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Were you wondering who Sookie was coupled with at the end of the True Blood finale at the Thanksgiving Dinner? Well, the mystery is solved.
Showrunner Brian Buckner told reporters yesterday that the character was intended to be an everyman whose identity was irrelevant; he also said that, to cast the role, they chose “the man with the best arms from our stunt crew.” It turns out that those anonymous arms belong to actor/stunt performer Timothy Eulich, and Vulture tracked him down for a quick chat about getting the gig and what it’s like being married to Sookie.
Did you get a chance to see the series finale of True Blood?
I honestly haven’t been able to watch the whole thing, but I did watch that final sequence that we shot just now. After we get off the phone, I’ll watch the rest. [Laughs.] But I was laughing with my wife Sunday night about all the tweets from all the people freaking out about not getting to see Sookie’s husband’s face. It was fun!
I know you’ve been doing stunts on the show for a long time. But you also had a speaking part in season two, right?
Yeah, I had a little fight with Alex Skarsgård, and after that, I did another little part in season three or four. I didn’t come back until season five, when I started doubling for [Michael McMillian’s character] Steve Newlin. And then I came back and started working on every single episode of seasons six and seven for the stunt department, doubling for a lot of different characters, helping with rigging, stunt coordinating, all sorts of stuff. After I did that first stunt for Michael, I kind of developed a relationship with the stunt coordinator, Hiro Koda, and we became fast friends. We’ve been working on everything together since then.
Yeah, Michael McMillian told me that when he got blasted by the faery elder, or when he got burnt up, that was you.
And I also did that stunt for Alex, when he got burnt up on the mountainside.
That was you? Did you have to go nude for that?
No, I didn’t. That was his body. I just did the fire. With everything that we did, we worked very closely with the visual effects team, so they wanted to get the real fire elements for that. I was in a full black suit on a black backdrop, with a huge fire burn, and they went and layered in Alex baking on the mountainside. But that was definitely Alex’s body. [Chuckles.] I didn’t take my clothes off for that! I’ve also doubled Sam [Trammell]. And other than that, I’ve just played little parts on the show — I was a vampire guard in season three, and in season six I was the vampire being dragged behind the pick-up truck. Yep, that was me!
But the only one with a speaking part was that guy in season two. He even has a name: Rich. And Sookie even saves his life. Is it possible that Sookie ended up with Rich, or are you playing a completely different guy?
You know, I was thinking about that, and I don’t think it’s terribly far-fetched that it’s Rich! I don’t think the writers would necessarily think that [laughs] but I mean, Sookie did save Rich from being killed by Eric in that scene, so there was a little moment there and it’s possible it turned into something, years and years later. “Hey, remember that time at church when you saved my life? That was really awesome of you. We should go have a drink sometime.” Yeah, I think it would have been nice.
Just so we can stop referring to him as Mr. Sookie, how about if we call him Rich and move on?
A couple of people have asked me if the character had a name, and as far as I know, he did not. On the call sheet, it was listed as “Stunt/Sookie’s Husband.” I don’t think that was on his birth certificate, though! [Laughs.]
So, that was you with the turkey as well?
Yeah, it was me, and that was my voice. It was requested that a stunt performer be used for that part because of the turkey in the deep fryer scene, because if you look it up on YouTube, there are tons of people putting frozen turkeys into deep fryers, and they explode and set people’s garages on fire and all sorts of terrible things. So they wanted a trained professional in that role, just in case. But everything went just fine. There were no explosions. We shot the turkey [scene] first. And then we waited for it to get dark to shoot the table scene. But they knew whoever was going to be the guy putting the turkey in was going to be the guy [and] they never wanted to see his face. I didn’t have to audition, because pretty much almost everyone over there knew me anyways, but I sent in photos of my arms. They wanted her husband to have manly arms, I guess! So I was coming back from a vacation with my wife, and she was shooting pictures of my arms in the airport.
Read the complete interview with Timothy at vulture.com
In True Blood’s final season, Deborah Ann Woll’s Jessica Hamby has been through a rollercoaster: making up with Adilyn and Andy, breaking up with James, reconnecting with Hoyt. In an interview with HBO’s TrueToTheEndBlog, Deborah Ann Woll talks about what it was like for her, as an actor to approach this season.
Some of it was surprising, which is part of what’s fun about our show. I can never quite predict where the storyline is going to go. After six, seven years of working on a character, I start to feel for her the way that I would feel for myself. I have very deep affection for Jessica and what happens to her is very important to me. I think a big moment like killing the faerie girls last year, to have her receive forgiveness for that, almost meant as much to me as it did to the character.
A happy ending in Bon Temps is a rarity. How did you react when you learned that Jessica and Hoyt would end up getting married?
I was surprised, honestly. I had really thought that Jessica and Hoyt’s story was over.
It’s such a risk for Jessica to go to Hoyt and reveal their entire past because he could have rejected her. What do you think prompted her to come clean with him?
My feeling was that her father was dying, and Hoyt was part of a simpler time for her. With Hoyt, her struggles were less complex, and ever since he left she’s been facing more adult struggles. It was an incredible thing for him to ask her to remove those memories, but Jessica couldn’t do that for herself. She was going to have to live with them forever, and that’s a very lonely existence. With Bill dying, she wanted someone who could share that loss with her.
Do you think that Jessica could ever be a maker? Or turn Hoyt some day?
I don’t think she’d ever turn Hoyt. But I do think that she’d be a maker. She’s a loving, affectionate person who has a lot to give, and I think down the line she’d want to have that kind of relationship, especially because her relationship with Bill was so important and so deep. I could even see her adopting human children, if that was something allowed in their world eventually.
Why did Jessica want to be released? Did she hope that it would change Bill’s mind about dying? Do you think she regrets it at all?
We talked a lot about that. Stephen [Moyer, who plays Bill] had suggested that in a way, Bill’s deciding to let himself die hurt Jessica so much that she wanted to hurt him right back. The strongest way that I can hurt you is by saying that I don’t want to be connected to you anymore. It’s an interesting idea, and I think that there’s a piece of that in there. But also, his journey of dying was going to be so painful that I think a part of her was scared of going down that road with him. In the same way that someone in your life is sick or dying, and the amount of courage it takes to go and see them in that state and acknowledge that they’re going to be leaving soon. She didn’t want to see him like that, didn’t want him to be able to call her to his side and witness his death.
We don’t see Jessica’s reaction to Sookie helping end Bill’s life. Have you thought about Jessica’s reaction to that?
I have. Sookie has always been very honest and straightforward, and especially this season, she and Jessica have been closer than ever. They’ve been allies trying to save Bill. My feeling is that although she didn’t want to ruin some of the happiness of Jessica’s wedding day, at some point Sookie had a conversation with her about what Bill wanted. In a way, Sookie did Bill a great favor. She saved him some of the pain and turmoil that he would have gone through. I think she and Jessica came to terms with the decision together.
In the finale, Bill sort of arranges Jessica’s marriage to Hoyt, which she understandably doesn’t react well to at first. What makes her go from “No way” to “Let’s do it today”?
Bill comes from another era, where marriages were arranged. You saw how he was paired with his wife, and it turned out very well for him because Caroline turned out to be the love of his life. But Jessica is a modern girl, and here are these two men making this enormous decision for her. For the young girl who was subjected to the tyranny of her father so often in her human life, I wanted to show how she became an independent woman who didn’t have to rely on anyone — man or woman — to make her decisions for her.
That’s what was great about the scene upstairs with Bill in Jessica’s bedroom, and it’s probably my favorite scene of the finale. What was wonderful about that was that she had a moment to hear Bill explain himself and how he never got to see his daughter get married or have the family moments he wanted to so much. Jessica heard his sorrow and regret and realized, “If there’s any gift that I can give that will mean something to him, it’s letting him be part of my marriage.” Even though it’s way too soon and maybe this isn’t the right person for me. It doesn’t have to be legal, it doesn’t have to be anything except a moment where I can assure him that I’m going to be fine and he can feel comfortable leaving.
Have you thought at all about the complications of a human-vampire marriage? Somebody lives forever, somebody doesn’t, you turn them, you don’t turn them…it seems like a real existential can of worms.
[Laughs.] It is, but Jessica loves very easily — I don’t mean that in a flippant way. She has a huge heart and she loves many people very deeply. In some ways, when you’re choosing a mate, it’s really just that — choosing. I don’t know that I necessarily believe in a soul mate, that there’s one person for everybody. I believe that we all have the capacity for great love, and it’s just about what compromises you’re willing to make. In a way, we love many people and at a certain point of our lives we choose one person and make a commitment to them, and at this point in her life, she chooses Hoyt. If they last, great, and if not she’ll find someone else to love. And should he die and she lives centuries longer, she’ll find other people to love. I think there’s an important message there about commitment and having an open heart.
Are there particular storylines from the seven seasons that you especially cherish?
I’ll go to my grave saying that I just love the Jason-Jessica storyline. I will always remember those scenes with a lot of nostalgia. But also my time with Bill. If I look at the arc of Jessica and Bill over the years, it was just a really great story. To end where we did — how the parent becomes the child and vice versa – it became a nice, full story of Jessica’s going from infant to adult.
One of the lovely moments in the finale episode of True Blood last night was the impromptu wedding of Jessica and Hoyt. At the wedding, Bill Compton gave away the bride while Andy Bellefleur conducted over the ceremony. Also attending the wedding were Jason, Sookie, Holly and Arlene, who watched on as the couple said their vows.
Jessica writes on her blog:
Having this blog as a record of my early memories in Bon Temps — it means the world to me. I’ve got one last thing to share before I sign off for good. Pictures from my wedding! Can you believe it? Hoyt and I are married! It all happened so fast but I’m glad we took the leap. It just feels right to be on this journey with him.
You’ve all felt like my family, and even though you couldn’t be there to share the big day with me, I know you were all there in spirit.
By the way, my favorite picture is Hoyt sitting in Bill’s chair looking very “stately.” Perhaps he has a new calling — mayor? I may be overreaching, but I wouldn’t mind being first lady of Bon Temps…
Photos that make a lovely album for Jessica and Hoyt to cherish are below along with some candids by Holly Cleary.