Monday, June 13, 2011

The Vault Exclusive: Denis O’Hare – Alternative Families Panel

As featured on The Vault -


True Blood’s Denis O’Hare participated in a panel discussion for The Los Angeles Times’ 3rd Annual “The Envelope: Primetime Emmy Screening Series” on June 7, 2011 in Los Angeles. I attended the event and got a chance to meet Denis before the panel started.

Denis arrived all on his own, not in a limo like many of the other participants did. He was walking outside when I got a chance to run up and hand him my Vault business card and get a quick photo with him. Just like all the other True Blood cast members, Denis was very gracious and just as animated as I thought he’d be.

This evening’s panel was the “next to last” in the series and was titled, “The Alternative Families Panel.” It was hosted by Times TV critic Mary McNamara and featured Katey Sagal (“Sons of Anarchy”), Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”), Denis O’Hare (“True Blood”), Emmy Rossum (“Shameless”), Cloris Leachman (“Raising Hope”) and Peter Krause (“Parenthood”).

The audience consisted of mostly Screen Actors Guild members (they were given preference for seating), and I was a “stand by” audience member. Evenso, I got in easily and found a great seat in the third row. The actors came out individually after being introduced by the commentator Mary McNamara.

Lynnpd with Denis O'Hare outside the theater before the performance.
The commentator said that Denis’ show had the most “out there” family of the group. I suppose vampires must have pretty “wacky” families. However, I was curious about the “alternative familes” topic chosen as the title for this panel, because I wasn’t sure what True Blood had to do with it, however Denis explained all. He talked a lot about his True Blood partner, Talbot (played in the show by Theo Alexander). He said that his relationship with Talbot was the only really “stable” relationship and unlike humans, vampires “make” their families. He also talked about the True Blood cast and crew that has become like a family and how everyone loves each other on the show. I have heard this about the cast and crew of True Blood over and over. I know it must be true because every person I have met from True Blood is kind and generous and I’d like to somehow be adopted, too!
Below are videos from the Q&A panel representing most of Denis’ contributions. Oh, and I got to ask him a question, during the audience Q&A. I asked Denis what he based his characterization of the King upon and, although his answer was a good one, it presented more questions than answers for me. He goes on later to discuss the scene between he and Stephen Moyer in episode 4 and how long it took to shoot it and how they had done it in several different ways.

I so enjoyed Denis speaking about acting since he is such an exceptional example of the art. While Denis speaks very passionately about it, he also is as animated as you’d expect him to be and he and Cloris Leachman are very funny together.
Alternative Family Panel Part 1:

Alternative Family Panel Part 2:

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