Season 4 of HBO’s huge hit series, True Blood, premiered last weekend and we felt it was just the right time to add Nelsan Ellis to our Nice Boys list. Nelsan plays Lafayette Reynolds on the show, and he’s such a marvelous actor with so much talent that even True Blood‘s creator, Alan Ball, couldn’t let him go. True Blood is based on the popular Southern Vampire Mysteries written by Charlaine Harris. In the second book Lafayette was found murdered in the back seat of Andy Bellefleur’s car. The character was such a hit with viewers that the writers of the show actually changed the story line to keep him on it.
Nelson Ellis was born in Illinois but shortly after his parents split, he moved with his mother to Alabama. At age 15, he moved back to Illinois and attended Thornridge High School. He’s a graduate of Julliard and while there, wrote a semi-autobiographical play called “Ugly”, which was performed at the school and won the Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award. From there, Ellis appeared in such films as Lost, Warm Springs, Tresspass, The Soloist, Talent and Secretariat.
After a 13-episode stint on The Inside, Nelsan guest starred in an episode of Veronica Mars and Without A Trace, then landed the role on True Blood. Lafayette has been good to Nelsan, earning him the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film, Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series, Ewwy Award for best supporting actor in a Drama series, and the NewNowNext Award for Brink of Fame: Actor. He was also nominated for a Scream Award for best supporting actor and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
In an exclusive interview we had with him for our True Blood website, Nelsan talked about how he got into the business, working on True Blood and where he gets his inspiration for Lafayette. We were smitten with him then and bringing him on board as a Nice Boy is long overdue.