Ryn Blair and Ann Kirla of True Blood Comics were lucky enough to conduct a personal interview with Michael McMillian, actor (Steve Newlin on True Blood) and comic book author! The interview in full is shared below with their permission, but you should check out their site as well for the great pictures they took of themselves with McMillz! Thanks to Ryn and Ann for sharing.
TrueBloodComics.com Exclusive Interview with Michael McMillian.
Interview by Ryn Blair and Ann Kirla
Last year during San Diego Comic Con, True Blood’s presence was definitely felt. There were panels, signings, parties, blood drives, swag, and most importantly, COMICS! With SDCC 2013 quickly approaching & the new season beginning next week on HBO, it’s hard not to reminisce about all of the good times of years past and speculate what the future will hold. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to sit down with one of the extremely talented individuals who contributes greatly to our vampire addiction, Michael McMillian, True Blood comic book writer and of course Steve Newlin on True Blood. Read on as we pick his brain about the ongoing comic series, the show, and just life in general!
TBC: Now that you’ve worked on your second series with IDW and the True Blood Comics, are there any writers and artists that you click with in particular? I know you’ve worked with a few different ones.
MM: I’ve been really lucky so far, this sounds like a really judicious answer, but it’s true. I mean Joe’s been great to work with, Stephen Molinar who filled in for Joe on the first season was awesome. Now working with Michael Gaydos is a particular dream come true for me because I loved his book, Alias, that he wrote with Brian Michael Bendis at Marvel. So we’ve been really lucky to get great artists so far. Yeah I’m such a comic book fan, but I’m still in the phase where it’s amazing to see something I’ve written be drawn into a comic so I’m just thrilled with the whole thing.
TBC: In the new True Blood Ongoing series “Where Were You”, how did the concept for Remus come about?
MM: Well ya know, I don’t remember exactly. I think the idea that I had was in season five, ya know, we’ve been introduced to Nora, Eric’s vampire sibling when we were developing the plot for “Where were you”. I knew that I needed something that would sort of frame the flashback sequences and I decided it would be kind of cool if we found out that Godric had a vampire sibling who was kind of the anathema to him. I kind of like the idea of Godric having sort of an evil twin brother in a sense. The sort of soap opera sense. That’s really where it came about. As the “Where were You” series continues it ties asthmatically in season five with bringing up sanquinista’s, the vampire bible and Lillith. So he kind of comes from that hardcore vampire religion. You’ll see more of that in this story line.
TBC: How do you feel about writing your character on the show into the comics?
MM: Well I did Steve Newlin in “Tainted Love”. The first story arc I did when he was still human. I haven’t gotten around to vampire Steve Newlin yet, just because Tara and Steve and some of these newer characters are really getting their chance to shine in season five. We didn’t want to tread on that territory yet. So hopefully I’ll be getting Steve the vampire into the comics sometime soon, I’d love to.
TBC: Did you always want to do writing, or is something that just happened?
MM: I was talking about this earlier today, I was always a fan of comic books. Ever since I was a kid and obviously film and TV. When I was younger I thought I would grow up to be a comic book artist or an animator because I loved to draw when I was growing up. I found theater and got into acting and I think that was much more of a social experience for me and I really fell in love with that. I kind of lost touch with my drawing a bit growing up. But the writing thing there is such a close relationship with writing and theater and film and TV and I always kind of held on to that. It’s something that I always wanted to do. Just where my career’s been going in acting it’s opened up so many opportunities for me as writer so I’m taking advantage of those. Getting into comics is one of them.
TBC: Do you have plans to stay on with IDW and continue writing?
MM: Yeah we’ve got the first, Ann Nocenti my co-writer and I, have the first 12 issues plotted out. So we have at least the first year’s worth of storylines. Then we’ll see what happens after that. I think I’m invited to stay on the book as long as the book is around or as long as I want to or as long as we feel like it’s going well. So we’ll see. Definitely the first twelve issues and we’ll figure it out after that.
TBC: All the Truebies are excited to have you come back on our screen. Do you have a preference when it comes to the old Steve Newlin or the new Steve Newlin?
MM: I loved creating Steve in season two and that is very much an important starting point for where he is now. I think it’s really important for him to see this egotistical big Texas preacher. because it gives us the opportunity now, as a vampire, to see what was behind all that, who this guy really is. I’ve said season two was, the scheme of season two was Steve’s ego the scheme of season 5 is the id and we’re kind of seeing what’s behind, underneath all the repression. For me it’s been so much more fun to play him as a vampire and to be able to sort of peel away the onion and see who this guy is underneath and give him an emotional life underneath all the comedy. It’s been really fun.
TBC: Christianity and vampires are not something that go together as we’re coming to find out. How does Steve balance being a Christian first and a vampire second?
MM: Well I think that where Steve’s at with that right now is that he’s been turned into a vampire, he hasn’t been sent to hell, and he doesn’t feel like a minion of hell and I think that it’s a matter of shifting his perspective. He says in episode two that he got it wrong before. He says Jesus loves vampires. So it’s just a matter of changing his perspective on the issue. There’s one thing he has in common with in his mind he’s been blessed with eternal life and its very god like.
What a great time that was! Thanks so much to Michael for taking the time to speak with us! Can’t wait to see what is in store for us in the upcoming months! We plan on having more True Blood juiciness for you! Make sure to follow us on twitter: @TrueBloodComics & @TruebiesSDCC and on Facebook: TrueBloodComicBookFans for all you #TrueBlood & #SDCC updates!