Posted: 10 Nov 2011 12:33 AM PST
True Blood actress Kristin Bauer is a sweetheart who is poles apart from her bitter vampire persona.
IN the popular HBO series True Blood, Pam De Beaufort is an immortal killer whose main diet is human blood (none of that fake True Blood concoction for this bitchy vampire, thank you very much). However, get the actress playing Pam on the phone, and you have this polite and accommodating person at the other end of the line.
Speaking from Los Angeles in a recent media conference, actress Kristin Bauer sounds like a mellow Californian who starts and ends her sentences with elongated yeah(s), punctuating them with you know(s), peppered with Valspeak-style "oh my God!" and "awesome", and, get this, laughs.
Despite just hearing Bauer's voice and not seeing her face, it's clear to the South-East Asian journalists that Bauer and Pam have very little in common. Then again, Bauer says, that statement really depends on whom you ask.
"My husband, luckily, thinks we're very different. But I am sure that if you interviewed my family, they'd tell you that I have a rather blunt, harsh, caustic side," she shares with a laugh.
Pam is a sassy, sexy and snarky vampire who is annoyed with humans. She feels compelled to never to censor her mouth, especially if it means a chance to make fun of them.
Most of the time, she's left in charge by her maker – Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) – of the nightclub he owns called Fangtasia that is frequented by vampires and humans who like the company of the undead.
Needless to say, she is not a favourite with the Fangtasia's employees and patrons, but her delicious brand of villainy has clicked with the audience.
Bauer must be credited for delivering Pam's one-liners that zing and zap every single time; especially since it's apparent that Bauer and Pam are poles apart.
"I am a softie and a sentimental person. People are always making fun of me because I cry so easily," says Bauer.
Born in Wisconsin, the actress enjoyed a childhood that involved sports, horse riding and shooting guns, before moving to Los Angeles in 1994.
Over the years, Bauer has made an art of playing the dumb blonde – mostly in guest starring or supporting roles – before True Blood came along in 2008.
While agreeing that playing dumb blondes is fun, the actress, who turns 45 this month, finds it liberating to play a character that has no edit button.
"She's saying the very things we all are thinking but wouldn't dare to say because we realise it's just not done. I care what people think. I am in the PR business, so I can't be Pam ... but to be able to have these things to just fly out of my mouth with zero concern is just so liberating. I think part of us would love to do that, just for one day in a year, but you won't if you had a decent upbringing. You just won't do it."
Although Pam is a creation of Charlaine Harris, the author who created the town Bon Temps and its eccentric (and mystical) community, the character Pam has been given her own rite of passage on the TV show by its creator Alan Ball.
Besides being bossy, Pam constantly worries about her maker who has been on a deadly path ever since coming to Bon Temps.
In season three, Eric was keen to walk into the sunlight to get his revenge. This season, Eric exerts his power on a witch to keep her in line only to have the witch cast a spell that results in Eric's complete change of personality. The bad thing is – well, for Pam anyway – he cannot remember her.
"He is now a different person, one that she doesn't recognise," says Bauer. "It was a really interesting arc for me to play because Eric is the one person that Pam needs and loves, and it was real easy to play with Alex because we're friends and we have a good trust there."
To fix Eric, Pam goes after the witch only to suffer a different kind of spell – one that has Pam decaying ... really, really, disgustingly. Bauer recalls that she was excited to hear about the new subplot for Pam.
"I imagined that it would make my acting job easier, that somehow looking at my face that way, I would naturally believe myself as rotting. That did happen but there was another side to it, which was a great challenge – a simple thing like sitting on the chair for five hours. You go into a coma.
"Also I had a lens in one eye so I couldn't see out of one eye, losing depth perception. So you're playing someone who is immortal and powerful but you are falling over and dizzy.
"The geek in me was totally fascinated with how they created all these different looks and the actress loved it too, but the mortal was greatly challenged!"
While Pam's storyline is in direct relation to Eric so far, this will change in season five. According to Bauer, Ball has hinted at Pam's backstory and how she came to be this bitter vampire with oh-so-many issues.
"I am sure whatever they come up with is going to be better than what I have been making up.
"What's interesting is that, the longer I play Pam, the more I think she is totally right and doesn't even have issues. She's starting to make sense to me ... I don't know if I should be worried (laughs). But I can't wait to see how they string together the tiny clues as to what her life was like before and how all this happened."
> True Blood season four is aired every Thursday on HBO (Astro Ch 411) / HBO HD (Astro Ch 431). This month's episodes are shown at 10pm.Full content generated by Get Full RSS.
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