For seven seasons, between 2008 and 2014, True Blood was one of the most popular fantasy series on television. The show was based on a book series by Charlaine Harris and, alongside the Twilight movies, True Blood was a forerunner of the vampire craze of the time. Its memorable characters led to a passionate fan base, and several awards, and, after nearly a decade a True Blood reboot is in development.
True Blood was set in a world where vampires had finally come out of hiding and were attempting to integrate into society, despite prejudice and opposition, and as such the series often incorporated real social issues and progressive themes. The antics of the main character Sookie Stackhouse and her supernatural friends in Bon Temps as they became tangled in dark romances and rivalries were brought to life by a huge cast of actors. For many of them, it was their breakout role, and they have since gone on to broaden their acting careers. Here’s what the cast of True Blood is doing now.
Sookie Stackhouse – Anna Paquin
Sookie, the telepathic waitress of Bon Temps, was the star of True Blood and was played by Anna Paquin. In 2009, Paquin won a Golden Globe for her performance as Sookie Stackhouse. Recently she has played Robert de Niro’s on-screen daughter, Peggy Sheeran, in The Irishman, Brenda Warner in the biographical sports film, American Underdog, and Mary Ann Broberg in the drama miniseries A Friend of the Family. She continues to star as publicist Robyn in the Amazon Prime series Flack and will star as Emma in the upcoming drama movie, A Bit of Light.
Bill Compton – Stephen Moyer
Bill, played by Stephen Moyer, a 174-year-old vampire, was Sookie’s first love in True Blood and his emotional final request was to be killed by her hands after he contracted a deadly virus. Although they didn’t end up together in the show, in real life, Compton and Paquin did fall in love on set and are now married with two children. Most recently, Compton has played Troy, a father in a post-apocalyptic world in Last Survivors, and CIA handler Vern Lang in the eight-episode series Fortunate Son.
Eric Northman – Alexander Skarsgård
Eric, played by Alexander Skarsgård, was the Viking-vampire bar owner and another of Sookie’s love interests in True Blood. He later returned to familiar territory in his acting when he played the Viking Amleth in The Northman. Skarsgård has also starred as Randall Flagg in The Stand, Stephen King’s apocalyptic TV series adaptation and Nathan Lind in the MonsterVerse film Godzilla vs Kong. He has upcoming roles in the sci-fi horror film Infinity Pool and the drama film, Eric Larue.
Alcide Herveaux – Joe Manganiello
Alcide the werewolf, played by Joe Manganiello, was Sookie’s third love interest and the couple was together until his death. Manganiello’s most well-known post-True Blood role is as Big Dick Richie in Magic Mike. His most recent projects include the comedy-drama Metal Lords, as well as roles on the dark fantasy animation The Spine of Night. He was also a voice actor on Koati, alongside his wife, Modern Family star, Sofia Vergara. He also appeared in Love, Death & Robots season 3. Manganiello has upcoming roles in the geeky comedy series Mythic Quest, and the movie The Kill Room, starring alongside Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson.
Tara Thornton – Rutina Wesley
Tara (Rutina Wesley) was Sookie’s best friend in True Blood, who had to reluctantly face being turned into a vampire later in the series. The character was killed off at the start of True Blood season 7, which was just one of the many plot decisions that made the final season so disappointing for audiences. Wesley went on to play the part of Reba McClane in Hannibal, Nova Bordelon in the award-winning drama series Queen Sugar, and Athena in the DC miniseries DMZ. She will soon appear in the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us, in an as-yet undisclosed role.
Jason Stackhouse – Ryan Kwanten
Jason, played by Ryan Kwanten, was Sookie’s older brother. He was a womanizer who was also temporarily a part of an anti-vampire cult before settling into life as the sheriff’s deputy of Bon Temps. Recently, Kwanten starred in the Amazon Prime horror anthology series Them. He was also in the action film, Section 8, the independent sci-fi Expired, and starred in the horror film Glorious, alongside J.K. Simmons.
Lafayette Reynolds – Nelsan Ellis
Lafayette Reynolds, played y Nelsan Ellis, was Tara’s cousin and a friend to Sookie, who later in the series discovered his latent medium abilities. He was one of four characters to have appeared in every True Blood episode. Lafayette was brought to life by Ellis, who unfortunately passed away in 2017 at the age of 39. Before then, Ellis starred as Tyrik in the drama film True to the Game and as Shinwell Johnson in the series Elementary.
Pam Swynford de Beaufort – Kristin Bauer van Straten
Pam Swynford de Beaufort was played by Kristin Bauer Van Straten and was Eric’s progeny and co-owner of the bar Fangtasia. She was extremely loyal to Eric as her maker, and later she was the one responsible for eventually turning Tara into a vampire. Straten continues to act and is also a passionate animal rights activist. Her career after True Blood has included roles such as Maleficent in Once Upon a Time, Shannon in the Facebook Watch series Sacred Lies, and Bree in the thriller Paradise Cove.
Arlene Fowler Bellefleur – Carrie Preston
Arlene was played by Carrie Preston and served as Sookie’s psychic medium friend and later became the owner of Bellefleur’s Bar and Grill, formerly known as Merlotte’s. In 2013 Preston won an Emmy for her role in the political drama series The Good Wife. She has recently starred alongside Kevin Bacon in the slasher film They/Them. Preston and Bacon also appear together in the sci-fi rom-com Space Oddity. Preston has an upcoming role in the comedy-drama The Holdovers.
Jesús Velasquez – Kevin Alejandro
Jesús Velasquez was played by Kevin Alejandro, was Lafayette’s boyfriend and a powerful Brujo who died at the end of True Blood season 4. Alejandro later went on to have a starring role as Detective Daniel Espinoza in the six-season fantasy series Lucifer, and he voiced Jayce in Netflix’s successful animated series Arcane. He currently stars as Manny in the drama series Fire Country and will play Sam Quintana in the upcoming rom-com adaptation Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
Next: Every Character Who Could Return For The True Blood Reboot (& How)