Sam Trammell Shares Some Insight About Himself and True Blood

November 23, 2009 by  

Sam-Trammell-HBOSam Trammell‘s fanbase has grown substantially since appearing on Alan Ball‘s hit HBO TV vampire series True Blood where he plays the shapeshifting bar owner, Sam Merlotte.  Recently Sam spoke with Andrew Williams from and shared some insight about himself and his new found fame working on True Blood.

Even though True Blood will begin filming season 3 in the next few weeks Sam is still pleasantly surprised by the success of the show.  Knowing that the show’s fanbase was growing on a weekly basis during season one he was amazed at how the show skyrocketed during season two and how that has impacted on him on a personal level in a good way.

“I get recognized every day. It’s exciting – I’m not going to pretend I’m bored by it. I got a round of drinks bought for me last night in a bar, that was nice. I’m also getting more offers for work, too.”

Doing True Blood has been one of the best experiences he has had.  Knowing that he is working on a high caliber show with excellent writing and a very dedicated and growing fanbase behind him, he knows that it would be seen as a positive if he ever wanted to do stage work in New York.

“It’s a quality show. I could have been on a show that was as popular but not as well written – there are plenty of those – but this has a good pedigree. It won’t hurt me in New York – they love anyone who is popular.”

In regards to the fanbase, Sam has had his fair share of unusual encounters with fans including one in particular where one fan shaved her teeth to look like fangs. As Sam mentions, that is dedication.  However, growing up he was never that engrossed in the occult or in vampires though he did favor reading Stephen King books. Sam did have instances in his life that would connect him to the supernatural such as the local cemetery being his front yard (though nothing unusual ever happened) and living in a very old apartment while studying at the University of Paris which he believes was haunted as things moved around that could not be explained.

Being from Louisiana and growing up in West Virginia he is familiar with the accents and doing them is not as challenging compared to doing the nudes scenes particularly, as he says, now that he is getting older. Sam states that in the show he did have his opportunity to do sex scenes and being nude, which is not new to him but, could get awkward at times.

“I have to get naked a fair amount. It happens more towards the second half of the series. I’ve done full frontal nudity three times on stage, so it’s not new to me. It’s scarier as you get older, as it’s more difficult to keep in shape. I have to diet and exercise for nude scenes. It’s always odd and I’m always naked in weird places – outside, usually. That’s always strange. You can’t close the set in the woods. Everyone sees me.”

Asked if he ever had to work in catering, similar to his character’s role on True Blood. Sam remembers working for the first few weeks as a server when he got to New York and having the uncomfortable experience of serving an acquaintance from a wealth family. The only other thing that may come close to him being similar to his character is, though not changing into a dog or being bitten by a vampire but, he was attacked by a Saint Bernard when he was 17 that did bite him in the neck!  Very scary indeed!

From his humble beginnings working tables in New York to playing  a dinosaur in a sci-fi thriller, which was probably one of his worst acting jobs according to Sam, to the phenomenal success of True Blood, Sam still remains humble.  According to Sam he hasn’t gone crazy making extravagant purchases for himself,

“I’m not an extravagant guy. I spend more on my girlfriend than I do on myself. I got a nice surfboard recently, which isn’t very extravagant. Hopefully it’ll make me sound charming and outdoorsy.”

Sam you will always remain charming to all of us no matter what you do.


(Photo credit:  HBO Inc.)

  • Holly

    Sam Trammel is one of my favorite actors on True Blood. His accent sounds real and natural. His acting is relaxed and never over the top. I think he would have made a perfect Bill. He also does not look too old standing next to Anna P.

    I hope this role gets him the work and the attention he deserves. He has made me a team Sam person.
    Woof! Love that puppy.

    • Antonio

      I agree He is also 1 of my faves on the show,Too! I’ve written an article here on Sam and Bill and the similarities and differences between these 2 characters. I’d like to write an article just on Sam sometime. It’s a great show isnt it? Only thing Now is that I cannot seem to get into Any other show!! HBO has ruined All Other TV for Me!! LOL After True Blood All Else leaves me colder than Vermont in January!! LOL
      It really has become like an addiction needing a Bill & Sookie “fix” An “Eric” fix and yes a “Sam” Fix! LOL
      Edward Cullen said in Twilight that Bella was his own personal “brand of heroin” I feel that way about TB!!
      Go Sam!! Go Team True Blood!!

  • Lizzie 1701

    Sam sounds like a really nice bloke. I hope he gets some great scenes in S3!

  • I’m very lukewarm on Sam from the books but Sam Trammell has really brought him to life for me…he is perfectly cast as Sam.
    Great interview!

  • He’s so down to earth! For me True Blood goes to the extent that only Buffy held.

  • MarleneEmmett

    You shouldn’t be suprised at the fans who recognize you and
    who also send you things like rounds of drinks.
    TrueBlood is going to make you and your castmates REAL FAMOUS!!!

  • Antonio

    Ollie This interview is Incredible! Thanks for posting it! This 1 is definitely a keeper! It’s Inspiring to read his story about his career and what his work means to Him! Sam is 1 of my favorite characters Both On the Show AND Offscreen! He seems very genuine unpretentious I like that. He also has a goofy sense of humor,much like Stephen Moyer, which is very neccesary These Days! He’s not afraid to talk about awkward moments and tough times I like that it makes me seem more down to earth and real. He reminds me of friends I used to hang around with when I was in school. He also reminds me of How I once was I also had a wacky goofball sense of humor! 1 Thing which I like about Bill and Sam’s chracters is that they are flawed,broken individuals looking for acceptance,love and a chance for redemption I can see Myself in That! The world can be a harsh cruel place for those who dont “fit in”. I think we All deserve a 2nd chance! True Blood is a show about flawed,imperfect,fouled up people who are looking for a 2nd chance a chance to redeem themselves and hold on to some hope!
    I Can appreciate this Greatly! Thats Why I like this show So Much! Its Not So Much about Vampires and Nudity but About Relationships and How people deal with each other and their lives! I Always look forward to interviews with my favorite characters..I like to read what they have to say about their lives before they became popular and recognized!
    Many of these characters and the actors who play them have been an inspiration to me and to many others like you as well!
    Thanks Again Ollie for this Incredibly Moving Interview!
    It Helps a Great Deal to know that Others have Also struggled through hard times before they made it!! Sam You Are Amazing!
    Keep Up the Good Work!! God Bless!!
    Self Confidence, Belief in Self Worth, A feeling of Accomplishment These things are Priceless!!

    • jaxx

      Nicely said Antonio. You’re right, we all struggle with acceptance in one form or another. Sam, to me, is a regular, good guy. Someone I would date in real life. The one who’s always the “bridesmaid and never the bride”, the underdog you root for. I adore Sam and am rooting for him too. If Sookie doesn’t end up with a vamp, than I want her to end up with Sam. Sometimes I think she’d be better off with Sam. They are at least both part human and can grow old together and have a half supe/human family of some sort. Go Sam!!

      He also seems like a great guy in real life too. I’d love to hang out with him sometime and buy him a beer and just sit around and talk about life for awhile. I think he’d be really cool and down to earth. 🙂

      • Antonio

        I’d like to do that as well,Jaxx! Many of the cast of TB seem like nice,interesting fun people,But, I think that Sam is my favorite. He just seems So down-to-earth,So unpretentious, Like everyday folk..I like that! I also enjoy reading or viewing interviews with him…He is So funny! I can always get a laugh or 2 from him! It helps when I’m down or have a bad day. You are right though,He does seem like the kind of guy I’d want to hang around with have a couple beers with and just talk about life “shoot the breeze” and stuff! I bet I could learn a lot..I feel I’ve Already been So inspired by His performance and that of Stephen Moyer. Jaxx, Why dont We invite Both Sam and Stephen..Anna could come too,if she wants? ~~She is Always with Him ( Wouldnt You Be??) LOL Out for a drink and just sit around and talk! I bet We would have fun! I cant remember when i felt So good about a tv show and its cast? Anyway Jaxx, I recall I was on here 1 time and I was “posting” with someone who was the “friend of a friend” of Sam Trammell. She had met him at least a couple of times! She said that He really was as nice and funny and cool as everyone thought he was! I like people who are Not “too busy” to connect with family and friends and who can remember Where they came from! He reminds me that I should not take life too seriously and learn to laugh at myself and at things (Easier said than done,right) We need levity Today perhaps more than ever in these tough times! I always like reading Your posts,Jaxx
        They are always So thought provoking and articulate!
        I’m glad that Sam is enjoying the attention!
        He’s a good guy! You know something,Jaxx? I believe that We are Already “friends” with Him! We can respect and appreciate him and his work. I’d consider Stephen Moyer a “friend” and i dont even know him! Weird,huh? I guess You can learn something from some1 even if you have never met the person.
        Thanks again,Jaxx

        • jaxx

          Hey Antonio, I wonder if HBO would consider some kind of fan contest where we could meet Sam, Stephen or someone from the cast and just hang out. Nothing wierd or stalking, just meet at Merlotte’s for a couple of drinks and ask a few non-invasive nor personal questions and just talk about life for a while. What do you do for the holidays?? What jobs did you have before True Blood??? Where do you see yourself in 10 years, lol?? You know, questions like that. I heard Sam has a girlfriend. I’d like to meet her and tell her what a great guy she’s got. I saw a couple of interviews with Stephen Moyer as well. He really seems like a great guy, always happy. I think he was on Leno or one of those shows and he was shooting paintballs with another guest star in an orange jumpsuit. Hysterical. He actually seemed like he was having fun. I hope Anna knows how lucky she is.

          That’s my dream, to have drinks, even coffee with one of them and just talk. I hope someday we can both do that.

          • Antonio

            Hey Jaxx, That Would be Cool! As Mr.Trammell said in this interview and others He is suprised when people come up to him on the street and greet him! They shake his hand hug him some ladies even give him a kiss! I recall him saying 1 time that a guy came up to him and told him he really liked his character on the show..He said it made him feel So Good! I dont think he’s ever received So Much attention from fans like this! I’m happy for him…He’s a good actor and he’s worked hard for it!!
            I think that would be So Cool…to just run into him on the street somewhere or maybe in a bar or club in either Vegas or AC! Jaxx,Have you seen that photo of them at the club Tabu in Vegas?? It was taken last spring i think. Some gal got her picture taken with Stephen,Anna,Alex and Sam!! Just Because She happened to be in the “right place at the right time”!
            A contest would be cool Meeting them somewhere just off the street would be Even More Cool!! It was a nice picture but Both Sam and Steph looked a little intoxicated!! LOL
            I like Sam’s sense of humor! I saw him on a show a while back.
            The gal who interviewed him said “Sam Trammell who plays a Werewolf on HBO” Sam Then Said “I’m NOT a Werewolf! DONT Call Me a Werewolf!” I Love That!! I laughed my butt off!!
            He’s just SO Funny!! I like funny people…people who i can have fun with and talk to about life and stuff!
            Perhaps You or I might meet him unintentionally someday You Just Never Know!! I’ve met people unaware that they would become good friends You Never Know!!
            Like I said Jaxx, I Already Consider Sam a “friend” even though i dont know him personally. I cant remember having So Much admiration and respect for a cast of a tv show!
            All of this has been a Marvelously Incredible Experience!!