True Blood’s Fiona Shaw Discusses Her Role as Marnie

August 15, 2011

How Does She Like Playing a Witch?

Fiona Shaw as Marnie S4 Ep7From the sound of her interview with New York Magazine’s Vulture, Fiona Shaw is quite enjoying her role as Marnie the witch on HBO’s True Blood.  The actress spent weeks delving into the world of Wicca, in order to portray her character more accurately.  After visiting with witches and attending rituals, she’s come away with an admiration of their methods, and is moved by the way they conjure the dead and offer comfort to others — though she’s happy to stick with dealing with the living!  She seems proud to bring the topic of witches to the forefront, and is definitely glad she isn’t playing a vampire. She thinks Marnie was justified in defending herself from Eric (Alexander Skarsgård).  Speaking of Skarsgård, is she Team Eric?

“I’ll take him any day! [Laughs.] He’s a very nice young man. How is Sookie supposed to choose between her two vampires? It’s fantastically complicated.”

Channeling the Spirit of Antonia Gavilán de Logroño:

Shaw admits that when she started reading the scripts and saw all that Latin, she knew it would be a challenge.  Sitting at the first table read, seeing all the “vampires” in person also had an impact, but she was able to pull herself together.  She shares her favorites — Pam and Nan Flanagan (Kristin Bauer van Straten and Jessica Tuck).  When the topic of Antonia’s and Marnie’s powers is brought up, the actress poses this interesting question: “Is Antonia running Marnie, or is Marnie running Antonia?”  She elaborates:

“What happens in True Blood is they put two ideas together, and a baby is born in the third idea. Antonia has a particular ax to grind, because of her own rape and murder [in the seventeenth century]. But Antonia’s the most unlikely person to make non-vampires do something against their will, or hold hostages; she seeks only the willing. She only entered Marnie because Marnie begged her to. But Marnie has a deep desire to make her mark on the world, because she’s been overlooked. When Antonia infused Marnie, it brought out Marnie’s latent powers. And being empowered has had a huge effect on her ego. Her entire deportment changes, because how you carry yourself is all about how you feel about yourself.”

Playing Aunt Petunia in Harry Potter was never this fun!  We are certainly glad to have Fiona Shaw as part of the True Blood cast.  She is a fabulous actress, and is executing her role beautifully.  Truebies, would you agree?

Contribution credit: Vulture

Source: New York Magazine’s Vulture – True Blood’s Fiona Shaw on Playing the Witch, Rehearsing With Vampires, and Conjuring the Dead in Real Life

(Photo credit: HBO, Inc.)


Nelsan Ellis: How He Brings Life to True Blood’s Lafayette

August 12, 2011

A Recent NY Post Interview with the Actor:

Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette Season 4Nelsan Ellis is a difficult actor to place. People have been telling him this his entire  career: “I just don’t know how to sell you”. That problem has ended with his portrayal of Lafayette, as the Julliard graduate has shown the world exactly where he belongs — in Bon Temps. Ellis differs from his True Blood character- he is straight and (obviously) doesn’t prostitute himself or sell vamp blood. Ellis describes where in his life he draws inspiration for Lafayette:

“He comes out of my anger, my pain, the femininity that’s in me from watching my mother, and my masculinity. He comes out of me. That’s hopefully how I make him human.”

Ellis did such an astounding job of playing Lafayette that it quickly became obvious to Alan Ball that he had to modify Lafayette’s original fate set out in the Charlaine Harris series — death. When asked Alan Ball admits:

“I knew the first day of working with him that Lafayette couldn’t die, because Nelsan is such an extraordinary actor and presence… I wasn’t going to let that go.”

Nelsan Ellis reveals that Lafayette will discover a new power this season and that Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) will have to help him deal with this ‘gift’. When pressed for more details Ellis would only respond: “Exploring new territory is fun”. He has more to say, however, about True Blood fans. Though he is grateful to them for their support of the show, Ellis is often overwhelmed by the ‘freakiest’ of fans. Ellis says he feels indebted to the fans,

“But I don’t want to sign boobs, you know? Or be propositioned.”

Not everyone in Ellis’ life is an enthusiastic fan of True Blood. The actor says his father, a Christian deacon and conservative, will “support me in his own way”. He turns on the show to give Ellis the ratings, but won’t watch. Ellis explains:

“This type of material – the violence, profanity, nudity, sexuality – was never allowed in his house.”

Ellis discusses the difficulties in playing an openly gay African American and as such, was especially honored to receive a nomination earlier this year for an NAACP Image Award. Nelsan Ellis said about this award:

“Traditionally, homosexuality is something the African-American community doesn’t deal with well…It [NAACP Image Award] made me happy because I thought maybe they did this on the merit of the work, you know what I mean?”

Nelsan Ellis is also very passionate about domestic violence. When he was a student at Juilliard his sister was murdered by her husband. He has used this trauma in his acting and also in writing a play, “Ugly” which he has adapted into a screenplay and now hopes that HBO will do stating: “Domestic violence is an epidemic in this country.”

What questions would you like to ask Lafayette? Are you inspired by Nelsan Ellis’ story? Leave your comments and questions in the section below!

Source – NY Post: Rise of Lafayette 

(Photo credit: HBO, Inc.)



Inside True Blood Answers First Fan Question

May 5, 2011

The Scoop on Witches:

Holly Cleary at Merlotte'sGianna Sobol, keeper of HBO‘s blog  – Inside True Blood – has provided an answer to the very first fan-submitted question.

Question: Will the witches have pointy hats, have crooked noses, and have warts or will they look just like me and you… the average but beautiful Jo?


Gianna spoke with writer’s assistant Ben Hayes. Concerning looks:

“…they were trying to create a character that seems real but slightly ‘off.'”

The witches that will appear in season 4 will have varying personalities and appearances.

But showing their magic? That was a whole other story.

Ben says the writers did a ton of research, focusing on old traditions, so they could come up with the best way to portray the witches’ magic on the show. According to Ben —

“The writers wanted the magic to suit the stories and nature of the show, but also to meet the needs and opportunities of production.”

How do you feel about those details, Truebies?

Source: – First Fan Question Answered

(Photo Credit: HBO, Inc.)


Kevin Alejandro Reveals How He Shapes Up for True Blood and Talks Season 4

February 24, 2011

All About the Work Out

Kevin AlejandroThe men of True Blood have a certain standard; gorgeous, fit, and easy on the eyes. Kevin Alejandro (Jesus Velasquez) is already gorgeous and easy on the eyes but he’s taking extra steps to stay fit for season 4. Of course it helps to have a little incentive too. Kevin recently spoke to Access Hollywood and he told them that there is pressure to get into shape, especially when you have to share the screen with someone like Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse). But it does help to be in the same boat together right?

All of the men on True Blood whether witch, human, shape shifter, werewolf, or vampire have had to bare some skin if not more during the course of the show. In fact Alejandro revealed that he and several other cast members have been doing workouts together from time to time. It’s nice to know that the cast supports each other like that!

It also helps to have a supportive environment as well. When asked about getting naked, the actor stated that he would be very comfortable doing so because everyone on set is very professional and when it’s time for the scene only the people who need to be there are there.

What’s Coming in Season 4?

Of course, Kevin couldn’t get away with just talking about staying in shape. With season 4 of True Blood coming up very soon, Access Hollywood couldn’t resist asking about what’s to come for Jesus. Especially now that he’s with fan favorite Lafayette played by Nelsan Ellis. Of their relationship, he says:

“My relationship [will grow] with not only him but other characters in show as well. They are really moving us around and balancing it out in all these crazy, strange ways and it works, man. It works really well this year.”

Jesus will certainly have no shortage of interactions this year seeing as he is a witch!  But besides True Blood, the actor has been busy working on a new film entitled “Red State” by director Kevin Smith. The film is slated to debut October 19th.

So mark your calendars and be sure to catch Kevin this June in True Blood!

Source: Access Hollywood– “Kevin Alejandro Beefs Up For Bewitching Role On ‘True Blood’”

(Image Credit: HBO, Inc.)


SPOILERS: True Blood Season 4 is Going to be Crazy!

December 16, 2010

Cast Members Spill Details about Witches and Lots of Fighting:

We all remember how Season 3 ended. Sookie went off to fairy land, Sam shot someone or something, Bill squared off with Queen Sophie-Anne, the King of Louisiana took a cement bath, Eric escaped the cement bath, Tara drove off pseudo ‘Thelma & Louise’ style, and Lafayette discovered his inner witch. Cast members Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte), Rutina Wesley (Tara Mae Thornton), and Joe Manganiello (Alcide Herveaux) opened up to Access Hollywood about Season 4‘s craziness, admitting there’s going to be a lot of fighting and at least one cliffhanger from season 3 gets solved in the first episode.

Shoot em Up:

Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) and younger brother Tommy (Marshall Allman) have a heated discussion in season 3 of True BloodWhen we last saw Trammell’s character, Sam Merlotte, he was firing a gun with a lot of rage. Fans assumed shape-shifter Sam was taking aim at his younger brother, Tommy Mickens (Marshall Allman), who had helped himself to big brother’s hard earned (or maybe not?) cash. But, it’s possible that Alan Ball could have a shocking twist in store for us. Will he go the not so obvious route and have the drunken Sam commit friendly fire? Or will Sam in fact shoot his only brother?

“I can’t answer that. You don’t want to know… because something would be ruined for you, but you will find out. You will find out pretty quickly whether I did or did not.”

Trammell reveals that fans will find out in Episode 1 who the conflicted Merlotte ends up shooting. Any theories out there from you Truebies?

Does She or Doesn’t She?

Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) and Franklin Mott (James Frain) in season 3 of True BloodRutina Wesley’s alter ego, Tara Thornton, definitely fought some crazy demons in season 3. Dealing with the death of Eggs (Mehcad Brooks) sent her into a downward spiral, where she contemplated suicide to the point of actually swallowing a large quantity of pills from her cousin’s medicine cabinet. Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) brought her back into the light, but darkness quickly enveloped her again in the form of a vampire, one psychotic Franklin Mott (James Frain). Upon Franklin meeting his true death, Tara found some peace, but too much emotional damage had been done, forcing her to rethink her life and the decisions she had to make.

“There’s gonna be some changes with Tara. Hopefully some power and some strength… And not be tied up all the time… I can’t tell you that (whether Tara returns to Bon Temp). I love my job too much.”

Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?

Vampires and Werewolves signFor all the Truebies out there who have read the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, season 4 means witches. Double, double, toil and trouble for sure! However, as we’ve all come to see, True Blood hasn’t necessarily followed the book series page by page. Joe Manganiello (Alcide Herveaux) concedes that witches descend on Bon Temps, creating trouble and wreaking havoc:

“What we know is that the werewolves and vampires don’t get along. We know that fairies and vampires don’t get along… Then we know from the books — if you look at the books — that the witches don’t get along with vampires. So basically everybody doesn’t get along with vampires. So at some point I would imagine the vampires are going to possibly [make] some friends…”

Season 4 has been filming for nearly a  month, so new details and spoilers will be trickling out more as we enter the new year. What do you think, Truebies? Any crazy ideas about what we might see come June?

Source: Access Hollywood – ‘True Blood’ Stars: Season 4 Will Be ‘Crazy’ & Involve ‘A Lot Of Fighting’

(Photo Credit: HBO, The Ancient Pythoness, and Etsy – CountryWorkshop)