Denis O’Hare Delights in his Role as Russell Edgington on True Blood

August 7, 2010 by  

Season 3 of True Blood has brought us a gang of villains, the most evil and entertaining being Russell Edgington played by Denis O’Hare. During  Comic-Con 2010, Rebecca Murray from snagged an interview with the King of Mississippi and was able to learn more about his character.

One of the first things Denis says about his character on True Blood is that evil is subjective. The character he is portraying has a goal and is very set to that goal; if anyone is gets in his way, they must be recruited or eliminated. On playing this powerful vampire Denis admits,

“it’s fantastic. I have a scene coming up where someone attacks me and I kind of like shrug my shoulder and they go flying into the ceiling. That was a riot to do. I love that. I got to give a look…I kind of gave a little irritated look.”

Aside from the physical demands of the show, the dialogue is also unique. The problem Denis faces with conveying the dialogue is saying it with his fangs in. However, the lines are beautiful and he cites the reason for this as the writers: Alan Ball, Alex Woo, Bucky [Buckner], and Nancy Oliver. For Denis there is a mixture of humor and philosophy in the words as well as a lot of heart. Apparently there is a fantastic scene in episode 10 that’s so heartbreaking that Denis couldn’t get the lines out. The beauty of the words, of the scene, kept him almost speechless. When asked who the scene was with, Denis simply said it was with a rent person.

It seems that everyone on the set is committed to the show as much as the writers and the actors. Denis happily remarks that everyone on the set is friendly and make you feel comfortable. He says,

“Everyone is a team and everyone kind of takes care of you. Joe Manganiello’s done this, you’re wearing a little tiny jockstrap or whatever, and I had my days. I was wearing a little tiny jockstrap and everyone’s totally cool. Everyone makes you feel normal as you’re running around and jumping in and out of these beds. So they’re fantastic people.”

It seems that True Blood fans will see more of Russell Edgington this season than fans of the books have ever seen. Denis believes that they’ve taken the fun and flippant character of the book and have expanded him into a powerful plot mover.

The fans of the books and the show have embraced Russell and Denis. Denis jokes about it, but says he’s never had people yell at him–beside his mother.  He seems amazed that people are actually screaming for him. He admits its fun, though a little terrifying. Though the fans aren’t sure at first if it’s really the King of Mississippi they’re encountering, given he isn’t wearing the wig he puts on the for the show. He tries walking away while fans rack they’re brains, but like good fans they realize who he is and he is gracious enough to take photos with them.

Fans love vampires and the supernatural. Because of this, Denis has played some bizarre and crazy supernatural/scifi characters, but Russell ranks up there with the most bizarre. But what’s the fascination? Denis reveals,

“Because they’re not all about one thing. They are multi-layered and complicated so they may be a vampire, but they have emotional lives. They have fears. They have wants, they have needs, and they are not all bad or all good. They’re flawed like anybody else. They get tricked. They fall in love. They get infatuated. I think in this season I kind of get infatuated at least twice with two different characters – major characters – who then betray me. So it’s a very human thing in a lot of ways. I love that.”

This is only a small gem of the funny and wonderful things Denis said about True Blood.


(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)