With a rich cast of characters supernatural and otherwise, it’s easy to get sucked into the mythology of True Blood. Whether you prefer vampires or werewolves, there’s a little something for everyone. For seven seasons, True Blood (which you can stream anytime on HBO Now) was one of TV’s most popular dramas, with viewers glued to the romantic entanglements, special powers, and memorable villains. Bon Temps may mean “good times,” but life in that Louisiana town certainly wasn’t easy for its residents.
Still, with all that craziness occurring onscreen, one can’t help but wonder a little about all of the work that went into bringing True Blood to the small screen. If you miss your favorite vamps and fangbangers, take a look at this list to learn even more about the cult classic.
Fangs Are Terrible
Fangs are central to the True Blood aesthetic, so one would hope that they found a way to make them bearable for the actors, right? Wrong. Apparently, they were quite awkward, a little painful, and caused more than a little drooling. Kristin Bauer van Straten, better known as Eric’s right hand Pam, had a little trouble getting the hang of them, but Moyer had some advice to cope.
“He said, you just have to take the pain. They’re so big and sharp that they go into your bottom lip. He was exactly right. If you try to avoid and find a place to make these comfortable in your mouth, it’ll never happen. You look like evil Bugs Bunny.” (via)
From the sound of things, Moyer was the man to go to for advice on fang care. According to an interview with Playboy, he was especially attached to his.
“They’re insured, and they get locked up every night but not before my lovely assistant readies a cup of Listermint (mouthwash) they go into. They get a little scrub, and then they get put back into a wallet.”
Casting Shake Ups
Every project is bound to have a few changes in the cast before filming officially starts, and True Blood is no different. Alexander Skarsgård originally tried out for the part of Bill Compton, but it soon became clear that he was born to be an immortal Viking that alternated between leather and track suits. For others, being on the show at all wasn’t meant to be. Ian Somerhalder, who eventually found fame on a different supernatural show, The Vampire Diaries, originally auditioned for the role of Jason Stackhouse, but didn’t make the cut.
Not So Southern Fried
While True Blood may have been set in the Deep South, most of the cast were not actually Louisiana natives. Sam Trammell, who played everyone’s favorite shifter Sam Merlotte, was the only member of the main cast that was actually from the Bayou State. Stephen Moyer (Bill) is English, Anna Paquin (Sookie) is from New Zealand, Alexander Skarsgård (Eric) is Swedish, and Ryan Kwanten (Jason) is Australian.
However, some cast members went above and beyond in order to nail the authenticity of the accent. Micheal Raymond-James, who played the villainous Rene in season one, paid for his own dialect coach to ensure that he got that Creole drawl just right.
The Seinfeld Connection
Think True Blood and Seinfeld are as different as night and day? Well, you would be right, but there are a couple of connections between the two shows. First off, Lauren Bowles, who played Holly from season 3 through seven, is the younger half-sister of Elaine herself, Julia-Louis Dreyfus, proving that sometimes talent does run in the family
On a more fictional note, Kristin Bauer van Straten was “Man Hands” Gillian in the Seinfeld episode, “The Bizarro Jerry.” Something tells me that Pam wouldn’t have any patience for Jerry’s relationship neurosis (Someone please write this crossover fanfiction).
Episode Title Inspiration
The titles for each True Blood episode were more than dramatic ways to ratchet up the drama; they were actually chosen based on the songs used in each episode and usually played over the final credits. The titles were references to either rock or Christian music, and while they definitely made things more interesting, they sometimes made music supervisor Gary Calamar’s job a little bit trickier at times.
“Yeah, it’s difficult, especially if we’re thinking about a budget. You know, maybe initially they’ll name it after a song which for some reason is too expensive for us or we can’t license it for whatever reason. A few time we have gone back and changed a title of an episode just because the song didn’t work out as originally planned. But I think it’s a nice little feature, makes [my] job a little more fun and interesting.” (via)
Lafayette may have been a jack of all trades in Bon Temps as fry cook, drug dealer, and medium, but the man who played him is even more multitalented. Nelsan Ellis graduated from Julliard, and in 2003, he wrote and directed a play called Ugly about the horrors of domestic violence. The inspiration came from family tragedy, so the issue is near and dear to Ellis’ heart.
Favorite Love Scenes
Part of what kept people coming back to True Blood was the steamy love scenes and passionate romances, and that enthusiasm was sometimes shared by the cast. Ryan Kwanten spent a good bit of time naked on screen as Jason Stackhouse, and there is one scene, in particular, that was his personal favorite, which was his sexy dream sequence hook up with Alexander Skasgård in season six.
“It was somewhat hilarious because Alex and I really only saw each other at the table reads, which is maybe once every two weeks. We begged for the producers…to give us scenes together.” (via)
Sorry, Jason and Jessica shippers.
Snoop + Sookie 4ever
In 2010, Snoop Dogg made a music video about his love for Sookie Stackhouse, packed with references to the show and proclamations of undying devotion. It is truly art and will definitely be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.