During True Blood's off-season, Nelsan Ellis is nothing like his character, Lafayette Reynolds.

This was especially apparent when he rocked a beret, bow tie, and hefty beard on Chicago talk show Windy City Live, stopping by to chat about his directorial debut, his favorite restaurants, and of course, his inspiration for Lafayette!

"I just act like my mama," Nelsan spilled. "It ain't deep. I just act like my mama. She had a little more sass, a little more flair, but I just act like Peaches!"

He even went on to give an animated sample of Peaches’s personality, but since the self-proclaimed “potty mouth” couldn’t swear on-air, it was a toned-down version of the Lafayette we know and love.

Although his late mother was probably very proud of him, Nelsan said that his Deacon father wasn’t always the biggest fan of True Blood.

"He wouldn't admit to it, but he didn't watch the show for awhile — but now he does!” he said. “And [now] he supports me. He loves me. He gets mad when I mention that, but … he watches the show now."

Nelsan also admitted that he almost turned down the role initially, ringing up Viola Davis, the Oscar-nominated star of The Help, for advice. Her words of wisdom were simple: "You got any more jobs lined up?"

In the upcoming months, Nelsan won’t be thinking much about Lafayette, though — he’ll be focused solely on directing Hoodoo Love, a play about Mississippi “love, magic, jealousy, and secrets.” But shifting from acting to directing wasn’t so easy for him.

"With directing, you have to know more than anyone in the room,” he spilled. “You're doing a whole bunch of mother-effin' work."

In the video below, you can watch Nelsan’s impression of his late mother as well as his Hoodoo Love cast singing! The play runs from Sept. 27 to Oct. 21 at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, and tickets can be purchased online at the theater’s website.

Source: Windy City Live