True Blood is certainly in the middle of a killer season, isn’t it? Just when you thought the show couldn’t surprise you anymore, it does– especially with that creepy baby! Series creator and executive producer Alan Ball definitely likes to keep “Trubies” and “Fangbangers” on their toes with his new twists and character developments, despite the fact that the HBO drama comes from a popular series of books. Sure, having source material inevitably “locks you into” some story elements, but Ball is happy to deviate a bit in order to best utilize his talented performers and beloved characters.
One of the things that the source material steered Ball toward incorporating is the split of Sookie and Bill (real life couple Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer). But it wasn’t the only factor. In the books, Sookie is the narrator, so it is truly her story, and the other characters only live in it when they interact with her. But for the show, it works much better as an ensemble. Of course that still means that having characters who are happy, together, and in love isn’t the most interesting thing for an on-going drama!
“This season [Sookie] has made the decision to be on her own and to tell both the gentlemen callers to get lost, and that she’s sort of okay with whatever that means,” Paquin told critics during HBO’s summer TCA day in Los Angeles earlier this week. “In a way, that almost makes her more open to, you know, interesting things happening…She’s operating from the position of not being as needy. And I think she’s definitely grown.”
Sookie has undergone an immense number of changes since the start of the series just four short seasons ago, but Paquin believes that there has always been good reason, which keeps it grounded and not necessarily that radical.
“Any time the character gets to do something wildly different it’s fun,” she pointed out, “because…as an actor that would make an interesting challenge.”
Moyer echoed the sentiment about the challenge and difference in work from an acting perspective, but we would imagine that suddenly being king is enough to keep him interested, as well!
“This season what I’ve got to play is I’ve got to let her go. You know, if you love somebody, you have to set them free,” he offered. “[But] whilst doing all of that, I get to be the king. So he’s having to make very powerful choices whilst letting go of the thing that he loves.”
Ultimately, being king may bring Sookie and Bill back together, according to Moyer, not because she is attracted to the power but because of what he does with that power.
“Bill gets to perhaps become somebody that she can respect again because of the choices that he makes as king,” Moyer previewed.
There is certainly no slump or shortage of challenging work on True Blood— emotional or physical. This season is incorporating vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches, and creepy babies.
“Once we made the decision in the writers’ room [last year] to jump ahead in time, we knew that the baby would be here,” Ball explained.
“None of [the creepy doll versus the creepy baby] is in the books. I know that last year…Hoyt and Jessica came together after a season of being apart, and they moved in…and it just felt like they were “okay.” So I said, ‘There should be something weird, like maybe let’s just put a doll in.’ So the camera tilts down, and you see a creepy doll. I had no idea where that was going to go! Then we came back to work this season [and] I said ‘We’ve got to pick up that doll. We’ve got to figure out what’s going on with that doll.’ And you know, the doll has found it’s way to the creepy baby. They’ve teamed up now.”
He wasn’t kidding. So stay tuned!
Now that Paquin and Moyer have lived with these characters, and worked for Ball, for a few years, they admit to pitching ideas to the writers easily and often. And surprisingly (at least to them), sometimes their suggestions are taken.
“There was this thing in episode nine about that scene with me and Steve and Alex that I pitched,” Paquin teased, adding she couldn’t tell us about it, lest she spoil something.
“Our show kind of beats you to the punch as far as ‘Wouldn’t it be really crazy if we did blah’,” she added. So it’s only a matter of time before her imagination runs as wild as the show and begins picturing scenarios of which she’d love to be a part before they are even presented. The whole crew is creative!
The moment should definitely be something diehard fans look for when the episode airs. And when you think you spotted the moment that can be credited to Paquin, come back here and tell us about it in the comments (you might win a prize…)!
True Blood airs on Sunday nights at 9pm, only on HBO.
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