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Nelsan Ellis can finally speak out

Nelsan Ellis can finally speak out

The Boston Herald interviewed Nelsan Ellis and asked how it was having to keep the secret of Lafayette’s fate for so long.

57644843shadaliza610200934333am“I was getting very upset with getting asked that question a million times a day,” Ellis said and then laughed during a recent telephone interview from Los Angeles.
“My father would call me four or five times a week and say, ‘Your Aunt Esther, she wants to know if you’re dying. She just wants to know.’ Or, ‘My friends from work want to know if you’re dying.’ ”

But soon after everyone learned Lafayette lived, a new question arose. Now everyone wants to know if Lafayette, who survived being kidnapped by vampire Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), will be turned into a vampire.

“I personally don’t want to be a vampire,” he said. “I would say Lafayette should be a vampire in the very last season, but up until that point, I don’t think he should be a vampire.”

Ellis will only say that for the duration of this season Lafayette works for Eric.

“He’s sort of beholden to Eric, how deeply, that I can’t say. And he goes through post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s not the Lafayette that we know. That was hard. These new circumstances that he’s in calls for a completely different mind-set and attitude and behavior, and I kept going, ‘I want to have some fun.’ But you can’t really when you’re going through post-traumatic stress disorder. He’s not the tough Lafayette. He’s not the sharp-tongued Lafayette. He’s another Lafayette entirely.”

The Juilliard-trained actor also is a playwright and has written plays based on events that have affected his life. While he was attending Juilliard, his sister was murdered by her boyfriend, and he wrote a play about domestic violence that he hopes will be produced for TV. “It’s an epidemic of great proportion,” he said. “People responded to it. It sparked conversation that otherwise might have been taboo.”

Ellis had no idea how popular his character was until a reporter told him toward the end of the first season. “I’m just around, for the most part, my family and friends,” he said. “And my family don’t really dig the show because I have a very conservative Christian family. In my mind, I thought everybody felt like my family and friends.”

He’s still not sure why his character is so well-received. “The majority of people just tell me they have not seen a character like this on TV, and I’m grateful for it because it’s keeping me working.”

He’s put his character completely in the hands of executive producer and creator Alan Ball and has only one request.

“I think his mama should make an appearance, since she apparently has been a big influence negatively on Lafayette. That’s the only thing I would actually say to Alan Ball: ‘Can his mama make an appearance and can she be played by Viola Davis?’ ”

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Written by Shadaliza

Shadaliza loves the Internet, film and TV shows, writing, running websites and charity fundraising; she has found the perfect combo in the fansites to express her creativity and passion. Shadaliza is Dutch, but has lived in Italy for many years and works as Marketing Executive for an Internet hosting company.

11 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    July 23, 2009

    Oh man I don’ know if I can handle not having our old Lafayette back. I hate change is this case.

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  2. Avatar
    July 23, 2009

    Yes, it will be interesting to see how the character of Lafayette turns out. I am so glad that Lafayette is still on the show. Most of the reason we all love him is the wonderful way that Nelsan Ellis has played the character with such charm and personality. I wish him the best!

    I am worried about the post-traumatic stress disorder for Lafayette, and hope he doesn’t become a vamp.

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    July 23, 2009

    While I am so thankful that our Laffy wasn’t killed off, it will be bittersweet not to have our same fun loving, colorful and very funny Laffy. It will be very interesting to see where his character is taken now.

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  4. Avatar
    July 23, 2009

    I’m hoping that Lafayette can’t be kept down and out for long … we’ll have to learn to love the new, sedate Laffy this season though. Nelsan has great strength.. I would have never been able to hold onto that big secret with all those folks pumping for info.

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  5. Avatar
    July 23, 2009

    How tragic about Nelsan’s sister. My deepest condolences to him and his family. I think we will definitely be seeing more of Nelsan in other works. He is a very gifted actor.

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  6. Avatar
    July 23, 2009

    I’m going to miss Lafayette, but as said, he’s a gifted actor, he can pull it off.

    Terrible about his sister.

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  7. Avatar
    July 23, 2009

    God, that is awful about his sister…I know full well how that feels. It changes your life forever :(
    I am happy they deviated from the books; when I saw the corpse inside Det. Belfleur’s car, I had a terrible feeling…because I knew from what I read that he was killed. Imagine my delight to see he was kept alive…too bad Eric didn’t turn him. He would have made a wonderful addition to the Fangtasia family :D
    Congratulations Nelsan. It’s all to your merit that Lafayette survived. I don’t think any other actor has been able to achieve such popularity that a character intended to be killed off was spared. You are made of awesome!

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  8. Avatar
    July 23, 2009

    Well it makes sense that Lafayette would be ptsing after that ordeal. It would seem odd if he returned as if nothing had happened. It broke my heart when he got home and layed down on the sofa. You could see just how broken he was and I wanted to hug him. :) He walked into Merlotte’s all made up and looking pretty again but the light wasn’t in his eyes. We all want him to come back to us as he was but like Sookie his life is forever altered. I hope in time some of his spark returns. The same can be said for Tara. They have talent to spare so I feel we will rewarded in the end.
    So very sad about his sister.

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  9. Avatar
    July 25, 2009

    Ok…so no vampire for Lafayette…this season! My inner-heathen (rather obvious heathen, actually) will just have to wait this one out. I too love the fact that Lafayette survived his ordeal at Fangtasia and is present in S2. I know that the fabulous TB writers have outstanding adventures awaiting him. BTW, I saw the excellent Mr. Ellis in ‘The Soloist’. I came away feeling that he is an actor with great depth and range. Here’s hoping he will get the chance to show us MANY sides of Lafayette Reynolds during his tenure on TB.

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  10. Avatar
    July 25, 2009

    i think something will trigger the old laffy back into the major part of his personality. you don’t go around humping everything in sight and then be pensive forever. i think he will be some kind of higher up human in the vampire chain for eric, as he is too eclectic to be a passive person. he will come around and see tara being played and shake her up or save her from maryanne and slap eggs around. also he could also help run fangtasia as he has that experience and he wants to do something meaningful in his life, i doubt he wants to run a porn web site forever. or he wil meet someone that will be his partner/love interest (THAT would be a difficult cast) but in the end will be his old self except a better person in his own mind and somewhat happy with his life. his family is never going to really accept some of the acting he has to do in true blood, but they will respect him, and he will probably give back to his community in a way that will take some of the pain out from when his sister was killed. you don’t have something like happen in your life and not eventually figure out a way to make something better come out of it. plus he knows that we are crazy about him, and this will eventually put a smile on his face forever.

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  11. Avatar
    August 10, 2009

    Viola Davis should definitely play his mother. That could work perfectly.

    Reply

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