By Victoria Looseleaf
Alan Ball’s plate is full. And so is his glass. Between taking generous sips of Orange Vitamin Water, Ball, the Academy-Award winning screenwriter of American Beauty who was nursing a cold, schmoozed with yours truly on a range of topics in a festive, feisty and far-reaching conversation at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. Ensconced in a suite to promote his big-screen directorial debut, Towelhead, his adaptation of Alicia Erian’s novel about a 13-year old Arab-American girl’s sexual awakening (starring newcomer Summer Bashil), as well as to dish on vampires, mortals and a lone telepathic waitress in his new HBO series, True Blood, Ball proved witty, uber-intelligent and – well – exceedingly open.
Indeed, though Ball discussed his decision to show a bloody tampon in all of its, er, glory, onscreen in Towelhead – the notoriously-titled movie that’s got people gabbing – your ink-stained wretch chose not to include this bit of menstrual patter in our interview. But check out what else Ball has to say – including bidding adieu to Six Feet Under, the HBO series that cemented Ball’s place in the pantheon of great television shows – in a series of interviews I did for KUSC-FM radio. Included are two Spotlight on the Arts (Translating the Story to Film and An Incendiary Title), as well as my Arts Alive, piece, a longer portrait of Ball, one of Hollywood’s truly original voices.