Alan Ball won an Academy Award for his screenplay of American Beauty.
After creating the HBO series Six Feet Under, about a family who runs a funeral home, writer Alan Ball moved on to the undead. His latest series, True Blood, is set in a small Louisiana town inhabited by vampires who have returned from the grave and live on a newly developed synthetic blood.
The vampires and non-vampires share a tense relationship; while some non-vampires find the newcomers sexy, many others fear them.
Ball tells Terry Gross that the show is about "the terrors of intimacy, about breaking that wall that keeps you separate and safe from a sometimes savage and dangerous world."
Ball also wrote and directed the movie Towelhead.
This interview was originally broadcast on Sept. 10, 2008.