The “Charming” Vampire King of Mississippi Has Spoken

March 24, 2010 by  

The anticipation surrounding True Blood‘s Season 3 premiere continues to grow and with the script being so highly shrouded in secrecy, fans have been given only a few tidbits of information to remain satiated. A few things are certain though: we’ll get to see some of our Season 1 and Season 2 favorites as well as be introduced to a slew of new cast members. Tony-award nominated actor Denis O’Hare will be introduced during Season 3 as the 2,700-2,800 year old Vampire King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington. Denis sat down with Deeper Dish to talk about his film and Broadway career, as well as playing Russell on True Blood.

As a fan of True Blood, Denis claims that Russell Edgington is not a villain, but describes him as “charming” and “persuasive”. Denis worked with Alan Ball to conceive of Russell’s evolution and how he would be portrayed on True Blood.

“Initially Alan [Ball] told me that Russell was pretty old and was very charming and had a southern accent. We decided eventually that Russell was older than the character of Godric and so that puts him at around the 2700-2800-year-old mark – he was “made” sometime in 800 BC.  He’s an ancient Celt. The Celts originated in the Carpathian mountains and then started migrating West in search of the bed of the sun.  In 55 BC they were defeated by Julius Caesar in Gaul.  So, obviously, Russell has worn many masks and his latest “incarnation” as a southern gentleman is just another mask.”

Fittingly, as the oldest vampire that has been introduced on True Blood so far, Russell offers Bill some love advice based on his own 700-year-old relationship with his boyfriend, Talbot. Although slightly elusive, Denis says that his character, Russell, tells Bill to “spend eternity together- that’s commitment!”

With the Vampire King of Mississippi wearing so many masks, Denis appear to be a great fit. Denis began his acting career in Chicago where he attended Northwestern University and later moved to New York in 1992. From there, he has continued to shine on stage and screen and has starred in the films The Anniversary Party (2001), Milk (2008), Edge of Darkness (2010), the television series Brothers & Sisters, the Broadway musicals Cabaret (1998), Sweet Charity (2005), and received a Tony award nomination for his role in Assassins (2004).

Denis has so far filmed two episodes of True Blood, but hopes to remain part of the cast noting that “if True Blood sees fit to keep me around, I’d love to continue working with those wonderful people.”

The Deeper Dish article includes a series of videos and a fun game of random questions/responses with Denis, highlighting his quick wit and some of the fun we can hopefully expect from Russell Edgington.

SOURCE: Deeper Dish

(Photo credit: IMDb.com)

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