Rutina Wesley And Nelsan Ellis Attend True Blood Event In Boston

September 9, 2009 by  

Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette) and Rutina Wesley (Tara) Boston Truebies, several in costumes and/or fangs, waited for hours on Saturday night to catch a glimpse of True Blood costars Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette Reynold) and Rutina Wesley (Tara Thornton) at a “Fangtasia” party at Kings Lounge in the Back Bay.

According to Boston Globe reporters at the event:

“it was clear they weren’t prepared for their own popularity. A shy Ellis, who plays Lafayette on the show, seemed shell shocked by the number of young people who were desperate to get pictures with him. “I don’t know how to act,’’ he said. “This is my first appearance.’’

Rutina Wesley seemed to take her new found fame more in stride, saying that she was not at all surprised by True Blood’s surge in popularity or by the spell vampires have cast over current popular culture:

“They’re romantic. There’s something mysterious about them. I think everybody partially wants to get bitten.’’

Rutina explained some of the difficulties she has gone through in bringing Tara Thornton to life in Alan Ball’s True Blood vision:

“I open up the script and there’s orgies and things going on and I’m like, ‘You want me to do what? In the freezing cold? With the contact lenses again?’ But then I figure, it’s for the theater, it’s for the cause, and you just do it and the reward comes when you see the show and say, ‘Oh my gosh, it all comes together!’ …. Tara doesn’t know if she’s coming or going – literally,” Wesley laughed. “Maryann is out of control, and it will be interesting to see if anyone can shut her down. I don’t even know for sure what’s gonna happen, but I hope someone figures it out, or Bon Temps is going down!”

The ratings for True Blood have rivaled those of HBO‘s long running hit drama The Sopranos, a fact which Rutina describes as “amazing, absolutely amazing….And such a blessing in these times.”

Fans have embraced both her and her character, both figuratively and literally.  She told Boston Herald reporters:

“They come up to me in the grocery store and say, ‘Tara, get over here and give me a hug!’ While I’m shopping for bananas!”

Both Julliard-trained actors were happy to pose for photos with local True Blood fans, signing autographs and shaking hands late into the night.

In addition to their work on HBO‘s breakout hit True Blood, fans can catch a glimpse of some of their other appearances.  Nelson Ellis is featured as David in The Soloist, now out on DVD.  Rutina Wesley will be voicing an animated character on The Cleveland Show, Seth MacFarlane’s spinoff of The Family Guy.

The evening’s True Blood event was held by cable company RCN in conjunction with other events in a lead up to RCN’s Fall Rush, which, according to RCN, are “aimed to connect with college students as they set up their television, internet and telephone service for the upcoming school year”.  In addition to two other True Blood related promotional events, RCN also cosponsored two blood drives with the American Red Cross.

SOURCES: Boston Globe and Boston Herald coverage of the event, RCN

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)