After a finale full of vampire scripture, fairy safe havens, and pack-master wars, True Blood season six picks up right where we left off — with a very bloody Bill (Billith?), a very scared Sookie, and the beginnings of a war. And one thing is for certain: With Warlow on the hunt for Sookie and all humans on the hunt for vampires, things don’t appear to be slowing down … at all.
We caught up with Lauren Bowles, who plays Holly, to chat about what we can expect from season six, including a major character death:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is there hope for Andy and Holly?
LAUREN BOWLES: It’s entirely possible, but he’s got some work to do because she is none too happy with him at all, and I would say the stakes this year, no pun intended, are really high. So you gotta band together. The humans want to stick together this year, I’ll say that much. She’s going to need to rely on him for sure but I will absolutely say circumstances could throw them together, but it’s not that she’s exactly happy about it in the beginning.
With Andy being a father, is Holly going to be sucked into this fairy world drama?
I would say this season is truly more so than any other the season of survival, so whereas season’s past often there’s this outside big bad that comes, I would say there’s not really that this year. It’s sort of taking the existing world that we know and love and really amping it up on steroids.
Will Holly be using any magic?
I’m hoping that we will, but this year is certainly less about her Wiccan ways and more about her personal relationships. Circumstances are such that the humans really need to all stick together, really rely on each other. Holly really proves to be a Rock of Gibraltar for a lot of people this year. I would say it’s more focused on her personal life and relationships than it is necessarily on her Wiccan abilities.
Does the question of “What is Bill?” play out through the entire season?
It is answered for sure, but it does take a while, which is the fun of it. I think we’re hoping we’re going to keep people guessing in terms of how has he changed and how’s it going to manifest.
Let’s talk about Warlow. Is he a threat just to Sookie or does he affect everyone?
I would say he’s a huge presence this year. What I think is fun about this year is that things aren’t necessarily what they appear to be. Things continue to morph and change, so just when you think “Ah this is what they’re setting it up to be,” it changes. So I would say he’s a huge force in Sookie’s world that she’s not quite sure what to do with.
In the beginning of this humans versus vampires war, everyone seems to be sectioned off. Will all the characters come together at any point?
We laugh on the show that you can go two seasons and never even meet anybody that you’re not in the story line with because it’s such separate worlds. And I think what they’re really hoping to do with this season is to bring everybody back together, because ultimately I think that’s what was the original draw to begin with — it was this small town where people cohabited and had to find a way to deal with each other and get along, coexist as it were. So absolutely I think you’ll see us getting back to that.
Is this the bloodiest season?
I sort of feel like the biggest idiot, because I feel like I say that every year. But yes they keep upping the stakes so it seems like it keeps getting bloodier. I will say more so than any other season this one really is a true free for all. It is quite literally a blood bath and everyone is literally running for their lives. It was the terrifying thing this year getting each script and going “Oh god, who’s going to go?” You got nervous before you got every script, because at any point it could be you. They really I think get a little Game of Thrones-y this year with who’s going and it’s certainly not going to be a boring ride.
So many couples left last season’s finale up in the air. Is there even time for relationship drama this season?
There’s always time for sex, because it is True Blood. I will say there’s time for relationships for sure because you’re going to have to rely on who’s in your camp and so relationships are going to morph. But perhaps a little less on the soapy front. It’s going to be more on the deep very fundamental way do you see people come together.
And the Ifrit is gone for good, right?
That’s done. That’s gone.
We’ve heard there’s a big death of a major character at some point.
What can you tell us? Did it surprise you?
It completely surprised me. There’s not much to say other than it’s completely heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking. But I really will say it’s one of those that I cried when I read it. Everyone at the table read was crying because in addition to who it is – and by the way, I’m saying that meaning it might be Holly, you don’t know – it truly could be anyone. I think it’s safe to say it’s not Sookie but other than that, it really could be anyone and it is so beautifully done. So it really is heartbreaking.
There are a bunch of great new characters this season. Which character are you most excited to watch and see how fans react?
Yes. Well, come on, the Rutger of it all. I mean it’s Rutger Hauer. It’s really fun once we’re all done, I feel like I get to watch them then as a fan. Personally I’m excited, I can’t wait to see what Rutger’s done, and also, oh my god Arliss Howard. I think is going to be fantastic. Fantastic. I’m really curious to see how people respond.
What’s happening with Sam this year?
There’s some big changes that happen to Sam this year that he’s going to have to learn how to deal with and cope with. Of course he’s got a relationship that is going to emerge and he also has this new-found responsibility he’s going to have to figure out what’s the best way to handle.
Does Lafayette practice magic anymore?
Well he’s different, because he doesn’t get to pick and choose. When Holly sits down, she chooses when to do it. He’s a medium, which is its own beast. That’s nothing he’s asked for and I don’t think that’s anything he’s none too happy with. I won’t reveal how much that’s used or focused on this year, but I will say that’s not something I think Lafayette particularly is happy about.
What has it been like without Alan Ball?
We had our growing pains in the beginning for sure. How could we not because he was the pilot that everyone happily flew behind, and so we had such a sense of security with him, so I was heartbroken but again at the wrap party last year he was like, “All of these guys have been with me since the pilot.” He felt so secure that all the writers really knew these characters; it wasn’t like we were starting with a whole new staff of people that didn’t know how to write for these characters. And he was absolutely right about that. And also Alan, I don’t know this to be for a fact but his office is right on the lot where we shoot, so he’s sort of staying on as a consulting producer. I don’t know if that’s something that they’ve taken him up on but trust me, any major story things I’m sure is run by him.
What’s one thing you can guarantee for the fans with this season?
They either love or hate and it’s always impossible to please everyone, but I keep promising to everyone: Regardless of what you think about it, you won’t be bored. That much I can promise.
True Blood season 6 premieres Sunday June 16 at 9 p.m. on HBO.
Samantha on Twitter: @samhighfill