Information Diet: Sam Trammell

The 'True Blood' confesses a love of surf videos—and good books

Adweek: What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

Sam Trammell: When I wake up, I’ll go through emails on my iPhone—the junk email. At that point, my brain isn’t usually awake enough to handle anything more than that.

What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?

I’ll watch CNN in the mornings to catch up on what’s going on. On the weekends, I get the Sunday edition of The New York Times.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train, or bus?

I listen to KCRW in the car and Pandora radio, which I stream through the stereo from my iPhone. I’ve been listening to everything from Caribou to Conway Twitty. If I’m going on a longer car ride, I’ll download some podcasts. My favorite is This American Life, and I listen to Planet Money, from NPR.

Are you a TV junkie, or on an airtime-restricted diet?

I’m not a junkie, but I’m definitely not on a diet.

If you’re a couch potato, what do you watch, and how: TV, laptop, or tablet?

Mostly, I watch TV on my flat-screen at home. I love AMC’s new show The Killing, and some nights I watch 48 Hours, a true-crime show on the ID channel. And Netflix is great for streaming shows and movies. 

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter, or fast until morning?

Sometimes when I’m in bed, I’ll watch Netflix on my laptop and hook up a pair of headphones so I don’t keep my girlfriend awake. I read before bed, too; I just finished the novel Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, and now I’m reading The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.

Which is more nutritious: print or Web?

I don’t read a lot of magazines, but when I’m traveling, I’ll pick up a copy of Vanity Fair to read on the plane—it’s like a full meal! The articles are so good, especially the crime stories. Browsing the Web is more like snacking—but I live on snacks. 

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.

AroundMe is probably the app that I use the most. Hipstamatic used to be my favorite, but now I’m really into PictureShow because it lets you edit and retouch photos.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?

Surf contests—more specifically, the ASP World Tour. Sometimes I’ll be up at 2 a.m. watching the finals in Australia, which you can stream to your iPhone. They can go on for days, so it’s a pretty indulgent time commitment.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?

I try to find certain sites that I like, but I don’t really try to cut out the fat. I don’t have too much free time to surf the Web when the show’s in production, though . . . We have a pretty intense gym schedule.