Archive for Alan Ball

Comic-Con 2010. A virgin’s thoughts (and crappy photos)

Posted in Television, True Blood HBO with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by blondenews

Not that everyone else doesn’t have more and better photos than me, but since it was my first time at Comic-Con, I feel I must comment and share.

For the Comic-Con virgins, like I was, you should know that if I used one word to describe Comic-Con, it’s “fun.” If you like Halloween and pop culture, you’ll love this event. You’ve never seen so many elaborate costumes. You could just sit outside the convention center and watch people go in all day and you’d be entertained.

Second, there are celebrities walking around everywhere. In my 2 1/2 days, i saw the entire cast of Vampire Diaries,  Stan Lee, Morgan Spurlock, Joshua Jackson and the rest of the Fringe cast. And that was just at the hotel. I also got to meetand chat with D.B. Sweeney (toe pick!), Larry Thomas (the Soup Nazi), a guy from Heroes, voice of Futurama Billy West, voice of Spongebob Squarepants Tom Kenney, G4’s Chris Gore and more I just can’t think of right now.

If you think Comic-Con is all comic book-y and geek-y, this ain’t your grandfather’s Comic-Con. Now, it encompasses TV, Movies, books, comics, collectibles, toys and pop culture. Mostly the TV and movies are here if they’re sci-fi related or sci-fi cast related (I’m lookin’ at your Castle and Nathan Fillion), although some are just desperate to be considered here with the cool kids (yes, you, Glee.) There’s art, performances, panels, toys, screening and autographs. There’s comic book art, anime and independent film.

In short, if you’re interested in virtually anything pop culture, start planning now for 2011. You won’t be sorry. I’m certainly not.


Made me want to see “Kick Ass” and watch “Fringe.”


Awesomeness. What to say? Nelsan Ellis’ favorite word as Lafayette is “bitch.” Ann prefers filming love scenes (vs. violence) in the morning, so she doesn’t have to go thru’ the whole day with icky blood goo on her. Joe Manganiello (Alcide) howled and let us know he’d  be fully naked in Sunday’s episode. Anna and Stephen Moyer looked incredibly lovey-dovey. Alexander Skarsgard was absent and they knew we missed him, so they put up a cardboard cutout. Not really anything like our multi-dimensional Alex. Or Eric, even.


They actually did a table read of a script they have not yet filmed, which was incredibly entertaining. Matt Groening gave out prizes for good questions from the audience.

V panel

Scott Wolf and Morena Baccarin on one panel (and right next to each other) was almost too much beauty to bear. Almost.

FRINGE panel

Now I’m determined to watch Fringe. Sounds great. The director made each audience questioner answer a trivia question from the actors. Great fun. Every panel should do that!

HEROES guy (David H. Lawrence XVII) and my friend Mechel

KEVIN SMITH panel. Some guy proposed to his girlfriend. They met one year ago at Comic-Con. Kevin was entertaining, as always.

DB Sweeney – Toepick! (Has new movie coming out; he and partners made original, now on DVD, is being re-shot by studio.)

And to wrap up, a little hotel lobby fun:


HBO’s True Blood Season 3 New Cast Primer

Posted in Television, True Blood HBO with tags , , , , , , , on April 11, 2010 by blondenews

Are you having trouble keeping up with all the cast additions to True Blood for Season 3, which begins on June 13th? Me, too! Not having read the Charlaine Harris’ series of books which the HBO series is based on, I’m learning a lot of new character names, relations and creature types.

I’ve grouped them by their, um, humanity? Life force status? Type? Well, I’ve grouped them into Vampires, Weres, (Shape) Shifters or Possible Shifters, and Humans, although that last group should probably be labeled “human until we find out otherwise.”

Possible spoilers ahead, although nothing you won’t know already if you’ve been reading the casting notices and announcements, or if you’ve read the books. So, phew, here goes.

Please alert me if you spot any incorrect info, or if I owe you a picture credit or something. I aim to please. And credit.




Those pale, human-sucking (or True Blood-sucking) dead-but-alive creatures we’ve come to love. And lust.

We’ve established through Seasons 1 and 2 that Vampires do not age, and their appearance is fixed at the age they were when “turned.” They can be “one night old” (as Eric Northman described Jessica right after she was turned) or several thousand years old (a la Godric).

They cannot be exposed to daylight, are sensitive to silver (although garlic is just annoying), must nourish themselves with human blood (or for “mainstreamers,” a synthetic substitute – True Blood) and most live in “nests” or groups of vampires. They govern themselves through a feudal system led by Kings, Queens and Sheriffs.

DENIS O’HARE, Russell Edgington

Edgington is the Vampire King of Mississippi. This characer will be a series regular introduced fairly early in seasons 3.

Denis O’Hare has been in a gazillion productions in both film and television. Some of the more recent credits include Milk, Duplicity, Quarantine, Charlie Wilson’s War, Baby Mama and ten episodes of Brothers & Sisters. Won 2003 Tony Award as Best Actor for his performance as Mason Marzac in Richard Greenberg’s play “Take Me Out.”

IMDB link O’Hare



Talbot is an “intensely beautiful” vampire, and boyfriend of Russell Edgington – see above – the vampire king of Mississippi. He is said to have an acerbic sense of humor and excellent culinary skills, despite Vampire’s known lack of inherent talent in that department (or use for the edible result).  Theo Alexander has revealed that he will have a romantic storyline on True Blood. TV Guide Magazine reports that Talbot will cheat on Russell with either Bill (Stephen Moyer), Eric (Alexander Skarsgård), Jason (Ryan Kwanten) or Sam (Sam Trammell).

“Talbot loves Russell immensely because he’s his maker, but like any marriage it has its ups and downs,” Alexander explained. “One thing we have a huge fight over is that I always have to stay home. Sometimes I have to straighten him out and take drastic measures to save the marriage. ” Alexander also refused to reveal why Russell and Talbot arrive in Louisiana but said: “[As royalty] we have ties to all kingdoms.”

Theo Alexander, born in Greece, has starred in “Chuck,” “CSI: NY” and “Pushing Daisies.” Upcoming projects include “Love and Let Die” and “Losing Control.”

IMDB Link Alexander


JAMES FRAIN, Franklin Mott

Franklin Mott is Tara’s over-protective tall, dark and handsome vampire squeeze who seems to have an “immediate and torrid” connection to Tara. Possibly seen with Tara in Season 3 behind-the-scenes teaser #3.

I hear that in the books, Franklin is basically a sugar daddy to Tara but who knows if Alan Ball will follow that lead or blaze his own path with this character.

James Frain looks familiar if you’ve been following “The Tudors” on SHO, as he plays the pivotal role of Thomas Cromwell. He also had recurring roles on Invasion (as Eli) and 24 (as Paul Raines).

IMDB Link Frain




Again, as I haven’t read the books, the concept of “Weres” is new to me. I hear that  only Weres that were born wolves, not bitten and turned, can turn into a full Werewolf and change at will. They cannot touch silver while in were form. I also see some references to Were-wolves, Were-foxes and Were-panthers? I guess we’ll find out all the intricacies as we get into it.

In general, it seems that Weres are stronger than humans, but not stronger than Vampires (?) and they age like humans.  Of course, important to some is the fact that werewolves change shape quickly, so clothes ARE going to be destroyed in the process.  Hello, nude scenes. Fully clothes pics followed – let your imaginations run wild.


JOE MANGANIELLO, Alcide Herveaux

Alcide Herveaux is the Were that will help Sookie find out who kidnapped Bill. In the books, Alcide was a love interest of Sookie. Whether this will be followed in the HBO series remains to be seen. Alcide and his father, Jackson, own a surveying business in Shreveport called Herveaux and Son.

Joe Manganiello is best know as Brad on CBS’ How I Met Your Mother and also  played Owen Morello for 13 episodes of  One Tree Hill. He has appeared on other series including CSI, ER and Scrubs, and he played Flash Thompson in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 3. Or perhaps you saw that episode of Vegas, “Urban Legend,” where he wakes up in a tub of ice without his kidney. It’s a classic.

IMDB link Manganielllo



Cooter is the leader of the biker gang. (I originally wrote this as “bike gang” which doesn’t sound nearly as intimidating!)

Grant Bowler‘s face is familiar from Ugly Betty where he plays the dashing but dasterdly Connor Owens, the man who charmed even Wilhelmina. He was also Captain Gault on Lost. He definitely gets around. He’ll be building up the frequently flyer miles in 2010, shooting Ugly Betty on the east coast and True Blood on the west. So if you see someone that looks like him at LAX or JFK, chances are….

IMDB link Bowler


Photo Credit: Jeff Lorch


Crystal Norris is described as a mysterious and hauntingly beautiful young barefoot, sundress-wearing woman who shares an electric connection with Jason before vanishing into the forest. In the books, she’s a were-panther, so she’s classified with the weres here. Alan Ball, what say you?

Lindsay Pulsipher is best known from ABC Family’s short-lived drama The Middleman. She also played the love interest, Rose, on A&E’s Patrick Swayze drama The Beast.

IMDB link Pulsipher



Hollis is a werewolf who owns a bar where lycanthropes gather.  I’m sure Eric Northman is fine with that. He’ll stick to Vampires and Fangbangers.

Ward has appeared in multiple episodes of Everybody Hates Chris and The Starter Wife.

IMDB link Ward


GRAINGER HINES, Colonel John Flood

Colonel John Flood wolf pack leader; male in his 50s or 60s who is self-assured, dressed like a golfer with a military haircut. He will not respond the way Sookie and Alcide expect to recent events. This character will be introduced in Episode 5, “Trouble“.

Grainger Hines has appeared in movies, stage and TV dating back to 1972.
IMDB link Hines



In the books, Calvin Norris was a were-panther. He will be a strong recurring character, introduced  in Episode 2, “Beautifully Broken” where we will see him upset when the police arrive with a warrant to search his rundown trailer.

You may recognize Gregory Sporleder from his appearances in films such as  Black Hawk Down, The Rock and TV shows Monk and The Mentalist.

IMDB link Sporleder


MARK CASIMIR DYNIEWICZ, Character Name Unknown

The character will be a werewolf and appear in episode four, which is entitled “9 Crimes.”
Dyniewicz’s TV and movie roles have ranged from “Drunk strip club patron” to “henchman” to “businessman.”

IMDB link Dyniewicz


S H A P E S H I F T E R S  (& Possible Shifters)


Shapeshifters are supernatural creatures who can “shift” from human into other forms. Some forms are either to achieve. Their base body temperature is hotter than humans but they age, as humans do. We’ve already met Sam Merlotte and learned that he was adopted and later abandoned by his adopted family because of his tendency to shift. Sam most often shifts into a dog  because “people like dogs,” although in a pinch he can manage other forms if he has a “template” to follow. We’ll see what the other shifters have in store. Although Shifters and Weres seem to be similar, they don’t seem to like each other much.

Marshall Allman, Tommy Mickens

Tommy Mickens is Sam Merlotte’s younger biological brother, son of Joe Lee and Melinda Mickens.

Marshall Allman previously appeared on Prison Break as younger brother LJ and on a ton of TV shows and movies in the last 8 years. 

IMDB link Allman


J. SMITH-CAMERON, Melinda Mickens

Sam’s estranged mother, Melinda Mickens, is a dirt poor, hungover woman who lives in a shanty. Described as a “possible shifter.”

Tony-nominated actress J. Smith-Cameron will play Melinda.  In addition to her many Broadway roles, Cameron has appeared on Law & Order, Six Degrees, and K Street.

IMDB link Smith-Cameron



Joe Lee Mickens is husband to Melinda and Sam’s estranged dad.

Cooper Huckabee was been appearing in film and TV before you were born, ya’ young whippersnapper. Check his IMDB for my many character roles.

IMDB link Huckabee


BRIT MORGAN, Debbie Pelt

Debbie Pelt is Alcide’s psycho ex-girlfriend who doesn’t like Sookie much. Miss Bookie tells us in the books she shifted into a lynx, so we’ll assume that’ll happen on the series also.

Brit Morgan (not to be confused with Britt Morgan who’s a former porn star) is best known from ABC Family’s short-lived drama The Middleman.

IMDB link Morgan




Photo Credit: Pal Nanasi


British actress Lara Pulver has been tapped to play Claudine — the fairy godmother to Anna Paquin’s Bon Temps heroine Sookie. According to the books, Claudine lives among the humans of Bon Temps as Claudine Crane before she reveals herself to Sookie as her fairy godmother. Fans may have actually gotten a very quick glimpse of the character in the first episode of Season One, when Sookie is caught in a vicious brawl outside of Merlotte’s with a group of drug-dealing vampire hunters, the Rattrays. In a rumored deleted scene, Claudine briefly appears and causes the chain Sookie throws at her assailant to wrap around his neck.
However, Bill (Stephen Moyer) catches a sniff of Claudine and she flees.

Lara is best known for her role as Isbaella in the BBC’s “Robin Hood” series.

And, last but not least (well, maybe least, sort of)…

H U M A N S (Or those assumed to be human until proven different)


Do I need to put a description of humans? Well, on True Blood they mostly live in Louisianna, although we also travel into the past to meet Eric Northman’s Viking father, Ulfrick.


KEVIN ALEJANDRO, Jesus Velazquez

Jesus Velazquez is a nursing facility worker taking care of Lafayette’s mother, and will have some kind of romantic connection with Lafayette.

You remember those hypnotic eyes of Kevin Alejandro as Detective Nate Moretta on the critically acclaimed cop drama Southland and as Rudolpho on a four-episode arc on Showtime’s Weeds.

IMDB link Alejandro


Steve Granitz ©

ALFRE WOODARD, Ruby Jean Reynolds

Ruby Jean Reynolds is the mother  of Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis) and aunt of Tara (Rutina Wesley).  Wait, what happened to Lafayette’s “I swear on my mother’s grave…”??

Alfre Woodard recently joined TNT’s dramedy pilot Delta Blues in a co-starring role opposite Jason Lee. You’ve seen her in movie and TV roles since 1978, including recent roles asDr. Sophia Jordan on Three Rivers and Betty Applewhite on Desperate Housewives.

IMDB link Woodard


Photo by Berman Fenelus

SHANNON LUCIO, Caroline Compton

Shannon will play Bill Compton’s wife, Caroline Compton, from his human days. We saw this character in a flashback scene ruminating on how Bill never got to return to his human family after being “turned” by Lorena. Caroline was played by another actress in that brief view in season 1, but this will be a more significant role.

Why does Shannon Lucio look familiar? She played the receptionist at the mysterious GATE corp in Prison Break who turned out to be a fed.

IMDB link Shannon Lucio


Photo by Nicholas Padron

DAWN OLIVIERI, Janice Herveaux

Janice Herveaux, the sister of werewolf Alcide. Although sister to a werewolf, she was human in the books. She’s described as a tough-as-nails biker chick who’s somewhat protective of her younger brother. She is also into horoscopes and psychics.

Dawn Olivieri, an Aquarius, has had several roles over past 4 years, the most memorable being Lydia on Heroes.

IMDB link Olivieri and Link to her official website



Holly, a thirtysomething mother of two, becomes a waitres at Merlott’s who creeps out Arlene with her oddly prescient observations. Holly is a major character in the books, in which she is a practicing Wiccan and also hooks up with Hoyt. Holly will be a recurring role in five episodes of the upcoming season, with an option to continue as a regular on Season 4.

Lauren Bowles’ recent TV gigs include guest spots on ABC’s “Private Practice” and CBS’ Cold Case.”

IMDB link Bowles


HANS TESTER, Ulfrick Northman

Ulfrick Northman, Eric’s father, is a battle-scarred Swedish Viking King, seen in a flashback to 900 A.D. Though they have a good relationship, there is some tension between father and son, because Ulfrick wants Eric to learn responsibility and behave in a manner befitting royalty. Ulfrick makes his debut in episode 5 of Season 3, “Trouble.”

Hans Tester has had sporadic acting and crew roles in TV and film, including most recently roles in Better Off Ted, Nip/Tuck and The Informant.

IMDB link Tester



Summer is a love interest for Hoyt.

Melissa Rauch has done lots of  recent roles on TV, including recurring role as Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory and Tina on Kath and Kim.

IMDB link Rauch and Link to her official website



Yvetta is a dancer at Fangtasia who becomes Eric’s lover. As far as we know, she’s human.

Natasha Alam is likely to be a much-hated actress starting sometime after June 13th, because she gets to do sex scenes with Alexander Skarsgard. Well, you take the good, you take the bad, girl.

IMDB link Alam



Missy appears in episode 1 of season3, called “Pack of Wolves.”  Other character information is unknown.

C.C. Sheffield has a few credits in movies and TV, including The Dinner Party and According to Jim and has some others upcoming in 2010.
She also is a member of and sings in the band “LE REV.”

IMDB link Sheffield


GREG DANIEL, Character name unknown

Character info is unknown.

Gregg Daniel has had many roles on the big and small screen since 1990 including Pump Up The Volume, Knots Landing, The West Wing and Spider-Man 3.

IMDB link Daniel


SHANNON WELLS, Character name unknown

No character info available.

Shannon Wells has made appearances on various TV programs including Mad Men, Ghost Whisperer and Scrubs.

IMDB link Wells



Gus, character info unknown, appears in several episodes.

Don Swayze has credits in on a number of television series, including parts in “Carnivàle” and “Criminal Minds.” Yes, he is the brother of Patrick Swayze.

IMDB Link Swayze



Dr. Sekuler appears in one episode of Season 3 – “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor.” This doctor gives Tara some dire news at the hospital.

Rebeccca Tilney is a character actor who has appeared in many popular shows, including Lost, Heroes, Dirty Sexy Money and Cold Case as well as movies including Terminator 3 and Domestic Disturbance.

IMDB link Tilney



Homer appears in one episode of Season 3, “What Do You Know About Love.”

Sean Michael Guess has appeared in movies and on TV sporadically since 1993.

IMDB link Guess


Photo Credit: Bjoern Kommerell


Steger, who plays Navid Shirazi on “90210,” will play a gay prostitute named Tony, who gets picked up by Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare) – the vampire King of Mississippi. The guest appearance may turn into a recurring role for Steger during “True Blood’s” fourth season, although reportedly there are no plans for him to leave “90210.”


Those are all the new characters I’ve heard about as of 4/11. I’ll try to add new ones as they come up.

And then, of course, there are the regulars. Here’s the new Seasons 3 cast photo. What a beauty! Eric looks ready to attack us all. Mmmmm….

True Blood Season 3 Cast