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July 22, 2011

Comic-Con 2011: ‘True Blood’ creator Alan Ball lets secrets slip

Posted in: Comic-Con,TV

Alexander Skarsgard in "True Blood" (HBO)

HBO’s hit vampire series “True Blood” closed out the programming in Comic-Con International’s Ballroom 20 with a bang Friday night, bringing a healthy portion of the show’s ensemble cast — Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Nelsan Ellis, Deborah Ann Woll, Kristin Bauer von Straten and Kevin Alejandro — and creator Alan Ball to the stage to talk (and joke about) fairies, witches and lots and lots of sex to a wildly enthusiastic audience of die-hard fans.

The panel session, which was heavy on Q&A and clearly designed to appeal to viewers who intensely follow the show, yielded quite a few tantalizing bits of news (as did a trailer that showed some highlights from the upcoming second half of Season 4). Here’s a brief recap of some of the more interesting facts to emerge:

* Alan Ball is already crafting storylines for Season 5. Highlights? We will see how Eric made Pam. We will see a strip club-style establishment in which supernatural beings take off their clothes for money (that will most likely not be named Hooligans).

* Anna Paquin believes that, as Eric suggested to Sookie earlier this year, the telepathic, part-fairy cocktail waitress does have two very different sides to her personality. One is sweet and innocent, Paquin said, but “part of her has dirty vampire sex on a regular basis, possibly with more than one vampire.”

* There will be a moment on the show in which Sookie and Eric are together in a shower, but it might not follow exactly along the lines of the racy love scene  that Charlaine Harris famously crafted in her fourth Sookie Stackhouse novel, “Dead to the World.” “It may be weirder and dirtier than what’s in the book,” Ball said.

Indeed, things look grim for Team Bill, but Stephen Moyer, Paquin’s off-screen husband who plays Sookie’s on-screen ex-lover Mr. Compton, seems to be taking his former flame’s new relationship with amnesiac Eric Northman in stride. “There’s so many telepathic waitresses down South, I’ll just move on to the next one,” Moyer joked, sitting next to his wife onstage.

Paquin, however, was circumspect about a potential Bill/Sookie reunion, noting: “I think it’s going to be a pretty complicated road back. A lot has happened.”

Ball did hint, though, that the vampires might continue to fight over Sookie, but they will unite to fight for their survival as the season reaches its dramatic conclusion. The year’s big baddie, Marnie, played by Fiona Shaw, isn’t exactly the threat Ball mentioned, though: “They’re going to stick together because they are fighting against a common enemy,” he said. “And that enemy is Michele Bachmann.”

– Gina McIntyre

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