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True Blood - Denis O'Hare Interview

Thanks to our good friends over at http://www.true-blood.org for sending us this.

We’ve heard from other cast members that it is very difficult to speak with fangs in your mouth. Have you had the same experience?
Yes, the fangs are a challenge. Especially if you have a lot of "S" words. For instance, "Sookie Stackhouse" is a killer. We usually have to re-record some of the lines we say with fangs.

Were you already familiar with True Blood and/or the books of Charlaine Harris when you were cast for the role as Russel Edington?
Yes, I had read around 3 or 4 of the books after I got the job and enjoyed them very much. I'm also a big fan of Alan Ball's and so had watched True Blood from the beginning and was a big fan of the show and like everyone else, looked forward to the 3rd season and then, lo and behold, I was on it.

How have you prepared for your role as the King von Mississippi?
I always do a lot of research for all my roles. IN the case of Russell Edgington, because he is so ancient, there was a lot more history to cover. It was fun, though, and I indulged my inner history geek by doing tons of reading on Ancient Rome, Greece, the early early medieval period, Charlemagne's period, high middle ages, etc. I also did a lot of thinking and exploring about what it would be like to be immortal, to be a night creature, to be powerful.

Most of the cast members have been together since the first season of the show. How was you first day on the set working with all these people,who were already such a ensemble?
My first episode was their second episode so it was a little strange for me. We had a table read and we all gathered in a large trailer on location in Griffith Park in L.A. and I went around the table introducing myself. I was nervous but I found that I knew a lot of the cast members or knew people in common so it felt a lot more comfortable. A lot of us have lived in New York at one time or another and so have bumped into each other.

Do you yourself have any belief in the supernatural? Could there actually be vampires out there? Or at least ghosts, something paranormal?
I hate to disappoint but I'm hyper-rational. But I believe in the power of the imagination and in story-telling.

And now the question of all questions for your fans: Can you pleeeease give us a small preview of your role as Russell Edington? And perhaps a glimpse of what will happen in Season 3?
Russell is a fascinating character who has many many levels. As the season progresses, you will get to see his compassion, his ruthlessness, his anger, his pain, his love for Talbot, his dreams for the vampire kingdom, his contempt for humanity, his affection for werewolves and his fascination of Sookie. Russell want more power - he wants to rule more and more of America and he feels that he is the best person for the job and he will go about collecting power in many ways. He is not always predictable given that he is an "ancient" being who is governed by rules and morals that may be incomprehensible to modern people.

Do you share any traits with your character? Do you admire or dislike anything in particular about the character you are playing?
First off, I never judge my characters - that is not my job. I take them as they are and I try to understand why they behave the way they do. Everyone thinks they're right at all times. Everyone is invested in their own agenda and their own point of view and in that respect, I am Russell's champion. I think I am dogged and loyal like Russell. I"m a little out of step myself and I have a birds-eye perspective about humanity in the same way as Russell. I don't drink blood in my day to day live however.

Is there any other role on True Blood that you would want to take on, even just for one day??
Nope. Very happy with Russell.

True Blood has a reputation for being upfront about sex and skin; if you were required for the reality of the character to reveal a little more for your role, would you have a problem with that?
I already have. In episode 10 I have a scene in bed. I reveal some - not all.

Is there anything else your fans should know about you? Or that you would like to share with them??
Hmmmmmm....Well, I live in Brooklyn, NY with my boyfriend of 10 years, Hugo, who is a designer. We have a 12 year old Shiba Inu named Cleopatra.

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