Michelle Forbes’ Fond Memories of True Blood Season 2

May 21, 2010

With the impending DVD release of True Blood Season 2, Michelle Forbes was interviewed by Last Broadcast on what is was like to be part of the show, playing a character as bizarre as Maryann.

Michelle says actors live for roles like that where they can explore new territory. She learned what a Maenad was through discussions of Greek mythology with the show’s creator, Alan Ball, and then just had fun getting to be wild and free, running around barefoot in evening dresses and having parties.

Michelle did admit that her stomach churned at some of things Maryann did (heart souffle, anyone?), but she was also a character that liberated people in a way. To prepare, she looked at films that conveyed “the spirit of abandon” and periods in culture where moral boundaries were broken down:

“I like to think that Maryann was there during all of those transgressive periods in time. That she was texting Caligula: what are you doing this evening? And that she had something to do with Woodstock as well–working everyone into a frenzy.”

Michelle is effusive in her praise of everyone working on True Blood. She talks about how much she loves HBO for allowing shows like this to thrive because of the freedom they give their storytellers. She talks about the cast, how talented and loving they are.

When asked what the highlight was of playing Maryann, Michelle thinks of one scene in particular:

“I have a scene where I come in after a night of ravaging in the woods and I just have a casual conversation with a dead rabbit over my lap. I love that scene so much. And I love frolicking in the woods and dancing. I had no idea how bonkers it was going to get towards the end of the series. I can’t imagine I’ll ever play another character like her again! It’s insanely unique.”

From a viewer’s standpoint, Maryann was only as interesting as she was because of Michelle Forbes’ performance. True Blood was lucky to have had such an outstanding actress for that prominent role in Season 2.

SOURCE: lastbroadcast.co.uk

(Photo credit: HBO, Inc.)

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Vampires and Orgies and a Maenad…Oh My!

February 18, 2010

“…Just another day at the office” says Michelle Forbes, better known to Trubies as Maryann the Maenad, when describing how she eventually became accustomed to filming those wild orgy scenes in Season 2. Forbes admits that for someone as “shy as [herself]”, the sex scenes were “a bit daunting” at first but became quite routine after a while.

Forbes acknowledges that vampire mythology is “titillating” but credits True Blood’s writers for considering vampires “in a very real way” that is “emotional and grounded”. She praises them for looking at vampires from another perspective and turning the traditional view “on its head”.

Despite or, perhaps, in spite her shyness, Forbes seems to have no problem bringing the wicked Maryann to life in the midst of such debauchery and rauchiness!

SOURCE:  Digitalspy.com

(Photo credit:  HBO Inc.)

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Michelle Forbes Thinks True Blood Could Last Nine Seasons

February 13, 2010

Not only do fans of True Blood want the show to continue for many years, those who are a part of it believe that it truly could. Michelle Forbes, the actress who played troublemaker Maryann Forrester in the series, was interviewed by The Sun during her publicity work in the UK to promote the show’s second season which is about to premiere over there.

Michelle thinks that True Blood has so many things going for it–broad appeal, impassioned fans, creative talent behind the scenes–that she doesn’t expect it to be a flash in the pan that fades in popularity as the vampire craze diminishes. After all, the show is about much more than vampires:

“It’s about love, intimacy and family. Vampires happen to be a part of it but it’s not just about them. The appeal for a lot of people is that it’s more the town with different creatures living together.”

Because of that diversity, there are so many characters and storylines for people to identify with.

Since Charlaine Harris is about to release her 10th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, Michelle knows that there are plenty of stories to tell, as long as the audience is excited to watch. This is certainly good news–Truebies are dying for more, and we’re not going anywhere!

SOURCE: thesun.co.uk

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)

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Michelle Forbes Interviewed by BBC Radio

February 9, 2010

Last weekend, Michelle Forbes was in London to accept an award for True Blood at the SFX Weekender convention. She did an interview with BBC Radio in which she talked about her various roles, including that of Maryann on True Blood, and explained why television has gotten so good over the past decade.

A couple of listeners sent in questions about 24. Michelle portrayed Lynne Kresge, liaison to Dennis Haysbert’s President Palmer, in Season 2. She said the main thing she remembered was being stuck in the same clothes and one set for several months.

The interviewer was very keen to talk about Michelle’s work on In Treatment, the HBO series in which she played Kate, the wife of Gabriel Byrne’s character. What is so unique about that show is the format–half-hour episodes air five nights a week and feature mostly just two people sitting in a room talking. Michelle described the experience as being exciting and challenging, and she praised the emotionally dense story and the beautiful performances of the cast.

Another memorable character for her was the single-minded Admiral Helena Cain on Battlestar Galactica. Michelle believes that BSG will go down in history as one of the best series ever made. She calls creator Ronald D. Moore a great storyteller and loves the labyrinthine world he created. The show was so bold and daring in the way it addressed everything about a society from politics and war to religion.

When the conversation turned to True Blood, which will begin airing its second season in the UK on FX channel later this month, Michelle explained the concept of the show. She marveled a bit at how vampires have entered the zeitgeist of the moment, but noted that True Blood adds to that many more colorful characters, both supernatural and human. There are so many levels to the show that it can be light and fun, as well as deep and meaningful:

“I think one of the many wonderful things about the show is that, although it’s incredibly funny and sexy and raunchy at times, so much fun, there’s also this wonderful place for social commentary lying underneath the fabric of that.”

Michelle also had very nice things to say about the show’s network, HBO. She has gotten to know the people there from being on In Treatment and True Blood, and describes how amazing it is to “really believe in the philosophy and intelligence of the people you’re working for.” Many of the greatest series ever, like The Wire and The Sopranos, came from HBO. As Michelle explains, they get brilliant showrunners like Alan Ball and give them freedom to tell their stories and time to develop an audience. It is this kind of attitude that has allowed creativity to flourish in the past 10 years:

“The landscape for television is changing for the better with every moment.”

When asked about what her favorite role of her career has been, Michelle splits her choice between Kate on In Treatment and Maryann on True Blood:

“To go from playing this angry, repressed, frustrated, fearful housewife to playing this outrageous, free, expansive, liberated creature, and having so much fun running around in evening dresses barefoot, how lovely to do both back to back.”

Everyone at True Blood is probably very sad to have lost Michelle (although nobody is going to miss that lunatic maenad!). She is a phenomenally talented actress, and it will be very exciting to see what her next project will be!

Click below to hear the entire interview from BBC Radio:

bbc.co.uk

SOURCE:  bbc.co.uk via mirandazero.blogspot.com

(Photo credit: mirandazero.blogspot.com)

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Michelle Forbes Reflects Back on Her Work on True Blood

December 9, 2009

MF-hbocurb-150909-02Her arc as Maryann on True Blood may have reached its conclusion, but Michelle Forbes is still talking about what the character and the show meant to her. In a recent interview in France with Generique(s) Magazine, she discusses what she looks for in a role and what statements about society there are to be found even in work that is sexy and fun.

Michelle’s roles have covered a wide range, from a mythological creature and the admiral of a spaceship, to more ordinary characters. With each, she seeks to challenge herself to relate to their emotions and thoughts.

“I am always looking for roles that will make me push my limits, roles that will frighten or annoy me or make me question my beliefs. Even in my darkest roles, I am having fun. It is also my way of dealing with trauma. Maryann is a child running through the woods, a rich benefactor providing mountains of fruit to guests, a mysterious and disturbing woman, all at once.”

What Maryann brought out in the citizens of Bon Temps was their wild and crazy side, but she allowed them to indulge in the very human elements of violence and sex. Michelle likens that energy to real times of the past:

“I see it as a reflection on those periods in history when the taboos are silent to let the body speak in Woodstock, in the Paris of the 20s, in New York in the 80s–periods where people rejected their inhibitions to create something artistic or philosophical. Society is like a pressure cooker. If you do not let the steam to escape, it will explode. In the U.S., we go from eight years of puritanism, we may be on the verge of a new period of physical explosion. As humans, we need violence and sex. Without it, we do not exist. The challenge is how we channel these needs.

It seems like she really enjoyed getting to portray that and working with Alan Ball. Even though he talks about how his reason for creating True Blood was to do something fun, she knows that his work is always going to contain thought-provoking elements:

“Even in the humorous and sometimes grossly excessive re-enactments in True Blood, he is a social critic, but one who never abandons himself to preaching. The show only asks questions and gives the viewer the right to make its own answers. But you should also never forget to have fun!”

As Michelle says, it may be a vampire show, but it’s mostly about emotions and relationships.

SOURCE: Translated from generiques-mag.net

(Photo credit: jamd.com)

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Michelle Forbes Discusses Team Bill

September 24, 2009

michelle-forbes-bafta-la-interview1E! Online recently caught up with Michelle Forbes who played the wickedly sinister Maryann, on season 2 of True Blood, at the BAFTA/LA Tea Party. E! Online discussed the new popularity of the vampire genre and about the on-going debate that has pursued: Team Bill or Team Edward? As most fans know these two hunky vamps have been pitted against each other to see which one should reign supreme on the vampire throne. E! Online asked Michelle if she had seen the “Twilight” movie and she responded by saying that she had unfortunately not found the time to see it but hoped to real soon. E! Online still asked whether she was Team Bill or Team Edward and Michelle confessed that she will always be Team Bill:

“Oh, I’m Team Bill all the way. I’m Stephen Moyer all the way! I love that man!”

E! Online also asked Michelle about the romance that has ensued between Stephen Moyer and his beautiful True Blood costar Anna Paquin, and whether she thought it would last. Michelle had this to say:

” I think that the two of them are absolutely the real deal. In a very beautiful sense they do complete each other, which is really rare to look at. I’ve seen a lot of Hollywood romances come and go and I actually have no doubt they are the real deal and are in it for the long haul.”

Michelle was also asked about whether or not her character, Maryann might be resurrected for another season of True Blood. She assures us that Maryann is in “Maenad Heaven”. Michelle did have this to say about working for Alan Ball and being on the set of True Blood:

“It was nonstop fun—such an extraordinarily beautiful cast. Our crew is just the best crew around, and our writers are the boldest, most fun people to work with.”

Well Michelle you can be guaranteed that all of us Trubies stand by you when we say “GO TEAM TRUE BLOOD“!

SOURCE:  E! Online

(Photo credit: Dave Edwards – DailyCeleb.com via hollywood.com)

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Michelle Forbes Interviewed By People Magazine

September 17, 2009

michelle-forbes-hbos-true-blood-season-two-1xnlzjThankfully, Maryann was destroyed in the season two finale but it will be sad to lose the incredible talent of Michelle Forbes. She was a great addition to the cast of True Blood and the rest of the actors are probably going to miss working with her.

People Magazine interviewed Michelle to ask her what drew her to the show and what it was like filming some of those crazy Bacchanalian scenes.

Starting out, the only description of Maryann that Michelle knew was the basic mythological definition of a maenad. While it was a bit outrageous, especially given that she was seemingly a social worker of sorts, Michelle was intrigued:

“It didn’t necessarily line up with what was on the page and that was the exciting thing that sort of gets the hair on the back of your neck standing up. You start looking for a shovel because you just want to start digging to figure out what this riddle is all about.”

As more of Maryann’s motives began to reveal themselves, Michelle came to see her as an embodiment of people’s efforts to liberate themselves morally:

“I think Maryann represents things going on in the real world since the beginning of time — Woodstock, Paris in the ’20s, the transgressive movement of cinema and music in New York in the ’80s — when people were just really trying to shed all moral boundaries.”

As for shooting the orgies, the awkwardness was there at first but everyone was very professional about it and pretty much got used to it. There were also some amusing aspects:

“At one of the orgies there was this bunny — there was a rabbit, who was just sitting there staring at us. We all kept saying, ‘Look that bunny’s still there.’ And after about 45 minutes, I thought, ‘Maybe he’s hurt,’ and I started to walk over to it and it took two hops and I was like, ‘Nope, he’s just a pervert.’ He was pervy Peter Rabbit!”

Of her True Blood experience, Michelle is just excited by how bold the storytelling was and how they weren’t afraid to take risks. That’s what she hopes for most as an actor. She does say, however, that in public now, people are scared to meet her, even though she’s actually very nice:

“I could kill Alan Ball.”

He certainly got a memorable performance out of her!

SOURCE: people.com

(Photo credit: exposay.com)

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True Blood’s Beauty Secrets

September 17, 2009

kqnefhgbn6th9d3erfldcw19872Brigitte A. Myre , leading make-up artist for True Blood, recently shared some beauty secrets from the show with bellasugar.com.  Sookie’s look for the first season was a simple and innocent, giving her a virginal appearance.  Brigitte uses Cover FX foundation to make Anna Paquin’s complexion look flawless. Light lipstick and mascara completed Sookie’s look for season oneSookie is more sultry for season two, so Brigitte made her make-up more dramatic.

Jessica has a very smooth look.  Her skin looks like porcelain and Brigitte doesn’t take credit for that at all.  She says:

“Actress Deborah Ann Woll is blessed with a nearly blemish free complexion.”

Brigitte simply applies Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer to get Deborah ready for the camera.

For Tara‘s look, Brigitte uses two shades of Bobbi Brown foundation to give her a smooth and even skin tone.  Brigitte says:

“Like many women of color, [actress] Rutina Wesley has some hyperpigmentation.”

Brigitte also reveals the secret behind Maryann‘s stare.  She uses lots and lots of false lashes.  In addition to her work on True Blood, Brigitte is also an Emmy award winner for her make up artistry for Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.

Source:  bellasugar.com

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)

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Sam Trammell Talks To Access Hollywood About Finale

September 13, 2009

sam-merlotte-sam-trammell-season-2-newIt appears that Season 2 is one to remember, well if you are Sam Merlotte. Just when life seemed to begin looking up with his bar doing well in the small town of Bon Temps, his past comes back to haunt in the form of a maenad better known as Maryann. He also has been placed in jail and almost sacrificed. Sam Merlotte has watched his content little world begin to unfold right before his eyes. His fellow Bon Temps residents walking around with black eyes and under Maryann’s influence, all ready to attack him and bring him to her. Sam doesn’t seem to know what to do any more. He can’t keep running, when Maryann wants something she seems to always get it.

Just when it felt like we should all bid farewell to the down to earth, laid back character, Jason Stackhouse returns from his brainwashing retreat and teams up with Andy Bellefleur, the detective who is the only one in town on Sam’s side. The team go in to save Sam one more time.

Maryann hasn’t given up and the Season 2 finale puts Sam on the line one more time.

Access Hollywood spoke to Sam Trammell who plays Sam Merlotte on the eve of the anticipated Season Two finale.

When asked what it was like being the center of attention on the show the last few episodes, Sam Trammell replied,

“It’s pretty fun. I sort of have enjoyed this year even more than last year. Sam’s journey this year has just been so intense because I’ve been under the gun from day one and knowing about Maryann and her power when everybody else [didn’t]. And it’s just really heavy duty everything he goes through. The betrayals that [fellow shape shifter] Daphne did to me and almost getting killed at [Maryann’s] orgy — it’s pretty heavy. But the season finale is going to be awesome and I’m definitely an integral part of all that.”

Access Hollywood also asked Sam about what he thought about job security when he read the script and saw that he might be leaving town. He knew that nobody is safe in the show yet he was a little worried. He asked creator Alan Ball if he was really leaving town and Ball said of course not. That is good news for all Sam Merlotte fans. Yet, Sam does mention that the finale does leave one major character in big trouble. He sure does love to leave us biting our fingernails in anticipation doesn’t he?

We’ve all noticed how much this season has differed from the first – lack of clothing. Thanks to Maryann’s influence, nearly all of the cast has spent long sets filming in the buff. So what does Sam Trammell think of all the nudity and sex scenes? Here is what he told Access Hollywood:

“It’s been very strange… I’ve seen some things that I did not ever want to see in my life. It’s bizarre and people were really naked. But the tough thing about it, even though we were shooting in Malibu, it was freezing cold. I got in my car one night – because we shoot all night – and the thermometer said 34 degrees and there was frost on it. It almost became about survival. When they said ‘Cut!’ people would huddle together under blankets and get near heaters.”

He was then asked how people handle stuff like that on set. Sam said that a lot of people in wardrobe would bring out robes and blankets as soon as the word ‘cut’ was said. It’s true when he says that one of the toughest things when you’re working as an actor is to pretend your warm when you’re not. Sam also mentions that due to people being nude or with most of their clothing removed, there is a lot of calorie counting and working out to stay in shape. He laughs and says he doesn’t eat before shooting and is careful about what he eats because all of his weight is gained in his belly. That is one thing I couldn’t imagine.

With Maryann, she’s the type of character you either love her or hate her. Obviously Michelle Forbes is a great actress if she can pull emotion off of you, that includes all the Maryann haters. You have to dislike her for a reason, and that is the actors skill to bring that across the screen. Now Sam Merlotte has good reason to hate Maryann, but what does Sam Trammell think of Michelle Forbes? This is what he said when asked:

“I love Michelle, she’s one of my favorite people on the show. We get to work with her a lot …. We met each other before we did the show — we had some mutual friends, so that was kind of a bonding thing. She’s really cool and she’s so good at that part and she’s so open and free and she has fun, but she’s kind of creepy. She’s just a cool chick, y’know?”

Rolling with the idea of friends on set, Sam Trammell said that he is friends mostly whomever he works with. I guess a man could never have too many friends, right? Sam knew Chris Bauer, who plays Andy, before the show, and they are good friends. When asked about the announcement Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer made regarding their engagement, Sam said he did not see it coming. He had no idea what was going and didn’t believe Stephen at first when he was told halfway through last year. He also adds, “…it’s sort of a testament to how they carry themselves. They’re very professional and they don’t really carry it on the set.”

With the news that one of the main characters is in big trouble, I can bet that everyone will be on pins and needles for the finale tonight. I know I will be. Most of us hope that it isn’t Sam Merlotte on the chopping block. He’s the type of guy you can’t help but love. The countdown has begun to see what happens and how Alan Ball will finish up another great season of True Blood.

Credit: Access Hollywood

Photo credit:  HBO Inc.)

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Maryann Forrester: Mysterious, Mad, Maenad

September 1, 2009

Maryann prepares a "Meat Tree" for "The God Who Comes".Maryann Forrester (Michelle Forbes) is a charming yet deadly supernatural creature called a MAENAD in the HBO Series, True Blood, which is based on the best-selling Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris. Maryann makes her first appearance in the  season one episode of True Blood, “To Love is to Bury”.  She arrives in town as a sort of Social Worker for hard luck cases whom she rescues at various low points in their lives and brings them to live with her. Maryann’s most recent acquisition? Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), the new bartender at Merlotte’s and the best friend of female lead character, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin).  At the same time, on the way to Shreveport with boyfriend Vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), Sookie is attacked in the woods by something with the head of a bull and poisonous claws and must endure a painful procedure by an odd doctor in order to save her life.

Maryann’s Enigmatic History in True Blood:

Not much is revealed about Maryann when she briefly appears in the late episodes of season one, except that Maryann seems to share a secret history with Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) the owner of the local watering hole, aptly named, “Merlotte’s”.  This history is further explored through a subsequent episode where we learn that the two had a brief affair when Sam was just 17  -and it didn’t end well.  We also come to find that Maryann not only knows about Sam’s shape shifting abilities but that she has the power to turn him into anything whenever she chooses.

Maryann coddles her new “project” Tara and plays into all the untended emotional scares left by her awful childhood and her alcoholic mother Lettie Mae (Adina Porter).  Soon, Tara discovers that Maryann likes to throw lavish parties. During which, unbeknownst to Tara and the other guests, Maryann likes to steal away and perform ritualistic chants beckoning her God, which also happens to make her entire body vibrate like a cheap massage chair.

“Lo Lo Bromios, Lo Lo Dendrites, Lo Lo Eleutherios, Lo Lo Enorches, Lo Lo Bacchus”

Unfortunately, this ritual seems to turn the partygoers into ebony-eyed, hedonistic “zombies” whose actions are driven mysteriously by reckless abandon and debauchery (which Maryann seems to thrive on). After these parties no one seems to remember what happened, but they are certain they had a good time. Soon Tara and another resident at Casa d’Maryann Tara’s new boyfriend “Eggs” (Mehcad Brooks) are completely enmeshed in Maryann’s world of Dionysian revelry. By now it’s clear that Maryann wants total control over Tara, Eggs and the entire town of Bon Temps and she’s going to use Sam to get it.  After manipulating her way into living with Tara and Eggs at Sookie’s house while Sookie is out of town, Maryann’s master plan becomes clearer. She is going to sacrifice Sam Merlotte to her God known only as “The God Who Comes”… but first she has to find him.

The dénouement – Maryann’s Victory Lap or Crashing Demise?

It’s not long before Maryann has the whole town under her spell … literally.  She has indeed taken control of the minds and bodies of almost everyone in Bon Temps. Maryann now has an army of devout if not completely hypnotized followers to do her bidding. Her orders?

“Find Sam Merlotte and bring him to me”.

At the same time, Sookie, Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) and Bill arrive back in Bon Temps after dealing with their own supernatural problems in Dallas. They find the town trashed and in total chaos. After hearing there’s a mob waiting for Sam at Merlotte’s Jason takes off planning a “Call of Duty” rescue while Sookie and Bill take off to locate Tara. When they get to Sookie’s house they find a strange huge horn statue made out of raw meat and fauna on the front lawn. When Sookie and Bill enter the house they see it has been completely transformed into a different dwelling – only to be confronted by Maryann claiming the house is now hers. When Maryann starts to attack Sookie, Bill attacks and bites her and is subsequently poisoned by her blood, forcing him to jump back, vomiting and retching with pain. But Maryann soon finds out that she might be in store for something she wasn’t expecting in our heroine, Sookie Stackhouse.  Faced with Maryann’s escalating threats and Bill’s debilitated state, a furious Sookie pushes Maryann’s face away from hers.  To everyone’s surprise a powerful energy expels from Sookie’s hand and temporarily forces Maryann to back off. Maryann is amazed and curiously delighted in this display and watches Bill and Sookie leave while pondering out loud “what are you?”

Meanwhile, Sam is tricked by zombified waitress Arlene (Carrie Preston) to come to Merlotte’s where unbeknownst to him, the town is laying in wait. Sam and local, disgraced, alcoholic detective Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) arrive and are ambushed by the frenzied mob and barely escape, by locking themselves in the Merlotte’s freezer. Eventually, with the help of an un-possessed Jason Stackhouse (Sookie’s hunky but vapid brother) they escape twice, the last time with an assist by Andy Bellefleur. It seems Jason and Andy are unaffected by Maryann’s trance most likely because they were out of town when Maryann “zotzed” the Bon Temps townsfolk with her funky magic.

Sookie and Bill hear word that Tara has been snatched from Maryann’s clutches by her cousin Lafayette (Nelson Ellis) and her rehabilitated mother Lettie Mae (Adina Porter) and is the unwilling participant in an ineffectual “intervention”. They need help and fast. Sookie and Bill join forces to simultaneously “glamour” and read Tara’s thoughts which both snaps Tara out of her possession and fills Sookie and Bill in on what’s been going on while they were away.

Bill tells Sookie he now believes he knows what Maryann is:

a Maenad, literally meaning “raving ones” an immortal follower of the God Dionysus that causes and feeds on chaos and all things indulgent.

Bill believes that he might know someone who knows how to defeat her. He leaves at Vampire speed and discover he’s come to meet with, the heretofore unknown, Queen of Louisiana (Evan Rachel Wood).

Will Bill be able to use the information from Queen Sophie Ann to save Bon Temps and Sam?  Will Maryann’s “God” come to Bon Temps and if so what will he do?  What was that power that emanated from Sookie’s hand that shocked Maryann?  Hopefully, at least some of these questions will be answered in the season finale of True Blood airing September 13th.  So get your bottles of Tru Blood ready!

(Photo credit: HBO)

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