Spoiler alert: If you have not yet watched “True Blood” Season 6 episode 6 “Don’t You Feel Me,” do not read this article because it will ruin a major plot development. You’ve been warned.
“True Blood’s” big Season 6 death has finally been revealed, and after last week’s episode it’s not much of a surprise who was the first major character on the HBO show to permanently kick the bucket. After all, Terry Bellefleur did commission one of his old Marine Corps. friends to kill him because he couldn’t commit suicide himself, but we still had hoped the gunman wouldn’t be as effective as deep down we knew he would.
Of course, the folks behind “True Blood” had to crank up the emotional factor of Terry’s death and make the as heartbreaking as it could possible be — and they succeeded. Fortunately Zap2it had a chance to chat with Todd Lowe prior to the episode airing to discuss Terry’s demise and whether the character is actually dead for good.
Zap2it: It was such sad news to learn that Terry was the character who dies on “True Blood” this season.
Todd Lowe: I’ve kind of moved on. I’m on the other side. It was a dark six months for me personally playing Terry’s dark past, but it’ll air this weekend, it’ll be all the way there and it’s out and, you know, I’m moving on.
How will Terry’s death impact the tone of the series going forward?
This was explained to me in very nice terms by the new showrunner Brian Buckner and a couple of the HBO execs. It’s like, “This has nothing to do with your performance in the role. We love you. The cast has gotten large and no one ever dies for real, and we felt that we do need to trim it down and focus on some storylines, and we felt that we could get the most emotional and dramatic mileage out of killing Terry.”
They reassured me, “It has nothing to do with your performance. You’re a fan-favorite. We just think that we can get a lot out of this.” So I’ll die and — I don’t want to spoil anything — but not this weekend but in a couple next there’s a funeral and everyone has to come back to Bon Temps and I think it kind of unifies the town. … Certainly it’s going to have some impact on the community. We’ll see if that doesn’t bring everybody together and maybe they will a little vulnerable to some kind of attack. I don’t know.
It’ll be nice to have everyone together after so long but sad that it will be just a photo of you in the scene.
Yeah. Yeah, I know. That was one of the saddest things I have ever seen is they took a picture of me and they made up a death announcement, like the program at the funeral or whatever. Like, oh, wow, that’s what it would look like.
This is already being compared to the Red Wedding on “Game of Thrones.” Do you have any comment on those potential similarities?
I don’t think it’s quite that impactful. Half the cast went on that. It would be nice to have a couple people, we could hold each others’ hands through this moment, but no it’s just me. I’m looking forward to the next project. I had a great run with Terry and I think they wrote me out very, very well, and now I have a little bit of time going through this grieving of losing a loved one — Terry, this character I played — and now I move on and I have a little bit of time to look for the next project.
Terry’s had a pretty difficult journey over “True Blood’s” six seasons. Do you think that he at least found some peace before he died?
It was really difficult to shoot. It was emotional and [Carrie Preston] was sitting there crying. I mean, we’re friends and we’re not going to work together anymore — at least, in the near future. I don’t know in the seasons coming up if they’re going to do anything with me. But yeah, I’m getting emotional about it right now, and this is something I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. I really enjoyed playing this role.
It seems nice and full-circle that even for those few short moments Terry isn’t tortured emotionally by what happened to him in Iraq.
He goes out happy. He goes out without that. We can’t pick when we’re going to go, and we would want to go out happy.
Terry is leaving a family behind, like Arlene and he has baby Mikey. Do you think his family and what will happen to them will be addressed going forward?
I can say — and you won’t see it in Sunday’s episode 6, but in 7 or 8 or one of the ones coming up — I leave Arlene in good shape. And like I said, I gave that safety deposit box key to Lafayette, so that’s got to have something in it.
At what point did you learn that Terry wasn’t going to survive Season 6?
I learned in January, when we were shooting the first episode. I got a call and then Brian Buckner took me out for a drink and said, “This is the way it’s going to happen.”
I know on “The Walking Dead” they have cast Death Dinners. Did the “True Blood” cast give you any sort of send off?
There was a very cathartic moment, a very emotional moment, at the table read for this episode. After we read that scene, there was about five continuous minutes of applause. I still get chills thinking about it. And then when I shot my last scene — I do come back for a flashback during the funeral later in the season — they had a red velvet armadillo cake like in “Steel Magnolias.” My character has a pet armadillo. That was a bit of a surprise, and that was really nice.
I mean, we still see each other. We still have press functions and premieres and I guess there will be some conventions someday down the road, and I’m friends with these people. I don’t feel like I’ve lost them forever. I still feel very tied to that cast and the whole production; it’s got a familial sense to it. I’m not going to lose touch with these people — hopefully.
Do you have anything you’d like to say to the fans about Terry’s death?
I can certainly say thank you for the love and support. My character’s been really fun to play. I look forward to my next project, whatever that may be. I have a little time to be a little picky about it because I’m coming off a high profile show. But I don’t have to pick the next thing that comes down the pike; I can pick the right role. I look forward to playing that, and hopefully you’ll embrace that role as well.
What would you ideally like to do next, like a TV show or film project?
Without getting too much into it, I’m doing a little bit of writing which I haven’t done really since college. I’ve never written for television, but I’m working on a little pilot which I would love to get on the air. I mean, it just has to be the right thing. I love “Breaking Bad,” but that’s coming to an end.
They have that Bob Odenkirk spinoff in the works, though.
Oh that’s right, they’re going to do Saul’s spinoff. I don’t know what’s going to happen in that world, but sure, I’d love to get in on that.
“True Blood” Season 6 airs Sundays on HBO at 9 p.m.