True Blood star denies he quit show over planned gay storyline
True Blood star Luke Grimes has denied that a planned gay storyline for his character was the reason he left the show.
Grimes – who played vampire James on the HBO show – abruptly quit in December, ahead of the show’s final seventh season, in which his character was to have a relationship with medium Lafayette.
His role has subsequently been recast, with Nathan Parsons taking on the part for the final run.
A source told Buzzfeed that Grimes objected after the first few scripts for the season indicted the romantic involvement.
He reportedly told writers that he would be willing to play the part if the attraction was one-sided, but would not do any same-sex kissing or sex scenes.
The writers were unwilling to change the direction of the character’s arc.
A statement from HBO at the time said: “The role of James is being recast due to the creative direction of the character”.
However, the actor’s publicist, Craig Schneider, denied the creative direction of the gay storyline was the reason, saying: “Luke always had an out clause as a means of pursuing other opportunities which arose in the form of features, beginning with The Shangri-La Suite, followed by Fifty Shades of Grey, and most recently, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper with Bradley Cooper.
“It had nothing to do with storylines, which he had not been privy to at the time of that posting.”