Theo Alexander on Talbot and Russell

June 22, 2010 by  

After months of waiting, True Blood fans have finally found out the mastermind behind Bill Compton’s abduction: Russell Edgington, the vampire king of Mississippi. However, it’s Russell’s partner of 700 years that steals the spotlight in the second episode of the third season.

Talbot is a vampire that would make Martha Stewart proud; he’s a gracious host, has an eye for decor, and knows how to give an elegant but intimate dinner party. In an interview with PopWrap, the actor that plays Talbot, Theo Alexander gives his take on the vampire.

In order to get the part, Theo had to first convince the casting director that what they needed was a Greek actor, not a British one. Theo, wearing a kimono, confidently went into casting as Talbot and proceeded to change everyone’s mind, including Alan Ball’s.

With everyone convinced that Theo could vividly portray Talbot, the next obstacle was to create a realistic bond between Talbot and Russell. Theo and Denis O’Hare, who plays Russell, decided to work on their 700 year history during pre-production. As Theo sees it:

“We met, we talked, we went to dinner, we had to create a 700-year history. It wasn’t easy but in order to be in love with someone on screen you have to really love them in real life. And Denis is very easy to fall in love with. He’s a great guy and an amazing actor – I already admired him, so it wasn’t that hard.”

With all this hard work, the actors were able to create a unique and wonderful history between Talbot and Russell. Both men met in Byzantine where Talbot was royalty. They left together but Talbot wasn’t turned until he was wounded in a battle they were fighting as mercenaries. The wounded Talbot would have died, but Russell (under Talbot’s request) turned his lover.

As the audience will see, the history and the character of Talbot was tailored very much for Theo. The Greek culture, the zest for life, the element of tasting and enjoying food, and the precious heirlooms Talbot carefully chooses for his home with Russell is very much in parallel with the way Theo views his own world.

However, with such strong personalities from both Talbot and Russell, fighting between them is bound to happen. For Theo, fighting between two lovers happens because when you love someone you feel completely and, therefore, fight. Theo views it as:

Russell is also my maker, so it’s a double whammy. He’s like my father and my husband. So there is this double animosity, he can quiet me with one word. But I think every relationship… if you don’t fight, there is no relationship. And that’s what fuels good sex too!”

Speaking of sex, when asked about the rumors that Talbot and Eric may have a possible love scene, which would mean infidelity on Talbot’s part, Theo was very elusive, leaving fans to wonder if the rumors are true or if Talbot remains a faithful married man. However, he said if a scene like that were to happen, it would come about organically and with ease. The show’s writing is excellent and everything that happens, happens for a reason. Every sex scene has a purpose and pushes the story forward.

With all the sex happening on True Blood, one would wonder if the actors are concerned about it. Theo believes that many of the European actors on the show have been trained to understand that things like sex will happen in the natural progression of the show. For him, every sex scene or a scene with a touchy subject,

“…Pushes you forward as a human being as well. Everything that scares you in life, if you do it, makes you a better person. A more whole person. If I have a scene with a man and it scares me, you do it — that pushes you one step ahead as an artist or human being because you did something you were scared of. We know these things can happen – nervousness is there – but you’ve got to go beyond that.”

Going beyond the surface is exactly what Theo intends to do. Though Alan Ball has mentioned that Russell and Talbot emerge as the villains of the season, Theo wants to avoid the surface definition of that word. For Theo, Talbot and Russell are two vampires in the midst of survival, which is a theme for all of the characters in True Blood. If everyone is trying to survive that means that the third season of True Blood will be unpredictable. So call off all the bets and have another serving of blood sorbet!

Credit: NY Post

(Photo Credit: HBO Inc.)