Rutina Wesley went from human to vampire overnight, with Rolling Stone she discusses the challenges that she faced with this transformation.
Tara has had such a rough go of it in the first few seasons, but now it seems that becoming a vampire is the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Do you think that’s accurate?
I don’t know if it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her, but I think it’s going to end up being that because when you have to face something that you actually hate and learn to love it, it’s a complete transformation. So, yes, it’s the best and worst thing. To her, it would probably be like, “This sucks!” – no pun intended – but, I think when she finally embraces who she is, like in the last couple of episodes when she’s like, “OK, I’m a vampire. I’ve got to feed and I’ve got to deal,” I think she’ll start to understand [her situation] more, and I think that’s important for her own personal growth.
Most of the characters have stayed the same throughout the seasons, but you’ve had to alter your character from human to vampire, and with that come changes in carriage and demeanor. I think the only other person who’s had to do something like that is Alexander Skarsgård, with “Amnesiac Eric” last season. Did you find that fun or challenging?
It’s been a little bit of both. It’s definitely been a challenge because it’s something new – like it’s basically creating a new character, but also making sure you don’t completely change so you don’t lose the essence of what you’ve already started. But the most fun I had was tearing up [Sookie's] kitchen. I got to run around and be a wild, angry possum and make strange noises. All the acting exercises I did in school – we would just makes noises in a big room and now I can use all that. This has been the most fun I’ve had – this season.
So you must be having a ball with the sexy-vampire makeup and clothes, especially that spangly purple corset. Are they easy to move in?
Oh, no. It’s so funny because I wanted to be in a corset so badly. I was like, “Can I be in a corset? Can it be purple?” And I got in that corset, and after that 12th hour you’re like, “Well, yeah. Maybe I should have thought . . .”
“Maybe I should’ve asked for a flowy dress.”
Because you just can’t breathe – and forget about eating lunch. But I would always eat because I was hungry and I’d go back to my trailer and be like, “I can’t move!”
How has it been adjusting to the fangs?
I practiced a lot in my trailer, and also Anna [Paquin] said to me, “If you can say ‘Sookie Stackhouse,’ then you’re good.” So I practiced saying “Sookie Stackhouse” a lot. The best advice we were given is to act like they’re not there. But the minute you go, “I have two big teeth in my mouth,” then you’ll sound like a vampire with a lisp.