This has been a difficult season for ‘True Blood’s‘ Tara. An obsessed vampire tortured her and attempted to turn her. Her best friend is more concerned about her vampire boyfriend than her. To top it all off, she just found out her good friend and longtime crush killed the love of her life. Fortunately, bad times for Tara are good for Rutina Wesley, the actress who brings her to life. She is thrilled with her meaty storyline. With the season finale rapidly approaching, Wesley reveals why it will be difficult to beat King Russell, how a Sam and Tara union could work, and what it was like to attend co-stars Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer’s wedding.
You attended Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin’s wedding last weekend. What was that like?
It was wonderful and beautiful and everything I expected it to be. It was magical to see two people who work together find love. To see them united was just magical. That’s the only word for it.
‘True Blood’ will compete for the Best Drama Emmy this Sunday. What are your plans for the ceremony?
I’m still working on it but everything’s slowly coming together. It’s my first Emmys so I’m a tad nervous but I’m incredibly excited and I feel honored that our show is getting recognized. It doesn’t really matter if we win. It’s just really cool that we’ve been nominated.
Do you think ‘True Blood’ is paving the way for other supernatural and sci-fi shows to get Emmy recognition?
I think so. That’s why it’s an honor. It’s like they’re actually stepping out of the box a little bit by recognizing our show because it is in the sci-fi genre.
In the most recent episode of ‘True Blood,’ Tara finally learned that Jason Stackhouse killed Eggs. Where does she go now?
That’s a good question. That was like a punch in the stomach for her. Honestly, it’s probably going to be hard for her to recover from that. But then, maybe not, because she’s been through so much lately that maybe she’ll be like, ‘Oh, whatever. I can’t take it anymore. This is something I can just roll off my shoulders.’ The hard thing for her is Jason has always been a hero for her. To have your hero, someone you’ve looked up to or even wanted to be with, kill a man that you love, it is just a huge betrayal. And the fact that he kept it from me. It’s going to be interesting to see how Tara handles the information. Hopefully she’ll handle it well and stay in her right mind.
Tara is now thoroughly anti-vampire. With battle lines being drawn, how far is she going to go into the anti-vampire movement?
I don’t know if she’ll go deep into it because she’s got her own troubles. I think we’re going to see Tara deal with herself for the next couple episodes and try to figure out where she fits in and who she is and what she wants to do with her life. We’re going to see Tara figure some stuff out. I think it’s pretty nice to see that change for her.
People are dying to know what happens in the finale. Can you give us a preview?
It’s going to be good. I can’t give you any spoilers. It’s an awesome finale. The show, honestly, this season has been about identity. We’re going to be finding out a lot of things in the finale, or characters will be finding out about a lot of things. We will see how they handle that. For Tara, it’s going to be trying to stabilize herself and find some kind of footing on solid ground.
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How will everyone fight King Russell?
Russell’s a piece of work. The interesting part of the next couple episodes is how this battle is going to come out. It’s pretty awesome how it all ends up. He’s one of the strongest vampires that we have now on the show. He’s going to be a tough cookie to crumble.
Tara endured a terrifying ordeal with Franklin. What was it like playing such intense scenes and working with James Frain?
James Frain is one of the most amazing actors that I’ve worked with. It was so much fun. He’s so professional. He’s so good. He’s funny. He’s charismatic. It was hard sometimes to keep a straight face in some of those scenes because he was so funny. One time we busted out laughing when he was doing the fast texting during a take. It was challenging as an actor to go to that inner turmoil that Tara was going through and then to try and take it all off and go home and be a wife… but it was a lot of fun.
Everybody loved — or loved to hate — the character of Franklin. Any chance that we’ll see him, or at least James Frain, again, even though Franklin seems very dead?
I think he’s definitively dead. I don’t know.
Will Sookie and Tara’s friendship survive their difference of opinion about Bill?
Best friends forever. I think they’ll be able to reconcile their differences.
Why does Tara have such bad luck with men?
If you think about it, there’s no father figure around. I know of a lot of women who grew up without fathers or a male figure in their life. It had an effect on the men that they choose in their lives. That’s partly what I think for my backstory [of the character]. Tara didn’t have a male figure around to help her in that area and her mother was a drunk. Her mother probably didn’t have good luck with men either, so Tara’s following suit.
What have been some of your favorite scenes from this season?
I definitely would say being tied to the bed and him texting on the phone and me sitting at the table trying not to eat those flowers and throwing plates at people’s heads. We had some serious scenes. Also, some of my favorite scenes have been when we’ve seen Tara with Sam. Seeing Sam comfort her is nice. As Rutina the actor, I love to see those two together because they make sense to me. They really get each other. I just don’t know if Tara will ever be stable enough to see him for who he is and see that he’s a good guy.
So you think Sam is the right man for Tara?
I think she and Sam could work.
What about Jason? She kissed him last week.
I think that was in the moment. She was very vulnerable and needed affection. Immediately after she said, ‘I am so messed up. What am I doing?’ Like, I need to be alone. I am not myself.
There are a lot of theories that vampires are allegories for various groups on ‘True Blood.’ What do you think vampires represent?
They can represent so many things: gay rights, human rights, civil rights, minorities. It’s in the eyes of the audience. I think it changes from show to show. It’s a combination of things. That’s what I love about it. I don’t think Alan [Ball] is putting one thing on it. He mixes it all together. They have a worldly representation of a lot of different minorities, ethnicities and movements.
What would you like to see happen to Tara next season?
I would like to see her be more stable and find her feet a bit and go back to the Tara that we know and love. She’s been the victim and has been traumatized. It would be nice to see her strong.
Do you ever wish you played a character that wasn’t human?
I actually love the fact that she’s human. To me that’s the interesting part of the show, the human reaction to everything. Tara tells it like it is. A lot of people don’t listen to her, but usually she’s right. She’s very observant.