“The Authority is so much weight and responsibility,” Hennesy, 50, tells Celebuzz. “But to bring a character like Rosalyn some humor to her – that has been the great delight of this experience.”
Hennesy may well be one the hardest working actresses in Hollywood. She has balanced her role on the HBO series, a recurring role on Disney Channel’s Jessie and a new web series called Motherf—ers premiering in September.
Additionally, she’s brought her own training with trapeze and aerial arts to the board of FocusFish, an organization dedicated to giving needy kids access to aerial arts and physical education training.
Celebuzz spoke to the talented actress about the highlights of being on True Blood, what we can expect from the finale and what she brought to Authority Chancellor Rosalyn on the series.
Celebuzz: What’s the secret to Rosalyn’s survival this season?
Carolyn Hennesy: Rosalyn hopefully has been portrayed as a survivor. And part of that survival mechanism is a tremendous sense of humor, knowing when to open her mouth, knowing when to keep her mouth shut, how to move in and out of the politics. And as you can see, she started out a mainstreamer. But as soon as Roman [Christopher Meloni] was gone and the blood of Lilith was offered and then the vampire Dieter Braun [Christopher Heyerdahl] got beheaded right in front of her, she knew exactly what side she was buttered on.
Rosalyn wants to stay alive, because her agenda is very similar to Russell Edgington’s [Denis O’Hare]: Rosalyn wants to walk in the sunshine. No matter how much anyone says, “We are creatures of the night.’ Phooey on that. Rosalyn wants to walk in the sunshine.
CB: How surprised were you at Roman’s early departure from the season?
CH: We get the script when we get to the table read. And a bunch of us are kind of looking at one another and you really can’t say anything. As soon as we read that Roman was turned into a pile of goo, we all just looked at each other and went, “Well, OK. More room around that Authority table for me, I guess.”
You just read the lines and keep your fingers crossed behind your back that you’re not next. For me, I did grab an extra handful of salted peanuts, because you never knew if you’re coming back. So, you go the craft service table just a few extra times. I had no idea. Fortunately as it stands right now, Rosalyn’s at the table. But, the writers are doing such brilliant things and there’s obviously method to their madness. And as talents for hire, you just don’t question. You just look over the pages and see if you have any lines.
CB: We found out that the new sheriff, whose murder Pam [Kristin Bauer van Straten] took credit for to save Tara [Rutina Wesley], is Rosalyn’s progeny. What can we expect between Rosalyn and Pam in the finale?
CH: The series hasn’t given Rosalyn a definitive age, but we can assume she’s at least a couple thousand years old. Pam in comparison to Rosalyn is a baby vamp. She’s only a couple hundred years old, so Rosalyn has many years on her. So, Rosalyn is not going to be toyed with by this vampire. As stunning and beautiful and powerful as Pam has become, Rosalyn will have none of that. As to whether they go head to head on the finale, I can’t say. All I can say is fireworks. That’s really all I can say.
CB: We’ve learned that Lilith [Jessica Clark] is playing with everyone’s minds. What can you tell us about what’s going to go down with the Authority and the finale?
CH: Here’s what I can say: The fans have never seen so much red in their lives. You have no idea how much red is coming at you. I feel great about it. Again, the last couple of episodes have been bloodbaths. And that’s nothing compared to what’s coming. It’s not for the faint of heart.
CB: What have you had the most fun with on the show?
CH: Oh my goodness, the wit, the humor, the clothes and the hair, the rest of the cast, the ability to throw in – as long as the writers are good with it — a little look, a little adlib, throw in something amusing, just really bringing this character to live.
CB: I know you can’t tell me if Rosalyn survives the finale, but what story would you like to tell about Rosalyn if you came back for next season?
CH: Gosh, there’s so many. Um, Rosalyn and Elizabeth I of England, that was fun. There’s great shenanigans there. Um, Rosalyn meets Jesus, Rosalyn and Leonardo da Vinci, Rosalyn helps Lewis and Clark on the Oregon Trail. You know what’s funny? Rosalyn was the actual founder of the Moscow Art Theatre. Rosalyn meets Dolly Madison. Rosalyn brings ice cream to the United States. Rosalyn just had her fingers in so many pots.
The True Blood Season 5 finale airs Sunday at 9 PM on HBO.
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