Deborah Ann Woll is back as blood-sucking stunner Jessica in “True Blood,” and the actress often finds herself warning her boyfriend when she has skin-baring scenes.
While Jessica keeps her clothes on in the first episode of season five, Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO, that likely won’t last long in the hit vampire show known for steamy sex scenes.
“I don’t do full nudity, but I do let [family] know if it’s going to be a sexually explicit scene, for particularly my boyfriend,” Woll says. “Most everyone else in my life, they just sort of roll their eyes, and go, ‘Okay, there she is doing it.’
“But it has deeper meaning for him, so I do prepare him for when those scenes are popping up.”
Jessica is a much more confident vampire in season five. She’s fairly young in the supernatural world, having been turned by vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) at the end of the first season.
She spent much of seasons two and three figuring out how to live like a vampire, and trying to resist her teenage temptations to feed on any human in sight.
Last season left off with Jessica and her ex-boyfriend on the outs after he discovered she slept with his best friend, Jason (Ryan Kwanten). In Sunday’s premiere, she’s quick to point out she’s an older vampire than the newly turned one threatening Jason.
“It’s fun playing a changed Jessica,” Woll says. “Now that she’s a little older and been through some stuff, you can find a little more nuance, rather than just petulant teenager. It’s fun not being the only baby vamp.”
The other “baby” is former vampire-hating reverend Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian). And another series regular may also soon sport fangs.
“Jessica gets to be more powerful than another vampire for once, which I think is going to be an interesting power struggle there,” Woll says. “So she gets to be more confident and sow some wild oats.”
Woll, who grew up in Park Slope, had some social struggles of her own at the private middle school she went to in downtown Brooklyn.
“I was bullied a lot through middle school,” says Woll, now 27. “I probably annoyed other kids. I sang a lot in the halls and was very much an outspoken kid and I didn’t care about being cool, and I think that that really confused other kids.
“So yeah, I had people leave me a lot of very mean notes in my locker, bad rumors got started, a lot of prank phone calls, people stole my stuff. And I end up shutting up in high school. I was much more quiet and shy and people left me alone more.”
In Sunday’s episode, Jessica hosts a karaoke house party where she sings the Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb.” Woll has done musicals and operas in the past, but had to downplay her singing background.
“I ended up working very hard for that [scene] because you want it definitely to sound like a 17-year-old girl,” she says. “They don’t want it to sound too practised or too rehearsed. You want it to sound like a couple of kids having a lot of fun. And sometimes that’s harder than it sounds.
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