Rolling Stone interviewed Amelia Rose Blair, Eric’s new daughter Willa, on her transition from human to vamp. The entire article is worth reading, but a couple of my favorite quotes from the story are excerpted below. And can I say how incredibly jealous of her being able to be so close to ASkars in so many scenes? What a treat for a fellow Trubie!
Did [Rutger Hauer] give you any advice for someone who is still starting out in the business?
I talked a lot to Arliss Howard, who played my father, and he gave me some great advice on the first day. Because I was nervous and I was like, “I want to do a good job. I want to prove that they made the right choice in hiring me.” And he pulled me aside and was like, “Hey, you’ve got the job, so anything you do, everything you do, is right. There’s nothing wrong. All of your choices from here on out, are right, because the character is yours.” And so that was really cool to have him tell me that, especially because he’s such a talented actor. It was so fascinating to watch him on set, because every single time he would do something different. He was very physical, always yipping and yelping [laughs] in his character, so having him tell me that was really special.
What was your reaction when you saw the finished product of the scene where Willa was turned? It was the first beautiful vampire-turning scene that I’ve seen on True Blood.
It was a trip when I saw it because I don’t remember shooting that scene. We shot it in many different sections because with the blood, we couldn’t do it in one seamless shot. But seeing it afterward, I thought it turned out really well. I remember after I shot the scene, I got home and the next morning I woke up and I went through such a strange reaction. Like, I woke up really, really angry, and then I got really, really sad, and then I got really, really happy and then angry again. I was like, “Whoa, what is going on?” And then I realized, “I died last night!” So of course I’m going to have this extremely volatile reaction to that, and it was also a very similar reaction to the one Willa had when she woke up the next evening. She was really, really happy, then really, really mad, and then very betrayed, so I definitely had a parallel with my reaction afterward.
Do you think Willa really wanted to become a vampire, or did she just want to get closer to Eric? It’s tough to know now because the second she was turned, she got sent to Vamp Camp!
I think she probably didn’t know what it meant to be a vampire. I think the idea of it was extremely fascinating and very seductive. And, of course, Eric is such a compelling character and he’s scary – but he’s also really sexy. And I think that when she made that decision, when she said, “OK, let’s do this,” I don’t think she necessarily thought of what it would mean for the rest of her life, so I think she knew what she was doing but didn’t think it all the way through. She was like, “This is what I want,” and jumped.
Do you think she has some regrets now?
For me, as an actor, the thing that moved me about what happened to her afterward was her disappointment in her father. The scene when she comes back to him, when I read it, I thought it was so sad, especially because she gets what she wants, she convinces him and it’s her own demon that comes out and ruins it. I thought that was very tragic. But then the fact that he still sends her to this camp, I think that she has this huge disappointment. It’s her father, this man whom she’s known for her entire life, who helped her walk, and has been there for everything, has completely forsaken her. Her one hope is dashed.
What do you think Eric saw in Willa that persuaded him to make her a vampire? He said he didn’t make this decision lightly, and even in the case of Pam, she gave him no choice. Willa is the first person he has voluntarily turned.
I’d like to think that he saw something in her that surprised him, and that was a power that he didn’t recognize before. But Alex [Skarsgård], the way that he built his character, it’s so multidimensional, and I think that he probably had many reasons why, and that was one of them. I don’t know what was going on in his head, but I’d like to think that it was because he saw a strength and a power in her that was different.
True Blood has dealt over the seasons with the vampires’ struggle with humanity. We’ve seen it with Bill, Eric, Pam and especially with Jessica. Do you think it will be easy for Willa to maintain her humanity or will it be a struggle? I mean, two minutes into her reunion with her father, she’s trying to eat him!
I think that for me, what it means to be a vampire – it’s kind of like your eyes have been opened. Willa has been very sheltered, her father has kept her in the dark, and toward the end, she was snooping around and trying to figure things out for herself. So I think that there will definitely be some rebellion because she completely went against her father, and she’s in this new life with this new set of eyes. But I also think that the battle that she’s joined now, this war, is very human as well. It’s about people’s rights and vampires’ rights, so I think that that’s something that’s very close to her, and now she’s in the middle of it. So she has to maintain her humanity for that fight.
What can you dish on the rest of the season?
There are definitely going to be a lot of things that are going to make people’s jaws drop, and people’s heartstrings are going to get pulled. And because I was a fan of the show from the beginning, something that I love about what [showrunner] Brian Buckner has done is, he’s grounded it back in something that was very similar to what I loved about the show when it first came out, which was the humanity in the vampires.