Luke Grimes Left 'True Blood' Because He Didn't Want to Play Gay

By: Ross von Metzke

In its seven season run, True Blood has consistently been one of the most visible shows on television for highlighting rich and complex gay and lesbian characters and storylines.

But one of those storylines almost never came to fruition, because actor Luke Grimes (Brothers & Sisters, Fifty Shades of Grey), who played hunky vampire James in season six of the HBO hit, allegedly quit the show because he was uncomfortable playing a gay character.

Producers recast the role (he’s now played by Bunheads’ Nathan Parsons) and HBO is sticking to its original statement that the recast had to do with the “creative director on the character.”

But a source close to the show told Buzz Feed that Grimes was unhappy with the first few scripts he received, and once it became clear his character would become romantically involved with Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), he quit the show.

According to the source, Grimes said he would be willing to play the role if Lafayette were attracted to him, but not if the feelings were mutual. He also objected to any same-sex kissing or sex scenes, but the writers refused to change the direction of the storyline.

The character of James has yet to do anything with Lafayette, though it was heavily hinted that the storyline would be heading in that direction in the June 22 episode.

Grimes’ publicist Craig Schneider said in an email to Buzz Feed that the actor’s exit had to do with scheduling. He wrote: “Luke always had an out clause as a means of pursuing other opportunities which arose in the form of features beginning with The Shangri-La Suite, followed by Fifty Shades of Grey, and most recently, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper with Bradley Cooper.”

He added in a follow up phone call: “It had nothing to do with storylines, which he had not been privy to at the time of that posting,”

True Blood is currently in its final season on HBO. The series finale is scheduled to air on August 24.

Tags: TV, True Blood