Marshall Allman Talks Brotherly Love and Dog Fights

August 5, 2010 by  

Season 3 of True Blood has been full of adrenaline and blood, and the shape-shifters of the show have only been adding to it. In episode 7, Hitting the Ground, Marshall Allman’s character Tommy Mickens risks life and limb to participate in a dog fight, so he can make some money for his family. Fortunately, big brother Sam saves him from a rottweiler and his parents. In an interview with HBO, Marshall goes through the events of Hitting the Ground.

Marshall is quick to note that Tommy’s relationship with his parents is a codependent guilt trap. Though he knows he shouldn’t participate in dog fighting, he also knows that if he walks away from his parents they may end up on the streets and dead.

In order to fight, Tommy transforms into a mean looking pitbull. However, on his animal counterpart Marshall notes,

“he’s totally sweet and like the nicest dog I’ve ever met…not as fierce as he looks on screen.”

Good thing this sweet dog has the animal protection laws keeping him safe. While they were shooting, two pitbulls weren’t allowed to be in the same ring. Like all the cast members of True Blood, safety comes first and this includes all animal counterparts.

Aside from his furry cast member, Marshall also works alongside Sam Trammell who plays Sam Merlotte and Tommy‘s long lost brother. Marshall shed some light on their characters’ relationship with each other. Given that Sam has never had a brother, he doesn’t know how it works. Marshall remarks,

“Anybody who has a brother–especially in the South–knows that pretty much all you do all day is get under each other’s skin and mess with each other. It also comes down to the fact that Sam is naive and sincere about his brotherly relationship, that Tommy he can take advantage of that. It’s a defense mechanism for Tommy, because he has his own secrets that you haven’t seen yet. He’s gotta be hiding something, right? It is True Blood, after all.”

How does Marshall know so much about brotherly dynamics? He has an older brother who picked on him, of course. Though Marshall and his brother have a great relationship, as kids they definitely fought…like all brothers. Perhaps that’s why Marshall is so excited about his character’s perspective; he can finally return the favor.

So has his on screen brother Sam given him any brotherly advice? Marshall says that they have discussed how to prepare for the nudity scenes that comes with the shifting. Knowing that Sam has also been through the same kind of scenes, Marshall says it helps him feel less nervous about the whole thing.

Aside from his great relationship with his castmates, Marshall also connects with his own character Tommy. Marshall likes Tommy‘s impulsive side and the desire to be adventurous. Marshall notes,

“He sees what he wants and goes after it. But I’m definitely more thoughtful toward other people in my real life. I’m not as judgmental or selfish as he is.”

Tommy has a lot of reasons to be judgmental and selfish, given what he’s had to live through. Marshall says that season 3 will force Tommy to figure out his life now that he’s dumped Melinda and Joe Lee. He will also have to figure out if he and Sam can make things work as brothers. Marshall also suggests that the rest of season 3 will reveal things that Tommy‘s been trying to hide.

It seems that True Blood isn’t just about vampire and werewolf politics; shape-shifters are pushing through and fans are discovering the human side of supernaturals.


(Photo Credit: Texas State University)