Plus, Michael promises ‘more gif opportunities’ from Steve this season. (You’re welcome, Tumblr!)
Lilith be praised! After a few weeks off, “gay vampire American” Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) returns to True Blood on July 22 — and he’s bringing along some unholy surprises! Michael chatted with HollywoodLife.com about Steve’s shenanigans in the second half of the season, including his vamped-up love life and who really turned him from a self-righteous preacher to a just-plain-righteous bloodsucker.
Let me start by saying how much I love Steve’s new direction. It’s genius.
I’m super excited, myself. I was hoping back in season two that things might take a turn like for Steve eventually. When I found out I was going to be a vampire, I was so excited.
What was your reaction when you were first told Steve was not only gay, but also into Jason?
I kind of was playing that in season two, and I don’t think the writers even intended it. But when I started working with Ryan Kwanten and Anna Kemp, who played Sarah Newlin, it just seemed clear there was a love triangle dynamic taking place. We knew Sarah and Jason would eventually hook up, and I started playing around with the idea of who Steve was underneath the Christian leader facade? How would he feel about what was happening between Sarah and Jason? He so adored him as it was, that I kind of felt like he would be attracted to him. That was always in the subtext of the character from the get-go.
When you first came back for the fourth season finale as a vampire, did you also know then about Steve’s feelings for Jason?
The finale had been written by Raelle Tucker, and I think she had in the stage directions that Jason opens the door, Steve is standing there, and he’s “hungry for some Stackhouse.” [Laughs.] So I think they weren’t necessarily decided on what was going to happen next, but they knew going in that Steve was in love with Jason.
And then, of course, came the big speech on the premiere. I loved that.
Bryan Buckner wrote that, and he did such a fantastic job. All of season two, Steve was talking about Armaggedon and vampires, so it was nice to have a scene where he just sat and kind of spilled his guts and revealed who he really was underneath. I loved being able to explore a deeper level of the character.
Especially a character we didn’t even think had a deeper level.
That’s what I find fascinating about characters like Steve Newlin. When I was building him, I was looking at guys like Ted Haggard who was the leader of the Christian coalition in Texas, and had been doing crystal meth with gay prostitutes. He had this whole other life. I think we often look at our politicians and our religious leaders, and I think celebrities in general, and we wonder who these people really are. It took Steve turning into a vampire to figure who he really was, which I find so much fun.
‘Fun’ is definitely an appropriate word. Tumblr especially seems to love Steve Newlin. Have you seen all the gifs of you dancing?
[Laughs] There have been some followers on Twitter who have posted those and I’ve seen them. I didn’t imagine any of that happening. There might be more gif opportunities in the second half of the season.
What about his lust for Jason? Will there be more of that, too?
There will be more Jason and Steve in the second half of the season. And I think where the story goes is going to be really surprising. I can also say that Steve’s love life plays a prominent part of the season throughout.
There’s another big mystery surrounding Steve this season, which is who actually made him. Is that going to be addressed anytime soon?
I’ve been really on the fence as to how I should answer this question. I’m a big believer in not spoiling anything, but on the other hand, it’s a question I’ve been getting a lot. I think viewers need to not hold their breath. This season really becomes about different stuff, so fans might need to wait a while until that’s revealed. … I’ve been told who it is, but it might be a while before viewers find out.
There are a ton of theories out there.
Oh, I know. Fans always tweet me about it — I’ve seen everyone from Russell to Pam. It’s crazy.
Steve seems pretty willing to serve the Authority — or what’s left of it — but does he have ulterior motives, as well?
Steve is really happy, at this point, to not have the burden of leading. … He’s always loved power, but I think now he’s just a young, horny vampire who’s excited to be part of the club. He’s OK with taking orders right now, but he’s a survivalist. … Where his real allegiance lies is still a bit of a mystery.
Who do you think turned Steve? Do you hope he becomes Russell’s new boy toy? And what’s been your favorite Newlin moment so far this season? Drop a comment with your thoughts and theories below!
— Andy Swift
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