True Blood newcomer sinks teeth into new role
TRUE Blood might be in the death throes of its final season, but fans are still meeting new faces.
Adelaide-born, US-raised actor Nathan Parsons was thrilled to join HBO's camp, raunchy and over-the-top vampire drama, set in a sleepy Louisiana town.
"It's such a thrill for me," he said.
"I remember watching this show seven years ago and it was like nothing else on TV," Parsons told The Guide.
"To be a part of it is really, really amazing."
The 26-year-old has taken over the role of James, Jessica's new love interest whom she met at "vamp camp" last season, from Luke Grimes.
"The character of James wasn't that well established in season six," Parsons said.
"You sort of met him but you didn't get his story. It is odd taking someone's part, but he was such a small character in season six now I think we can go a totally different direction with it and I think we will be forgiven."
The recent season seven premiere gave viewers a greater insight into James when he opened up to Lafayette about how he became a vampire. From his first day on set, True Blood star and director Stephen Moyer (Vampire Bill) took Parsons under his wing.
"He taught me how to be a vampire in this world," he said.
"Every vampire show has different rules and different ways of doing things.
"It was good to have Stephen there to say 'okay when your fangs click out this is how I do it, this is what you need to think about'. I got tips on being a vampire from Vampire Bill himself."
Parsons is best known for his role as Jackson in The Originals, which follows the original vampire family from The Vampire Diaries as they return and settle in New Orleans.
"The Originals has its own mythology which is similar (to True Blood) but different. I play a werewolf on The Originals so I get both sides of the coin, which is really fun," he said.
His introduction to the complex web of True Blood characters was also made easier by his friendship with Deborah Ann Woll, who plays flame-haired vampire Jessica.
"We went to college together so it was really comfortable to just step in," he said.
The cast has spent the past seven months filming the show's final season and Parsons said there was a lot to squeeze into 10 episodes.
"So much happens so quickly it sort of takes your breath away," he said.
"This is how True Blood works.
"You get on the show and you're thrust into the blood, sex and violence."
The final season sees the residents of Bon Temps - human, vampire and otherwise - dealing with the fallout of the Hep-V vampires' attack on the human-vampire mixer at Bellefleur's and the possibility of another attack.
Jessica's continued vow to protect Sheriff Andy's fairy daughter Adilyn has kept her and James apart, but it is hoped they will reunite.
And what will be the consequences of Pam's overseas reunion with Eric?
True Blood airs on Mondays at 3.30pm and 8.30pm on Showcase.