Writers essentially work by themselves, for themselves, in rooms large or small, quiet or noisy . . . but empty of everything but the writer and her/his brain. Once a year I have the option to break that mold and do something that is, by any standard, glamorous. This year I exercised that option. My beautiful daughter and I attended the “True Blood” premiere held at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.
Any trip to Los Angeles has to be a working trip for me, but this time I had a lot of fun as well. We arrived a couple of days early to have dinner with some of the “True Blood” ladies: Kristin Bauer van Straten, Lauren Bowles, Janina Gavankar, Jessica Tuck, and Rutina Wesley. (You know them from the show as Pam, Holly, Luna, Nan Flannigan, and Tara.) Kristin has been making a documentary about elephants and poaching in Africa, and when she posted the dinner as a prize on Kickstart, I jumped at such a pleasant way to support a great cause. We closed down the restaurant. I couldn’t have had more fun with more entertaining company.
Beautiful Daughter shot her scene on “True Blood” on Monday. We both got a lesson in filmmaking; her scene was scheduled to be right after lunch, and we left the studio at seven p.m. But we had a fascinating day, watching how the actual work is done, and came away impressed with the thought that goes into every scene. Though it was clear BD’s feet would never be visible, she wore heels and hose for her character. She’ll be in episode 8, looking authoritative in a lab coat. (We named her character Cornelia, the Sadistic Lab Tech.)
On Tuesday, after a meeting with APA (my left coast reps) we return to our hotel (the Peninsula – great staff!) to have lunch and prepare for the arrival of our hair-and-makeup woman, the diminutive Julie. We were much better looking after her intensive work, and dressed in our finery and with friend and scriptwriter Kam Miller, we climbed into our car to be taken by our driver to the premiere. Most TV shows don’t have a premiere, much less a red carpet, but HBO does things right. There is an actual red carpet, and actual press, and many lovely actresses and handsome actors there for the premiere dressed in their carefully selected outfits. It’s pretty darn glamorous, and I always feel strange in such company. But I did a little press and was photographed a bit (which always amazes me), and then I was VERY glad to get off my torturous heels and into the building.
I saw friends there from the show, like wardrobe head Audrey Fisher and Assistant Producer Christina Jocanovich, Alan Ball, Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte) and his brother Paul, in town for the premiere.
I’m not going to spoil the first episode for anyone, but it’s really so good, and it was directed by Stephen Moyer. If the rest of the season is like the first episode, I think it’s going to be a very good year for “True Blood.”
I got to speak briefly with Alexander Skarsgard while we were waiting for our cars, and at the afterparty I had great talks with some fans of the books who were at the premiere. The
party was “decorated” with actors sprayed all red with giant red wigs, who introduced themselves as professional fangbangers and slithered all over in an atmospheric touch. The food was southern, the venue noisy and happy, and the “True Blood” T shirt clad waitstaff were cheerful and quick. It was amazing to get to talk to Dale Raoul (Maxine Fortenberry) and Tara Buck (Ginger, the Fangtasia waitress), and to congratulate Anna and Stephen on the season to come and (more importantly) their twins, now nine months old.
I’m relieved that BD and I are back to our regularly scheduled lives and facing ordinary problems (rather than, “Which restaurant for lunch?” or “Is this the right outfit for today?”). But it’s fun to go Hollywood once in a while!