Wicked Horror managing editor Tyler Doupe’ spoke with True Blood alum Sam Trammell about his new film, the dark psychological thriller, The Aftermath and also got his input on the possibility of a True Blood film.
The Aftermath follows Sonny (Trammell) as he embarks upon a quest to return a necklace to his estranged wife. The more complicated the process becomes, the more determined Sonny gets. The film just enjoyed its world premiere at the Dances with Films festival.
Wicked Horror: The necklace obviously bears great importance to Sonny and represents something more profound than what he outwardly says in the film. I would love to hear your thoughts on what it meant to him.
Sam Trammell: Yeah. I mean, it was something that was given to his wife and meant a lot at the time. My sense of it is that the necklace has come to mean more to Sonny after the split than it did when they were together. It was certainly an important piece. It was definitely a necklace that she loved and an important gesture that he gave it to her. But it takes on a lot more power, I think, in his state of mind after the fact than it did before. Whether it’s really gonna help him get back together with her or not is really questionable.Wicked Horror: Sonny isn’t necessarily the kind of character that I would normally warm up to. But you play him in such a way that makes the audience invest in him and identify with his plight. How did you go about taking a character that may not seem likable on paper and making him relatable to audiences?
Sam Trammell: You know, I don’t know. I think maybe we were just kind of lucky. We tried to write it that way. I didn’t try to play anything that way. I didn’t try to make him likable at all. I just kind of played the scenes. He was just someone, honestly, who used to be sort of a more together person. And he’s just a desperate person who really needed something. I just played the scenes but I’m glad that he comes across as somewhat sympathetic because yeah, you’re right. One paper…(laughs). You’re with him the whole time. You’re sort of in his head. You’re going to identify with his point of view to a certain extent.
Wicked Horror: Speaking of that, you carry a lot of the film on your shoulders. We’re with you constantly, whereas on True Blood, you’re part of an ensemble cast. How did that dynamic influence your performance versus a role where you are part of a larger conglomerate?
Sam Trammell: Well, you know, this was obviously a completely different situation. I was also one of the writers and creators of the whole story. So, I had never had that kind of power and creative input before. So, I was extremely invested in the character because of that. And you’re in every single scene. It was just so exhausting. Doing The Aftermath, we only had like 13 days to shoot that feature. And [when] you’re in every scene, it’s really challenging. It’s like running a marathon. All the stuff that I had to go through was exhausting…But really exciting to carry it.
Sam Trammell: The way it sort of worked was Tim [McCann] sort of wrote out most of the stuff and then Shaun [S. Sanghani] wrote some scenes and I ended up writing scenes and rewriting a lot of the dialogue. The majority of the dialogue you hear was written by me and rewritten on the day. I do just have a story by credit and that’s just my fault. It’s not really accurate but that’s just the way we did it. But yeah, it was very much [collaborative] all the way through, even to the editing choices. We had three people, so if two of us kind of agreed on something, it went that way. It was a very democratic process throughout, as far as the writing and the editing and everything.
Wicked Horror: You previously worked with Tim on White Rabbit. Was that your first time working together? And did that lead to your decision to re-team for The Aftermath?
Sam Trammell: Yeah, the three of us. Shaun was the producer on that one. None of us had written that one. It was a script that those guys attached themselves to and then they got me on board. It was a great experience working with them. I was so impressed with Tim’s direction and his other movie he had made as well, called Zero in the System which used real people and they improvised. We just decided we would do something that I would play the lead in and we came up with the idea and wrote it together and shot it on a shoestring budget. I love working with Shaun and I think Tim is such an artist. The concept and conceit of [Zero in the System] getting real people as opposed to getting actors, just getting real people and getting them to learn the script and improvise, that to me is really exciting.
Wicked Horror: With HBO giving the big screen treatment to Entourage and Sex and the City, there has naturally been buzz about whether there will ever be a True Blood movie. Do you think there’s any chance of that happening down the road. And if so, I’m curious if you would be game for it?
Sam Trammell: I have a feeling nobody really knows. Of course I’d be game for it. It would be fun, depending upon the script, but I’m sure they would do something good. As far as I know there are no plans. But you never know what will happen. Like you said, they did it for Entourage. They did it for Sex and the City. I guess we’ll see how Entourage does. You know?