Nelsan Ellis Talks 'True Blood' Season 4 Finale
“True Blood” wraps up its “Season of the Witch” this Sunday, but despite the outrageous and drama-filled Bon Temps happenings of the last 11 episodes, the final script of 2011 shocked even the cast.
“I think we all read the finale and our jaws dropped,” Nelsan Ellis told Access Hollywood on Friday. “I was like, ‘What the hell?’(laughs). The audience is going to be so pissed off because they have to wait eight months before they see what happens next.”
Nelsan, who plays fan favorite, former V-dealer, Merlotte’s short order cook and new medium Lafayette Reynolds, said despite dozens of fantastical storylines throughout the show’s run, even he couldn’t quite believe how suspenseful Sunday’s episode ended up.
“As a person in the show, I literally went, ‘What’s gonna happen next?!’” he said. “Seriously, it’s the best finale so far.”
“True Blood” has always been a show centered around plucky waitress-and-part fairy Sookie Stackhouse and the supernatural creatures she loves, but this season, creator Alan Ball, who kept Nelsan’s Lafayette around (his character in the Charlaine Harris books met his end long, long ago), and the show’s writers, gave the actor a truly complex and vastly layered storyline to work with.
They’ve developed his relationship with boyfriend Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) beyond the physical, gave Lafayette a power (he’s a medium), and a foe of sorts in the witch Marnie (Fiona Shaw), who when fans last saw her, slipped her spirit (Bill shot her in Episode 11) into Lafayette’s body.
“She’s gonna wreak havoc in that final episode,” Nelsan said of what’s coming up as his character struggles with the spirit of a vampire-hating witch, bent on revenge.
“I would say that the main [person] I’m gonna be knocking up against is Marnie, who possess me and I’m gonna be knocking up against Marnie because I’m trying to get out,” he added. “But, yeah, she’s gonna be at the center of all the drama.”
Marnie’s takeover is the third time Lafayette’s been possessed this season, his second by a female character.
So what did he think when he read about the latest twist?
“I was like, ‘Damn it! I’m gonna get possessed again.’ I don’t wanna act like no woman,” he laughed. “Let me get possessed by a dude.”
Replicating Marnie, however — especially the way Fiona has played her all season — wasn’t a delicate or dainty affair.
“Fiona Shaw made her such a power hungry, almost masculine character,” he explained. “She had a masculine gait and she was power hungry, so she would be good in a man’s body.”
The pairing of the two actors on screen is a full circle of sorts. Nelsan was once a student of the Irish actress when she gave a masterclass at his school, the famed Juilliard.
“In the masterclass, I remember she was very strong. I was like, ‘Ooh! She was tough. She’s a tough teacher,” Nelsan recalled. “She’s strong and in the talkback she was so charming and sweet, but in masterclass, she was a stern teacher.”
The two even reminisced about the experience when they came face to face on the set of the hit HBO series.
“I was like, ‘I was at Juilliard when you came.’ And she’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah, I remember that.’ [I said to her], ‘A friend of mine who went there, he was flirting with you.’ She didn’t remember that,” he said.
The Season finale of “True Blood” airs Sunday night at 9 PM on HBO.
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