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July 23, 2012 2PM EST

Q&A with Deborah Ann Woll

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  • Q

    Thanks to Deborah Ann Woll for joining us for today’s Q&A. Welcome Deborah Ann! How are you enjoying True Blood Season 5?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    I had a blast shooting the 5th season of true blood and am so excited to see how the fans like it! I've always been fascinated with the vampire politics.

  • Q

    Deborah, i think you a awesome actress!! . Your character has grown so much. What would you like Jessica to do in the future?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    Thank you! That means so much to me that you think so. I think Jess is a very compassionate vampire and I think she could have a strong voice in the vampire integration movement. I would love ot see her as a social leader of some kind. Of course after she matures a bit more ;-)

  • Q

    What is the most rewarding experience you have had while filming true blood!?What makes true blood so addicting?Who is your fav. male actor?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    I have had many rewarding experiences. But my most recent one is kind of a spoiler so I can't give you details. It is in episode 510 and I feel everything came together beautifully to create a moment we can all be proud of.

  • Q

    what does true blood taste like ? lol always wondered

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    We have many types of blood for different occasions. the actual Trublood has been a think purple carrot juice, a caro syrup with red food coloring (super sweet and it's hard to drink very much of it) and sometimes a cranberry juice if you have to down it! Chug-a-lug!

  • Q

    Does your family watch the show? If so, what do they think? If not, WHY?!

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    Most of my family does watch the show. They are very happy for me and I think genuinely enjoy the storylines. My mother is very good about following all the extra features and rewatching episodes. She's probably following along now. Hi MOM!!

  • Q

    Is their any special preparation you have to do before getting into the Jessica Character?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    I do a ton of preparation. One of the most time consuming is before every season I take a month and watch every episode from 101 to the end to remind myself where we have all come from. Then I spend the last week, going over and over just Jessica's story line. Then even though it's been 5 months since we shot the last episode it feels more like it happened recently which is how it happend for Jess. That's one way I get back into it after our hiatus.

  • Q

    will jess every become a maker? I love the show big fan keep up the GREAT job!! hugs from Portsmouth,ohio

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    That's up to the writers, but I think of Jessica and most vampires as being lonely solitary creatures and making a vampire is one way to have a companion. I think Jess would probably want to be a maker down the line and I think she'd be very good at it, because she understand how hard it can be.

  • Q

    I absolutely love your video blogs (Jessica's). Who's idea was that and are you going to keep it going?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    Thank you! I love them too! We have such a great time shooting them. I'm not sure whose idea they were ititially. I believe is was hbo.com. They had done similar vlogs/blogs on other shows. But Gianna Sobel writes and directs them and I think she does just the greatest job. One day towards the end of the season we shoot all of them in succession. So I go through hair and make up about 10 times and we shoot about 25 pages of material. For comparison 4 pages a day is more the true blood average. it's intense but really fun!

  • Q

    Do you get to do your own stunts?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    Yes and No. We always do the into and out of the stunt, but the actual impacts and really anything where you might get hurt or requieres skill is done by our fantastic team of stunt performers. they are magnificent at what they do and should be given the credit they deserve.

  • Q

    what kind of music do you like, who is your favorite?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    I like anything bluesy or funky. My favorite musician is Martin Sexton. His new album Sugar Coating is stellar. I also have always been an avid listener of Nina Simone and I love any classical piano.

  • Q

    How long does it take to do an episode?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    We shoot long episodes. I think we had one or two this year that went up to 24 days!! most hour long shows on network shoot 8-10 days, we always shoot around 15 and more involved eps can be over 20. That means a lot of double up days where two episodes are shooting at once with two full crews. It takes a lot of very dedicated people to pull this show together. Not to mention, a typical day is 14-18 hours!

  • Q

    How does the speed of the vampires works? Do you have to move special for this?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    We move normally and then they speed up the movement in post. Actualls it's all the non vamps that have to move differently. They have to pause when we start moving and then once we land whip around like we blew past them. It can be funny to watch. One thing I did think about was that as a young vamp being new to this kind of speed I would be more clumsy at it. So I flail my arms a bit so my blur is bigger. whereas an older vamp might have a tighter more contained blur that looks almost more like a teleport.

  • Q

    Do you ever get spooked out while on set? I always get creeped out during the scenes where the characters are tromping through the woods.

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    Not usually. When we are shooting it there is always a crew of 40 people or more, plus light stands and cameras in your face. So the illusion that we are alone is just that, an illusion.

  • Q

    How long does it usually take to film an episode? Does everyone get together and go through the script first or do you just wing it?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    We have table reads for every episode where the entire cast and prodution team get together and read through the ep. Then the production crew goes preps everything and when the actors and crew come to set we do a rehearsal where everyone gives their input on how the scene should be staged or played and then we practice it a few times and shoot it for a many hours. All for a few minutes of footage.

  • Q

    Hi Deborah! Do you have a say in Jessica's wardrobe and make-up at all?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    absolutely. the wardrobe and h/mu departments are very talented and they work with the writers and directors to get an idea of what they would like for the character, and then they come up with ideas and present them to the actors and we all work together to figure out what we like best. If I have a specific idea that I think would be cool, I might email the department and throw it in there early so that we can be prepared on the day should they like my idea. In the end the producers have final say but they have always been very cooperative.

  • Q

    Hey Deborah! I couldn't tell for sure, but was Jessica wearing a Ramones T-shirt at Fangtasia in Boot & Rally? Could swear I saw Joey! Thnx!

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    That was a Slash T-Rex shirt. Pretty rad huh?! I like that Jess is experimenting with her style now. First her parents dressed her, then bill, then hoyt, and now she can finally figure out what she wants to look like. It's been fun mixing it up this year.

  • Q

    Have you or any of your cast mates played any pranks on each over the years? if so which is your fav and why?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    Ryan and our camera operator Simon had a pretty good battle going on for a while. I believe ryan parked Simons smart car in the elevator and simon retaliated by filling Ryans car with styrofoam peanuts. And I mean filled it to the brim. No air left in that car. Pretty genius stuff. ;-)

  • Q

    What was your audition like for True Blood? Did you have to do anything special to prepare? Were you nervous?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    I auditioned with the turning scene at the vampire tribunal and then the scene after I've been turned running through the woods. I had to die and come to life in the audition and be attacked by an imaginary vampire. I remember lying on the floor and squiriming about and eating my owntears. I'm surprised they didn't toss me out as some crazy lady! But I'm so glad they gave me a chance.

  • Q

    Is it awkward when you are pretending to drink someone's blood?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    There are many days when I shake someones hand then a few minutes later I'm sucking on their body somewhere. I usually try to be very open and friendly with the actors that come in to get fed on. I want them to feel comfortable to ask any questions. We have soft fangs for feeding scenes if anyone would prefer that. But all acting requieres you get intimate with strangers very quickly. We sort of know that's part of the job.

  • Q

    How do you think your character has changed since the beginning?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    I try to help show that Jess changes every season. I think she is constantly on a quest to find our who she is because she was never given the chance at home. But now being a vampire complicates that quest even further. So while I think she's come a long way to discovering herself from a girl to woman the vampire side is still impulsive and naive.

  • Q

    I LOVE the show :) I think that you have brought Jessica to life so to speak!! Do you have other things you are working on besides TB?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    Thank you! A film I worked on last year is just opening in theaters this month. It is called Ruby Sparks and it is such a good film. I have a very small part in it, but I am so proud to be involved at all. Zoe Kazan wrote and starred in it with Paul Dano, and the directors from Little Miss Sunshine directed it. I really recommed everyone go and see it if you can.

  • Q

    how do you want jessica to end up with? hoyt or jason? how is working with ryan?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    I don't have a want for Jess in that regard. I want her to be happy and respected. I think it can't possibly work with Hoyt. She can't give him what he wants which is normalcy, and while Jason and Jess are clearly attracted to one another and care for each other neither of them seem to be in a place where they can be in a relationship. I'd like to see some growth from both of them, but I think there's more potential there.

  • Q

    How hard was it to get used to the fangs?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    It did take a while. The trick is not to think about it. Just let your bottom lip hit. you end up with nasty little cuts on your lower lip by the end of an intense day but it's worth it.

  • Q

    What do you think is one of Jessica's motivating emotions in the current season? We've already seen her grow so much - where is she headed?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    Lonliness. Jessica has been so alone all of her life. Even with Hoyt. As much as they loved eachother they couldn't understand eachother and it is a profoundly sad experience be feel lonely in the presence of someone you care about. She's never had a friend I think she is motivated most strongly by that.

  • Q

    That's all the time we have for today's Q&A. A huge thank you to Deborah Ann Woll for joining us. Anything else you'd like to add?

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    Deborah Ann Woll says:

    thank you for having me. there were some really fantastic questions and I appreciate everyone's interest. Enjoy the 5th season!

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