(Image Credit: Gelarah Designs)
Sink your fangs into this new, bloody fun interview with Mariana Klaveno. The star is best known for her terrifyingly haunting and stunning role as Lorena in the hit HBO series we all love: True Blood. We wanted to get the details on the start of Mariana’s career and tips for aspiring actors in the ‘verse!
As far as Mariana can remember, she always had a flair for the theatrics. While growing up on a farm in Washington, she let her imagination carry itself through storytelling and acting while running around the family pastures. As the years progressed, the desire to act grew stronger and went from acting out scenes with stuffed animals after watching a movie to arriving at the University of Washington to begin her studies in theatre.
(Mariana Klaveno visiting the University of Washington Drama Department)
“Once I got to the University of Washington, I was like a kid in a candy store when it came to the drama department. My high school didn’t have a drama department so I had to wait to properly study acting until I got to college,” shared Mariana. “I was in as many productions as I possibly could be. I was fortunate to perform in a variety of shows including pieces that were rooted in reality, others that were stylized and absurdist, and classical works.”
One of Mariana’s most memorable performances while in the drama department was as Helena in a “wickedly provocative” production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Jack Daniel Stanley who Mariana notes is a dark, brilliant man.
“Two of the other actors in that production are two of my closest friends in the world to this day. It was an adventure and I loved it.”
The adventure continued on to our world of fandoms and Mariana was cast in the well-loved vampire series True Blood as Lorena Krasiki, the vampire that increased the tension in the storyline during the second and third seasons. Lorena is by far one of the most intimidating characters ever to come into fruition on the show. A badass, but definitely frightening and someone you would never want to cross in real life – alive or undead.
“I think I was initially drawn to the bait and switch element to her introduction,” Mariana responded when asked about her first thoughts reading the script for the character.
(Mariana Klaveno as an early depiction of Lorena in True Blood. Image Credit: TrueBlood.Wikia.com)
“When we first meet Lorena, she seems to be a vulnerable and lonely widow, pining away for her husband who has surely died in the Civil War. The wonderful turn is, of course, is that she’s basically a predator and has found her ultimate prey in Bill Compton. Anytime you get to play a character who turns on a dime it’s a gift. There’s nothing more exciting to me than the quick shifting of gears in a character. I think understanding that turn helped get me the part as well. I dressed as innocently as I could for the audition. I saw many other actresses do the opposite. But it’s no fun if you see the monster coming. It’s better if she catches you completely off guard.”
(Mariana Klaveno opposite to fellow actor Stephen Moyer.)
Mariana’s tactic surely did the trick! When preparing for the role, she even dug into vampire mythology all while researching the existing cast of True Blood. Her goal was to bring something new to the table and do justice to the vampire role.
“Once I was on set, I prepared for my scenes by always remembering what was driving Lorena. It was actually love. I always thought of her as more tragic than anything else. She only ever wanted to be loved and cherished. So I focused on that, and let the vicious, scary, evil, stuff come out in the actions and dialogue.”
Perhaps Mariana was incredibly effective in her portrayal of Lorena, but what follows is saddening. During her time on the show, social media response picked on her looks and passion for the love between Sookie and Bill even stirred up incredibly negative comments regarding the actress rather than the character. This caused Mariana to turn away from social media as the episodes debuted.
“It’s never nice to read nasty things about yourself especially when people clearly aren’t distinguishing between you personally and the character you are playing. So after that initial experience I stopped reading.”
While that experience leaves a bad taste in our mouths, we’re happy to hear that Mariana received proper fandom interactions through attending conventions after spending time on set with an incredible cast and crew.
“I have to say it’s quite rewarding to connect with your fans in that way. In TV and film, you are so removed from the audience that you don’t often get to experience just how the stories you are telling impact people. There’s nothing better than hearing that a show you did or even a certain character got someone through a rough time by making them laugh, or just offering them an escape. We can’t do what we do if there’s no audience to see it. It’s a relationship. Conventions can be a fun way to strengthen that relationship.”
You've finished the first portion of our interview with Mariana Klaveno. Part Two is coming soon and is exclusively available to #GlitterArmy subscribers. Make sure you join our mailing list to gain access to acting advice and more from Mariana Klaveno!