True Blood‘s Rutina Wesley Says Death Camp Storyline Is ‘Important’

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A couple of days before the True Blood Comic-Con panel, where we were treated to the above confusing end-of-season trailer, VH1 spoke to the very lovely, un-Tara-like Rutina Wesley. She revealed what she could about that big death everyone’s been talking about, plus what it’s like to be a dark-skinned black actress in the middle of a storyline that looks a lot like genocide.


Rutina Wesley

VH1: This season has been very different from the previous five. How do you feel about it?
Rutina Wesley:
I feel good about it. At the end of the day, our show is still a hit. People are still watching, and I still love going to work every day. I think we have so many new characters and people coming on. I love that. I love getting new energy, new blood on the show. It’s nice to get to work with different people. I have a feeling that we’re probably going to get back to where we were in the beginning. Get back to the core people and their stories. Which will be kind of nice. It did get really big over the span of six years. But I think it will be nice to get back to where we started.

I’ve always loved what the writers have given me. It’s been challenging. Especially now being a vampire. I thinks it’s some of the best stuff I’ve gotten to do. I’ve gotten to re-create Tara in a way, and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it.

VH1: I have one pet peeve, though. Not enough sex.
Wesley:
You and everybody else! There will be. It’s True Blood. Of course! Don’t worry about that. Even before we’re out of peril, you’ll get to see some nice juicy sex. You did get that scene with Ryan Kwanten, come on.

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VH1: But what about Pam and Tara?
Wesley:
That’s the least of our worries, because it’s all about survival right now. I’m not sure where that’s going to go.

VH1: Everyone’s talking about the major death that’s supposed to happen. Were you there when it was filmed?
Wesley: I wasn’t there. And the only thing I’m going to say is that we’re family on the show, and whenever we lose someone, whether it be a guest star or recurring, whoever it may be, it’s hard. It’s hard to see them go. When we had the table read for that episode, I remember there was a 15 minute if not 20 minute applause for this person, and everyone was in tears, including myself. It was a beautiful moment. We made sure that person got their due. There was a lot of love in the room.

VH1: Will we be pissed off about it?
Wesley:
It depends. Every fan has their favorite character.

VH1: Who from the cast would you want to work with on something completely different?
Wesley:
I would love to do something with Alex [Skarsgard]. I think he’s really great, and really funny. And also just gorgeous. I’d love to do a film with him, playing his leading lady. I think that would be awesome.

VH1: Do you ever worry that making a parallel between vampire persecution and racial brutality and the Holocaust might be trivializing real life issues?
Wesley:
That stuff is important in a way, because I feel like sometimes we forget what people have had to go through in this world to be accepted. Or what they had to go through because they were different. When you break it down and do something that’s close to home and real, it’s almost like people don’t want to see it. They shy away from something that’s familiar. But when you do it real and fantastical, they love it. When it’s really close to home, it’s like, “I don’t want to talk about the Holocaust. I don’t want to talk about racial profiling.” It’s very interesting to me. I love that we have those underlying parallels.

VH1: OK, so have you ever been treated the way vampires are on the show?
Wesley:
Yeah. Especially being a dark-skinned black woman. A dark-skinned black actress. It’s very different for me. At the same time, I’ve had an incredible journey. I’m incredibly blessed to be where I am. But there have been times where I have to work a little harder or fight a little harder for roles they wouldn’t normally give to a dark-skinned actress. I’m all about the crossover. The role doesn’t necessarily have to be white or Latina or black. It could be anything. But it’s hard in Hollywood, because sometimes it’s all about the box office. Or all about looks and things like that. It’s not about the story that they have to tell.

Who do you think is going to die this season? Speculate in the comments!

[Photo: Getty Images]