News of actor Nelsan Ellis’ death continues to shock fans as the information spreads, and we thought it’d be a good idea to look at two ways in which the acclaimed performer stood up for queer lives, both on the True Blood set and off it.
First, here’s a highly memorable scene in which Ellis’ character, Lafayette, confronts some homophobic diners who are angry their food has been prepared by a gay man:
And back in 2014, the NY Daily News reported on this behind-the-scenes True Blood drama:
Nelsan Ellis will miss his character Lafayette when the hit drama “True Blood” wraps up this season – but he won’t miss one former fellow cast member.
The actor didn’t hold back in a Vulture interview when asked for his thoughts about former “True Blood” actor Luke Grimes. Prior to the show’s seventh and final season, Grimes quit the series, with Buzzfeed reporting that he didn’t feel comfortable with his character James having a romantic relationship with Lafayette.
“I just think that, you’re an actor, you’re an actor on a show that’s ‘True Blood,’ we’re all sitting there going, “You quit your job because … really?” Ellis said.
“I’m over him,” he added. “You quit your job because you don’t want to play a gay part? As if it’s … You know what? I’m going to stop talking.”
But Ellis wasn’t done. He said that he couldn’t understand Grimes’ concerns portraying a same-sex romance, especially since the LGBT-friendly drama is famous for its risque sex scenes.
“First of all, this show, it’s ‘True Blood,’ and s–t, we get scared when we read scripts!” he said. “When scripts come, we’re like, ‘What are they going to have us do this week?’”
“I can’t approach a character with judgment,” he continued. “I certainly can’t tell my boss, ‘I can act what I want to act, but not what you tell me to act,’ especially on a show where you come in, knowing what it is.”
Nelsan, you’ll be truly missed.
He should have won Emmy and Golden Globes.
I just found this tidbit: In 2008, Ellis received a Satellite Award from the International Press Academy for best supporting actor in a television series for his role as Lafayette Reynolds’.
RIP…You go Gurl!!
Nelson’s character really made True Blood one of the most memorable shows on HBO. Such a phenomenal actor as well. He’ll truly be missed.
He was so good in that part. Its takes on sexuality and race were pretty wack at times, but he never gave less than 100%. RIP, Nelsan Ellis.
I was hoping that was going to finish Luke Grimes as an actor. Unfortunately it didn’t hurt him one bit.
no one knows Luke Grimes by name-hes that actor in those bad Grey movies only hard up single women see
So sad, RIP Bro. 🙁
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