Huge thanks to Santress for the transcript. ♥
Can you tell us anything about the fourth season yet?
Nope, and that’s not because I’m not allowed to but I honestly have no idea. They’re writing season four right now and I’m not going to see a script until maybe two weeks before we start shooting it. All I can do is basically what the fans can do. I can read the fourth book and it’s going to be loosely based on that.
It’s definitely not going to be exactly the way the book is…they do change it quite a bit.
What was the True Blood audition process like?
I met with Alan about a year before I got a phone call. I was at work on shooting Generation Kill in Africa. I was out there for seven months. Like I said I met with Alan ten months before and then he called my agent and asked if I was available. I wasn’t and I was in Maputo in Mozambique. We had two months to go on the show.
I talked to him on the phone and I was bummed. I was like “alright, this sucks”. I was a big fan of his and it sounded like a fun project but I realized that they’re starting now and I’m in the middle of Generation Kill and I can’t do it. But then the Writer’s Strike happened in L.A. so they pushed True Blood. Since we already had our scripts on Generation Kill, we were in production already. We weren’t affected by the strike so I was able to finish Generation Kill in Africa and then fly back to L.A. and start True Blood.
You also starred in HBO’s Generation Kill; What was it like filming alongside real life Marines?
Just an unforgettable experience. It was tough. We were out there in the Kalahari Desert for seven months. We shot six days a week. I think we shot for 145 days and I worked 142 out of those 145 days, so you basically lived on set. You were either on set or in your bed.
It’s a long time to be away from friends and family but that said, it was just an amazing, amazing experience. It was my first big international job. Just the quality of the writing was phenomenal and to be able to work with Ed Burns and David Simon who did The Wire…it’s a pretty good first job to get for me (laughs)…and also the importance of the story and to do this with three Reconnaissance Marines who were out there working Special Reconnaissance. One of them played himself. It was just an unforgettable experience. To this day, the most important job I’ve been part of.
You’ve worked on two huge HBO series; What do you associate with HBO?
I’ve never worked for another network or television channel. Generation Kill was my first television job and True Blood is also an HBO show obviously. It’s about creative freedom I think. They really trust the creators of their shows like David Simon and Ed Burns who did The Wire and Generation Kill and Alan Ball who did Six Feet Under and now True Blood. The amount of freedom they get…I don’t have that much experience in television but I think that’s quite rare that they kind of trust their show runners and just basically say, “We trust you. We love you. We love your work. Just create something amazing and have fun”. Then they kind of take a step back and let the show runners just go with it. They’re not micromanaging it and, of course, that’s wonderful to work in an environment like that where the show runner feels he’s got the support of the studio instead of having to fight the studio all the time.
Do you have a message for your UK fans?
Thank you, guys.