Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you?

Nathan Parsons: The human condition itself inspires me. I’ve always been drawn to stories and characters facing some sort of struggle against forces beyond our control, be it love, loss, betrayal. Anything that forces the human soul to scream out and fight really brings out the best in us, and to have an opportunity to portray characters like that is inspiring.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

NP: Simply being myself makes me feel vulnerable. It’s much easier to put yourself out there under the guise of a character. You get a different name, different habits, different words. When I have to just be Nathan, that’s when I feel vulnerable.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

NP: Be brave enough to create. It doesn’t matter what it is, it doesn’t matter if you have training or a background in it. Just create something, and lend a piece of yourself to that art.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

NP: I’m pretty cerebral, so I can occasionally rationalize it away, but when I can’t, that’s when I start to feel the fire inside take over and somehow manage to power through. I’m not afraid of scars, be them emotional or otherwise. I think it builds character, and if it doesn’t destroy you, I truly believe it makes us stronger.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

NP: My center is the soul of a gypsy. When things get too chaotic, I need to roam. I usually head up to the mountains or out into the desert. Somewhere nobody is. There I can dig deep and find the core that got me where I am today. It’s sort of like my reset button.

MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?

NP: Have faith in yourself. There have been many things in my life that have tried to break me, going back to when I was two and three years old. It never stops—life will always push you to your limit. The only way I’ve managed to survive it all is believing in myself and knowing, somehow, beyond everything telling me otherwise, that I will succeed.

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

NP: Although it may seem like it, life will never give you more than you can handle. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy; in fact, quite the opposite. Life is going to test you. But no matter how bad it may seem, we can always step up and beat it.

MP: Tell me about your latest projects and why you’re passionate about them.

NP: Right now I’m working on True Blood and The Originals. True Blood as a vampire, Originals as a werewolf. One thing that continues to amaze me about both is that, despite the trappings of gothic science fiction, the stories themselves and the characters within them are undoubtedly human. Whether you’re a vampire or werewolf, love is still love. Betrayal is still betrayal. I have an amazing opportunity to strip down these supernatural characters and reveal their basic humanity across an incredibly imaginative canvas.


Nathan Parsons is a new series regular in the final season of HBO’s True Blood, playing James, Jessica’s new love interest. Nathan also has a recurring role as the werewolf Jackson on the CW’s The Originals. He is best known for playing Ethan on General Hospital.


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