Played By: Nelsan Ellis

Acting on True Blood isn't easy to pull off. Despite recruiting actors with some high level training (Stephen Moyer [Bill] is a Royal Shakespeare Company alum and Ellis is a Julliard grad), a number of the show's performances fall flat. And it's no wonder that many of the actors can't seem to get the job done: The style of the show is sheer melodrama; the actors are asked to play opposite a new monster half a dozen times an episode; they have to do so with an accent; and often they're doing all this naked, with blood splattered on their bodies.

Rutina Westley's Tara, given alternating hysterics and tough-it-out lip-biting, is the weakest link in the regular cast; Lafayette has consistently been the strongest. With the easy lilt of his voice, world-weary attitude, and quirky charm, Nelsan Ellis makes adapting to the world of Bon Temps look easy. It's unfortunate that most of the other performances reveal how hard the gig really is.