Exclusive Interview: TRUE BLOOD’s Aaron Perilo (Sheriff BlackBurn) Teases About An Upcoming Bloody Assignment

Aaron Perilo

Last night’s episode of TRUE BLOOD “Me and the Devil” was very intense to say the least. A lot of mayhem and mischief is going on in Bon-Temps and our favorite characters are being put under tremendous pressure in genuine True Blood fashion.

If you paid attention in the latest episode, during the Vampire sheriff meeting, we were introduced to a new character, sheriff BlackBurn, who seems ready to tangle with witches big time. Blackburn is played by up-and-coming actor Aaron Perilo. Daemon’s TV had a chance to chat with Aaron to ask him about his character and what he is up to in the upcoming episodes.

Check out what he had to say below and also catch up with him on his official twitter handle @AaronPerilo for more updates.
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Congratulations on joining the ‘True Blood’ family. Can you talk about the casting process?

Aaron Perilo: Thank you very much, yeah. Alan Ball who actually hired me was nice. I’d done a recurring role on an HBO show called ‘Luck‘ before and I think that’s kind of what gave me the go ahead for them to bring me on to ‘True Blood‘ which is very HBO like of them. They like to keep it in the family there. So, I went in for ‘True Blood‘ and Alan Ball was in the room with a casting director. I went in and gave my bloodthirsty performance and he loved it. He laughed which is a good sign because he has a sick sense of humor. So, if you can get him to laugh then you know it’s good.

Talk a little bit about your character. Blackburn.

Aaron Perilo: Blackburn is a very old vampire. He’s known Bill and Eric for a while. I’m brought in on a special assignment.

So, he’s very old vampire, a friend of Bill and Eric –

Aaron Perilo: Yes, a very old vampire. I’m brought in for a special assignment, and I am very quick to get bloody. I like to get in trouble at the drop of a hat.

Would you say that Blackburn is a good or bad vampire?

Aaron Perilo: Well, that’s very relative, I guess. He’s actually a little bit of both. I know that’s very vague, but you’ll understand once you see it.

How did it feel to wear the vampire fangs?

Aaron Perilo: It was very uncomfortable for the first couple of hours. I thought that I was going to slice my lips open, to be honest, because those things are sharp. They’re sharper.I don’t know if you have the natural fangs. You know how those are sharp, but imagine if those were a little sharper than that, that literally you could probably cut paper with those.

How do you deal with drinking water or eating?

Aaron Perilo: Well, you can’t eat with them in. You would probably snap your teeth off because they’re actually cast into your teeth. It’s like putting in dentures.

So, you can’t just remove them easily?

Aaron Perilo: You have to put them up over your teeth. Like, if you try to bite into an apple your teeth would come right off. But thankfully I don’t have an overbite because if you have an overbite then you can tend to get your bottom lip a little cut up.

I’m assuming you will have scenes with both Bill and Eric? What was it like working with them?

Aaron Perilo: Yeah, amazing. It was really amazing. Stephen Moyer is such a funny guy. I don’t know why he’s not doing a lot of comedy, to be honest. He’s hilarious, and really, really genuinely a nice guy. Alex [Skarsgard] is the most humble actor I’ve ever met. For as much as fame and women that are after him you would never guess it because he’s just a real sweet guy, really kind hearted. Those Swedish people tend to be nice people, in general.

Is it possible to see you in a steamy scene as ‘True Blood’ is famous for?

Aaron Perilo: I can’t answer that. That would be giving away too much.

Secrecy is pretty much the standard with Alan Ball and ‘True Blood’. How does that talk go in the beginning, is there a ceremony for it or something?

Aaron Perilo: Alan Ball pretty much lets us know at the table reads what we can talk about and what we can’t talk about. I think he probably pulls aside people that might be interviewed even more, [and give them] specifics on what he does want them to talk about. I just know what I can’t talk about. He’s a very nice guy, Alan, but at the same time he’s a powerful man and such a brilliant person and the last person I’d want to piss off.

True Blood’ has a passionate fan base. Have you had any encounters yet with fans?

Aaron Perilo: When I was shooting on location there were some fans that were waiting outside of where the actors were coming in and out of, and apparently they had already done research on me and found out that I was a character and who I was. It was shocking. I’ve never experienced anything like that before, and it was a really cool, kind of surreal feeling because my scenes haven’t even come out yet. So, for them to want a picture with me and want me to sign stuff is just mind boggling.

And you have a recurring on upcoming series ‘Luck’ with Dustin Hoffman. Can you talk about that?

Aaron Perilo: My scenes are with Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Farina, and I work for him at a racetrack. My character gets introduced earlier in the season and I guess they’re going to bring me back either in the late first season or the early second season. There’s a lot of weaving in and out of characters in that show. It’s a pretty intricate show. David Milch is another genius in his own right.

You’re a lucky man, being on ‘True Blood’ and ‘Luck’ –

Aaron Perilo: Yeah. It’s always been my dream to be on HBO. That was my goal coming out here. HBO has always been my favorite programming. It’s not TV. I know HBO says that and it’s kind of cheesy, but it really isn’t. It’s like some awesome hybrid of film and TV just because it’s series, but they shoot that stuff like it’s feature film quality and they sure cast that way as well.

Is there anything else you have going on?

Aaron Perilo: I just got back from Boulder, Colorado. I was shooting a film called ‘Mind’s Eye’ with Malcolm McDowell and Dean Cain, Natalie Distler. That’s a sci-fi thriller that has to do with space time, being able to create different universes. It’s a pretty trippy, crazy script and so that was a lot of fun and Boulder was amazing.

How did you get into acting, and don’t you have two siblings in this industry as well?

Aaron Perilo: Yeah. My older brother started acting when he was five, doing theater and watching him, and my sister as well who did a little musical theater, but both of them doing theater kind of inspired me creatively. My brother still is such a creative genius and he really inspired me. I started doing theater at a young age, around eight years old and just having fun with it. I really did it just for the fun of it. It was really awesome even if it was ‘A Christmas Carol’.

I delved into being a crippled boy, Tiny Tim, and would tour around America and get a per diem which was like getting allowance everyday. It was like a dream. But I didn’t really know that I wanted to do it as a profession until probably my junior year in high school. Some producers from Los Angeles came out to Omaha to cast a pilot and I booked the series regular role. The pilot didn’t go anywhere, but it was a good experience and it gave me the confidence, like, ‘Okay, yeah, I can do this. I do want to go out to Los Angeles and really do it.’ My brother was already in New York and doing a lot of stuff at The Upright Citizens Brigade and writing his own material and now he’s a screenwriter. So, we going to try to kind of take the town over mafia style.

I hope you guys don’t turn out like the Baldwin’s, although one has turned out alright.

Aaron Perilo: Hey, they’re probably all doing alright.

If you could guest star on any other TV show which one would it be?

Aaron Perilo: Boardwalk Empire. I’m telling you, I love HBO. Literally, it’s like my dreams have come true. ‘Shameless‘ is really good, too.

So, ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and ‘Shameless’, but a gun to your head then it’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’?

Aaron Perilo: Yeah. If I could work with Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt and even the guy who plays Al Capone, it’s just such a great show. I love HBO.

Thank you, and I’m looking forward to seeing you this season.

Aaron Perilo: Yeah, it’s going to be nuts.

Aaron Perilo