True Blood's Kristin Bauer on Playing Pam, Getting Nude, and Being the 'Bizarro Carrie Bradshaw'
For the perfect example of someone who can do a lot with just a little, just check out True Blood's scene stealer Kristin Bauer. As Pam, the stylish second-in-command vampire to Bon Temps big shot Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), it often falls to Bauer to swan into a scene, casually toss off the episode's best lines, and leave a lasting impression in just a few minutes. She talked to Movieline about how she does it.
Pam is such a huge fan favorite. Are you aware of how much people like her?
You know, I've been hearing that, but there's really no way for the actor to have a good feeling for that. Right now, I'm in my house doing my to-do list because we're leaving the country for a month, I'm answering emails, I went and got groceries today...somehow, there's no way for that [fan attention] to get into your cells! It's so nice to hear, and it's definitely a product of how amazing the show's creators are, and the wardrobe. It's a big collaboration to create such a great character, so it doesn't feel like I'm walking around like, "Aren't I wonderful?"
You've spent much of the last few episodes chained up. Some viewers might think, "what a relaxing day on set," but was it a pain in the ass to be all tied up for so long?
It was a pain in the bone in the back of my skull and the base of my butt! It was really funny, because through that [final scene in the last episode] where Denis O'Hare was so good and Zeljko [Ivanek] was unbelievable, I was lying there staring at the ceiling for seventeen hours, listening to it. [Laughs]
So I'm sure you were looking forward to actually watching the episode to really appreciate what was going on.
I was. It always feels to me like those really long days of shooting, you wait four months to see it, and then they go by in a minute and a half.
And so many of the water-cooler moments use special effects, so you have no idea what, say, someone's head getting cut off will look like until the episode actually airs.
That's exactly it. That move where the king moves his hand and suddenly I'm across the room and now the Magister is on the table? In person, here's what we did. Denis moves his hands, I tried to be agile and clumsily slid off the table, and then we cut. Twenty minutes later we got the Magister on the table and said, "Action." It's not as cool.
Which side of Pam do you like playing the most: her more vulnerable moments, or the scenes where she gets to come in and be brassy and have all the best lines?
Boy, those lines they write for me? I have to say I'm pretty in love with them. That dialogue is so much fun, and that's probably my favorite part. The paragraph that Brian Buckner wrote where I threaten Lafayette this year, it was just amazing. Also, I really enjoy those clothes.
Your clothes on this show are insane.
Every wardrobe fitting feels like Christmas morning where you're opening a package and you know it's gonna be good, but you don't know if it's gonna be awesome, and it's always amazing. You know, it's really wonderful for me to see these episodes because Pam gets more and more vulnerable and she gets put in some very dire emotional and physical circumstances. That was so rewarding and fun for me -- it felt like a new door had been opened and I got to find out a whole new layer about who she was.
I have a theory that Pam is kind of like the vampire version of Samantha Jones, Kim Cattrall's character from Sex and the City, in that they're both smart, lascivious, and prone to wicked line readings.
[Laughs] I think so, too! That's actually a good theory because I was a Sex and the City watcher, and when we were at Comic-Con, Joe [Manganiello]
was saying, "You should do a Pam's Blog where you're the anti-Carrie Bradshaw and you give bad advice." In these scenes we saw where she was with Jessica, that's where it started, that she's like the Bizarro Carrie Bradshaw, like in that Seinfeld episode where everything's the opposite.
You were on that episode of Seinfeld, as Jerry's date with man hands! What do you remember about that experience?
I don't remember being nervous, but it doesn't mean I wasn't. What I've retained from it is hanging out with Jerry -- we laughed so much. It was a really easy, lovely set. To be on a sitcom with that level of success in year seven, I think it was? It was a little bit what I imagine nirvana would be like. Everyone's relaxed and happy and having fun in the most harmonious environment you can imagine.
Pages: 1 2