Article on Moviehole by Clint Morris
I’ve chatted to William Sanderson a few times over the years and have found him to be as talented as he is congenial. And what’s wonderful about William is he’ll gladly donate his time to chat to fans, or speak to the media about his various projects (Be it “Blade Runner”, which I believe was the reason for our first interview, or “Deadwood”, the topic of a further interview we did) no matter where or when. As such was the case with this latest tête-à-tête about Sanderson’s gig on TV vampire hit, “True Blood”.
William, I assume you got the part on “True Blood” because of your standing association with HBO?
I think it helped. The same casting director that did Deadwood brought me in to read the part of Sheriff Dearborne for True Blood’s creator, Alan Ball. I know they were looking for authentic southern accents – which has been a curse and a blessing for me. Alan said he had never seen “Deadwood” – maybe that’s why I landed the role! [Laughs]
Back-tracking a bit. How great was it to play E.B on ‘’Deadwood”? You a little bummed those “Deadwood” telemovies didn’t come to fruition?
Yes – E.B. was such a suck up, loved being him. And, yes, like the rest of the Deadwood cast, I did want to do the talked about movies. Not only for myself…ourselves….it would have been nice to wrap up the story for the fans of [the show].
If the show had continued in some sense, where would you have wanted to have taken the character?
Well, the obvious “want” would have been for E.B. to survive the whole season. Next, maybe to have had E.B. move on to Governor!
My good friend Stephen Tobolowsky was on the show. I know he adored the experience, too.
Wasn’t Stephen Tobolowski wonderful to watch in Deadwood?! I don’t see the cast much. Have run into a few at different social functions or just being out and about Los Angeles. I ocasionaly email and chat on the phone with Ian McShane. Oh, and have chatted several times with W. Earl Brown…we shop at the same grocery and get our coffee at the same place.
Was it refreshing to play a good-guy Sheriff after the rather slimy E.B?
Yes, very. I was very excited to clean up and play a normal guy.
I’m often the weird, quirky, or bad guy in town.
We don’t learn much about Bud in the first season of the show though. Do you have an idea of who he is, or where he comes from, in the back of your mind?
There’s not much on him in Charlaine Harris’s books. He is a southerner, of course, is married and has grandchildren. I’m still learning. Alan Ball told me that Bud was Jason’s Sunday school teacher – the most helpful clue about Bud to date. It goes without saying that I’m looking forward to learning more about him as time goes on.
Now where’s this show filmed? Looks like Louisiana but I’m guessing it’s not
It’s filmed at several different locations in and around Los Angeles and on sound stages in Hollywood. The cast and crew also made several trips to Louisiana for some out-door shots.
What the attraction to “True Blood” for people, ya think?
This is always the hardest question to answer. I could say, YOUTH! People like to watch young and attractive characters struggling with love and life. But you also have to have great writing…which “True Blood” has. It’s a team effort….and a plus, it also has great music! At this moment I feel compelled to say I’m very happy to have made the team.
Believe in vampires, William?
I haven’t encountered one yet, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Now, you’ve done some good films over the years – “Blade Runner”, “The Client”, “The Rocketeer”, “Fletch”- will we see you on the big screen again soon?
I did an independent film called Pretty Ugly People. Directed by Tate Taylor, it stars Missi Pyle, Melissa McCarthy, Allison Janney, and many other terrific young actors. It’s winning awards on the film festival circuit.