The drama during the last season of True Blood is rising to a fever pitch both off and on-screen following comments from two of the show’s players. Actors Nelsan Ellis, who plays the openly gay Lafayette Reynolds, and Nathan Parsons, who portrays the sensitive vampire James Kent, spoke on the gossip regarding the departure of another actor, Luke Grimes of Brothers and Sisters fame, following the show’s sixth season.
According to many sources, Grimes departed the HBO series before its final bow because he was not keen to the fact that James would eventually end up in a relationship with another man. Parsons, previously known for his work on the long-running soap opera General Hospital, would be hired to take over the role in early 2014. Ellis stated to Vulture Magazine that Grimes, 30, should have known what kind of show he was working on. “You have to be open,” Ellis said, regarding the work of any actor. “But more importantly, you make a statement when you do something like that.” Ellis, who is heterosexual, understands the importance of the role he plays. He recently took part in a documentary entitled Damn Wonderful, which chronicles the lives of many LGBT people who committed suicide. “I didn’t like what [Grimes] did because he made a statement,” he explains, “and sometimes you have to take responsibility.”
When asked whether or not Grimes would possibly be invited to take part in the rumored True Blood musical, Ellis laughed and believed that Grimes would not be “invited back to HBO” at all. Ellis continued,
I can’t approach a character with judgment. I certainly can’t tell my boss I can act what I want to act, but not what you tell me to act, especially on a show where you come in, knowing what it is.
Parsons, who is also heterosexual, shared that he feels just as strongly about showing the natural progression of James’ relationship with Lafayette. “This story is important and should be told and needs to be shared,” he said to The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s a story that’s being told all over the place, and TV doesn’t pay enough attention to it.” As previously stated, there have been many teases and same-sex moments on True Blood, but the growing connection between James and Lafayette is quite different. While the show has toyed with many of its male characters having sexual interactions with one another (mostly through the side effect of dreams being had by males who ingested the blood of a vampire), this is only one of the few times that there has been a true level of romanticism attached. “It has to be something that is seemingly organic and loving,” Parsons says. “I think that was the difficult line to walk. It comes out of nowhere and we have to do it tastefully, and we all have to be comfortable with what’s happening.”
When it came down to being more physical, namely when Lafayette and James had sex for the first time, Parsons admitted that it was something that he was not used to, but he was able to ease into it by understanding it was nothing more than a couple expressing their love. “In that moment, it’s really just about two people and a shared connection,” he said. “That right there made the whole thing work out.”
Parsons chose not to speak directly on Grimes’ departing True Blood. However, just like his character, Ellis gave the best statement he could in regards to the departure drama. “I’m just… I’m over him.”
By Jonathan Brown