Alan Ball Interview

Alan Ball Interview
Creator of HBO’s True Blood Series
By Abbie Bernstein

True Blood, TruBlood, Souther Vampire Series, HBO True Blood

Charlaine Harris‘ “Southern Vampire” books concern the goings-on in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, resident telepath waitress Sookie Stackhouse and a whole lot of supernatural beings. These creatures include vampires, who have recently revealed themselves to humans worldwide after the development of the synthetic blood substance Tru Blood. Harris’ books appeal to a wide range of readers. One of these was Alan Ball, an Oscar winner for his original screenplay for American Beauty and creator of HBO’s highly-acclaimed series Six Feet Under, which ran for five seasons.


Ball hadn’t been known previously for fantasy / horror, but after he picked up the first book in Harris’ series, Dead Until Dark, he says he became enthralled. “I got into Sookie and the world and the characters, and I looked forward to going to bed every night, because I knew I was going to read the book before I went to sleep, and I would tell myself, ‘Okay, I’m just going to read two chapters,’ and I would read seven. I just felt, ‘This is kind of a phenomenon.’ I read first four books, [which] at that time [was what] had been published, and I wanted more. So I called [Harris]. At that time, she had given the rights to a film producer, but those rights were set to run out in a couple of months. They ran out and I convinced her to let me take a stab at it.”

The series Ball created based on the books, True Blood, has successfully been set up at HBO and it would be fair to call the results a phenomenon. The cable network is so pleased with Ball and company that, Ball relates, “I just closed a deal to show-run [True Blood] for two more seasons, so I would assume that [the series is at minimum] going through Season Four.”

What does Ball feel is important to preserve from Harris’ books? “The main story is the same. We diverge mostly in the secondary characters. The books are sort of Sookie’s story, what happens to her. The other characters disappear if they’re not in a scene with her. And so we have diverged, certainly in the storylines for Tara [played by Rutina Wesley] and Lafayette [played by Nelsan Ellis], but we’ve tried to remain very true to the spirit of the world.”

The treatment of the supernatural elements in True Blood is fairly naturalistic. Ball explains his thinking on this subject. “Certainly the supernatural element of the show is a character in the show. We didn’t want to make it seem like something that is outside of nature, we wanted to make it seem like it was something that was a more primal aspect of nature. Maybe we’ve just lost a little bit of our perception to see it. It’s right under our noses, but we just don’t know it. [In] the books, but vampires are just the tip of the iceberg. I also like the fact that as writers on the show, it really opens the door for a lot of that in the way that we can create situations that the characters really have to [deal with] who they are and their emotional strength. So I really enjoy that aspect of it and it is something that I’ve never done before.”

The character Lafayette is killed off in Harris’ second book, but as of the end of True Blood’s Season Two, he’s alive and kicking onscreen. “Lafayette is very small in the book,” Ball relates. “Nelsan Ellis, the actor we cast, channeled something from somewhere that is kind of amazing. I definitely knew Jason had to be a great character actor [Ryan Kwanten plays the role]. I think all the major characters I knew were going to be really, really strong and really, really compelling, but I think Nelsan is the one [who was most surprising] – I had no idea that that would happen.”

Have any other characters surprised Ball? “I think the Newlins [the couple who run the anti-vampire Fellowship of the Sun, played by Michael McMillian and Anna Camp] are fantastic. I love Eggs [Tara’s Season Two love interest, played by Mehcad Brooks]. I love Lorena [played by Mariana Klaveno], I think she’s pretty wild, too. For me, they all pop. I love them all.”

Anna Paquin, who won a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Sookie, wasn’t on Ball’s radar for the role at first. “I actually didn’t have anybody in mind,” he explains. “And then when the casting director said, ‘Anna Paquin is interested in coming in,’ I thought, ‘Wow! That’s a surprise – I wouldn’t think she would want to do television.’ But she did and she came in and we talked with her, and I’m very glad that she did. Bill was hard to cast. I sent some actors to HBO and they weren’t really on board – as happens sometimes,” he notes with a laugh. “They’re paying for it, so I have to respect [their wishes]. But then – we had a casting director in London [who suggested] Stephen Moyer, and he’s really, really right.”

Sookie’s grandmother Adele is in the series for only the first seven episodes, but her influence on Sookie is felt throughout the series. “I love Lois Smith,” Ball says of the actress who played Adele. “That’s one of those things where when I’m talking to the casting director, I say, ‘I’d like someone like Lois Smith.’ ‘Let’s get Lois Smith!’ ‘You think she’d do this, she’d be willing?’ ‘Yes.’ I was so happy to have her. Anna was, too – Anna was like,” Ball does an impression of Paquin bursting into song, “‘Lois Smith!'”

True Blood the series has startled some of Harris’ fans by being more overtly sexual and violent than the books are. Even in the relatively tender romance between Paquin’s Sookie and Moyer’s vampire Bill Compton, Ball says, “Certainly, the first time that they get together, we made it pretty bloody.” The episodes are indeed harder-edged than Harris’ prose, Ball adds. “It’s a little more violent. The books are violent, but I think it’s one thing to hear about it and another to see it.” So far, he adds, HBO has not objected to what has been depicted on the show. “I have never had a situation where they’ve said, ‘You can’t show that.’ Obviously, there’s a lot of sex in this show, but it’s never going to be pornographic. I’ve never had a situation where [the network has complained]. But I’m sure if I did something graphically pornographic, they would say, ‘Whoa, whoa, what are you doing?'”

Although his work as a director and producer has brought Ball in contact with special effects before, True Blood presented him with new experiences in that arena. He wants the effects to have impact, but not to steal the scenes. “I don’t want it ever to become a show about effects. We don’t have the time or the money to do a show about effects, and I’m getting tired of stuff where it’s all about the CGI and the characters are secondary. I always wanted the effects to be minimal, just enough to suggest. I think a lot of times it’s a little scarier to leave the effects to your imagination. But it is a little bit of a challenge. I just have to really depend on my visual effects people [the team at Todd Masters FX], asking them, ‘What can we do? How can we do it? Show me how it works on the storyboards.’ I said at the very beginning, ‘I don’t want any of that blue light from the Underworld movies, and I’m not going to give the vampires weird contact lenses or have the shape of their heads change when their fangs come out.’ In the future, when we get to other creatures that might appear, I don’t want to do that same old stuff. What’s important is the characters. The effects are just the shorthand to get us from one stage to another. But we will never be about the effects. I mean, it’s less interesting to me how [Bill’s] face might change or what exactly are the mechanics of the fangs coming down – although we have really thought about that – than the fact that he’s been alive for a hundred and seventy years, most of them as a vampire, and his wife and children, who he loved deeply, he outlived them. He’s outlived everybody. He’s in a changing world and he’s given up on the idea of having any sort of love in his life until he meets this girl. That to me is way more interesting than what [growing fangs] looks like.”

Although Bon Temps is in Louisiana, most of True Blood is shot in and around Los Angeles, although there are occasional road trips, Ball relates. “We go to Louisiana maybe four times a year. Certainly, we can find places in L.A. that can pass for Louisiana, especially if it’s night, but you can’t have big palm trees and smog in the air. We have to [make it look hot], so we have makeup people who just have water bottles so they can spray the actors so they look sweaty, [although] not the vamps.”

As True Blood continues, Ball says, “I think we’re always going to use the books as sort of a foundation, but I just don’t see how, as time goes on, you can’t diverge from them a little bit more each season. I don’t know, though. We’re starting to work on Season Three and we actually are really, really sticking to the books, at the beginning at least.”

Anything Ball can tell us about where Season Three is going? “Season Three is a big Eric [the vampire played by Alexander Skarsgard] season and Season Four is really big for Eric’s character, according to the books.”

The fan response to True Blood, Ball says, is “Very enthusiastic, which is fantastic. It’s really good. I wasn’t really expecting it, but I’ve got to say, it feels fantastic. It feels great for people to respond to the show as much as they do. It’s really, really exciting.” At Comic-Con, he adds, “It was like we were rock stars. I don’t think I’ve ever had an experience like that, and I’ve got to say, it was very, very fun.”

Is there anything Ball would like to say in conclusion about True Blood? “That it’s really fun!”

By Abbie Bernstein
Entertainment Reporter – Buzzy Multimedia

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Abbie Bernstein

Abbie Bernstein

Abbie Bernstein is an entertainment journalist, fiction author and filmmaker. Besides Buzzy Multimedia, her work currently appears in Assignment X.
Abbie Bernstein
  • Excellent, thank you so much for the interview. Now team Eric can be happy.

  • LaDonna

    Mr. Ball, please follow through with the Eric and Sookie theme. After all, she will have Bill (Stephen Moyer) in real life. What do you think? 🙂

  • darkbloodyvamp

    I am so excited to read this part

    “As True Blood continues, Ball says, “I think we’re always going to use the books as sort of a foundation, but I just don’t see how, as time goes on, you can’t diverge from them a little bit more each season. I don’t know, though. We’re starting to work on Season Three and we actually are really, really sticking to the books, at the beginning at least.”

    However NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS PART:

    Anything Ball can tell us about where Season Three is going? “Season Three is a big Eric [the vampire played by Alexander Skarsgard] season and Season Four is really big for Eric’s character, according to the books.”

    So which is it? I love the Bill and Sookie story (and yes I read ALL the books and STILL loved Bill and wanted them together).

    Season 3 should be focused on Bill and the torment he is going through and Sookie trying to find him.

    I’m sorry but Eric does nothing for me in the show and in the books. He is a manipulator who is too bossy, arrogant and shows off too much with his cocky attitude. Traits I do not find appealing in humans or vampires.

    I wish Alan makes this show his own and does NOT follow the books which were weak in several storylines particularly the amnesia, the database, and several others.

    True Blood is a great series that is evolving into something great that does not need to make the lead female character lose traits that many admire one being loyalty, and high moral code. hint hint.

  • We are so excited here about season 3 and 4 and are positive that Alan will not disappoint both Bill and Eric fans. In fact why choose? Let us all enjoy this wonderful series as True Blood fans. 🙂

    TrueBloodNet.com

  • Katra

    Alan, if you read this, please consider the Bill/Sookie fans before betraying our love for these characters as a couple. There is more than meets the eye for both Bill and Eric. Both have positive and negative characteristics, but one has done a lot more bad than the other. After all, Vikings are famous for two things, and I don’t think I have to name them…

    I also have to say I agree 100% with darkbloodyvamp. Alan gives opposing statements in this interview. Is season 3 all Eric or is it going to show Bill and what he’s going through, as well as Sookie’s search for him?

    I may not have read the books, but I am a fan of the show, and in the show, Bill is a much better character than Eric is. That may change in the future, but first impressions are the strongest, and mine was firmly pro-Bill from the first moment we met him. I’m completely apathetic to Eric the same way he was apathetic to his surroundings when we were introduced to him at Fangtasia.

    I will continue watching True Blood, as it is the best show tv is currently offering. I cannot promise, however, to keep myself from protesting if it becomes “The Eric Show.”

  • rugby82

    Happy Happy…i mean Eric and Sookie are the main couple of the books so i’ve never had a doubt that Ball and writers wouldn’t follow them,…even writers confirmed that they are going in Sookie ad Eric direction as in the books where they are “wed” in vampirical way and where they love each others…..(first chapert of book 10)
    I think Alan Ball will do a great job…even with Bill and Sookie maybe he could do others things that we cannot even immagine now….who knows?
    Just wait and see i guess…..

  • Janet

    Absolutely delighted to hear we’ll see a lot more of Eric. I don’t mind Bill–and I think Stephen Moyer is a sweetheart–so I’m fine with watching the search for Bill, but what I”m really looking forward to is finding out the impact on Eric of Godric’s loss and Sookie losing some of her preconceptions about him. And more Godric! The Dallas storyline last year rocked and I’m looking forward to learning more about those characters and those triangles. And Lafayette. We can always use more Lafayette. And Sam. And his no account family. Bring it on.

  • pbt

    Kudos to Alan Ball for realizing that CH’s story was worth making into a series. Though I will admit I wished it had been made for the big screen. Can you imagine Alexander Skarsgard on a jumbo screen? Can anyone say Sexxy Swede three times fast? Absolutely a huge fan of the show and the novels. Can not wait until Season Three starts on June 14, 2010.If Alan Ball is a man of his word, and True Blood sticks to the flavor of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, yes, Team Eric will be extremely happy. 🙂 Congratulations and I predict even a bigger season for HBO and True Blood this year.

  • JenOH

    A good story. Thanks for all of the details. There is an inaccuracy in the first sentence, though. Sookie is telepathic, not psychic.

  • Lou

    I’m a huge Bill and Bill/Sookie fan, so I’m looking forward to whatever AB and his writers have in store. They’ve made True Blood appointment television for me, so I trust them to make me happy and sad and angry and passionate, just as a great show should.

    That said, I am a huge Bill and Bill/Sookie fan, so I always want to see more of them!

  • sandy

    excited about seeing more focus on Eric’s part of the story and hope we start seeing some of the sweet and funny moments between him and Sookie this season

  • Kara

    Awesome news! Really excited about season 3 now.

  • I love the sookie books and love true blood from the frist and thank u mr ball for bring it to hbo cannt wait for more eric i am a eric/sookie fan all the way gald to hear it going to have a 4th season and wishing june was here now it to long a wait but got to

  • Sharon

    I’m so pleased to hear seasons 3 and 4 are going to be very Eric centric as he is the only reason I tune in this show. I’ve read all the books and loved Eric from the books long before the show came out.

    Strange though, that Ball talks about all the other actors and how they came to his attention or stood out in the show, and never mentions Alexander Skarsgard, whom he then goes on to say will be a big character in the next two seasons.

  • rocksie

    Great interview!
    I don’t see why people get so bent out of shape about the show diverging from the books. I loved the books and I mean I LOVED them! But I’ve read them and I know what happens. As much as I love the story, watching the show with it’s changes is like another window into this world that I love. It’s a story of it’s own and it has touched me in the same ways that the books have. For example, if Godric had been the same as in the book then we wouldn’t have had that lovely story, which I have to admit has become one of my favorites.

  • Thank you for this great post. I really love this tv series. Can’t wait for the next episode ! Keep up the good work with that 🙂

  • Alan Ball love TRUE BLOOD..thanks for great show. Please stay true to story, re: Eric/Sookie ! Read all the books..you can’t change that Eric IS very much part of Sookie’s life. Bill “leaves” and he’s “colder” than Eric. “Sookie is mine” just doesn’t cut it !! Eric really looks out for her/personal,material etc. T,V. fans (who did not read books) don’t see this side of Eric on TB..Bill looks like the “knight in shining armour” which he is NOT !! PLEASE BE TRUE TO STORY LINE CHARACTERS..THANKYOU !!!

  • Calii

    no, no, NO! You can’t destroy such a great character like Eric! You want him to be nice and sweet like… BILL? Eww… Too much sweets…

  • TrueBlood2009

    I was beginning to think AB was going to ignore Alexander’s contribution completely in this interview. Thanks for the news that he is planning to stick closely to the books this year and the Eric/Sookie relationship. I do love True Blood on HBO. Please AB, make us Team Eric fans happy by staying true to the theme of an Eric/Sookie relationship this year and next. Can’t wait till June. I am sure we will be delighted!

  • mary

    Thanks for the article. I enjoyed reading that Seasons 3 and 4 would be big for Eric,and that TB was renewed for a 4th season.

    I am tired of the statements that he will remain “true to the spirit of the books”. Where in the books did Bill propose to Sookie? Where in the books was Bill kidnapped? Oh, that’s right…it didn’t happen. Bill ignored, lied and left Sookie of his own free will. It’s baffling to me that AB thinks he’s remaining close to Club Dead when he’s already changed the entire “spirit” of the book 3.

    I do agree with him that the characters should remain the focus, and the story of the vampire finding love b/c of the girl, Sookie. But, I think the REAL version (the main couple of the books…Eric and Sookie) by Charlaine Harris was more intriguing and would be amazing to see onscreen. Sometimes I wonder why AB didn’t just create an original vampire program instead of destroying the world Charlaine Harris created.

  • EricFan

    When I found out Season 3 would not be out til June(ugh!) I started reading the books. Now on Book 9(I read fast) am so HAPPY Eric is so prominent in the books. I love his character both on TV and in the books.
    Can’t wait til June!!!!
    PS Bill is Yucky

  • Alexander Skarsgård fan

    Great to hear that Alan Ball will focus on Eric in the 3th and 4th season. Don’t all you Bill fans understand that the series would be over in one season if he would focus on Bill/Sookie and base the series on the books? And if Alan Ball reads this: Please make Pam as sarcastic as she is in the books, I love her and Sookie`s relationship!

  • Administrator

    For those who think that either Bill or Eric would be a perfect match for Sookie I would suggest you read an earlier article on this site called Sookie Stackhouses Squad of Suitors. I wrote it with an eye to who in the way of males companions might be best equipped to be her mate. In the tv series they haven’t touched on some of the others that Sookie hooks up with nor have they yet dealt with our girl finding out who and what she truly is. As Mr Ball said the show does not have to slavishly follow the books. It would be a pity if it did so. Rather he and the writers have captured the essence of what makes this ‘verse special and will use that as a base from which to grow and expand.

  • Rachel

    i discovered this wonderful show while i was pregnant with my first child, and while my husband was working midnights. i fell in love! shortly after i got my husband turned onto it as well, and now we’re both very excited for season 3 and future seasons! my husband agrees with some similiar comments; he would like to see a story line with eric and sookie unravel. that would be interesting. but we still love bill 🙂

  • winniepeg

    I actually get goosebumps reading this, I’m a complete nerd lol. 😀 But I love this show so much. My favourite is Eric. I love the character, but he’s just as much of a sarcastic and lifeloving (although completely dead and often very dry) idol for me, one I’m identifying with, as he is a sexy guy. Skarsgard embodies his humour and savvy mind so well, great comedian and fabulous actor, great presence and acting depth. A new fave. So yeah, if we get more Eric next season I will be giddy enough into the beginning of the summer. 🙂 i really like Bills character too, and all the rest of them. But Eric is kind of my idol, he is just on fire, partly due to Mr. Skarsgards lightheartedly playful, generous and to-the-point acting.

  • can’t wait til season 3!!!

    hehehe YAY!!!
    Eric seasons!
    So here’s the thing, all of these people who like Bill so much…I don’t get it.
    He’s just so dull and uninteresting. Whereas Eric is multifaceted, sexy, always entertaining and interesting to watch.

  • Emma Dawson

    Guys don’t forget Alcide..just because Eric will have a larger role next season doesn’t mean he’ll be getting Sookie’s undivided attention. Fortunately he has a strong ego and the patience that comes fromliving for a millenia.

  • J. Kehr

    I LOVE ERIC–MORE ERIC PLEASE. If you read the books you would see why.

  • fruitcake

    Looking very much forward to the expansion of the characters, True Blood has had a lot of Sookie, Bill, Layfayette Jason and Tara and barely any Pam and Eric. How people can make judgements based on what amounts to cameo roles for Pam and Eric is beyond me.

    So hope that there will be more Godric flashbacks.
    I too am a book reader but also love Alan Ball’s interpretation……..except for the whole Marianne catastrophe, interesting, but took up way too much of season 2.

  • Ashley

    I have no problem with Bill as a character…but will Bill fans please stop saying that Alan Ball should leave him and Sookie together… even Bill fans would get bored if they were just together for all the seasons…you are only saying that because you are fans of Bill…let other love interests have their fun too…and please stop hating on the other characters…i like Eric but i dont go on sites trashing Bill..its really immature

  • Ashley

    @Katra
    No offense…but you guys have had two seasons of only Bill…in other words “The Bill Show”…so isnt it only fair that there is now “The Eric Show”…how do you think Eric’s fans feel..

  • Ashley

    @darkbloodyvamp
    So in other words you want Alan Ball to cut out all of Erics future important plotlines just because you have a personal preference for Bill…sounds like you would rather just have him not on the show at all..no offense but if Alexander Skarsgard left the show for whatever reason the ratings would plummet…there are a lot of Bill fans but too many Eric fans to just cut him out like that.

  • Jules

    Both Eric and bill are wonderful characters.

    If Alan Ball sticks close to the plot of the books you will see that Sookie and Bill’s relationship is what moves the action forward.

    Sookie feels betrayed that Bill let but as she still loves him she must find him.

    Sookie will also develop a relationship with Eric.
    This relationship first starts as a friendship and builds up to more.

    I believe that Alan will accurately show Bill as someone who has fallen in love with Sookie even though she started the relationship with an underlying motivation.

    Yes, Eric is an self rightous a**hole. We all know this but every horrible person has something good inside of them. Sookie unbeknownst to her helps bring out the goodness in Eric. Underneath he really has some good momments that will open your heart to Eric.

  • Gidgiegoomie

    I am so happy to hear that Seasons 3 and 4 will follow the books. I am NOT a Bill fan and adore Eric; however, I think that the the Alcide/Eric/Sookie triangle will be even more incredible to watch than it was to read in the books. Not to mention, joe manganiello (from my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA) will be starring as Alcide. I also agree that I wish that the Pam/Sookie relationship would more closely follow the book, but I think Pam was wonderfully cast.

    LOVE IT!

  • tefa

    **book spoilers**
    read the interview and it was good but i found myself very upset when he said they where sticking very closely to the beginning of the 3rd book. I mean how can that be when bill disappeares after proposing to sookie in the season finally and in the book he is being emotionally unavailable, lies to her about his trip, has sex with his maker and plans to leave sookie. Come on

  • TS

    Yeah! I love that season 3 is going to be a big Eric season! I just hope that it means it will be in a positive way. I also love that AB aknowledged that season 4 should be too- according to the books, although that doesnt mean it will be on the show. I am glad that the foundation of the show will be based on the books with the major deviation being with the secondary characters. I like all the secondary characters. I think they add alot to the story but I am really looking forward to watching Sookie grow as a woman and watching her and Eric relationship develope.

    Book Spoiler**

    In the books Bill is distancing himself from sookie and runs off to do a job for the queen and ends up hooking up with Lorena willingly before she tortures him, while in the show he proposes and then is kidnapped. However, I dont think that will make much difference ultimately bacause the real important thing is that Bill ebds up betraying Sookie in many ways and as long as that truth is portrayed it wont really matter how. Tis is the book where Sookie starts to see herself, Bill and Eric in a different light and I hope that AB and HBO show that. Plus Alcide is yummy too.

  • karin los angeles

    alan, you must (please) do more than 13 eps a season. i am an old woman and want to live to see the conclusion of the series. can you at least do 20 a season? waiting 10 months from one season to another is untenable – and i have chronic disease and don’t want to miss anything.

  • cathy

    u all got to understand..AB has built up sookie and bill as the stars of the show.. and yes there has to be drama…. but to turn around and make bill a secondary character and move eric up to star..AB would loss alot of fans to the show..Its not done like that on TV shows..If AB wanted the 2 main to be sookie and eric. he would have made Bill someone for ppl not to like.. to set up for Eric.. its going to go back and forth with suitors and drama with more then ERic and bill.

  • If you all remember the very first interviews AB gave, he said Sookie and Bill will run in to some obstacles, but at the end, they truly love each other and that will see them through…so fine, get all the Eric time you want, the conniver, but it will be Sookie and Bill at the end..Yay.

  • Nerdy Nettie

    IF Alan Ball reads this I just want him to know that I am one of those nerds you talked about in the Season 1 commentaries, and I remember what you said about staying true to the book in regards to the real reason Bill is interested in Sookie. 🙂 And by the way, great show!!! I think it is a huge compliment to the books!!!

  • Nerdy Nettie

    And oh! Is Bubba gonna be in it!!!??? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Nicky

    I just love True Blood! & I will be honest, I didn’t start the book series until after the first few episodes of season 1. Since then I have become quite a Charlene Harris fan & have read all of the Sookie novels. I am pleased to see that Alan has chosen to follow the books more closely in the upcoming season (even if it is just the beginning). I think there are some great story/character lines there. Not to mention it gets us out of Bon Temps & explores the other supernaturals that live amongst them. It also expands Sookie’s character in so many ways. Great Job Alan & Thank You!!

    psss
    & I’m with Nerdy Nettie….will we get to see Bubba?

  • ZZ

    I think it will be a mistake for him to continually diverge from the books -if- it gets to the point where he is writing an entirely different book. It is kind of a diservice to Charlene Harris. Not that I care to see the books acted out verbatim either. I like what he has done with Bill’s character and most of what he has done so far minus the Maenad story- that just hijacked all of season2 which was unfortunate.
    In resonse to some previous postings, Alana Ball has said he will not bring the Bubba character on. It would be too cheesey.

  • Marlie

    wtf. i love bill. why does everyone love love love eric so much? i really hope they don’t split up sookie and bill!

  • TBLVR

    Diverging in secondary characters, and sticking fairly close to the books! Love to hear that, have to wait and see. Eric’s story should be told. Eric and Sookie are the heart of the books, and should be on TB as well.!!

  • Candee

    Anyone who is a Bill fan clearly hasn’t read the books. Read the books, and then you’ll see why. And then, when you go to watch the show again, and Bill says something loving and desperate, you’ll think to yourself, “Yeah right, Bill! You liar!”

  • Cibi

    I´ve red the books and still I think that Sookie and Bill should be together. I think that in the show Bill is bit different and more complex that in the books. I love Eric and I think there should be something between him and Sookie, but in the end Sookie and Bill should stay together. I´m very glad that the show is not just like the books. It´s far more interesting and I just love what Alan Ball and the other scenarist does with the characters. I usually like much more the books than the movies or shows based upon them, but in this case the show is really better than the books- and I like the books. (Sorry for bad english, I´m from Czech republic 🙂

  • Emma

    Great interview. Four Seasons, oh why isn’t it 2011. I would love to have S3 and S4 to watch. Wonder if he is going to combine the later books? Stay for more seasons Alan!

    I haven’t read the books and am a big Eric fan. I don’t blame Sookie for dreaming about him… its not the blood, its the Eric! 😛

    And I think he does have a great story to be told. Its all just so exciting, from the way he was made, to the person he is now.

    I want them to stop using that white makeup on the vampires. Its so unflattering, especially on hi-def, only person that looks good white is Godric.

    Don’t worry Alan, if they aren’t covered in chalk and do show some aging during the seasons we don’t care – we just want TB!

  • Fred Meyer

    Eric has been better than Bill about moving on with the times. The reminds me of the Lestat-Louis relationship in Interview with a Vampire and you see that theme show up in any story where immortals interact with mortals like Highlander etc. As to who Sookie should end up with, I suppose that before she should make any final decision she needs to first find out who she is. Without giving away to much in the way of spoilers, in the books she discovers something about her own heritage that explains much and should make her cautious about which supernaturals are drawn to her.

  • ChrisColon

    AB says that “The main story is the same” but anybody that has read the books knows that is not true. He has changed the basic morality and personality of various of the characters. I have no problem with him making up stories, but when the author describes a character with a specific moral compass and then he changes it, that is wrong. His preference for the Bill characted is obvious when he assigns heroic acts to Bill that were actually performed by Eric, such as saving her from Long Shadow, being her back-up during the very short pages relating to the maenad. AB has made it nearly imposible for the relationship between Eric and Sookie to develop in a natural sequence, now it seems that only by lying and cheating can Sookie fall for him. characters are author’s mental children, by changing their nature so dramatically, you are undermining the though, sweat and tears the writers go through when creating these heroes, heroines and villains.

  • Becca

    @ChrisColon shut up! It’s Alan’s show, and I love it! He doesn’t have to stick to the original books and that’s why it works so well. You’re acting like he’s disrespecting the author when really he’s giving the story his own spin. The characters are his now; it’s his show.

  • A.M. DeCain

    Whenever an adaption from text to screen is done, changes must be made. Some things just don’t work as well in movies or (in this case) TV shows as well as they do on paper. Going along with this idea, Alan Ball has done a fantastic job of making appropriate changes to make the story, plot, and the characters more appropriate for the screen. The characters are interesting, developing, and constantly changing in a world familiar-but-foreign to us. The story is unfolding at the pace which Ball thinks is appropriate, and I think he should continue to keep up the excellent work.