True Blood's Luke Grimes exits series over gay role
The actor, who played vampire James in the HBO supernatural drama will be replaced by Bunheads' Nathan Parsons
Luke Grimes will not be returning to the seventh and final season of HBO's True Blood as James, because he doesn't want to play a gay character. Filling his shoes as Jessica Hamby's hunky vampire boyfriend is Nathan Parsons, who is known for Bunheads and The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals.
True Blood followers would have noticed the casting change with the recent seventh season premiere on 22 June, had they not been already aware of Luke's decision to leave the series, which was announced late December 2013.
Luke guest-starred for six episodes as James in season six. A budding romance between James and male medium Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) was made clear in script drafts, to which Luke objected, saying that he did not want to perform any same-sex kissing or sex scenes.
However, the 30-year-old actor's publicist attributed his exit from the series to him pursuing other feature projects. Luke is set to star in 2015 films Fifty Shades of Grey and American Sniper.
Despite a rushed re-casting, True Blood series writers and cast are reportedly happy with how newcomer Nathan suits the role of James.