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Carrie Preston Talks About Arlene’s Near Death on True Blood

Posted on the 17 July 2014 by Thevault @The_Vault

Carrie+Preston+Sex+Tape+Premieres+Westwood+akLwI1wcPHilSPOILER ALERT! In a recent interview, True Blood’s Carrie Preston talks about her character, Arlene’s near death and more about True Blood’s final season 7. She also talks about what’s next for her, doing a guest spot on HBO’s “Getting On.”

What excited you most about Arlene’s (near) death scene when you read the script?

I was most surprised and excited about Terry coming back, because obviously I love Todd [Lowe]. We’ve kept up, but it’s not the same as having him on set. I also thought the episode does a great job of giving Arlene this major obstacle: What makes her want to come back? Because Arlene dies, we definitely decided that—it wasn’t like she was on the brink of death, she actually goes. It’s Terry who encourages her to go back.

The makeup in the scene was phenomenal.

My makeup artist Cyndilee Rice has been with us a long time, and she’s just extremely talented. We had to get the stages of it, you know, because I’ve obviously been in the basement, and I’ve had vampires explode on me, and we had leftover residual of that. We had to add bite marks, and those take a while to go on. They have to keep the blood fresh. They had to keep adding white to my face— like gray white circles under my eyes as I got closer and closer to death.

And the tears pooled in your eyes as you laid there in Sookie’s arms.

Well, there was no problem accessing the emotion for me that day, having Todd there, and Anna [Paquin], who’s a brilliant actress who has an enviable access to a well of emotions that she can tap into and mine on a moment’s notice all day long. We’re all in awe of Anna, and she is such an anchor to any scene that she’s in. Having her hold me while she’s looking into my face saying, “Don’t die! Don’t die!” and then Terry coming—it was definitely not a problem to cry. But I also wanted to play with the actual relief and joy of seeing Terry—he made her able to face her death without fear because she sees him and he’s calling her. I wanted to play the positive of that, so the tears are actually joy more than anything. She’s in her own world, you know. She sees Terry, and he looks great. She’s relieved to be done with all the suffering.

At this point in the season, after having Tara and Alcide ripped away from us, fans needed that moment of comfort, to know things are okay in the afterlife. It’s like the end of Ghost when Patrick Swayze’s character says, “The love inside, you take it with you.”

Exactly, and also to have a moment of closure between Arlene and Terry, because when he died, it was so quick and sudden and tragic that it was really nice to have a little coda between them.

A new vampire, Keith [played by Riley Smith], fed Arlene his blood to save her. Fans are excited about the possibility of Arlene having a sex dream about a vampire. What was your reaction to that twist?

I thought, “Okay, you don’t introduce an entire new vampire without having some kind of follow-up.” I was curious what that was going to be, and I hope that the fans will remain curious. Riley is sweet, and he jumped right in.

So you don’t want to tease what their vibe will be?

I will say that I’m very pleased at the journey that Arlene has taken since the beginning, when you consider how narrow-minded she was when you first met her, intolerant of anything different, certainly vampires. I’m very pleased with her growth as a character.

Can you at least tease what costume Arlene gets to wear next? I’m assuming you were happy to be done with that dress.

[Laughs] Oh my god, four episodes in that dress! Varying degrees of distress with the dress. Actually, it’s five episodes because I wore it in the finale of last season.

Was there a ceremonial burning of the dress?

It’s funny, because they have doubles—you always have to have doubles of the costumes because it gets blood on it. I went into the wardrobe truck, and I saw like six of them sitting there, and I said, “I do not want any of those! Those are all yours.” When Audrey Fisher, our costume designer, put us in those costumes at the end of last season, she didn’t know we were all going to have to wear them for four episodes. Even she was like, “Okay, this is going to have to be it.” It’s a great dress as far as character—it’s the perfect dress for her to be wearing—but yes, in episode 5 there’s definitely a big clean-up. So that’s nice. I got to move into something a little more pristine, more feminine, and less distressed and bloody.

Does Arlene return to work at Bellefleur’s, or where does she go from here?

The town is completely torn apart. It’s not like there’s very many people to come and have a meal or even cook it. We’re only on episode 4. We’ve got six more to go. So there’s a long way to go before this town is going to be back to normal.

You mentioned you weren’t asking to keep that dress. What did you want to keep from the set?

Well, I got a Merlotte’s T-shirt—everyone signed it. It’s hanging in my office. That was definitely what I wanted the most. Then I got the back of my director chair. Then, I’ve asked for the Homemade Pies sign. There’s a sign that hangs in the back of Merlotte’s or Bellefleur’s that they made that says “Homemade Pies” and there’s a slice of pie. There’s so many really great things in the bar that the audience just really doesn’t even see, but we obviously have become very intimate with it over seven years. We haven’t gotten word whether or not we get to keep any of it. They’re archiving a lot of our set. They just have to go through everything before they start giving it away. But I’ve asked for it.

What’s next for you now that filming of True Blood has wrapped?

I’m going to be doing a guest spot on Getting On. I start shooting that in a couple of weeks. I’m hoping I can get another show. I really love doing TV. I got my fingers crossed that I get a regular gig on another show.

Read the complete interview with Carrie here:

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