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'True Blood' Carrie Preston: 'Arlene is there to be ridiculed'

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Arlene Fowler from True Blood

© HBO

True Blood star Carrie Preston has admitted that Arlene is there to be laughed at.

Preston, who has played Arlene since the show began in 2008, explained that she has always tried to stop the character being solely the butt of jokes.

"The role is designed by the writers to play on the stereotype of Southerners in the media," she told The AV Club. "She's designed to be ridiculed.

"What I like about playing her is being able to ground her in some kind of truth while still honouring that humour and that thing that she represents. I love it that I'm responsible for serving up the humour on the show, but what has been wonderful for me is that the writers have also given me more dramatic things to deal with."

Preston added that she likes the "balance between the drama and the comedy" on True Blood, saying: "The show never takes itself so seriously that it becomes sanctimonious. I think that's part of why the fans like it so much. It trusts that the audience is going to go with us through all of the tones we hit along the way."

She continued: "Our responsibility as actors is to not judge these characters, but to empathise with them and to figure out why they're reacting the way they are. The higher the stakes, the more conflict, the more interesting they are to watch."

Preston also suggested that True Blood is special as the pace is so high.

"Everybody's pretty much on the move, dealing with these extraordinary circumstances," she said. "There are 50 storylines up in the air at all times. I think the audience has become comfortable with that, and frankly that's what they expect now. Not just from our show, but I think a lot of television in general. That kind of kinetic speed just keeps people watching."

True Blood's executive producer Alan Ball recently revealed that he has signed up for a fifth season of the show.

The fourth season continues on Sundays at 9pm on HBO.

> 'True Blood': 'I Wish I Was The Moon' recap

Watch the writer and director of the latest episode of True Blood talking about the instalment below:

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