We talked with True Blood‘s newest addition Riley Smith, who joined the final season during last night’s episode as vampire Keith, Arlene’s fiery new love interest.
“Obviously, there’s going to be some sparks between Arlene and Keith in future episodes,” Smith dished.
“As we know, Arlene’s never been with a vampire before,” Smith continued, “and I think she’s a bit hesitant, but, that being said, she’s also now drank Keith’s blood, so she’s kind of tied to him forever in that sense.”
The actor quickly squashed any qualms we had about Keith’s intentions. According to Smith, Keith’s biggest flaw is, “being a hopeless romantic.”
“The thing about the Keith is even though he’s a vampire, and he’s kind of got this edgy thing about him he’s actually, you know, a real sweetheart and just, like, a loving kind of guy.”
“There’s only like seven episodes left,” Smith added, “so I think myself and my character got lucky in that sense that I didn’t have enough time to go to the dark side. He really is a nice guy.”
“I think it’s one of those things where for this final season, they’re trying to wrap up so much, and they have so many characters. And I know that they wanted Arlene to have some sort of great ending with a love interest, and so I think there enters Keith, but there really just isn’t enough time in the last season to drum up all this craziness for Keith and also keep those other story lines going. There’s just not enough camera time so, you know, in a good way for Keith he doesn’t really have time to go to the dark side but, you know, I guess with more time he probably could have. For sure.”
When the actor mentioned more time, we suggested a spin-off show, of course, but Smith had a better idea, “I’m still holding out faith for the movie.”
He also suggested another outlet for more True Blood: “I did hear, like, a rumor that there was going to be a musical — that sounds hilarious, but also sounds awesome.”
We’d see it! Though Smith was sure to say it was only hearsay, “I think we all thought it was not real, but maybe it is.”
Just in case you were wondering, Smith is definitely musically inclined. He said he fostered the hobby on set during the dead time between scenes and now has a band with his best friends called The Life of Riley — which means, given that the True Blood musical might actually happen, Smith would be a perfect addition to the cast.
He’s already proven he can fit right in with the True Blood clan. In fact, Smith said he wasn’t hesitant about the craziness of the show at all once he found out he’d landed the part. “I embraced it because I have wanted to be on the show for the last six years.”
Being part of the show in its last season had its bittersweet moments, despite Smith’s excitement to finally be on the show. “It was very sad, and it had been for, like, the last couple weeks because every day that you come to work, something was the last for somebody, whether it was Sam’s last day in Merlotte’s or Arlene’s last day at Bellefleurs or whatever it is, it was always somebody’s last day of something for the last couple weeks, so it was very emotional.”
“I do think that the ending of the filming was the absolute perfect way that any show could have ended, like, everyone together under like a really peaceful night. It was perfect.”
“…We ended it right because the last shot of the entire show was pretty much the core group of cast mates all together. And so we were shooting outside of Sookie’s (Anna Paquin) house under these beautiful, lit trees, all having a nice meal together,” Smith revealed. “And, you know, we were shooting late. I think it was like 1:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m., and we finally got done, and they did a really nice speech and then they did a series wrap on everybody and everybody had a moment to get recognized, and then it was done.”
“Everybody stood around and hugged each other for at least an hour. And then we all ended up outside of our trailers with a shot glass of whiskey and told stories. I was kind of a fly on the wall because I just started this year, and it all went so fast. I mean, I feel like I just got the job and now it’s over. But for me, it was still emotional because I got to be a part of this with them and seeing them being so emotional was inspiration, it was motivational. I feel really lucky just to have been a part of it.”