Hi fellow, Truebies!!
I had a great experience at San Diego Comic-Con 2012. One of the reasons my time there was so great was because I got to sit in on the True Blood panel held in Ballroom 20! I sat through many panels just to get to True Blood, which was the last panel of the day, but it was well worth the wait. Ballroom 20 was packed to the brim, with many people standing at the back.
The panel started off with Alan Ball, the creator and director of True Blood, and then was moderated by Tim Stack from Entertainment Weekly. The panel included an all star-studded cast: Joe Manganiello (Alcide), Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse), Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica), Sam Trammel (Sam Merlot), Rutina Wesley (Tara), Chris Meloni, Alexandar Skarsgard (Eric Northman), Kristin Bauer VanStraten (Pam), Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton), and Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse), and finally Alan Ball also sat with the cast. The panel lasted about an hour, so I will just hit what the highlights were for me.
- Tim started off the panel with a trailer of clips for upcoming scenes in Season 5. It showed clips of Sookie as her fairy self who is struggling with her own identity and what to do if she had the option to give up her fairy powers. It also showed Lafayette’s own struggle with his dark power, and his new problem of seeing Jesus, his deceased lover, with a mouth sewn shut (eww!). The trailer also showed Terry’s struggle with his new found knowledge of his curse of the ifrit and how he will deal with that along with Arlene and his family. It highlighted Alcide accepting his role of master of the pack, Sam being hunted by humans against “sups”, Bill and Eric as they deal with the Authority, Russell Edgington’s comeback, etc. There was so much that filled that trailer, it’s hard to list it all. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be a very exciting season!
- Anna commented that she loved the re-write of the lyrics of the Pina Colada song.
- Tim asked Stephen and Alex how it’s been to have this recent “bromance” between them, and they both said they enjoy it. Stephen said that he feels their relationship perhaps go much deeper than we think – that they might have a bigger past together than we know of. Stephen and Alex said they had a great time filming the trunk scene in which they could not stop laughing. Alan Ball said he had to remind them that their lives were at stake! Haha!
- Tim commented on Kristin’s wardrobe for her character Pam, who in a recent episode sports a WalMart sweat suit. She laughed about it, and noticed that three audience members in the front row were actually wearing the WalMart sweat suit. Kristin said, “It’s actually a trend!” She talked how they made the sweat suit too short with elastic at the bottom of the pant legs, and dyed it an “off yellow”. She said it’s actually one of her favorite wardrobe pieces she’s worn for the role. They also talked about Rutina’s new wardrobe for her character Tara and how she has basically raided Pam’s closet. She’s enjoying the change, and she said that even her mother approves!
- Joe did a body roll from his now famous stripping moves, and the body roll caught on – Rutina did it next, followed by Alan Ball!! The crowd went wild for that, and Anna said, “I love my job!”
- Sam talked about how his character has to find a way to fit into this new family of Luna, and Emma who is also a shifter.
- Deborah and Ryan talked of how they practiced their scene in which Jess and Jason play the game Rock Band, and how Ryan practiced and rehearsed the song Cherry Bomb by John Cougar Melancamp, but in fact it was the wrong Cherry Bomb song, so he had to learn it all over again.
- Alan spoke about the decision to make Steve Newlin gay, and how they felt the way he always looked and acted toward Jason in Season 2, that there might already be that energy there – so it felt natural to go in that direction.
- Tim talked to Chris about how different True Blood is from SVU. Chris said he couldn’t wait to stake someone and he was so happy he got to stake the kid because he knew it would epic.
- Alan Ball confirmed that we will learn more about Michelle and Corbit Stackhouse – perhaps through a dream sequence or flash backs. (Sookie and Jason’s parents)
- Alan also talked about how they came up with the fairy look (secret club) and they wanted them to be “soft core porno” type fairies. Not too Disney looking, and not in white skipping through fields which he felt was too cheesy.
- Joe and Alan both confirmed that there will more hot sex scenes to come. Joe said he will “sexually eviscerate another cast member”.
- Tim talked to Stephen how he directed recent episodes. Stephen very much enjoys it and will be doing more directing in the future.
- Alex was asked about the buzz regarding fans wanting him to star in the movie Fifty Shades of Grey – a book series. He said he hasn’t read the book and hasn’t seen a script, but didn’t really give the answer a yes or no.
- Tim talked to Kristin and Alex about their back story as Pam and Eric and how well they get along in real life. They spoke about how hard it was to do the scene where Eric releases Pam as her maker. Kristin got very emotional and teared up. You can really tell these two adore each other.
- Rutina and Kristin both talked about how fun it was to have “deteriorating” flesh scenes – Kristin even kept some of Pam’s face in her office! Anna said she couldn’t even look at Stephen when he had his crispy burnt face. Rutina said she startled herself in the mirror, haha!
- Once the Q&A questions started, one question was will there be any new romances happening and Alan confirmed that yes, he can think of three.
- One question asked the cast to flex, at which point Alex teased they’re not legally allowed to with Joe on the show. But Stephen asked to see Ryan do a hand stand, so after a bit of an delay (he seemed a bit shy!), Ryan came out in front of the table and did a walking hand stand.
- The last question asked what the cast’s most memorable scene has been on the show. Joe said he loved the Valentine’s Day scene from last season where he, Alex, and Sookie were in the lake and they were naked and fighting. Jess said to look forward to episode 10 which is one of her most favorite scenes. Ryan said for him it was wearing the He-Man onesie with the toe cut out during his flash back scene. Anna said for her it is the last scene of this season, that it will “blow people’s minds”. Alex said his was the Godric death scene in which they had 20 minutes to shoot it because they had to do it right while the sun came up.
- A fitting end to the panel was when Stephen said that everyone should give thanks to Alan Ball for all his hard work, dedication, directing, and writing of True Blood. Episode 12 is his last episode; he’ll no longer be working on the show. They all clapped, and the audience applauded as well and he received a standing ovation. Alan Ball said thank you and that if he wasn’t so “old, tired, and beat up” he’d do many more seasons of True Blood and that it’s been the best part of his career.
This panel was awesome and the cast was so great, I loved being there for this. I love the direction the show is taking and I can’t wait to see more as the seasons go on. It looks as though Season 5 is going to continue to be even hotter and more exciting than ever. I look forward to many more seasons of the show!