The Look: Mr. Sam Trammell

Photography by Mr Paul Jasmin. Styling by Ms Arianne Tunney
Words by Mr Christopher Goodwin

Style determines character for Mr Sam Trammell in the hugely popular vampire series True Blood. Soon to go into its fourth season, True Blood – adapted from The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Ms Charlaine Harris – is set in the small, steamy Louisiana town of Bon Temps. Sam Merlotte, Mr Trammell’s character, runs Merlotte’s Bar and Grill, the local watering hole, where much of the show’s gothic, hypersexual, blood-drenched action takes place.

“I was born in Lousiana, and I have family down there,” Mr Trammell tells me in an accent that betrays none of his Southern roots. “So when the show started, I went back and I saw the kind of guys that I thought Sam would be like and those guys wore Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots. Any man wearing those things could be Sam Merlotte. Sam is a guy that doesn’t think about clothes. He’s got jeans, boots and the shirts and that’s pretty much it.” Except when Mr Trammell takes them off, which happens surprisingly infrequently.

That sartorial earthiness and lack of fuss suits Merlotte, one of the more grounded of the show’s characters. He’s a good man, if mysterious, protective of Sookie (played by Ms Anna Paquin), for whom he holds a torch, fending off mortal danger from vampires and other supernatural aggressors, while succumbing to many and varied sexual temptations.

Sex has been a key ingredient of True Blood’s success. The audience for the show in the US has grown every season and now tops nearly five million viewers an episode. The New York Times recently described True Blood as “a saga of natural and supernatural desire… [where] the Freudian underpinnings of a stake through the heart have never been more vivid.”

“We are always put in very tight clothing,” says Mr Trammell, sipping coffee in a Fifties diner in East Hollywood late one afternoon. “I wear a couple of sizes smaller than I usually wear. Everybody has to peel off their clothes at the end of each day – not to mention that you have to stay in ridiculous shape because of all the shots without your shirt on.”

Mr Trammell – who has pale blue eyes, straggly light brown hair and beard – is wearing jeans, a dark grey T-shirt and a brown, hooded coat. He’s a touch smaller with more delicate features than I’d expected. He’s fun to be with, easy, engaging and quick to laugh. He stays “in ridiculous shape” by surfing, which he does up and down the Californian coast, and through yoga and hitting the gym. “And watching what I eat. It’s hard to do all that. I’m not 22 any more.”

In fact he’s 40 and expecting twins in a few months with Ms Missy Yager, an actress he has been with for eight years. “You’re looking at a terrified individual,” he says, taking another sip of coffee. “I know it’s going to be great, but it’s daunting.” Mr Trammell and Ms Yager, who has been in Mad Men, met when they were living and working in theatre in New York.

Mr Trammell did not intend to be an actor but an astrophysicist, although he did play in bands, including a Rush cover band in his teens. He went to the prestigious Brown University, in Rhode Island, which was where he first got involved in drama. “I went in a physics major and came out a semiotics major,” he says. The change from astrophysics to semiotics and then to acting seems as radical as his character’s shapeshifting in True Blood, in which Sam Merlotte can instantly turn into a dog or a lion, should the need arise. Mr Trammell can’t reveal much about the forthcoming season but he foresees even more intriguing changes for Sam Merlotte. When we speak, he’s got a few more weeks of the shoot left; True Blood is mainly shot in LA, with some exteriors in Louisiana, and a lot of it is shot outside at night.

“I did a naked scene this year – here’s a teaser – at night, in freezing cold weather,” he says. “It was one of the hardest scenes I’ve ever had to do as an actor, just to keep from shaking.”

Hard to do, perhaps, but bloody easy to watch, I’m sure.

Source: Mr Porter

Photos from True Blood Panel at Paley Fest

I went to Paley Fest for the first time to see the True Blood panel and to meet up with the Ladies from True Blood The Nest and head webmistress, Jenna (my boss ;P) from alexskarsgard.net/sam-trammell.com.

I brought along two of my friends to make the 300+ mile trek down to Los Angeles — can you say ‘road trip’??? It was their first time too going to Paley Fest as well as being in the same room with people from a TV show we all watch.

We made it down to LA in five and half hours, checked into our hotel room and killed some time down Melrose Ave before heading back to the hotel to getting ready. Headed over to the Saban Theater we saw the line around the corner but thanks to Christy E. and her friends, we were able to join them in line.

We got into the theater and made our way up to the mezzanine where we scored seats in the first row…and waited…and waited…and waited until the show started. So by now you’ve probably already seen alot of video of the panel and already heard what was said so I’ll just go on to say screams were deafening at times for certain people 🙂

So here are my pictures from the panel. Enjoy! -marie

True Blood Panel at Paley Fest, Saturday 3/5/2011

Don’t forget the True Blood panel is Saturday, 3/5/2011 starting at 7pm PST. Scheduled to appear are:

Kevin Alejandro, “Jesus Velasquez”
Marshall Allman, “Tommy Mickens”
Alan Ball, Creator / Executive Producer
Chris Bauer, “Andy Bellefleur“
Kristin Bauer van Straten, “Pam De Beaufort“
Nelsan Ellis, “Lafayette Reynolds”
Ryan Kwanten, “Jason Stackhouse”
Todd Lowe, “Terry Bellefleur”
Joe Manganiello, “Alcide Herveaux”
Stephen Moyer, “Bill Compton”
Anna Paquin, “Sookie Stackhouse”
Jim Parrack, “Hoyt Fortenberry”
Carrie Preston, “Arlene Fowler”
Alexander Skarsgard, “Eric Northman”
Sam Trammell, “Sam Merlotte”
Rutina Wesley, “Tara Thornton”
Deborah Ann Woll, “Jessica Hamby”

If you attend, be sure to share your pictures and experience with us. Email jen@sam-trammell.com and we’ll make sure to post it here. If you’re unable to attend and you’re on Twitter, you can follow @Paleycenter and they will be doing live tweets during the panel. I would send out tweets but I’ll be too busy taking pictures and paying attention to what these folks have to say!”

UPDATED: Sam Trammell Comic Signing Event

Sam confirms….

Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Nelsan Ellis, & Deborah Ann Woll, stars of “True Blood”, will be signing copies of True Blood Volume 1: All Together Now on Saturday 2/26/11 at 1:00 PM at Barnes & Noble – The Grove at Farmers Market, 189 Grove Drive Suite K 30, Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-525-0270. More information can be found here.





Comic Con 2010: True Blood Panel

I attended Comic Con in San Diego, CA for the first time. Because of all the horror stories I was told regarding crowds and not being able to get into the specific ballroom where the True Blood panel was to be held, my friends and I got up at 5am and waited in a 2-1/2 hour line to get into the building then sat through 5 panels prior to True Blood. We sat in that ballroom for almost 8 hours! I wanted to share my pictures with you. Hope you enjoy them! -marie