Over the course of the series, True Blood’s Anna Camp, who played Sarah Newlin brilliantly by interjecting a healthy dose of self-righteous preaching about the evils of society at any given moment, never could find her true self in a world constantly changing. Anna talked with Speakeasy this week about her final days shooting “True Blood,” and why she wanted to be a vampire.
Were you surprised that Sarah Newlin became such a factor in the final season?
I was very surprised that’s the way it turned out. I was definitely happy, because it got my character into the story line. I think it’s pretty fitting for her to want to rid the earth of all vampire-kind and actually being the savior for all vampire-kind in the end.
She was such a lightning rod for the vampires to hate.
[Laughs.] I was so lucky to be included in the series in season 2 and I had no idea I’d be back at all. In season 6, I was this leader of a concentration camp of vampires. I’ve gotten to play some amazing scenes and I think people love to hate me. I hope they love to hate me and not just hate me.
Throughout this last season, there was a vibe that a lot of characters would be killed off. Did you think Sarah was going to die?
Yeah, I had no idea I was going to make it to the finale. Once I did read the scene where in ingested the antidote – the flash back – I did realize “Oh, wow, they have to keep me around for at least a little while.” I thought they were going to figure out how to bottle my blood and dispose of me and have this crazy death scene. I even imagined myself being turned [into a vampire]. There was a little talk of that at the end of season 6. I really welcomed that; I thought if Sarah was ever turned into a vampire, she’d hate herself so much for being turned into the very thing she abhorred – she’d climb up to the top of church somewhere and commit vampire suicide in front of everyone.
There were a lot of action scenes in this last season, particularly with Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard). He bit you. He threw you by your neck. What can you tell me about shooting those?
I definitely was in some harnesses this time around, flying in the air at times. You never know what you’re going to be in for when you get a “True Blood” script. We spent three days shooting those scenes and when I saw it in the episode, they cut so much from what we shot. It’s really fascinating. I was exhausted shooting those things at like four in the morning, because they’re all night shoots.
How long do they keep you in a harness for?
They’re really good about [giving breaks.] It’s definitely not the most comfortable thing. It feels like you have a permanent wedgie for two hours. Even when you’re out of it, it still feels like it’s there.
What was the hardest scene for you to shoot in the final season?
It was the last scene that I shot, where I’m chained up in the basement. For one, I lost the feeling in both of my hands because I had to be holding them above my head for so long. It was painful. But also, saying good-bye to a character that I loved playing. You can play the villain, but I feel for her! Even though she was cruel and perhaps deserved to die…being tortured slowly for the rest of my life and living in that world – it’s a pretty crazy place to go to.
How would we characterize her ending? Is she a “blood slave”?
I would call her a blood slave. Not a sex slave, but a blood slave. That’s perfect.
Did she deserve any redemption?
It’s hard to say. Living in the character, I justified everything she did. It’s hard to say when you’re playing someone like that. I mean, yes, I did try to kill all of them in season 6, so technically I deserved punishment.
She became a Buddhist and in the end, begged to be a vampire. She seemed like a person who couldn’t find herself.
She was convicted in what she was believing in at the moment. I don’t know if consciously she was trying to get out of trouble when she turned into a Buddhist – but I think she truly, truly believed that she was. On some subconscious level, it’s a way of exonerating herself from all of the guilt that she felt. She’s just this complete narcissist …it’s basically her world and she’s living in it and that’s OK.
One of the last scenes that you had featured you drinking Pam’s blood. Does the idea of drinking blood gross you out?
[Laughs.] It’s really, really gross. When you think about blood dripping from someone’s wrist, it’s not the most appetizing thing in the world. But I was luckily glamored then, so I couldn’t taste it in the moment.
Did you ever get to try on fangs?
Read this complete interview with Anna Camp by going here: blogs.wsj.com
No, I wish! I never got to. They specially make the fangs for the people who played vampires. I really would have loved to play a vampire.