TVLine is reporting that Luke Grimes, who joined the HBO hit “True Blood” in Season 6 as Jessica’s (Deborah Ann Woll) brooding, soulful vamp-camp lover James, has unexpectedly left the series before the seventh and final season could go behind cameras.
An HBO spokesperson confirmed Grimes’ exit to the site, saying, “The role of James is being recast due to the creative direction of the character.”
Grimes’ rep declined to comment, but a source close to the Brothers & Sisters alum tells TVLine that the actor asked to be let out of his contract after he learned what producers had in store for James in Season 7. “He initially joined the show because he wanted to work with [his “Forever” co-star] Deborah Ann Woll,” says the insider. “But when he started reading the scripts for Season 7, he was disappointed to learn that they were going in a completely different direction with James.”
Production on “True Blood‘s” farewell season begins next month ahead of a June 2014 premiere.