Tag Archives: Nelsan Ellis

True Blood’s Nelsan Ellis Discusses Luke Grimes’ Decision to Quit over Gay Storyline

True Blood star Nelsan Ellis has spoken to Vulture about Luke Grimes’ decision to quit the show over a planned gay storyline for his character.

Grimes played vampire James on the HBO show – quit abruptly in December just before the show’s final seventh season, in which his character his character has a relationship with Ellis’ character – Lafayette. His role has since been recast, with Nathan Parsons taking on the part.

In an interview with Vulture, Ellis said:

“I just think that, you’re an actor. We’re all sitting there going, ‘You quit your job because … really?’. I’m just… I’m over him. 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. You make a statement when you do something like that.

You make a big statement, when you go, ‘I don’t want to play this part because it’s gay.’ If you have a child, if you have a son, and he comes out as gay, what are you going to do? If you have a daughter who comes out gay? You just made a statement, and it has ripple effects.

I’m supposed todo what my boss tells me to do, as an actor. I can’t approach a character with judgment. 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 Ellis – Vulture

Luke Grimes’ publicist later claimed the actor ‘always’ had an out clause as a means of pursuing other opportunities – “it had nothing to do with storylines, which he had not been privy to at the time of that posting.”