To celebrate the huge success of the first True Blood comic series, All Together Now, cast members Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley and Deborah Ann Woll signed copies and greeted their adoring and devoted fans at the Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles.
The New York Times best seller is a compilation of all six issues from the first series of comics, and it features the same romance, wry humor, intriguing mystery and suspense the show has become known for. Developed with show creator Alan Ball, along with series writers Elisabeth Finch and Kate Barnow, and co-written by David Tischman and Mariah Huehner, the story gives readers new insights into their favorite characters and helps fill the gap for fans, as they wait for Season 4 to premiere in June on HBO.
In this exclusive interview with Collider, co-stars Rutina Wesley and Deborah Ann Woll talked about why True Blood is the type of show that works in other mediums and what it was like to see themselves in comic book form. They also talked about how Season 4 is coming (they’re just finishing up shooting Episode 4) and gave a few hints about how things will be different for their characters. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
RUTINA WESLEY: I thought it was pretty cool. I think the images are right on. It actually looks a lot like me, so it’s awesome.
DEBORAH ANN WOLL: It’s a little surreal. They do a very good job, so it tends to look very much like you. In fact, my boyfriend and I were talking about how we can tell when they’ve found source material, like pictures of me either on the show or from publicity stills or photo shoots, that they’ve used as a base from where they bounce off from, so it is a little funny to know yourself in real life, see a picture of you, and then see that illustrated. It’s a real interesting round-about, in that way.
Were there things that you learned about Jessica from this comic that surprised you?
WOLL: Yeah. It’s been fun, actually. I’m good friends with Michael McMillian, who plays Reverend Newlin, is writing the second comic book series. He and I get together, every once in awhile, and talk about where he’s going with it. He’s asked me questions about where I think my character has come from – particularly that first night that they picked me up– where I think she was going, and what her life was before that. He and I have collaborated a lot, and we actually found that our ideas were very similar. It’s been exciting. It will be interesting for me to read that series and actually learn a little bit about my character that maybe was different from what I had imagined.
WESLEY: Because it’s fantastical. You’ve got vampires and other supernatural beings, so I think it’s perfect for a comic book setting. I think this is only going to increase the audience and it gives people who are die-hard True Blood fans something else to delve into, when the show’s not on.
WOLL: I think a lot of drama, nowadays, is character-based and development-based, but True Blood is very plot oriented. I think there are great characters, but something is always happening. You never end one episode at the place where you began it, and what’s great about that is that you can tell that kind of story in any medium, whether you’re reading it, drawing it or filming it. There’s an advantage to it being a very fast-moving show.
Is it fun to do these fan events and get to interact with people who watch the show?
WESLEY: Yeah. I think it’s very inspirational. The reason why we’re still on TV is our fans, so it’s really great to meet them, especially those who really, really enjoy our work. I’ve met people who cry. It inspires me ‘cause that’s why I do what I do. I want to move an audience. So, when you actually meet that audience, it just reminds you why you’re here and it makes me want to keep doing better at what I do.
How far are you into shooting Season 4?
WOLL: We’re about a third of the way through. We’re just wrapping up on Episode 4.
How are things different this season than with previous seasons?
WOLL: I think things are more complex this season. We’re playing more with these being greyer times. There is no black and white, or good and bad. Everybody has a little of that in them. How do you live in a society that sees the world in black and white, when it isn’t that? There’s a lot more of the politics coming into play. Vampires have to be very careful in a society where they witness Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare) commit an act of terrorism, essentially. How do you then become accepted again?
Where is Tara going to be at emotionally for Season 4? What sort of themes are you going to be exploring this season?
WESLEY: There will be a little bit of happiness, but then there will be some drama that’s going to set in. She’s going to go off in some other directions, but I think she’s definitely a lot more stable. She finds her feet. It’s a new Tara, without saying too much. I think people are going to really like where she’s going.
In the time that you’ve been on the show, have there been storylines that have particularly surprised you?
WESLEY: Oh, always. With the orgies in Season 2, I was like, “What are we doing?!” But, I really admire Alan Ball and the rest of the writing team, and I completely trust them with what the give us. It’s all fun. It’s a fantastical show. It’s what you signed up for. You have to be ready for everything.
WESLEY: It was fun. I’m an actor. It’s like theater. You go on stage and play a character and you just do it. I had to decompress a lot, after some of those scenes, but he’s such a great actor too, and he’s so giving. He’s one of the best actors I’ve worked with. It was just a lot of fun, working with him. You have to also have fun, doing some of that stuff. You have to laugh it off, at the end of the day, otherwise you can get caught up.
Do you enjoy constantly having new additions to the cast, with each season?
WOLL: Yeah. I don’t end up getting to work a lot with the new cast members, but it’s fun for me, as an audience member, to see our older, established characters start to deal with these new energies that come in, whether they’re human or supernatural. It’s always fun when new characters come in and bring their own personality to it.