Comic-Con Live-Blog: 'True Blood'
After a brief spell charging my computer during the excellent Women Who Kick Ass panel post-Joss Whedon, it's time to get back to live blogging for that little HBO show about the vampires, the werewolves, the kinky sex and the corny Southern accents.
Click through for all of the "True Blue" highlights, live-blogged...
5:10 p.m. Pacific. The line to get into Ballroom 20 was long at 9 a.m. this morning and there are no indications that it got any shorter, especially with a large percentage of the room sticking around basically for the entire afternoon. Looking around the room at the audience, it's unclear which panel was the big draw. Last year's had more of a "True Blood"-y look. This year's crowd just looks All-Purpose Comic-Con-y. There's nothing wrong with that. It probably means that "True Blood" is a more mainstream phenomenon than it was last year, which probably makes sense.
5:18 p.m. I apologize for using a picture of Anna Paquin with Alexander Skarsgard, since Alexander Skarsgard is like the only person associated with "True Blood" who isn't on this Comic-Con panel. Well, Gregg Fienberg -- no relation that I know of -- is also absent.
5:27 p.m. Tim Stack will be our moderator.
5:28 p.m. We start with an exclusive clip, introduced by Alan Ball. I'm not sure if Alan Ball is extremely tall or Tim Stack is extremely less tall. Ball thanks us, calls us "really hardcore fans" and presents a compilation of scenes from the last half of the season.
5:29 p.m. [SPOILERS] Weirdness with Jason Stackhouse's new girlfriend! Sookie being abducted? More silliness with Sam's family? Jason with a shotgun? Darkness with Lafayette and Jesus? Eric getting fang-y? Bill getting bloody? A red-eyed werewolf? Alcide and Sookie getting a little close? Sookie yelling "Get out of my house, bitch!" at Debbie! And... uh-oh with Sookie. [END SPOILERS.]
5:32 p.m. Time to bring out the talent. The woman next to me is REALLY excited by Joe Manganiello. I am REALLY excited by Deborah Ann Woll. Everybody is excited by Nelsan Ellis. Denis O'Hare goads everybody into getting more excited for him. Definitely less excitement for Rutina Wesley. It's Tara's fault, not hers. Proper cheers for Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.
5:35 p.m. Ha! Anna and Stephen Moyer bring out a cutout of Alexander Skarsgard, just as the "Megamind" team did with Brad Pitt yesterday.
5:36 p.m. "I think she always kicked ass in her how way, but at this point her life has beaten her up so much that she's started to fight back," Paquin says, teasing that she's going to *literally* kick ass later. Paquin teases that we're going to find out more about what Stack calls her "microwave fingers."
5:37 p.m. Praise for Paquin's impression of Bill. She does multiple takes of "Sookeh!" Very appealing. Sookie's been funnier lately. Much. In a good way. While she's been getting funnier, Bill's been getting darker and Moyer appreciates getting to try new things.
5:39 p.m. "Well, she's not here," is Moyer's response to Stack's suggestion that Bill's head-twisting sex scene with Lorena hadn't been done for REAL. Moyer gives credit to the full team, while doing so much aggressive hand-talking that Paquin seems transfixed. What woman doesn't want to watch her man telling a story about having fictional head-twisting sex with another woman?
5:41 p.m. Much laugher for Tara's history with psycho men. Wesley sings a verse of "Looking for Love (In All The Wrong Places)." Wesley talks about Tara's defensive mechanisms, which she suggests the character learned in childhood due to her lack of a stable father figure.
5:43 p.m. Why is Sam so determined to help his family? Trammell says that what Sam wants is to help his brother and that the family just comes along with the package.
5:44 p.m. Denis O'Hare created a whole backstory for the Vampire King of Mississippi, wild suppositions that he researched and shared with Ball, who just let him go on his merry way. O'Hare says that the preparation informs the way he thinks, even if you can't see it on screen.
5:45 p.m. Alan Ball is working on an HBO project with Oprah, even though they've never spoken. So he doesn't know if Oprah watches "True Blood." Ball was similarly out-of-the-loop on Snoop Dogg's "Oh Sookie" video, which apparently just happened without his awareness until after the fact.
5:46 p.m. Celebrity "True Blood" fans? Kristin Bauer Van Straten hears that Elizabeth Taylor is a huge fan. Charlaine Harris says that Anne Rice is a fan.
5:47 p.m. Ellis tells us we'll have to wait to see if Kevin Alejandro's Jesus has something darker under the surface. "Normally with any lovemaking with Lafayette, there's a financial transaction, but it's good that you see the other side, the soft side of Lafayette," Ellis says.
5:48 p.m. Finally a question for Deborah Ann Woll. She says that her job has been to make everybody in the world fall in love with Hoyt. She says that the key, with young people, is learning to love yourself first before you can love somebody else. First, though, Jessica has to learn to love herself. Woll says that Jessica is Team Pam, who she calls Auntie Pam.
5:50 p.m. Bauer van Straten is asked if Eric would choose Pam or Sookie if he could only choose one. "I think he'd take Choice C, 'All of The Above.'"
5:51 p.m. Harris says that she's looking forward to meeting Sookie's great-grandfather. I don't know what that means, but fans of the books seem to. Harris lists "I Will Rise Up" as her favorite episode.
5:53 p.m. Manganiello says that if you like seeing him in undress, you'll like this week's episode. He refers to being inducted into The Brotherhood of the Sock. There are three different socks that you use to cover your man-business in naked scenes. They include a thong, the Man-panty (the Manty) and a sock with a draw-string.
5:53 p.m. Manganiello is familiar with a Facebook fan to get him cast as Superman. He seems OK with the idea.
5:54 p.m. "Everybody to therapy. Everybody goes on medication. And everybody's really happy," Ball says of the fourth season. He's kidding. More seriously, "There's a character who doesn't really know who he or she is and becomes kind of a different person from who we've gotten to know," he teases. Again, the book-readers in the crowd know who he's talking about.
5:55 p.m. "Well, we get to fake the violence," Paquin says responding to a question about which is harder, doing scenes of violence or sexuality. "I prefer to get naked earlier in the day and kill people later in the day," Paquin adds. Moyer explains that nobody gets to eat on days they do sex scenes, except for Ryan Kwanten, a physical freak.
5:57 p.m. Asked about working with animals on set, Bauer Van Straten responds, "Skarsgard isn't so bad once you get used to it." On a more serious note, Sam praises the deer from last season and O'Hare raves about the intelligence of the wolves.
5:59 p.m. Harris gets excited when she's praised, but the question goes to two of the actors. She looks crushed.
6:00 p.m. Why is Alan Ball so into death and loss? "Well, it's so much fun," he replies. When he was young, he experienced a lot of loss, saying "There was a time when people were just dropping like flies." He says that if we could be one of the types on the show, he'd want to be a shifter. Woll says she'd like to be a witch and teases that witches are coming up on the show.
6:03 p.m. Ball says that we're going to see a lot of Franklin's nuttiness on the show, but we may not get many answers for what makes Franklin that way. Ball also says that he believes that Bill and Sookie are soulmates, even though they're different from the Bill and Sookie of the books. "I personally root for things to work out between them," he says.
6:04 p.m. "Things are evolving differently in my world," Harris says regarding Bill and Sookie, calling the books and the TV show "two separate entertainment experiences." Harris says that she's known for eight or nine years how things are going to end up in her world.
6:06 p.m. Will Tara ever get a break? Ball responds, "There will be a brief break for her toward the end of this season. It won't last." For her part, Wesley calls it "a hell of a journey" and says that "if she were stable, it wouldn't be any fun."
6:06 p.m. "I would love to see the show run as long as it possibly can. I don't want to have to get to the point where we have to explain why vampires are aging," Ball cracks. He says he's enjoying this job more than any job in his entire life.
6:07 p.m. Ha! They're asked to name their favorite non-"True Blood" vampires. "There are other vampires out there?" Moyer replies. Ball salutes "Near Dark" and "Let The Right One In." O'Hare references the vampires in "Thirst." Ellis also references "Let the Right One In." Manganiello praises Kiefer Sutherland in "The Lost Boys."
6:08 p.m. "Wow. No Edward from 'Twilight'?" Stack cracks. The audience boos.
6:09 p.m. Ellis says he draws his inspiration from his crazy mother and crazy sisters, saying "I take all of their crazy, twisted behaviors and I stuff them into Lafayette."
6:10 p.m. I was looking this up, but Ball mentioned earlier that Hallow was going to play a major role in Season Four. That presumably refers to Hallow Stonebrook.
6:12 p.m. Manganiello announces or confirms that he's now a series regular. The deal was just completed, apparently.
6:14 p.m. Everybody's honored to be involved. O'Hare credits Ball. Ball credits Harris. Everybody is having fun! And for her part, Harris says that her favorite "True Blood" moment was shooting her cameo from last season.
6:16 p.m. Moyer praises the grips and the electricians.
6:17 p.m. "There's still more to come," Moyer says of Bill's new darkness, which he calls "delicious."
6:17 p.m. The last question goes to Ball. It's a confusing question that I don't get, since I haven't read the books.
6:18 p.m. Somebody in the audience asks about Bubba. Ball responds, "Here's the thing about Bubba: How can we do it without making him look fake."
That's it, kids...