The Vault interview with Amelia Rose Blair (Willa)

The Vault conducted an interesting interview with Eric’s newest progeny, Willa Burrell, played by Amelia Rose Blair.  The interview is an interesting one and well worth a full read, but I’ve excerpted just a couple of tidbits here to whet your appetite.

Did you only audition for True Blood once?
No, it was my first time auditioning for True Blood and I auditioned twice. I had auditioned for other parts for the casting director many times for other projects and when they brought me in for True Blood, it was my second audition this year. The first time I went in I auditioned for the director, and allot of the producers, writers and casting director and there were tons and tons of girls there.  Then, they called me back the next day and it was just me and one other girl. Everyone in the room was the same as the day before, but it was between me and a blonde actress.

Did Alexander Skarsgård have any say in who was chosen for the part?
I don’t know.

You didn’t have to audition with any other cast members right?
No.

What was the first day on the set like, and what was your very first scene?
My first day on set was when we were shooting at the Governor’s mansion in Pasadena. It was in episode two where I walk down the hall and ask my father, the Governor, to please let me go out. And, we also shot on that same day, the opening scene of episode 3 so, that was an experience. They made a lot of rewrites for that scene and originally when he (Eric) is glamouring me on the bed and he threatens to bite me he was going to bite my neck and then, in the van on the way over (to location), we got rewrites. And I read it and said, “Oh, OK this is going to happen.” And Alex and I were running lines and I said, did you know that this is happening now and he said, “I did not, but this should be good.” So, I take that as my first day because that was probably the most involved scene.

So, was that scene with Alex as you were sitting on the bed intimidating?
I thought the scene turned out really well and it was actually a lot of fun to shoot because I’d never been in a situation like that and I’ve always been attracted to like twisted, darker situations in roles and that was so twisted with that dynamic and yea, that was like my first time meeting him (Alex).  I had met him very briefly at a table read, but at that time, we just introduced ourselves.

Ok, the big one, what was it like being made into a vampire by Alex Skarsgård?
We actually filmed that scene on two separate days. The exteriors were filmed in Griffith Park and everything in the grave we filmed on one of the sound stages. They built this half grave and it was truly surreal. I was very excited to shoot that scene just because, when do you get to be turned into a vampire?  Actually shooting the part in the grave, I don’t really remember. We shot it in many different increments so we stopped and had to add tubes and stuff so it was very kind of separate. I remember going into it thinking I was going to be really brave and it’s going to be really romantic and he can like sweep me off my feet and then, when we actually did it, it was kind of terrifying because he went in and the sensation of getting your neck bitten, and then feeling this warm liquid starting to pour down my body and then I looked down and it’s red and then he pulled back and he had all this blood in his mouth. I remember my hands were shaking, I started getting light headed and it was completely unexpected. The next morning I woke up and I went through this huge array of emotions, I was really, really angry and I was really, really sad and really, really happy and like angry again and I was just like going in all these different directions and I was like, “what’s happening to me?” Wait, I died last night.  It was very surreal.

Some have been comparing your scene of being made with the first intimate love scene between Sookie and Bill. Willa is a virgin and she wears a similar gown as Sookie did, do you see any comparison?
That’s very flattering that they are compared. I think that the similarities when Sookie and Bill finally got together is about a loss of innocence, so having the white dress and the blood makes is similar, but I don’t know, Bill and Sookie have this huge love story that was building up to a climax. The whole dynamic with Eric and Willa is very different. So I think that the similarities only come in with the “loss of innocence.”

Jessica was turned as a virgin when she was turned, will Willa have the same problems since she was also a virgin?
I guess so, I don’t know.  She hasn’t done anything yet, so we’ll have to see how that comes out.

How was it working with the True Blood cast?
Everyone loves each other and there a no divas and everyone is always joking and it’s just a fun group of people to be around. You’re doing all these really intense scenes but in-between people are cracking jokes with each other and like, making funny noises and trying to distract other actors while they’re doing something and it’s been really special to be a part of that. I have this memory of walking one day after we were shooting in Fangtasia, we had a table read or something but I was walking with Alex, Kristin and Rutina and we were walking to the table read and I thought, this is so cool that I’m walking with the three most bad ass Northmans right here. This is unreal. It’s the most bad-ass family to be a part of, so I’m honored.

Who have you worked with most on the show?
Probably Alex is the one I’ve worked most with on the show and he was really wonderful to work with, I learned allot.

Will Willa be in Season 7?
That’s something that we’ll have to find out.

Well, if she’s not in Season 7, do you feel that this part has given you a broader base so that when you go out to look for more work it will be easier?
Yes, I’m so incredibly grateful to having been given the opportunity to be on the show and to play this character. She is so multi-dimensional and fun and scary. Over the past few months, I’ve done things that I never thought I could do so, I’ve stretched myself in many, many ways and I’m really thankful for that. You don’t get opportunities often, as  an actor, to really stretch yourself in many different facets and to do that on such a fantastic and fun show on HBO, is unreal.

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