Downtime with Carrie Preston (Arlene) via

She deals with vampires, werewolves, witches, and ghosts in her day job as Arlene Fowler on HBO’s True Blood, so when actress Carrie Preston has some downtime, she knows exactly where she likes to go to unwind.

From vacationing in historic Charleston, S.C., to visiting her hometown of Macon, Ga. and the theater where she got her start, Preston tells all about her favorite places on the map.

Ashley Dvorkin: Charleston, S.C. — what do you like about Charleston?

Carrie Preston: My husband (Michael Emerson) likes to call it New Orleans’ grandfather.

It definitely has that kind of history and feel to it. It’s got a real interesting, kind of chilly, kind of ghostly feel to it, that’s wonderful, and the architecture is like no other.

AD: What’s your favorite thing to do there?

CP: I had the great fortune of performing at The Dock Street Theater which is actually the oldest building that was specifically built to be a theater in the United States. I think it was built in 1809 or something. It’s been around a really long time and it’s got so much history and you can feel it in that place, and they’ve recently renovated it.

AD: What about the food in Charleston?

CP: You could get some really good barbecue there and then some seafood. There’s a lot of stuff down on Kings Street you can go to.

Then as far as where to stay, I would recommend the Pinckney house, it’s a B&B, and it’s an old house that they use for accommodations and it’s very charming. You can even get a horse and buggy to come and take you around from the Pinckney house.

AD: You’re originally from Macon, Ga. What do you like best about your hometown?

CP: My descent is from some of the first settlers of the town, so you know, there’s a great amount of history from my family there.

The town was built in 1823, around there. It started off as a fort then it started expanding and it’s just full of so much history and it’s just very well preserved there. We have these southern mansions that have been there since the beginning.

Down on Cherry Street there is a community theater there that was started by my mentor when I was in high school. He’s had this theater there since the mid 80’s and they do wonderful community theater and people really come out and support it.

AD: Is that where you got started?

CP: I started doing plays when I was in the 4th grade or something. I would do plays at school, I would do plays at the community theater, and then I started writing and directing plays. I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Joe Manganiello makes surprise visit via triblive

He plays a scheming, savage werewolf on the HBO series “True Blood,” but Pittsburgh native Joe Manganiello likes kids.

Not to eat, mind you.

Tuesday, the actor paid a surprise visit to teen patients at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where he signed autographs and posed for photos with youngsters in the hematology and oncology ward.

“I love to have been able to see the kids,” said Manganiello, who was back in town to accept an alumni award at Mt. Lebanon High School, where he graduated in 1995. “I really feel for them and what they’re going through.”

He talked with patient Jared Thompson, 16, of Natrona Heights about training with Navy Seals for his role in “Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia.” His latest film, expected out in May 2012, is “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” which also stars Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lopez and Elizabeth Banks.

Manganiello joined “True Blood” in its third season as werewolf Alcide Herveaux. As far as what’s next for his character, he said, “There’s going to be a shift in power within the pack.”

On Sunday, Manganiello will host a charity event for Children’s Hospital at Mixx in Station Square. Tickets for the 8 p.m. adult party are $25. Proceeds will benefit the hospital’s Division of Hematology and Oncology. Details:

Aww that’s so sweet…I love seeing celebrities that actually care about others and it looks like Joe enjoyed his time with the kids just as much as the kids enjoyed it!!

Chris Bauer and Emmy Snubs via

Chris Bauer has admitted that it is “frustrating” when his show True Blood loses out on Emmy nominations.

Bauer, who plays Andy in the HBO series, told New York Magazine that he does not expect the show to get recognition at the awards now.

“The Emmys seem like an entity unto themselves that have an agenda that sometimes corresponds to quality, sometimes doesn’t,” he said.

“There are certainly lots of people on True Blood who deserve that kind of attention and don’t get it, and that’s always frustrating. But you’ve got to pick your battles, and that’s one that’s just not very winnable.”

Bauer added that he thinks True Blood is an unusual kind of series.

“This is just my two cents, but I don’t think True Blood is primarily a performance-oriented show,” he said. “It’s more of an event-type show. I really feel like True Blood is a big, giant slice of cake for the audience every week – it’s offering people 60 minutes of sometimes thought-provoking entertainment.

“If you’re going to give an Emmy out, you should probably give it to the audience of True Blood.”

Alexander Skarsgard: Maisie in Central Park via JustJared

Alexander Skarsgard strolls through the set of his latest film What Maisie Knew while on location in NYC’s Central Park on September 1st.

Earlier in the week, the 35-year-old True Blood actor shot some scenes for the movie with his young co-star!