On HBO’s campy-vamp soap “True Blood” (Sun., 9 p.m.), actress Lauren Bowles plays Wiccan waitress Holly Cleary, a Southern-fried resident of fictional Bon Temps, La. In real life, she’s a D.C. native, now living in Los Angeles but missing her capital roots. We caught up with her midway through Season 5.
On “True Blood,” you have such a good Southern accent. Did you have to work hard at it?
Isn’t it crazy? I have some family in North Carolina, so maybe that’s it. But when I auditioned for the show, I could do the bayou drawl thing. So no vocal coaching, nope.
Why do you think people love “True Blood”?
I attribute it all to Alan Ball [the show’s creator]. I’m a huge fan of his — “American Beauty” rocked my world. It was the first time I’d seen human pathos mixed with dark comedy. And I think “True Blood” is a heightened version of that. It’s all fluff, but it’s still about the search for love.
How do you channel your character Holly’s inner witch?
Well, since I moved to California, I’m Miss Alterna-Chick. I like my herbs and my yoga. So when I started reading about Wiccanism, I realized it wasn’t off-the-wall and Satanic — it’s really more about nature and feminine energy.
What’s the biggest challenge being on the show?
“True Blood” is almost all fun and games. But I’ve got some mighty short shorts I’ve got to wear, so I have to stay in shape. That’s a job!
How do you keep your legs shapely enough for those Daisy Dukes?
I love hiking — I even take my 3-year-old. My interest in hiking started in D.C. — I was obsessed with the Billy Goat Trail. That was my favorite, and we try to hit it whenever I’m home. It’s so beautiful.
And you’re a big yogini?
I started doing yoga soon after I moved to the West Coast. I was first drawn to it as a workout. But then, after a while, I got really into the mind-body benefits. The more I got in touch with that and my breath, the more my body changed.
What do you miss about Washington?
I loved growing up in D.C., even though I was ready to move on when I did. It had the cultural benefits of growing up in a big city, but at the same time, you’re in this historic town.
And your parents still live here. What do you like to do when you come back?
I’m much more of a tourist now than I was growing up. It’s just cool to drive past the Jefferson Memorial and look out wistfully. And I love walking by the C&O Canal and going to the museums. My husband and I show up with a list, and we never get it done!