True Blood: Where Are Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer And The Cast Today?

The following article includes references to alcohol addiction and suicide.

Beginning in 2008, it seemed that all anybody could talk about was "True Blood." The series was everywhere, with people commenting on the likely outcomes of various on-screen romances, conflicts, and much more. As the seasons came and went, the lore surrounding vampires, werewolves, and all manner of nightmare creatures unfolded for the enjoyment of the masses, and "True Blood" enjoyed exceptional popularity.

When the final season concluded in 2014, the show did what many popular series sadly do — it faded into the background. Over time, it hasn't endured with the same fanfare as other HBO series like "The Sopranos" or "Game of Thrones," but there are plenty of fans who don't mind binging the series whenever the mood strikes. One interesting thing about a series like "True Blood" is that it featured a lot of top-tier talent who brought the show's characters to life.

While some of the actors who worked on the series have gone on to superstardom, others have had less stellar careers. Rumors of a reboot have been in circulation for a while, and fans who watched the series when it first aired are giving it and their favorite actors a second look. "True Blood" featured a large and ever-growing supporting cast, including the likes of Stephen Root, Anna Camp, Lizzy Caplan, and many more. But beyond the minor characters, there are some core protagonists who stand out. This is what the primary players from "True Blood" have been up to since the series came to an end.

Anna Paquin keeps herself busy with TV and film projects

At nine, Anna Paquin entered an open casting call and stumbled onto the set of "The Piano" – she went on to earn an Academy Award for her performance. From there, the actor continued to rack up an impressive list of credits, playing a young version of the titular character in "Jane Eyre," Rogue in the "X-Men" franchise, and many more. She spent most of her career on the silver screen, but "True Blood" proved she could hop from one medium to another. 

As the central protagonist of "True Blood," she dominated television as Sookie Stackhouse, and Paquin played the character to perfection. Sookie becomes the love interest for just about anyone and anything with fangs and claws, including more than a few vampires, a werewolf, and plenty of humans. Her performance earned her a plethora of awards and nominations from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, the Golden Globes, and many more.

Paquin married her co-star, Stephen Moyer, in 2010 and has continued to work in the industry. After "True Blood," she voiced Ramsey in "The Good Dinosaur," returned to TV via "Bellevue," and continued working in feature films, appearing in "The Parting Glass," "Tell It to the Bees," and "The Irishman." She's also racked up several producer credits, having executive produced "Bellevue" and "Flack," among others. In 2023, Paquin added "True Spirit," and the TV miniseries, "A Friend of the Family," to her ever-expanding credits list. 

Stephen Moyer took a bite out of television

Stephen Moyer's career began in 1993 when he played Philip Masefield in the British TV show, "Conjugal Rites." His first film role then arrived in 1997 when he played the title role in "Prince Valiant." But despite working continuously for more than a decade, most people didn't meet Moyer until he strolled into Bellefleur's Bar and Grill to catch Sookie Stackhouse's eye in "True Blood."  

Moyer played Bill Compton, a Confederate soldier of the 28th Louisiana Regiment-turned vampire born in 1835, who managed to master the art of brooding because, well, it's a sexy look. It certainly worked on Sookie, who is smitten the moment she sees him. Bill is the second protagonist and occasional antagonist of "True Blood," and Moyer absolutely nailed the part. He played Bill throughout the series, always closely associating with Sookie as a friend, a lover, and a foil.

When his time on "True Blood" ended, Moyer jumped from one series to the next, playing leading roles in "The Bastard Executioner," "Shots Fired," "Safe House," and "The Gifted." He's kept himself busy on the small screen, but like his wife, he's graced the silver screen a time or two. He had an uncredited role in "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" and has appeared in nearly a dozen films since "True Blood" ended including "The Hatton Garden Job" and "Concussion."

Sam Trammell shapeshifted into countless new characters

Long before he was slinging suds at Bellefleur's Bar and Grill, Sam Trammell was making a name for himself in the theater. His first acting credit comes from an off-Broadway production of "The Cover of Life" in 1993. He kept his theater creds going via performances in "Our Town," "My Night with Reg," and "Ah, Wilderness!," which earned him a Tony Award nomination for his performance. While the theater was Trammell's path to the performing arts, it didn't take him long to make the jump to television and feature films.

While the actor worked throughout the 2000s, he didn't gain international attention until he took the role of Sam Merlotte in "True Blood" — a central character who appeared in every one of "True Blood's" episodes. He started as a humble bar owner, was revealed to be a shapeshifter, and eventually became the town mayor. 

When filming ended, Trammell went right back to it, playing President Ben Hayes in "Homeland," "Eric Clarke in "The Order," and Ben in "This is Us." His work on television has kept him busy since "True Blood" ended. However, he's also racked up a considerable number of films over the years, including "Imperium," "I See You," and "American Refugee." Of course, Trammell hasn't left "True Blood" in his rear-view mirror. In 2022, he made an appearance on the "Truest Blood" podcast, so he's remained faithful to the series that made him famous.

Ryan Kwanten avoided being typecast

Ryan Kwanten got his start in the entertainment industry in 1991 via an uncredited appearance in "The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes." From there, he hit the ground running and landed numerous television gigs in his native Australia, including the soap, "Home and Away," and "Spellbinder: Land of the Dragon Lord." As he entered the '00s, Kwanten enjoyed significant roles in the U.S. in shows like "Summerland" and in movies like James Wan's cult horror, "Dead Silence." Of course, it wasn't until he took on the role of Jason Stackhouse in "True Blood" that he became an international star.

Kwanten absolutely nailed his Louisiana accent in playing Jason, such that most viewers who didn't know better probably thought he was an American. Jason isn't the brightest character in the series, while the actor is the exact opposite. Regardless, he plays a convincing buffoon, and Jason is one of the more beloved characters in the series. Kwanten appeared in every episode of "True Blood" and kept himself in front of the camera when the series concluded in 2014.

The actor filmed several walk-on roles in various TV series before landing another leading role in 2018's "The Oath." Since then he's appeared in a variety of projects including "The Hurricane Heist," "Glorious," and "Section Eight." Kwanten actively avoided being typecast, taking roles very different from his "True Blood" character. "Without a doubt, it could have been easy to fall into the Jason Stackhouse mold," he told MovieWeb.

Chris Bauer is still a great character actor

While his professional career began on television, Chris Bauer spent most of his career on and off-Broadway. As of 2022, he'd starred in 19 theater productions, beginning with "Othello" in 1990. Since then, he's performed in "What Rhymes With America," "As I Lay Dying," and "A Streetcar Named Desire," to name a few. He's also well known for his many television appearances, many of which were in leading roles. These include "Third Watch," "Tilt," and "True Blood," which is the series he's probably best known for worldwide.

Bauer played Sheriff Andy Bellefleur throughout the series run, and he appeared in every episode. Andy is an unusual character, and while he's not a bad cop, he's not the most responsible guy in Bon Temps, Louisiana, either. He plays a significant role in many of the series' overlapping storylines, and each time he's on screen, he draws all of the attention his way. When "True Blood" wrapped, Bauer continued working in television and feature films, though most of his time is spent on the small screen.

"True Blood" is only one of the dozens of television series Bauer has performed in over the years. Although many of these performances are of a single-episode nature, he's also enjoyed bigger roles as Detective Tom Lange in "The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," Wild Bill Hancock in "Heels," and Detective Sal Rizoli in the movie "The Little Things." 

Nelsan Ellis remained busy until his death in 2017

Nelsan Ellis' career kicked off in 2002 via the short film "Lost," and he began regularly working in Hollywood a few years later. He had some success on the silver screen, and in 2005, he played Carter Howard on "The Inside." He soon scored appearances on "Veronica Mars" and "Without a Chase," which was followed by his casting as Lafayette Reynolds in "True Blood." The sassy cook who had no problem telling Sookie and anyone around him exactly what he thought of them instantly became a beloved character.

When "True Blood" ended, Ellis landed a recurring role on "Elementary," but spent most of his time on the silver screen. Throughout his relatively short career, he appeared in "Secretariat," "The Help," and "The Butler," where he played Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He appeared in at least one movie a year between 2013 to 2017. Sadly, his final film, "True to the Game," was released posthumously, as he died on July 8, 2017.

Ellis' father explained the details of his son's death in a statement published by The Hollywood Reporter. Describing how the actor had experienced issues with alcohol and substance misuse for many years, he shared that Ellis had tried to quit drinking without any outside support. After experiencing four days of chronic symptoms relating to alcohol withdrawal syndrome, Ellis died of heart failure at the age of 39. The family added that they shared his story to urge others in a similar position to receive help. 

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Carrie Preston nabbed an Emmy Award

Carrie Preston began working professionally in theatrical productions and feature films, appearing in four movies in 1997. The following year, the prolific actor made the jump to the small screen, appearing in a single episode of "Significant Others." Her theater credits include roles in numerous plays by the Bard as well as several modern productions, including "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." While she appeared in more than a dozen television series between 1998 and 2008, it wasn't until she took on the role of Arlene Fowler in "True Blood" that she gained international recognition.

Arlene worked alongside Sookie at Bellefleur's Bar and Grill and was a secondary character throughout the series. She had three children from five marriages, though her final marriage ended abruptly when her husband, Terry Bellefleur, died in the sixth season. Arlene remained an active character right up to the end of the series, having her story closed out in the finale episode, "Thank You."

Preston left the set of "True Blood" and worked as much as was humanly possible in the intervening years. She appeared in several films, including "Equity," "30 Miles from Nowhere," and "They/Them" in 2022. Still, television is where Preston enjoys name recognition, and she's played extremely memorable characters in shows like "Person of Interest," and "Claws." Her recurring and beloved guest role as Elsbeth Tascioni in "The Good Wife" and "The Good Fight," earned her a Primetime Emmy win in 2013.

Rutina Wesley scored two high-profile TV shows

Rutina Wesley studied the dramatic arts, earning a degree from Juilliard, before she went on to work in theater, television, and feature films. She debuted on Broadway in "The Vertical Hour" and continued working in theater. She landed a role in the 2007 film "How She Move" and showed up in an episode of "Numb3rs" before being cast as Tara Thornton in "True Blood." The series was only her second time on the small screen, and she astounded audiences with her portrayal of a half-fae telepathic best friend to Sookie Stackhouse.

The character's "True Blood" storylines were dramatic and unreal, thanks to her innate telepathic abilities, unusual lineage, and conflicts with her bestie. Further complicating her identity within the series' narrative, Tara was turned into a vampire in Season 5. While she died at the beginning of "True Blood's" final season, Wesley continued playing her via flashbacks across multiple episodes.

Since leaving "True Blood," the actor has worked on several television series and films. In 2021, she played Ramila in "Outsiders," and her small screen work includes minor roles in "Hannibal," "Arrow," and "The Walking Dead," as well as a role as Maria's interpreter in the TV adaptation of "The Last of Us." Beyond "True Blood," she's best known for playing Nova Bordelon on "Queen Sugar" from 2016 to 2022 — her performance earned her three Black Reel Award wins across three consecutive years.

Alexander Skarsgård went on to huge things

Alexander Skarsgård comes from Swedish acting royalty, as his father is the inimitable, Stellan Skarsgård, and his three brothers, Gustaf, Valter, and Bill are also actors. Alexander got into acting early thanks to his father's connections, appearing in "Ake and His World" when he was seven. He continued working as a child actor but took some time off to educate himself, serve in the military, and hang out with his friends before breaking into western films via a role in 2001's "Zoolander." He moved to the States in 2004 but continued working in Sweden from time to time.

While he was relatively well known in his homeland, his casting as Eric Northman in "True Blood" brought him to the west's attention. Northman was the vampire sheriff of Louisiana's Area 5 and the co-owner of Fangtasia. He was also more than 1,000 years old, having been turned in 930 CE. Northman was one of the series' most important vampire characters and was at the center of numerous storylines throughout all seven seasons of "True Blood."

Following his time as a vampire, Skarsgård's career exploded with several high-profile TV and film appearances. On the small screen, he notably played Perry Wright in "Big Little Lies" and Randall Flagg in "The Stand." Meanwhile, in movies, he's starred as Tarzan in "The Legend of Tarzan," Nathan Lind in "Godzilla vs. Kong," and Amleth in "The Northman." As of 2022, his career shows no signs of slowing down. 

Deborah Ann Woll fell for a Marvel superhero

While 2007 was the first year Deborah Ann Woll worked in television, the following year was the one that established her career. In 2008, she landed walk-on roles in "ER," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "My Name is Earl," and "The Mentalist," so she was busy. Of course, it was the last show she appeared in that year that truly set her up for fame and success when she landed the role of Jessica Hamby on "True Blood."

Jessica was introduced as a pious young woman who had few life experiences before a group of vampires captured her. Bill Compton was forced by his fellow fangers to turn her into a vampire, making Jessica his vampiric progeny. Her personality completely changed upon her transformation, ensuring she was no longer under her parents' rule as she embraced the wild life of a vampire. Jessica plays a significant role throughout the series and is one of the central protagonists.

"True Blood" truly set Woll up for success. The year after it ended, she was cast as Karen Page in Marvel's "Daredevil" series on Netflix, a role she reprised in other Netflix Marvel joints like "The Defenders" and "The Punisher." Despite being a fan-favorite character, Woll revealed during a 2022 episode of the "Inside of You" podcast that Marvel Studios hadn't yet approached her to reprise her role in the rebooted "Daredevil: Born Again" series. However, she added, "I would be thrilled to get to be a part of it."

Kristin Bauer van Straten keeps True Blood alive

Kristin Bauer van Straten has spent the vast majority of her career on television, with her first (uncredited) role coming via an episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." She's also graced the silver screen more than a dozen times, appearing in "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," "50 First Dates," and "Nocturnal Animals," among others. She played "Man Hands" on an episode of "Seinfeld" and landed several leading roles throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. 

Van Straten worked throughout this time but she truly cemented her status as a star when she played Pamela Swynford De Beaufort on "True Blood." Pam was the right-hand woman to Eric Northman and the co-owner of Fangtasia. She was something of a secondary character for the first two seasons but transitioned to the main cast in the third. Pam's cunning yet sarcastic nature made her a standout character on the show and one of the more fascinating vampires in Louisiana.

Afterward, she continued doing what she does best, landing numerous roles in various television series after "True Blood" ended. She played Maleficent in "Once Upon a Time" and its spinoff, Shannon in "Sacred Lies." In 2021, she returned to the show that made her a household name, when she and Deborah Ann Woll began co-hosting the "Truest Blood" podcast for HBO. Outside of acting, van Straten brings attention to causes she supports, including shark conservation, and animal welfare.

Todd Lowe embraced his musical roots

Todd Lowe's acting career began in 1997 when he appeared in an episode of "Walker, Texas Ranger." Before landing the role of Terry Bellefleur in "True Blood," he stepped onto the stage and has since appeared in a dozen theater productions, including "Ragtime," "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," Jesus Christ Superstar," and others. He's also worked as a director, set design director, and production designer for several productions. Quite notably, on the small screen, he also depicted Hep Alien's guitarist, Zach, in "Gilmore Girls." 

In "True Blood," Lowe played Terry Bellefleur, a Marine with severe PTSD following his experiences in the military and is dismissed as crazy by the people of Bon Temps. However, Sam gave him a job as a short-order cook at Merlotte's Bar and Grill, and he eventually married Arlene. Tragically, he was so haunted by his past that he asked a fellow Marine to end his pain. Terry returned as a ghost in "Death is Not the End," bringing his time on the series to an end.

While working on "True Blood," Lowe concurrently played Randy on "Ave 43," and he appeared sporadically on TV and in films until 2017. In addition to acting, he returned to the musical roots he showcased in "Gilmore Girls." He was the lead singer and guitarist for Pilbilly Knights under the stage name "Randy Bluth." He later joined The LA Hootenanny, continuing his love of country rock via performances in and around Los Angeles, California.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Jim Parrack joined the Suicide Squad

Jim Parrack began acting professionally in 2008, racking up walk-on roles in six popular television series, including "Monk," "ER," and "Grey's Anatomy." He started the year playing AJ in the feature film "Annapolis" and continued working in television, making a name for himself when he was cast as Hoyt Fortenberry in "True Blood." While playing the character, he delved into other areas, including playing Slim in "Of Mice and Men" on Broadway in 2014. He caught the theater bug a few years earlier when he appeared in "Terre Haute." 

Hoyt was one of the central characters on "True Blood" and had a season-long on-again, off-again relationship with Jessica. The couple had some ups and downs, but by the final episode, they were married. While their relationship was a bit less ordinary than most — that's just how it goes when you fall in love with a vampire – Hoyt was nonetheless a good-natured man and partner. 

During and after the run of "True Blood," Parrack appeared in a number of movies. You might recognize him from his small role as one of the Joker's henchmen in "Suicide Squad" or as Kenny Linder in "Fast & Furious 9" — the man responsible for the death of Dominic Torretto's father. On the small screen in 2020, Parrick landed the central role of Judd Ryder on "9-1-1: Lone Star" opposite Rob Lowe and Liv Tyler. Outside his acting interests, he also runs 120 Productions Inc., which he founded in September 2007.

Lauren Bowles is all over TV these days

Lauren Bowles has spent her career appearing in a plethora of television series, beginning with a waitress role in nine episodes of "Seinfeld." From there, she landed one main role as Susan on "Watching Ellie." She popped up throughout the early-mid 2000s on everything from "NCIS" and "Arrested Development" to "Grey's Anatomy" and "The New Adventures of Christine." Bowles also spent some time on the silver screen, though not in any leading roles.

As Holly Clearly on "True Blood," the actor first appeared in the show's third season and remained a primary character until the show came to an end. Holly worked at Merlotte's Bar and Grill, but she moonlighted as a Wiccan capable of casting various spells. She became romantically involved with Sherrif Bellefleur, and by the series' conclusion, the two were engaged to be married.

"True Blood" was Bowles' most significant role on television, having appeared in 48 episodes. But when the show came to an end, she nonetheless continued appearing in all manner of TV shows, including "Mom," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and "Modern Family." In 2022, she even nabbed herself a small role in an episode of "9-1-1: Lone Star" opposite fellow "True Blood" alum, Jim Parrack.

Joe Manganiello embraced his love of D&D

Audiences first met Joe Manganiello when he played Flash Thompson in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man," in 2002. Four years later, he was popping up in all kinds of television series, landing recurring roles in "American Heiress," "ER," and "How I Met Your Mother." In 2010, he was cast as the werewolf, Alcide Herveaux in "True Blood" where he injected his brand of rugged sexuality into every scene he uttered the name "Sookie." 

As a supernatural being, you know Alcide was on the list of Sookie Stackhouse's many lovers, putting him at odds with Bill Compton ... and many others on the show. The two were somewhat off and on for a bit, but Alcide's time on the series ended in the Season 7 episode, "Fire in the Hole." The character takes a round to the head, killing him instantly, and Sookie refuses Jessica's offer to turn him into a vampire.

While Manganiello earned some recognition for his work leading up to and from "True Blood," he's since become an international film star. The actor is probably best known for playing Big Dick Richie in the "Magic Mike" franchise, and he's appeared in numerous high-profile movies for years. Manganiello is also a renowned "Dungeons & Dragons" fan – so much so, that he was hired to direct and produce a documentary for Hasbro about the popular role-playing game. The film will be released in 2024 to celebrate the game's 50th anniversary.