While I was at the panel for True Blood I felt I couldn’t write up a decent review/report since I don’t watch the show. Have no fear though! I asked my friend Melinda who was my SDCC buddy to write a little something since she’s a fan. She did an awesome job! Here’s her report!
Let me tell you, San Diego was amazing…and I was super excited to get into the True Blood Panel on Friday evening. So much so that I sat through both a StarGate: Universe panel and a Caprica panel. Not that those are horrible shows, they just aren’t my cup of tea.
The panel itself was probably the largest we had seen in our two days of panels. What was great was that both the author of the Sookie Stackhouse series of books, Charlaine Harris and the creator of True Blood the show, Alan Ball were sitting in on this panel. Joining them were Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton), Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse), Rutina Welsey (Tara Thornton), Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte), Dennis O’Hare (King of Mississippi, Russell Eddington), Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette), Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica Hamby), Kristen Bauer van Straten (Pam…just Pam) and newly confirmed series regular, Joe Manganiello (Alcide Heracrux) – which personally is even hotter in person.
The panel did make note that two major players were missing. Both Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse) and show fave Alexander Skarsgard (Eric, Area 5 Sheriff) were away filming movies at the time and were unavailable to attend. Sad really. However, Anna and Stephen came prepared with an Eric cardboard cut out that they promptly sat next to Joe Manganiello….who looked absolutely thrilled that he had to sit next to it. Personally, I would’ve liked a Jason cardboard cut-out. Which I would’ve had to steal and then either A) figure out how to get it home to Illinois or B) figure out how to get my parents to wire me bail money.
Unlike most of the panels we had sat through, the audience for this one asked most of the questions of Alan Ball. It was refreshing not to hear the same questions over and over and over again.
Ms. Paquin revisited her infamous Bill impression and repeatedly said “Sookie” for the crowd. I so wish I would have taken video of it still makes me laugh. For some reason, when Stephen Moyer says it his original accent (English) mixed with his portrayed accent (Southern) just makes it comical.
Here’s the scene in the show where she does it originally (credit to Formula420Production over at You Tube):
Alan Ball hinted at several spoilers including what exactly Sookie’s “microwave fingers” are, a new cast member who doesn’t know who he/she really is, and how long the show will eventually run. Ball stated that he would love the show to go on for as long as possible but “would hate to have to explain why vampires are aging”.
Back to that character that has a little identity crisis. Many in the audience believed this could mean Bubba, a bumbling and kind-hearted vampire who bears a striking resemblance to The King a.k.a Elvis….in fact he is Elvis. I’ll leave it to Wikipedia to explain:
“Bubba is Elvis Presley in vampire form. A morgue attendant who was a vampire and a big fan discovered the King slightly alive. The misguided vampire decides to make the overdosed Elvis undead, but the resulting creature, answering only to “Bubba”, is brain damaged by or before the process. The other vampires treat him as a dimwitted errand boy and try to keep him out of the public and clear of any household pets, as he likes to drink the animals’ blood (cats being a particular favourite). Bubba is always cheerful, goodwill radiating from his fearsome smile. (But never call him Elvis.) He will sing only when he feels like it. In the third novel, Club Dead, Sookie says that “though every now and then, he exhibited a streak of shrewdness” he follows directions quite literally.”
When Alan Ball addressed the crowd asking who should play Bubba, many shouted out Bruce Campbell (of USA’s Burn Notice). Unfortunately Alan didn’t feel the same and stated that he didn’t believe it would be a good idea having him on two shows at the same time.
There is always the option that it is not Bubba…but one can hope right?!
We also heard from Joe Manganiello about the “Brotherhood of the Sock”. With the shows sometimes overwhelming amounts of nudity, this conversation was bound to come up. Joe spoke of the “costumes” they have the options of wearing. One being a sock like pouch with a drawstring on it (I immediately thought of a Crown Royal bag…maybe I should stop drinking), nude colored man-panties also known as “manties”, or a banana hammock. Of course the crowd roared with laughter and delight at the though of him in a tube sock running around set.
Also brought up was the character Tara and her choice of male suitors on the show, all of whom to seem damaged in some way, especially her latest boyfriend/stalker/bedfellow Franklin (James Frain). Ball said Franklin really does care for Tara, “unfortunately he’s a psychopath.”
There were also a few questions for Ms. Charlaine Harris, who is the author of the Sookie Stackhouse series of books. Both Ms. Harris and Alan Ball acknowledge that the two mediums are not really following the same path but are similar in some ways. When asked which character she was most looking forward to “meeting” on the show, she replied Sookie’s great grandfather.
Most disturbing moment of the panel: Stephen Moyer explaining how they filmed the “twisted” sex scene between Bill and his maker Lorena. Granted, watching the scene itself was a little off putting, however hearing how they filmed it was equally as unsettling. It involved a half body mold of Lorena made of rubber and Stephen going at it with the mold and flipping it over and going at it again and turning the neck of the mold which would click with each turn. Just to watch Stephen explain it was graphic enough!
You can see more pictures here.