Exclusive: Carrie Preston Discusses True Blood with TBFS and What to Expect in Season 5!

Carrie Preston at the 2012 HBO Golden Globes Party/Jason Merritt Getty Images

Yesterday I posted the first portion of my interview with Carrie Preston (Arlene Fowler). We discussed a good deal about her latest directorial achievement, That’s What She Said. In the second half of this interview, we discuss more about True Blood, which is why I thought it only appropriate that I post it on Sunday, the day we all look forward to True Blood!

I not only asked about what Carrie has liked about her character’s development in the past 4 seasons, also about working with Todd Lowe (Terry Bellefleur) and being integrated into the Bellefleur family dynamic. In the course of the interview she revealed a little of what we’ll be seeing for her character this season as well as who she wants to work with from the cast!

I’d like to take this time to thank Carrie Preston for taking the time out of her extremely busy schedule to speak with me and Mona Loring of MLC PR for working with me to arrange this interview. So thank you to both of them for this opportunity! I hope you Trubies enjoy the reading this interview as much as I did doing it!

 I’ve seen Arlene grow a lot since she was introduced in season 1. What is your favorite change that you’ve seen Arlene go through so far?

 ”Since the show has been on, we’re doing our fifth season [now], I think all of the characters have really deepened and developed. It’s a luxury to be able play the same character in different situations for this long. I’ve never had an experience like that before. I’ve never been on a series that lasted a very long time. So it’s very rewarding to see the development of the character. And I think Arlene has had a lot more emotional growth and there’s been a deepening of her tolerance for the changes that keep happening around her. It’s been really fun to see that the writers are trusting me with more dramatic scenes even though Arlene fundamentally was designed to provide comedic relief. That has been coupled now with more drama and I appreciate that and I take it as a compliment that the writers feel like I’m capable of that.”

I think that your work with Todd Lowe (Terry Bellefleur) might have a little bit to do with that because I think you both have a wonderful chemistry together and you play off of each other really well. I enjoyed a lot of moments last seasons when you were dealing with baby Mikey and the possibility of him being possessed and trying to figure that out. So what is it like to work with Todd and work with more of the Bellefleur family and have that new dynamic introduced to you outside of the usual environment that you play in of Merlotte’s?

 ”Working with Todd Lowe is wonderful! We have the same work ethic, we get along very well, he’s very professional but also a lot of fun and we have a good time together.  There’s a comfort level that I have with him now so going to work and doing scenes with him is always rewarding. And I also enjoy working with Chris Bauer (Andy Bellefleur), we had some wonderful scenes together last season in the Bellefleur mansion. Those days are always are always really fun to have a break from all of the scenes that take place in Merlotte’s. So it’s been fun and there will be more domestic scenes coming up in season 5.

Todd Lowe as Terry Bellefleur and Carrie as Arlene Fowler/John P. Johnson HBO, Inc.

 Todd’s character Terry is getting his own flashback to Iraq and we’re going to learn how he develops PTSD. We’re also going to be seeing more of Scott Foley (Patrick Devins) this year. Are you going to be participating in the storyline with them?

“We definitely haven’t seen the last of Scott Foley’s character.  The questions we had about him when he came in at the end of last season are still going to be there and slowly we’ll begin to learn more about their relationship and what happened with them in Iraq.”

 Is there a chance Arlene might get her own flashback now that we know that there are several  coming?

“I can’t really answer to that. [But] whenever anyone comes in and becomes a challenge to a couple it always results in some interesting conversation.”

Carrie with Todd and Ryan Kwanten in Season 4 of True Blood/ John P. Johnson/HBO, Inc.

Today it was announced that we’re going to be seeing another fairy come onto the scene in Bon Temps (with the casting of Camilla Luddington as Claudette). So now we have fairies, vampires, and werewolves. So do you think there’s a chance you might be involved?

 ”I think Arlene is very happy to be involved with things she doesn’t understand.”

How would you characterize this season so far? I’ve heard it described as the season of the werewolf and the season of the vampire. Last year it was the season of the witch. Is there really a defined theme or is a mix of several different things?

“One thing True Blood does really well is that it keeps all the balls in the air and the writers somehow continue to juggle all of them.  It’s satisfying to the viewers because they get to experience all of those worlds in each episode. So the writers are really good at touching down in each of those worlds and somehow they end up converging as the season goes on. And that’s certainly been the track record up until now and I don’t foresee that changing.”

I was really happy to see the writers make a conservative effort last year to give everyone a storyline which is difficult given the size of the cast. Do you have a favorite storyline from last season that wasn’t your own?

“I really liked the whole Hoyt and Jessica relationship. I really enjoyed that. I think [Jim Parrack (Hoyt Fortenberry) and Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica Hamby)] played it very well and there was lots of twists and turns to it and I think Jim Parrack is such a wonderful  actor, Deborah Ann Woll is such a wonderful actor too.  To see them together was really great.”

Carrie Preston's cast photo for True Blood's fourth season/John P. Johnson/HBO, Inc.

With this large and talented cast that you work with, is there anyone you haven’t worked with yet that you really want to work with? Or is there someone that you get to work with this season that you haven’t worked with before?

“Well you know I’m on a show about a bar so I don’t really ever get to work with any of the supernatural characters really.  Every once in a while I’ll have a scene with Jessica,  obviously Sam (Sam Trammell) but Arlene doesn’t know that Sam is a shapeshifter.  I think it’s very interesting most of the cast I’ve never worked with. I’ve never worked with Kristin Bauer (Pamela Sywnford de Beaufort), I’ve never worked with Alexander Skarsgård (Eric Northman). I’ve barely worked with Stephen [Moyer] (Bill Compton). So it’s very interesting and it would be fun to see Arlene in a situation where she had to deal with these creatures!”

Do you have any other projects besides your film that you’re working on and that we can expect to see you in?

“I have several things in the can or that are doing festivals or are about to premiere.  There’s a film called Sironia. There’s a film called Virginia. There’s a film called a Bag of Hammers which made the festival rounds last year and now it’s coming out.  I did a film this summer that I was in called Vino Veritas that’s being edited right now.”

At the end of the interview I wished Carrie the best of luck with the festival tour she’s about to go on for that’s What She Said. You can find information about dates, locations, and times here and visit That’s What She Said’s official site for more information. I also wished her good luck with the rest of production on season 5!

True Blood Fan Source will be live at a screening for That’s What She Said when it comes to San Francisco for the Women’s Film Institute Festival and be present for the Q&A with Carrie and screenwriter Kellie Overbey afterward next month.

So stay tuned Trubies! Thank you to both Carrie and Mona Loring again for the interview. It was a true pleasure to do it!

 

 

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