Sam Trammell Talks About True Blood With Bullz-Eye

September 13, 2009 by  

samtrammell2It seems one actor in the hit True Blood is keeping himself busy up until the show finale later on this evening. Sam Trammell who plays loveable Sam Merlotte talked with about what could happen in the most anticipated episode of Season Two.

Let’s roll back to the beginning, before anything was filmed. How did Sam become involved in such a well loved project? Here is what he told Bullz-Eye:

“I was just sent a script. I’d kind of heard about it, and I was sent the script, and I don’t think I realized it took place in Louisiana, but when I read that, I just thought I’d be perfect for it, because I’m from Louisiana. But Alan Ball and HBO…just those two things, I was immediately, “I’ll do it. I don’t know even know what it is, but I’ll do it” But then I read it, and I just thought it was an amazing world and a great character. Alan was out of town, so I went in and auditioned for the casting director, who put me on tape. And Alan liked the tape and decided that he wanted to test me, so I went in and met with him, and he gave me some notes and sort of told me about the series. Then I went in and read for HBO, which is sort of the big final audition, where you have to sign all of these contracts before you even go in. It’s very stressful. So all of these HBO executives are sitting in these leather chairs, and you go up on the stage. And I auditioned, and..well, you never can tell, but I thought it went all right. But I didn’t go, like, “I got it”, because there were other people there for the part. But I got a call about two hours later…which is relatively quickly…saying that I’d gotten the part. So it was just, like, a week and a half between getting the script and getting the part, which is really quick. It was very satisfying, to say the least. I mean, I was screaming in my car when I found out. I’ll never forget that moment. It was just so exciting.”

I wonder if anybody passing by saw him screaming in his car. That would be a sight to see. Now it’s a little obvious to some that Sam Trammell would want to play Sam Merlotte because of the same first name. But do you think that he would have been interested in any other characters? Let’s see what he said when Bullz-Eye asked.

“You know, I thought Jason’s part was really fun as well. I thought that would be a good part. And, you know, the vampire…that would’ve been good, too, but I knew that they sort of wanted somebody European. They didn’t want an American. They wanted someone who just seemed different…not that the Europeans are that different from Americans…but, yeah, to answer your question, Jason’s part seemed really interesting.”

Can you picture Sam Trammell playing Jason Stackhouse? Of course it would be difficult because we are so used to picturing the actor’s face with the character he plays now but it would have been interesting to see how Sam would have portrayed the role of playboy Jason Stackhouse. As far as Sam Merlotte goes, I think we can all agree that Sam Trammell does a mighty good job at playing the loveable bar owner who just so happens to be a shape shifter. Season Two has held a lot for Sam Merlotte, his past coming back to haunt him in the form of Maryann.

Sam had some thoughts about Season Two and he shared them with Bullz-Eye.

“Yeah, y’know, Alan told me that it was going to sort of start off a little slow, and then, obviously, pick up, because Sam’s one of the major characters in the books. So I sort of knew it was going to be that route, and it was kind of cool, because…it was kind of fun being sort of a red herring that first year, with people thinking that I’m the murderer in town. There was that little moment where I think people were suspicious of me, and that was fun to play. But, yeah, this season has just been really fun, ‘cause Sam’s just been under the gun the whole time. I mean, literally, from the very beginning, when he knows Maryann’s in town. He knew how much trouble she was when nobody else did, so he sort of has the weight of the world on his shoulders from the very beginning. And then the stuff with Daphne, which was just so cool, that all the while she was working for Maryann. I got to have a great scene with her where she told me some beautiful stuff about how I should love myself and trust myself and open up. And, then, of course, she betrays me, so I don’t know how Sam’s going to take that. There could be some bad repercussions.”

Maryann was trouble once we realized she was the bull-headed creature that attacked Sookie. Sam has nothing but nice words to say about Michelle Forbes, the actress who plays her.

“Yeah, she’s so good. She’s really one of my favorite actresses on the show. She’s just fantastic. She really embodied that role, and she had such an ease with it. She really just kind of captured the fun of Maryann as well as the evil…because Maryann’s all about fun, really. It’s just that, to have that fun, you have to manifest the evil. But she’s great, and we got to work together a good bit, so that was fun.”

One observation viewers are making is that Detective Andy Bellefluer hasn’t been possessed with those scary black eyes yet. Bullz-Eye asked Sam if we find out why in the finale. He gave us a tease and said we might. He also reminds us that they’re dealing with the Devil and everybody is pretty much at risk.

Everybody has a favorite scene during Season Two of True Blood. Whether it’s meeting Barry the Bell Boy or seeing Godric with the Fellowship of the Sun. Does Sam have a favorite scene that he filmed? Here is what he said:

“Well, you know, that tenth episode was really the most fun I’ve had this season, just working with Chris [Detective Andy Bellefleur]. We just had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. But, y’know, all of the stuff with Daphne was really great, and the scenes where…there were a few scenes with her, especially that post-coital scene, that I just thought were so beautiful. Especially what she had to say to me, as far as really loving who you are and accepting yourself, and you’re not really living life unless you let other people in. I mean, it was just really beautiful writing, and, unfortunately, it was all to seduce and kill me…but it still goes. That was really great stuff for me to do. I really enjoyed that.”

He also mentioned a few scenes that were a bit disturbing for him. He said the heart souffle was pretty hardcore and when Jane Bodehouse cut off her finger but he couldn’t forget mentioning the guy sitting in the sink. That was very creepy to Sam. Though he does throw in that he enjoys the soundtrack for the series, and when asked what his favorite song is he laughed and couldn’t recall the title names.

When asked who he’d love to play against more, he said he’d like to work with Bill and Jason more. He said they are all friends on set and everybody is great at what they do. He’d just like more interaction with those two guys. Do we think that will be happening soon? Bill has enough to worry about with Eric being interested in Sookie. Sure he already knew that Sam Merlotte had an attraction towards her, but this season Sam kind of kept that low key while he dealt with Maryann. Speaking of Sookie and Bill, or should I say Anna and Stephen, Sam had no idea that anything was going on with either of them till he was told. He adds that it just shows how professional the two of them are.

Sam TrammellSam mentions that you have to get over modesty quickly if you are going to be part of the show. He said it was one of things HBO asked him before signing up. Sam Trammell said he told HBO he’d do anything to be on the show. We’re happy to know he was willing to do so much for the show, can’t picture a better actor for the role. Though he did admit it was kind of weird running naked through Louisiana then being naked with a fire extinguisher. He joked and said he was an old pro about being nude while at work. While on stage doing a show in front of an audience, he had to do a full frontal scene. If he can handle that with ease, I’m sure whatever HBO throws his way Sam Trammell can handle it.

For people who have read Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Series, they are starting to wonder if and why Alan Ball isn’t following it more. Sam tells Bullz-Eye that each season they are following the books but Alan Ball is adding his own mix. Charlaine is aware of what’s going on with the TV series but she doesn’t tell Ball how to run the show just as he doesn’t tell her how to write the books. He was a fan of the books and that was a major reason why he wanted to work them into a TV show. Sam Trammell stated that he wasn’t aware of the series till the show and since he has read four or five of them to get an idea of where they are going and get a better feel for the characters.

Usually females tend to pull towards the vampire genre but True Blood has romance for the women and sex and violence for the men. Advertisers are using the high number of viewers to market their products. Los Angeles had True Blood billboards plastered around the city. Sam mentioned that both Harley Davidson and Mini Cooper did ads for their products saying they’re for vampires. He also said that each character had their picture on a bus stop for awhile. TruBlood the drink also receive mass advertising, which is now available.

Sam Trammell left Bullz-Eye with a bit of trivia for True Blood fans. Everybody remembers the scene where he swims in the lake not far from Merlotte’s Bar and Grill, right? It is actually the old “Gilligan’s Island” set. Here is what else he had to say about it:

“And I was really worried that we were going to go off into the woods, because…I did a TV show once called “Going to California” where we actually swam in a bayou with real alligators and stuff, which was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. And I was worried they were going to do that! But they used that set, and they heated the water so it was really warm, but it was so shallow that I could kneel and be, like, only waist high. It was only maybe three feet deep. So we had to pull our legs up, so that we could tread. We couldn’t even just hang our legs down. You had to get in a weird sitting position with your legs pulled up. It was really weird. But I was really happy that the water was so warm. It was like being in a hot tub. It was great.”

But above all the other questions and comments, the one recognizing his hard work and the fan base that surrounds him would be top on the list. Sam has been nominated for a Scream Award for his Breakout Performance on the show. He says he’s very proud of it. So let’s cross our fingers in hopes that he takes that well deserved award home. Keep those fingers crossed when the finale airs that Sam also is able to survive to show up in Season Three.

SOURCE: Bullz-Eye

(Photo credit:  HBO Inc.)