Amelia Rose Blaire Talks True Blood, the Final Season, and Playing Willa

Amelia Rose Blaire True Blood Interview
Amelia Rose Blaire (Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard)
When Amelia Rose Blaire was originally cast in HBO’s sexy vampire/werewolf/fairy series True Blood, she had no idea she’d eventually be playing a vampire. Cast as the daughter of Louisiana Governor Truman Burrell (played by Arliss Howard), a politician who was set on eradicating all vampires, Blaire didn’t expect to be donning fangs to portray Willa Burrell. However, it was something she was hoping for so when her character was ‘turned’ by Eric Northman (played by Alexander Skarsgard), Blaire embraced the opportunity to sink her teeth into her character’s transformation.

Exclusive Interview with Amelia Rose Blaire:

Congratulations on being promoted to series regular this season. Is it a little sad that this upcoming season of True Blood will be its last?
 
“It is, but then again I think that this is the perfect way for True Blood to end is on a high note. Last season brought it back to its roots, so I think it’s a perfect way to go out. It’s an honor to get to be a part of the last season.”
 
Does it seem like that was the vibe on the set while shooting this season, that everybody’s just honored to be part of this as it goes out on a high note?
 
“Yes. I remember our very first table read, it was so electric, everybody was so excited to be there and really excited for what was going to go down because nobody knows what’s going to go down yet. I’m excited to find out.”
 
The seasons have really varied in tone. Some have a lot more humor than others while some are just really dark. I know you can’t give away any spoilers, but how would you describe the tone of this next season?
 
“I only know what’s happening through halfway through the season, so I don’t really know that much. I think that fans are going to be really happy with this final season. I think the writers are doing a beautiful job with every episode that I’ve read. I don’t really know what kind of a tone it’ll have. It’s going to be brutal because that’s what True Blood is, but it’s going to also, I think, make fans really, really happy.”
 
You didn’t know she would become a vampire, so what did you think when that happened?
 
“I knew what I had done in my audition, but True Blood gives everybody fake audition sides because they don’t want anything to leak out. In the audition I had a scene where I was being turned by Bill and I didn’t want to be turned at all, so I didn’t know if that was something that was actually going to happen or if that was just a psych-out. I had no idea. When I did read the episode where I got turned, I was like, ‘Yes! Thank goodness I get to do this. How often does someone get to do this?’ It was very exciting. It was an honor.”

Amelia Rose Blaire True Blood Interview
Amelia Rose Blaire (Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard)
Was turning into a vampire everything you thought it would be?
 
[Laughing] “It was so much fun. It was also so trippy to film that turning scene because we shot it on two separate days in two separate locations. Then the part where we were in the grave was very fragmented because we had to keep cutting and keep breaking to be hooked up to blood tubes, because there was literally a little guy that was pumping blood through these tubes that were tucked underneath my dress. It was very trippy. It was a very strange sensation because all of a sudden I was feeling this warm liquid pouring down and I just looked down and there was blood and my body had this reaction of like, ‘Oh my God, you’re dying! Oh my God, you’re dying!’ It was very strange.”
 
What did you think about that specific scene after it was finished and you were able to sit back and watch it play out?
 
“I thought it turned out really, really well. I had no idea what it was going to look like. I didn’t really remember what it was actually like to shoot it, I just remember segments and sensations so it was very cool to see it all together. I thought they did a beautiful job with that.”
 
Did they provide you with much of a backstory for Willa?
 
“No. Basically I knew that she didn’t agree with her father. I kind of just took it from there and based on the scripts I was getting, I would form different ideas of her history and her relationship with her mother and her relationship with her father. But I didn’t really know much about her at all. I just kind of ran with it.”
 
In this upcoming season is she much the same person/vampire as last season or does she go through another major transformation?
 
“The cool thing about how last season ended is that it skipped six months further down the road. I would think that in six months of being a vampire, one has to change. How she changes, I’m not going to say. I’m still discovering that on my own. But I think that on True Blood everybody changes, everybody’s put through the wringer, and everybody goes through some shit. [Laughing] I’m confident that Willa will go through her own shit as well.”
 
Were you a fan of the series before you joined the cast?
 
“Oh, yes. I had watched the show from season one. When I first got the audition I was very excited and of course I didn’t think that I would actually book it though. But when I did, I didn’t believe it. I thought that I was dreaming or something and it wasn’t until I actually went to my first table read that it sunk in, like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be on this show!’ Seeing all these actors and all the characters that I’ve watched through all these seasons, and I’m sitting with them, ‘It’s happening, it’s actually happening.’ Really trippy.”
 
Were you originally a member of Team Eric or Team Bill before booking the show?
 
“I always liked Eric. That was another very cool thing was that I got to work with some of my favorite actors on the show.”
 
And how was working with Alexander Skarsgard?
 
“So much fun. He’s so goofy and really easy to work with. He and Kristin [Bauer van Straten] are such a team. To get to work with the both of them was very special.”
Amelia Rose Blaire and Alexander Skarsgard in 'True Blood'
Amelia Rose Blaire and Alexander Skarsgard in 'True Blood' season 6, episode 4 (Photo by John P Johnson/HBO)
Was the set as you imagined from watching it as a fan of the series?
 
“All the sets looked like they actually do, but then you get to see everything that goes into it, that goes into making the vampire show a vampire show, because there’s so many special effects and so many little details that you don’t necessarily think about or pick up when you’re watching it. Getting to see all the behind-the-scenes of how they make True Blood come to life and how they make Bon Temps come to life was really spectacular.”
 
Stephen Moyer directed a few episodes last season. Did he direct any of the episodes you were involved with?
 
“I didn’t get to work with him last season but he directed the very first episode this season so I did have the opportunity to work with him. He’s a very good director. It’s very cool to get to work with an actor who’s a director because they come at it from a different point of view than someone who’s just a director. It was very special to get to work with him being an actor and him being an actor as well.
 
I would say that the notes that he gave me were very actor-based. They were notes that only an actor would give you because they’re thinking about character on a different level because they played a character. It was also very cool to get to see him flip back and forth from being Bill to being Stephen the director. I don’t know how he did it, I really didn’t. I admire him so much for taking that challenge and for taking it so many times, because he’s apparently directed many episodes before. I tip my hat to him because I don’t know if I could do it.”
 
Without, of course, giving anything away, is there anything you can’t wait for fans to see in this upcoming season that you’ve already filmed?
 
“There’s stuff in every episode that we’ve filmed so far that I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, people are going to freak out. People are going to love this.’ It’s the last season so anything can happen. Anything!”
 
We went through a period where everything was vampires. Vampire TV shows, vampire movies, and vampires are still popular although it’s kind of trending towards zombies now. Why do you think vampires and zombies and these type of creatures have such a lasting appeal?
 
“For me, because I’ve always been a fan of vampires, I remember when I first watched Interview with the Vampire when I was younger, I was just totally taken by them and by the idea of these immortal seductors and seductresses. I think that there’s something very dangerous and something very alluring and exciting about people who are walking death. It’s also very unobtainable because we have no idea what it would be like to live forever, staying at the same age, sucking someone’s blood for life. We have no idea what that would feel like. Our imagination runs wild. They’re very seductive. I think that that for me is what excites me about vampires.
 
Zombies, I don’t really know. Zombies always terrified me so I can’t watch those shows. I’m so scared of zombies. Walking Dead scares me so much. I’ve never gotten into that. I assume it’s something like that same kind of unobtainable thing. We don’t really know what they are and what is going on with them, so it’s just like mystery.”
 
You’re also busy in films. How do you balance work in both mediums?
 
“Right now I’m just doing True Blood so that’s lucky for me because it requires so much of your energy. It’s fun to able to flip back and forth from film to television because they’re different but also very similar. The cool thing that I like about television is that you don’t know where you’re going. Like life, you’re getting scripts one after the other and you don’t know what’s going to be happening in episode five when you’re shooting episode one, so you can just be there in the moment with episode one. If you’re doing a film, you know where your character’s going. It’s a cool shift between the two of them.”
 
When you’re doing episodic TV and you head into the second season, do you ever wish that now that you know what’s happening you could go back and play things a bit differently?
 
“Of course. But I think that that happens, at least for me, no matter what. Afterwards I’m always thinking of other things I could possibly have done. But that’s just something you have to learn to let go because you did it in the moment and you did whatever was inspiring you in the moment, so you have to trust that you made the right choice.”
 
-Posted by Rebecca Murray

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