Sam Trammell’s character of Sam Merlotte is probably the most sane and sensible character on True Blood. If I was in Bon Temps, I’d want to have Sam to lean on as a friend. However, Sam is a bit distracted this year from helping out the humans in Bon Temps since he and Luna (Janina Gavankar) are fighting their own problems of being the target of a hate group that want to kill “shifters.”
Below are excerpts of an interview with Sam, where he discusses the deeper meanings behind True Blood, staying in shape for nude scenes, and the likelihood of vampires and shifters getting it on.
DETAILS: In last Sunday’s episode ["Somebody That I Used to Know"], your love interest, Luna [Janina Gavankar], shifted, into, well, you. How was it playing a woman trapped in a man’s body?
SAM TRAMMELL: It was really challenging. I didn’t want to do a cliché and do a totally effeminate thing. I wanted to do Luna. I did Tommy [Marshall Allman] last year, and he had more of a hook, more of an accent. Janina was tough. There’s nothing really extreme about her, about how she does Luna. It was difficult, but she was great. She helped me out. I watched her, she read the scenes with me, and I went for it. It’s funny, because you always think you’re doing something extremely large, but when you see it on TV, it plays less big than you think it is.
DETAILS: Well, you did sway your hips at one point.
SAM TRAMMELL: I did. That is one thing she does that’s very different from me, her walk. [Laughs] I remember my hips being sore the next day from that, believe it or not.
DETAILS: Stop. They were sore?
SAM TRAMMELL: Yeah, I was doing it big, but it didn’t show up like that.
DETAILS: Sam is much more of a vigilante this season. Why is that?
SAM TRAMMELL: Well, his two friends who were shape-shifters got shot. Then he got shot. Then Luna got shot. You get mad when you get shot. I say they shot us because of who we are, a hate crime, pretty much—at least to Sam. You can see the good ol’ boys that were doing it, that it wasn’t random, that it was specifically because of who I am.
DETAILS: It’s interesting the way this season is getting into the overarching theme of acceptance, whether it’s vampires or shifters, and the politics of being different.
SAM TRAMMELL: I guess you could compare it to the original valid archetype? The non-mainstreaming vampires would say it’s them. The humans are saying that about the shifters—it’s not racist, but it’s an “ist.”
DETAILS: It seems to mirror a lot of real life: People hating on other people, shooting people with guns, all that stuff.
SAM TRAMMELL: Yeah, you know what it is? It’s fear. The good ol’ boys afraid of what’s different, and one vampire group afraid of the different philosophies of another vampire group, and what way of life is better. If you’re not scared, if you’re not threatened, it’s not an issue. But if you are, you start shooting and killing.
DETAILS: This is purely unscientific, but I’m pretty sure that of all the cast members, you’ve done the most nude scenes.
SAM TRAMMELL: You know what, I think you’re right. Ryan [Kwanten] was up there. But this year, I may be in the lead. The rest of the season, I’m naked a lot.
DETAILS: Do you have to watch what you eat? Do any butt exercises?
SAM TRAMMELL: Oh my God. I’m going to have an eating disorder by the time this series is over. You’re not 20 anymore, and we all know: Think about having 10 pounds added. It takes a lot of effort in eating and exercising just to look passable on camera without your shirt on. Then you have people like Ryan and Joe [Manganiello], who are super-human and they’re very, very cut. The bar is pretty high on True Blood.
DETAILS: Are you a meat-and-potatoes guy?
SAM TRAMMELL: I definitely like to eat. I like sugar, and I like to drink beer. Which you can’t even drink during the show. I drink wine. That’s part of the not-so-glamourous part of being an actor.
Read the entire interview with Sam, by going to: details.com