Do not piss off Nan Flanagan.
We just talked to Jessica Tuck, who plays the American Vampire League leader on HBO's True Blood, and she revealed that Nan is laying down the law in season four, doing her damnedest to repair frayed ties between humans and vampires. Her take-no-prisoners approach to controlling her vamp frenemies is going to make her a formidable figure this season. As Tuck puts it, "[This season] I'm much more the Nan everyone loves to hate."
So who's going to be hating her the most? Here's what we can tell you:
Q&A With True Blood Star Jessica Tuck
OK, so what is a post-Russell Edgington world?
We have to regain the trust of the human population and just make people understand that Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) was truly one bad apple and that all vampires are not like that. It is possible for us all to be mainstreamed. It's a world that is not as trusting as it was before. We have to make up some ground that we lost. It's safe, Russell Edgington has disappeared, and we can all move forward from it.
Can you summarize what we know about Nan's background and her position in the vampire world?
That's a really good question. I myself, Jessica Tuck, have been trying to figure that out. In terms of Nan's own personal background—and these are not evasive answers at all—I really know very little about her. To be honest, I think as a character she has evolved and has been plugged in in ways maybe the writers didn't anticipate at first, so I think my background has evolved as Nan has been discovered.
Is she prominent in the books?
No, no, no, not at all. And originally I was supposed to [only] be in a couple of episodes at the beginning. I feel so fortunate that the writers have woven her into the existing storylines. That's the thing, there is no Nan in the books.
And what is her past or current relationship with the main vamps we know best, like Bill, Eric and Pam?
You will definitely in season four find out how she is worked into everything. But I would be slapped on the hand if I revealed the tiny specifics that I do know.
Does Nan consider Bill, Eric and Pam to be reliable allies or is their relationship more adversarial?
I think for Nan it's—what's that expression?—"her way or the highway." I think she likes to have things go her way. I don't know that she's necessarily very flexible. When the vampires do what she wants them to do she's very happy and when someone strays from the plan, she's less than happy about that. At times she feels like she's working with these vampires, and sometimes she feels likes she's working against them.
Do we know where Nan falls in the vampire hierarchy or how old she is?
To be honest I don't know how old I am. But I will tell you this, I would think that in Nan's case it's more—she said in that episode when they were all in Texas, she says to Eric, "I'm on TV. I'm powerful." I think her persona and what she represents is as much her power as anything, but you never know.
Does Nan get out this season to interact with other supernatural communities?
I think she has her hands full where she is right now, and she doesn't need to be dabbling in any other areas. [Laughs.] I'm so scared to open my mouth.
And what does Nan losing control look like?
She does get angry, she uses the F-word quite a lot. [Laughs.] You can tell I'm a mother, can't you? I call it the F-word. Nan has a temper, she likes to have things done her way, and she's not afraid to bark out an order and scream and yell. That's sort of the way she loses her cool. It's such a contrast to her controlled self, her on-camera self, which seems very approachable and reasonable. She will unleash if needed.
True Blood is a very sexual show—does Nan participate in any of that this season?
Nan keeps her clothes on. You're not going to see her deeply entangled in flesh. That doesn't mean she doesn't have her side like every other vampire. I think how she was discovered in the limousine last year as Russell Edgington rips the spine out of the newscaster, and she came up from having enjoyed herself with a young lady, that's certainly not beyond Nan, to enjoy herself.
What's the main thing to look forward to from Nan this year?
I spend a lot more time out from behind the camera, [dropping] my spokesperson personality. I'm much more the Nan everyone loves to hate. I spend a lot more time in my black leather than I do my nice suits. Let's put it that way.
How do you feel about that leather?
I must say, I really enjoy that a lot. It's not how I dress in life, so it's this fantasy I get to live out on camera. I certainly don't run around screaming, yelling and barking orders in my real life. So to be able to sort of exercise things that way is fun as well.
True Blood premieres June 26 at 9 p.m. on HBO. Will you be watching?