"True Blood" has done it again. Last season, the fang-tastic HBO vampire series introduced swank new sets for lead character Bill Compton's royal residence as Vampire King of Louisiana. For Season 5, which introduces new characters and political turmoil within the world of the undead, production designer Suzuki Ingerslev and set decorator Ron V. Franco have created stunning stages for the subterranean New Orleans headquarters of the draconian Vampire Authority, led by Roman Zimojik (Christopher Meloni, in the navy suit and blood red tie above).
The set also includes a wildly sumptuous Art Deco-meets-Grauman's Chinese Theatre boudoir for Salome (Valentina Cervi), the legendary biblical temptress who, in a stroke of "True Blood" genius, is revealed to be an ancient vampire and Chancellor of the Authority. Not surprisingly, Salome uses the room as a chamber for seduction, and the bedroom is to die for.
Ingerslev and Franco detailed via an email exchange the inspirations and sources they used to create the Authority headquarters and a bedroom that is likely to become a new touchstone for goth glamour.
Question: How did you come up with the look of the Authority HQ?
Ingerslev: The structure acts as an office building and prison, as well as a residence for some of the more powerful vampire officials, and I thought it should be austere and ancient. The exterior is an existing power station in Glendale. For the main chamber interior, I based the brick walls on a cistern in Turkey and intended for them to have been directly excavated and brought over to New Orleans when Authority vampires were originally establishing their headquarters. The floor plan of the main chamber pays tribute to the layout of a cathedral, conveying a sense of power and history.