True Blood‘s Mariana Klaveno
As Lorena, the seductive vampire in the award-winning HBO series True Blood, actress Mariana Klaveno has established both a cult following and mainstream Hollywood success. In contrast to her dark role in the series—which culminated (or did it?) when Anna Paquin’s Sookie staked Lorena in a recent episode—Klaveno’s own story suggests wholesome Americana. She grew up on a farm in rural Washington and was valedictorian in her high school class before earning a degree in theater at the University of Washington. The hit series Alias was one of her earliest credits, succeeded by a breakout performance as a modern-day Bonnie Parker in Standoff. Klaveno has appeared in ER and starred in television films Final Approach and While the Children Sleep. Her first feature film, No God, No Master, is in post-production.
Evil and manipulative Lorena can be hard to like. Why did you enjoy playing her?
I love how flawed she is. One moment she is strong and terrifying, the next she is broken and vulnerable. All of the female characters in True Blood are complex, which is a pleasant departure from the one-dimensional roles so frequently written for women.
That complexity must have created artistic challenges.
Absolutely. The show is very stylized, so it can be difficult to maintain a delicate balance without overreaching. Sometimes when I first read some of the scripts, I think to myself, “How am I going to pull this off?” But ultimately, those are the most rewarding experiences for an actor.
What other kinds of roles attract you?
After playing a glamorous, sexy vampire, I’d like to do a complete 180—find something that’s the total opposite. My character in the movie No God, No Master is quite different than Lorena. It’s a very unglamorous role in a period piece, and it was extremely rewarding working with David Strathairn, an actor I really admire.
How tough was it for a farm girl from the Pacific Northwest to adapt to L.A.?
I miss Washington. In fact, I’m one of those people who actually enjoys the overcast, drizzly weather. Nonetheless, I do love L.A. It has something to offer everyone, and I particularly appreciate the fact that it’s only a couple hours away from so many diverse environments—the wine country, the desert, Mexico.
Where do you like to hang out?
My brother, Brock, is the new executive chef at Yamashiro, so I’ve got to give him a plug! The restaurant was always a great place to take out-of-town friends, and now the food is as good as the unique setting. I also enjoy a wine bar called Lou, a little hole in the wall with interesting food and a great wine list, and the Tar Pit, where my favorite drink is a bourbon cocktail called the Brown Derby. When it comes to music, I lean toward more intimate venues—like The Troubadour, The Wiltern and El Rey Theatre—supporting emerging artists. One of my favorite boutiques is a place called Weekendz Only in Toluca Lake.
Do you enjoy watching other actors?
I love all kinds of movies, although I’m not really into chick flicks. I appreciate everything else, from small independent films to Westerns, and like to go to ArcLight Cinemas or the Laemmle Theatres on Sunset.
You’re not a big Lakers or Dodgers fan?
Not really, but I do cheer on my University of Washington Huskies!
ArcLight Cinemas 6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323.464.4226 / El Rey Theatre 5515 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 323.936.1247 / Laemmle Theatres 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.478.3836 / Lou 724 Vine St., L.A., 323.962.6369 / The Tar Pit 609 N. La Brea Ave., L.A., 323.965.1300 / Troubadour 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310.276.1158 / Weekendz Only 10139 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake, 818.752.3695 / The Wiltern 3790 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 213.388.1400 / Yamashiro 1999 N. Sycamore Ave., Hollywood, 323.466.5125