by Greg Braxton on latimes.com
‘True Bloods’ 2nd season comes to an end Sunday with heavy doses of bloody violence and twisted sex accenting its tale of vampires living among humans in modern-day Louisiana.
“I’m still wrapping my head around all of this,” Wesley said recently. A sleeveless blouse showed off her muscular, athletic arms that have become a trademark of Tara’s strong-willed character. The long, swishy braids of her character were nowhere in evidence, replaced by a straighter hairstyle that lent an extra softness to her beauty.
In the series, Tara is a strong and uncompromising woman battling not only the supernatural, but also her own demons that resulted from her growing up with an alcoholic mother.
“When I auditioned for Tara, I immediately saw past her anger,” Wesley said. “You can scream all day long. That would be the easy way to play her. I see Tara more as a flower, a broken woman. People want her to do well, and she doesn’t know how. I try to make her softer. She is tortured, incredibly hard to play.”
Even more important for the young actress, she has unwittingly become something of a cultural pioneer. With her prominent multifaceted character on ‘True Blood’, Wesley has become one of the rare accomplished African American actresses to escape being trapped in the role of the ‘BBF’ or Black Best Friend that has become the trend for most black actresses working in television and film in recent years.
She hopes that ‘True Blood’ will not only serve as a stepping stone for her, but also for other black actresses struggling to get multidimensional leading roles.
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I know in the ‘Sookie Stackhouse’ novels Tara is white, but than Alan Ball wanted her to have more diversity in his cast. I have to say ‘thank you Alan’ I love the series Tara even more than the book Tara. And I hope she really may be a stepping stone for other talented black actresses. What do you think – is this a too big goal? And did you know Rutina attended the Academy of the Performing Arts in Las Vegas and spent a summer at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London studying Shakespeare?