Carrie Preston On Arlene’s Near-Death Experience, a Wardrobe Change & What’s Next
Carrie Preston chatted with EW about Arlene’s near-death experience in Sunday night’s episode of True Blood, plus getting to see Terry again, what’s up with vampire Keith, finally changing her clothes, and her next gig.
What excited you most about Arlene’s (near) death scene when you read the script?
I was most surprised and excited about Terry coming back, because obviously I love Todd [Lowe]. We’ve kept up, but it’s not the same as having him on set. I also thought the episode does a great job of giving Arlene this major obstacle: What makes her want to come back? Because Arlene dies, we definitely decided that—it wasn’t like she was on the brink of death, she actually goes. It’s Terry who encourages her to go back.
The makeup in the scene was phenomenal.
My makeup artist Cyndilee Rice has been with us a long time, and she’s just extremely talented. We had to get the stages of it, you know, because I’ve obviously been in the basement, and I’ve had vampires explode on me, and we had leftover residual of that. We had to add bite marks, and those take a while to go on. They have to keep the blood fresh. They had to keep adding white to my face— like grey white circles under my eyes as I got closer and closer to death.
And the tears pooled in your eyes as you laid there in Sookie’s arms.
Well, there was no problem accessing the emotion for me that day, having Todd there, and Anna [Paquin], who’s a brilliant actress who has an enviable access to a well of emotions that she can tap into and mine on a moment’s notice all day long. We’re all in awe of Anna, and she is such an anchor to any scene that she’s in. Having her hold me while she’s looking into my face saying, “Don’t die! Don’t die!” and then Terry coming—it was definitely not a problem to cry. But I also wanted to play with the actual relief and joy of seeing Terry—he made her able to face her death without fear because she sees him and he’s calling her. I wanted to play the positive of that, so the tears are actually joy more than anything. She’s in her own world, you know. She sees Terry, and he looks great. She’s relieved to be done with all the suffering.