At PaleyFest Saturday night, the cast (and by cast, I mean the whole cast – as in pretty much every featured player on the show) and creator Alan Ball stopped by to preview the upcoming fourth season of True Blood and reminisce on the unapologetically “soapy” show. Besides Ball, in attendance were Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse), Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton), Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte), Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse), Rutina Wesley (Tara Thornton), Chris Bauer (Andy Bellefleur), Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette Reynolds), Jim Parrack (Hoyt Fortenberry), Carrie Preston (Arlene Fowler), Alexander Skarsgård (Eric Northman), Todd Lowe (Terry Bellefleur), Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica Hamby), Kristin Bauer (Pam De Beaufort), Marshall Allman (Tommy Mickens), Kevin Alejandro (Jesus Velasquez) and Joe Manganiello (Alcide Herveaux)…whew. For spoilers/teasers on the upcoming season, hit the jump.
Bullet point highlights from the True Blood Paley Event (i.e. scoop on the impending season)
¨ Expect to see witches, wiccans, shape shifters and a new werewolf character featured prominently in season four.
¨ The cliffhanger battle/fight/brawl between Queen Sophie Anne and Bill will not only be between the two of them but will feature a third party as well (Alan Ball played coy as to who or in what form this third party would assist the fight).
¨ Tara and Pam will share screen-time together in season four.
¨ Hoyt and Jessica’s blooming relationship will hit a rough patch (at this news, the entire audience collectively booed).
¨ Chris Bauer revealed that his bumbling sheriff Andy Bellefleur will begin to experiment with V (a drug akin to heroin in the True Blood verse).
¨ Alan Ball still seems to hold true to the notion that Bill and Sookie are “soul mates” (something the audience, who seemed to heavily favor a Sookie-Eric or a Sookie-Alcide pairing, did not quite approve).
¨ Alan Ball confirmed that Fiona Shaw and Gary Cole will guest star this season and that previously featured characters Godric and Russell Edgington will return.
¨ Alexander Skarsgard stated that we would see a new side of the cold enigmatic Eric – a side much more vulnerable and open. Eric will begin to question his actions and his feelings/attitude towards humans; in essence he will suffer a complete identity breakdown. In the wake of such a character shift, Skarsgard stated that Eric will turn to find comfort with a certain someone in Bon Temps (who this someone is was left unanswered, but I’m pretty sure that everyone in the audience collectively muttered ‘Sookie, please – let it be Sookie.’).
¨ On the relationship between Lafayette and the somewhat dubious Jesus Velasquez, Nelsan Ellis played coy but did offer the suggestive answer that Lafayette trusts Jesus 100% because he is quote under his spell end-quote. Given the announcement that witches and wiccans feature heavily in the new season, this answer seems all the more intriguing.
¨ Alan Ball dismissed the notion of an overarching theme for the new season, stating that his goal is for the show to entertain, pure and simple. The theme Mr. Ball stated was simply ‘True Blood, more True Blood and even more True Blood.”
Alan Ball also previewed a scene from the fourth season – focusing on Hoyt and Jessica as they react to an anti-“fang bangers” (i.e. human-vampire copulation) demonstration with Hoyt in particular getting heated with one of the protesters. Pam, a spectator to the demonstration and the resulting brawl that breaks out, in typical Pam fashion has the best line of the brief five-minute scene (mere words fail to do justice to Kristen Bauer’s deadpan delivery so I will refrain from printing the line – this is one of those situations, where it is best to just wait and see the show.)
The new season of True Blood premieres June 12th on HBO.