Kristin Bauer van Straten talks 'True Blood': 'It's quite a ride this year'

Kristin-Bauer-van-Straten

Image Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

What a week for True Blood fans. EW has 11 luscious covers to sink your teeth into, season 4 released on Blu-ray and DVD last week, and season 5 is a mere two days away. In anticipation of Sunday night’s premiere, Kristin Bauer van Straten, who plays Bon Temps’ resident Queen of Mean Pam, chatted with EW about her favorite — and most vanity-destroying — moments from the series. How long did it take to achieve Pam’s rotting aesthetic from last year? What has been her most embarrassing moment on set? And what’s in store for season 6. (Hint: Girl-on-girl drama and gratuitous nudity are not out of the question.) Read on…

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Pam’s biggest issue last season was the rotting curse that Marnie put on her. What did it feel like to spend so much time looking disgusting?
KRISTIN BAUER VAN STRATEN: For four episodes, it was actually pretty freeing. I didn’t worry about beauty lighting and got to be really raw — no pun intended — and really feral and really pissed-off. It felt like any constraints I’d ever put on myself for the character I got to lift for four episodes. Even though my butt got pretty sore sitting in that chair, it was such a fascinating process. What you saw on screen we actually did.

What did that take?
We had nine hours in the chair for the first makeup test. After a few hours in the head cast, where I discovered I was claustrophobic — I said, “No, no, I’m fine! I’ve gone cave diving. I’m fine!” Eight minutes into it, I wasn’t so fine, but the fear of embarrassing myself kept me from ripping it off my face. I knew that story would go around the set forever, and I’d never live it down.

I didn’t see a lot of bloopers/outtakes on the Blu-ray, but surely there were some ridiculous moments on set?
The most ridiculous thing that’s ever happened to me on any set ever was the first take of trying to do the ‘wacky walk’ (as we’ve been calling it) in episode 411, when the vampires are being pulled into the witches’ force field outside Moon Goddess. The problem was that Deborah [Ann Woll], Stephen [Moyer], and Alex [Skarsgård] were about 10 feet from the camera, where they would then be off-camera. I was about 100 yards back, and I’ve never seen people laugh so hard at anyone. I was basically doing a bad imitation of Steve Martin in All of Me. Michael came up and was laughing so hard he couldn’t talk. When he finally did, he said, ‘I will not be using that take.’ … Deborah is the sweetest person in the world, but her neck was wet with tears she was laughing so hard.

She is famous for her sassy lines. What was your favorite Pam one-liner from the past four seasons?
Her meltdown in episode 12 in season 4, where she says, “I’m so sick of Sookie and her precious faerie vagina and her unbelievably stupid name.” That was pretty epic and perfect for episode 12 especially. She’s genuinely sobbing and heartbroken but also having a temper tantrum because daddy has really scolded her.

Moving on to season 5, can you talk generally about the role Pam will play?
Pam is once again thrust into a situation not of her choosing. She has to make a bargain to get something that she really wants. She’s in a situation that creates a lot of conflict, which is really great writing and really fun to watch and really fun to play. It’s quite a ride this year.

Pam is definitely in the doghouse with Eric as the season starts. Can you talk about how their relationship will play out?
In typical True Blood fashion, things may get a little better and then they may get a little worse. It’s a roller coaster. The great thing for me this year was to find out the many layers of that relationship. The way that they wrote it really explains what we know of Pam. You get to see why she is the way she is, why this is the one person for her, why she’s so unsympathetic, and what her life as a human was. It also explains why she’s the least apologetic of the vampires. She and Eric are very happy vampires. They really don’t lament losing their humanity. It was the perfect structure of who she is in a really efficient, dramatic way — and touching. It’s really amazing the back-story they came up with.

I have a feeling there will be some more friction between Pam and Sookie.
[Pam] doesn’t go quietly.

Will there be catfights?
It’s highly possible. I’ve just been watching the pieces they’ve been airing, and there are a couple of hints in there. It gets pretty intense this year with The Authority showing up on the scene.

You must have had some exciting interactions with Christopher Meloni.
He’s very exciting.

They keep showing him in suits, but those clothes have got to fall off at some point, right?
You can say that for pretty much anyone on the show now.

What are some things you would like to explore for Pam?
I do keep tabs of what the other characters have gotten to do that I thought was really cool. Alex ripping a body apart at the beginning of season 2 was pretty bad-ass, and I was pretty jealous. I’ve got a couple of cast members that I haven’t worked with. It’d be fun to visit Merlotte’s a little bit. The werewolves and vampires have been segregated. That’d be pretty fun — I could rip apart a werewolf!

I can see Pam judging Merlotte’s. It’s no Fangtasia.
Right? I can totally see her scowling.

Read more:
EW ‘True Blood’ Full Coverage
This Week’s Cover: The cast, characters, and crazy new season of ‘True Blood’
‘True Blood': 10 EW Exclusive Pics!

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