The HBO True Blood Panel had the loudest crowd I've been a part of this weekend so far. Today they had a few interesting announcements amongst the bits from today's session.
On the panel were Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse. It's Anna's birthday today.), Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton), Rutina Wesley (Tara Thornton), Alan Ball (Executive producer), Michelle Forbes (Maryann Forrester), Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette Reynolds), Charlaine Harris (Author of source books: The Southern Vampire Mysteries ), Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte), Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica Hamby) and Alexander Skarsgard (Eric Northman).
The biggest and first item out of the panel was what Alan Ball announced to us, all while holding up a bottle of True Blood. Yep, the drink is a reality now. It's blood orange soda with all natural products. The label is an exact replica of the product in the show.
Then we were treated to a trailer from the last 1/2 of season 2.
After the trailer, here's some of what was touched on in the panel:
Rutina Wesley on Tara: Tara is more mellow this season. Though fans liked Tara's fiery mood, this is the side of Tara that needed to be seen.
Michelle Forbes keeps getting ass kicking roles because sci-fi makes it more possible to cast those roles.
Nelsan Ellis is very popular. He said that Lafayette may stop doing his hustle.
Charlaine was rather shy about some of the scenes in the show after watching the screener that HBO sent her.
Sam gets a little lucky with Daphne and he's a real magnet for abuse this year.
Deborah Ann Woll is very nervous and is now picturing all of us in our underwear... eesh. Brave girl.
Why is Eric so drawn to Sookie? Eric has been around a long time and he's over humanity and Sookie is just something different about her. It's that mystery about her that he can't put his finger on.
Eric wants to explore the possibilities.
We then went straight to questions quickly
Charlaine just signed a contract for 3 more novels on the Sookie Stackhouse novels, taking her writing though 2014. She said the show doesn't really affect her writing. She can keep them separate.
Eric seems more sensitive this year, in season 2. They said you can't play the same emotional note for 2 years and that change is necessary.
Though it's not been officially announced yet, Alan Ball is excited about season 3, We'll be seeing werewolves for the first time. They'll be delving into Russell Edgington and the Mississippi vampires. And Ball said we won't be seeing Elvis. Even if Elvis helps out Sookie in the books, it would basically be an impersonation and that takes away from the quality of the show.
In the preview, a panel attendee noticed someone behind Sookie in a quick scene that was personal in nature and it was asked if that was Eric? Ball said I have no idea what you're talking about.
Anna likes that Sookie speaks her mind... no matter what she's in the middle of.
How much of a handful will Jessica be for Bill. Deborah Ann Woll said as much as they let me.
Lafayyete is scared of Eric, while Eric has plans for Lafayette in the future.
On their fangs: They said the older hard fangs stay in where they're supposed to while the newer rubber ones fly out if you talk too fast. The rubber ones were made because the hard ones were fairly hard and sharp. Paquin coyly chimed in with a smirk saying, "Yes... they are."
Ball said that there should be evolution and change in the characters in time but it will be a natural evolution of characters.
Charlaine Harris was asked what her inspiration was. She said the tabloids, but in all honesty she doesn't trust the word inspiration. Writing is work and you wouldn't want to be around her when she's trying to make words or ideas come to her. She says when you're under contract, you have deadlines and inpsiration doesn't seem to work well with deadlines.
Instead, Charlaine just turns on her word program and asks herself, "Who's coming to Sookies house today?"
Ball said this show has been the most fun he's ever had in a job.
The difference between V and real blood is that V is older blood. Direct from the source is a much better experience.
Now the question remains, if Eric does snag Sookie away, what will Bill do about it? Stephen said he might just take more drastic measures if that were the case.
That's all I have for everyone from the True Blood panel. It was fun, loud and a lot of people waited a long time in line to see this panel. Skarsgard was quite the popular personality here today and they had a few exclusive bits of info to let us know about.