WATCH: Remembering Nelsan Ellis

HBO has long been at the forefront culturally, addressing progressive and present-day issues quickly and directly. And for many, one of the best examples of verisimilitude was the queeny but fierce out gay black Southerner Lafayette on the Louisiana fantasy series True Blood. And the actor who played that iconic character, Nelsan Ellis, gave scores of proud gay men a role model because of his never-take-shit attitude. So when word came Saturday that Ellis had died of heart failure at just 39, there was a collective gasp of genuine sadness. Ellis appeared in other TV shows and movies, but it was as Lafayette he will long be remembered, especially in this unforgettable scene from Season 1.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Nelsan Ellis on Lafayette: ‘I Didn’t Really Want a Love Interest’

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Nelsan Ellis, who plays Lafayette on True Blood and whose relationship with Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) is developing quite quickly, told Digital Spy earlier this month that he doesn't want Lafayette to be in a relationship:

"I didn't really want a love interest. I like Lafayette as just a prostitute… I don't think he's a settle-down-right-now type of dude. I think later down the line, but I think he's so much about his exploits and making money and stuff. I know a lot of people wanted him to settle down and I think the gay community wanted him to settle down…I don't want it to last long. No, I don't want it to last long. Maybe when Lafayette is like 35, you know what I mean? Maybe. But Lafayette is like 28….[Creator Alan Ball] told me it was surprisingly tender… We were just trying to make it real and believable. We know the show has a huge gay fanbase so we wanted it to be believable for all the fans because when the camera's right here all that love's got to manifest itself. There are deep feelings and I think they're falling in love."

(cap via superherofan)


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—  John Wright