7:00pm PT by Austin Siegemund-Broka
'True Blood' Cast, Showrunner on the Storylines That Could Have Been
True Blood fans aren't the only ones wanting more of the recently departed series.
The HBO drama's seven seasons concluded on Aug. 24 with a finale that disappointed some Truebies, but there are more stories the cast and showrunner Brian Buckner wish the show had explored, they tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Joe Manganiello says he understood that Alcide had to die. Sookie (Anna Paquin) was not going to end up with her werewolf love interest, but having her break up with him would make viewers dislike her. "You've got to kill him," Manganiello tells THR. He says that when he got the news, he told Buckner, "I totally get it."
With more screen time, he would've liked to develop Alcide's relationship with Emma (Chloe Noelle). "She was orphaned because of Alcide. Alcide never wanted to have kids, so it would have been interesting to see him burning off the karma of putting her into a parentless atmosphere," Manganiello tells THR. "It could've taught him that being a wolf wasn't all that bad. It would have been an opportunity to see a warm, paternal side of him in the midst of dealing with monsters in the wolfpack."
He says Alcide and his father Jackson (Robert Patrick) had an interesting storyline that was removed from season six. "When you've got three showrunners in as many episodes [Buckner replaced Mark Hudis not long after creator Alan Ball exited], something's got to give. That something unfortunately was my storyline. There was a plan to — [Jackson] came back for a reason, it just never happened," Manganiello says.
Bill Compton's (Stephen Moyer) human life was shown in flashbacks throughout season seven, but Moyer wanted to see more of Bill's vampire past — in particular, what caused the bad blood between him and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard). "I had always wanted for us to see a flashback to that, and so that Alex and I got a chance to do more flashbacks together," Moyer tells THR.
Deborah Ann Woll says she was surprised how Jessica's storyline ended, but that it "forced" her to come to a new understanding of her character "which I think is really beautiful."
She wants to know more about the world of True Blood. "You’ll see these scenes with people in broken-down trailers but with chains and chains of silver. Is that because the value’s gone down, are they stockpiling it? Could you go to a vampire to get glamoured to quit smoking? What about the family drama of a human aging and a vampire staying the same?" she says. "As the actor, I'm sitting there like, 'hm.' "
There's one character Buckner says he particularly missed in the season's final episodes. "Would I rather we had a little more Lafayette [Nelsan Ellis] toward the end? Sure," Buckner said in a conference call with reporters. "I think he’s brilliant. I think every time he opens his mouth, something extraordinary comes out, usually that we didn't write."
He and the show's writers decided that Lafayette's story ended when he found love with James (Nathan Parsons) "I learned this when I was writing on Friends — Ross [David Schwimmer] and Rachel [Jennifer Aniston] together wasn’t quite as much fun as Ross and Rachel sparring," Buckner says. "I don’t know what the scenes would be if we just did scenes of [Lafayette and James] happy together. I’m thrilled we got Lafayette true love, but it sort of peaked in [episode] six or so. There was closure in that character."
Parsons wants to know more of his character's background. "It would have been fun to go back to the '70s a bit, to go back to the war going on and this hippie love child standing against it, the draft dodger, and how he paid for it," he tells THR.
He wishes his character had more scenes with Jessica so that he could play opposite Woll — with whom he went to college. "My freshman year we did a play together, so I know Deb well. I would have loved a little more time to work with her. She’s a powerhouse," Parsons says.
There's more background to be explored in Violet (Karolina Wydra) too, Wydra tells THR. Jason's (Ryan Kwanten) girlfriend-turned-would-be-torturer might have received backlash from fans because her motivations weren't immediately clear. "We could have expanded who Violet is and where she’s coming from, to get a better idea of who she is. Imagine, she’s been around for 800 years. She’s seen a lot," the actress says.
But some of the cast are fully satisfied with their characters' storylines. Carrie Preston tells THR that Arlene's growth from fearing vampires to falling in love with one (Riley Smith's Keith) "was a great build. It builds up over the seasons, as opposed to breaking down or kind of fizzling out — it was the opposite. I feel like I had a great climb, and where it ended up was perfect."