How is it that every person on True Blood is so nice? Last week we had the opportunity to talk with Jim Parrack, the man behind the loveable Hoyt Fortenberry, and you couldn’t hope to meet a nicer, more humble guy.
Jim is a native of Texas where he “pretended” to go to college for a while before deciding to move to Los Angeles. His friend James Franco suggested he attend Playhouse West to train as an actor, and 8 years later, Jim still attends classes there three times a week.
Jim has a passion for American theater and says that working on stage is “totally fulfilling as an actor.” In the past seven years, Jim has performed in more than 20 plays, although he rushes to clarify that most of them were one-act plays or performed in the school’s “little theaters”, not on Broadway. He was beginning rehearsals for a new play the afternoon that we spoke with him with a planned run beginning in September. That is, unless he gets one of the movie roles being sent his way. Jim is also finishing up a script he’s written for a movie he plans to direct this fall starring friends from Playhouse West, including his wife Ciera Parrack.
Jim and Ciera are newlyweds, married last October, and listening to him talk about her is very sweet. We may have used the word “adorable” too much when describing Jim, but it’s the perfect word for him! One of his favorite things to do is hang out with Ciera, talking about acting and God. They met at Playhouse West, ended up doing a love scene in a play and that translated into a real life love story.
Speaking of love stories, he is very happy with the Hoyt/Jessica storyline. After reading the script for “Scratches”, Jim says he went to writer Raelle Tucker with tears in his eyes and thanked her for writing such a beautiful “situation” for them. He describes meeting Jessica as “the moment Hoyt’s been waiting for his whole life.” In his mind, it’s the story of two misfits finding each other across a table, but that’s not to say it will be smooth sailing. Mama Fortenberry is not going to approve of the relationship, and, as Jim points out, even nature is against them what with sunlight being a mortal danger for Jessica. With respect to Hoyt’s reaction to discovering that Jessica is a vampire, Jim has his own theory on why is not just accepting but “deeply, deeply intrigued”, although he’s not sharing it just yet.
Jim couldn’t say enough good things about working with Deborah Ann Woll. “It has been the absolute joy of my professional career to work with her,” he says. While he agrees that Hoyt/Jessica is adorable, he claims that if it were up to him to be “cute”, it wouldn’t be. “Deborah makes it cute.”
Hoyt’s other relationship, his friendship with Jason, makes sense to Jim. He sees Hoyt as Jason’s anchor, the only stable thing in his life, and thinks Hoyt loves the idea of being someone’s rock. Jim also suspects that there’s some hero worship involved in Hoyt’s attraction to Jason. The betrayal by the third member of their group, Rene, is something Hoyt hasn’t dealt with on screen, but Jim thinks that’s just Hoyt’s way. “He doesn’t have someone who is his confidante,” Jim explains. Being friends with Jason is, well, all about Jason. Jim does wonder if Jessica will be someone Hoyt can open up to, or perhaps Hoyt will deal with his feelings of betrayal in a dream featuring Rene. That’s a good reason to bring Michael Raymond James back on the show!
Listen to our full interview with Jim Parrack on True-Blood.net Radio for more insight into working on True Blood, Jim’s hobbies, how he approaches each character he plays, and how he and Michael Raymond James are keeping in touch after Rene’s death on the show.