‘True Blood’: Chatting with Todd Lowe, Bon Temps’ mortal man
We shed a lot of ink here at the Ministry over the supernatural hotties of “True Blood,” but as the fifth season of Alan Ball’s hypersexual vampire series dawns, we’re taking a look at one of the more regular folks: Todd Lowe, who plays Terry Bellefleur.
Yes, we’re using “regular” pretty freely.
Lowe has been a subtle hit as the scattered Iraq war veteran Bellefleur, a short-order cook at fictional greasy spoon Merlotte’s, romancing redhead Carrie Preston and surviving each season in Bon Temps, La., with redneck charm.
As Sunday’s premiere revealed, Bellefleur’s PTSD is finally getting manageable — until old Marines buddy Scott Foley surfaces with troubling and (here it comes) possibly spook-tacular news about their tour of duty.
We chatted with Lowe about playing a veteran with sensitivity, his family-friendly side gig and his dream superpower.
Matt Donnelly: Terry has always had his redneck charms, but the core of his character is rooted in his life as a Marine. How much sensitivity do you bring to that as an actor?
Todd Lowe: I’m cautious with it, because I think the writers do a good job of keeping it on the periphery and not going too far into post-traumatic stress disorder. You know, we’re Hollywood types, not soldiers. We have no idea what the horrors are like.
In the books [“True Bood” is based on Charlene Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse book series], he’s a Vietnam vet, so we updated it to the Middle East for the show, but I play him with the mentality who didn’t enlist voluntarily.
MD: That’s relatively heavy lifting for this show. Is it worth it for, say, not being as naked as some of your costars?
TL:The bar has been set so high for the amount of male flesh on that show. Like Ryan [Kwanten],Stephen [Moyer], Alex [Skarsgard] and Joe [Manganiello]. I don’t want to leave anyone out, they’re all great. But I’ll leave that stuff to them.
MD: You were a big part of the"Gilmore Girls” universe before “True Blood,” and now you’ll appear on “Bunheads” from the same creator of “Gilmore.” Do you prefer a more family-friendly vibe?
TL: Honestly, I’m just lucky to be working. “Bunheads” is like going home again, so that’s great. I play a one-eyed plumber.
MD: You’re working largely opposite Scott Foley [who plays Bellefleur’s former commander] this season on “True Blood.” How is your dynamic?
TL: It’s great working with such a TV veteran like Scott. Terry is dealing with some real demons, some things in his past, he’s really trying to get it together, but his former commander is a threat.
MD: Terry has no superpower — not a vampire, werewolf, shapeshifter or any of the other creatures on the show. If you could chose one for him, what would it be?
TL: Santa Claus ... at the end of the season, you find out he’s Kris Kringle.
Follow Matt Donnelly on Twitter@mattdonnelly.
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