We know that the writing and the immense creativity of Alan Ball has had a lot to do with the success of True Blood. However, in three short seasons, the popularity of the vampire saga has exploded. What was once a cult phenomenon is now a full-blown obsession.
It’s true that Alan Ball and the writing has had a bit of help from the steady stream of sex, nudity, and biting — a constant commingling of flesh and blood, both highly exposed, but we fans who were here from the beginning aren’t surprised at all.
In this recent interview with The New York Post, Sam Trammell speaks about doing nude scenes and he explains that it’s not quite as hot as it looks.
For Sam Trammell, who plays bar owner Sam Merlotte, the nudity is a more trying experience than for most of his nubile colleagues. Unlike the vampires and werewolves who populate the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, Merlotte is a shape-shifter who changes into animals — usually, a cuddly little collie. Trammell’s shifts remove him from the scene entirely, as his role is taken over by an actual dog. When he changes back, then, he finds himself naked wherever the collie happens to land.
In a recent episode, Sam was found outside, laying starkers in the middle of a cold dirt road.
“We shot that scene in the middle of the night,” Trammell says. “It was freezing. You’re standing on a road in the desert, in a robe, and then you jump in the dirt. It’s not glamorous.”
And as anyone who’s ever sunbathed on a beach in a skimpy swimsuit can tell you, when you lay outside with skin exposed, you often bring unexpected gifts back home.
“I was rubbing dirt on my body so it looked like I really had been running through the woods. You find dirt in weird places,” he says. “It winds up in my ear, on your fingernails.”
While many of the show’s coffin-hopping characters enjoy the benefit of soft lighting and gorgeous, naked castmates beside them on a regular basis, Trammell’s nudity allows for a different set of sensations.
“It’s very humbling when you’re standing next to huge trees and you’re just a little naked guy,” he says. “It’s not a real majestic thing. That happens to my character all the time.”
Nudity for the sake of one’s art is nothing new to the 39-year-old actor, who spent years in the New York theater and performed in several plays that required the full monty.
But while being naked on “True Blood” has become old hat, even when Trammell does get to sex it up with some of his co-stars — as he did with Anna Paquin and Rutina Wesley in season one, and as he will this season with another cast member whose name he won’t reveal — the eroticism is at more of a simmer than a boil. “They’re totally bizarre,” he says of shooting the show’s sex scenes. “I shot a scene the other day where basically I was having sex with someone, and it was seven in the morning. I was still half asleep, and so was she, and we were like, ‘Good morning,’ and then they said, ‘Action!’ And you’re almost fully naked, and you pretend to have sex. It’s a very strange business.”
To read the rest of this interview go to The New York Post