“True Blood” Season Four scoop? You know you want some...
“This season is the most shocking season yet," says star Jim Parrack. "The stories are getting more personal, and more far out without losing their humanity. Things happen that I think will just blow people’s hair back.”
With the dreaded Vampire King of Mississippi seemingly safely encased in cement, things started to get as back to normal as things can be in Bon Temps, Louisiana – which, of course, is not normal at all. PopcornBiz got the cast of HBO’s bloody good, bloody sexy series to sink their teeth into a few teasers about the next round of fang-tastic episodes kicking off this Sunday night.
“Sookie has adventures in Faerieland. Sookie encounters witches. And Sookie is single!” says star Anna Paquin of the fate of her plucky Sookie Stackhouse, who was last seen entering into a mystical realm after learning that faerie blood runs in her veins, adding to her irresistibility to vampire suitors Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgaard) – and that her devoted Bill was originally sent to groom her to become a vampire queen. “Sookie hasn't tied herself to any one person at the beginning of this season. She's basically reached a point where she's like, 'You guys have both kind of messed me around, so go away.'”
Paquin says the thrill of “True Blood” lies in the fact that “there is nothing we can't do. There are no limits placed on what we're allowed to do, say, show, explore. It's very exciting, creatively.”
Four seasons in, she, too, still finds Sookie irresistible. “I think she is an innately very, very good person. And she makes some interesting – and sometimes questionable – choices. But I think it all comes from a really honestly good place. She has great intentions, but she goes full force.”
Moyer, Paquin’s onscreen paramour and off-screen husband, says the series supernatural world expands even further this year with the addition of a coven of witches. “We've got a lot of elements, a lot of things in the air this year,” he says. “I have very little to do with the witches, but I do work with them a little bit and that's been really fun. It's very new, and something completely different. They have a power that we've never kind of explored before.”
After a traumatic Season Three for Tara Thornton, actress Rutina Wesley says Tara has left Bon Temps to rebuild herself – possibly resulting in an eyebrow-raising relationship. “We're going to find out what she's been doing,” says Wesley. “I do know that she comes back a little more Zen. And she's learned how to love herself in a way that I think is really good, and that's going to open her up to possible love – if there is love for her, she's ready for it. I've always loved her and Sam [Merlotte, played by actor Sam Trammell] together and I think she loved Sam, but I just think she wasn't really able to sort of commit to that. Because she just wasn't loving herself. And every time she got close to someone she always ran the other way.”
Ryan Kwanten was excited to explore an entirely different side of Jason Stackhouse, who’s officially joined the local police force only to contend with an increasingly self-destructive Sherriff Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) while still trying to help the homeless clan of his were-panther lover Crystal (Lindsay Pulsipher), who’ll be back to sink her claws into him again.
“This is the season of biggest growth for Jason,” says Kwanten, “because he started, in my view, very low on the evolutionary totem pole, so he can only go up. But this is a real season of where the young boy turns into a man. He’s been given a position of power. He’s now a cop. He’s forced to try and raise a whole tribe of people and then eventually fight for his life.” Jason’s flip-flopping role opposite Andy was especially fun for Kwanten. “It’s almost like they’re struck by lightning and Jason takes on Andy’s authority and Andy very much starts acquiring a lot of Jason’s naïveté and addictiveness.”
Deborah Ann Woll’s vampire-in-training Jessica Hamby will also get further mentoring from her creator Bill while still struggling with her relationship with Hoyt (Parrack). “Jess is a vampire, and I think she wants to explore that and accept it a little bit rather than repress it,” says Woll. “So you're going to see a bit more of that side of her. I get to play a bit more with Steve [Moyer]. I love that relationship. that maker/progeny, father/daughter dynamic. That's been sort of a fun one this season. I have a couple surprise people I get to work with, so that'll be exciting.
“We love each other, we really do,” she says of the Jessica/Hoyt romance. “But we're very young, and the world is very cruel. And I just think we've got some challenges ahead of us.”
Carrie Preston’s earthy waitress Arlene will keep a sharp eye on her new son, who was fathered by her evil first husband Rene, even as her new man Terry tries to assure her the baby’s perfectly normal. “My character is definitely still dealing with the same things that we left her with, which are the fears of this child that she's carrying being evil like the child's father,” says Preston. “The sins of the father will be visited on the child. And then my character this season has to be face to face with something that we haven't even seen yet on the show!”
And as Eric continues his relentless pursuit/seduction of Sookie, his longtime Fangtasia sidekick Pam (Kristin Bauer) will be revealing a whole new aspect of her personality. “The side of Pam that we’re going to see, we’ve never seen before,” says Bauer It’s a side I didn’t know she had and was very challenging to play. She’s very feral this year, and I realized how un-strategizing she is – she doesn’t think two or three movies down the road. She’s all heart and emotion.”
And there are some new faces in Bon Temps as well, including classical actress Fiona Shaw – or Mrs. Dursley to you “Harry Potter” fans – as one of the new witches in town, and Janina Gavankar (“The L Word”) as a sexy shapeshifter who opens up a new world for Merlotte.
"True Blood" returns Sunday, June 26th on HBO