Denis O’Hare’s Run as Russell Edgington on True Blood Was Fun While It Lasted
October 3, 2012 by Janean Sanders
It’s for the Best That Russell Met the True Death:
Denis O’Hare played 3,000 year old vampire Russell Edgington onscreen for only two seasons, but his presence definitely colored a third. Mr. O’Hare says that he had a great time working on HBO’s True Blood, but there was no question that it was Russell’s time to die. The love story between Russell and Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) made working on Season 5 a pleasure, and Mr. O’Hare can’t rule out a Godric-esque flashback for his character, but he maintains that true death at the hands of Eric Northman (Alex Skarsgård) was right.
Mr. O’Hare says that he didn’t know definitively for some time that Russell was going to meet the true death. There was much discussion and controversy as to how it should happen. There was never any question that Russell would die at the hands of Eric, the only question was the circumstances. In the end, making him drunk on fairy blood and leaving him vulnerable to a sneak attack from Eric was the most plausible, given Russell’s greater age and power. While some have speculated as to why Russell wasn’t more strategic about the time of day he drank the fairy blood, Mr. O’Hare replied:
“There’s no fairy blood handbook. No one has any schematics on how much fairy blood you should take to be in the sun, how long you can survive in the sun on it. Is it good for a year? A day? And Russell is more instinctual versus strategic. I’m not sure he has a plan, so he’s not thinking, I should wait until 7:30.”
The final moment of Russell’s life pleased Mr. O’Hare. He enjoyed the disappointed but accepting reaction. Mr. O’Hare believes that Russell has lost the enjoyment of living and the pursuit of power simply is no longer enough. His attachment to Steve Newlin was pleasant, but simply not enough. Mr. O’Hare says that one of the most enjoyable things about Season 5 was working with Michael McMillian. They worked well enough together to be able to improv and adlib scenes and dialog. While much of it was edited out, there were still many things that made it to the screen.
Mr. O’Hare Talks of the True Blood Cast and Speculates on the Future
Of the many things Mr. O’Hare says that he will miss about working on True Blood, he names the cast as what he will miss the most. Not only did all the actors work well together, but they were friends as well, often hanging out together onset. One member of the primary cast (who Mr. O’Hare will not name), continued to advocate to keep Russell Edgington alive. Alan Ball and the head writers sadly could not agree and said:
“For credibility’s sake, he has to go. We can’t let him survive again.”
Mr. O’Hare was asked to speculate on the future of True Blood storylines, and Russell’s possible place in them. He says that Bill Compton’s story is so divergent from the books there is no way to guess which direction it will go from here. While Mr. O’Hare has written a complete backstory for Russell, and provided it to the show writers, he has no idea if any of it will ever be incorporated into the show. For that reason, he’s not sure if Russell’s maker will ever become known, or if he has any progeny who might provide opportunities for flashbacks or visitations. Mr. O’Hare says that it’s possible that Eric is the closest Russell has ever gotten to feeling as though he had a true son:
“There was a lovely scene in season three where Russell and Eric had an intense moment, where Eric accepts his authority, and kneels before him, and you discover how Russell never had a son and he adopts Eric. That scene was cut, but there is an echo of that when Eric kneeled before him again this season. And for Eric to take Russell’s life, it was appropriate, and Russell knew that and he welcomed it. This was the only person he’s ever accepted as a son.”
How did you feel upon witnessing Russell’s true death? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Article and Photo Source: Vulture