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Vault Exclusive Interview: Carolyn Hennesy A Creative Woman

Posted on the 03 May 2012 by Thevault @The_Vault
Vault Exclusive Interview: Carolyn Hennesy A Creative Woman

Even though Roslyn Harris hasn’t yet made an appearance on True Blood, talking to Carolyn Hennesy, the actor who plays her, made me feel like I knew what Rosalyn will be like. Carolyn seems to be full of energy, feisty and creative. She also described Rosalyn in a nutshell as “a woman who will have a glass of whiskey with you and then, if you cross her, she’ll drain ya.” In addition to talking about Rosalyn, Carolyn also told me how she loves True Blood (she watched all four seasons in 10 days). She said that after viewing all the episodes, she became a TRUE fan and during our time together she shared some of the things that made her gasp and awe while watching.

Vault Exclusive Interview: Carolyn Hennesy A Creative Woman
Carolyn’s not just an actress, she is a trapeze artist, knows sign language and is also a New York Times bestselling author of a pre-teen series called, “Pandora.” She is truly an amazing woman and I can’t wait to see her in Season 5.
I started out our discussion by asking her about her experience of seeing True Blood.
You are now known for having watched all four seasons of True Blood back to back.  Bravo!  However, I’m not surprised that you couldn’t stop watching because I think it’s like a novel that you can’t put down. Was that your impression and how did you like it?
I watched it all in 10 days and after the first couple of episodes, naturally I was wondering exactly what rock I had been hiding under that I had not delved into this show before. My husband and I didn’t get HBO, we got to see things through Netflix and other sources, but as soon as I got HBO, now the whole world has opened up to me. True Blood, with the pilot episode, literally got me “hook, line and sinker.”
For me it was episode 3, “Mine” when we first hear Bill Compton say, “Sookie is Mine.”
Carolyn: Oh yea, oh yea, that’s when he [Bill] is sitting in his mansion and she [Sookie] kind of walks in there, it’s the mansion pre-makeover, the old mansion.
When Stephen Moyer graciously took me on my personalized tour of all the True Blood sets, oh yes, oh yes, forget the industry, he’s the hottest man on the planet. And, we talked about the house, post-decoration and pre-decoration, but it was so much fun to wander around, to wander around Merlotte’s and wander around Sookie’s house. Again, having watched it all so recently,  I felt, “I’m home.”  This is where they shot this, and this is where they shot that, etc.”
What is your impression of True Blood now that you have been part of the cast vs. when you saw the show?
Carolyn: Being a member of the vampire authority, we are isolated, we are very much by ourselves in our own little world and we have really only come in contact on the show with Vampire Bill and Vampire Eric. So, it’s really just those two, and for me, knowing them even to the slight degree that I do, there’s a much more human face that I’m able to put on those four seasons and really savor the acting, because these are very funny, delightful, kind of cut ups and that’s not what really comes across, certainly not with Alexander. But, the sense of humor that both men have is extraordinary and so much fun to be around. They’re like blood brothers, brothers under the skin after four almost five years.

I would not be surprised to learn that Alexander is shy [or reserved] with the fans though. There are so many women and men who are just chomping at the bit to get within 10 feet of this man, I can imagine that it’s just overwhelming for this beautiful, beautiful young man. It’s like my first fan club weekend when I was on General Hospital, the amount of adulation coming at me was like the most wonderful Tsunami, but it’s still a tidal wave, and you’re simply not prepared for it. The second time you know a little about what to expect going in, but it’s a wonderful Tsunami, and that’s what it is.
Who are you favorite True Blood characters?
Carolyn: Lafayette and Sam, I’m Team Sam all the way. Love, Terry Bellefleur and I love Andy Bellefleur. I love the Bellefleur family. I loved Cooter [Grant Bowler] and I loved the Maenad. I thought she was exquisitely played by Michelle Phillips and that was a fearless performance. Oh, and of course, my favorite and yours, Mr. Russell Edgington, III [Denis O’Hare]. It’s like being in a master class. Talk about fearless, I like to think I’m fearless as an actor, and then you get around somebody who just chews up the scenery in the most profound way and the most delightful, exquisite and fully realized way. Thank you for that class mister, thank you so much, what do I owe you?
What can you tell us about your character of Rosalyn Harris?
Carolyn: Here’s what I have deduced from working with the writers and from the little drips and drabs I’ve heard and by talking with Alan. Rosalyn is very old, but has found her heart in Texas. Now, that means that Rosalyn, as far as I’m concerned, is one of the gals who helped to settle the old west, so Rosalyn is a “man’s man, in a man’s world’ in a very strange way, yet she is always a lady and she has found herself kind of stuck in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s in the great grand dames of Texas. Rosalyn is what we call a “broad.” She has a fantastic sense of humor and I like to think of her as a combination of May West, Ann Richards, and Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar. She takes no names, no prisoners. She’ll have a glass of whiskey with you and then if you cross her, she’ll drain ya.
So she is very Texan then, right?
Carolyn: Yes, she is very Texan, but Rosalyn has retained a wonderful sense of humor about herself and about everything else. Rosalyn just gets the joke and finds the humor and understands that mainstreaming is really the way to go and just plays it that way. But above everything else, she is also a survivor.
What kind of dresser is Rosalyn? Do you have any interesting outfits? And, what’s with the big hair?
Carolyn: Rosalyn is exquisitely tailored, there’s nothing that doesn’t fit and there’s nothing that doesn’t match. Her clothes are only the finest designer labels, but she’s got this hair which she just teases up to God and calls it a damn day. That’s Rosalyn. And, they have not wigged me and I don’t know how they manage it with my hair in a short and adorable little bob, but they do. There’s a lot of hairspray flying around that makeup trailer, lots of it.
Regarding the clothes, does Rosalyn wear all kinds of outfits and dress contemporary?  What I mean is Pam wears a variety of outfits, sometimes she is in pink looking very 60’s and other times she wears outfits with thorns sticking out and is dressed very voluptuously. What about Rosalyn?
Carolyn: No, Rosalyn is very, very conservative, but very chic. Rosalyn looks as if Ann Richards was brought into this particular age and very contemporary. Rosalyn is just chic head to toe. Listen, what about the boys? Stephen and Alexander are in T-shirts, jeans and leather jackets and they still look like they are runway ready. Audrey Fisher is a genius, pure and simple.
How many episodes will you be in this season on True Blood?
Carolyn: I honestly don’t know how many, at the end of the season I’m going to be in, but from what they’ve filmed so far, I’ve been in the majority.
You’ve already shared that you’ve mostly worked with Alexander Skarsgard and Stephen Moyer, but what about other members of the cast who are also on the Authority?  For example, we know that Chris Meloni is a member of the authority so I’m guessing you’ve worked with him a lot.
Carolyn: Yes, he is absolutely on the Authority and is the guardian of the authority and I work very closely with him and he is just a delight. The password for Chris Meloni is just “sexy.”
What about Christopher Heyerdahl, have you worked with him yet?
Oh yes, absolutely. He is also a member of the Authority. Chris Heyerdahl, Peter Mensah, and Valentina Cervi, but I just call her the beautiful Italian woman. We are all members of the authority and all work very closely together.
Any favorite quotes from the show?
Carolyn: That I can remember from the show?  Oh Gosh, The aids burger scene when he [Lafayette, Nelsan Ellis] takes that hamburger over to those three boys in that booth and he drops it on them and then gives that speech about aids. What makes a great quote is how it’s delivered, so he [Nelsan Ellis] just pulled no punches and it was just “heaven.”
Below is the scene Carolyn is talking about from Season 1.

What do you think of Alan Ball leaving the show? Do you think it will change because of his leaving?
Carolyn: first of all he’s not walking off into the fog; this is not a “Casablanca” moment. He’ll be back. He will always have a shepherding eye, I believe, on the show.
You’re originally from Los Angeles, right?
Carolyn: Barbara Rush
And, I see that you have lots of stage experience and also were a member of the main company at the Acme Comedy Theater.  Can you talk about that a bit?
Carolyn: Groundlings I was there for what I consider to be the “Halcyon salad days” of the Acme Comedy Theater
Most of what I see on your resume is stage and TV.  Do you plan to do films, too?

Can you talk a bit about your one woman show “Carolyn Hennesy’s Big Leap” and what that was all about?
Am I right that you are currently acting in Cougar Town, General Hospital and True Blood?  How is it juggling all that as well as all your other interests?
How long have you been on General Hospital?  What is it like playing a “mob lawyer?”
Carolyn: She’s the only one who can talk to him and not get shot in the head for what she says.

Do you think that playing the part of Diane Miller on General Hospital had any influence on your getting the part on True Blood?
Vault Exclusive Interview: Carolyn Hennesy A Creative Woman

Carolyn Hennesy as Jiminy Cricket’s mother

You were on Once upon a Time in the first Season, will you be back?
I think it’s interesting that now we have two True Blood cast members who have been on this show, you and Kristin Bauer.  Have you and she talked about it?
We don’t have too much time left, and I’d like to mentionother parts of your life, like that you speak sign language, have flown the flying trapeze, but I want to be sure to ask you about your books because that’s another big aspect of your life I’m sure.
Carolyn: the best thing that I have ever done in my life is the seven Pandora books.
Vault Exclusive Interview: Carolyn Hennesy A Creative Woman
What made you start writing your books and why did you decide to write pre-teen books?
Carolyn: You know what?  This could be a series of novels for young adults.teenage years can be a grand adventure, they don’t have to be angst ridden

I enjoyed speaking to Carolyn and again, am looking forward to seeing her character in June. Look for more information about Carolyn at her website and she is also on Twitter at @CarolynHennesy.

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