True Blood Executive Producer Alan Ball Discusses Season Four of the Hit HBO Drama

True Blood Executive Producer Alan Ball Discusses Season Four of the Hit HBO Drama

The sexy HBO series has returned, much to the delight of True Blood fans everywhere. With pressure high to top Season Three, find out from show creator Alan Ball what Season Four will offer.

If you're like me, then you've been addicted to watching HBO on Sunday nights for the past decade. Just as Game of Thrones wrapped up it's first season, HBO turned up the heat with the premiere of Season Four of True Blood. Quite possibly, one of the sexiest casts on television right now, this season looks to further explore the magical elements of the Stackhouse bloodline and promises to be one of the steamiest seasons yet. Recently, Complex Magazine, caught up with Producer Alan Ball to discuss all things True Blood.

Briefly Recapping Season Three:

Well, that was based on the books. In the books, Sookie does go to Mississippi to look for Bill, who was missing. So we just sort of used that as a jumping-off point. We didn’t really sit down and say to one another, “Oh, let’s see what’s going on outside of Louisiana.” We look at the books. The show had already established the vampire world in Louisiana, and we needed to open things up a little, but that’s how it plays out in Charlaine’s books, so the timing worked itself out nicely.

On incorporating new characters without sacrificing focus on the main story:

It is difficult, but I do believe that that’s part of what makes the show so much fun for the audience. There’s such a crazy, big cast of characters, and I think that there’s somebody in that mix for everybody to identify with, but it is hard. We only have 60 minutes per episode, and we’re servicing about 20 different characters. [Laughs.]It’s daunting for us, sure, but you don’t think about it. It’s challenging, and that’s what our job is—that’s what we try to do.

On what to expect in Season Four:

Well, it is like that, in that there is some person shaking things up at home, and all of Season Four takes place in Bon Temps or Shreveport; nobody goes anywhere. In Season Two, the vampires did go to Dallas, and there was all of the stuff with the Fellowship of the Sun, but everybody ended up in Bon Temps; this year, everybody pretty much stays at home. There are less new characters then there were last season probably. And there’s something kind of fun about taking some of your characters, sticking them in a plane, and flying them off somewhere new, where they’re sort of fish out of water. But I basically just go wherever the story takes us. I work with five other writers, and we try to figure out interesting stories that will challenge all of our regular characters in new and interesting ways, and force them to change and grow, sometimes for the better and sometimes not. We always want to keep the show fresh and not make it seem like we’re just treading water.

On this season's baddie, in comparison to Season Three's brilliant Russell Edgington:

She has very big shoes to fill, yeah. We were very fortunate that we got the great Irish actress Fiona Shaw [plays the witch, Marnie], who is one of the premier Shakespearean actresses of hers and any other generation. We needed somebody of that depth, because her character starts off very mousy and unassuming but all kinds of stuff happens to her, and we needed somebody who could go to these epic places, and she totally does that....I’m hoping in seasons hence that we’ll find some more lesser-known supernatural creatures, to figure out what’s going on with them. But this year, actually, we have a whole bunch of them; we have witches, an interesting twist on shape-shifting that gets played out over the course of the season. There are disembodied spirits; I hesitate to call them “ghosts,” so I call them “spirits without hosts.” The magic demon that overtook Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) last season and scared the hell out of Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) comes back a bit more. So there’s all kinds of fun stuff this year, in addition to werewolves and vampires.

Very interesting revelations from Mr. Ball. As someone unfamiliar with the books, I am definitely looking forward to all the surprises, dark humor, and horny vampire sex. The season just kicked off last Sunday and I'll be bringing you guys all the latest news and episode recaps as the season progresses. Should be a WILD RIDE!

True Blood is an American television drama series created and produced by Alan Ball. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, and details the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional, small town in the state of Louisiana. The series centers on Sookie Stackhouse (played by actress Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress at a bar, who falls in love with vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer).Season three loosely follows the plot of the third novel of The Southern Vampire Mysteries, Club Dead, and introduces werewolves to the show's mythology. It also introduces the characters of Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi, and his private investigator, Franklin Mott. In addition, some characters from the fourth novel Dead to the World are introduced: Crystal Norris as Jason's love interest, her family of werepanthers from Hotshot, and Sookie's fairy godmother, Claudine. Sookie's heritage as part fairy is also revealed later in the season, a major plot element from the eighth novel, From Dead to Worse.


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