Nelsan Ellis Of ‘True Blood’ (Pg. 2)

He’s gonna get softer because he’s gonna fall in love but there’s still gonna be that violent part of Lafayette that don’t take no bullshit. But yeah, they’ve given him a love interest so he’s gonna be wrapped up in that and dealing with the complications between he and his mom. But we may see a darker Lafayatte, who knows.

Is his love interest human, a vampire, a werewolf or some other mythical creature we have yet to meet?

His love interest is going to have something going on. What? I cannot say.

What are your thoughts about gay marriage?

I support it. I think anybody should—I mean, I have my religious views but I don’t choose to oppress them on anybody. I think in this country, anybody can do whatever they want to do as long as it’s not hurting anybody else or violating the laws of society. If you want to get married to a man then get married to a man. If two women want to get married they should get married. It’s not hurting me. The beautiful thing about this country is that I can be a Christian and feel free to do so. Or somebody cannot be a Christian and do whatever that entails. Or somebody can be a Christian and still be gay and I support it. Let gay people get married.

Talk about your upcoming film, Secretariat.

It’s based on a true story about the fastest horse in history. My character is Eddie Sweat. He’s the groomer to this horse. Lafayette—I—play a real person and it’s a good story. Diane Lane is quite marvelous in it too. The horse’s name is Secretariat [and] his time is yet to be beaten. It’s supposed to come out in the fall but I don’t think they have a date yet.

You’re also a writer, what are you working on?

My sister was murdered in 2004, by my brother-in-law. She was murdered in front of their then three-year-old son and she was three months pregnant at the time. So I’ve been working on a project called Ugly that Julliard produced Off Broadway and at Santa Monica Play House here in California. The next step is I wrote a screenplay that I’m trying to get done. Now we’re trying to bring the play back or take it to New York again. Domestic violence is an epidemic worldwide and in this country, and I think this will be one way—based on the success of Precious and the industry now trying to take serious black dramas seriously—now I have a fighting chance to get it done and at the same time bring some light to this issue of domestic violence, which again is a huge epidemic. It’s a family secret. The screenplay is called A Bird in the House and the play version is called Ugly. So that’s what I’m trying to get done. I have a few other things but right now I’m focusing on that.

Speaking of Precious, Tyler Perry is one of the names attached to that project and he comes under a lot of scrutiny but would you consider being in a Tyler Perry movie?

Hell yeah! I don’t care what they say about Tyler Perry. That man is doing things that not many people are doing who had the power and the money and the credibility long before he did so I don’t think anybody should say a fucking word about Tyler Perry! That man is producing Black material and he’s hiring Black talent. And he has his own company to do it with. Whether he knew how to do it in the beginning, that’s neither here nor there, but I know that it’s improving. I will be in one at the drop of a dime. My godmother, Viola Davis, was in one. If he will hire me I will absolutely be in one of his movies. I don’t even understand the scrutiny. He’s setting an example by which we should follow. I think if it’s Black people criticizing him then they should stop and follow suit. If they think they can do better then they should do better. He’s giving us the blueprint.


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