“True Blood”: Sure it’s raw, but don’t call it rape

The September issue of Nylon features an interview with Sookie Stackhouse and her vampire lover, Bill Compton’s alter egos, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, as well as “True Blood” creator Alan Ball.

nylon anna paquin

In it, Stephen and Anna talk about their steamy love scenes in the hit HBO series. What I found most interesting – and judging by the comments on the Huffington Post link, so does everyone else – is a comment made by Stephen in which he refers to Season 1’s sex-in-the-cemetery-mud scene as “rape.” Here’s his full quote:

“The thing about vampirism is that it taps into a female point of view – you have an old-fashioned gentleman with manners who is a f***ing killer… it’s an interesting duality, because in our present society it would be an odd thing for a woman to say, ‘I want my man to be physical with me.’ How, as a modern man, can you f***ing work that?”

OK, Stephen, I’m with you so far… But then he goes on to say this:

“It’s one thing to be polite and gentle… But when do you know it’s OK to crawl out of the mud and rape her [as Bill does in one scene]?… It’s difficult stuff for a bloke, but a vampire gets away with it…. I think that’s the attraction of the show – it’s looking back at a romantic time when men were men, but they were still charming.”

Since that’s one of the most memorable scenes in all of Season 1 – heck, I’ll go so far as to say it’s one of the most memorable “True Blood” scenes of all time – I most certainly do recall it. But I don’t think  Bill’s actions – and Sookie’s reaction (she was quite receptive, and I can totally understand why… after all, she thought he was stone cold dead) – constitute rape. It was fraught with passion, lust, anger, frustration… a whole host of emotions, but I wouldn’t call it rape.

Do you agree? I’d love to hear Alan Ball’s take on this.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

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