‘True Blood’s’ Kristin Bauer Talks Turning Tara, Missing Eric and Pam’s Flashback Fashion (Q&A)

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In many ways, True Blood’s fifth season finds Pam in uncharted territory. Not only has she turned Tara (Rutina Wesley) into a vampire (and like it or not picked up the responsibilities of a maker), but also she’s currently estranged from her own maker, Eric (Alexander Skarsgard).

“It feels different to me. It’s really fascinating,” Kristin Bauer van Straten, 38, tells Celebuzz. “After they release three or four episodes to the press and I start talking to the people, I can feel the energy and hear the impressions. It feels different to me this year. But, it just feels really great.”

Celebuzz spoke to Bauer van Straten about Pam’s new relationship to Tara, what to expect going forward with Eric and what it’s like to delve into her character’s past.

Celebuzz: How do you think Pam is dealing with being a maker?
Kristin Bauer van Straten: It feels as if it was a simple deal. “Maker? I don’t even like her, she’s been trying to kill us. Let her die, who cares if she’s standing there sobbing.” We’re going to see the next evolvement of that on Sunday.

CB: What can we expect from that relationship?
KB: Pam is going to have to do some tough love… Pam and Tara are actually similar creatures in a lot of ways, so they’re going to butt heads a lot. And I love that Pam always wins. I’m not even sure how it’s going to wrap up yet. We haven’t filmed [Episode] 12 yet, but it’s been a fascinating year to play the estrangement from my maker and then being a maker… We’re going to find out if Pam has a heart for anyone besides Eric — very deep, deep down inside.

CB: Is it possible that Pam and Eric’s relationship is coming to an end?
KB: It can’t be. I think that it can’t. There has to be that bond between Pam and Eric. They have to survive everything. It just has to or I won’t be able to take it.

CB: We’ve ventured into Pam’s backstory this season. What was the most interesting part of that for you?
KB: What I‘ve been playing for years is that Pam loves being the top of the food chain and how comfortable and how fun it is to actually step into that mindset of no fear of offending anyone, no worry about being liked, no fear of death or illness. All the things that we have and deal with as a human she doesn’t have to deal with at all. And I’ve been wondering what could possibly have been her genesis and who the hell could this person have been before she was a vampire.

And when I read it, it was very fun as an actor to try to find the vulnerability and the humanity that she had just because she in that time had to worry about being killed, had to worry about illness. It’s an incredibly frail time to be a woman in that profession. It’s a vulnerability that I don’t even understand as a modern woman. But I try to find as an actor that character before she was a vampire, but also so that you can see the through line. To try to connect them, but have them be different was a challenge.

CB: What else did you love about playing Pam before she was a vampire?
KB: Wardrobe, because we always put Pam in corsets and now we go, “Oh yeah, she was alive then. She’s borrowing from that time period, that’s when she grew up.” And the hairstyles we do in modern day, we have a couple of outfits that are almost period pieces. We have an 80s look that’s coming up. The costume designers got a great outfit from eBay – it’s vintage 80s and we thought, “Right she’d probably thoroughly embrace the 80s and live through it.” So, it’s fun to tie in all the pieces in hindsight. We had to film all this stuff not knowing what Pam’s exact story was. And the writers are so brilliant that they find the storyline that fits all that we’ve seen and we know.

True Blood airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO. Watch a sneak peek above.

What’s your favorite part of Pam’s storyline this season? Tell us in the comments section below.