Let me be real here: There is no better cast on TV than the current cast of True Blood. The fabulous actors who have been cast are the foundation of the success of the show. So I guess this isn't as much a fantasy re-casting as it is a fantasy understudy roll call. Because actors don't stay in the same job forever, you know? (Especially the really good ones.) Who knows when Nelson Ellis will get tapped for an Oscar-winning movie role or Fiona Shaw will start longing to return to her horse farm? I suggest HBO line up the following understudies, pronto, for the secondary leads of True Blood.
Ryan Kwanten is a dreamboat. For his understudy, you'd need someone who had impossibly good looks, boyish sincerity, and the patience to spend many hours lying down with his shirt off. I know that when I think "good looks," I think of Charlie Hunnam. And considering that Charlie learned to motorcycle for Sons of Anarchy, I have no doubt he'd quickly master the skill of yelling at panthers while being tied to various bed frames:
What ever happened to Brett Butler? In her heyday she was making America both laugh AND consider buying turquoise refrigerators, and now most of you probably don't even remember that turquoise fridge from Grace Under Fire. Brett's real Alabama accent and gritty sense of humor, plus the fact that she can barely tolerate kids, would make her an ideal Arlene understudy. Heck, at this point in her career, the show could probably pay her in barrels of flour and sorghum.
David Boreanaz has the scruffy, down-home vibe that makes me believe he'd open a bar and crack heads in order to keep things civil. He also has enough "lead romantic hero" juice—thanks to a century's worth of vampire TV superstardom in the '90s and early '00—to really stand toe-toetoe with the many large hunks vying for Sookie. Sam was at one point a serious contender for Sookie's affection, but the writers eventually dropped that aspect of Sam's character—perhaps because he only comes up to Alcide's elbow. David Boreanaz, however, is seven feet tall.
Pam de Beaufort
Pam's wry wit, ruthless violence, and high-fashion wardrobe have made her a fan favorite. The same might be said of Chloe Sevigny, who has been making audiences gasp since her debut in Kids. Should Kristin Bauer ever decide to become a straight-up superhero and go fight crime in China, Chloe Sevigny could definitely fill in. And for a few more hundreds of thousands of dollars, she could even do her own costumes.
Deborah Ann Woll is so effing hot. How long until some foreign prince snaps her up and makes her the queen of his country? There aren't many other actresses who can combine wholesomeness, heat, and flat-out beauty, but Kat Dennings does have that pin-up girl glamour and enough humor and alacrity to channel a rebellious baby vampire. She should be put on retainer for when Deborah pulls a "Princess Grace." (And I'm not talking about eating two burritos at once, which is also known as pulling a Princess Grace.)
No joke, Nelson Ellis is one of my favorite actors and is irreplaceable. Should a giant spaceship beam him up and take his acting skills to another galaxy, the only way HBO could keep filming would be to call in Qaadir Howard. If you've never watched one of his videos, know that he is to vlogging what Mozart was to music:
Though he's more of a performer than an actor, he could probably channel his own real-life experiences. And like Lafayette, he lives in the deep South and dresses, dates, and handles new media exactly as he pleases.
A lot of fans seem to not like the character of Tara. Rutina Wesley brings incredible depth to her pain and anger, and maybe that's part of the problem: The writers keep giving Tara heavy story lines because they know Rutina can handle them so beautifully. Since Ms. Wesley has already been cast in a major film, if she ever left the show it would be a great opportunity for the writers to go in a new direction with Tara. Maybe make her more upbeat and less prone to screaming, which could be done by casting someone who was professionally cheerful for her entire adolescence: Lisa Turtle! I mean, Lark Voorhies. (Fun fact for Passions fans! Did you know that in the original True Blood pilot, Whitney, a.k.a. Brook Kerr, was originally cast as Tara? Yeesh!)
For those of us who watched Passions, there is only one TV witch worth talking about, and that's Tabitha Lenox, Juliet Mills' doll-toting enchantress who schemed against the handsome people of Harmony for nine unforgettable years. Her eery mix of good cheer and angry, guttural whispering would be a solid back- up in the event that Fiona Shaw has to go film Black Dahlia 2: Hunt For the Blood Orchid.
This is the only character/actor combo that I'd pick for a recast, not an understudy. I can barely tolerate Tommy for more than two minutes, but maybe I'd warm up to him if he had natural rhythm and exquisite, pixie-like features? And what a great move it could be for Zac Efron to play a darker role where he'd have to butt heads with Sam Trammel and kill his parents with his bare hands. Could Zac pull it off? I think this video answers that question:
Yep, I'd bet on it.
If you were a True Blood casting director, who'd be on YOUR understudy roster?