On this week’s True Blood, we met the other four vampire sheriffs of Louisiana when King Bill summoned them to discuss their witch problem. One of the vampires, Blackburn (pictured), is played by Aaron Perilo, who celebrated his debut by watching the show with friends — a circle of dedicated True Blood fans. (They hushed the fool who “Ooh!”ed when he made his first appearance, he reports. There is no talking during True Blood.) Though Perilo is under the usual cast orders to stay spoiler-free, here’s what we gleaned from our chat this morning:
• Blackburn has been an acquaintance of Bill and Eric’s for “a very long time,” and he’s friends with Eric (at least the one who’d remember him). He doesn’t have a job in the human world, and “he doesn’t really care too much about the human race,” Perilo says.
• At his wardrobe fittings, Perilo was told Blackburn’s style was being based on Tyler Durden, Brad Pitt’s character in Fight Club. “I was like, ‘Okay. I don’t think you can get much cooler than that. So I’m okay with that,'” he laughs. “That seems pretty badass.” For his part, he drew inspiration from a couple of hoodlums from his hometown, Omaha. “I feel like [Blackburn] is a little bit of a lower-denominator type,” he says. “He’s very animalistic.”
• Blackburn will get blood on his hands. Perilo won’t say when, but don’t look for it in the next episode — he’s not in it. (He’ll appear in four more episodes this season.) For those wondering, actors auditioning to play vampires on True Blood are not asked to simulate a bite during their reading. “That would be really funny. No, I think they just trust your biting skills,” he says. He will admit to biting into a lot of apples for practice, and to wearing his fangs pretty much his entire first day on set just to get used to speaking with them in, which he’d been warned would be difficult. “You do have a little bit of a lisp, and that’s the last thing you want. It’s a very unintimidating thing to have a vampire lisp,” he says.
One of his biggest surprises on set: “The blood doesn’t taste very good. You’ve got to do some serious acting for that. It’s not the O-negative I’m used to,” he jokes. “I don’t know what it’s made of, but it tastes like concentrated plum juice. Really thick.”