Luke Grimes | Nelsan Ellis | True Blood

Nelsan Ellis Rips Former 'True Blood' Co-Star Luke Grimes, Who Refused To Play Gay

Nelsan Ellis, known for playing True Blood’s Lafayette, has come forward with a few choice words for former co-star Luke Grimes.

LafayetteGrimes abruptly departed the popular show last winter after learning that his character James would become romantically involved with Ellis’s in the upcoming season. True Blood, a cult gay hit, has been known to throw its characters, both male and female, into homoerotic situations at a moment’s notice, even if only for a few scenes. Ellis felt as if Grimes should have been aware of the show’s reputation, and was sending a clear message in leaving the show.

“If you have a child, if you have a son, and he comes out as gay, what are you going to do?” He asked the Huffington Post.  “You just made a statement, and it has ripple effects. I didn't like what he did because he made a statement, and sometimes you have to take responsibility.”

Nathan Parsons, who replaced Grimes, opened up to the Hollywood Reporter to talk about the importance of delving into the narratives of characters still questioning their sexualities.

[T]his story is important and should be told and needs to be shared. It’s a story that’s being told all over the place, and TV doesn’t pay enough attention to it. The "Do I love this guy or love this girl?" and "Is this right or is this wrong?" becomes more important than the act itself.

Check out a video of Nathan Parsons describing his new take on James AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Yup - it is a statement, indeed. I remember reading Will Smith's interview, during the release of Six Degrees of Separation, in which he stated that his character's kissing of another man had to be "cheated" with a camera angle. He didn't want to kiss a man. He didn't want his kids to see him kissing a man in a film. Shooting people in films, though? That's A-OK.

    Now, i'm pretty sure I read that Smith apologized (of sorts) for that statement in the interview - but i was around 10 years old when I read it, and was just realizing that i was in fact Gay. and it hit me. big time. that what i was, was something so bad that even when an actor plays one of "us" there's an element of Shame attached to it. murderer? bloodsucker? gun-toting vigilante? all good. just don't kiss a dude.

    dear casting folks, cast us gays in gay roles. hell, we had to kiss females all through drama school.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 24, 2014 11:57:06 AM

  2. Nelsan Ellis is the only reason to keep watching this silly, silly show. Really fine, deep acting.

    Posted by: AdamK | Jul 24, 2014 12:09:43 PM

  3. AdamK, it's a show about vampires, werevolves, shape-shifters and fairies, are you really expecting Chekovian-level drama?

    Posted by: sting | Jul 24, 2014 12:15:42 PM

  4. AdamK, don't forget about Pam's one-liners. I live for those.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jul 24, 2014 12:22:46 PM

  5. Grimes looks like a heroin addicted street hustler in real life. Perhaps he thought that making out with a black guy would typecast him as a dirtbag.

    Posted by: Enchantra | Jul 24, 2014 12:25:12 PM

  6. Portraying people who are unlike yourself is what acting is all about. Funny that no actor ever complained about having to play a serial killer.

    Posted by: Jack M | Jul 24, 2014 12:41:51 PM

  7. Rick put on some lipstick to post as Enchantra today. And just had to stick some subtle racism in there. Can't wait for "her" to go on a rant about effeminacy. Maybe a transphobic comment, too. Can't wait.

    Enchantra/Rick - you're so predictable.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jul 24, 2014 12:51:51 PM

  8. @Little Kiwi: About Will Smith - there are so many rumours about both him and his wife being either gay or bisexual, that at least some of them have to be believable. Those who protest the loudest about not being gay or having to play gay have some closet issues.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Jul 24, 2014 1:15:35 PM

  9. This may be nobody you know telling you something on the Internet, but I assure you that Will Smith in no uncertain terms propositioned a straight male friend of mine years ago when said friend was an aspiring actor working as a bartender at an event in a hotel.

    The friend was then an innocent, naive guy newish to LA and he was mortified, because Smith knew that my friend was engaged and he knew that Smith was married (obviously, the friend turned him down). To this day, the friend is still so disturbed by this moment of disillusioning that he doesn't want to talk about it when old friends inevitably tell his new friends about it.

    Anyone who looks at either Will or Jada and sees a heterosexual human being obviously doesn't know what a heterosexual human being looks like.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Jul 24, 2014 1:36:29 PM

  10. @Tyler

    Enchantra is David "Hagatha" Hearne, not Rick.

    Get your trolls straight. : )

    Posted by: Brian W. | Jul 24, 2014 1:40:09 PM

  11. @Brian W.

    And David "Hagatha" Hearne is also Rick. This was established years ago. Keep up.

    Rick comes and goes in many different forms. As the other commenters identified David Hearne as Rick more frequently, Hagatha Hearne appeared. And when "she" too was identified as Rick, "she" became simply Hagatha. The cycle repeated again and now Hagatha is Enchantra.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jul 24, 2014 1:50:00 PM

  12. To some, Lafayette may come off as too stereotypically queeny, but he is actually one of the most noble characters in the series. He, along with Jessica and of course, Sookie set the moral standard for the rest. The cast is excellent, and, yes, the show is over the top, but that is what makes it so entertaining.
    I don't know if Nelsan Ellis is gay in real life or not, but he has certainly made Lafayette into a memorable character, one of the shows heroes.
    I miss his cousin Tara as well. If you watch the interview with Nathan Parsons, you can catch a glimpse of Lettie Mae in the background. She is probably the character we feel most sorry for, she has a tragic life. Pam, of course, is the most fun, especially when she's with Eric.

    Posted by: Rich | Jul 24, 2014 2:29:45 PM

  13. To Enchantra, if Grimes looks like a heroin addicted street hustler, he is a pretty awesomely handsome one.

    Posted by: Rich | Jul 24, 2014 2:31:57 PM

  14. LOL @ "Rick comes and goes in many different forms."

    You're so right, TYLER. I've never seen anyone enjoy being a host of demons so much.

    Now, he even uses the posting name MIKE a BLACK GAY man who hates Michael Sam and Vito Cammisano.

    He is legion, and the pride of New York City's Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 24, 2014 2:33:39 PM

  15. Derrick,

    I just can't believe my tax dollars are going towards Rick's ability to post his psychotic rants on this site.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jul 24, 2014 2:44:42 PM

  16. Luke Grimes is from my home town Dayton, Ohio . I first saw him in Brothers and Sisters. I had heard he was from a really religious family; his dad is a Pentecostal pastor , so I was surprised that he even took a part on True Blood. I enjoyed him while he was on it, but with his background I can understand his limiting himself. I'm sure there are plenty of roles he can take within the limits that he has placed on himself. That having been said, it might have been better had he not taken a role on True Blood in the first place, so as to maintain continuity on the show.
    As for Will Smith's role on Six Degrees of Separation, he did subsequently acknowledge regret for the decision he made to limit himself in that scene. He had been advised by Denzel Washington to limit himself in a gay scene .

    Posted by: Stan D | Jul 24, 2014 2:44:56 PM

  17. What Nelsan said is simply logic. Luke started in the show when True Blood was clearly established a pattern, you can play a straight character but that doesn't mean you don't have a gay sex scene (fashback fantasy, dream, whatever you want).

    I could understand a guy playing a straight role not liking that his character is suddenly straight, because he build the character other way, or because he thinks it doesn't make sense after all the characteer lived, but in this case the character wasn't in the show time enough to establish that. And even if you don't like the direction of your character you need to be profesional and do your job.

    When Nelsan says that Luke won't work at HBO again it's because is probably true. What he did is very unprofesional, and producers don't want actors who are unable to follow a script

    Posted by: jjose712 | Jul 24, 2014 2:48:01 PM

  18. All the more reasons to avoid 50 Shades of Grey like a plague, which is going to be a train wreck anyway, with that hapless spawn* of the mediocre monster mug Melanie.

    Too bad for my Irish cutie.

    * (Who knows, if only Don Johnson had been obedient to our Goddess Barbra, giving up his precious foreskin...blah blah blah...Jason might have had an actually talented half sister..blah blah blah... lol)

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Jul 24, 2014 2:53:01 PM

  19. @ Little Kiwi, I recall vividly, and I was far past 10 when I saw this, that Will Smith told a story in an interview about calling Denzel Washington when he realized that his character had to kiss a man and Denzel said, "Don't you be kissin' no man!" Hence all the idiocy over camera angles. At that point I was done with both of them.

    Posted by: Sean | Jul 24, 2014 2:58:55 PM

  20. I remember the Will Smith/Denzel Washington incident regarding SDOP as it was discussed by Will Smith on Oprah. While it was unfortunate he couldn't actually kiss his co-star, he did at least express regret about it and he was still playing a gay character! I think he actually did quite well in the role especially as he was very new to serious acting. The movie was pretty enjoyable too.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Jul 24, 2014 3:12:10 PM

  21. SDOS I mean.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Jul 24, 2014 3:12:40 PM

  22. Funny how it didn't go against Grime's Christian beliefs to star in a show full of sex, murder, and demonic elements, but the minute he has to kiss a man he's suddenly "THIS GOES AGAINST MY CHRISTIAN BELIEFS!"

    Well, at least he's demonstrating the Christian virtue of hypocrisy.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Jul 24, 2014 3:45:19 PM

  23. "...are you really expecting Chekovian-level drama?"

    Clearly you never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    Posted by: Huntington | Jul 24, 2014 4:37:34 PM

  24. I never heard of Luke Grimes before today, so I Googled him. I hope he's a good and versatile actor (and judging by the comments here he's neither) because he won't get by on his physical looks. I haven't seen any of his work, so I can only comment on his looks. I find him unattractive facially and physically, with looks very similar to another young actor, Robert Pattinson. I doubt I'd find either very good looking through the bottom of a beer glass at three in the morning. Although, personality can trump physical attractiveness, I get the impression there's a lack of that commodity also.

    That being said, perhaps young Luke has chosen the wrong profession? Perhaps he'll end up having intellectual or theological discussions about bananas like some other young actors of limited talent? I suppose only time will tell.

    Posted by: Bob R | Jul 24, 2014 4:48:18 PM

  25. Yeah, I forgot Luke Grimes had been on "Brothers and Sisters." Funny-- that homophobe has no problem taking money from and working on shows run by gay men (like both "Brothers and Sisters" and "True Blood"), but ask him to play gay and all of a sudden he's all supposedly deep religious convictions. What a terrible human being.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Jul 24, 2014 7:24:50 PM

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