Marc Harshbarger with Chicago Now conducted an interview with Denis O’Hare and he asked him a couple of questions about True Blood and his character Russell Edgington.
Let’s begin with True Blood. Were you a fan of the show before you were cast?
I was a huge fan of the show and still am. I was introduced to the show via a bootleg VHS that had 4 episodes on it. My boyfriend Hugo and I started watching one Sunday night around 8 and by midnight we were so completely hooked that I was on the phone with Time Warner in New York begging them to give me HBO on Demand NOW. I have to watch the rest of season one NOW, don’t you understand?
What can you tell us about your character, Russell?
Russell evolved through conversations with Alan Ball [the show's creator], lots of research and hikes with Theo Alexander who plays Talbot, my vampire boyfriend of 700 years. Initially Alan told me that Russell was pretty old and was very charming and had a southern accent. We decided eventually that Russell was older than the character of Godric and so that puts him at around the 2700-2800-year-old mark – he was “made” sometime in 800 BC. He’s an ancient Celt. The Celts originated in the Carpathian mountains and then started migrating West in search of the bed of the sun. In 55 BC they were defeated by Julius Caesar in Gaul. So, obviously, Russell has worn many masks and his latest “incarnation” as a southern gentleman is just another mask.