Sam Trammell Talks 'True Blood's' 'Hardcore' Season Finale

Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis in 'True Blood's' Season 3 finale, Sept. 2010 Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis in 'True Blood's' Season 3 finale, Sept. 2010

On Sunday night, HBO’s sexy supernatural drama “True Blood” concludes its mighty Season 3, and according to Sam Trammell, who plays bar owner (and shape shifter) Sam Merlotte, fans are in for a nail-biter.

“There’s no breathing room in the finale,” he told AccessHollywood.com. “This finale’s like a hard-core finale, where all the way up until the last minute, you’re gonna be on the edge of your seat.”

When things were last left off in Bon Temps, area 5 vampire sheriff Eric Northman and unhinged Mississippi vampire King Russell Edgington were speeding toward their demise in direct sunlight, telepathic waitress (and part fairy) Sookie Stackhouse was dying on a table, having been drained of much of her magical blood, and bar owner Sam had just lost it, nearly beating to death the father of Crystal Norris, who just revealed to Jason Stackhouse that she shifts into panther form.

“I know the last thing you see with my storyline, and it’s a major,” Trammell told Access of the upcoming episode reveals. “It’s a build up all the way ‘til that, so the whole thing — there’s no room to breathe and relax in the finale.”

Having played Mr. Nice Guy for the first two seasons, Trammell said show creator Alan Ball and the writers sending his character down some dark avenues in Season 3 was a thrill to film – and find out about.

“The flashback stuff was great, that — I did not know I was gonna get to do,” Trammell said of discovering his character’s pre-Bon Temps dark side, which included killing two swindlers. “That was just really fun and kind of an interesting thing, because Sam’s the good guy in town and the person that employs everybody and protects people. To see that — it’s interesting because what happened between when he was 15 when he got abandoned to Bon Temps?… Hopefully we do some more flashbacks.”

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As for the future, it appears there will be more interaction with Sam’s younger brother, Tommy Mickens. Trammell said that storyline is far from over.

“There’s gonna be some cliff hangers and that relationship does not get completely resolved at all in the final episode. It actually amps up a little bit and there’s a cliff hanger. There’s actually a lot of cliff hangers, which I think a lot of people are gonna be psyched about,” he said.

When asked if Crystal’s family is going to come back looking for trouble after Sam’s violent beating of her daddy, Trammell said something big is coming.

“I’ll tease you with this… Sam has a gun and he fires it in the finale,” he said. “So there you go… So think who it could be. It could be a lot of people. Or it could be a total surprise.”

The success of Season 3 has affected all the cast members, but for those who’ve been around since the show’s quiet start, like Trammell, they’ve been amazed by how the response has grown.

“During the first season, there was nothing, hardly anybody had seen it and nobody recognized me. We went to Comic-Con and we were pitching the show saying, ‘Hey, it’s a great show. Hey come over here!’ and practically handing out fliers. Second season there was more people, and this year there’s more,” Trammell said. “I went on vacation in Italy and I was getting recognized there, I was getting recognized in London… like immediately, like walk into a pub, get a beer, walk outside… First guy was like ‘Hey man are you on True Blood?’”

In addition to his recent European trip, Trammell managed to fit a film in during his “True Blood” hiatus (they finished filming in summer) – “Guns, Girls and Gambling” with Christian Slater, which saw the actor donning a lawman’s uniform and strapping on a weapon.

“You don’t have to do any back story when you put on a sheriff’s uniform and hold a shotgun. You are a sheriff, I’m telling you — especially if you’re a guy,” he laughed. “All of a sudden, [you go] back to the days of playing guns when you were a kid. I couldn’t believe it. I put that on and I was like, ‘Yeahhh!’”

Trammell is hoping to finish at least one more project before he heads back to the “True Blood” set, and he has his eye on testing out his rom-com chops in the future.

As for that fourth season, which begins shooting in late November, the actor said witches will have a presence and there will be even more skin on display.

“Apparently, tease, tease — there’s gonna be a lot more of that next year, I’ve been told,” Trammell, who seemed to be Season 3’s most naked actor, laughed. “There’s gonna be a paramount of shifting next year.”

Trammell isn’t ruling out more steamy scenes with Stephen Moyer, who plays Bill Compton, either. As a result of bringing Sam Merlotte back to full health after giving him several pints of his blood in the Season 2 finale, the first episode of Season 3 brought the bar owner a saucy dream with the vampire – a scene fans still talk to him about.

“Some of the women were like, ‘That was hot, that was seriously hot…’ and the guys are like ‘Oh my gosh! I can’t believe that almost happened.’ So people do talk about it and you know, that very well could come back,” he laughed. “I still have a lot of Bill’s blood in me so who knows what could happen with that.”

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