Recap: True Blood Halloween Party at Club Fangtasia

January 11, 2013

Australia Gets to party with True Blood Stars at Seamus O’Tooles:

Marshall Allman (Tommy Mickens) and Tara Buck (Ginger) arrive at Club Fangtasia, the HBO True Blood inspired Halloween event

Marshall Allman (Tommy Mickens) and Tara Buck (Ginger) on the red carpet outside Club Fangtasia

So another Halloween has passed and yet another outstanding True Blood Halloween party has been held at Melbourne’s Seamus O’Toole’s who transformed into the decadent Club Fangtasia for one night only.

This year, I veered away from my usual Sookie (Anna Paquin) theme and decided to dress up as Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll). My husband decided on copying that famous (and blood thirsty) scene from episode 4 of Season 5 of HBO’s True Blood and got all blood spattered as Roman (Chris Meloni).

There was the hotly anticipated arrival of the True Blood cast members, who arrived via limousine and were ushered down the red carpet after attending the First Contact Conventions Full Blood convention. Fans lined the walkway and there was plenty of blood-curdling screaming going on when Ginger passed by.

Getting photo bombed by Marshall Allman (who played Tommy Mickens in HBO's True Blood). With Lenore Mills, Rachel Tsoumbakos and Tara Buck (Ginger)

Getting photo bombed by Marshall Allman (who played Tommy Mickens in HBO’s True Blood). With Lenore Mills, Rachel Tsoumbakos and Tara Buck (Ginger)

For holders of the extra special VIP tickets, not only did you get to party until the wee hours, drink Tru Blood fangtails, go into the draw for some awesome prizes and participate in charity auctions, you got to hang out with Marshall and Tara in the VIP room upstairs! Both cast members were happy to chat to fans all night long and there were many great True Blood stories told by both of the stars (neither of whom could believe my transformation from Merlotte’s Jessica Hamby for the exclusive TrueBloodNet.com interview the previous day into Red Riding Hood Jessica Hamby for the Halloween event!)

Due to the adherence to HBO guidelines, there was no photography in the venue on the night, but that didn’t hinder anyone’s enjoyment as authorized photographers were on hand to take photos of the party goers. So for those of you who attended (or wished you had), make sure you head on over to Club Fangtasia’s Facebook page and check out all the great pics of the night!

Matt Le Guier, Kim Grimshaw, Paul Tsoumbakos, Rachel Tsoumbakos and Sherryn Pickering all bloodied up for Club Fangtasia's True Blood event

Matt Le Guier, Kim Grimshaw, Paul Tsoumbakos, Rachel Tsoumbakos and Sherryn Pickering all bloodied up for Club Fangtasia’s True Blood event

If you weren’t lucky enough to score a VIP ticket, there were still opportunities to see the stars in action when they made a few guest appearances downstairs. They chatted to the audience, helped out with the auctions and announced prize winners.

Speaking of prize winners, Kim and Matt (in the picture to your left, won a True Blood poster signed by several member of the True Blood cast, just by buying a ticket and turning up – and this was only second prize! The first prize was a signed True Blood picture as well as a brand new iPad. As for the coveted best dressed award? Well, this prize went to a couple who were outstanding in their costume design as well as maintaining their persona for most of the night. The prize (of $200) went to Sharon Taylor Alford and Paul Tabone for their original outfits. You can view the winning costume here.

Band Red Rockit rocked it up at Seamus O'Toole's Club Fangtasia

Band Red Rockit rocked it up at Seamus O’Toole’s Club Fangtasia

Marshall Allman and Tara Buck left late in the evening, but that didn’t stop the party. There was still plenty to do! Not only was there the awesome Aza MC, pole dancers and a rocking band Red Rockit, but DJ Courtney arrived straight off the plane and helped out also. There was a great chill out area outside the venue for when it got too hot inside. Many people mingled here and it was just as much fun outside as what it was inside. At the very back of Seamus O’Toole’s there is a large section of booths – a great place to put your feet up after dancing the night away!

Every year I go to this event, I am amazed at the dedication and sheer amount of hard work that goes into setting up this event. Garth O’Hehir, Jason Rigopoulos and Paul Allen orchestrate the event and this year they excelled themselves. Also, their staff and the various helpers that all band together to make this event work so well on the night are a credit to the team.

It truly was (yet again) an awesome night!

Oh, and if you wanted a drink in the VIP section, this is the guy that served you:

Bar staff at True Blood's Club Fangtasia

Bar staff at True Blood’s Club Fangtasia

(Photo Credits: Club Fangtasia.com.au)

Also, a special thanks goes out to Lenore Mills, Matt Le Guier, Kim Grimshaw, Paul Tsoumbakos, Sherryn Pickering, Red Rockit and the bar staff for allowing  me to use their images for this article.

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TrueBloodNet Exclusive! Club Fangtasia Interview With Tara Buck and Marshall Allman

November 4, 2012

True Blood Stars at Autograph Signing for Aussie Fans:

Marshall Allman (Tommy Mickens) and Tara Buck (Ginger) with TrueBloodNet writer Rachel Tsoumbakos at Club FangtasiaRecently, I was given the opportunity to interview two stars of HBO’s True Blood: Tara Buck (Ginger) and Marshall Allman (Tommy Mickens). It was certainly an amazing experience and so much fun to catch up with the friendly and down to earth stars before they did their signing event at Club Fangtasia. If you didn’t get a chance to meet them at this event and you live in Melbourne, Australia, you also had the opportunity to meet up with them on Sunday 4th November during the First Contact Full Blood convention. Or, alternatively, see them at the Club Fangtasia Halloween party on Sunday night.

Even with their hectic schedule, the stars were happy to sit down and have a chat about True Blood with TrueBloodNet. Tara was straight into talking about her favourite True Blood moment: riding Pam’s coffin in Season 5. A moment that she didn’t know was to occur until she actually jumped on the coffin and it started to move. Which led to the first fan question, sent in by Lenore Mills, who asked if coffin riding was similar to horse riding? Tara was quick to declare that it wasn’t, but it was fairly close to mechanical bull riding!

Marshall then described his craziest True Blood moment, one which involved having to (while naked) jump and transform from a human into a bird. Besides the fact that he was jumping about naked, he kept making ad hoc transforming sound effects. As a result, they had to retake until he could jump without making any noises at all!

This was the opportune time to ask the question sent in by KL Joy: Since there are so much naked moments for shifters in True Blood, were there any awkward moments? Allman pointed out that being naked on set gets very old very quickly and it’s just a matter of getting on with the job.

It was also interesting to discover how the pair of them researched their roles. While Marshall plays a shifter and a character who is not in the Southern Vampire Mystery books by Charlaine Harris, he still found it easy enough to research:

Tommy had been basically raised as a dog fighter, so I watched ‘The Dog Whisperer’ and he did a whole episode on pitt bulls. He talked a lot about the nature of the pitt bull and how the breed has been trained. When pitt bulls experience pain, they don’t have a threshold for it and go crazier. They will attack until they die. So learning that, it was kind of like, wow, Tommy’s a lot like that, you know, he just doesn’t know when to stop.

Tara Buck rides Pam's coffin as Ginger in HBO's True BloodGinger, on the other hand, is a character in the books, so it is possible for her to draw on that. Although, Buck prefers to go with her own special version of her character. But, because Ginger dies in the books, there was a concern that the Ginger in the HBO series would suffer the same fate:

We shot a scene, that never made it to air, the very last scene of the last episode of Season 3, where Ginger runs into Fangtasia and her head is backwards and so you don’t know what has happened but clearly a spell has been cast and so, when I read that, I actually said to Alan Ball; “Oh my gosh, Alan, you killed me!” To which Alan replied; “No, no, no, Tara, don’t worry, your head’s just been turned around, but you’re still alive.”

Which is such a relief to hear, since so many people love Ginger. This bought me to the source of the most popular questions for Ginger: her scream. While it was never a part of the audition process for Tara Buck, when her character witnessed the death of Long Shadow in Season 1, it became an organic, ad lib process in the scene. Once she started wailing, everyone thought it was hilarious so they asked for more of it. Then, of course, she started throwing up, so they asked her to scream and throw up and then scream some more.

Truebie fan Eve Lynch, wanted to know how the the both of them got into acting? Tara announced that she fell in love with Michael J. Fox while watching him in the movie ‘Back To The Future’. Even though she was only 8, she decided that the only way to meet the celebrity, was to take up acting! Marshall, on the other hand, had originally planned to be a professional soccer player, but was, unfortunately, injured before he could live out that dream. On a whim, a friend suggested he try out on a talent search The rest, as they say, is history!

True Blood fan, Kate Rodaughan, wanted to ask Tara Buck if it was fun to play Ginger. To which the actress responded with a definite yes:

I don’t even know where to start. I love the costumes. They’re tiny – it’s like Halloween every day! Her hair is big and crazy and it’s just fun. I love it.

Marshall Allman who stars as Tommy Mickens in HBO's True BloodAnother fan, Cindy Burrows, wanted to ask Marshall Allman about his role in Sons Of Anarchy. In particular, what it was like to play such a gullible character in a scene (where Allman’s character, Devon, is propositioned by a transvestite hooker) that fans have declared as hilarious, in a show that is not often known for its humor:

Oh man, it wasn’t hard at all! I absolutely loved playing the role of Devon. That scene was so much fun to shoot.

And fans of both Sons of Anarchy and Marshall Allman will be pleased to know that the role should be reprised in Season 6.

I can’t wait. You can go in so many different directions because he’s so wide-eyed and he has no idea what the culture is like.

I was also curious to know, besides True Blood, what is the strangest role either of them have ever had to play? Tara Buck is actually known for playing unique characters. So, for her, the weirdest ones, so far, are the roles of crazy Rhea Reynolds in Nip/Tuck and a character in her upcoming film ‘K-11′; who is a transgender inmate. She actually plays the role of a man playing a woman!

Allman has also had his share of interesting roles. Besides his stint as Devon in Sons of Anarchy, he has starred in the movie, ‘The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle’. In this movie he plays a janitor who gives birth to blue fish after becoming addicted to experimental cookies.

Now, if you want to see more of Tara Buck and Marshall Allman, they have plenty of stuff hitting the screens. Tara has a new movie coming out called ‘Tomorrow You’re Gone’ (also known as ‘Boot Tracks’), which stars Willem DaFoe, Stephen Dorff and Michelle Monaghan. It’s directed by David Jacobson and should hit the big screen early in 2013. The film, K-11 (which stars Goran Visnjic) is being released shortly.

Marshall Allman has just completed a movie called ‘Jane Mansfield’s Car’. It stars Billy Bob Thornton and Robert Duvall. You can also see Allman in the upcoming independent film, The Bounceback.

Thank you to Tara Buck, Marshall Allman, HBO, the crew at First Contact Conventions and Garth O’Hehir for making this interview possible.

(Photo Credits: ClubFangtasia.com.au/HBO Inc.)

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