True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard attends the launch of the fourth issue of The Last Magazine at Pravda on February 17, 2010 in New York City. Also attending the event was Kate Bosworth, Natalie Portman, Felix Winckler, model Selita Ebanks, Gaia Repossi and model Caroline Winberg
Archive for the ‘Cast & Crew’ Category
We’ve already reported about Mehcad Brooks, True Blood’s “Eggs” from Season 2, getting a new part in ABC’s The Deep End. In his new show, Brooks can be seen more clothed, figuratively and literally, starring as lawyer Malcolm Bennett, along with Billy Zane, Clancy Brown, Tina Majorino, Nicole Ari Parker, Matt Long and Ben Lawson as members of a Dallas firm.
Here’s the part of an interview pertaining to True Blood with Mehcad and iF Magazine that took place at the Television Critics Association press tour.
When Brooks is asked about going from TRUE BLOOD’s swamps to THE DEEP END’s suits, one might surmise he’s got an in with a wish-granting genie. “My last day of shooting TRUE BLOOD, I was trudging through the swamps in between Lafayette and Baton Rouge,” Brooks relates. “Horrible. It was about 103 degrees, probably 110 heat index. They called ‘Cut!’ and I said, ‘Next job I have, all air conditioning, all suits.’ Not a joke. It’s wonderful.”
iF: Did you have a good experience on TRUE BLOOD, overheated swamp notwithstanding?
BROOKS: [laughs] Swamp notwithstanding, I had an incredible experience on TRUE BLOOD. It was an amazing show to be a part of, very well-received, and it’s always a nice thing when people really appreciate the hard work that you put into something, so I could not have asked for a better run.
iF: Did you know Eggs’ character arc when you initially got the job?
BROOKS: I did. Actually, it was less complicated than that – he was only supposed to be there for three episodes, but after I auditioned, they asked me to join the show, so I said, ‘Sure.’ [Eggs is in the books TRUE BLOOD is based on] only for about three chapters, though. So he’s barely mentioned. He definitely exists, though, trust me. [Novelist] Charlaine Harris called me – it was lovely to speak to her as well. But the character wasn’t all that defined in the literature, so we got to make him up as we went along and I had a lot of input, and [TRUE BLOOD creator/show runner] Alan Ball is a wonderful person to work with, because there was a template for him but no back story, we got to create it and that was a lot of fun.
iF: What’s it like going from Eggs to Malcolm?
BROOKS: Turn off one light and turn on the other one. I’m a lot more like Malcolm than I am like Eggs. Eggs is not as smart as I am, Malcolm’s smarter than me, so I’m somewhere in the middle [laughs]. I’m nowhere near as responsible as Malcolm, but I’m more responsible than Eggs. They’re completely different characters, but that’s what you want as an actor, to go try your hand at something completely different and see if you can stay afloat.
iF: Any final thoughts on THE DEEP END?
BROOKS: THE DEEP END is my favorite show that I’ve had the pleasure of working on. It really is.
As was reported here earlier today from postings made on Twitter, True Blood was filming in Los Angeles at the Trainon.
Here are more photos showing Anna Paquin on the set.
Seeing these new pictures of Anna Paquin filming a scene for the HBO hit at the Trianon Apartments in Hollywood, California today truly help to feed our True Blood obsession. Anna was rockin’ a short denim mini skirt, a lace tank top with a cami below, and some trendy sunglasses.
Just as he has gotten the recurring role of Alcide on “True Blood,” Joe Manganiello has now scored one of the leads in a CBS comedy pilot from the creators of “How I Met Your Mother.”
The 33-year-old actor, who was recently cast as werewolf Alcide in True Blood’s Season 3, will reportedly play Doug, “a good-guy husband and dad who is a former high school football star” in “Livin’ on a Prayer,” created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays. He appeared in multiple episodes of “How I Met Your Mother,” which probably put him on Thomas and Bays’ radar. The CBS pilot focuses on an unmarried couple and their friends in Pittsburgh.
Last December we learned that Lindsay Pulsipher was cast in Season 3 of True Blood as Crystal Norris. In an interview with IESB.net Lindsay talked about how she will always remember her experience working on The Beast, as well as her excitement for fans to see her in her latest role as Crystal Norris on Season 3 of True Blood and how she hopes to continue to play a wide variety of different characters in her career.
Below is part of that interview that includes some information about her and the section where she talks about True Blood.
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, Lindsay Pulsipher has wanted to be an actress since seeing her mother perform in plays in the theater when she was a little girl. Having recently played a series regular on the A&E series The Beast, which starred the late Patrick Swayze in his critically acclaimed final role and can currently be seen on Crackle (www.crackle.com), Sony Pictures Entertainment’s online video network, the musician In this exclusive interview with IESB, Lindsay Pulsipher
IESB: How did you get into acting, as a career?
Lindsay: It was a couple different things. My mom was an actress. She did some theater when I was a little girl and I remember seeing her in that play “You Can’t Take It With You” and thinking, “Wow, that’s my mom, but I don’t recognize her at all. She’s a different person.” It just looked really exciting, so I got into some theater groups and did children’s community theater.
And then, as I got older, film was really inspiring to me. Women like Julie Christie and Ellen Burstyn, and all these amazing actresses of the ’70s, were very inspiring to me, so I thought, “Maybe I should try the film world,” and I took it from there.
IESB: You’ve recently been cast in the very popular vampire series True Blood on HBO, as Crystal Norris. What can you say about your character on the show and how she fits into the storyline for Season 3?
Lindsay: I don’t know much about my character yet. She’s a mysterious girl. She does encounter Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten), in a funny way, and they have this amazing connection, and it goes from there.
IESB: Had you been familiar with the series at all, prior to being cast?
Lindsay: I had watched some of the series, but I had not read the books. I know that Alan Ball doesn’t necessarily stick 100% to the books.
IESB: How has it been to work with Ryan Kwanten? What’s the difference in the dynamic between the relationship that you have with him, and the one that you had with Travis Fimmel on The Beast?
Lindsay: Ryan auditioned with me and he’s an amazing actor. He’s extremely giving, spontaneous and innovative, and he’s super-humble and almost shy. I’m blown away by how great he is. And, Travis is great, in his own way. He’s also an amazing actor. He approaches his work very passionately and really cares a lot about his work. He’s an extremely devoted actor. We had a lot of fun on set. He’s very playful and was very spontaneous as well.
IESB: When you play out relationships, how do you feel about having to do the more intimate scenes? Is that difficult for you, as an actor, or do you see it as just another facet of your job?
Lindsay: It’s definitely another facet of the job. As long as I allow myself to look at it through the character’s eyes, as opposed to my own eyes, I don’t really have a problem with it.
IESB: You started with The Beast on day one, but you went into True Blood as the new guy. Is that a nerve-wracking experience? And, does that also give you an appreciation for the people that came in to guest star on The Beast while you were there?
Lindsay: Yeah, definitely. With The Beast, we all started together. We shot the pilot together and all of our castmates were new, from day one. It was a family that grew. Coming into True Blood, especially now, when it’s a really established show with a huge fan base and with the caliber of people that are running the show, it’s definitely different. I’d be lying, if I said I wasn’t a little intimidated to come into the show. But, I have to say that all of that quickly dissipated, as soon as I met everybody. They were just so nice and welcoming, and friendly and professional. All the actors on the show are just so great and I’m so impressed with everybody. It was a little bit like starting your first day of high school, or any new job, but that quickly all went away. Everybody couldn’t be cooler.
IESB: When you’re involved with such quality programming, with both The Beast and True Blood, does that raise the bar for you, as an actor, as far as the type of projects you want to be involved with?
Lindsay: Yeah, definitely. I’ve always wanted to maintain a certain caliber of work, and I feel so blessed. Even with the guest spots that I’ve gotten, up until this point, I feel very fortunate to have worked with the people I have and I’d definitely like to maintain that.
IESB: Are there any particular types of roles or specific genres that you’d like to do, but haven’t gotten the chance to do yet?
Lindsay: I feel really fortunate with what I have been able to do. I’d like to just do as much variety as possible. I never want to feel stuck, or like I’ve been typecast. I would love to be able to have a broad spectrum of work. Whatever that next character is, I hope that it’s something I’ve never played before. I hope I get to play lots of different varieties of characters.
IESB: When you’re not acting, what are you passionate about?
Lindsay: I play in a band. I paint. I just got a new dog that I’m very excited about. I love watching movies. Films are probably my favorite escape. I love all different types of films, from every decade. I definitely have to keep myself creative, outside of acting. You’ll go crazy in this town, if you are just focused on acting. I think you have to have something else going on in your life.
To read the entire interview, click here.
It amazes me how different some of the cast members in True Blood are from the roles that they play. Take for example, Nelsan Ellis, he is very reserved and not nearly as flamboyant as his character, Lafayette. Ryan Kwanten is quiet and somewhat shy, yet in True Blood he plays a womanizer and someone who is searching for his identity, which doesn’t sound like Ryan.
Here’s an interview with Ryan Kwanten from a German True Blood web site where he talks about his character Jason, his development in the second season and how Jason’s relationship to Sookie changes over the first two seasons.
How did you react when you found out that Jason was joining the Fellowship of the Sun in the second season after being such a womanizer in the first season
That’s the blessing and the curse of this show, you’re constantly on your toes waiting for the next script to come out because they each just seem to one up the one before that. At first I was really wary and hesitant about the new direction because it was such a departure from where I ended the first season. But I really just felt after putting myself into that role that it was perfect. It was exactly where my character needed to go.
How did you feel about doing so much nudity in the first season?
I hope that they saw past the skin and saw other things there. But it’s definitely something that’s more confronting for Americans than for us Australians, because we’re slightly more open-minded in the culture I grew up in. But I think that’s the beauty of working for HBO and particularly with Alan Ball, the fact that it’s not just shock for shock value or gore or nudity for the sake of showing skin. It always has a certain subtext or a specific story point that they are going towards. I also think it shows Jason’s vulnerability even though he may be very comfortable with his body and with women and all that, it shows that he’s searching for a sense of belonging.
Your character has been described as ‘dim but lovable’. What do you think of Jason Stackhouse?
I’ve obviously had to live with him now for a few years. He probably is a lot like the descriptions that people use, but at the end of the day he is someone who is misunderstood. I think he’s still searching for who he is, which is why he joins this church-like organization and looks for answers in faith as opposed to women or alcohol. I think he’s such an impulsive guy and he’s so much fun to play because he really does just fly by the seat of his pants. There’s not a great amount of thought that goes into his actions so it’s quite electrifying to play someone like that.
What is his relationship with Sookie this season now that he has joined a group against vampires and she’s dating one?
He’s not aware for quite some time that he is in the opposing camp. Obviously, cracks start appearing, but he thinks he’s just purely there in an innocent way to help himself. But these things get bigger than intended and he soon becomes the knight in shining armor for this church-like organization who see someone like Jason and see that they can manipulate him and use him to their advantage. He certainly is taken down a very dark path and he almost realizes too late that Sookie is involved… but you’ll have to wait and see.
Do you think he’s grown or evolved this season because of his experiences?
Yes but there’s still the core Jason and he still won’t change. He’s still going to say what he feels and doesn’t really have the best filter in the business. There’s an old song that talks about ‘I think I’m getting older but I don’t think I’m getting wiser’ and I don’t necessarily think Jason’s getting wiser; I just think his experiences are changing him. Maybe it’s more of a sideways leap than a deeper understanding of who he is.
Last night, True Blood’s Godric, Allan Hyde spoke to ArtistOnDemandRadio about his experiences in True Blood and about what he’s doing now. After listening to the interview, my impression is that he is someone I’d like to know. He seems very personable and should be a contender for stardom in Hollywood with his natural sweetness and charm. However, he talks about being interested in other careers. Could there be a place in the culinary world out there for Allan? Personally, I think he should stay right where he is and keep acting, but whichever he chooses I’m sure he’ll excel at it.
Click below to listen to the interview.
Michelle Forbes has admitted that she found some of her True Blood sex scenes “daunting”.
The actress, who arrived as the mysterious Maryann in season two of the supernatural drama, told SFX that it took her a while to adjust to filming raunchier moments.
“Initially, for somebody as shy as myself, it was a bit daunting [but] it becomes ordinary. Especially after the third orgy, it becomes just another day at the office.”
Forbes also praised the show’s writers for helping to turn vampire mythology “on its head” and look at the creatures “in a very real way”.
“It’s always been about that titillating mythology of vampires, about sucking blood and what have you. But they look at it in a much more emotional and grounded way which I think is extraordinary.”
Sam Trammell talks to Digital Spy about his character’s relationship with Sookie and also offers some hints to rabiddol.com on what audiences can expect when the hit HBO vampire series returns for Season 3 in June.
Throughout season one, Trammell’s character Sam Merlotte carried a torch for Sookie, despite her choosing to be with vampire Bill. Speaking to SFX, Trammell theorised: “I think Sam and Sookie will always have a connection. I think that’s an anchor for him and for the show that he will come back to again and again, season after season.” The 38-year-old actor previously told Digital Spy that he hopes the writers place Sam in more danger as the series progresses.
Playing shape-shifter Sam Merlotte, Trammell teases that his character becomes adamant about locating his biological family in Season 3. His search is successful, but he soon learns they are “pretty bad news.”
“It’s going to lead to some pretty dramatic and interesting stuff for him this year,” Trammell said.
In addition, Merlotte’s shape-shifter secret will take a blow.
“A lot of people know he’s a shape-shifter now, like Andy, Jason and Sookie,” he explained. “He’s slowly getting revealed and the more he gets revealed, the chains that have been binding him — as far as trying to keep who he is secret goes — are slowly breaking.”
Another Season 3 highlight is the arrival of werewolves. Will they wreak havoc on Bon Temp?
“I’m not sure — I did read the books but I’m not exactly sure how the werewolves are going to be put into the show,” he said. “I do know the werewolves are disgusting creatures. They’re dirty, they’re not shape-shifters — they’re disgusting, low-level, smelly creatures. Perfect for Sam!”
Last weekend Ryan Kwanten’s Australian film, Red Hill premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. Now that it’s out there, it’s getting reviewed. Here are excerpts from three reviews, two favorable and one not so favorable. I hope that the good reviews keep on coming in because we really think this is going to be a good one.
Rugged landscapes, a sheriff’s posse and something spookin’ the livestock – these are solid Western ingredients, but Patrick Hughes’s brisk, inventive Red Hill gives them a new spin by placing them in a modern-day Australian police story.
Red Hill is a tour de force debut by commercials director Patrick Hughes and this labour of love should win him some international repute
This hugely entertaining cross-genre tale of a rural manhunt contrives to meld cop and cowboy elements into a rattling nail-biter. Unashamedly commercial, the film is destined to travel widely – helped by the current visibility of star Ryan Kwanten, from HBO’s True Blood – and will have a failsafe festival berth, especially in midnight-movie slots.
Atmospheric opening shots of mist-covered mountain country establish Red Hill’s classic Western flavour – and show us that we’re not in the usual flat terrain of Australian outback drama. Arriving in this landscape is Shane Cooper (the likeable, no-fuss Kwanten), a young city policeman married to Alice (Van Der Boom). A regular-bloke type, sensitive-souled and somewhat gauche, Shane has taken this posting because pregnant Alice has been advised she needs country air and (ha!) peace and quiet.
In 1976, John Carpenter famously turned John Ford’s Western Rio Bravo into his thriller Assault On Precinct 13. Here Hughes reverses the process, folding a modern cop drama back into the iconography of the Western. He also retains some Carpenter-style pulpy elements – ample bloodshed, an apparently indestructible silent nemesis, plus lashings of atmospheric darkness.
At times, the film skirts perilously close to predictability. But to see old-school conventions confirmed rather than subverted proves to be a source of much pleasure – and makes it all the more enjoyable when Hughes throws a witty curveball, as he does late in the film when a hugely incongruous deus ex machina stalks onto the scene.
The pay-off is predictable, as Shane learns that the bad guys aren’t always who they seem, but it’s utterly satisfying. Red Hill is a tour de force by commercials director Hughes – making his feature debut as director, producer, writer and editor – and this labour of love should win him some international repute. Tim Hudson’s widescreen photography capitalises magnificently on the poetic terrain of Victoria’s high country. The film’s one, forgiveable flaw is that the cod-Morricone touches in Dmitri Golovko’s soundtrack are sometimes laid on with a trowel.
Click here to read the entire review.
RED Hill, the Australian western by first-time director Patrick Hughes, had a rousing reception of whoops and stamping at the Berlin Film Festival on Sunday night. “You guys are my first audience,” said Hughes as he stood on the stage before the film began.
A bloody revenge yarn with a high body count, Red Hill was shot in the Victorian high country and boasts Ryan Kwanten, the Australian actor in the cult US television series True Blood, as the good guy. Kwanten plays a young policeman who arrives in a small town the same day a murderer (Tom E. Lewis) blows his way out of prison and comes for the blood of the Red Hill police who sent him down.
Once upon a time, Hughes couldn’t see the point of westerns. “Growing up, my dad was a huge fan of them,” Hughes says. “He was always saying ‘you’ve got to watch Red River; you’ve got to watch The Searchers; you’ve got to watch Stagecoach’. But I didn’t get it. I was more interested in Star Wars. But then you reach a certain age where you realise Star Wars is a western.
“And I think about six years ago it kicked in that as an adult, what’s really important is family; now I’ve got kids of my own, I can relate to these stories of people whose lives have been damaged and who go on the warpath. Because, I would do the same. I feel like a modern-day western, if you pitch it right, the reactions will be so strong. Because every western comes down to an idea of country justice, that the badge goes out the window.”
Hughes grew up in Black Rock and has been making films, he says, since he was 12, and commercials since he graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1999. He financed Red Hill himself.
“Greg McLean really inspired me. I watched him go off and make Wolf Creek for a million bucks and I saw the incredible impact that had,” says Hughes. McLean advised him to pursue potential backers himself. He also offered to be one of them.
“I just made this decision to produce it and raise money privately, so I was not going to answer to anyone.”
Hughes had another calling card, however, that helped persuade Kwanten to sign up. A short film he made 18 months ago, called Signs, had become a hit on YouTube. ”We’ve had 4 million hits. And suddenly I started getting all these calls from Hollywood, all these producers saying ‘what are you doing?’ ” One of them read the Red Hill script, jumped at it and found him a powerful manager.
As a boy, Hughes says, he used to chase brumbies in the high country. “It’s so beautiful up there and so right for a modern-day revenge western,” he says. ”The inspiration came from that region.
“I know people in Victoria will think Red Hill? – it’s down the coast,” he laughs, “but it’s a great title for a town and a western.”
Click here to read the entire review.
This first feature demonstrates that 31-year-old Aussie director Patrick Hughes likes to be in control — after all, he’s listed as writer, director, editor, and producer — and also that he’s got a very good eye. The visuals in this Western from Down Under are always expressive and occasionally memorable, and Hughes seems to have a gift for knowing where to put the camera to accentuate his moody thriller.
But visuals aren’t everything, of course, and despite some semi-surprising twists near the end, “Red Hill” is weighed down and finally destroyed by too many cliches and a lack of clarity about what’s being attempted. Television and ancillary rights are a possibility in some territories, but theatrical release, except perhaps in the shopping malls of Australia, seems a long shot.
The suspense that Hughes manages to mount remains low-grade throughout and the plot never becomes entirely plausible. At one point the tone of dread is completely destroyed when Shane pops back to his house to retrieve his weapon and has to undergo wifely banter concerning how his first day went. The final twists in the story would have had more power if Hughes had written a few hints into the script to signal their approach. The music is loud and mostly dreadful, and the climactic scene is so artificially jacked up that the film threatens to literally self-destruct. When a semi-mythic panther is introduced into the scenario one feels Hughes’s strain.
Click here to read the entire review.