Acclaimed HBO vampire hit is back
True Blood - The Complete Second Season

Acclaimed HBO hit True Blood is back for a second series with new femme fatale in tow.

True Blood has transcended its initial cult status by word of mouth to become too big to ignore. Leading the current zeitgeist of vampire vogue, the show’s second series finds the previously mysterious Maryann Forrester (played by Michelle Forbes) becoming a central character amidst the strange events that occur in the small town of Bon Temps.

“It’s quite a journey!” smiles Forbes. “We begin to understand what her quest is, what her agenda is and what her intentions are. But mostly what her end game is.”

Maryann’s appearances in the first season were relatively understated, but this time around she expands into a complex, multi-faceted character who breathes fresh energy into the series. As Forbes summarises, “there’s the very feral wild child side of Maryann who dances barefoot in the woods, there’s the very fluid, feminine side of Maryann, there’s the very refined side of Maryann and there’s the Ibiza party girl side of Maryann and there’s a very violent side too.”

“It was an actor’s heaven,” she says. “It was daunting initially. Her expansiveness and her lack of limitations was terrifying initially, it was suffocating. Once you surrender to that and understand, you just run to work because it’s so much fun.”

Despite those doubts, Forbes’ ability to throw sharp puns into moments of serious conversation and to lock into intense eye contact when she wants to underpin a particular point give her an aura of supreme confidence. A mention that Maryann has become a fans’ favourite, however, almost unnerves her.

“People are fascinated by that level of liberation,” she eventually answers in response to why Maryann has earned such a status. “The fear of that is also somewhat titillating. We all say we want to be carefree, without the restraints of sorrow and guilt and pain and fear. But when we’re offered that open horizon, most of us clam up because we’re attached to our fear and our pain.”

Those innate contradictions in the human experience have emerged through the mind of True Blood creator Alan Ball. Like with his prior career highlights American Beauty and Six Feet Under, Ball has created a small, close-knit community in which the surface of the story obscures a bigger picture.

“Look at how different True Blood is to Six Feet Under, it’s quite radical really,” she says in tribute. “At the same time, he’s still pondering questions of intimacy, love, death, judgement and belief systems. Even how he juggles genres and tonal notes in True Blood is fascinating. He can jump all these different genres and things shift on a dime, and yet it’s still an incredibly taut piece of storytelling. Not all writers are able to have that emotional impact.”

'True Blood - The Complete Second Season' is released on May 17th as a certificate 18.


Words by Ben Hopkins

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