True Blood's Michelle Forbes on Maryann: She's Not a Villain
Michelle Forbes, TrueBlood
Sunday's revealing episode of True Blood confirmed for us that the bull-headed monster who is stalking Bon Temps' ladies and Maryann are one and the same! How does the very pleasant Michelle Forbes reconcile her sunny portrayal of Maryann, "that Ibiza party girl," with the clawed she-beast who ripped out Miss Jeannette's heart? "Maryann lives in a different moral construct than the rest of us," she says, emphasizing that Maryann doesn't think of herself as a villain. Earlier, Forbes hinted that True Blood might look like Animal Farm by the season's end. Here, she talks about becoming the monster, why Maryann does what she does and, gulp, bestiality?
TVGuide.com: All right, level with us: What is Maryann really?
Forbes: I am maenad. [Wikipedia has a quick primer on what a maenad is.]
TVGuide.com: Is that really you under all those prosthetics?
Forbes: It is!
TVGuide.com: What kind of process did you have to go through to get into all that?
Forbes: Maryann, and what she turns into, was really created as we went along. They knew about the prosthetics for the claws, but it became something more as we went along. Some of the sounds the creature made were developed in post-production. But the claws just made everything come together, without a doubt.
TVGuide.com: How long did it take to get into all that?
Forbes: It really only takes an hour and a half, but it's very uncomfortable for the rest of the evening. You can't text; you can't make phone calls. People have to feed you sandwiches.
TVGuide.com: And there's a big headpiece. Is that removable?
Forbes: Yes, that's removable, but the claws aren't. You're buttoned into those.
TVGuide.com: Did you have any inspiration for the gait or how the creature moves?
Forbes: Maryann's movements are really important. I wanted there to be a hint of... not masculinity, but I wanted it to be ambiguous and asexual because Maryann is so sexual and so feminine. I wanted it to be totally different than the very fluid way in which Maryann moves, with her long hair and long dresses.
TVGuide.com: So if her goal is pleasure or ecstasy, why is she also violent?
Forbes: Maryann lives in a different moral construct than the rest of us. Tenderness, violence — they're the same to her. The more that somebody is feeling alive and in their adrenaline and feeding that appetite for what we're not supposed to do, the more that they're in what she considers purity. That is her life blood; that is her excitement.
All those things that people hold themselves back from — food, sex, booze, drugs — she wants to push people into their vices, their purity, their ecstasy. That's what she considers happiness. It's not a nefarious or villainous thing in her mind. She wants everyone to feel the same glory and joy that she feels. She wants everyone to join the party.
TVGuide.com: In one scene, we see that Maryann can vibrate and will Sam to shape-shift. So why, in the flashback scene, does she vibrate when they're having sex? Was she trying to have sex with a dog?
Forbes: That is a season-revealer, so I can't say anything. That's a really important scene; people will be going back to that scene when they see the entire season.
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