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‘True Blood’: See Where the Cast of the Campy Vamp Series Is Today

Are you Team Bill or Team Eric?

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The fantasy horror drama series known as True Blood revolves around a cast of hunky vampires, but not the Bela Lugosi kind your grandma watched in fear. Set in modern times in the fictional rural town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, vampires are roaming the Earth and are human beings’ mortal enemies.

Based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, the series is set two years after the invention of a synthetic blood product called Tru Blood that allows vampires to come out of the coffin any time they please.

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While quite unsettling for the human citizens of Bon Temps, the vampires struggle for equal rights and assimilation into society while anti-vampire organizations begin to gain power.

The blood substitute that vampires consume with the same effect as human blood enables humans and vampires to co-exist in harmony and even form relationships — which adds an element of sensuality to the series. As with old vampire movies, the gore is there, but not in a scary way — rather fun and campy in style.  

Alexander Skarsgaard, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer arrive on the red carpet, 2011
Alexander Skarsgaard, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer arrive on the red carpet, 2011Mark Sullivan/WireImage/Getty Images

The series centered around Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a waitress at Sam Merlotte’s (Sam Trammell) bar and grill. What people don’t know is that Sookie is telepathic.

Sookie falls in love with 174-year-old handsome vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Over the years, Sookie develops friendships with fellow workers while navigating small town encounters. Yes, True Blood is about vampires, but it also showcases contemporary issues such as equal rights, drug addiction, identity, importance of family and violence against minorities, with a cast we love to this day.

So where did the True Blood cast go after leaving Bon Temps?

True Blood cast, then and now

Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse

Anna Paquin in 2009 and 2024
2009 / 2024Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic ; Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Anna Paquin led the True Blood cast as Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie and her brother Jason were raised by their grandmother after their parents’ death in a car accident. She eventually falls in love with Bill Compton and saves him from the Rattrays who want to drain his blood for use as a narcotic.

Jason and Bill become suspects in a series of murders due to fang marks on the victims. A visit to the vampire bar, Fangtasia, and a confrontation set up future storylines.

Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin, 2013
Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin, 2013Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Anna Paquin was born in New Zealand and made her acting debut in the romantic film The Piano (1993), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 11. As a child actress, she received multiple awards and nominations in such films as Fly Away Home, A Walk on the Moon, Almost Famous, Jane Eyre and Amistad.

Along came HBO’s True Blood where Paquin landed the lead and, for her performance, a Golden Globe and a SAG award.

Anna Paquin winning a Golden Globe for her role in True Blood, 2009
Anna Paquin winning a Golden Globe for her role in True Blood, 2009 JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images

She continued her acting well into adulthood, playing Rogue in the X-Men franchise and was a part in The Irishman. She currently stars in A Bit of Light, a film directed and produced by her husband and former True Blood co-star, Stephen Moyer.

Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton

Stephen Moyer in 2008 and 2024
2008 / 2024Noel Vasquez/Getty Images ; Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Best known for portraying the 174-year-old vampire in True Blood, the English actor followed up this role in the TV film Lord of Misrule, which was filmed in Cornwall England. Before transitioning to film, Moyer worked in theater for five years.

In 1997, Moyer made his big screen debut in Prince Valiant and then switched to the Fox series The Gifted, starring as Reed Strucker, a district attorney whose duties include the nabbing of super-powered “mutants.”

Stephen Moyer, 2023
Stephen Moyer, 2023Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF

He now co-stars with wife actress Anna Paquin in A Bit of Light, that he also directed and produced.

Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman

Alexander Skarsgard in 2009 and 2024
2009 / 2024George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images ; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Before he became Eric Northman, a 1000-year-old Viking vampire and sheriff of Area 5 on True Blood, Skarsgard had established himself as a talented working actor. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, he began his acting career at the age of eight and continued working in films and on Swedish TV until he turned 16 and decided acting was not what it was cracked up to be.

He entered compulsory military service and had the time to sit back and consider his future. After six months in New York and a romantic entanglement, Skarsgard moved back to Sweden where he became a star. A visit to Los Angeles landed him a part in Zoolander, followed by theatrical productions.

Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin and Alexander Skarsgard, True Blood cast, 2013
Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin and Alexander Skarsgard, 2013FilmMagic/FilmMagic/Getty Images

His first big break was with the miniseries Generation Kill in 2008. Following that, he was cast as the 1000-year-old vampire.

During the third season of HBO’s hit Succession, he was cast as tech mogul Lukas Matsson for which he received an Emmy nomination. He reprised the role in the 4th and final season of the series. Skarsgard also played Nicole Kidman’s abusive husband in HBO’s Big Little Lies, while he recently starred in the thriller Infinity Pool.

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Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton

Rutina Wesley in 2008 and 2023
2008 / 2023George Napolitano/FilmMagic ; Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Best known for her roles as Tara Thornton, Sookie’s tough talking but insecure best friend, and Nova Bordelon on OWN’s Queen Sugar, Rutina Wesley studied dance at Simba Studios and the West Las Vegas Arts Center.

After graduating from the University of Evansville in Indiana, against her grandmother’s suggestion that she study nursing as a backup plan, Rutina enrolled and graduated from Juilliard.

Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Ryan Kwanten, True Blood cast, 2008
Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Ryan Kwanten, 2008Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

With Broadway roles and other theater productions behind her, Wesley made her on screen debut as the main character in the film How She Moves. She then auditioned and won the role of Tara Thornton.

After True Blood, she had a recurring role on TV’s Hannibal and last year portrayed Maria in the HBO series The Last of Us with Pedro Pascal.

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Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte in the True Blood cast

Sam Trammell in 2008 and 2023
2008 / 2023Mark Sullivan/WireImage/Getty Images ; Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Sam Trammell was born in New Orleans, a perfect birthplace to take on the role of Sam Merlotte in True Blood, which proved to be his big showbiz break. Throughout the years, he has worked in theater, film and television.

He was Tony nominated for his performance in Ah, Wilderness. He also secured roles in White Rabbit, The Fault of Our Stars and in 2019, starred in the Netflix horror drama series, The Order.

Carrie Preston as Arlene Fowler Bellefleur in the True Blood cast

Carrie Preston in 2009 and 2023
2009 / 2023Mark Sullivan/WireImage/Getty Images ; Michael Loccisano/WireImage/Getty Images

Carrie Preston has had a myriad of noteworthy and starring roles: Polly on Claws, Elsbeth Tascioni on The Good Fight and The Good Wife, Grace Hendricks in Person of Interest, where she played the love interest to her real life husband Michael Emerson; Susan in To the Bone and Arlene in True Blood, among others.

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Preston was a main cast member for all 7 seasons of True Blood. In fact, she was one of the only humans remaining in the end as the rest had been turned into vampires.

True Blood was the project that took her career to another level and remains one of her favorites.

Carrie Preston and Rutina Wesley, members of the 'True Blood' cast, 2009
Carrie Preston and Rutina Wesley, 2009Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Born in Macon, Georgia, the Juilliard trained actress made her Broadway debut in The Tempest and later played in other top Broadway plays, including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Rivals and more.

She made her feature film debut in Julia Roberts’ blockbuster My Best Friend’s Wedding and had other scene-stealing roles in Duplicity and Transamerica, while she was most recently seen opposite Paul Giamatti in last year’s Oscar nominated, The Holdovers.

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Carrie Preston, 2022
Carrie Preston, 2022Steven Simione/FilmMagic/Getty Images

On the small screen, she had memorable appearances on, among others, Lost and Desperate Housewives.

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She is also a sought-after director, with credits including The Good Fight, Your Honor and Claws. Currently she is receiving rave reviews for her TV series, Elsbeth.

Ryan Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse in the True Blood cast

Ryan Kwanten in 2008 and 2022
2008 / 2022Kevin Mazur/Getty Images ; Unique Nicole/FilmMagic/Getty Images

As Sookie’s womanizing brother, Ryan Kwanten became a fan favorite over the years. Born in Australia, Kwanten parlayed his fame into other critically acclaimed projects such as the film Expired, where he played the lead role.

He then starred in the sci-fi thriller 2067, which led to numerous other top-notch projects. The year 2022 was a busy one for him with the release of the thriller Glorious, where he teamed up with Oscar winner J.K. Simmons. On the small screen side, he starred in Them, Sacred Lies and The Oath.

Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette Reynolds in the True Blood cast

Nelsan Ellis in 2008 and 2017
2008 / 2017Mark Sullivan/WireImage/Getty Images ; Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

Lafayette Reynolds: Short order cook, drug dealer, road crew member and medium on True Blood is first seen selling vampire blood. In the third season, he is introduced to a male witch who becomes his romantic interest. Many of the Bon Temps residents are accepting of Lafayette’s sexuality.

Best known for this role, Nelsan Ellis was also an established playwright. Born in Harvey, Illinois, he graduated from Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois and attended Juilliard and, while there, wrote a semi-autobiographic play titled Ugly that was performed at the school and later won the Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award.

Rutina Wesley, Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin, Sam Trammell and Nelsan Ellis, True Blood cast, 2009
Rutina Wesley, Stephen Moyer, Anna Paquin, Sam Trammell and Nelsan Ellis, 2009Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images

In 2008, he won a Satellite Award from the International Press Academy for his role as Lafayette Reynolds. Tragically, Ellis died at the age of 39 on July 8, 2017 after complications from heart failure. His family said Nelsan had been trying to quit alcohol in the days before his death and suggested his withdrawal led to his heart failure.


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