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April 25, 2014

'True Blood' Star Kristin Bauer Takes Us Inside the Wonderfully Wicked World of Pam

by Chris Harnick, posted Jun 20th 2011 9:00AM
Kristin BauerBon Temps is full of baddies, but vampire Pam has been one of the most terrifying -- and consistently funny -- characters on HBO's 'True Blood' (Season 4 premieres Sun., June 26 at 9PM). We have actress Kristin Bauer to thank for that.

A background character who's stolen almost every scene she's been in, Bauer told AOL TV that this is Pam's year to shine.

"This year, the main thing that I felt was that I got to play her really edgy. It's a really different side of Pam. We haven't seen it, we've suspected it, but she hasn't been unleashed ever. This year I feel is her most raw."

Witches come to Bon Temps and turn Pam's world upside-down, but Bauer told us we'll see Pam get in on the action with a fighting style that resembles that of a "feral monkey."

"I discovered how little of a chess player -- a strategist -- she is," Bauer said. "She's a reacter. Also, we already did see when her maker is in trouble, she jumps right in. I was going to say 'and asks questions later,' but she doesn't even do that."

Bauer wasn't shy about the bonuses of playing the oh-so-fabulous vampire. She also dished Pam blog ideas, behind-the-scenes fun and the blooper reel we hope fans will see one day.

Warning: minor spoilers ahead!

What's it like playing such a fabulously badass character?
[Laughs] It's fabulously badass! I can't even tell you the images that are going on in my head even from what we shot last week. Pam is even more badass than we've ever seen her this year. So, I had a freakin' blast. Recently I've been seeing pieces of it in looping. You never know if you totally pulled it off and if the image in your head is what you ended up creating with everybody. It's a big team effort and I think it's going to be pretty entertaining from what I've seen!

Do you have a routine to get into Pam mode?
I don't know why it's so fun to play evil characters -- although I don't even see her as evil anymore. I wonder if that's a big warning sign. [Laughs] I read the script, then we have the table read, then I have a wardrobe fitting -- and that's a huge piece of it -- and then on the day I spend two hours in hair and makeup. Then, I get in that wardrobe and I walk onto the incredibly convincing sets and look at whoever my scene partner is -- often Alex [Skarsgård], Anna [Paquin] or Stephen [Moyer] -- and we're just ready to roll. It helps too, to be in Season 4 because you have a feel for who this person is. Again, maybe I should be worried it's feeling pretty seamless.

So, there's lot of witches from what I understand.
Yeah, that's right and they wreak havoc in the vampire world.

Kristin Bauer, True BloodA little memory wiping?
That's right. A little memory wiping. For Pam, this an enormous crisis. Her maker is not himself, especially not his harsher self. That's the guy she knows and loves.

You mentioned this was a big year for Pam ... she's very raw and doing a lot more. Do you have a favorite death Pam has caused?
Well, I can't say if Pam has done a kill, but I sure can tell you that she's wanted to. And it seems as if ... Pam seems to be the kind of dirty fighter. A nitty-gritty fighter. You know all this 'Matrix' type of fighting would not be her thing. She's very ... the two words that come to mind are feral monkey. [Laughs] That would be Pam. It was interesting to see her fighting style. Last year we saw a little of it. She pulled out a thing of silver and sprayed Bill. She's a dirty fighter.

A couple of months ago, I put Pam on a list of characters who need prequels. Do you want to explore more of her past?
[Laughs] I do! Alex and I have been asking the writers for four years: "What's her past? What's their relationship?" They usually just pat us on the head. They really treat us sort of like very sweet children and that's accurate. I'm assuming, from the books and Blu-ray commentary, that she had a romantic relationship with Eric at the beginning. But, by now, it's really more father/daughter. We were joking that I guess that happens after 150 years. You know, the first 50 were really passionate, [laughs] and then Pam branched out. Now she seems to be mostly gay. Again, I'd like to find out more about that! In the books she gets a girlfriend.

Are you hoping down the line ...
Yeah! I just love exploring all these different sides of her, so that's something we have a vague idea of. She's probably not the most tender lover.

What's the best part about playing Pam?
There are so many parts. It's becoming a love affair between me and this part because the character from the first day, from the audition, was so delicious. She's very smart, very sarcastic and I've always loved how little attention she gives to worrying about being liked. Then, as it's progressed, and her fashion sense I've gotten to witness, she's so blunt. I just adore that. Now that the show has become such a hit and fans are participating, I'm getting to do it for another year and this year I got to do some really fun edgy things. It just keeps growing.



Do you have a favorite part about working on 'True Blood'?
Yeah, I really love working with Alex. I love how much all of us, Stephen too, we laugh a lot. This scene we had last week with Deborah [Ann Woll], she said it was the closest she has ever come in her life to peeing in her pants from laughing. Her neck was wet with tears, her makeup artist told me. That's an incredible bonus. It's one of my favorite things, to laugh.

So you guys have a good blooper reel?
We have an astounding blooper reel. Last year they showed it at the wrap party because they hadn't been marking those in the print log so it took until Season 3 to get one going. This year I hear them going, "Mark that for bloopers." I just hope the fans see it because we all say we have fun with each other and there's the proof.

You've been playing this character for four years -- does anything still skeeve you out? You're surrounded by blood and death ...
We've gotten really tolerant of all that stuff. I've been very bad about it because I don't have my phone or notepad all day, [but] I've started to keep a log of things you only hear on 'True Blood.'

That would make a great blog.
Totally, right? "Are we going from the top?" "No, we're going from the goo!" What's so funny about it is that we're all so blasé about it. It's just another day at the office. [Laughs] We're really initiated. A lot of these days are really long, so by hour 14 or something, you're fazed by nothing.

Kristin Bauer, True BloodPam has become a mentor to Jessica. Does that extend off screen?
We have gotten to be together more this year and I really enjoy it because Deborah is so lovely. I think she and Ryan are in competition for the sweetest people on set. She's just absolutely a joy to be around. She's very quiet and very, very sweet. I could easily feel like a corrupting force in her life, just being myself and her being herself. Joe Manganiello and I were joking about how Pam should probably have an advice column where she just gives wrong advice constantly.

That would also make a great blog.
Wouldn't that make a great blog? [Laughs] The anti-Carrie Bradshaw kind of thing.

I think we should give some of these ideas to HBO.
I know, we should! I mean really, we're brainstorming on the set and we can't tell if it's a good idea or if you're just delirious. Some of them, that one, has stuck around for a good year. We've been laughing about it.

Besides 'True Blood,' what else do you have going on?
The other thing I'm always working on are my animal rights things. I just keep broadening the groups I'm working with, the animals I'm trying to help. Animals in captivity, those used for entertainment, circuses, zoos, theme parks, are ones that I'm moving into now. Especially elephants, and sadly there's just an endless amount of work there. But, one of the things I'm doing that's really fun is on July 14 in Los Angeles at Molly Malone's, we're having a 'True Blood' concert for the Amanda Foundation, which is a Beverly Hills rescue. So Tara Buck, Ginger on 'True Blood,' her fiancee Chris Pierce is a musician and my husband is too and Todd Lowe -- Terry Bellefleur -- has a band. So we're having a comedian host and we're giving out 'True Blood' prizes. That'll be fun, we're just gearing up for that.

Do you get a lot of crazy fan interaction?
You know, I was with someone on the cast and we were estimating -- we have such great fans -- but about 2 percent are kind of loony. And very sweet still. But, I do get some funny interactions. This week, I thought this was very surreal, because I went to Best Buy to get a new TV. While he was describing the differences between plasma, LED and LCD, the 'True Blood' promo came on all 200 televisions. I'm looking at a wall of all of us and I kept coming on screen and he kept glancing at the TVs and pointing out the back lighting or the thin line around the edge through the entire 15 minutes. I just kept smiling and going "Mhm," "uh-huh," and he never noticed! I was looking around going, "Is anyone witnessing how funny this is?"

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