True Blood's Denis O'Hare performs in the Huntington Theatre Company's Selected Shorts on Tour: Springtime, Sex & Baseball on June 8.

 Denis O'Hare

Photo courtesy of Symphony Space.

True Blood's Denis O'Hare performs in the Huntington Theatre Company's Selected Shorts on Tour: Springtime, Sex & Baseball on June 8.

What about W.P. Kinsella's short story, “The Thrill of the Grass,” translates well to performing?

It's mostly an aural experience because most people experience it over the radio. And whenever you do a short story for the radio, we're not using sound effects and we're not usually doing vast characterizations, so you're reading it with an ear towards how it will be perceived by the listener. Most short stories, and this one also, are just good tales, and they're compelling. This one is certainly a great tale and it's filled with wonderful details for the ear and the eye. 

Do people ever close their eyes when they're listening?

No, I don't think so. It's like when you read a book, you begin to form the images in your head, even though your eyes are still open and you're reading. So I think just sitting in the audience, watching somebody read, you begin to have your head filled with the images. It's an oddly compelling experience to watch somebody read. 

W.P. Kinsella also wrote the short story that inspired Field of Dreams. Have you been watching that film to prepare? 

I haven't. I've seen it and I think it's fantastic, and he as a writer is so skilled. What's great about him as a writer is that even if you aren't, for instance, an incredible baseball fan, his writing is so lush and so compelling and so psychologically interesting.  

Are you drawing on any personal baseball experiences for your performance? 

[Laughs] No. You know what? I'm in general not much of a sports fan. I'm just not interested. But, I'm a great fan of literature and I'm a great fan of metaphors. I did a play called Take Me Out about 10 years ago that was all about baseball. I had a monologue in that where I talked about how amazing baseball was as a game, and people would go, 'Wow, you must really love baseball." And I'd say, 'No, I love acting and I love metaphors.' But I did play baseball, so it's the one sport that I actually played with some skill. 

 What do you think the main difference is the vampires in True Blood compared to the vampires from Twilight?

 Well, the vampires in True Blood are real vampires. The ones in Twilight are baby, made-up, silly vampires.  

Are there real vampires? 

Absolutely, and they're on True Blood. Vampires don't go out in the daylight. That's one of the basic rules that has always existed in time and memoriam. You just don't get to be in the daylight, that's one of the trade-offs. You get to be immortal, but you can't walk in the sun.

What's the best part about playing a vampire king?

The character has a lot of power, and with all that power there's a certain sense of freedom–a great abandonment of caution. He's just a delightful character in that regard because he sort of is childlike, and I love that aspect. 

 Who's scarier: a die-hard baseball fan or a vampire?

I would say a die-hard baseball fan is scarier. Vampires actually don't believe in anything, they just sort of drift along, whereas die-hard baseball fans will fight to the death for what they believe. And that's a little scary.