One of the defining aspects of Terry Bellefleur has always been the fact that he suffers from PTSD. Did you do any first-hand research on it?
I knew some people growing up – some family members, some friends of the family – who had done time over in Iraq and done a couple of tours, and I kind of based it on them. I didn’t do too much medical research into it – I’m leaving that up to the writers to determine what’s going to happen – but I didn’t know until the beginning of Season Five, when Alan [Ball] sent me an e-mail saying what was going to go on with my character, what had actually happened over there. I didn’t know in Season One that I had shot an innocent woman while high. So having that at the beginning of this season, like, “Ok, you did do something just terrible and nightmares are going to plague you forever.” That is the cause of why he’s been [the way he is], among other horrors I’m sure he saw over there. That’s the one that was the most personal.
Matt Donnelly: Terry has always had his redneck charms, but the core of his character is rooted in his life as a Marine. How much sensitivity do you bring to that as an actor?
Todd Lowe: I’m cautious with it, because I think the writers do a good job of keeping it on the periphery and not going too far into post-traumatic stress disorder. You know, we’re Hollywood types, not soldiers. We have no idea what the horrors are like.
In the books ["True Bood" is based on Charlene Harris' Sookie Stackhouse book series], he’s a Vietnam vet, so we updated it to the Middle East for the show, but I play him with the mentality who didn’t enlist voluntarily.
It will be just as hard for Terry to convince Andy he’s a better person without V. “It’s emotional and we’re going to see some things with Terry and Andy that we really haven’t seen before,” Lowe tells TVGuide.com. “We get little hints of the Bellefleur past and we’re going to learn a lot more about who they were as young boys. [It's] almost like a rivalry, like brothers except they’re cousins.”
Whether Terry will be able to knock some sense into the Bon Temps’ sheriff remains to be seen. “That will be Andy’s decision, ultimately,” Lowe adds. “But Terry is going to spell it out for him.”
Terry will also be dealing with problems of his own when Patrick (Scott Foley), an old army buddy, arrives in the season finale. “He looked [Terry] up” Lowe explains, “He found him and I guess he has something to say and something to talk about. You don’t just wander in and find someone at their workplace unless you have something important to share with him.”