“True Blood”‘s Tara is a stand-out character


I don’t know about you, but when Sunday Funday night rolls around, all I want are my fat pants, Thai food and some quality time with the supernatural beings on True Blood. Now before you get all, “Oh Sookie — I love her!” on me, let me tell you I could kind of care less about Sookie Stackhouse and vampire Bill Compton. For me, it’s all about Sookie’s BFF Tara, played by Rutina Wesley.

What makes her so special? Well, have you seen her? She is gorgeous and her body is like a brick house. Her skin looks as though it has been bathed in honey and milk and kissed by pixies in the garden of hotness.

Beyond the superficial, Wesley is able to capture the balance of sassy attitude and childlike naivety of Tara’s character in a way that makes her likeable. To be honest, when the series started out, her character bugged me. I’m all for bitchy attitudes, but there were times when she went off for no apparent reason. As the show has progressed and her character has shown more vulnerability, I’ve grown to love her.

So of course, now that I am on the road to becoming president of the Rutina Wesley fan club, I had to find out where to see more of her. Luckily for me, she starred in the movie, How She Move, which happens to fall into my favorite movie genre: The dance-off.

Ever since I was a young girl, movies like Beat Street and Breakin’ have made up the majority of my video collection. Yes, I do own You Got Served and Step Up and, yes, I have tried to replicate the movements with little to no luck. A girl can dream can’t she? Why can’t all disputes be settled with a good electric slide or cabbage patch?

Wesley’s character in How She Move has dreams of going to medical school but can’t afford to due to some family issues. To keep her dream alive, she decides to try to make money in the most entertaining of all ways — by winning a step competition as the only female on an alpha-male led team. Perfect!

Interestingly enough, Wesley is a classically trained actress and dancer who has appeared on Broadway and was directed there by Sam Mendes (who worked with True Blood director Alan Ball on American Beauty). She grew up in Las Vegas and her parents are both professional dancers — her father a tap dancer and her mom a showgirl.

After graduating from high school she got the heck out of Vegas and pursued her passion for the arts at the University of Evansville (in Indiana) and later at Julliard in New York.

She’s had a few small roles elsewhere (one of which was edited out), but not much more. Hopefully, her involvement with True Blood, will pave the way for more movies and TV shows. Until then, I’ll be going to the local Spencer’s Gifts at the mall and searching for the perfect Tara poster to hang on my wall.