exclusive interview

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

By True Blood News on May 27 2011 | 29 Comments »

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.

TB-N: Nan has a very public-friendly persona, she is a well-spoken politician and dresses elegantly while on TV, however, off-camera we see her as some kind of dominatrix who is one of the toughest vampires we’ve seen on True Blood. How does Nan juggle her PR job role with that of vampire enforcer?

JT: I think part of what makes Nan so scary is the fact that she can flip from one persona to the other so easily. I don’t think it’s a “juggle” for her.  She doesn’t have much of a conscience. She does what she has to do to get the job done and doesn’t apologize for it. She believes in her power and her right to wield it .

nan agenda nan flanagan jessica tuck exclusive interviews bill compton TB-N: In season 1 and 2 we take Nan’s mainstreaming as gospel but in season 3 we see her true colors in the sense that she isn’t all about doing what she preaches. She says she only drinks the Tru Blood but later we see her drinking from the dancer in her limo. Is Nan an outlier in the fact that she eats people, or do you think all vampires involved with the Authority are doing it as well? Does she really believe in the public AVL cause, or as usual with vampires, she has a completely different agenda?

JT: I can’t speak for the entire AVL but I highly doubt that Nan is the only one that strays from True Blood. I think as long as it’s consensual and kept out of the public eye- it’s fine. The dancer in the limo was more than happy to engage with Nan. I do believe that Nan is sincere about wanting to mainstream vampires.

That said, it would be foolish to think that her efforts were just about making humans and vamps one big happy family. There is an “agenda” behind her agenda but that is not for me to reveal right now. Stay tuned.

TB-N: Nan is also one of the most mysterious characters in True Blood. We don’t know much about her, though she has been featured since episode 1 (on the TV at the Grabbit Kwik). Will we get to know Nan’s story better? Maybe some flashbacks or more info about her background? Are you allowed to tell us how old Nan is or where was she born?

JT: Nan is mysterious- even to me. I don’t know how old  she is or where she was born. More about Nan is revealed in season 4 but  I can’t go into detail without spoiling things for you.

TB-N: We’re not sure if you wander around the Internet and run into any True Blood speculation, but there’s a widespread theory in the wild about you and Mr. Bill Compton. Is there anything you might be able to say about Nan’s relationship with Bill without giving anything away?

JT: All I can say is that Nan and Bill have a history. Details of that history will be revealed in season 4. If I say anything more than that, I’ll get myself in trouble.

TB-N: Nan is about the only character that seems to be able to break Eric Northman’s balls. Is there some past history between them that would cause this or does Nan simply treat everyone with a steel fist?

JT: As far as i know, there is no history between Eric and Nan that justifies her attitude towards him. Honestly, i think she’s just a bitchy ball buster – she needs some lessons in personal dynamics.

Nan bill history nan flanagan jessica tuck exclusive interviews bill compton

TB-N: Nan probably didn’t know what a real “Vampire national disaster” looked like until she saw King Russell Edgington despining Jerry McCafferty on live TV. How do you think it’s possible to win the human public’s opinion back after such a mess?

JT: Well, I think the case needs to be made that Russell Edgington was ONE bad apple and does not represent all vampires. And of course a little glamouring here and there can’t hurt.

TB-N: Is there any special character that you’d like to see Nan interacting with?

JT: I think Jessica is a great character and Nan gets to interact with her a bit in season 4.

TB-N: Which episode or storyline in TB has been your favorite so far?

JT: I thought the Russell Edgington arc last year was fantastic.

nan bitchy nan flanagan jessica tuck exclusive interviews bill compton

TB-N: Our readers love hearing about what happens on the set while filming True Blood. Can you share any funny moment you’ve encountered on set?

JT: I wish i could relate some fabulous incident but i don’t have one. What I can tell you is that it’s a great group of people – cast and crew. Even when the hours get long, people are fun to be around. And let’s face it, what could be more delicious than dressing up like a vampire, fangs and all, and  running around with Eric, Bill and Sookie? Life is good.

TB-N: What would you say that fans can expect of Season 4 apart from witches and more craziness?

JT: Relationships between the characters get much more complicated and redifined. I love this season – I think there is a lot to “sink your teeth into.” You won’t be disappointed.

jessica tuck new film nan flanagan jessica tuck exclusive interviews bill compton

Jessica in Model Minority - Photo by Julia Ransom

TB-N: And finally, what’s next for Jessica Tuck? Any projects in the works?

JT: I just finished a great little independent film called Model Minority.

Model Minority will premiere in 2012 and it’s directed by Lily Mariye. Jessica will play Angie, the mother of Kayla, an underprivileged Japanese American 16 year old, who endangers her promising future as an aspiring artist when she becomes involved with a drug dealer.

Many thanks to Jessica for answering our questions and stoking our excitement for True Blood season 4! Bring it on!


29 Responses to “Jessica Tuck: Nan’s Agenda Behind Her “Agenda””

  1. Brian Horgan says:

    I love her but she’s not like any nan that I ever met.

  2. eloradannen says:

    Well that pretty much confirms the suspicions of some of us about the AVL. It does have another agenda..well, well. Case closed there. Now to figure it out.

    I alway enjoy Jessica. I do remember her from One Life to Live. She play Megan, Vickie daughter.

  3. Marlene Emmett says:

    I’ve always liked you and your acting~ I watched One Life to Live and saw your three years as
    Victoria Lord’s daughter Meagan. I was sorry when you passed on the show.
    I love you as Nan Flaganan~ and yes the character is a Total Bitch!!!
    In my book you owe Eric Northman a apology for not beleiving him last Season when he told you
    that Russell Edgington was an “Extremely loose cannon” and should be taken into custody before he
    hurts someone!! You’d still have a job!!
    And I don’t hold it against you if you partake of a human every now & then in private!! LOL.

  4. Sofia says:

    I absolutely adore her!!! Nan’s character is one of the most interesting stories in True Blood. And of course, the fact that Bill may have been working for her for a long time it’s exciting!!

    My bet: Bill was spying on QSA. Now, will he report what he already knows about Sookie to Nan?

    How tied is Nan to the AVL? Jessica says she has her own agenda.

    Thank you ladies at True Blood News for bringing such an exciting start for the weekend!!

    Waiting sucks!

  5. LucyLee says:

    So, Bill & Nan it is confirmed have worked together before. How interesting. I wonder what the real Agenda of AVL is?

  6. Moonbeam says:

    Nan is a great character like all the characters on TB.
    This whole AVL, Authority,and mainstreaming is a great topic and a nice addition to the story.

    I dont think Nan owes Eric any kind of an apology. Nan is a straight shooting no nonsense B*tch and she has had to clean up more than just this huge mess that Eric was involved in. There was also the Godric incident.
    She had every right to want an explanation for Godrics wanting to meet the sun and going willingly to the FOTS that ultimately caused loss of human and vamp life. That is NOT something that your average vamp would do. Well we know that Godric was not your average vamp, and I believe Bill is the only vamp who could really understand him.
    Also when Eric stood up to attack Nan (S2), it seemed Bill stood up to possibly protect her.
    Bill has been talking mainstreaming and vampire causes since S1. He said as much to Malcome, Diane and Liam , as well as Eric.
    I believe it is Bills sincere desire to see the VRA pass as well as better human vamp relations.
    As to Bill still feeding from humans, Jessica mentions that she thinks mainstreaming vamps will still do it with the willing.
    Bill has said to QSA that he only feeds from Sookie and I believe that it is part of their lovemaking. And from what we have seen, Sookie is more than willing and invites it. The times we assume that Bill has fed from another (post Lorena) it was when he needed to heal or he was forced or when fighting/protecting (he bit the FOTS boy to weaken him, then he released him, showing mercy).

  7. krystal_skyi says:

    Wouldn’t it be something if Bill was working for the Queen but, REALLY all along working for the Authority “Nan”….hmmm…. Some big top secret agenda.

  8. tigereyes says:

    Krystal, I have always thought that, I think Bill working for the Queen was a cover, in actually fact, he was working for Nan and the Authority, OH MY, Mr. Compton, cannot to see you June 26.

    Jessica Tuck is an awesome actress, she plays Nan to the tee, can’t for the interaction with Jessica and Nan also.

    @Moonbeam… Love you comments, and could not agree more. I loved Nan’s scenes with Eric, she really can put him in his place. Go NAN :)

  9. Liz79 says:

    The AVL/Authority is like any government. There is a public front and of course a lot of things going on behind the scenes. Is the AVL trying to get humans on their side to take power from the very old and very rich vampire Kings and Queens? Are they trying to usurp their power? I think we’ll start to see a war so to speak start between the vampires. Nan is sincere about mainstreaming but to what end? It clearly isn’t to physically harm humans so what does that leave us with? The idea that Bill was spying on QSA for the AVL I think supports this divide. I’m fascinated to see how Mr. Compton juggles his new loyalty to Sookie with his true job with the AVL.

    • TeamSookie says:

      They are not trying to take power away from the Kings and Queens. It was said that the Authority is the real power behind the monarch and the authority also are the real figure heads behind the AVL.

      • Lynn says:

        I agree with Team Sookie! Whatever their agenda is (which can’t be good IMO), it does not have anything to do with vampire politics. The Authority rules the roost, from the AVL’s agenda to how the monarchs are formed. There is a bigger picture here, which is what does the Authority/AVL actually want to accomplish. My pet theory so far is: being as close to human as possible, i.e. daywalking and to take over the human political world. In a less threatening way than Russell of course. They want to lull the humans into a false sense of security, JMO!

        • Liz79 says:

          Ok, I agree the Authority runs the show. Slip of the mind there. I just think that we have already seen dissent in the vampire world over the idea of mainstreaming. The idea of WHY they would need to do that. Russell, who was/is very old and very rich even scoffed at the idea of fearing the Authority. If daywalking is the Authority’s goal why not make a united effort to go after it? We saw that it is also a goal of Russell’s and Sophie-Anne’s. Does the Authority want to keep this ability from them? If so why? I’m not saying though that I necessarily believe that daywalking is their agenda though once they find out about Sook it just well may become their agenda.

          Vampires can take whatever they want. As Jessica even mentioned they could glamour humans if need be. Human’s have always been the prey so why the impetus to “play nice” with them? I think it’s fascinating this season to see human’s rise to the top of the food chain (or so it appears).

          But what I saw last year with the Magister (a symbol of the Authority) and Russell and now Bill vs Sophie Ann is a divide between two groups. Vampires in general don’t really lose any sleep over being nice to humans. And I would agree that the humans should keep the wits about them but I also believe that there’s a real conflict brewing within the vampire world and that is very interesting to me.

          • Acanthus says:

            Really good post, this. I am really curious about the questions and possibilities proposed here.

          • TeamSookie says:

            Very good points Liz, and I understand now what you were trying to say. There definitely is a division and it might even be the struggle for power between the Authority and the Monarch. We saw QSA saying she is a Queen and they can’t do anything to her, we saw how RE felt too. I think no matter what the Authorities position might be, even the fact that they are the real power behind the Monarch, the Queens and Kings resent this.

            I don’t think their agenda will be classified as bad or good, it will all be left up for interpretation. Some might agree with what the Authority is trying to accomplish and some might not. At least that’s how I think people will perceive the situation. It might be that the Authority wants more power than just in the vampire hierarchy, they want power in the human world now too. Not that they want to take over but they want more in the human world too. Now I don’t think that’s a good or bad thing, just depends on what their methods will be.

        • eloradannen says:

          I am remebering some of what Russell was saying to Eric in the car and I think you could be right. Russell wanted humans as a food source and was up front with saying Vampires are already better than humans. It could be the AVL is following the same line… just in a more legitimate way…they could take over politically, have daywalking and a food source. And humans wouldn’t know it was happening until it happened. Good theory.

          As an afterthought….The legalization of vampire/human marriage in Vermont?? What better way to get a blood supply and daywalk than by marriage. And perfectly legal..lol

          Maybe I am being too cynical here?

  10. Anna says:

    Great interview! Big fan of Jessica Tuck and Nan Flanagan. Can’t wait to see Nan and Bill working together. I always thought Bill Compton was much more than a simple procuror.

  11. hdgcat says:

    Thanks! I’ve been wanting to see an interview with her since season 2 . I love Nan.

    Re Bill working for her, I recall this came up in season 2 , not only from Bill standing up to keep Eric from trying to jump on her for insulting Godric ,(notice Bill wasn’t the only one who jumped up trying to keep the peace) , but I’ve always wondered why the meeting was held in Bill’s room to begin with?

    Twisted vampire politics, gotta love it! *rubs hands*

  12. Pete says:

    Thank you for the interview, and thanks Jessica for the tidbits! I’m very entertained by the American Vampire League’s plot.

  13. ErikaJ says:

    So, what does this mean exactly? That Bill and Nan are working together to get Sookie? Or are we supposed to think that Bill is a double agent and was put in place working for the Queen of Louisiana to find out why QSA wanted her?

    Very interesting that Bill might have more power than Eric. Then again, he’s so young – so how would he have gotten this power?

  14. ZZ says:

    Our big thanks to Jessica for being so kind to give us this interview. With her answers, she just made the waiting even harder! But we’ll stay tuned, that’s for sure.

    And, I love the idea of some Jess and Nan interaction! Also some Nan-Pam would be fun!

  15. Sabine says:

    Looking forward to see the history between Nan and Bill. Thank you for the interview, very excited for Season 4!

  16. Roswellover says:

    Thanks for the article. I always knew Nan had her own agenda. I can’t wait to find out what it is, and Nan’s history with Bill.

  17. toni says:

    Great interview ladies, as usual. I watched her when she was on One Life to Live, that might have been her first job.

  18. AphroditeMF says:

    Many thanks for bringing us this great interview!

    I always thought it was strange that Bill looked so on edge in that scene with Nan in the hotel in season two…. Perhaps he was wary of anyone finding out his connection to Nan?

  19. Chris says:

    Jessica Tuck is an amazing actress, and I’m was shocked to she her on the show. To be honest, I think it a huge reason I watch religously. I’ve been a fan of hers since OLTL. Thanks for having her on TB. Oh and her role in Super 8, awesome!

  20. Michelle says:

    I just wanted to thank her for doing the interview. Much appreciated. I’ve run my own website and I know how hard those can be to secure. Kudos to those running this site.

  21. Erik says:

    I am starting to wonder if the “The Authority” even exists. I would not be surprised if it did not really exist and it was all Nan.

    Russell made a comment about the authority saying it has no more power then what we give it, or did he say that about the Magister? I dont remember. But it makes for an interesting idea.

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