SDCC ’13: TRUE BLOOD Panel Live Blog

Follow along with Screen Invasion as we live blog about the vamps, werewolves, fairies, and all the other fantastical creatures of Bon Temps, Louisiana at this year’s True Blood Comic-Con panel.

The HBO drama is a ubiquitous presence at the Con – sponsoring both the annual blood drive and the masquerade – and we’ll be in attendance as stars Anna Paquin, Ryan Kwanten, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Nelsan Ellis, Deborah Ann Woll, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Joe Manganiello, Anna Camp, Michael McMillian, and Rob Kazinsky (wait, I thought a lot of people died on this show!) talk about the show and answer questions alongside executive producer Brian Buckner.

Keep refreshing this page to see all the True Blood updates throughout the panel!

Kate Hahn is here to moderate: “Are you thirsty?” And introduces a preview trailer.

Preview trailer: most of the vamps are in jail! Sarah Newlin pushes somebody against a window! Lots of humping! Sookie biting Warlow?! (Looked like it)

Q: What’s Stephen Moyer like at home now that he’s playing God on the show?
Anna Paquin: I’m agnostic, so I haven’t decided that he’s actually God in our house. He gets plenty of worship already…

Brian Buckner amazed by Alan Ball’s work ethic now that he has Alan’s job.

Q: How far will Jason go to save Jessica?
Ryan Kwanten: Well, Jason also has to find out who killed his parents. He’s grown so much already, started as the low man on the totem pole. It’ll get real crazy real soon. He thinks he’s Rambo but fails miserably (as per usual).

Calling out Sam Merlotte for always being quick on the rebound! He claims innocence, saying that it’s not his fault when GFs keep getting killed.

Q: What’s the future for Tara and Willa?
Rutina Wesley: It’s likely they’ll meet again. Tara is kind of becoming a protector, a big sister.
Q: Will Tara form an alliance with Jessica?
Rutina: Hmm….maaaaaybe?

Nelsan Ellis wishes Lafayette would have “a shut-off switch for people jumping into my body.” Props to Ellis, who learns new mannerisms every time he’s possessed and still brings the Lafayette goodness season after season. Incredibly versatile guy. Somebody put him in a movie already!

Deborah Ann Woll says Jessica is the one vampire who’s closest to her humanity; still kind of self-loathing and is working on breaking out of it.

Joe Manganiello surprised by a burly male voice shouting “I love you, Joe!” Feel the man love.

Q: Which side of Alcide will win out this year?
Joe Manganiello: Let’s break it down – it’s a bad idea to punch an angry werewolf in the face. It’s all those other werewolves making him nuts. He’s really a nice guy, he just has the worst job in the world. Being a packmaster is thankless…except for the 3-ways.

Biggest guns on the panel: Joe Manganiello. Second-biggest: Rutina Wesley. Girl works out!

Q: What does Sarah Newlin love so much about camps?
Anna Camp: Sarah likes to be in control and keep people contained. (Fellowship of the Sun, Vamp Camp)
Q: What about her love life?
Anna: Maybe Tramp Camp? (laughter) She’s more focused on her mission right now.

Breaking news: Jason and Sarah will cross paths again. Buckner says there’s “unfinished business.” Maybe she’ll let him finish the bath she interrupted in S3?

Michael McMillian says that Steve Newlin has a lot of pride and is not a total sell-out. He understands the vendetta since Eric stabbed Russell right in front of him.

It’s Rob Kazinsky time! Triumphant from Pacific Rim, eliciting squeals at the suggestion of #TeamWarlow.

Kazinsky says Warlow’s life is about to get “gnarly.” Not many specifics so far…

Sookie’s parents dying is a “major bummer.” Paquin points out that they wanted to kill her though.

Q: How will the season end?
Buckner: You know I can’t answer that! It’ll end awesomely. It’s going to return to its roots, about this gang of people living in Bon Temps. The number of stories we’re telling will be condensed and it will feel like we’re coming home.

Q: Did Ryan Kwanten really do all those pull-ups?
Paquin: You know, he had to keep doing them until I came in, that was his cue.
Kwanten: Yeah, she was supposed to come in on 251, 252, she waits until 257, 258, letting me linger there.

Kwanten fans: if you can, seek out the fan film starring Mr. Jason Stackhouse that premiered at the Machinima panel this morning. It’s a stylish, unique re-imagining of a certain Spider-man villain…
[Edit: The film is by Adi Shankar, who produced the Punisher: Dirty Laundry fan short. I still can’t find any video, but Collider has some cool images.]

Wesley says Tara is very much enjoying being a vampire. She enjoys the strength. For all the crap her character gets, this was a good move for her. Away from being the victim and actually being able to fight back.

Ellis listens to Rihanna to get in character. Because of course he does.

Q: How did the fairies taste?
Woll: Like honey, right? They taste like honey! It’s less that it tastes better and more that it makes you feel better, warmer, more alive. It makes you feel like you have part of your humanity back, in a way…and that’s irresistible to Jessica.

Kristin Bauer van Straten giving the death stare when asked if she’s prepared to share Vampire Eric. (P.S. Alexander Skarsgard is sorely missed at this panel.)

van Straten misses the flamboyant outfits now that she’s stuck in Vampire Jail…but she enjoys getting to dial back her workout/diet regimen.

Moderator begins a question: “Anna Camp, your husband is a gay…”

Q: Does Steve still carry a torch for Jason?
McMillian: Oh yeah.

Kazinsky: Ryan made me feel “like a lady” during their, uh, steamy scene. Enjoyed fulfilling the dream of many ladies in the audience.

Ok, time for fan questions. This is about to get a lot less orderly…

Q: What do you think of your character’s direction this season?
Manganiello: It’s not fun when everyone’s upset with your character. But I have to defend all of Alcide’s actions. Being a packmaster means you have to control the mob, and you can’t exactly go to the cops.
Paquin: Sookie’s not anyone’s doormat anymore. She’s learning from all this weird and unfortunate stuff that’s happened to her.

Last fan question (yep, they only had time for two!) – what other creatures will be featured in the show?
Buckner: The show is ultimately about the relationship between vampires and humans, and it’s about it town. I actually want to rein it in a little bit. Charlaine’s books did that, and I don’t want to discount them. But I want to make it about one threat and this one town we’ve come to know and love.

That’s it! Those 45 minutes just flew by. We hope you enjoyed this live blog. Stay tuned to Screen Invasion for more updates from SDCC!

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The Author

Eric Ambler

Eric Ambler

Eric Ambler is a film critic and correspondent for Screen Invasion, as well as the founder of Ambler Amblog ( His parents named him after a Welsh spy novelist they found in a reference book. Someday he will get around to watching all the VHS tapes he bought at Goodwill.