Comic-Con: 'True Blood' Stars Bid Farewell in Emotional Final Appearance
"I feel like an executioner," said executive producer Brian Buckner of losing major characters, as he and its stars — including Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer — reunite for the final time in San Diego.
The end is near for Bon Temps.
Several of the stars from HBO's sexy vampire drama True Blood reunited for the last time at Comic-Con early Saturday evening — and there were tears, along with a standing ovation.
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With True Blood nearing its Aug. 24 series finale, the seventh season has killed off several major characters (see: Tara and Alcide) already. Executive producer Brian Buckner explained that there are "consequences" to the universe in which these supernatural characters live. "I feel like an executioner," Buckner said, "but I think we handled it as best we could."
When asked why there may have been a perception that Sookie wasn't mourning Alcide's death, Bucker defended the way the show dealt with it. “When people die in your life, you don’t always see it coming,” Bucker explained. “I don’t mean to be defensive, but I kind of feel like we’re honoring those characters. That was what the episode this past weekend was about. You don’t get to mourn before it happens."
He continued, "We’re giving these people their due. That being said, it’s our last season. ... This season had to be about Bill and Sookie. It's not going to be what you think it is, but Alcide sadly had to go."
Buckner promised that the final five episodes focus more on romance. "It's really emotional and satisfying," he said. "We felt like we had to land in the places where you were going to be OK with [us] not giving them any more [story]."
The stars spent most of the session reminiscing about the past seven years, sharing stories of their eventful final days on set.
"It was weird. I did my last close-up for the night and then it was just kind of like, it was over," recalled Rutina Wesley, whose character Tara was dramatically killed off in the premiere. "I walked to the side and Adina [Porter] came running up to me and we hugged for five, 10 minutes and we just cried. It just kinda hit me and it was beautiful and sad. But also, it's on to new things."
Buckner was quick to jump in, reassuring the Ballroom 20 crowd that "people have not seen the last of Rutina yet. You have not seen her last day yet."
Deborah Ann Woll, who already snagged her next role (the female lead in Marvel's Daredevil), shared that her last day was "fitting," wrapping at 4 a.m. "in the woods." She shared that earlier in the evening, about 17 castmembers wrapped together, a nice shared moment on set.
For Carrie Preston, the tears started immediately. "I looked at Chris [Bauer] and the waterworks started going," she said. "We were in each other's arms mourning and celebrating too. It's been a profound time. We started crying at the table read, so it's been months!"
Stephen Moyer described his seven years starring on the show as studying for "a doctorate in vampirism." He admitted that the hardest part was "saying goodbye" to the crewmembers, sharing that they celebrated his series wrap with "a big cake." Anna Paquin had a less fancy final day on set. Immediately after she wrapped, the actress discovered the power was out in her trailer. "Oh, we are really done," Paquin said.
Kristin Bauer van Straten got emotional several times during the 75-minute session, none so much as during her recollection of her final moment with Alexander Skarsgard, which kept getting pushed back and prolonged. "I've been crying for a year about when that day would come," she admitted, getting teary. "With Alex, that's the most significant relationship for me and for Pam. I thought he would be rock solid and sweet, but when I saw him crack ... I was like, 'Oh no.' "
As for set keepsakes, Buckner admitted to taking Sookie's porch swing, Anna Camp took her Sarah Newlin wig, Sam Trammell kept Sam's boots and several actors who played vampires kept their fangs. "HBO should probably sue me because I've been stealing from them for seven years," Nelsan Ellis said to laughs.