Rutina Wesley Dishes About True Blood

June 21, 2010 by  

Rutina Wesley might be surprised at being recognized as a star, but fans of True Blood sure aren’t. The talented actress has grabbed the attention of viewers by portraying the character Tara Thornton as a tough, sexy, “takes nothing from nobody” kind of woman. With this kind of talent,  Rutina Wesley is fast becoming a household name and it’s partially to do with the great example Rutina had at her own home growing up.

Tara Thornton’s mother may be unstable, but Rutina’s mother was sure-footed as a Las Vegas showgirl and tap dancer, which is what led Rutina to feel at home in show business. It’s in Las Vegas where Rutina studied at the Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts and from there she studied at Julliard. All her studying paid off with an acting debut in David Hare’s Broadway play The Vertical Hour also featuring Julianne Moore and David Nighy. In 2007, Rutina took the lead role in her feature film debut How She Moved, which showcased her dancing talent. Soon after, she grabbed a role on HBO’s True Blood, which has become a huge success. Recently, Rutina had an interview with Gil Roberston to discuss the show, vampires, and her take on exciting television.

When questioned on True Blood’s popularity, Rutina believes it’s how reality and fantasy are merged, making anything possible. With the possibility of anything happening at any given moment, Rutina is certain drama and comedy will naturally develop. So it’s more than plausible to see an orgy in the woods in Season 2, while seeing the way the human identity develops after the fact in Season 3.

After what Tara has been through in the first two seasons, it’s not surprising that she’ll be going on an incredible journey to figure out who she is and where she belongs. Whatever journey Tara goes on, she’ll face it head on as we’ve seen her do in the past. For Rutina, Tara is

“Above all, a survivor – so you’ll get to see her continue to fight for survival and find her way. She’s a little unstable right…got quite a journey ahead of her and hopefully she’ll realize that she has value and can love herself.”

There are viewers that can see Tara’s character as simply a stereotypical angry black woman but Rutina feels Tara is far from that and the rest of the African American stereotypes seen on television. Tara has layers upon layers of feelings and emotions, like all people. Not only does she speak her mind but she’s also vulnerable. As Rutina puts it

“I think of her as the truth on the show…she’s the human reacting to all these supernatural creatures as any human would react if this were real life and not television. And finally, she is an African American woman living in a small town.”

Rutina’s favorite scenes are the ones where Tara confronts racial stereotypes head on, making the other character feel a little dumb while  the audience at home applauds her frankness.

However, True Blood isn’t only about breaking stereotypes. Let’s face it: this is a show about vampires and the supernatural. This gives way to the question of why are vampires so popular?  Rutina says it’s simple. People enjoy escaping into fantasy, especially a fantasy world created by Alan Ball. Drama is created when the unknown is introduced, so humans interacting with the supernatural makes for organic and complex drama.

With complex drama comes hard work and Rutina is simply working on finishing Season 3 for now. She says,

“This season has been so demanding, I can’t think of anything beyond what I’m filming the next day!”

She may not be thinking about what will happen the next day, but fans at home and in show business are already thinking up ways for Rutina to light up film and television screens all over the world.

Credit: BlackTV247News

(Photo Credit: HBO Inc.)

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