Carrie Preston on Vampires and Redheads

June 30, 2010 by  

There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Carrie Preston’s True Blood character Arlene. However, with True Blood in its third season and already picked up for its fourth, it seems Carrie and Arlene are still as important to the show as when it first started.

While fans are contemplating the fate of Bill Compton and his relationship with Sookie, Deadbolt interviewed Carrie Preston on vampires, working with Alan Ball, and everyone’s favorite redhead waitress, Arlene.

When asked how she relates to Arlene, Carrie quickly mentioned the redhead’s confidence. Arlene isn’t one to deal with fools and takes her job seriously, making sure things get done right. Outside of the bar, Arlene is strong and can deal with whatever situation is thrown her way. Carrie admires the way Arlene seems to pull herself together; even in the most difficult of situations, she still manages to keep her sense of humor.

When it comes to being influenced by other people, Carries notes that Arlene is never without a man. She suggests that this is true for many working class Southern women. Arlene seems to believe she needs the help of a man and can’t handle  situations on her own. With this in mind, sometimes Arlene makes bad decisions when it comes to finding a partner. For her, it’s better to have a bad man than no man at all. In the end though, Arlene always manages to fall back on her own strength, focusing on what’s best for her and her children.

At the end of season two and now in season three, however, Arlene has found a very good man: Terry Bellefleur. Though he may have some emotional distress over his time in the Marines, he is still a warm-hearted gentleman and Carries hopes that Arlene makes is smart enough to make the decision to keep the relationship going.

Aside for her love for Terry’s character, another thing Carrie loves is the scene she had with Tara in the bathroom where Arlene is unsure if she slept with Terry or not. Tara bluntly replies “You telling me you date raped Terry Bellefleur?”

Carrie loves this scene because the stakes were high for Arlene yet there was a lot of comedy in the situation. It’s an example of how good True Blood is at portraying the real balance of every situation: the drama and the comedy that rises up at the same time.

It’s not just the great scenes that keeps Carrie so excited about the show. It’s also the red hair. She notes,

“It’s funny because now I have red hair in life but for a long time I was blond. Going to work and putting on the red wig, I noticed that once I got into that red wig and got into costume, the types of people, especially men, that wanted to talk to me and pay attention to me were completely different than the types of men that talk to me when I’m blond. I get to kind of experience two different women on the same day. It was very, very intriguing just from an anthropological standpoint and sociological standpoint to see just the reactions I get… it is slightly different and I do kind of feel different. I feel a little edgier, a little sassier as a redhead. It’s been a refreshing change of pace for me because I’ve been blond for so long. I’m really enjoying it.”

She isn’t the only redhead on the show; Jessica is not only a redhead, but also a vampire, which begs the question ‘what is it with the popularity of vampires?’ Carrie has a simple answer to that: in a youth obsessed culture, of course, a vampire is going to be admired. Vampires can stay young and sexy forever.

While vampires can stay young forever, not all of them are as well rounded as Carrie. Not only does she act, but she also directs and has a production company. She’d love to shadow a director for True Blood and learn the angles that aren’t privy to as an actor during a shoot. She feels she’d learn a lot from the experience both as an actor and director. When asked if she has picked up any tips from director Alan Ball, Carrie notes,

“I pick up a lot from all of the directors. I mean, that’s what makes it very interesting for me as an actor, that I get to also watch 100 percent more directors than a director gets to watch. If you’re only a director, you really only kind of watch yourself. If you’re an actor, you get to see and experience a bunch of different styles, ask questions, and all of that stuff. So yes, I have very much enjoyed not just from Alan, but from all of our directors, getting to know their styles, asking them questions, and talking to them about shots and things like that. It’s like a little masterclass.”

Carrie seems to be having the time of her life on the set of True Blood. Could it get any better? Of course,  if her husband Michael Emerson is brought onto the show now that Lost is over. Carrie would love to have her husband in the world of True Blood and hopes that there is an opportunity where he can join the fun. Right now though, he is enjoying his break and reconnecting with family, friends, and their dog.

Many fans will be focused on the drama between Sookie and Bill, but the more fans see of Arlene, the more they want to learn about her past, her present, her future, and how she keeps her hair such a lovely shade of red.

SOURCE: The Deadbolt

(Photo Credit: HBO Inc.)