Cheryl Durst, one of The Vault’s featured guest writers, attended the Horrorfind Weekend last weekend and has written a new article about her experience. She also has an interview with True Blood’s Sheriff Dearborn, William Sanderson.
Below is her article and interview with William Sanderson:
True Blood Well Represented
During the weekend of September 2,3,4, at The Wyndham Hotel and Convention Complex, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, an enormous horror fest was held representing many sci-fi, horror and fantasy genres. We True Blood fans can be proud that representing our favorite addiction, True Blood, was Brit Morgan, Sam Trammell, Ashley Jones and Bill Sanderson. It was great fun to see Ashley Jones and Bill Sanderson after their long absence from the show. Sam Trammell, although exhausted from traveling and becoming a new father, was his charming and gracious self and was enthusiastic and kind to the hundreds of people who stopped at the True Blood table to get his autograph and have a few moments to chat with him. Brit Morgan was absolutely adorable with her upbeat personality and seemed genuinely amazed at the amount of compliments she was receiving from the fans.
Their schedule for Saturday was grueling but I observed all four of them display nothing but smiles and gratitude for their fans. I asked Brit how she was holding up and she said she was enjoying meeting fans and I reminded her if at 18 years of age, she could drive from New Jersey to California in her pickup truck, a day long “meet and greet” should be a piece of cake. She grinned and asked, “How did you know I did that?” I told her that I did my homework. I had actually seen a video interview of Brit and that particular fact was noted in the interview.
Bill Sanderson hardly had an opportunity to catch his breath with fans surrounding him the entire afternoon. Bill is well know for many different roles in film, theater and television other than True Blood‘s Sheriff Bud Dearborne. Even with all his years in the entertainment industry, Bill remains enthusiastic about being an actor and I took note that he was kind and warm toward the fans. For all four cast members it was simply non-stop signing autographs and posing with their fans for photos.
Ashley and Brit are both petite blondes with flawlessly beautiful skin and smiles that would melt the polar ice caps but beyond the superficial lies their real beauty. Both of these lovely young women are talented actors that charmed their way into our hearts with their portrayals of True Blood characters. As most of you might recall, Ashley was cast as waitress Daphne Landry who worked at Merlotte’s in True Blood’s second season. Daphne had a secret life as a doe eyed shape shifter and for a while she had Sam Merlotte’s attention. Brit Morgan is best known as True Blood’s Debbie Pelt, werewolf, who entered our Bon Temps/Shreveport family in the third season of the show. She has gone through a metamorphosis of sorts in that she (Debbie) was wildly out of control due to being addicted to “V” and then we find her in the fourth season of True Blood as a more calm persona trying her best to stay clean and focused on her renewed relationship with Alcide Herveaux but then relapsing on “V”. Both actresses give outstanding performances in their roles and add intrigue to the show. Brit Morgan was truly amazed at the amount of compliments she was receiving from fans that day and she told me that she felt truly blessed to have the role of Debbie Pelt and the experience of being part of True Blood.
If any of you have the opportunity to go to events where you will meet True Blood cast members, do make the effort to attend. I’ve met several of them and it is a wonderful experience to be face to face with these talented and grounded actors who bring us a 12 week season of Sunday night thrills. They are genuine individuals who have great appreciation for their fan base and genuinely love their jobs as actors.
I was hoping to get interviews with the four cast members at some point that day. Since I live about an hour from the event I was only going to stay for the afternoon. All four cast members were most agreeable to being interviewed but the line of attendees just never stopped coming through the door of the room where they were seated. It simply became a mission impossible so they gave me contact information and I sent interview questions to them. The first person I heard from was William Sanderson who portrayed the voice of calm and reason on True Blood as Sheriff Bud Dearborne. William is a true southern gentleman. Even though Stephen Moyer has perfected the the southern accent of Bill Compton, William Sanderson has a charming southern accent that is natural to this native son of Tennessee.
William Sanderson Interview:
Are there any charities that you actively support with your time and/or appearances that you would like your fans to know about? If so, what do you do to support them and what can your fans do to support them?
I support local charities and organizations in the communities where I maintain homes. I would like to urge others to do the same, keep your neighborhood/communities strong.
I’ve read that you grew up in Tennessee and even spent some time hanging out with Elvis. Did any of your desire to act or be in the field of entertainment develop as a direct result of observing Elvis’s life?
Yes. I was a big Elvis fan – followed him around Memphis from 5th grade on through high school. The high point for me was hearing Elvis play his piano and sing at Graceland when I was in junior high school. He played “Don’t Be Cruel”, “Blueberry hill”, and one other song but I can’t recall which one.
I am fascinated to know that you have a law degree. Why exactly did you not become an attorney? Was there anything in particular that took place after college that altered your career from possibly practicing law and instead becoming an actor?
Law school was exciting but hard work. I’m a bit lazy. Acting seemed easier and more exciting. It’s a cliché but true: ‘ the heart has it’s reason that reason doesn’t know.’ Just having the Juris Doctorate credential is enough for me.
What was your first paying job as an actor and how did you get the job? Describe the traits of the character that you played.
An original play called “Malecon” at Theater Genesis in the East Village of Manhattan. I was paid $65.00 per week and was ecstatic to have the job. I played a sheriff, lol.
Have you done much work in theater? Tell me about your experiences in theater work.
The theater was my first love. I’m fortunate to have done an acting apprenticeship in New York City. Took acting lessons at HB Studios in NY and did many plays in the 70’s.
How did you come to find out about the part of Bud Dearborne on True Blood? Would you mind explaining how the audition process works?
The casting director for “True Blood”, Libby Goldstein, also cast HBO’s “Deadwood” series, which I was on for three years and did every show. She brought me in to read a scene for Alan Ball. They were looking for actors with authentic southern accents.
What was your favorite Bud Dearborne moment on True Blood?
This is always a hard question to answer. It’s like trying to pick your favorite child…you love them all.
The fans certainly miss seeing you on True Blood. With Andy Bellefleur and Jason Stackhouse attempting to maintain law and order in Bon Temps, they certainly could use the calm and rational thinking of Bud Dearborne. Can you tell us if we might see Bud Dearborne again sometime on True Blood?
Thank you for the kind words. I’m sorry I can’t tell you whether or not Bud will return. Hey, he’s retired, not dead.
What does your new character, James Anon, (on Current TV’s Bar Karma) have in common with Bud Dearborne (if anything)? Or are they very different (and in what ways do they differ)?
They’re both old. Bud wasn’t sure what was going on in Bon Temps but James is 20,000 years old and has seen it all!
You have had a long and successful career as an actor. Is there a role or moment in your career that is particularly outstanding to you?
I’m proud of a number of movies that I did but especially Bladerunner. I played a genetic engineer and wore two hours of latex make-up. It’s nice to be in a cult film.
Do you have any new television, film or theater projects coming up in the near future?
I did a guest star role for the new season of Mike & Molly which will air sometime in Oct. The character’s name is Dennis and was introduced in the last episode of season one. I believe that show will re-run Sept. 12th. Also have a few things in the works but I don’t think it’s wise to talk about things until they are set.
What do you, William Sanderson, like to do in your “down” time?
Eat, sleep, and read.
Did you enjoy your experience at The HorrorFind Weekend in Gettysburg, PA? (The fans certainly seemed excited to meet you.) What were some of the outstanding moments at the event?
The fans were great. A very interesting collection of people. It was nice to see Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte of True Blood), one of my favorites. And I met you!
Do you have any wisdom to pass on to those reading this that might be considering going into the field of acting/entertainment?
I like the late Jackie Gleason’s advice/philosophy of life: “just play the melody, live, love, and lose gracefully.
Being the consummate gentleman, Bill paid me a compliment in his interview by implying that meeting me was an outstanding moment of the event for him. Bill, I appreciate your kindness as well as your time for completing this interview and hope that we see more of you on television, film or theater. I would enjoy seeing you again on True Blood. As you stated, “Bud is retired, not dead.” Thank you, again, for being generous with your time.
To find out more information about HorrorFind Event Weekend go to: horrorfindweekend.com