Carrie Preston on True Blood, Lost



Carrie Preston is an actress who feels her face recognition far outweighs her fame, and she’s fine with that. “Everyone thinks they went to high school with me,” she says. “I take it as a compliment that I look different in every role.” Her best-known look is that of the shifty, easily-influenced redhead Arlene Fowler on HBO’s True Blood, the third season of which premieres on June 13th. A native of Macon, Georgia, she’s a true southerner on a show that sometimes offers a slightly twisted view of her home region. But, she says, “While it’s a fictitious world that we’re creating, and there are stereotypes that we perpetuate, there is a truth in the acting, production design, and costuming that seems authentic to me.” That world, she says, is set to expand. In the upcoming season, “A whole slew of new supernatural breeds come into play. The number of characters in the third season almost doubles.”

Preston is also married to Lost star Michael Emerson (a.k.a Benjamin), whose mother she played in a 2007 episode. Of last week’s much talked-about series finale of that show, she says, “I thought it was gorgeous. It was everything I wanted it to be and I didn’t even know what I wanted.  I loved what it said about faith, redemption, and sin…I thought [it] was beautiful because it is so open to interpretation. I can’t tell you how many conversations I had with people about it the next day.” Another good thing about the end of the Island? She’ll no longer have to share her husband with Lost‘s grueling Hawaii-based shooting schedule: “Obviously [playing Benjamin] was a role of a lifetime that he never took for granted. But, at the same time, he’s happy to be back amongst his friends and family, and not worrying about being the reluctant action star that he became.” What’s next for him? “His last day of shooting was 20 hours standing in a man-made waterfall pulling on a rope. I think he looks forward to a little less physical work in the future.”