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Bill and Sookie dance in True Blood’s season finale

Shooting in Louisiana, where temperatures soared to nearly 100 degrees, was not an easy task for the True Blood cast and crew but it helped the actors get into character.

“It makes you move slower, which is interesting for character,” Stephen Moyer said. “I understand now why people move so slow down here.”

“You have to move slower, or you’ll pass out,” Anna Paquin said, laughing.

Because of the heat, a medic was on hand to give out water and Gatorade, and the cast had to be transported by van the few blocks between base camp and the shooting location in Clinton because it was too hot to walk.

Still, said the show’s executive producer, Gregg Fienberg, “It was a great town. It worked really well for what we needed.”

After the Clinton shoot, production shifted indoors to the Stockade Bed and Breakfast in Baton Rouge. Once a Civil War stockade, the B&B is listed on the National Register of Historical Places as an archaeological site.

The Stockade’s great room — an open space with a balcony, baby grand piano, large wood-burning fireplace and floor-to-ceiling glass wall — was transformed into a restaurant for the shoot. A nearby breakfast room, filled with antiques and hummingbird and botanical prints, became a makeshift studio for directors and script supervisors to watch the scenes unfold on monitors.

The sequence shot on this day was a dance scene. Paquin, in a sundress with her hair in a sleek up-do, and Moyer in black suit, do a modified jitterbug to the Jerry Lee Lewis song “Before the Night Is Over.” Between takes, the actors chill out in a back room at the B&B where stylists touch up their makeup.

Footage from the Louisiana shoot will appear in upcoming episodes and the season finale, set to air on Sept. 13, which is expected to include the dance scene.

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