Carrie Preston has gone on record, many times, saying that she much prefers playing the rare human on HBO's supernatural smorgasbord, True Blood. A sentiment her co-star, Lauren Bowles -- who has played Holly, Merlotte's most magical waitress, since season four -- shares.
And while Holly's initial introduction implied other worldly tendencies, the actress asserts her character subscribes to the religious, not supernatural, aspects of Wicca. That was just one of the fun facts I learned when Bowles rang me up to talk True Blood, surviving this long on the show and Bon Temps' looming war.
ETonline: Season four was all about witches, once Marnie was vanquished, did you worry how long they'd keep Holly around?
Lauren Bowles: Oh yes, I had no clue what was going to happen. Especially on a show like ours, where, as you know, the turnover is pretty rampant. But somehow Holly has managed to survive thus far ... which isn't to say she will this year, but I had no clue as to her longevity. I just went along for the ride and have been so happy with where it's gone.
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ETonline: Last week she discovered Andy's rapidly aging daughters. How do you view their relationship right now? Does she want to help him?
Bowles: No way, Holly is still pissed about the cheating, so she's washed her hands of him ... in the beginning. But at the same time, she's a compassionate soul and recognizes that Andy is in over his head with these girls, so it's hard for her to completely wash her hands of the situation. I had such a good time exploring Holly's Wiccan side, but I love that this year is much more about exploring her personal life and their relationship -- which gets a lot more complicated.
ETonline: Andy also taught Holly how to shoot a gun last week. There's an old saying, that you only show an audience the loaded gun if it's going to eventually go off. Fair to say we'll see her wielding a weapon again soon?
Bowles: [laughs] Nothing is accidental on our show. They're definitely planting seeds in these early episodes more so than ever before. This year is the season of survival for everyone -- vampires and humans alike now that True Blood is gone. There's a war a'brewing because nobody knows what the f*ck is going on.
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ETonline: What are you excited for fans to see in Sunday's episode?
Bowles: To really see what happens to everybody when they're in survival mode – through that, their [sense of] community really comes out. You have to band together otherwise you're a goner. For me, it was really fun to see who teams up, how they do it and how they survive. There are so many dynamics at play because this is like survival mode on steroids.
ETonline: Does that allow you to work with actors you've yet to?
Bowles: Yes! It's so funny that you can be on a show with all these people and only see them at the table reads. Without giving anything away, I will say that the battle really allows every character to align with people you wouldn't expect. It's all coming to a head and towards the end of the season, you'll see a lot less separateness as the show moves towards something that's more like what it started as. And then the finale is crazy. I mean, insane. The whole show blows up and it's such a great starting point for next year. I almost would say, more than any other year, this finale sets up a totally exciting and very new feeling season.
True Blood airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.