On Which Right-Wing Politician Did True Blood’s Michael McMillian Base Steve Newlin?
When Steve Newlin first appeared on True Blood, he was a vampire-hating evangelist on a mission to eradicate the “species" — but by the end of Season 5, he was not only a vampire himself, but also The Authority spokesperson!
And when it came to crafting both sides of his character, portrayer Michael McMillian originally turned to cultural icons, including a polarizing former president.
“There were definitely inspirations — everybody from Ted Haggard to George W. Bush, the culture I grew up not too far from in Kansas,” Michael told Assignment X. “So it was really an amalgamation of a lot of things, but I definitely was paying attention to Pat Robertson, 700 Club, and people and shows like that when I was developing Steve.”
While Michael loved his “out-there … satirical role” as a right-wing Christian evangelist who hated vampires, he was able to incorporate that into vampire Steve, too.
“In that first episode of Season 5, Steve says, ‘I’ve been blessed with the gift of immortality.’ I think that’s really the way he sees it. I think that he thinks whatever happens to him is divine,” Michael explained. “It doesn’t necessarily erase his theology, it just sort of redefines it.”
And although Steve told Jason that his turning was a punishment, with Salome explaining that Steve was brought in as a tool for The Authority, Michael didn’t think it was that black and white. “I think that [The Authority] went, ‘Let’s get this guy, and then let’s turn him, let’s flip him.’ He’s a master of spin, and that’s why he’s good at his job and that’s why they would put him in front of the cameras,” Michael said. “When you put him in front of the camera, you give him all the attention, he’s really good at what he does.”
Are you a fan of Steve Newlin? Were you surprised at Michael’s inspirations? Tell us below!