‘True Blood’ Star Nelsan Ellis Speaks his Mind on Luke Grimes Exit from the Show over Gay Storyline


Even though True Blood is halfway through its final season, fans are rejoicing that lonely Lafayette finally gets his day of happiness. Actor Nelsan Ellis talked to Vulture about why his final romantic arc is so important to him.

He explained, “I’m a very lucky actor, because this is my second love interest. We deal with certain fans of that, and we have good chemistry, and we throw everything into it. I can’t say enough about Nathan. Both of my love interests are great guys, great actors, both Kevin Alejandro and Nathan Parsons, and I love them onscreen. Every moment with them. You know what? I kind of fall in love with both of them! I guess I’m supposed to.”

The 35-year-old actor didn’t hold back though when it came to sharing his thoughts on Luke Grimes, the original star who played his love interest James. Grimes reportedly left the HBO show when he disagreed with the writers about the gay storyline.

“I mean, I can say I’m not going to make a comment, but I just think that, you’re an actor, you’re an actor on a show that’s True Blood, we’re all sitting there going, ‘You quit your job because … really?’ I’m just… I’m over him. You quit your job because you don’t want to play a gay part? As if it’s … You know what? I’m going to stop talking,” he said.

However, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to the actors on the show. True Blood has always had risqué storylines with nudity.

Ellis advised, “You have to be open. But more importantly, you make a statement when you do something like that.”

He also stated the obvious that most fans and cast members understand. “First of all, this show, it’s True Blood, and shit, we get scared when we read scripts! Excuse my language. When scripts come, we’re like, ‘What are they going to have us do this week?’ But when you make a statement that is a judgment … I was kind of like, ‘Have you met Alan Ball?’ I’m supposed to do what my boss tells me to do, as an actor. I can’t approach a character with judgment,” the outspoken star said. “I certainly can’t tell my boss, ‘I can act what I want to act, but not what you tell me to act,’ especially on a show where you come in, knowing what it is. I was like, ‘Okay… I guess?’ I just thought that, having just done the documentary [Damn Wonderful, a film about gay suicide.], I didn’t like what he did because he made a statement, and sometimes you have to take responsibility.”

True Blood will air its final episode on Sunday, Aug. 24.


  1. Liam

    July 25, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    This is ridiculous, if the actor didn’t want to do a gay storyline, which the creators sprung on him after the fact then he shouldn’t have to do one. Flip the script. Suppose an actress is cast on the show but she decides she doesn’t want to do nudity, which has happened. Where is the criticism? Didn’t she know what show she was auditioning for?

    So I guess his opinion is that in order to be an actor in Hollywood you have to have no morals and stand for nothing. Humm, come to think it that does sum up Hollywood.

  2. Lance Carter

    July 28, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I think equating an actress not wanting to do nudity to this is completely wrong. That’s two separate things. Like Ellis said, it’s True Blood, he knew what he was getting himself into. That being said, if he is uncomfortable with where his character is going, he probably had every right to quit (by probably, I mean contracts, etc). But, Ellis and whoever else has every right to speak out. I also agree with Ellis, btw.

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