TrueBloodNet.com Exclusive: Kristin Bauer Part 1

June 24, 2010 by  

Kristin Bauer van Straten True Blood Pam

Recently, Kristin Bauer (Otherwise known as Mrs. Van Straten-isn’t Abri adorable?) True Blood’s “Pam”, took time out of her busy schedule to talk to TrueBloodNet.com. In fact we talked and talked and talked so long that we’re going to present this as a two part interview! Talking to Kristin was great fun and she’s one very smart lady. Be sure to catch the information at the bottom of this first half of the interview regarding the imminent IWC attempt to remove the moratorium on whaling. Pam, Kristin and Ollie and myself would urge you to get involved in stopping the removal of whale protection. [Editor’s Note: See great news at the end of the article!]

TBN: You were originally planning on working in fine arts and studied in St. Louis, Boston, and New York – but can you tell us at what point did you decide to go into acting?

KB: When I got REALLY hungry. ::laughing:: I had moved to LA from Boston, where I was in my last year of school, just taking a break where it was sunny. Boston is hard. It is a tough place to live for your average working Joe.

TBN: Is it expensive?

KB: It is expensive, it rains a lot, we didn’t have a car, and you don’t usually have laundry in your building. We were often relying on public transportation standing in the rain watching bus after bus go by packed full of people. then we’d hike to the laundry mat and they never had quarters stocked in the damn change machine. When I was in school and my parents were helping it wasn’t as rough of course. I came to LA and honestly, I stayed with a friend who had laundry in her building and the machine had quarters and took your crumply dollars and I was in heaven. ::laughing:: It was sunny out and there was underground parking. I thought if I’m going to be a poor, starving artist, I would rather be a poor, starving artist where I can park a car and do my laundry in my own building. That is literally how I made the decision. And then I thought, all right so now what am I going to do for money? I was working every crap job you can think of. I remember selling Herbal Life.

TBN: Did you stay with your friend?

KB: I’m trying to remember. Oh, I remember. Through a friend of a friend of a friend I heard about someone that needed a roommate. I didn’t even go back to Boston; I just called my roommate there and said send my stuff and my cat. ::laughing:: I bought an old used car and then I just started talking to people. I got a couple jobs, I did some extra work, I did a little modeling, I did makeup. I did a little bit of everything just to pay the bills, which weren’t very high. It was great; I loved it here. Then I got on a set and thought it was fun. I thought it was a good day job and a great compliment to working alone so much of the time.

TBN: What was your very first performance and how did it go?

KB: At first it was little things. I remember being an extra and for some reason I am remembering Scott Baio. My first big thing was guest starring on “LA Law.” I would have said “Galaxis” was one of my first shoots – that was a real B movie – Sam Raimi was also acting in it. He used me as a human shield to not get killed. It was hysterical.

TBN: Well you could have filmed a Galaxis before LA Law because the filmography is by what release date, right?

KB: Right, right.

TBN: But it must have been fun, right?

KB: It was all fun, but then I realized I had to go to acting classes to figure out how to get good. It all happened by accident and it’s been a real adventure.

TBN: In your biographical information it seems like you are quite an outdoors man, or outdoors woman. Do you still do that? Do you still get to do any of those outdoor activities like horseback riding? It said you are interested in firearms.

KB: Not as much. I actually just bought two new guns this week because I am going to do this fun – this is really hysterical – you can play this old west target shooting game. You have to use old west guns, which is what I inherited from my dad. He loved to collect antique guns so I am a bit sentimental about that period.

TBN: So revolvers mostly?

KB: Yeah revolvers, and then there’s these – what are they called? I guess when you watch westerns they are called Winchester repeaters, so they are rifles. They are brass and wood. All these guns you wouldn’t shoot; they are collectors items at this point. But now, so you can shoot these types of old guns, they make replicas. I went and got a couple replica pistols and I had to get a gun belt; an old west holster. You have run over here and say, “Stick’em up partner.” Then you have to shoot these specific targets –tin cans – then you have to run over to this other station and shoot some steel plates. It’s a game.

TBN: like what we see on TV for police training? Where there are pop-up targets?

KB: Yes, but it’s much more low key. It’s a bunch of retired people who like to dress up in old west clothing. It should be fun for me, I grew up target shooting.

Kristin Bauer van Straten True Blood Pam with husband Aubry van Straten and dogs

TBN: Do some people adopt characters?

KB: Yeah, you can adopt a character. It just sounds like a blast. So I’m going to try to do that with a friend who I just love to hang out with. But it will likely remind me of shooting with my dad. I haven’t been doing too much outside down time stuff, so I am trying to carve out time to paint and take a hike with the dogs and take a weekend to go up to Yosemite…

TBN: I can imagine, looking at your past filmography. It looks really full.

KB: It’s really full and it’s great.

TBN: But you should be able to have downtime. I’m sure auditioning takes up a huge amount of time too.

KB: It does, and my feeling is I just don’t want to say no to anything. But this summer we are going to travel this hiatus. I am going to Africa for a month.

TBN: What area?

KB: South Africa.

TBN: I think you will have a wonderful time. How long are you going?

KB: We are going to London for the Bitten show too, so it will be two weeks in Africa. We are going to hang out with Abri’s family, because I haven’t met my mother-in-law.

TBN: ::Laughing:: Always an adventure.

KB: ::Laughing:: We e-mail but we have not met.

TBN: Well good luck on that. Has she seen True Blood?

KB: She has apparently. I was wondering if it has shown in South Africa yet but she sent me an e-mail commenting and yeah, I believe she has seen it.

TBN: So on the endorsement stuff, I was curious. Does “True Blood” ask you too not get tanned or is in all just make up and lighting effects?

KB: They haven’t asked me but Alex tans easily. I actually can’t get tan; I get burned, and then it peels. He can actually get tan so he comes in a little tan and the make-up people will scold him and then put make-up on his whole body.

TBN: Wow, what a chore! ::laughing::

KB: I know! And this season they have had to do literally his whole body.

TBN: Oh my God.

KB: So there will be three women dabbing white stuff everywhere.

TBN: Yes, I’m sure he’s suffering.

KB: Living the dream, That’s what we call living the dream.

TBN: Too funny. Have to get my mind out of the gutter and back on the interview.

KB: I have pictures that are coming up in my mind of the scene in the make-up trailer.

TBN: And you’re an artist so you could draw him for us.

KB: Yeah, exactly.

TBN: Oh gosh, okay, I’m going to be good here. So recently you shot a film called “Subject: I Love You.” What was your role and can you give us a hint of what the movie is about?

KB: It was a really interesting movie. It was a combination, American and Filipino project so they had their huge Filipino stars with a bunch of American actors. Brian Evigan is my co-star. I play an FBI agent turned love therapist. It is about an “I Love You” virus that took down even the pentagon back in the 80s. Supposedly the guy who came up with the virus was Filipino. It’s the story behind that virus.

TBN: It was one of the first big viruses if I am remembering this right.

KB: I don’t remember but it is a really sweet movie. I was there for a month and it was a great experience. That’s where I was when I heard I got the role of Pam.

TBN: Oh, Really?

KB: I had auditioned for it right before I left. I was over there, having a whole experience in the Philippines and got the call. Actually I got a text on the Blackberry. I asked, “What part?” They said the vampire one and I was like, “Oh my God! Great!” So I started on “True Blood” the day that I flew in from the Philippines. I was on their time zone,which is the exact opposite of ours and had spent 17 hours on the plane. So everything from my first episode in the first season I was a tad jet lagged for… I met Alex, they had a line in Swedish for him and just to show you how out of it I must have been, I remember asking him if he was speaking Cambodian. ::Laughing:: We didn’t know each other. He just looked and me and said, “Ah, no.” I have often thought back on that and wondered what was I talking about?

TBN: You weren’t listening to that Cambodian music before, were you?

KB: I don’t know what was going on. I had the corset on so I couldn’t sit down. We were up all night in Long Beach shooting in this alley trying to make it look like were flying.

TBN: Oh, it was the scene where Alex and Pam fly off from Fangtasia?

KB: Yeah, Anna, Alex, Stephen and I at about four in the morning. Anna, who is so fun; they are all fun. Alex, Anna and Stephen are all extremely funny people. We laughed so hard that we were delirious, or at least I was. It was a great first episode.

TBN: So maybe being tired worked for you on that episode.

KB: It might have; I was so delirious.

TBN: So is “Subject: I Love You” going to going to be in wide release?

KB: I’ve been wondering about that. I’ve got to ask somebody. It should be. It has really great people in it.

TBN: It doesn’t say on IMDB.

KB: I lose track of these things, but I would love to see it. It was a great role.

Kristin Bauer van Straten True Blood Pam and dog

TBN: We would love to see it too. Another question about your filmography – you have gotten to play a lot of recurring roles, is there any one show that stands out in your memory as being very professionally rewarding? Or what was the most fun to work on besides “True Blood?”

KB: I’m trying to think back. These things really do drop out of my mind. “Justified” was a blast. It was just such a great group of people and I love Timothy Olyphant. I’m a big “Deadwood” fan so that was extremely fun. All the shows are so different, because the cast can really make or break your experience. It’s like starting at a new school. Mainly they are pretty wonderful. I did “Three Rivers” and “Private Practice” last hiatus and was playing a very human character, crying over someone dying close to me and those really make you feel like you’re working. Of course, nothing is as fun as “True Blood.” But they are all rewarding and painful in their own unique ways.

TBN: You’ve been on “Star Trek” several times. Did you play the same character both times?

KB: I played a klingon. I am a big “Star Trek” fan so I was excited about getting the job, but after four hours in makeup, I was pretty much over it. ::laughs:: I had always heard actors say it was hard and I thought, “Why? You just sit there and that’s hard?” And I still can’t explain why sitting there for four and a half hours is painful but it really was. Maybe because they are using epoxies and glue; you’re inhaling this stuff.

TBN: Not good.

KB: It really isn’t as relaxing as I would have thought. I just loved “Star Trek” so much that it was like seeing the wizard behind the curtain, being on the set and seeing how things are filmed. It actually ruined it for me a little. I realized they are just actors. I wonder if that’s what I’m doing to the fans in interviews for “True Blood.” If I should say things such as, “When I wear the fangs, I lisp a lot”. I wonder if I should not demystify it. Being on the set is very different than watching it, but for me, it is even more fun than watching it. I wonder what it’s like for fans of the show – if they like to hear the behind the scenes information.

TBN: They do. Let me tell you, they love behind the scenes information: they eat it up. I was a big “Trek” fan too and did fan site work in the “Star Trek” world too. It did not ruin it for me to go on the set or meet the actors or see behind the scenes. I think because you are there and that’s your life, it becomes more mundane, but for us regular folks out in the sticks, this is still all Hollywood magic.

KB: Right, right. Because since it is part of my day and my reality, when I’m watching TV, I’m always thinking things like, “that’s a pretty good wig.” I can still watch a great scene and just completely fall into it, but my actress mind is still present. I am sure shoe makers see the shoes!

TBN: So have there been any movies or shows lately where they sucked you in?

KB: Yeah, there are some that have sucked me in. The HBO shows “Deadwood,” “Sopranos,” “Six Feet Under” – they completely suck me in because the stories are so deep and so good. This week Abri and I got totally riveted by Whale Wars.

TBN: You were talking about your art work and a while back you had your art work featured at a gallery. I know some of the fans are wondering if you will you be doing anymore shows at your gallery or if there are any upcoming art projects?

KB: I would love to have more showings. What I need is to schedule painting time, to get enough pieces to put a show together. I have put it on the back burner while we are shooting and I’m trying to save the whales, the elephants… but boy would I love to. Right now, what I’m doing is a couple of portraits. I should aim for a show by the end of the year.

TBN: Is there anywhere online where fans can get a look at your portfolio?

KB: yes, I put everything up at kristinbauer.com

TBN: Are you selling them?

KB: Yes, if they contact us through the website. I am doing some of them in Giclee prints too, which are numbered limited edition prints.

TBN: When are we going to see Pam bite someone? Or do you think we will see her act as a maker? If she had a choice, do you think she would turn a fashion designer?

KB: ::Laughing:: The sky is the limit with Pam. This year deals with all of that. You’re right on the money with those questions. We have been peeling the onion on who Pam is – how she was made, how she feels about her maker, her sexuality and if she would want to be a maker… All of this and just finding out more about her is what happens this year.

TBN: We are so glad to hear that. Pam is so great!

KB: Isn’t she fun? This year, with every character on the show it’s about identity. It’s about learning who all of these characters are and finding out about their backgrounds, testing their mettle. It’s really quite fun.

TBN: Good. And you became a regular this season! We all thought you already were a regular.

KB: Yeah, right. It was a recurring role.

TBN: Oh. Well congratulations!

KB: Thank you. It really was a gift. I didn’t know because in the books Pam doesn’t become a bigger character until around book four.

TBN: That’s great. Of course on our site we focus on the show, not the books, and we hope they go away from the books more and more, so that we have two universes. We like to be surprised.

KB: Right. I was reading the books but I stopped because I was getting confused and I keep asking Abri, because he’s read them, is that in the books? It seems like they are putting everything that is in the book in, plus more. Does it seem like that to you guys?

TBN: Well to me it seems like they take some of the basic concepts but the details are changing. They have grown away from the books in a lot of ways, take Jason for instance: Jason wasn’t a very big character and Tara wasn’t a very big character. I haven’t read the books but I am holding them for later so there is no confusion. We are hoping that the show keeps generating its own universe.

KB: I’m sure it will because these creators are so smart. I saw episode two this week and it was amazing. Very beautiful.

TBN: Well, we won’t ask for details. We don’t do spoilers and we don’t want to get you into any trouble. Us either.

KB: ::Laughs:: Most interviewers try to get me in trouble.

TBN: No, no, no. Not us!

KB: Good!

TBN: Pam is such a fashion diva. Do you share this interest?

KB: I am starting to feel like I should to not disappoint. In my everyday life I vary between being in my painting mode and wanting to be a cute girl. In the winter, I have a uniform: shirt, jeans and Frye boots. But now that summer is coming, I often shop at this store in Portland, Folly, they have the most incredible one-of-a-kind girly skirts that I will live in for the summer. So no, the bottom line is I am not as creative as Pam. I have three looks; painting, winter and summer but Pam dresses for every occasion to the nines.

TBN: But she has those True Blood professionals to dress her though, right?

KB: She has Audrey Fisher. She has a big advantage over Kristin Bauer.

TBN: Pam has such a delicious dry wit, what characters would you like to see her more involved with besides Bill and Eric?

KB: This season was so perfect in who she got to deal with and talk to. I had so much fun finding out more about her relationship with Eric. I also love finding out about these triangles between Bill, Sookie and Eric. in the season two Blu-ray DVD, she did a lot of commenting on and making fun of Bill and other vampires with a conscience too. ::Laughing:: I just enjoy finding out what Pam’s view point is.

Kristin Bauer van Straten True Blood Pam and dog

TBN: Okay, now we are leaving Pam behind for a second.

KB: Okay.

TBN: You are involved in Tails for Whales.

KB: Yeah.

TBN: Are you planning on any participation in the near future?

TBN: I did some PSAs [Public Service Announcements] for them recently and went to DC for a rally. All of that video footage is online. There is a crucial vote happening in June with International Whaling Commission (IWC) because Obama’s administration is trying to lift the ban on whaling.

TBN: Oh my God.

KB: It is very, very weird that he is basically trying to let Iceland, Japan and Norway kill legally. It’s not great, especially with what’s happening to our oceans with BP. All marine life was already having a harder time than I’d like. I got involved with IFAW to help whales before this proposal and it seems very strange timing to lobby for open season on whales. These countries could also then hunt in the whale sanctuaries where the whales feed and breed.

TBN: Oh Man, that’s awful!

KB: I am irritated and baffled. My husband keeps asking me, “Why are you surprised? It’s politics.” And he’s right. I guess the way the system is set up, you can’t get elected without owing a lot of people and making compromises. So he’s got to be trading the whales for something as in his campaign he announced he’d be the president to end commercial whaling. In DC on Earth Day all of the people there who were upset by this are the people who voted for him. We are working really hard to get the word out.

TBN: And people can find out more by going to the IFAW website?

KB: yes, the International Fund For Animal Welfare – IFAW.org.

[Editor’s Notes: The main IFAW website is here: http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_states There was great news today! The world rejected ending the whaling moratorium! http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_states/media_center/press_releases/6_23_2010_61989.php.  But we mustn’t get complacent! It’s still a great opportunity to read up and get involved! And don’t forget Tails for Whales! Another great pro-whale organization that Kristin supports!]

Kristin even took the time to send us a little update on the whales!:

Kristin Bauer van Straten True Blood Pam making Tails for Whales sign

“Thanks to the EU and the Latin countries we did not go backwards by lifting the ban on commercial whaling! This is great! Now we can get back to the project of getting them to stop whaling illegally (as we see on Whale Wars).

To help fund the whale campaign with IFAW Abri has included a song, “Voices,” on his solo record to raise proceeds — you can hear and download the CD from our websites Kristinbauer.com and Abristraten.com

All proceeds from the song, and a larger percentage from the record, goes to the Whale effort.

We will be working to get the word out on that as soon as the CD is pressed, in one month. Thank you!”

For Part 2 of the interview with Kristin Bauer van Straten read HERE.

Photo credits: Grace Chon / Shine Pet Photos , Tails for Whales and HBO

Transcription Credit: Cyrenna and Jenna

Editing credit: April and Jenny

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