Comic-Con 2009 Update #6 – True Blood Panel and Q&A Session

I remember at last year’s Comic-Con extravaganza seeing all these True Blood signs and Tru Blood advertisements, not knowing what they were really for.  I just figured out it was some kind of brilliant marketing scheme, which it was of course.  I thought they were for a real beverage that actually existed.  Was I ever wrong at the time.  I was only drawn to all the signs, advertisements and banners due to my love for vampire lore.  Almost a year later, I would discover the sheer appeal of True Blood after watching Season 1 of the HBO television show on Blu-ray and through talking to fellow co-workers about the crazy plot lines.  You got to love them!  From what I understand, True Blood is the adult version of what Twilight is to the kids.  Even I admit to being a little taken back while watching the first couple episodes not believing what I saw on the screen.  And I thought I saw it all before…NOT!

So before I start discussing the Comic-Con 2009 True Blood panel I was in attendance at I wanted to give a big thanks to Jen for helping me get into Ballroom 20.  Thanks Jen!  You see, I was one of the unfortunate ones who after waiting in line for hours to get into the Iron Man 2 panel was eventually turned away from the fire marshals who refused to let any additional people into Hall H’s 6,000 seat capacity.  Although I wanted to see the True Blood Q&A Session, the time conflicted with the Iron Man 2 panel, and I was in the minority as the only one of my media squad wanting to see the cast of True Blood.  Well needless to say, after being turned away from Hall H’s line, I was in jeopardy of missing out on the True Blood panel too, and if it were not for Jen’s help in getting me “exclusive” media access to Ballroom 20 that probably would have been the case too.  So if you are reading this Jen…thank you from the bottom of my heart!

OK…so let’s get down to business.  On Saturday, July 25th, the cast of True Blood settled upon the stage of Comic-Con’s Ballroom 20 at approximately 5:15 PM PST.  The hour long Q&A session featured a panel of the lovely Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse), Stephen Moyer (173-year old vampire Bill Compton), Nelsan Ellis (Lafayette Reynolds), Rutina Wesley (Tara Thornton), Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte), Michelle Forbes (Maryann Forrester), Alexander Skarsgard (Eric Northman), Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica Hamby), Charlaine Harris (author of the best-selling Sookie Stackhouse novels) and moderator Kate Hahn of TV Guide.  Whoa!  That’s quite a large panel to behold!  Where or who to focus my eyes on became a chronic problem.  I am just kidding.  Of course, there was only one logical choice.

All right, so I decided to bullet point the below following topics of discussion, that I took notes on, which transpired during the Q&A session of the True Blood panel.  Of course, before the questions were fired towards the cast, there were introductions of all the panelists and an exclusive trailer prepared for Comic-Con showcasing the second half of Season 2.  I have not seen any episodes of Season 2 as of yet, but what a difference it looks from Season 1.  The trailer looks and plays like the season is full of action.  I am looking forward to checking out Season 2 very soon.  So without further ado, I present my notes from the True Blood Comic-Con 2009 Q&A Session, written in no particular order.  Enjoy!

  • Show creator, Alan Ball, confirmed he has plenty of source material from the books to use for many seasons yet to come.  This faired well with Charlaine Harris’ announcement that she has signed a new deal to write more Sookie Stackhouse novels until the year 2014.
  • Charlaine Harris joked that when she was first shown the pilot of the show she told her husband that it looks like they will have to move.
  • When asked what plans he had to incorporate things into the show Alan Ball said he would definitely be including the character of Debbie Pelt and werewolves.  He also said there would be no plans to incorporate Charlaine Harris’ Bubba character into the show.  Apparently, Bubba, in Charlaine’s novels, is Elvis Presley resurrected as a vampire.  He said it would be too silly to pull off.
  • Alan Ball also confirmed that there would eventually be a Bill/Eric/Sookie love triangle.
  • When asked what she liked the most and least about the show Anna Paquin said she was just so excited to get the part of Sookie Stackhouse and to be part of the show.  She said the thing she liked least about the show was her hair.  She complained about the frequent bleaching of her hair saying that she is the world’s fakest blonde and if not for her frequent dye jobs, her hair would be a lot longer as her ends keep breaking off.
  • Alan Ball seemed pretty sure when he answered a fan’s question about whether there will be any half-breed vampire babies on the show.  Actually, he seemed bewildered and surprised by the question.  In case you were wondering, he said no.
  • The funniest moment of the Q&A session, in my opinion, was when the vampire cast were talking about the qualms they experience when wearing the fangs.  They said while the hardened ones stay in place they are very uncomfortable to wear as they are very sharp.  Suddenly, Anna Paquin shouted out that she could attest to that, and the whole crowd and panel erupted into laughter.  Stephen Moyer, who plays the vampire Bill, said he had two dimples in his lower lip the whole first season from the sharpness of the hard fangs.  They all concurred that while the rubber ones are so much more comfortable to wear they have a bad habit of flying out of their mouths during dialogue deliverance, thus ruining the take.
  • Season 2 will also be 12 episodes long like Season 1 was.  I just hope it does not take so long to come out on Blu-ray like Season 1 did!
  • Not since The Sopranos, has an HBO pilot tested so high like True Blood did.
  • When asked how the theme song was picked for the show Alan Ball said he was shopping for on iTunes for potential country-like songs and only used Jace Everett’s song as a placeholder and then later realized how good it fit with the intro footage.
  • Everyone in attendance in Ballroom 20 for the True Blood Q&A Session received a True Blood gift pack, which contained an official True Blood backpack, a Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse novel, a notebook and a T-shirt.  A man who talked to me in the hallway outside of Ballroom 20 told me that True Blood panel had the most impressive gifts as he attended the Iron Man 2 panel and all he got was a Stark Industry T-shirt.
  • Around 6:15 PM PST the True Blood panel concluded and I rushed to the stage to get first hand glimpses of Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell and Anna Paquin who all stuck around to greet and interact with fans.  I was fortunate enough to interact with Anna and when I realized since I was there I should have her autograph something I gave her my press credential badge without even thinking.  She politely signed the badge and smiled as she gave it back to me (see the photos below of her signing my press badge).  This made missing the Iron Man 2 panel well worth it.  Again…thanks Jen!




 Click on the thumbnail images above for maximum viewing pleasure.




ONE HECK OF A PROMOTER!!! Also a Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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