Nelsan Ellis From True Blood Surprised At His Character’s Popularity

July 28, 2009 by  

023f843687_23elli1Finally we are enjoying the second season of Alan Ball’s True Blood. We also have the answer to what happened to one of our favorite characters, Lafayette Reynold, brilliantly played by Nelsan EllisNelsan Ellis is a Julliard trained actor and playwright focusing his writing on events that have profoundly affected his life.  Amy Amatangelo from The Boston Herald talked with Nelsan recently to get Nelsan’s take on the popularity of his character, his family, and what in his life has affected him most.
When talking about keeping the secret that Lafayette would remain on the show Nelsan said:

“I was getting very upset with getting asked that question a million times a day,” Ellis said and then laughed during a recent telephone interview from Los Angeles.“My father would call me four or five times a week and say, ‘Your Aunt Esther, she wants to know if you’re dying. She just wants to know.’ Or, ‘My friends from work want to know if you’re dying.’ ”

On what he can reveal that is in store for Lafayette this season Nelsan confided:

“He’s sort of beholden to Eric (Eric Northman played by Alexander Skarsgard), how deeply, that I can’t say. And he goes through post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s not the Lafayette that we know. That was hard. These new circumstances that he’s in calls for a completely different mind-set and attitude and behavior, and I kept going, ‘I want to have some fun.’ But you can’t really when you’re going through post-traumatic stress disorder. He’s not the tough Lafayette. He’s not the sharp-tongued Lafayette. He’s another Lafayette entirely.”

He spoke of his writings which are based on events that have had a profound affect on his life revealing:

While he was attending Juilliard, his sister was murdered by her boyfriend, and he wrote a play about domestic violence that he hopes will be produced for TV. “It’s an epidemic of great proportion,” he said. “People responded to it. It sparked conversation that otherwise might have been taboo.”

Talking about how surprised Nelsan was to find out how popular Lafayette is, Nelsan shared:

“I’m just around, for the most part, my family and friends,” he said. “And my family don’t really dig the show because I have a very conservative Christian family. In my mind, I thought everybody felt like my family and friends.”

Nelsan has put his full trust in writer and creator of True Blood, Alan Ball, the only thing Nelsan added in closing was one request:

“I think his mama should make an appearance, since she apparently has been a big influence negatively on Lafayette. That’s the only thing I would actually say to Alan Ball:‘Can his mama make an appearance and can she be played by Viola Davis?’ ”

Source for the article and to read more :

(Photo credit: The Boston Herald/HBO Inc.)