From day one, scene one, ensemble one, True Blood fans have devoured every single thing about Pam De Beaufort, played with lip-smacking gusto by the equally amazing Kristin Bauer van Straten.
And while Pam's been an integral part of Bon Temps life since season one, season five finally gave Eric's progeny the chance to step into the spotlight as she became a maker and scored a few flashbacks that illuminated her pre-Louisiana life.
Now, with season five on DVD and season six set to premiere, I caught up with Kristin Bauer van Straten to reflect upon Pam's past and find out how it will continue to inform her present.
ETonline: Looking back on season five, what were your thoughts?
Kristin Bauer van Straten: Oh man, it was such a good Pam year. I waited so long for that backstory -- just to know what it was and see what it looked like and once it arrived on paper, I thought it was just so perfect. It was so fun to get in the clothes, get in the locations that looked like 1905, see Alex [Skarsgard, who plays Eric] in 1905 clothes, to see my brothel. Everything about it explained Pam to me in a new way and that was my favorite part. Why is she so unsympathetic? Because she came from a hard life when it was hard to be a woman and she did this hard profession. Why is she a vampire who is the least apologetic about being a vampire? Because she chose that life. She forced Eric to change her. I loved that writing so much.
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ETonline: You spent a large chunk of season five working with new actors, was it odd not to share all your scenes with Alexander Skarsgard, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer?
Bauer van Straten: Very! I loved working with new people, but I did miss my usual crowd -- especially Alex. I would visit The Authority set when I was done filming my day just to hang with my peeps. I had so much fun with Alex and Stephen and Anna. I mean, that's who I started the show with. The first episode I ever did was us four, that's what feels like home to me. So I really missed them, but I loved getting to know Rutina [Wesley, who plays Tara].
ETonline: Pam's relationship with, and siring of, Tara was a huge storyline for you last season. What did you enjoy about it?
Bauer van Straten: That was so interesting because, maybe I'm just slow, but episode after episode, I started to realize how similar Pam and Tara are. They've both had to make tough choices in tough times and are kind of unsympathetic. They're both bisexual, if not gay, and as the season went on, I had so much fun playing the layers for an entire season. I wanted to kill her, but now she's my child and my maker is missing, so she's all I have, but I want to keep her in place. We both had a blast slowly bringing all of that to life over such a long amount of time.
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ETonline: And it all culminated with a kiss, and the promise of a date. Did that surprise you?
Bauer van Straten: Rutina and I were wondering where that was headed too -- we texted each other when we read the script with the kiss. I think I said something like, "Pucker up sister!" [laughs] And then we wanted it to be this great kiss, and we talked about what kind of kiss it would be -- we both wanted the kiss to have the possibility of so many things. In season six, we do get another piece of the puzzle, and we're very excited to share that with fans.
ETonline: What can you tease about where their relationship goes in season six?
Bauer van Straten: In typical True Blood fashion, just when you think the sh*t has hit the fan as much as it could, some more sh*t hits the fan. The characters are developing their relationships under fire, and that's great fun for us actor and it keeps the pace up on all the situations. Everything from last year continues but there is some added heat this year.
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ETonline: What else are you excited for fans to see in the new season?
Bauer van Straten: Everything! As [the premiere approaches], I get really excited and nervous and then I replay what we've filmed in my head -- there's so much adrenaline involved in it for me because those scenes are my babies. So, I can only judge the scenes I'm not in because I lose all perspective [laughs]. I get very excited to share the season with other people, but even more so, I get excited to watch the show and see how the whole thing was put together. It was a lot of night shoots, so it starts off with a bang, and I'm very excited to see it myself.
True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season is now available on DVD and season six premieres on June 16.