Sheriff Bud Dearborne Deals with True Blood Vampires

May 15, 2009

Matt Fowler from had the opportunity to speak with William Sanderson who plays Sheriff Bud Dearborne on Alan Ball‘s hit HBO TV series True Blood.  Mr. Sanderson returns for season two and spoke to Mr. Fowler about the upcoming season and his guest star appearance on LOST recently. would like to thank Mr. Fowler for allowing us to reprint his interview with Mr. Sanderson in its entirety here on our website.  To get the latest information on your other favorite tv shows please visit Matt Fowler at

Although his name might not readily rush to the tip of your tongue, you definitely know William Sanderson.  As a TV and film veteran in projects that range from Blade Runner to Deadwood, Newhart to The X-Files, Sanderson has made a career of playing offbeat characters. You can catch Sanderson on HBO‘s bold and bawdy vampire series True Blood when it returns for its second season on June 14th. Playing the Sheriff of Bon Temps, Louisiana, Sanderson is one of the few “normal” characters wading in a sea of supernatural sex and unwashed prejudice.

Sanderson also popped up on IGN’s radar when he appeared on LOST this season as Oldham, a DHARMA wing nut who tries to get a few answers out of Sayid in “He’s Our you.” No one’s sure if Oldham will be back, but we do know that on the same episode, during “the present,” we were shown a building that had a sign that read “Oldham Pharmaceuticals.”

IGN TV: Some of the characters on True Blood head off to Dallas in Season 2. What about your character, Sherriff Bud Dearborn? Does he get to leave town, or does he stick around the home front?

William Sanderson: Heh, I’ve got to be careful. They’ve told me not to reveal too much. I get emails from True Blood, and from Lost, telling me not to talk too much about it. But he (Bud)…well, I don’t know if they really need him in Dallas. It’s a good question though. I don’t mean to be evasive. Bud’s a little lazy, if that helps at all. I don’t want to say anything to get me in trouble with HBO, they’ve been very good to me (laughs). I did Deadwood with them and they were so great. I’m just so happy. He (Bud) is a normal character. Yes, I’m playing a normal character right now and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.


IGN: We did see you on Lost this season (“He’s Our You”), so with that and True Blood you’re now a part of two different serialized genre shows that have a rabid internet following.

Sanderson: I don’t ever want to forget the fans. You guys have been so great.

IGN: Were you aware of the Charlaine Harris novels? Did you try to read them before you started shooting Season 1?

Sanderson: Of course. I couldn’t get them fast enough. I saw that this was a fun part. Often, over the years, I wouldn’t get a role until the last minute and I couldn’t do research. I looked in the books a bit to see if he survived.

IGN: That’s funny. I’ve heard Rutina Wesley (True Blood‘s Tara) say that too.

Sanderson: She’s wonderful, man. Beautiful girl. I love it when I get to be in a scene with her. The books though, they’re a loose blueprint for the characters. And a character’s “survivability” doesn’t always follow the blueprint. He may not get killed but…Sheriffs also do get replaced in real life. And how exciting is he, really? He doesn’t have any vices. I have every one in life, but he probably doesn’t have any.

IGN: Does Bud really hate vampires?

Sanderson: I think he really loathes them. Yeah. But underneath that is fear, right? I’m just speculating and going by the book. In the book, Sookie – Anna Paquin, a wonderful actress, – says that killing a vampire who hasn’t attacked you is against the law. Bud says “I don’t agree with that, but I’ll uphold the law.”

IGN: On LOST, we saw that you played a character named Oldham. You had an interrogation scene with Sayid where you gave him a truth serum. It seems like this might be a character that we’ll only get to see once, but on Lost you never can tell. Did they tell you what this guy was all about?

Sanderson: The writers did tell me something. One of them told me that this guy was like a Hunter Thompson-like character and that he might have taken a few too many of those drugs himself. He was doing bio-chemical interrogations and he claimed he’d done it to the Viet-Cong – and he worked at Berkeley. There were a few pieces that got cut out, but you know, that’s the story of my life. The writers had talked to my agent a few years ago about doing a running role, but that didn’t work out. Believe me, I was disappointed. But that was before this came along.

IGN: I had a chance to speak with Michael Emerson a few months back, and his wife is on True Blood with you…

Sanderson: He’s terrific, isn’t he?

IGN: He told me that when he first began his role on Lost, he didn’t know he was going to turn out to be a main character on the show. He thought he’d only be on for a few episodes. Do you think that Oldham might be back in some form?

Sanderson: I’m almost certain he won’t. I say that to protect myself in some aspects. To entice you to do roles sometimes they say that the part is “possible recurring” and then you get there and it doesn’t happen. But there was no talk of that even happening. But you know…I’m available (laughs). I’ll put it that way. You know, it’s like having a date with a pretty woman. Don’t think about the next date.

IGN: You, throughout you career, have been a part of a lot of projects that we here at IGN have been big fans of. A lot of “genre” shows. Sci Fi shows. Westerns. What’s your favorite type of project?


Sanderson: Someone once said that Sci Fi was the modern Western. What’s my favorite? Well, anything that needs a misfit. I don’t have a real favorite. My dream is to play something different. I was happy to be clean shaven in this one. When you play so many outcasts and derelicts, or even a murderer, you need to play someone healthy.

IGN: You recently were a part of a documentary on Starz called The Face is Familiar. It’s all about character actors. Actors we’ve seen in many projects, but their name might escape you. Do you often get recognized a lot?

Sanderson: Depends on if you’re in New York or out here (L.A.). Newhart ran the longest and it was great to have a regular role, but I run into a lot of film fans and they ask me about Blade Runner. I was grateful to be a part of that. Ridley Scott’s a visionary and I got to wear two hours of latex, but really…more people have been asking me about Lost than anything else recently.


(Photo credit:  HBO Inc. and


William Sanderson: His Time on True Blood

April 27, 2009

william-sanderson3William Sanderson, who plays Sheriff Bud Dearborne on Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV series True Blood spoke recently with Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith from regarding his time on the show.

When asked about his role as Sheriff Bud Dearborne and what does he see happening with his character on the show he stated that:

“I don’t know how much longer I’ll survive. To be honest, there’s not much on Bud in the books,… I’m too timid to ask, ‘Am I getting killed off?”

One of the producers that Mr. Sanderson had previously worked with on “Deadwood” jokingly told him that his character does not get killed before the eleventh episode because he is directing it, in response to his fate in season two of True Blood which returns on Sunday, June 14, 2009 on HBO.

Mr. Sanderson is known for his previous work on the “Bob Newhart Show” as Larry, on “Deadwood” and for his film roles including the Toymaker in “Bladerunner.”

Mr. Sanderson was asked how is it to work with Anna Paquin and cast members much younger then him in terms of the work schedule. He stated that:

“If you’re shooting ’til 4 or 5 a.m., you think they may be joking when they talk about going home and making dinner or playing with their kids. But they’re not. I worry about them sapping their energy. All that youthful vigor can be intimidating, he acknowledges, but I’m not intimidated by anyone when it comes to talent. Not to sound conceited. Don’t ever get your talent mixed up with your salary — I hope I never forget that.”


(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)


William Sanderson: True Blood’s Sheriff Bud Dearborne

March 31, 2009

william2William Sanderson of True Blood finds that it is refreshing to be playing a normal character versus his usual off-center characters. Throughout Mr. Sanderson’s career in acting he has played many unusual characters from Larry the goofy handyman on the “Bob Newhart Show,” to the scuzzy E.B. Farnum on HBO‘s “Deadwood,” a genius toymaker in “Blade Runner,” and on the Emmy-winning miniseries “Lonesome Dove.” As Mr. Sanderson would further describe in his earlier works he played many roles as a “prairie scum” as he would call it. So now for William Sanderson to be playing the role as Sheriff Dub Dearborne on Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV series “True Blood” is a little strange for him. For once in a long time he is playing a regular guy. He co-stars in the HBO series with Golden-Globe winner Anna Paquin, who plays the telepathic bar waitress (Sookie Stackhouse) who falls in love with a 173 year old vampire played by the talented Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton). Though it seems that Mr. Sanderson cannot seem to get away from playing unusual characters for long. Recently Mr. Sanderson guest appeared on ABC” “LOST” as a torturer and as he stated to the reporter that it is difficult playing a “regular guy” as Sheriff Bud Dearborne on “True Blood.” “For me to play a normal person,” he said, “it’s kind of scary.”

SOURCE: via MarketWatch

(Photo credit:


William Sanderson Talks about True Blood

March 22, 2009

sheriffdearborneWilliam Sanderson who plays Sheriff Bud Dearborne on Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV series True Blood took time out of his busy schedule to talk with Clint Morris about his work on True Blood and his experiences on other projects.

Mr. Sanderson we asked how did he get the role of Sheriff Bud Dearborne on True Blood to which Mr. Sanderson stated :

“The same casting director that did Deadwood brought me in to read the part of Sheriff Dearborne for True Blood‘s creator, Alan Ball.  I know they were looking for authentic southern accents – which has been a curse and a blessing for me.  Alan said he had never seen “Deadwood” – maybe that’s why I landed the role! [Laughs]”

Previously Mr. Sanderson was on the HBO series “Deadwood” where he played the role of  E.B.  He stated he loved playing the slimy character but states it is very refreshing to play a good-guy Sheriff like Bud Dearborne.  He states that he often finds himself playing the “weird, quirky or bad guy in town.”

Mr. Morris tries to gain more information about Mr. Sanderson’ s character on True Blood and asks whether we will learn more about him.  Mr. Sanderson states that:

“There’s not much on him in Charlaine Harris‘s books.  He is a southerner, of course, is married and has grandchildren.  I’m still learning.  Alan Ball told me that Bud was Jason’s Sunday school teacher – the most helpful clue about Bud to date.  It goes without saying that I’m looking forward to learning more about him as time goes on.”

Mr. Sanderson explains that although the series is set in Louisiana the majority of the filming occurs in and around Los Angeles and on sound stages in Hollywood with some outdoor shots done in Louisiana that requires the cast and crew to make several trip to in order to shoot the scenes.

When asked what he believes to be the attraction of the show True Blood, Mr. Sanderson replies with a humorous remark that YOUTH is the main reason.  He further elaborates that people enjoy watching “young and attractive characters struggling with love and life.”  Of course the fantastic writing, music and hard work by everyone makes it a wonderful production to work on Mr. Sanderson says.  When asked the question does he believe in vampires Mr. Sanderson states that he has never met one but that being said does not mean they do not exist.

Mr. Sanderson is keeping himself busy not only with True Blood but also worked on an independent film entitled “Pretty Ugly People” which is directed by Tate Taylor and also stars Missi Pyle, Melissa McCarthy and Allison Janney.  The movie has won several awards including: Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Crossroads Film Festival; Jury Prize for Best Feature Film at the Long Island Film Expo; Best Feature Film Award at the Central Florida Film Festival; Audience Award at the Gotham Screen Film Festival; and Best Feature Film Award at Berks Movie Madness

Pretty Ugly People is about six estranged college friends who are brought together by a “dying” woman’s wish. In fact, Lucy (Missi Pyle) is not dying, she’s had gastric-bypass surgery and tricks her friends to come on a trip to a retreat in Montana so the “thin” Lucy can finally feel a part of the group. She learns that life on the other side of obesity is not as green as she once thought.

Pretty Ugly People _Trailer_short

To read the complete interview by Clint Morris click on the link here.

Pretty Ugly People on Facebook

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William Sanderson as Sheriff Bud Dearborne

January 3, 2009

William Sanderson Photo by Charles Bush

William Sanderson Photo by Charles Bush

William Sanderson as Sheriff Bud Dearborne


Sheriff Bud Dearborne – William Sanderson

January 3, 2009

Bud Dearborne © 2008 HBO, Inc.

Bud Dearborne © 2008 HBO, Inc.

Sheriff Bud Dearborne – (William Sanderson)  Sheriff of Bon Temps.  Does not understand all of the interest and fascination in Vampires and knows that things seemed easier before they “came out”.  Even so, Sheriff Dearborne tries to maintain balance and equality in his town, and maintain order as much as possible.


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