Speaking to TV Choice Magazine, Preston explained that she believes Arlene is a good representation of people who live in the South.
"She's responsible for serving up a lot of the humour on the show, but she's also really authentically Southern, and I was raised in the South," she said.
"Sometimes I get a little annoyed by how some people want to generalise Southerners by making them rednecks or white trash. I try to find ways to humanise her - to find ways to ground the humour and reality."
Preston added that she likes Arlene's determination and work ethic.
"She's a single mother with two cute kids - probably from two different dads though it doesn't say that in the script," she said. "She's been engaged and married who knows how many times, and is someone who is just really trying to survive. She takes her job really seriously because she has to support her kids, which I love about her. In her mind, she's not just a waitress, she's a server, and she's really fun to play."
True Blood airs on Fridays at 10pm on FX in the UK. The fourth season begins in the US on June 12 at 9pm on HBO.
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