True Blood's Valentina Cervi on Seductress Salome and Her Love for Bill and Eric
True Blood's Russell Edgington is on the loose, and apparently, there are only two vamps truly capable of taking him down... again.
With the news that the most psychotic vampire is once again free to wreak havoc on the world, The Authority decides to enlist Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) to hunt Russell (Denis O'Hare) down. First, however, Roman (Christopher Meloni) needs to see if the dynamic duo from Bon Temps can be trusted, which is why he'll turn to his own trusted right-hand vampire, Salome (Valentina Cervi), to get the dirt.
But whose side is Salome really on? TVGuide.com turned to the Italian actress who portrays her to discuss her new relationship with both Bill and Eric — which is almost as dirty as Season 4's dream-sequence threesome — her role in the impending civil war against the Sanguinistas and what Nora's (Lucy Griffiths) betrayal of The Authority really means in the long run. Plus: Get the scoop on original vampire Lilith below:
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We briefly met Salome last week. What can you tell us of how she fits into the Vampire Authority?
Valentina Cervi: She is the right hand of Roman at the beginning. She shares a very special intimacy with him, so they have a layered relationship. Every vampire has a different agenda in The Authority, and of course, we're all next to Roman, but the interesting thing is that everybody has his or her own way of thinking, and when the season goes on, you will find out where everybody stands, and who everybody stands next to. Of course there's a lot of Biblical and historical references because they have inspired Salome from the biblical Salome. She's been a victim since she was a kid. She was sold by her mother when she was a kid, so she has a lot of hate in her, and she brings that hate and that need of love with her in the season.
How is this Salome different from what we know of the Bible?
Cervi: Talking with the writers, we all agree on the fact that she has been betrayed as a kid. So today, she has this very complicated and sexual relationship with human beings. She can't trust them. That's why when she became a vampire, she could, in some way, stand up for her rights, and that's where all her anger, her fear and also her pain comes from, from the betrayal that she received when she was a kid.
What do Salome and The Authority want from Bill and Eric?
Cervi: There's an apparent reason and it is to bring them on her side. She wants people to be on her side, and she understands who people are. At the beginning, she can't really trust Eric. She knows Eric, she knows everything from his past, and she knows about Godric and Nora. With Bill, she feels that he is someone she can, in some way, manipulate more. At the same time, she respects Bill more because she sees his heart and she knows that he has a good heart. She's really intrigued by him. She will have feelings for both of them during the season. It's not that she wants something; she's a loving character, even if it doesn't seem like it. She's full of love and needs to be loved. It's complicated.
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Does she actually have feelings for them or is she just using them?
Cervi: Things will develop and will change in the course of the season. At the beginning she is just cool. She is just testing the ground with both of them. In [this Sunday's episode], she is real. What she says is real. Of course she has her agenda, but I think that deep inside, she really feels for Bill, and for Eric in a different way, because she can't trust him. Being a control freak as she is, she wants to know where everybody stands and she doesn't know if he could stand next to her.
How will Roman feel about that?
Cervi: Roman and Salome have been together forever. They've been together in a previous life. He's her father, her lover, her best friend. She respects him and admires him and also has a real vision of who he is. She can speak to him boldly, you'll see throughout the season.
What role will Salome play in the upcoming vampire civil war?
Cervi: Her main role is to protect Roman at the beginning. She really tries to guide Roman, almost like she wants to save him. She wants to make him be the best he can and so I feel that Salome's the big mother — with all of the consequences that being a mother is. It doesn't mean she's a good mother, but it means that she feels for the person she has around and even if she has a sort of childish relationship with Roman and can [waver] in their intimacy, she really wants to protect him. Of course, what they show publicly is not what they share intimately.
Would she ever want to take his job as Guardian?
Cervi: I don't think so. I think she's a very strong believer, and so she would die for her beliefs, but she's not thirsty for power. She wants the Vampire Bible to be really respected and with all the consequences that it will bring.
Salome was close with Nora. Is there a chance Salome may decide to switch sides to the Sanguinista movement?
Cervi: We don't know what Nora's plan really is right now, but the thing is, she is like my sister. I sponsored her Chancellorship at the beginning, and so her betrayal really hurts me. We will see who stands on whose side. Not everything is what it seems. I think she loves Nora as a sister and she feels incredibly bad, but I also think that everybody has to do what they have to do, so they're going to have an explanation afterwards of why Nora did what she did. Who knows that what you see is what it seems? Maybe there's another backup plan.
Mega Buzz: Get scoop on the original vampire Lilith
I hear we'll actually meet Lilith this season. How does Salome feel about this person coming in and saying she's the original vampire?
Cervi: Salome really believes that Lilith is The Goddess, that Lilith is the God that we have to trust, and follow, and believe everything that is written in the Bible is true.
What kind of vampire is Lilith? Is she everything that Salome imagined?
Cervi: Yes. She is the mother of everybody and people will see that in a different way. Vampires will perceive her in a different way. When Lilith appears, she's everything that we all think she is. She's this beautiful, seducing, motherly goddess, and then a lot of things are going to happen. I can't reveal too much, but it's not what it seems, and even we will be very surprised. You believe in something and then suddenly things change, then you find yourself in a crisis, but it's great fun. It's great fun because it really leaves all the doors open for the characters to explore different sides of their personality and different sides of life, if you can call that life.
True Blood airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.