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TV News: ‘True Blood,’ ‘The Walking Dead,’ ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ ‘Dollhouse’ at C2E2

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CHICAGO – The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, more popularly known as “C2E2,” took place last month, and featured TV series cast panels with “The Walking Dead,” “True Blood,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “Dollhouse.”

HollywoodChicago.com was there at those fan Q&A sessions, to record the highlights and have Joe Arce take photographs of all the stars who participated.

StarLaurie Holden and Jon Bernthal of “The Walking Dead”

The Walking Dead began life as a comic book series published by Image Comics, and was adapted for television by Frank Darabont (director of “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile”) and premiered last Halloween on the AMC network. The series follows a group of survivors from a so-called “zombie apocalypse” who are escaping from the undead hordes, and from other survivors, in the midst of societal breakdown post that apocalyptic collapse.

Representing the series at C2E2 was Jon Bernthal (Shane Walsh) and Laurie Holden (Andrea).

Walking Live: Laurie Holden (left) & Jon Bernthal, C2E2, March 19th, 2011
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Question: Laurie, what have you learned about the Zombie life by participating in that world through the series?

Laurie Holden: What I love about our show, which is different from other zombie shows or films, is that we’re really exploring the humanity of the zombies. These were people who were once people, who loved and had families, and just got sick. They’re not just evil monsters. It’s your wife, daughter, brother and it makes it so much more conflicting and complicated.

With my scene with Emma Bell, in the Andrea and Amy dynamic [survivor vs. zombie], none of us in the camp had ever seen anybody come back, nobody we loved. A lot of fans were really angry that Andrea put the camp at risk by sitting over Amy’s body, but when you love somebody with all your heart, it’s kind of a natural thing where you hope this time it will be different, and maybe when she opened her eyes I’d see her again.

I love how she played it, like a sick baby that I have to put down rather than a fright night. And all I had to do was look at her and that’s all I needed. Zombies are complicated as to what they evoke in all of us, because there is pity, fear and longing.

Question: Jon, how will the show continue to keep the tension and emotion without resorting to cheap zombie antics?

Jon Bernthal: Nothing will never happen without a reason, there will have to be a reason for it to happen. Zombies won’t just ‘show up.’ Somebody or something will have to bring the zombies on, which is the mark of the cool writing.

Star Sam Trammell, Kristin Bauer & Brit Morgan of “True Blood”

True Blood is another HBO original sensation, coming back for a fourth season this summer. The morality tale, about vampires, humans and other beings living (somewhat) harmoniously together, has been hugely popular for HBO and has legions of “true” followers.

Sam Trammell (Sam), Kristin Bauer (Pam) and one of the newer cast members, Brit Morgan (Debbie), represented the show.

True Love: Sam Trammell, Kristen Bauer (center) & Brit Morgan, C2E2, March 19th, 2011
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Question: Brit, what were the circumstances of you joining ‘True Blood’?

Brit Morgan: I didn’t have anywhere the amount of credits it takes to book a show like True Blood, and it was a real shot in the dark. I was very excited about it, but most of me was saying I didn’t have a chance in hell. I just thought they’d want someone with more name recognition than me.

I knew Alan Ball was going to be in the audition room, and I was nervous. I just let it go. I messed up real bad, I stuttered through the first lines. But by some miracle, he got something from me. After my group was done, he immediately said he wanted to see me again. The second time around was much better, and three hard days later I found out that I got the part.

Question: Sam, what can True Blood watchers expect in Season Four?

Sam Trammell: What if we sat up here and just spoiled the whole fourth season? [cheers] I have a really fun season coming up, because we explore the mythology of the shapeshifters. We’ve seen the politics and societies of vampires, we’re now going to do this with the shapeshifting. We also explore the limits of that power, as to what you can shift into.

That’s great, and there is also a new woman I’m going to have a relationship with. [catcalls] Yes, it’s about time. [laughs] And that brings up this, if you work as a waitress at Merlottes and you date me you will die, basically. [laughs] Even if you wear the tee-shirt to the expo, it might be dangerous, so be careful.

Question: Kristin, how do you relate to the concept of vampires now that you’ve experienced True Blood?

Kristin Bauer: I really think vampires don’t have to worry about illness, dying, money, aging, all the things that occupy 90% of our thoughts as humans. This is the ultimate escapist personality, it’s a lot of fun. I actually think a lot about ‘would I do it?’ if I could become a vampire, and I never quite come up with the answer. At first, being a spiritual person, I believe it’s set up the way it should be set up, and then I’m like…it would be awesome. [laughs]

And then I realize if I were a vampire, I bet you my personality would end up being identical to Pam’s [her character on True Blood], which is kind of funny. She feels different than I am, but then I realize I don’t think we are that different, I’m just human. Right? I don’t know. [laughs]

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