We’re just two days away from the very last episode of HBO’s True Blood, the show finally coming to a close after seven seasons full of vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters and pretty much every other monster you can possibly think of – except for Sasquatch.
There never was a Sasquatch on True Blood, which kind of bums me out. But I digress.
The first episode of True Blood premiered just about six years ago, on September 7th of 2008. But the episode that aired on that night wasn’t actually the first episode that was shot…
In the Summer of 2007, show creator Alan Ball directed the pilot episode of True Blood, which never aired on HBO and to this day has never been officially released for public consumption. The pilot was essentially the same as the episode we all saw back in September of 2008, with one big time difference; Tara was played by a totally different actress.
Coming off a long stint on the show Passions, it was young actress Brook Kerr who was originally cast to play Sookie’s feisty best friend. It was only after the entire pilot episode was shot that HBO made the decision to recast the role – for reasons that have never been provided – bringing in Rutina Wesley as a replacement and re-shooting the pilot.
It was of course Wesley who played Tara throughout the entirety of the show, only recently being written off after meeting the true death at the start of this year’s seventh and final season.
Again, the original pilot is not available to watch anywhere, not even on YouTube, but I did manage to track down a clip from that unaired episode, which shows Kerr as Tara Thornton. You can check that out below, and underneath you’ll find the same scene from the official first episode, with Wesley in the role!
If you’re asking me, the right decision was made here, as Wesley has that fire inside of her that Kerr didn’t quite manage to nail. I can only assume the folks over at HBO felt the same, which would explain why the last minute change was made.
Brook Kerr has had very few acting roles since filming the True Blood pilot, most recently appearing on an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, and in the TV movie This Magic Moment.
Don’t forget; True Blood‘s FINAL episode airs this Sunday night on HBO, at 9pm EST!