie and bring them together. In regards to how he deals with fans from both camps trying to influence his approach in the show Alan said:
“I try to stay out of how the fans are responding to the show…I have to tell the story that I think is the most interesting story. Certainly, the main ingredient in drama is conflict and revelations. For every person who loves Bill and wants him and Sookie to just be in love always, there’s another person who’s like, ‘I’m sick of Bill. He’s such a wuss. I like Eric. He’s dangerous.’ Especially when you’re working on a show like this with the kind of palette and the colors you use; you want it to be continually surprising and shocking. Not for the sake of being shocking, but that’s part of the fun.”
We will have to just wait and see what Alan has in store for True Blood fans. We all know Alan is a fantastic storyteller and will have us biting our nails as we will be watching season 3 when it returns in the summer.
SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly
(Photo credit: Christina Radish/Agency Photos)
September 15, 2009
With Season Three of True Blood scheduled to begin filming in early December, Alan Ball already has a clear picture of where the show is going. The viewers, on the other hand, are still reeling from the surprises of Sunday night’s finale, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’.”
Televisionary interviewed Alan to shed light on the events of Season Two, and to prepare us for what Season Three will bring.
In response to the thoughts of some that the Maryann storyline dragged on too long, or that the character was so magnified from what happened in the books, Alan said that he wanted to have an arc that would bring all the main characters together for one big fight at the end. Season Two was structured differently than Season One, in that there were separate storylines going on for the first half of the season, and then they began to combine. In particular, Alan mentioned how much he liked that Jason became part of the action in Dallas with Bill and Sookie, and then they came home together to face what had been going on with the people of Bon Temps. He says that in Season Three, he’s keeping things “a little more organic with the connection between the regulars.”
Among the most powerful moments of Season Two was the death of Godric. Alan talks about how moving that character was for him in the book. He even teared up a little bit when he saw the first cut of the episode “I Will Rise Up,” not only because of Godric, but also because of Jessica, and the scene with Sookie and Jason in the hotel where they talk about Gran. Casting Godric was an important decision, and it wasn’t easy to find the right person:
“It was difficult to find an actor who looked so young but who could convey centuries of feeling and to be tired of life and tired of being alive and ready to move on.”
Godric also served as a way to reveal another side of Eric, to not just have him be a badass who tears people’s limbs off, but someone who does have vulnerability.
When speaking about the future of Bill and Sookie, Alan was hesitant to spoil anything:
“I know exactly what’s going to happen in Season Three, because we’ve already started breaking the episodes and figuring the arc of the season. So I can’t really say without giving too much away what I think. But I’ll say this: the love between them is authentic and real, but that doesn’t mean that they will necessarily stay together. But it doesn’t mean that they won’t either, though.”
If the overarching theme of Season Two was the power of belief, in both positive and negative ways, then Season Three will thematically be about the search for identity. Sookie will not only be searching for Bill, but also for the truth about who and what she is. We will also meet Sam’s family.
So what else does Alan have in store for Jessica and Hoyt, Jason and Andy, Tara, and the vampire Queen with the vampire King of Mississippi (recently announced)? Most of all, who kidnapped Bill? To find out please read the complete, in-depth interview with Alan Ball on Televisionary.
It already sounds like a lot to look forward to in June! True Blood fans will be anxiously awaiting for its return.
(Photo credit: IMDb.com)
September 15, 2009
Now that Season Two of True Blood has ended, there are a lots of unanswered questions. Will Hoyt and Jessica get back together? Where was Eric the whole time this was going on? What is Sookie? And most importantly, who took Bill Compton? Michael Ausiello from EW.com had the opportunity to speak with Alan Ball the day after the finale aired to see what is in store for next season and perhaps get some insight to all of our unanswered questions.
Many viewers were surprised that the Maryann storyline ended within the first 30 minutes? Alan Ball provided a good explanation as to why she ended when she did.
“I try to look at the show as basically almost like it’s a novel, and each episode is a chapter. I guess I’m influenced by the fact that when I watch TV shows, I watch the [DVD] boxed sets. Ultimately, it’s just organically the way it worked out. And the season finale last year was very similar.”
Viewers voiced that the storyline was stretched out a bit too much and were glad to see the character finally gone. However, is she really? Alan confirms i by stating that the folks in Bon Temps destroyed her and she will never rise again. Alan loves Michelle and mentions how much fun she was to work with and hated to kill her, but it had to be done.
In the regards to the killing of Godric the character was very well received, but Alan has no regret in killing him off. The story was very powerful and just so happened to be Alan‘s favorite thing about the second book. He said that they can always go back in history. Godric and Eric had a relationship for a thousand year so don’t worry Godric fans. Alan said we can always go back and see him again. Let’s cross our fingers in hopes that it will happen in the next season.
As to why there was a lack of Eric in the finale, Alan mentioned that there is a reason why we didn’t get to see the viking. However he couldn’t explain why though, he’d be giving too much away. Rest assured Eric fans, he’ll be prominent next season. Alan said that he has many seasons planned for Eric so we’ll have something to look forward to. Micheal did ask him at this if he is surprised at how passionate the Sookie/Eric fans are to which Alan responded by saying:
“Yes. I try not to get involved in that because it just sort of — it’s too confusing. I don’t want it to influence what the show is. Personally, I’m like, yes, Eric’s hot, but beyond that he’s dangerous, and I don’t know if he’d love anybody besides himself. What’s the appeal there? The bad boy? The danger?”
Michael went on to ask Alan about the Queen’s Yahtzee obsession? Alan laughed and said, “You’re 400 years old. What are you going to do? It’s something we came up with in the room and we thought it was funny.” As far as the fans complaining that Evan Rachel Wood, the actress who plays the Queen, isn’t playing her role scary enough, Alan gave some reassurance. He pointed out that you don’t want to introduce a character you’re going to see later on and show all of her in the first meeting. He loves that fans are so into the TV show to make judgment calls on whether they like an actress playing a certain character. However, he wants people to keep an open mind and states “all I can say is keep watching. It will make sense”. The Queen will be in the next season but not as a regular character. Also we will meet the Vampire King of Mississippi (The Vampire King Has Been Cast!) and there’ll be some interesting things happening between the two of them.
There were lots of other hints that Alan Ball mentioned to EW about what we can expect to see in the third season.
For instance, some viewers are wondering why Jason fell under Maryann’s influence but Sookie didn’t. Alan explained by stating:
“They have the same parents. We will find out what Sookie is [next season]. There are such things as dominant and recessive genes. Maybe Jason is fundamentally human but he has a trace of some non-human stuff. He’s kind of a ridiculously perfect [human being]. He’s athletic and has that charisma thing, so maybe he had some help in that regard. [Laughs] Ultimately, if you look at percentages, he’s mostly human. Sookie has a stronger genetic predisposition in another direction. People who have read the books know exactly what I’m talking about. People who haven’t, it will be revealed.”
Speaking of parents, we have a good chance of meeting Sam’s biological parents as Sam in Season Three as well.
When Alan was asked how closely he will follow the third book in season 3 Alan said:
“We take the gist of the books, [but] we will depart whenever we feel like it makes better television as opposed to reading. We continue to use the books as templates. But now that I’ve read all nine books there are things that are revealed in later books that we are moving up so that they’ll probably happen in the show earlier than they do in the books.”
So what does that include? Alcide, the werewolf will be introduced, who has yet to be cast. We also meet Franklin Mott, the super bad vampire, Debbie Pelt, the ex-girlfriend of the guy helping Sookie find Bill well as the introduction of the people who live in Hotshot.
Also don’t get too comfortable, we haven’t seen the last of the Fellowship of the Sun. Alan explained that just because Rev. Steve Newlin was humiliated, it doesn’t mean he’s done with vampires. He’s angrier than ever.
Now that Eggs is gone, it opens the possible scenario to bring back the Jason/Tara love story. Jason is going to be consumed with guilt for having killed the man Tara loved. Jason will want to make her feel better after thinking he ruined her life. Alan said that at this point Tara had given up on her obsession to Jason but at such a vulnerable part of her life, she might be susceptible to his charms.
What is in store for Lafayette? There are plans for him to get a boyfriend. Alan wasn’t able to give too many details but he said we will get to see more and more of the lovable character. He’ll get very vulnerable in the next season and not just being afraid of Eric.
Quickly becoming one of the most favorite couples on the show was Jessica and Hoyt, a lot of people wondering will they stay together in season three. Alan explained that they still love each other but there will be problems – as most of us can guess after watching the finale.
EW asked Alan how long will fans to wait for season three and he said it will probably premiere around the same time as last season. He said they will shoot one episode before Christmas but he doesn’t know if HBO will bring the show on earlier but knows it won’t happen later. That is good news for all of us True Blood fans, and now that we have stuff to look forward to I can imagine we will all be counting down the days.
As A final tease Michael asked Alan if there was something he was forgetting to ask him to which Alan responded that he was surprised that he didn’t asked who took Bill? So who did take Bill? It was Hoyt‘s mother. Now we will have to sit and ponder for 9 months whether Alan was joking or not.
SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly
(Photo credit: Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos)
September 14, 2009
Denis O’Hare, best known for his work on Milk, Duplicity, Quarantine many TV series including a 10-episode run on Brothers & Sisters,has been cast to play the role of Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi.
The season finale just aired last night and already we are being treated with casting news for season 3. It seems that we will not have to wait too long to quench our hunger for the latest news development for the upcoming season.
(Photo credit: ausiellofiles.ew.com)
September 13, 2009
SPOILER ALERT!!!! SPOILER INFORMATION ABOUT SEASON 3!!! If you do not want to know what Alan Ball has in store for season 3 DO NOT read any further!!! You have been warned. Alan Ball, the man behind True Blood, conducted an interview with TV Squad and gave some insight into what we will see in season 3 and his thoughts regarding the storyline in the show vs. the books.
Alan Ball explained that although the hit show is based on the books, it’s not a literal adaptation of it. He said that if they were to follow the books, it would be more likely to focus on Sookie since she narrates the story and the other characters whom we loved would not even show up.
“I think a book and a television show are two different mediums. I’m doing what I think is the best way to turn that story into a television show. Also, if I just stuck to the books, there would be no surprises. You could go pick up the books anywhere and know exactly what was coming. So personally, I don’t see any benefit of making a carbon copy of the books for TV.”
In regards to his artistic process in figuring out which storyline and characters to follow, he said,
“At the beginning of each season, we go through the books, pick out the points we really love, and pick out the points we think would make a great cliffhanger moment at the end of an episode. Then we start to wrap the other characters in… Then sometimes we’ll look at something that happens in the book, and we’ll say, “Maybe it might work better if we just change this.”“
Take for example the Bill staking Longshadow scene. It would have been Eric facing the tribunal board for killing Longshadow if they had followed what was in the book. Furthermore, we would have never seen the newly-turned vampire, Jessica. Alan Ball explained,
“Well, it seemed more dramatic within the world of our television show to have Bill be the one who staked him. None of that was in the book and had it been Eric, at that point of Eric‘s place in the show, I don’t think we would have followed him. Eric was introduced sort of into the periphery of Bill and Sookie, and now Eric‘s become a character in his own right.”
I know you’re all aching to know what’s going to happen in season three as we will all be left hanging with the cliffhangers in the season finale. If you’re wondering if Eric and Sookie will get together next season, here’s what Alan Ball had to say:
“I can’t tell you if they’re going to get together, because that’s going to ruin the anticipation. But, if you’ve been following season two, he’s definitely been doing things to make her more vulnerable and more susceptible to him. And he does want her, he’s just not sure why. I think it’s deeper than just, “I want her because Bill Compton has her.” Although that’s part of it, because Eric is a total alpha-dog.
He added that in season three, we’ll meet Russel Edgington – the Vampire King of Mississippi and encounter some werewolves. He’s also excited for the coming out of the new character, Debbie Pelt, which he commented as being “bad news”.
Alan explains that Debbie Pelt is the ex-girlfriend of a guy who’s helping Sookie find Bill. This is now going to make us all wonder who has Bill and why. Remember just because you read the books doesn’t mean it is going to be the same reasons. He described Debbie Pelt as “just hard ass, white trash bitch on wheels.”
On the other hand, Bon Temps‘ detective Andy Bellefleur will find out that he is related to somebody and it will totally shock him when he finds out who it is. As for Godric, he’s really dead but he may have flashback scenes together with Eric.
Furthermore, season three will be based on identity struggles for the characters.
“Everybody is struggling with identity in season three – What am I? Who am I? What is my life? Is it what I want it to be? How do I make it what I want it to be? What are my real values? And some people are like, “Am I human? I always thought I was, but maybe I was wrong.” In one particular case, its like, “Yes, honey, you were wrong.”“
Alan provides a little bit more detail by stating that after the white-thing with Maryann, Sookie realizes that she is not 100 percent human but, as to what she is, she doesn’t know yet.
Another component that Alan is bringing into season 3 is the introduction of a vampire that is not at all protective as Bill is towards Sookie. The name is one that book readers will recognize and will lead many to wonder how this story line is going to play out – Franklin Mott.
Now there you have it – spoilers straight from Alan Ball himself. Unfortunately it is very sad at the same time because we willl all have to wait for 9 excruciating months until season three returns. Until then let the speculations begin.
(Photo Credit: zimbio.com)
September 11, 2009
Sam Trammell recently spoke to PEOPLE about working with Anna Paquin, Charlaine Harris, and his frequent nude scenes on the show. And obviously, he spilled out a little info about the anticipated finale.
Sam claimed that towards the end of the first season, people started paying extra attention to him. But now it has drastically changed. He said,
“I definitely started getting recognized a little bit here and there … but this season it’s every single day and it’s really cool. People are just really passionate. They’re like, ‘I love the show,’ or ‘I love your character.’ It feels so good.”
He revealed that he didn’t know about his character’s shape-shifting abilities nor was he familiar with the Sookie Stackhouse novels. In fact, it was Alan Ball who told him about his character’s capability, which made him decide to buy and read the books – to further his research about his shape-shifting character.
And doing all those nude scenes were “no-sweat” for him. Sam said has done full frontal nudity three or four time on a stage, which for him, is more than what he’s doing on the show. Yet awkwardness still crawls up in his veins.
“But it’s a little more awkward for me than everyone else because most everybody else, when they’re naked it’s because they’re having sex and they’re in a closed set. For me, it’s because I was just an animal and I turned into a human and I could be anywhere. It’s always like I’m in the middle of outside in front of everyone and I’m standing there or running. Seeing yourself run while you’re naked is the worst.”
About Charlaine Harris, he noted she’s familiar to him.
“She’s very familiar to me because she’s from Arkansas and lives in Arkansas. She’s had three kids and she’s like a regular mom, but she writes these crazy books. And she’s got a massive following. She’s really smart and savvy … very well spoken and very articulate.”
Moreover, he described his working relationship with Anna Paquin as a funny one because they mess around a lot. He even furthered this by saying,
“She likes to hit me because she knows I can’t hit her back. She’s very much somebody you can joke around with and give a hard time and she’ll give you a hard time right back so it’s a very comfortable and fun relationship.”
Also, he admired Paquin’s ability in showing a vulnerable side of herself when the cameras roll, saying: “It’s beautiful to watch because she just channels her inner self out with such ease.”
Regarding the season finale, Sam didn’t say much, but here is the statement that he made:
“You can expect a major character — I’m not going to give it away and say if someone dies or not — but there’s somebody that’s in major, big, big trouble. Also, I’ll say it’s going to be very surprising and it’s going to set up some cliffhangers for next year.”
(Photo Credit: gossiprocks.com)