True Blood Cast are No Strangers to the Stage

August 1, 2010 by  

We all know what a talented cast of actors True Blood has.  We enjoy watching them every Sunday night as our guilty pleasure.  Well, we have found one thing that a lot of the cast members have in common.  A lot of them started their careers on the stage. Alan Ball who is the amazingly talented creator of the series began his career as a playwright.  Here is a look at 10 stunning True Blood castmates that have all shared the big stage!

Anna Paquin, who portrays Sookie Stackhouse on True Blood, was one of the youngest Oscar winners ever for her role in The PianoAnna has also had some great performances on stage.  She debuted as a baby-faced serial killer in 2001’s The Glory of Living, and went on to star in Neil LaBute’s, The Distance From Here and After Ashley, in which she starred opposite her former beau, Kieran Culkin.

Sam Trammell, who plays our dreamy bar owner and shapeshifter, Sam Merlotte, also made a big start on stage.  From 1997 – 1998, Sam starred in Dealer’s Choice, My Night With Reg, and Ah, Wilderness! Sam earning a Tony nomination and a Theater World Award for his stage work.

Rutina Wesley, who plays Sookie’s hard luck best friend, Tara Thornton, has also been spotted on stage.  She starred in the public theater production of In Darfur.  Before starring in that play, she also performed in the role of Julianne Moore’s student in the Broadway premiere of The Vertical HourRutina also has something in common with Nelsan Ellis, who plays Tara’s flamboyant cousin, Lafayette, on the show. Both actors attended Juilliard together.

Carrie Preston, who we know on the show as Merlotte waitress, Arlene Fowler, also made her debut on the big stage.  She starred as Miranda in the show, The Tempest, and she also played the character, Honey, in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Carrie has starred in many other Broadway and off-Broadway shows. She is married to another stage actor, Michael Emerson, who is known for his role as Ben Linus on the hit series Lost.

Nelsan Ellis who portrays our priceless, Lafayette, on True Blood, is also no stranger to the stage.  He starred in A Soldier’s Play in which he played Corporal Bernard Cobb. The cast included Taye Diggs and Steven Pasquale.  While attending Juilliard, Nelsan wrote an award-winning play about domestic violence, entitled Ugly in response to the murder of his sister at the hands of her partner.

Chris Bauer plays our endearing sheriff Andy Bellefleur, but what you may not know is that Chris is also a long time member of the Atlantic Theater Company. His wife Laura is a costume designer within the same company.  In 2005, Chris received amazing reviews for his performance as Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire and performed in that production opposite the late Natascha Richardson.

Denis O’Hare plays the Vampire King of Mississippi on True Blood and has also been seen by many theatergoers.  He has played everything from baseball fan Mason Marzac in Take Me Out, for which he won a Tony Award, to Oscar Lindquist in Sweet Charity, which he performed opposite of Christina ApplegateDenis won a Tony nomination for his role as President Garfield’s killer, Charles Guiteau, in Assassins, portrayed Nazi sympathizer Ernst Ludwig in Cabaret and had a title-role in the off-broadway production of Uncle Vanya. Now that is quite a stage resume!

J. Smith Cameron plays Sam Merlotte’s shapeshifting momma, Melinda Mickens, and is a stage actress as well.  She earned herself a Tony Award nomination for her role as an 18th century Australian sailor in Our Country’s Good.  She also starred in the off-Broadway hit, As Bees In Honey Drown.  Her most recent work has been playing opposite Matthew Broderick as his betrayed wife in Starry Messenger, which was written by her husband, Kenneth Lonergan.

Zeljko Ivanek portrays the scary Magister on True BloodZelijko has starred in many stage plays with his most recent appearance on stage being Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial.  The role earned him his third Tony Award nomination over a thirty year theater career.  His first nomination was for his role as Stanley Jerome in Brighton Beach Memoirs and the second nomination was for his role in Two Shakespearean Actors.  He has also starred in Cloud 9, The Pillowman, and the list goes on and on.

James Frain, who we know as creepy vamp, Franklin Mott, made his Broadway debut as Teddy in The Homecoming.  The British actor began his career at London’s Royal Court and Almeida Theaters.

So as you can see our True Blood cast has a long history on the big stage. These talented actors prove over and over again just how good they are, be it on the big screen or on Broadway!


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