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TCA: Alan Ball: ‘True Blood’ is not a metaphor for gay people

July 10, 2008 |  6:27 pm

Newseason_tourtalk_2

HBO’s next drama, “True Blood,” is based on the Charlaine Harris series of books set in the backwoods of Louisiana, in a world where vampires and humans co-exist but vampires are treated as outcasts.

When asked if vampires stood in for some underlying message about gay rights, executive producer Alan Ball told reporters Thursday afternoon at the TV press tour no. “I really don’t look at the vampire as a metaphor for gays,” he said.

“For me, part of the fun of this whole series is that it’s about vampires, so it’s not that serious," he said. "However, they do work as a metaphor for gays . . . for anyone that’s misunderstood. At the same time it’s not a metaphor at all."

Ball said he didn't come to the project as a vampire enthusiast. “I haven’t seen ‘Buffy’ or ‘Angel.' I’ve never read the Anne Rice books. All I knew was the movies I’d seen," he said.

So he took pains to ground his vamps in the real world. In “True Blood” most of the myths about vampires were created by vampires themselves so they could pass for humans. When staked, they don’t always instantaneously turn to dust. They’ve also got cooler fangs.

“We went to great pains to depict the fangs," Ball said. "They’re like rattlesnake ones that click forward."

The center of the show is rooted in a romance between a young waitress and a rather old vampire. “I wanted to explore what it means to be 170 years old, what it means to be in a relationship that entails being fed upon," Ball said. "Only being able to see [your boyfriend] at night, having a town think you're crazy."

Also important to him: “It’s a world that isn’t so media-saturated. The people are interacting with each other rather than sitting at their computers all day reading blogs.”

Yikes! Wrong crowd, Ball.

--Denise Martin

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