We adored his character James, the conflicted vampire who found himself in a love triangle with two unlikely partners. Though HBO’s hit series TrueBlood has come to an end, actor Nathan Parsons’ work has just begun. Once again playing the role of a super sexy supernatural, Parsons can be seen on the upcoming season two of CW’s The Originals premiering in October. Werewolf Jackson has plenty on his plate, not unlike the actor who plays him. Though he loves the “darker” shows just as much as we enjoy watching him in them, he’ll finally fulfill his dream of playing a period piece in an upcoming Amazon pilot. We can’t wait to see a new side of Parsons, though we’re sure he looks good from any angle!
Cliché: Now that TrueBlood is over, how do you feel about how it ended for all the characters involved? Is everything as it should be?
Nathan Parsons: I don’t know if there is any “perfect” ending to a seven-year show. No matter what you do with these great characters, someone is going to wish for something else. For my money, I think it ended right. It wasn’t quite as happy as some people hoped, but I think it ends with a kind of healing. After everything Bon Temps went through, somehow, as everyone sits down for Thanksgiving, a healing can begin.
Your character, James, was originally set to be played by actor Luke Grimes, who wasn’t comfortable filming homosexual scenes. As a straight man, how did you feel about them when you took over his role?
I can’t speak to why Luke chose to leave. I’ve never met him or spoken to him. For me, James is no different than anybody else. He’s put in the difficult situation of loving two different people. I don’t think he’s the only person who was ever conflicted like that. And yes, while some of the physical demands of a homosexual role are difficult for me to understand, to portray convincingly, or to do, he has a story worth telling. A love story is a love story no matter who’s involved.
Are you drawn to supernatural roles or is it just a coincidence?
Both, actually. I’ve always appreciated Gothic story. It’s a dark mythology and that appeals to me. It was also just timing I guess. I’d been auditioning for both shows for years and I guess they just got tired of bringing me in (that’s a joke)!
Did you grow up believing in any of these supernatural beings? Even as an adult, do you think they could really exist?
[I don’t believe in] vampires and werewolves—not in that literal of a sense. I do believe there are “vampiric people” who can emotionally drain the life out of you and other people who are a little more in touch with their animal nature. I also believe in ghosts—although my definition is once again not as literal.
Are these vampires in The Originals what we’d normally expect—fast healers that fry up in the sun?
Yup! They’re pretty traditional, not the Twilight “I can’t be in the sun because I glitter too much” vampires.
What can you tell us—if anything—about your character, Jackson?
Jackson showed up near the end of season one. He’s a werewolf who is cursed, so he is a wolf every day except on the full moon. It’s kind of backwards, but that’s witches for you. Anyway, it turns out that he is supposed to marry Hayley because they’re both descendents of some of the original werewolves who can unite the packs. To make a long story short, it doesn’t go as planned. Check out season one now on DVD! It’s pretty cool stuff.
Any role that you’re dying to “sink your teeth into” in the future?
Actually, yes! I recently signed onto a new Amazon pilot that I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of. It’s called Point of Honor, created by Randall Wallace and Carlton Cuse. It’s the story of two best friends at the start of the civil war. I won’t go into too much detail, but we take the “brother against brother” thing to another level. When I left TrueBlood, I said all I wanted to do was a period piece and with this show, we hold nothing back. It’s an absolutely incredible project and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! Stay tuned!
Photographed by Lesley Bryce; Groomer: Thea Istenes; Hair: Mateo Herreros; Stylist: Amber Rhys
Nathan Parsons Interview “Taking a Bite out of Hollywood” originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s Oct/Nov 2014 issue