Yet another Alan Ball interview (More S3 Spoilers)

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Yet another Alan Ball interview (More S3 Spoilers)

Postby PandaVamp on Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:37 am

I forgot to post this one by Televisionary the other day. :P
Better late than never, just in case you haven't read it.

Still have some burning questions about last night's True Blood season finale? Or anxious to gather some clues about just what creator/executive producer Alan Ball has in store for the residents of Bon Temps when True Blood returns next summer? You've come to the right place.

I caught up with True Blood czar Alan Ball this morning to talk about last night's season finale, deconstruct the second season, and find out about what's coming up on Season Three of HBO's addictive vampire drama.

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Ball hints at what's on the horizon for Sookie and Bill, new creatures, Sam Merlotte's quest, Jessica, a possible romance for Lafayette, the Vampire King of Mississippi, Sophie-Anne, and much, much more. Ball also told me that the writing staff had broken the fourth script for Season Three of True Blood already and that shooting is tentatively slated to begin December 3rd on the highly anticipated third season.

So what did Ball reveal about what's coming up on True Blood and what did he have to say about this season? Let's dive in, but beware: there are MAJOR SPOILERS below. (Note: Please do not reproduce this interview in full elsewhere. Quotes and excerpts are fine but please do not post the full text of this interview on message boards, websites, or elsewhere.)

Televisionary: What was the decision behind having the Maryann storyline finish out the season instead of the Dallas plot?

Alan Ball: We used the books as a template and that is sort of the way the second book is structured. Maryann is not as refined in the second book; she’s a maenad, she’s just a crazy woman running around in the woods. And we also felt like the first part of the season we had a lot of different storylines taking place in different places and then we wanted to bring them all together, bring all of our regulars together for one—something--where everyone was fighting the same fight for the last episode.

Televisionary: Was it difficult juggling the separate storylines in the first half of the season? We do have the cast split up more or less for most of the season.

Ball: You know, it wasn’t difficult. It was definitely different from the first season. But I sort of feel like, you want to do that, you want to shake the show up and do different things. You don’t want to just do the same things over and over and over again. I follow my instincts. To me, they were three really fun, interesting storylines. And then the fact that Jason sort of veered in with Bill and Sookie and then everyone came home and it all sort of came together, I actually thought it was really fun.

Televisionary: In speaking of Jason’s storyline, Anna Camp and Michael McMillian, who play the Newlins, became hugely popular with the audience. Is there a chance that the Newlins will be back?

Ball: They are so good. Of course, there’s a chance. They’re not dead. And I think they are both probably really **** off.

Televisionary: Did you realize how much impact Godric’s death would have, despite Allan Hyde only appearing in a handful of episodes?

Ball: You know, I did because in the books, it’s really, really powerful and we tried hard to make it as powerful as it is in the books and that was a really tough role to cast because it was difficult to find an actor who looked so young but who could convey centuries of feeling and to be tired of life and tired of being alive and ready to move on. And I always thought that that was a great story and a great character. So I was not surprised; I was very moved myself. When I first saw the cut of that episode, I got a little teary, a little misted up.

Televisionary: In a season filled with heartrending and memorable moments, it definitely stands out as a powerful and profound sequence.

Ball: That whole episode is really wonderful. The episodes leading up to that one have been so filled with adventure and suspense and craziness and then I love that whole episode because there’s not only the scene with Godric and everything that’s going on with him but the Jessica stuff is really starting to heat up. And I love that scene with Jason and Sookie in the hotel, where they talk about Gran and he sort of drops his guard and you see how vulnerable he really is.

Televisionary: In that same episode, Godric’s death also enables us to see a different side of Eric. Was that a way for you and the writers to give Eric an added layer of vulnerability?

Ball: Yes, absolutely. One of the great, fun aspects of the books—and it’s become for the show as well—is the romantic tension between Bill, Sookie, and Eric. And we started off the season and we wanted to make Eric a bad-ass and I think we were very successful with that, by having him shred that guy in front of Lafayette’s face. (Laughs) And then in order to have him be a real, viable option for Sookie, you have to have some humanity there. She may be attracted to him physically, especially now that she’s had his blood, but she’s never going to go with somebody who she feels is evil or at the very least amoral. That was definitely what we were thinking of with Eric.

Televisionary: While Sookie and Bill are our romantic leads, Hoyt and Jessica offer us a very different take on vampire-human love. Did you anticipate such an incredible reaction to their storyline and specifically toward Jim Parrack and Deborah Ann Woll?

Ball: When I saw the scene [in "Scratches"] in the third episode where she walks into the bar and I saw that scene cut together, I did anticipate it. I went, wow! We really have something special here. They’ve just become a major couple on the show. I don’t think it’s going to be easy for them. Nothing is ever going to be easy for anybody on this show.

Televisionary: Season One saw Bill protecting Sookie on an almost weekly basis but in Season Two we see Sookie take a major step into adulthood and stand up for herself. How will their relationship continue to develop in Season Three, especially given with Eric’s influence over Sookie and Bill’s kidnapping?

Ball: I know exactly what’s going to happen in Season Three, because we’ve already started breaking the episodes and figuring the arc of the season. So I can’t really say without giving too much away what I think. But I’ll say this: the love between them is authentic and real, but that doesn’t mean that they will necessarily stay together. But it doesn’t mean that they won’t either, though.

Televisionary: Looking ahead to Season Three, are there are any themes or plots that you intend to employ next season? One of the more intriguing threads picked up in last night’s episode is both Sam and Sookie looking to find their roots.

Ball: Yeah, I think that whereas if we had any sort of major overarching theme for Season Two it was about the power of belief, both positive and negative. I think probably Season Three is going to be more about identity and characters really sort of coming to grips with who or what they are.

Televisionary: It seems almost like a red herring that Eric was behind Bill’s kidnapping last night. Should we be looking at any other potential suspects behind his disappearance?

Ball: I think you should always be considering all possibilities. (Laughs) That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to make the choice that is the one that’s being positioned to look like a red herring. But with this show, you never know what’s going to happen. I try to work with the writers in creating a show that when you buy the DVDs and you watch the season over again, knowing what’s going to happen, you’ll see moments where you’ll say, oh, of course. We tried to structure Season One with Rene’s identity as the killer that way, to never shine a light on it but Michael Raymond-James, who played Rene, knew from the very beginning that he was the killer. So he played it in a very subtle way so that if you watch those DVDs, now you’re like, oh, I see it. But we never want to give that away on the first go-around. I’d have to say it’s a similar situation with [Bill’s kidnapping].

Televisionary: When I interviewed Deborah Ann Woll a few months ago, she described Jason Stackhouse as “delightfully dim.” Does Jason’s killing of Eggs in the season finale reinforce that description?

Ball: (Laughs) Well, it certainly wasn’t a smart thing to do but he did it from a good place because he thought that Eggs was going to kill Andy. That’s certainly something that’s going to come back and haunt him.


Keep on reading the next 11 questions.
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Re: Yet another Alan Ball interview (More S3 Spoilers)

Postby lililostie on Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:54 am

Televisionary: It seems almost like a red herring that Eric was behind Bill’s kidnapping last night. Should we be looking at any other potential suspects behind his disappearance?
Ball: I think you should always be considering all possibilities. (Laughs) That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to make the choice that is the one that’s being positioned to look like a red herring. But with this show, you never know what’s going to happen. I try to work with the writers in creating a show that when you buy the DVDs and you watch the season over again, knowing what’s going to happen, you’ll see moments where you’ll say, oh, of course. We tried to structure Season One with Rene’s identity as the killer that way, to never shine a light on it but Michael Raymond-James, who played Rene, knew from the very beginning that he was the killer. So he played it in a very subtle way so that if you watch those DVDs, now you’re like, oh, I see it. But we never want to give that away on the first go-around. I’d have to say it’s a similar situation with [Bill’s kidnapping].


Is it just me or does this confirm that it wasn't Eric who snatched Bill in the finale? It sounds like he's saying there are more subtle hints as to who the kidnapper is that we may be able to pick up on a rewatch (Oh, ok, if I must!! :lol: ).
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Re: Yet another Alan Ball interview (More S3 Spoilers)

Postby PandaVamp on Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:57 am

lililostie wrote:Is it just me or does this confirm that it wasn't Eric who snatched Bill in the finale? It sounds like he's saying there are more subtle hints as to who the kidnapper is that we may be able to pick up on a rewatch (Oh, ok, if I must!! :lol: ).


Exactly.
For example... Episode 9 'I Will Rise Up'

BILL: it doesn't matter if we ever meet again. You may be immortal, Lorena, but you are dead to me.
LORENA: I wish you hadn't said that.

She will probably want to prove Bill wrong.

Now, I'm thinking that at the same time, maybe Lorena is also an obvious option... :hmm: Whoever did it, I just hope it wasn't Eric.
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Re: Yet another Alan Ball interview (More S3 Spoilers)

Postby lililostie on Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:34 am

yeah I thought of that too...as soon as Lorena said that I was thinking there would be conequences for Bill some time down the track. Although she waited 70 years to visit him again last time! :lol:

Also the looks from Sookie's cousin and the queen have to mean something.

But I'm actually thinking it could be something even more subtle than that...hmmmm, have to think about it some more. I'll force myself to watch it all again :PP

9 months is such a long time!!!!! :scared:
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Re: Yet another Alan Ball interview (More S3 Spoilers)

Postby brentoid on Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:01 am

nice interview... cheers for posting panda...
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Re: Yet another Alan Ball interview (More S3 Spoilers)

Postby PandaVamp on Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:45 pm

lililostie wrote:yeah I thought of that too...as soon as Lorena said that I was thinking there would be conequences for Bill some time down the track. Although she waited 70 years to visit him again last time! :lol:


Yup, that's true, but she's a scorned, humiliated female vampire, who knows if this time she'll take way less than 70 years. In all fairness, even if she wasn't precisely likable, I hope ep.09 hasn't been the last we've seen of Lorena. She brings some really interesting elements and I felt bad for her.

Also the looks from Sookie's cousin and the queen have to mean something.


Yup, regarding that, here you can find an explanation about it, but WARNING, it is related to MAJOR potential spoilers, and maybe after, even if at the end you don't know if it's going to happen or not, you'll want to go back in time and not check it. [/drama] So, go there at your own risk. ;)

viewtopic.php?f=113&t=12499#p287053

But I'm actually thinking it could be something even more subtle than that...hmmmm, have to think about it some more. I'll force myself to watch it all again :PP


Yup, that's true. In Season 1, I never thought, not even for a minute, that Rene was the killer. Like Ball says, the second time I watched it, I concentrated more on Rene and could perceive very subtle things here and there. But that's only because I knew! :lol:

If this is going to be a Rene kind of thing, maybe it was Lafayette who kidnapped Bill. :PP

9 months is such a long time!!!!! :scared:


Yes it is! :cry: I know we'll be distracted with other series, but in all honesty, True Blood is one of those very few shows that makes me anxious.

brentoid wrote:nice interview... cheers for posting panda...


Glad you liked it, Brentoid. :D
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Re: Yet another Alan Ball interview (More S3 Spoilers)

Postby lililostie on Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:01 am

PandaVamp wrote:
lililostie wrote:Also the looks from Sookie's cousin and the queen have to mean something.


Yup, regarding that, here you can find an explanation about it, but WARNING, it is related to MAJOR potential spoilers, and maybe after, even if at the end you don't know if it's going to happen or not, you'll want to go back in time and not check it. [/drama] So, go there at your own risk. ;)

http://spoilertv.co.uk/forum/viewtopic. ... 99#p287053

But I'm actually thinking it could be something even more subtle than that...hmmmm, have to think about it some more. I'll force myself to watch it all again :PP


Yup, that's true. In Season 1, I never thought, not even for a minute, that Rene was the killer. Like Ball says, the second time I watched it, I concentrated more on Rene and could perceive very subtle things here and there. But that's only because I knew! :lol:

If this is going to be a Rene kind of thing, maybe it was Lafayette who kidnapped Bill. :PP



No need to warn me (but thanks anyway!!) I'm a total spoiler junkie! :lol: I have read that spoiler, no amount of ARE YOU SURE's can deter me. I'd like to know how Hadley is involved in all of this, being related to Sookie and all...?? :hmm:

As for Lafayette being the Bill snatcher, I actually thought of that! It was his big mouth that got Eric in trouble with The Queen, and as he's supposed to be working for Eric....? I could probably implicate an of the cast if I tried :lol:
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Re: Yet another Alan Ball interview (More S3 Spoilers)

Postby PandaVamp on Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:17 am

lililostie wrote:No need to warn me (but thanks anyway!!) I'm a total spoiler junkie! :lol: I have read that spoiler, no amount of ARE YOU SURE's can deter me. I'd like to know how Hadley is involved in all of this, being related to Sookie and all...?? :hmm:


:w00t: That's the attitude! I'm just another happytobespoiled person. Give me five! :thumbup:

Maybe Hadley is the one who told Sophie-Anne about Sookie's abilities... In a recent interview (posted in the spoilers general discussion thread), Evan Rachel Wood said the Queen knows exactly what Sookie is. By Hadley's descriptions, she probably draw her own conclusions and sent Bill. Hadley seemed worried/consternated when Eric said Bill is in love with Sook.

As for Lafayette being the Bill snatcher, I actually thought of that! It was his big mouth that got Eric in trouble with The Queen, and as he's supposed to be working for Eric....? I could probably implicate an of the cast if I tried :lol:


:lol: The only thing that doesn't make me happy about Lafayette being the kidnapper, is that it is the same thing as if Eric did it, but joking aside, he could definitely be a possibility. I really want the kidnapper to be either Lorena, or Sophie-Anne. Maybe she doesn't trust Eric and sent one of her bodyguards to do it.

Oh, Godric! Nine months ahead and I'm already dying to know who did it. :lol: :P

That would be a nice exercise, I mean, trying to implicate each and everyone of the characters. I'll keep that in mind for when I re-watch. :thumbsup:
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