I just discovered this article (thanks to True Blood Italia) on the National Post. Anna Paquin says that she signed up for 7 seasons of True Blood. That doesn’t mean that there will be 7 seasons, but she is up for it!
Let’s face facts: vampires walk amongst us, and it’s only a matter of time before these creatures of darkness overthrow humanity and start to harvest our blood for their own nefarious purposes. Yay! But what would happen if Japanese scientists developed a synthetic substitute for blood that quenched their unholy urge? That’s the idea behind HBO’s new series True Blood – airing in Canada on Movie Central and The Movie Network. In this strange world – adapted by Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball from the Southern Vampire Mystery Books by Charlaine Harris – vampires, who no longer must feed on people to survive, have “come out of the coffin” and are ready to fight for their civil rights. Winnipeg-born, New Zealand-raised actress Anna Paquin stars as Sookie Stackhouse, a vamp-loving waitress in small-town Louisiana who harbours a dark secret. She recently spoke to the Post’s Mark Medley.
How’d you get involved in True Blood?
Well, I was sent the pilot script, and it was Alan Ball, and it was HBO, and I read it, fell in love with it, and auditioned over and over and over again until the said yes.
When you say “over and over and over again,” how many auditions do you mean?
What was it about Sookie that lured you in?
First of all, the whole world is just so intriguing and odd yet completely real in that all these relationships and the emotional storyline is based in reality. Then you have these fantastical elements, because obviously it’s a show about vampires. And Sookie, she’s so strong and so brave and tough but so sweet and vulnerable and innocent and kind of fearless. [She] just has so much going on. It’s not like one of those female characters where they had to choose between her being sweet and feminine and pretty or tough and strong. She kind of gets to be both. And gets to be at the centre of the action. And is this hopeless romantic, when it comes down to it. [She’s] just so many things. I love that, because that actually gives you a lot to work with as an actress. Sometimes the girl parts aren’t as interesting.
I’d never heard of the books before. Had you read Charlaine Harris’s novels.
No, except when the pilot script landed on my lap. I wanted to know as much about it before I went in and auditioned, so I read the first book, and I’ve read more since then.
Do the books give the series a lot of options looking forward to next season?
There’s so much in her books, and there’s like nine of them at this point. She’s still writing. I feel there will be a never-ending wealth of material for our talented writers to work into TV plot lines.
Speaking of writers, the show is getting a lot of attention because it’s Alan Ball’s return. Were you a fan of Six Feet Under?
Absolutely. I loved Six Feet Under. It was a brilliant, brilliant show. He’s a very unique and talented and brilliant and funny and sweet man and he’s an incredible boss to have….He’s so easy and laid-back and unintimidating and sort of encouraging of you to try things, or play around, and he’s probably the only person I’ve ever worked for who actually is concerned about whether or not you’re having fun.
Were you actively looking to make the change to TV when the script showed up?
I never actively made any decision in my career. I’ve actively pursued people who I think are really talented and interesting and who I think will make me a better actor….Truthfully, [I] really, really, really wanted to do an HBO TV series. I had literally been saying this for six months.
These HBO shows seem to be the Holy Grail for actors.
Well, you get these amazingly writers and directors. The people who come in and direct an episode are majorly talented, incredible directors who aren’t necessarily always incredibly famous yet, but in a year’s time everyone will be like ‘Really, they directed an episode?’ If you go back and watch Six Feet Under, the names that come up, it’s insane. We’ve had a similar trend on our show. And you get to continue with the character – what more does an actor want? You get to keep on growing with that character, and the writers keep on [giving] you new stuff, so you’re never bored, and you’re never staying in one place.
Are you prepared, if the series does well, to spend three, four, five years playing this character?
Hey man, I signed up for seven seasons. I’m all about it. Absolutely. That’s what you call a really high class problem, if you’re show is so successful you’re doing it for 7 years. How amazing is that? Knock on wood.
Are you nervous in the days leading up to a new project’s release?
Yes and no. I don’t read reviews or do the snooping around on blogs to see what people say, because I’ve done that in the past and it’s masochistic….It is nerve-wracking in a way. Not just because it’s my work but because we just finished filming really recently, and we’ve been working on this for over a year – almost continuously working on it – it’s not like a film I did a year ago and suddenly it’s coming out and you’ve kind of had time to feel detached about it. It feels more like the opening night of a play, where you’re still in it.
This is a very socially aware show. What do you think people can learn from watching it?
The obvious thing, for me, is this idea of well, why don’t you go and find out about it for yourself before you make a big judgment. Everyone else is saying “No, they’re scary, they’re dangerous, they’re going to kill us.” And Sookie is more like, “Get to know them”….For every vampire that’s crazy and bloodthirsty and murderous, well, people are too. There’s good people and bad people. There’s good vampires and bad vampires. The unknown isn’t necessarily something you should automatically be afraid of. Educate yourself.
In terms of vampires, there’s this and Twilight coming out. Why do you think they are so timeless?
I didn’t know they were so popular. I still haven’t read any of those Twilight books.
Do you have a favorite vampire movie?
I don’t think I’ve seen more than one vampire movie, ever. Interview With The Vampire. But that wasn’t because it was a vampire movie. It was just a good movie.
Can you explain the rules for the vampires on this show?
On our show a lot of the mythology about vampires – you can’t see them in a mirror, or holy water will burn them, or they can’t be in a room with a cross – all these sorts of things – were, in our world, made up by vampires themselves so they could prove they were not vampires when people were trying to out them and kill them. So, if someone held up a cross and they didn’t die, oh, you’re not a vampire. It was to protect themselves. And then there are certain things like silver – that is Kryptonite for vampires, but they don’t want anybody to know about it. They’ve kept their real weaknesses very, very quiet. They can’t go out at daytime, obviously – it sort of defeats the purpose of the vampire concept – and there are certain procedures for turning someone into a vampire. I don’t know how much of the stuff differs [compared] to other vampire shows because, as I say, I’ve never seen any. Staking [through the heart] still does what staking does. Although ours don’t turn into dust. Ours turn into what could only be described as a big pile of goo.
source: National Post