This week I had the opportunity to speak with Lauren Bowles who plays Holly Cleary on True Blood. We started out chatting about Comic Con and what the cast had to say at this year. Then we moved into talking more about Lauren herself, the character that she plays, how that character fits into the world of Bon Temps, and how True Blood is different from other shows on television. She also revealed a few little spoilers about the end of the season as well as the fact that Holly may be getting a love interest which we saw hinted at in the preview clips I posted earlier this week.
Before we start talking about True Blood, let’s talk a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up and how did you get into acting?
Lauren grew up in Washington, DC and attended Sidwell Friends School which is the same school the Sasha and Melia Obama now go to and that is where she began her acting career. For her it began at the age of 12 in a production of The Man Who Came to Dinner. She described going on stage and getting a laugh for the very first time and being hooked from then on. That led Lauren to want to start investigating the professional track of acting. But her parents she says were not too keen on that idea just yet. However they were very supportive of their daughter’s new found passion, letting her go to any classes, camps, or other activities that would help her hone her acting skills. Her passion for acting led her to New York University’s Drama program and after college she spent a few years in New York before she moved to Los Angeles.
How did you get involved with True Blood?
Lauren is a huge fan of True Blood so when the opportunity to audition came up for Holly who was at the time a reoccurring character with the possibility of becoming a series regular, she said that her goal was just to go in there, not screw it up, and hope that they would want to bring her back as a guest star. And she couldn’t say enough about how wonderful Alan Ball is. Initially Lauren was very nervous about going in to read and meet Alan. But she says that the man couldn’t be nicer and that he is very much hands on in True Blood for the casting process even with the smaller parts.
I saw that you’ve been on shows like Detroit 187 and Private Practice. How do doing shows like that differ from True Blood?
The main difference between True Blood and procedural type shows like the ones I mentioned to Lauren is that they are more formula driven as opposed to character driven according to her. In fact Lauren joked that she’s probably cried on every hour long show on TV today. But she says that True Blood being character driven is one of the reasons that it is such a great show to work on.
“Each character is so three dimensionally drawn so as an actor it’s just a dream. You just can’t ask for more than that.”
In addition, being able to come back to the show week after week as a series regular has been a wonderful experience for Lauren because she has been able to grow Holly as a character.
In Charlaine Harris’ 4th book, your character Holly is forced by Hallow to join her group. But on the show, did Holly join Marnie’s group of her own accord or how did she get to be involved?
Lauren told me from the way things have played out, Holly definitely has a good friendship with Marnie (Fiona Shaw) on the show and that she as a practicing Wiccan was probably relived to find a group of people with similar views. Especially considering that Wicca isn’t exactly the most common practice in that part of the country. So Holly was much more willing to be involved on the show.
Regarding this current season, it started a year later from season 3. Have you gotten any background for Holly in regards to what she’s been up to prior to the start of the season? Or are we going to see that in upcoming episode?
Lauren wasn’t given specific background on events that happened during the year that we don’t get to see. But her character was starting to develop relationships with others on the show like the staff at Merlotte’s and they are one year later much deeper.
Of that scene Lauren says Holly is very sensitive to energy especially around something like the full moon and it has probably thrown her off a little. But also, Holly is still probably sensitive from what happened with Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) coming into the coven and bitting Marnie. This is after all just a day or two after but because of the way True Blood is, we tend to forget that. Lauren suspects that Holly has never been in such a life or death situation such as that one so it really rattled her.
But Lauren also expressed to me that Holly is just learning to tap into her powers now and those can be used for good or evil.
In the third season, you tried to help Arlene (Carrie Preston) with the issues she was having with her unborn child. Is there any correlation between the magic that Holly tried to invoke last season and what’s going on with the baby now with all of the dark stuff? Or are they just two separate story lines?
She understands them to be two separate story lines and they have nothing to do with one another.
What can we expect to see from your character for the second half of the season?
“There might be a little bit of love on the horizon for Holly, you just never know. It’s entirely possible. It’s Bon Temps after all.”
But the main thing Lauren says is that Holly is learning to tap into her own sense of power and she’s really beginning to evolve as a Wiccan as well as starting to see what the world has to offer and she’s conflicted about it.
I know you just finished wrapping up the season finale and you can’t say too much. From the way the season ended, is there a possibility for your character’s return next season?
There is a possibility that Holly will be back. But she says that the last two episodes are crazy. Especially 4.12! If we think episode 11 is going to be good episode 12 will be just nuts!
“I can say people will leave this season with mouths agape.”
What are you doing for this hiatus?
Because season 4 had such a crazy end schedule, Lauren is currently spending lots of time with her two year-old daughter and is hoping to do a play in the fall. But currently Lauren can be seen in tonight’s episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm playing wife to her real life husband Patrick Fischler who is also an actor. The show airs immediately after True Blood.
Is there anything that that we haven’t covered that you’d like the fans to know about you?
It’s very fun to watch True Blood. But it’s 10 times more fun to film because True Blood is filled with a wonderful group of people and that’s not necessarily true of other shows.
I would like to sincerely thank Lauren Bowles for taking the time out of her day to speak with me. It was a true pleasure. I would also like to thank Stephanie Gonzalez of Sharp and Associates PR for working with me and helping to arrange this interview.
Be sure to watch Lauren in tonight’s episode of True Blood, “I Wish I Was the Moon” and see her on Curb Your Enthusiasm with her husband Patrick Fischler directly following True Blood!
Image Credits: Poptower.com and HBO, Inc.