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.)
Grimes’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.