Denis O’Hare and Michael McMillian
Now that True Blood's Vampire Authority is running rampant and killing humans, it's every man — and vampire! — for themselves. Naturally, consummate survivor Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) has successfully planted himself where he'll be most useful: Alongside Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare), Salome (Valentina Cervi) and Nora (Lucy Griffiths) in a place of power.
How will the formerly vampire-hating baby vamp survive in the impending battle between the mainstreamers and the Sanguinistas? TVGuide.com turned to McMillian to get the scoop, including the future for Steve and his human crush Jason (Ryan Kwanten), and Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric's (Alexander Skarsgard) involvement with the Authority moving forward.
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Steve Newlin began cozying up to Russell Edgington in last Sunday's episode.
Michael McMillian: Well, it's sort of a May-December romance. [Laughs] Russell's a much older and more powerful vampire. It's interesting because when Steve was human, Russell was somebody that Steve targeted as the example of an evil vampire, but I think Steve's very attracted to power. He's suffering a heartbreak from Jason Stackhouse. Here comes this distinguished gentleman into his life. I think he's quite taken.
How does their new friendship compare to Russell and Talbot's (Theo Alexander) relationship?
McMillian: I think that there's a spirit in common with Russell and Talbot's relationship, but Russell and Steve kind of have their own thing, which is fun. You'll see there's some great stuff coming up between the two of them. But ultimately, as with Steve coming out and being with Jason, he's a really funny character. I always try to ground him in reality and always try to keep the emotional truth alive underneath the humor.
With the war between the Sanguinistas and the mainstreamers ramping up, is it a good idea for Steve to be hanging around the ultimate enemy right now?
McMillian: That would depend on whether or not Russell really is the ultimate enemy. I think the two of them are both acting in their personal best interests. You'll see that as the season plays out. I think Steve is really happy that he's not being killed off and is allowed into the Authority. I think he just can't believe his luck. He's a survivalist. He is going to go wherever he thinks he's going to do best.
Is he completely over Jason or will we see more interaction between the two of them?
McMillian: There's more Jason and Steve. Whatever happens, I think Jason will always be that first love in Steve's eyes. I don't think you ever really get over that person.
Since Steve is the new Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck), how will he spin the Authority's killing spree in New Orleans?
McMillian: That's a really good question. That's where his mastery of spin comes into play. He's definitely going to be called upon to do that in the next few weeks as things heat up between vampires and humans. It's really fun how that plays out and how that goes down.
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Because the Authority is going public in saying they're no longer trying to mainstream, will more vampires who were following the rules start to fall in line?
McMillian: Possibly. We'll see how this authoritarian influence plays out because basically Roman has been the letter of the law for the past how many centuries. Roman was dictating how vampires should behave. It was really his movement to mainstream. We've seen over the past few seasons that mainstreaming itself has been very ambiguous. There are characters that have cut the corners with it. Vampires who were mainstreaming because they're following the letter of the law are now going to go, "OK, they're saying this is OK now so I'm free to do whatever I want, I guess." That's really what the second half of the season is about.
At the same time, we also know from the established mythology that vampires who get together and form in nests can really start to behave in really terrible ways. That's kind of what's happening already within the Authority.
Yes, and Eric is already trying to turn against it.
McMillian: Well, I think Eric actually has more in common with Russell and Steve in the sense that I think he's definitely a survivalist and he's always acted in his best interests. Really what that moment when he sees Godric is about is less about killing all these humans in this bar is wrong and more about saving Nora, his vampire sister, and getting her out of that situation. I think that's really what Eric cares the most about. We've seen Eric tear humans limb from limb in seasons past, but I think that Eric falling into a nest and Eric being dictated to is something that he's never really gelled with. I think his interests really lie in getting Nora out of this cult mindset.
Do you think Bill will fall into it?
McMillian: It's interesting because I think that Bill has always clearly been a mainstreamer at heart. As far as we know, the only people he's really fed on are people that he's been in a relationship with. I think everyone's playing a game at this point. I think he keeps his cards close to his chest. Obviously, he was keeping a secret from Sookie for three seasons that he had been sent there by Sophie to spy on her originally. Whether or not Bill is falling into step with the Authority and the new agenda is a bit of a mystery in the second half of the season.
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But Steve has definitely fallen into it.
McMillian: Yeah. Steve's a baby vamp. All he wants to do is eat, kill and sleep around. His hormones are going crazy right now as a vampire. He has absolutely really no control over his own impulses. He's been invited to sit at the big kids' table and they're telling him he can do whatever he wants. He's thrilled. But he'll have to juggle that with this sort of public persona and this responsibility that he has as the head of the AVL. Whether or not he can juggle those two worlds will come to a head.
True Blood airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.