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04 September, 2008

Exclusive: Alan Ball on his HBO Series True Blood

While you wouldn't expect the Oscar-winning writer of the suburban drama American Beauty to have much to do with the horror genre, Alan Ball dealt tangentially with the supernatural when he wrote and produced five seasons of the HBO show Six Feet Under, which centered around a family-run funeral home where the "guests" offered their unfiltered opinion on the complicated dysfunctional relationships of their caretakers.With his new HBO show True Blood, Ball is taking on some "pretty hardcore genre" as he puts it. Based on Charlaine Harris' "The Southern Vampire Mysteries," the new series which premieres on Sunday, September 7th stars Anna Paquin (aka "Rogue" from the X-Men movies) as telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse whose quiet Louisiana parish is set abuzz by the appearance of its first actual vampire. When ShockTillYouDrop and spoke to Ball recently about his upcoming indie drama Towelhead, we were curious to know why he decided to tackle the vampire genre with his second television series for HBO."After five years of 'Six Feet Under' and peering into the existential abyss, and contemplating the constant presence of mortality - and therefore contemplating my own mortality and the general sort of impermanence of everything - I was ready to just have a little fun. When I discovered these books, they were so much fun and they stood up and by the time I was on the fourth book I thought, 'This would make a great television series.'"Those who've actually read Harris' novels might be curious how the television series might diverge from the stories in the eight novels published so far. "We're keeping it close to the books, but at the same time, we're adding a lot of stuff because the books are narrated by the main character and there are a lot of other great characters and we're creating stuff for them to do."

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