If you think Rosalyn Harris is a force to be reckoned with, you obviously haven't spoken to her real-life counterpart, the lovely and talented Carolyn Hennesy.
Wetpaint Entertainment recently chatted with Emmy-nominated actress, who gave us all the dirt on her sassy True Blood character and the secrets she's hiding in her sky-high Miss Texas hair.
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.
You've had a long and amazing career, and you've said this is one of your favorite roles so far. What is it that draws you to Rosalyn?
Rosalyn is so much fun because, to me, she is one of the very few vampires with a tremendous sense of humor. Not a great deal of them have that, and it is just so crucial to not only surviving day to day as a mortal human being, but surviving 2,000 years as a vampire. You have to really be able to laugh at what's going on around you, because, otherwise, you just wouldn't be able to get up out of your coffin every evening.
That and her tremendous sense of style.
The big hair and the pearls! What's that all about?
Well, before Episode 1 aired, I was talking a great deal about Rosalyn's pearls and her big hair and she comes from Texas. She has kind of found a wonderful nesting place in the era of the '80s, even the '70s and parts of the '60s — the Ann Richards and Rosalynn Carter, and maybe back to some of the great screen stars like Joan Crawford and Mae West.
So, she's very comfortable being that sort of throwback to another era and not being really up-to-date, but still being incredibly chic and stylish.
She is very retro — to a point where she almost gives off a kind of old-school self-righteous vibe …
Yes, but warranted self-righteousness. After all, she knows exactly which end of the coffin she gets up at and she firmly believes what she is doing.
Mainstreaming is absolutely the way to go if the vampire species expects to survive, and, again, that's really being tested this season.
And, yes, she is retro, but she doesn't think she's retro — she just thinks she’s stylish!
One thing we noticed is that Rosalyn was so quick to sentence Eric and Bill to the True Death in Episode 1, and it makes us wonder if maybe she's got some secrets or skeletons in her closet.
Rosalyn does have a big secret, which does coincide with how she perceives the Guardian and what his dictates are, what he wants with regard to mainstreaming. So yes, there is a big secret. Of course, I cannot tell you until the season is over!
This is the first we're hearing about Rosalyn's secret …
It is for a lot of people. And, again, it's nothing that was fully and formally discussed. It's simply something that I said, "This is much of the reason this person operates the way she does."
Will we learn more about her personal history?
I believe we will. Not a great deal in this season, but yes, a little bit more.
Is there a chance she's a secret Sanguinista? We don't know who to trust anymore!
We have yet to determine which side Rosalyn is really on. She's a mainstreamer at heart, but what happens in the rest of the season really is going to test loyalties and test bonds. We are very committed and firm in our beliefs, no matter which side we're on. The Sanguinistas see humans as a smorgasbord, the mainstreamers know we work in connection with the humans.
But I really can't tell you [if she's a Sanguinista.] I want to tell you! It's on the tip of my tongue. You know it is!
What are Rosalyn's beliefs about the vampire Bible? We heard her deliver a snide comment about not disavowing the book in front of Roman.
He doesn't like to hear us talk about the book!
What about Rosalyn?
You can tell from her comment that it is an extremely important document. The most important document! Is this a literal translation? As opposed to the Christian bible — whatever version you have — no one I know was around when that was written. Unlike the Christian bible, a lot of vampires were around when this document was written. So, again, it depends on who you're going to believe. Is it a collection of stories or is it the word of Lilith? We find out. That is one of the major plot points.
Rosalyn's beliefs were, I think, clearly stated in her innuendo. She is skeptical. She's more of a show-me kind of gal.
How old is Rosalyn?
She's at least 2,000 years old. Extremely old and extremely fierce. To stay alive through the Inquisition, the witch hunts — forget vampire hunts, we had witch hunts! — she had to be incredibly strong. And she is!
I'm not sure if you caught it, but there was a wonderful little reaction when the Guardian, Roman, was about to stake Bill and she was like, "Oh, yes! Oh, yes! I want the blood of this traitor!" She tolerates very little. She'll joke with you as she's draining you, but she'll do it.
We'd love to see what Rosalyn is truly made of. Might we see her in a fight or a bloody battle this season?
There is a strong possibility.
Maybe mess up her hair a little?
Blasphemy, my child! The hair never gets messed up! [laughs] But remember this — she is, above everything else, a survivor. So when things start happening, that's one of the things that everyone needs to keep in mind.
All this tough girl talk! Could she kick Russell Edgington's ass in a fight?
No, no one can kick that ass. [laughs] She'd give it her best try, but it's very doubtful. That is a very formidable ass.
How about some of the other members of The Authority?
Oh, you bet! Throw down with Salome? Oh, come on. Let's start placing bets now. [laughs]