TrueBloodNet’s Exclusive Club Fangtasia Interview With Jessica Clark
November 5, 2013 by Rachel Tsoumbakos
True Blood’s Jessica Clark Talks About Being Lilith:
So the epic Aussie True Blood event, Club Fangtasia, has come and gone. There were plenty of fantastic costumes on the night, great merchandise to purchase, a rocking band to dance to and some amazing cocktails designed by world champion barman Jamie Chesher.
And, of course, there were the True Blood stars!
Thanks to TrueBloodNet and the owners of Seamus O’Toole’s (the establishment that hosts Club Fangtasia), Garth O’Hehir and Jason Rigopoulos, I got the chance to not only rub shoulders with Tara Buck (who plays Ginger the screamer in HBO’s True Blood) and Jessica Clark, but interview them as well!
My first interview this week is with the lovely Jessica Clark, who plays Lilith in True Blood. Jessica is a relative newbie to both True Blood and the acting scene, having been a model previously. She was such a fantastic person, who was easy going and great fun during the night.
TBN: Firstly, I want to ask you about that make up.
JC: Oh my goodness, wasn’t it amazing? They took four hours and two special effects make-up artists working on me. So, at the beginning they spray painted me. They did my whole body, top to toe. Inside my ears, inside my nose – everything, using air compressors. Then they painted me with what’s called Reel Blood. There are all different kinds: aged blood, fresh blood. They painted it on with brushes and sponges because they wanted me to appear like I had risen up out of the blood.
It was amazing, but also, for me as a character, it was so fun. Sometimes I would walk past a mirror on the way to set and see myself and get freaked out because you forget it’s you and that you’re wearing all that stuff.
TBN: Is it sticky?
JC: Yes. It gets stickier and stickier as like the hours go by. Basically, after a couple of hours you’re so sticky you stick to anything that you touch. So I would have to stand there with my arms out and rest my fingertips on poles they provided for me.
TBN: So, by the end of the day, you would be exhausted!
JC: I would literally be standing like this [puts arms out like on a cross], because if I put my arms down, they would stick to my sides and if someone called me over I would rip myself. They would have to spray me with water to separate my skin. But it looked amazing, so it was worth it.
TBN: It was an amazing costume – I guess you’d call it a costume.
JC: It was definitely a costume, but that was also the funny thing because in Season 6 Lilith wasn’t so bloody. It was my minions that were. So in Season 6 I had to go to wardrobe and I didn’t know where to go. I was like ‘Excuse me, um where’s wardrobe?’ And they’re like ‘Oh, we get to put clothes on you this time!’
TBN: Yes, it’s whole different level of nudity. Did you know you were going to be that nude when you auditioned for the show?
JC: I knew. Originally Lilith was only going to be in one episode, so they definitely explained what the situation was. They were very clear and super professional about it. Although I didn’t know I would be naked the whole season. But I was a fan of the show already and I watched it from the very first episode ever, so I was just so excited and happy to be part of it all. Also, Lilith was such a cool, interesting character. She was so dark, so powerful and I got such a kick out of that. She wasn’t weak, she wasn’t a victim.
TBN: Being a fan of the show beforehand, what is the pressure like going in when you watch the show already?
JC: The pressure that I put on myself because I love the show so much was huge! It was such an honour to be cast. I wanted to do the best job possible. You just don’t want to mess it up, you know what I’m saying? I was so excited and scared because these are actors and writers that I admire so much. I love their work and I’m just happy to be amongst them and I wanted to bring it. So I did, I put a lot of pressure on myself. But the thing that is amazing about them is the cast is so welcoming.
Most of my scenes are with Stephen Moyer who’s so talented and such a professional and so welcoming. On my first day when I rose up out of the pool of blood – that was my first scene ever – it was intense. Afterwards everyone came up to us and they were like ‘Good job and congratulations. We know that would have been rough.’
JC: Of course I watch it! And it’s funny because I was always such a big fan of the show, I still kind of watch it like a fan, like it isn’t even me. Plus, we only get our scripts for the episodes we’re in. If you’re not in that scene you don’t get the script. So some episodes I don’t know what’s going to happen next.
TBN: How did you react to Terry Bellefleur’s death? And Steve Newlin as well? I think most people were shocked about Terry dying but Steve was there right from the start too.
JC: Oh yeah. It was awful. Although, you know the one that wasn’t a death, but was an exit that really got me was Hoyt Fortenberry. I sobbed.
TBN: It was such a beautiful story line that one.
JC: I did an appearance with Jim Parrack (who played Hoyt) a month or so ago and I told him that scene, that episode, made me cry. The writing was so good, he was so amazing. It was like he went from being a boy to being a man. The whole thing with Jessica Hamby and him choosing to walk away, it was so powerful. I love that the writers didn’t kill him. It was such a gracious, smart, intelligent exit.
TBN: Now I know you were a model beforehand, but which do you prefer: modelling or acting?
JC: Oh, my gosh, there’s no contest: acting! When I was modelling, I was training as an actress, so I was at school nights and weekends. Any time I wasn’t at a job I was learning. But I was a little scared because there’s, um, a little bit of a stigma, you know? And rightfully so because I think, as a model, you do tell a story.
TBN: It’s a different way of storytelling.
JC: [Nods] It’s certainly a different way of storytelling and, I have so much respect for the actors on shows like True Blood. So there was that big question in my mind of ‘Well, do I legitimately have talent. Do I have something to offer, or am I just being one of those people?‘ I struggled with that for a little while. But then I was like ‘Well I love it so much’ and I worked really hard and even if I’m not the best I’m going to work and work and work to be as good as I can be. Also, you grow and you learn. I love it, every day’s a challenge. And sometimes I get an audition or a part and it’s hard being completely different to who you are as a person. I’ll get stressed out but then I’ll say to myself ‘You wanted this.’
TBN: Now that True Blood’s finishing…
JC: I know…
TBN: If you could take one thing from the set, what would it be?
JC: If I was going to be really feisty, I would say Eric Northman’s throne. Remember the first time we ever met Eric? And when it pans to that shot on him on the throne – so hot! And he has the hair; you know what I’m talking about? So good, so good!
TBN: That’s certainly a good memento to take away.
JC: One of my other favourite scenes is in Merlotte’s with Lafayette, when the guy comes in and they’re being homophobic and Lafayette licks the burger. So maybe his apron, or something?
TBN: So, who’s your favourite actor to work with on True Blood?
JC: Stephen Moyer. He’s amazing. He taught me a lot, gave me guidance. He directs, produces, does all these things. He’s so multi-talented it’s inspiring. And he has a successful relationship and family. He really does it all and he does it well. My other two favourites were – not that I worked with them – but just in terms of their work, would be Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette and then Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pam.
TBN: Everyone says that about Kristin.
JC: Everyone one loves Pam because she’s so hard, yet she has that vulnerability underneath. Then you see Kristin and she’s such a lady. Nelsan, too, is so, so different as Lafayette. When I grow up, I want to be just like them.
TBN: What do you have lined up for after True Blood?
JC: HBO have lots of shows coming up. I’m kind of working with them, trying to figure something out. So hopefully something will come together soon. As soon as anything is confirmed, you’ll be the first to know.
TBN: Awesome. Well, Jessica, thank you for taking the time for this interview, and I hope enjoy the rest of Club Fangtasia as well as your time in Australia.
JC: Thank you, no problem. I sure will.
Thank you once again to all the staff at Club Fangtasia who made this interview possible. And make sure you hang around for our interview with Tara Buck!
(Photo Credits: Club Fangtasia/Lenore Mills)