True Blood: A Conversation with Lauren Bowles

True Blood: A Conversation with Lauren BowlesLauren Bowles is an actress that has had a very busy and quite prolific acting career. She began with a recurring gig as the waitress on Seinfeld and has had a part in just about every popular show you can think of, as well as landing a couple movie roles along the way.

But when she found herself as Holly, the Wiccan waitress on HBO’s acclaimed vampire hit, True Blood, she had finally found a recurring role that she was completely in love with.

Lauren took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with us about True Blood, some of her other gigs, and a little about her life in general.

First off, I want to thank you and say I appreciate you taking the time to talk with TheHDRoom today.

My pleasure!

Jumping right in, I am curious as to what you thought of the True Blood: Season 4 finale as well as the season as a whole?

Well, of course with it being the “Season of the Witch,” that worked out quite well for Holly, I would say, considering she’s a practicing Wiccan.


When I got the script for that last episode I think I screamed and gasped at least six times, and that’s hard to do. You know, once you’re in a world and you get the script and you’re like, “ok, this is what’s happening and I kinda see where this is going,” and I had, I mean, they really tell us nothing. Nothing.

We learn stuff from the moment we get a script and you see where certain storylines are going, so, I mean, come on, that ending?! And the way it often is on shows it’s like, number 11 or the next to last one is where everything happens and then the dust settles in the finale and they kind of set up for the next year and so when I got 11 I was like, “Ok, so (episode) 12 is gonna kind of come down from this a little bit and then, oh my god, it exploded even more! “

True Blood: A Conversation with Lauren Bowles

I completely agree. After watching that 11th episode this season I was left wondering what exactly you guys would pull off in the finale seeing as how that next to last one was already so big.

Exactly! You know, like with The Sopranos or other cable shows, it’s sort of like the one right before the finale where everything big happens, you know, and that’s what I was expecting so when I got it I was like , “What?!”

Haha, it was definitely shocking! That leads in well to my next question. With a show that is so dependent on secrets and twists, do you as actors know anything in advance or are you in the dark until a script arrives?

No, they literally tell us nothing. Absolutely nothing. Which makes it actually kind of fun because, well, I take that back a little. Fiona (Shaw, who played head witch Marnie/vessel for Antonia in Season 4) knew she was dying from the beginning because obviously she’s such a formidable character and, she was just unbelievable.

I’m with you on that. I was completely blown away by her the entire season.

I can’t go on enough about her. But, obviously you’re not going to get someone like her to sign up for four seasons, so I did know that Marnie’s demise was eminent. But anything other than that, any of the main plot stuff, we just don’t know any of that. And I was a huge fan of the show before I got cast on it so it really makes it kind of fun for me because I’m really of two minds. I’m a cast member and I’m a fan, so when I get the scripts I get to be like, “Oh My God! I can’t believe they’re doing that!”

What’s it like to go from simply being a fan of a show to actually being a part of it?

Honestly, I feel like I’m Dorothy dropped off in OZ. I’m sort of used to it now that I’ve had sort of two seasons and it’s become a little, but I still have those “out of body” moments. It happens the most at Merlotte’s when I’ve got the short shorts on and I’m swingin’ away. It’s such an iconic set, you know what I mean? And I do have those moments, those “pinch me” moments where I feel like somehow I infiltrated and security is gonna come get me.

True Blood: A Conversation with Lauren Bowles

Being an active fan of the show, I can definitely say that your character, Holly, seems to be one of the only ones with any sort of work ethic. No one else seems to ever be working.

Yeah, exactly! They just go and do, although, I would say Arlene (Carrie Preston). She’s pretty diligent in her swinging abilities.

Yes, definitely Arlene too. When your character was introduced, she seemed more or less just into Wiccan beliefs and practices, but this season she got to actually tap into some real magic. Do you think that’s something that’s going to stick with your character or something that was just a part of this season?

I hope so! I believe a really important part of who she is is her faith, and it’s really her religion being a Wiccan so it’s a really important part of who she. Really, and I’m not being coy, you’re guess is as good as mine with what they’re going to explore next year with Holly cause I literally don’t know.

Something I’ve been wondering about with the whole Marnie/Antonia plot line being done and it looking like we’ll see the return of Russell Edgington, where do you see the witches landing in the mix of all this?

I think what this year definitely proved is that by no means do the vampires call all the shots and we (the witches) can control them. If our powers are used that way we can control them but we can also save them.

You’ve proved that you’re definitely an asset.

Yeah, exactly! We’re definitely a force to be reckoned with, for sure.

Also with Marnie being gone and Holly tapping in to these new found abilities, it would seem Holly would fit nicely as the new leader of the coven.

Exactly! Maybe she’ll just take over the coven. That would be fun! Ooh, let’s pitch that! Everyone’s so gun shy of the coven at the end of this year so I could see them being done with that.

It seems like before season’s end there hadn’t been to many deaths involving major characters. Had the fear of being killed off subsided at all and, if so, with how the season ended has that fear returned?

That fear definitely, at least for me, was there all of last season cause I always just thought that it’s always the new people that are the most expendable anyway, you know what I mean? And knowing that the turnover rate on the show certainly is quite large being such a bloody show so I absolutely would trepidatiously get each script and just think, they’re very kind about how they handle it, though. You usually get a phone call before you get the script just to let you know it’s coming. So, yeah, I always sort of waited thinking that any time my managers called that, “Oh God, please don’t be the call!” You know, it’s such a dream job.

True Blood: A Conversation with Lauren Bowles

I can only imagine. It looks as though Holly will definitely be around long enough to have some romance with Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer).

I would love it! I can’t rhapsodize enough about Chris Bauer. He is such a dream to work with and so not his character, like, you would just die if you spoke to him. He’s this regular guy and so chill. A family guy, you know, so into his wife and kids and he’s just so funny. He’s so the opposite of his character but he’s a brilliant actor and so much fun to play with I would love it if they hooked us up.

That’s awesome to hear. I’ve been a fan of his since season 2 of The Wire, where he’s such a completely different person and does it so well.

Oh, I know! Yeah, such a different character, right? He’s really incredibly versatile as an actor.

With HBO shows having shorter seasons than most channels as well as long breaks between those seasons, how far in advance do you begin preparing for the next one?

We usually go back, like, this year and last year we went back usually around Thanksgiving or Christmas, around that time. Then we shoot through, this year we went late. It took a long time to shoot that finale and we went through mid-July.

Oh wow, so you were still shooting as the season was going on.

Yeah, we’re still shooting by the time it premieres.

With a show like this that is just jam-packed with characters and different plots going on all at once, it seems the probability of not working with another cast member could be rather high. Is there anyone on the cast that you haven’t had a chance to work with much that’d you like to?

Um, yes. I would say I haven’t worked with Ryan (Kwanten) at all and I think that he is just so brilliant as Jason. I had barely a little snippet of a scene and it didn’t last hardly at all so I think that would be really fun. He was actually one of the last people I met. It’s so funny, it’s like we’re all on different shows. If you’re not in a certain storyline, you just don’t, we see everybody at the table read and then go our ways and shoot it and you just don’t see people at all. But, yeah, I think it took me about half the season before I officially met Ryan.

That’s so crazy, but very easy to see what with so much going on at all times.


True Blood: A Conversation with Lauren Bowles

Switching gears a little bit I just wanted to say that I saw you and your husband’s (Patrick Fischler) work on Curb Your Enthusiasm this year and you were both hilarious.

Oh, thank you! Yeah, that was so much fun!

It was honestly nice to see your husband being a nice guy for a change, as a lot of his characters (Lost, Mad Men) are, for lack of a better term, kind of assholes and then to see him as this sweet guy that likes to hug was really nice.

Yeah, he plays lots of pricks.

He does it so well!

It was great fun for him and Larry (David) is so much fun to work with.

Knowing that you did some work on Seinfeld in the past, was that how the Curb Your Enthusiasm gig came about?

Well, actually my sister (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) was Elaine on Seinfeld, so that’s how I ended up on there. When I moved out here she said she could help me get my SAG card and it just started as a one line thing and was never really a big part. Larry was just so awesome and he liked me so whenever they had some sort of waitress bit he’d call me up for it. But, I still came in and read for Curb… , although it’s a lot of the same Seinfeld writers and stuff. I’ve known Larry for years and he’s just awesome.

True Blood: A Conversation with Lauren Bowles

You’ve had a rather long career in acting. What was it that initially got you interested in it or led you to knowing that it was what you wanted to do?

Well, I got bit by the bug when I was 12 years old and I was in my first full-length production of The Man Who Came To Dinner and I played Lorraine Sheldon, the very glamorous Broadway actress, and I got my first laugh and that was it. My fate was sealed. I just had one of those cathartic moments where it all made sense and I have to find a way to do this for a living.

Well, it seems you’ve definitely realized that dream. Looking through your output of work it seems that, even with being on True Blood, you’re constantly working on other projects. Is there anything new on the horizon fans should keep an eye out for?

Well, I haven’t done too much, but I just shot and wrapped an episode of The Closer. That was really fun because it’s their 100th episode. I think it’s going to be their Christmas episode and it was so much fun. I got to play Fred Willard’s niece. That’s really about it. I was away so much and I’ve got a two and a half year old baby girl and, I still call her baby girl even though she’s always reminding me she’s a big girl.

She’ll always be your baby girl.

Exactly. That’s what I keep telling her but she doesn’t quite get that at two. So, yeah, the end of this season was tough cause when the days are long, they can be like 17 hours and if its night shoots I’m having to sleep during the day so it can be really rough. When we wrapped it was nice to sort of just melt into mommy mode.

Oh, I bet. One last thing in regards to True Blood. What would you personally like to see happen with your character and the show in general in the coming fifth season?

Um, I’d love to see… that’s a really good question. I’d love to see Sookie (Anna Paquin) run solo for a little while. I think that would be good for her.

I agree.

She’s been back and forth between these various gentleman suitors and it’d be fun to see her sorta get into her own personal groove, I think.

As for Holly, I’d love to hook up with Andy and see where that goes and just continue to see her evolve in her Wiccan powers.

TheHDRoom thanks Lauren Bowles for chatting with us about True Blood and her career. Look for True Blood: Season 5 to premiere next June on HBO, prefaced by the Blu-ray and DVD release of True Blood: Season 4, each now available for pre-order at

– Matt Hardeman

TheHDRoom may be paid a small commission for any services or products ordered through select links on this page.