Luke Grimes | Nelsan Ellis | Playing Gay | True Blood

Luke Grimes Left 'True Blood' Because He Didn't Want to Play Gay: Report


Last Sunday’s True Blood premiere reacquainted us with Jessica’s (Deborah Ann Woll) new love interest James, a handsome fellow vampire that she’d met in southern vampire prison. Fans of the show were surprised to see the character, previously played by Luke Grimes, suddenly replaced by Nathan Parsons of Bunheads fame.

According to HBO Grimes’s departure was due to a disagreement over “the creative direction of the character.” Put frankly, Grimes was not comfortable with the not-so-subtle homoerotic storyline developing between James and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis.)

Tumblr_n7m2aikro71qd6a26o1_250Grimes’s publicist insisted to Buzzfeed that the departure was due entirely to conflicts in the actor’s schedule with upcoming roles in 50 Shades of Grey, The Shangri-La Suite, and, American Sniper. Grimes’s team claims that he was not privy to the character’s story-arc in advance, though True Blood has a well established history of portraying its vampire characters in particular as sexually fluid and diverse.

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  1. (I have not used this trite phrase until now, I swear, but...) Bye Felecia.

    Posted by: Tessie Tura | Jun 26, 2014 2:14:20 PM

  2. It says more about Hollywood and the insecurity of actors who still worry about this sort of thing.

    Doesn't mean the guy is homophobic.

    Actually, this is more gossip than news.

    Posted by: RR | Jun 26, 2014 2:22:43 PM

  3. Tessie do you know where that phrase even comes from? I'll give you a hint it's not drag related. I ask because it's amazing how many people are using it with no knowledge of where it's actually from.

    Posted by: Derrick | Jun 26, 2014 2:24:00 PM

  4. He's hot most gay men will forgive and forget about this in a couple of days.Not everyone wants to play a queen on tv,that poor guy who plays Lafayette will never work again after true blood.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 26, 2014 2:26:26 PM

  5. @Derrick, well tell us smart *ss

    Posted by: qj201 | Jun 26, 2014 2:26:43 PM

  6. Publicists lie.

    Grimes comes from a religious background. His father's a pastor. His religious principles didn't stop him from taking a part in a show that has people boning outside of marriage and features at least one murder in every episode, but he's against two guys kissing.

    The hypocrisy of these bigots is amazing.

    Posted by: nativo | Jun 26, 2014 2:27:48 PM

  7. Derrick, I've never used the phrase and hadn't particularly cared enough to inquire when others have, but now you have me curious... where is it from?

    Posted by: Jess | Jun 26, 2014 2:27:49 PM

  8. bye, and hopefully his career craters

    Posted by: Moz's | Jun 26, 2014 2:30:26 PM

  9. To answer the above questions - "Bye Felicia" originated in the movie "Friday." It was an Ice Cube line.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jun 26, 2014 2:34:35 PM

  10. A very thorough discussion of 'bye Felicia' here:

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 26, 2014 2:41:52 PM

  11. Hmm... I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, nothing wrong with not feeling comfortable acting certain ways I suppose, but the background NATIVO mentioned does strongly suggest it could be more than that. Oh well.

    Posted by: Will | Jun 26, 2014 2:42:43 PM

  12. hbo has no reason to lie, grime's publicist has every reason to lie. my money's with hbo.

    p.s. in the movie "friday", felicia was a crackhead always begging for something. unless used as a joke, it's meant to dismiss or snub someone who's annoying or getting on your nerves. not using their real name and substituting felicia is an extra jab.

    Posted by: northalabama | Jun 26, 2014 2:48:48 PM

  13. Note that he's a Xtian cultist prick who has a homophobic streak even though he's just about as gay as they come.

    Posted by: DC Insider | Jun 26, 2014 2:48:51 PM

  14. note to actor luke grimes: that's why it's called "acting". of course, you're not paid to act, just to stand there and look pretty, so i guess it was too much to ask.

    Posted by: northalabama | Jun 26, 2014 2:53:15 PM

  15. @ Mike

    Oh please. If it is true that he was uncomfortable with playing a gay/bi character that he just had to leave, well I guess he ain't much of an actor now is he. And completely unprofessional might I add, which will probably hurt him in the future. I mean, you don't hear NPH whining about kissing girls on his show because he does what an actor is paid to do - ACT!

    There are plenty of actors who have played murderers, rapists, wife beaters, drug users, etc., and they don't cry and quit because they are all of a sudden uncomfortable. They play the role, end of story.

    And don't feed me that b.s. about playing gay will hurt an actor's career. Nonsense! Plenty of actors have played gay and it never hurt their careers one bit.

    Posted by: Jamie | Jun 26, 2014 2:57:03 PM

  16. Good riddance!! The new guy Nathan Parsons, who replaced him this year, is WAY HOTTER! And, judging from last week's performance a much better actor too.

    Posted by: Mick | Jun 26, 2014 2:57:28 PM

  17. Has anyone else heard stories of Nelsan Ellis complaining to the rafters about playing gay for his Lafayette role? I've suddenly been hearing this, but didn't get wind of it before. (Not surprising, as I don't follow celebrity news one bit - - but this is a gay role on a show I love, so I think I should have heard something before now if it's true.)

    It would surprise me, because he doesn't seem reluctant at all to go completely queeny gay for this character. If he hates playing gay, I don't know whether to admire him for throwing himself so wildly into the role, or despise him for being such an ass.

    Posted by: Zlick | Jun 26, 2014 2:57:41 PM

  18. Luke Grimes has just committed Career Suicide.

    Who will want to work with this closet queen?

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 26, 2014 3:02:47 PM

  19. Even if I believe it to be true, I find the title of this... what? fluff piece?... disgustingly spurious. Whoever wrote it should be utterly and eternally dismissed.

    Posted by: Autechre | Jun 26, 2014 3:03:42 PM

  20. He was raised by religionists. Of course he would do this.

    Posted by: Telly | Jun 26, 2014 3:06:12 PM

  21. He was raised by religionists. Of course he would do this.

    Posted by: Telly | Jun 26, 2014 3:06:12 PM

  22. My only question is, did he even watch one episode of True Blood before he signed on?

    Posted by: Rob | Jun 26, 2014 3:15:43 PM

  23. His bio says that he was raised by a devout Christian family in Dayton. Fine, then let him star in Kirk Cameron films.

    As a Protestant musician, namely one for churches, should I refuse to play a wedding because the bride wants Schubert's "Ave Maria." It's the nature of the profession, dude... Deal with it.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 26, 2014 3:27:25 PM

  24. I see no issue with an actor choosing to not continue in a role for any reason at all. There is always someone else looking for a job who will be happy to take over. In fact, if there are any actors out there who are unhappy with their current roles for ANY reason, please put your producers in touch...I'm happy to jump in and replace you. In this particular case, I had to look up the actor and the role to remember who he was, so it's no great loss.

    Posted by: Jere | Jun 26, 2014 3:47:56 PM

  25. I thought it was kind of odd that suddenly the character was hinting he was gay, and I suddenly thought that that could have been why Luke quit the part. However, this article is not news or a "report", it is just hearsay, with no actual quotes or sources at all. It all seems to be as much a guess by Mr. Pulliam-Moore as mine was. SMH

    Posted by: Critifur | Jun 26, 2014 3:53:48 PM

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