A Night Out @ Amanda Foundation Charity Event
Hosted By Kristin Bauer Van Straten

By Crix Lee on Jul 18 2011 at 12:54 pm | 6 Comments »
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Last Thursday night at Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles, True Blood star Kristin Bauer Van Straten (a.k.a. “Pam”) hosted a charity event benefiting The Amanda Foundation (rescuing dogs and cats since 1976) and featured musical guests Abri Van Straten (husband of Kristin), Chris Pierce (fiance of Tara Buck a.k.a. “Ginger”), and L.A. Hootenanny (Todd Lowe a.k.a. “Terry” is a member).

The night went a little something like this…

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Abri Van Straten took the stage first and eased me into the night of music that was to come. Gotta say, I’d not heard of him before that night and he certainly won me over; I can TOTALLY see how Kristin fell in love with this guy. He’s such an amazing singer/songwriter that when he got to a song about rainbows, the room went from rowdy to pin drop quiet …he’s THAT good.

 

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Kristin Bauer to be Featured in Runway Magazine

By krystal_skyi on Jun 23 2011 at 2:09 am | 1 Comment »
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Photo Credit: JSquared Photography.

Kristin Bauer is glamouring us once again! The always stunning Kristin will be featured in Runway Magazine’s Summer 2011 Issue. In stores now.

Jessica Tuck: Nan’s Agenda Behind Her “Agenda”

By True Blood News on May 27 2011 at 7:44 am | 28 Comments »
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nan in focus nan flanagan jessica tuck exclusive interviews bill compton Since the day we started devoting an insane amount of time to this website, one of our hopes was to nab an interview with Jessica Tuck. Her character, Nan Flanagan, had fascinated us from the very first True Blood episode, “Strange Love.” Nan was always in the peripheral, setting the tone for the state of vampire politics; but now, it has gotten to the point where she is the focal point of most of the speculation that involve our dearest vampires. What is Nan’s agenda? How high up is she with the Authority?

Last October, Jessica was upgraded to a regular on True Blood and the theories have run wild regarding her implications on the show’s storyline,  American Vampire League’s agenda and most recently, her possible relationship with Bill Compton. Finally, here it comes: enjoy our chat with Jessica, but be warned, this interview contains spoilers.

TB-N: You graduated from Yale with a psychology degree, did you ever practice psychology? What drew you to acting and what was your first role?

JT: I have never done anything “professional” with my psychology degree but I do feel that my studies have helped me as an actress. Psychology is the study of mind and behaviour and as an actor you are always exploring characters – who they are, what makes them tick, how they interact with others. This is in part what drew me to acting – the opportunity to explore the psychology of human being. I am also a restless person and acting promised constant challenge and change – it’s a very engaging profession. I started out doing a lot of NYU student films and small independent films. The first job that really paid my rent was a three year gig on the Soap Opera, One Life To Live.

TB-N: Your experience in television has been very vast, you’ve been nominated for an Emmy and you’ve been in one of my favorite (cancelled!) TV shows, 1999′s Cupid with Jeremy Piven. Are there any favorite genres that you prefer? What are you watching now?

Nan S1 E1 2 nan flanagan jessica tuck exclusive interviews bill compton JT: I love both comedy and drama. It’s more about the character for me – is there something to sink my teeth into? I don’t watch a lot of TV- don’t seem to have the time. OF COURSE, I watch True Blood. I was also a huge fan of Big Love before it went off the air. I like Grey’s Anatomy and I watch Project Runway and Dancing With The Stars with my 8 year old  daughter. My husband and I like Real Time with Bill Maher and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

TB-N: Did you audition for the role of Nan Flanagan or another role? Can you tell us a bit about the process you went through to become Nan?

JT: I did audition for Nan. It was a pretty straight forward process. It was one audition for Alan Ball. Originally, Nan was only going to be in a few episodes and then they just kept writing her in. I feel very fortunate that she has grown into the character she is today.

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The Joe Manganiello Interview: “Go Big Or Go Home”

By True Blood News on Feb 7 2011 at 1:55 pm | 18 Comments »
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"My eyes are up here ladies."

Joe Manganiello portrays Alcide Herveaux in True Blood, the werewolf construction worker who sometimes works for vampires. Alcide is presented as a man with working class values and a definite soft spot for one telepathic waitress – but he comes with baggage (don’t they all ladies?), specifically a V-addicted raging ex girlfriend.

We had the chance to ask Joe some questions a couple of days before his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers appeared in Super Bowl XLV. Joe shares his favorite workout music, his motto for living and what the gloomy donkey, Eeyore, from “Winnie the Pooh” has to do with True Blood.

TB-N: It’s hard to find a single article about you that does not mention your abs or physical attributes. Does it get old for you? What does Joe really see when he looks in the mirror?

JM: My idol as a young actor was Robert DeNiro who was famous for inhabiting his characters and transforming himself physically. I remember going to see “Cape Fear” in the theater and being shocked at how much he changed himself for the part. So often people get caught up in talking about the weight gain or weight loss with some of his earlier performances but the work was there and it was mesmerizing. With that said, Charlaine [Harris] gave a very detailed description of “Alcide” in the books and Alan Ball fleshed that out and added incredible depth and heart.  I then had the task of living up to it internally, vocally, and physically. When I look in the mirror? I see me as a little kid looking back but all grown up.

TB-N: Is there anything you think people have gotten wrong about you?

JM: I think it’s funny when reporters print things with quotations around it when I know they weren’t recording our conversation or when they print things like “Joe secretly wishes (blank).” If I secretly wish it… how come the super market tabloids know?

TB-N: How did your passion for the cameras begin? Did your football knee injury somehow change the direction you were heading?

JM: Not really. I knew in my soul that playing college sports wasn’t going to fulfill me. The truth is that I tore my MCL playing football and after months of rehab, returned for basketball season and my first game out I went to dunk and my legs got taken out and I landed and broke my elbow and had to sit out with that. I spent the next two years in high school dealing with injury after injury… when the universe has something to tell me… I find that it speaks very loudly. My high school had a TV studio and let us borrow camera equipment and I would write and direct movies for me and my friends to star in. It was my first love.

TB-N: After an expansive career in TV, and now that True Blood has made you quite famous, what’s next for Joe? In what direction would you like your path to take you?

JM: I’m currently figuring out what movie to act in over my next hiatus. I also have a project that I pitched to a studio and I have a music documentary that I want to shoot when I get time. The idea is to be a successful actor/producer. Read More »

Exclusive Interview with James Frain:
“Franklin doesn’t know he’s psychotic”

By True Blood News on Sep 22 2010 at 2:28 pm | 34 Comments »
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James at True Blood's Crew Appreciation Party

James Frain made a big impression as Franklin Mott on True Blood this season … a big impression full of crazy, psychopathic, lovesick lunacy. He was so intense and so brilliant that he’s become a fan favorite and many mourned Franklin’s true death. We had an opportunity recently to ask Frain a few questions about his role as Tara’s unwanted suitor and about his other roles, getting to know a little better the awesome British actor behind Franklin Mott.

TB-N: You landed your first role in Shadowlands (1993) directed by Richard Attenborough, who discovered you when you were in your third year at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. What was it like to begin your career with such an important film? Did that role change your life in any way?

JF: I think I was the only guy on that set who didn’t have a knighthood. Lucky break is too small a term. Shadowlands gave me my career.

TB-N: And what a great start! In that film, you worked with Anthony Hopkins, portraying a taciturn student of the British writer C.S Lewis. You also starred with him again in the film Titus (1999). What was it like working with the talented Sir Anthony Hopkins?

JF: Hopkins is one of the greats; watching the intensity of his concentration up close was inspiring. On set he’s relaxed and fun, and he’s a brilliant mimic. He’s of the work-hard-but-don’t-take-yourself-too-seriously school, and that had a big influence on me.

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James Frain in The Tudors

TB-N: You are a popular face on TV, having appeared in shows like “The Closer,” “24,” “Invasion,” “Californication” …  and especially “The Tudors.” What are your favorite TV shows? What’s the show you have enjoyed acting in the most?

JF: I enjoyed all of them in different ways, but ‘The Tudors’ stands out because it was my first experience of working on a character over several years. My all time favorite TV show? HBO’s ‘The Wire.’

TB-N: And it was in The Tudors where you portrayed for the first time a subject of a sanguinare King. You magnificently brought to life again to Sir Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII’s councilor.  Did you enjoy being under Cromwell’s skin?

JF: I imagined how Cromwell might have seen himself; as a good man doing God’s work, and I was fascinated by the contradictions in his personality. I enjoyed putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and I appreciated how generous writer Michael Hirst was with his process.
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Carrie Preston: Acting, Producing and Tweeting

By True Blood News on Jun 29 2010 at 12:51 pm | 4 Comments »
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The beautiful, Carrie Preston

Carrie Preston is one cool chick. She acts and directs, tweets in her spare time, and is unrecognizable from role to role. She changes characters the way a chameleon changes colors, with dazzling results. We got the chance recently to ask Carrie a few questions in a True Blood News exclusive interview.

TB-News: How does all your years in theater help prepare you for filming for TV and the big screen? Can you talk about your upcoming stage-performance with your husband?

CP: For me, the theater training I got is the foundation for all of the other kinds of acting that I’ve been asked to tackle. When you are on stage, you simultaneously use your mind, your body, your voice, your focus, your collaboration with others, and most of all your stamina. Of course these are required when doing camera work, too. But it’s much more acute on stage. With the technique I learned doing plays, I feel more able to sustain all that is required of me in the fragmented world of camera work. Michael and I are doing a benefit for Charleston Stage in Charleston, SC on July 31st. We are not doing a “performance” per se, instead we are doing a benefit reading of “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney, which entails reading/acting the play while sitting at music stands. This particular play is meant to be performed this way, it’s a good choice for the event.

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Carrie as Betty, in What's Wrong With Virginia

TB-News: You worked on two films during the hiatus, A Bag of Hammers and What’s Wrong with Virginia. In both, you also play a Southern woman. Do you credit your Southern roots for playing these roles so well, and do you use real-life models for these characters?

CP: I always feel like I grew up in a place that is so particular and so full of rich history, customs and character. I have travelled all over the world, and there’s no place like the south. I feel a responsibility to give the southern women I play a depth and believability that isn’t always present in Hollywood’s portrayal of Southern women. With that said, I do understand that I am responsible for a lot of the humor of the show, so I must honor that at the same time. I don’t use specific women as reference, it’s more like a patchwork of many different women I grew up with.

TB-News: You have a production company, Daisy 3 Pictures. Do you have any projects in the works? Is it difficult to go from being an actor to  writing, directing and producing? What is more rewarding for you?

CP: Daisy 3 Pictures has produced two features and a short film. Now we are teaming up with Locomotive (Lucy Barzun Donnelly and Joshua Astrachan) to produce a screenplay written by actress Kellie Overbey, and I am hoping to be directing it soon in New York. It’s a comedy called “That’s What She Said”, which I like to call “an east village Sex and the City.” It’s the woman’s answer to all the “bromance” movies that have been ubiquitous these days. Being an actor really helps me communicate with the actors that I am directing. Also, being an actor, I get to experience and learn from many different directors.  I end up using more of my skills when directing and producing than when I’m just an actor. I love it all.

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True Blood’s “Creepy Biker Dude,” Andy Mackenzie

By Tincar on Jun 3 2010 at 5:00 am | 14 Comments »
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Fans got a sneak peek of Andy Mackenzie in the number three teaser released by HBO. Mackenzie has a long list of credits under his belt from CSI to My Name is Earl and although it may look as if he can only play a Creepy Biker Dude, his acting ability is versatile. Just check out his demo reel and you will see why we quickly became Mackenzie fans.

We caught up with Andy while he was filming Burn Notice in sunny South Florida to ask him about his experience on True Blood and how he got the part of “Creepy Biker Dude.” Andy was nice enough to take a break from shooting guns from a Harley to share his experience on the set of True Blood, his vast knowledge of the industry, his band 33Degree and what’s up next in his career.

Andy Mackenzie: Oh, the “Creepy Biker.”  I actually have three different character names.  Starts with “Creepy Biker,” then “Wolf,” then shifts into “Biker” while I’m fighting with Eric.  You’ve seen some of that scene in one of the behind-the-scenes teasers.

The casting was a lot of fun.  It’s always crazy not knowing how it’s going to go and what the casting assistant is going to do when there’s action involved.  Not to mention, the room could’ve comfortably seated six but walked into eight, plus me. Read the material, did it pretty much how I wanted to do it; Alan simply replied “Fantastic.”  I left proud and pleased.

I did shoot two eps, “Beautifully Broken” (302) and “It Hurts Me Too” (303).  When I booked the role, I knew I would be showing 99 percent of my skin and I had about six weeks to hit the gym extra hard.  So, that was my life for those weeks.  Who knows if it will show?  The first ep was quick for me, not much for me to do.  Second ep was cool.  Alex and I spent some time chit chatting and reminiscing about some mutual Swedes and Finns.  We may get us all together sometime.  Between the chit chats was definitely different for me.  Stunts have been a big part of the job anyway but naked stunts are something else.  No place for pads.  “Closed set?”  Nah. I’m not shy.  Maybe Alex, since he had to … Read More »