Sam Trammell Dishes about True Blood’s Sam Merlotte, Southern Hospitality, and Nudity

October 23, 2010 by  

Sam Trammell Talks About Life as His Not So Alter Ego

Sam Trammell as Sam MerlotteSam Trammell is your typical southern boy: polite, independent, smiles a lot, and gets along with anyone.  Sound like someone else you know?  It’s only fitting that he landed the role of Sam Merlotte on HBO‘s super hot series True Blood, a character that oozes southern hospitality and comfort with just a pinch of dark intrigue.  In a video interview with Channel4.com Trammell talked about his role on True Blood saying:

There were some good parts of Season 1 for my character because it was also the kind of thing where we didn’t know if he (Merlotte) was the person killing people so there was that kind of red herring thing that I got to do a little bit where you wanted to look like you could be possibly guilty at times of something…Running around with a gun, y’know, I’m a boy, so that’s always fun.

Trammell auditioned for the role of Merlotte and thought he did just “okay.”  He admitted that the whole experience was very nerve-wracking given that he had to audition in front of 20 HBO executives, as well as hang out with the people he was auditioning against.  Little did he know that four hours later he’d get a call informing him that he was the top pick for the role of Merlotte.

Not a Breed Apart

Aside from the whole shapeshifting thing, Trammell and Merlotte really do have quite a bit in common.

I’m definitely a nice guy, y’know, I was raised southern, so I tend to be polite and um, y’know, hide my true feelings and just smile a lot.  I also feel I have the kind of self-reliance that Sam Merlotte has.  I think my mom was kind of very much about being independent and that kind of thing.  And I think I do get along well with people in a superficial way pretty well like Sam is able to run a bar and be at the center of town life…and he gets along with everybody that he knows but they don’t really  know him and there’s definitely a part of me that’s like that too.  I have a bit of a loner quality…I don’t mind being alone, I don’t mind going to parties alone and just kind of meeting people.

On Shedding His Clothes

Nudity doesn’t scare Trammell away, but Ryan Kwanten‘s nudity certainly does.  Trammell says:

I had already done full frontal nudity three times, I think, in my career on stage…Season 2, I guess, Ryan Kwanten was sort of setting the bar…but the guy is in insane shape.  My biggest nightmare came to fruition when I had to be basically naked in a scene where Ryan had his shirt off as well and I was like, oh my God, I’m gonna look like the Michelin Man.

Michelin Man?  Not even close.  One thing Alan Ball has done well with, in addition to compiling an amazing cast of actors to play deliciously complex characters, is show some of the best “sides” of these actors.  Trammell certainly has some great sides to him, some of which fans hope to see much more of in Season 4.   To watch the interview in its entirety, click here.

Source: Channel 4 – Sam Trammell Interview

(Photo Credit: HBO Inc.)

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