Weekly had such a great chat with BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL’s Ashley Jones (Bridget) about her role as TRUE BLOOD’s Daphne for our June 23 issue that we’re sharing more. Here’s another round of the good stuff.Soap Opera Weekly: When we initially began talking about your TRUE BLOOD gig six months ago, you said you were going to watch the first season DVDs and read the Charlaine Harris books. Did you?
Ashley Jones: I did! I read the first book and I skimmed the second, and I was able to watch a majority of the shows — although they keep the DVDs under wraps until they’re released, so you can buy them. I got really into it and I would text the other actors and say, “Oh, my gosh, you were so good!” and “What happened? You have to tell me, because I have to go to work and I don’t have time to watch the next one.” It’s really gripping, and I now understand the hype about it.
Weekly: I read the first few books a while ago.
Jones: Did you like the books?
Weekly: I did; they were fun. I went through a whole period of reading a lot of vampire books — and right now, there’s a slew of vampire TV/movie stuff out there: TRUE BLOOD, Twilight, VAMPIRE DIARIES.
Jones: Where do you think [the fascination] came from?
Weekly: I think it’s just something that recurs every couple of years, where immortality and this whole idea of immortal love appeals to people.
Jones: Immortal love is a huge theme in [TRUE BLOOD] and instantly interesting, in my opinion. There is something very touching, sensual and raw about that.
Weekly: And also kind of creepy [laughs].
Jones: Also very creepy, but you know, it’s also a real sense of escape — because deep down we know [vampires] are not real. What is really interesting now is all of the principles that are metaphorically involved [in TRUE BLOOD]. It really does give you a lot to think about. For this particular time in our litigious society, there is the whole issue of equality among lots of different groups of people. Nondiscrimination is a big issue right now; it always has been and probably always will be.
Weekly: Showrunner Alan Ball actually had that in mind when he was conceiving the TV adaptation of Harris’ books, right? Vampires as a metaphor?
Jones: Right. And he makes it very clear he wasn’t trying to represent any specific group at all. The vampires represent “the others,” whatever that might be in your world and your life.
Weekly: And it especially resonates, given Proposition 8 in California, where the show is shot, and the fight for marriage equality.
Jones: It’s relevant.
Weekly: Absolutely. But, of course, there’s a fun element, too. My friends who also watch the show are on the edges of their seats about the various love stories: Bill/Sookie, Tara and Sam, etc.
Jones: I’ve already had people ask me if Tara and Daphne go at it over Sam and where Sam’s loyalty lies in this whole scheme [laughs]. And it’s lovely to come into a cast where the fans are already so loyal to the people that they like; they have opinions and they’re really into it. In that sense, it’s very similar to a soap opera.
Weekly: Have you and the cast of TRUE BLOOD gotten to be good friends?
Jones: Very much so! I got to know Sam Trammell (Sam) really well, and Anna (Paquin, Sookie) was a joy to work with. I think she said in one of her interviews — and I have to second it — that we’ve created this very dysfunctional type of family. Even with the crew! I would be remiss if I didn’t include how great the writers and the crew are. We have so much fun, and they had a couple of directors come back, so it wasn’t just one director for the whole season. Each director didn’t just direct one episode; they direct two or three, so you feel this bond with them. You’re in the trenches with them, and it’s weird when you don’t talk to them or see them. I like keeping in touch with the cast!