TRUE BLOOD’S NEW BLOOD: KRISTINA ANAPAU INTERVIEWED
The fifth season of Alan Ball’s increasingly wild Deep South vampire series True Blood is now in full swing in the UK with a sixth season due to screen next year. But there’s a new face in amongst the familiar regulars; Hawaiian-born actress Kristina Anapau, who first appeared towards the end of the fourth season, returns in the new season as the mysterious Maurella. Here she tells Starburst how she found her way to Bon Temps and joined the vampires, werewolves and shape-shifters…
Starburst: How did you come to be cast as Maurella in True Blood?
Kristina Anapau: I received a call to come and read for (producer) Alan Ball, went in to audition the following day and found out that they wanted me for the role a few hours later. I had always been a fan of Alan Ball’s work and of True Blood so I was over the moon upon hearing the news. It was such a privilege to be joining the cast of a show that I was also a long time fan of.
What can you tell us about the character of Maurella?
Maurella is a seductress from the faerie dimension who is five hundred years old but only claims to be three hundred! She has the ability to read minds, shoot balls of light out of her hands and… hmmmm… other abilities as well that I won’t reveal here since season five has only just started screening in the UK!
How difficult was it - if at all - to join the already large ensemble cast of such a well-established show?
It wasn’t difficult at all. I was very soon welcomed in as a member of the family. It’s a wonderful show to be a part of - an incredibly talented group of actors who are also really lovely people off screen. When we wrapped for the season, the following few weeks were hard - it has been such a pleasure to come to work every day and I missed everyone a lot.
True Blood is a pretty graphic show in terms of its sexual content. Was that something you found challenging and do you think it’s good for shows like True Blood to have that sort of freedom away from more traditional Network constraints?
I didn’t really have any overly graphic scenes this season and I was very comfortable with everything I was asked to do. I’m a big supporter of freedom of expression. I think it should be up to parents to control what their children are and are not allowed to watch on television. Compared to what can be found with simply typing one search word into Google I feel that True Blood is relatively tame.
Alan Ball is moving on from the show at the end of the fifth season. How involved was he in the day-to-day production of the show, especially in relation to character development and performance?
Alan has been incredibly hands-on during these past five seasons as showrunner. It’s his creation and he knows each character and their storylines inside and out. He is a brilliant writer and a generous human being - I feel very honoured having worked with him in his final season as showrunner - it was an incredibly special experience.
True Blood season five is currently screening in the UK. We understand that Maurella is likely to play an even greater role in season six. Can you give us a hint as to what’s in store for your character?
I was given some wonderful episodes in season five and I had such an incredible time. As for season six - I wouldn’t want to give anything away; we’re a secretive operation!
Vampires or werewolves? Which is best?
Vampires without question. Vampires are incredibly sensual and very sexy.
True Blood is notable for its cast of strong, powerful female characters. Is this something you’re keen to see more of in films and TV?
Yes, without question. Women audience members want to see strong women doing interesting things on television - it’s good for the industry and great for the world.
You recently appeared in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. How would you describe the experience of working with Aronofsky?
Darren is a genius whose focus and discipline on set is contagious. To say that working on Black Swan was inspiring would be an understatement.
You trained in classical ballet and music as well as theatre. Do you maintain your interest in those aspects of your training and are they skills you’d like to be able to develop?
I’ve been missing being in ballet class of late. Life has gotten so busy for me recently and going to ballet class a few times a week is one thing that has gotten pushed to the side. I need to change that.
You recently completed work on a supernatural feature film called Sighting. What can you tell us all about it?
It’s a supernatural thriller that will definitely keep audiences on the edge of their seats and then some! What sets it apart from other genre movies, however, is that it’s actually a very character-driven piece. We had a cast of outstanding actors and I’m really looking forward to its release.
What would you like to be doing, professionally, in ten years’ time? Any specific roles or projects you’re especially hankering after?
I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately and my pieces have been published in several different magazines. I’m very passionate about my work in that arena. My writing is definitely something that will continue to evolve and will most likely end up taking a greater and greater space in my life. I’ve also been slowly working on a novel. I also see myself producing in a few years - I think I have quite the talent and temperament for it.
Beyond True Blood and Sighting, where can we expect to see you next?
I did a bit of what I hope is really great work on the NBC show Grimm recently and that’ll be airing soon. I also have a film called BlackJacks coming out next year. It’s a ‘special ops’ storyline, very different from anything I’ve done before. I’m very proud of the film, it’s definitely one to watch out for.
True Blood - Season Five is currently airing on FXUK.