Courtesy of John P. Johnson/HBO.
It’s difficult enough making it as a working actor, but it’s even trickier if you’re an actor on the HBO vampire-fetish drama True Blood. The show has a Cannonball Run–sized cast, with storylines competing, like a gang of prepubescent boys with a stick and a dead frog, to see which can be the grossest. If you’re in the True Blood cast and you want to be noticed, you have to either have explicit and blood-soaked sex in which you or your partner (or both) is bitten, mauled, disfigured, or had his or her head turned 180 degrees, or be a hot guy with ridiculously ripped abs who repeatedly takes off his shirt for no apparent reason. And then there’s Pam, played with sassy swagger by Kristin Bauer, who has gone from being a barely noticeable minor character—she runs the Fangtasia nightclub and is vampire sheriff Eric Northman’s B.F.F.—to one of True Blood’s most beloved and memorable vamps. And she did it without once flashing an areola. On last Sunday’s episode, Pam stole the show yet again with just one badass line: "I'll give you 24 hours to deliver that witch to me,” she announced to a group of very freaked-out wiccans. “And if you don't, I will personally eat, fuck, and kill all three of you." Juicy dialogue like that has become de rigueur for Pam, who always gets the best zingers while the rest of the cast are busy flexing their pasty-white muscles. I called Bauer as she was preparing for a busy few weeks—first with a True Blood charity concert tonight in Los Angeles, and then with San Diego’s Comic-Con, where she’ll be appearing in a True Blood panel (along with her mostly naked co-stars) on Friday, July 22.
Eric Spitznagel: I just watched last Sunday’s show, and once again you had the best line of the night.
Kristin Bauer: Which one? “Fuck, eat, and kill”?
That’s it. Was Pam being hyperbolic, or was that a real threat?
No, she was being very literal. And I also took the order literally. You have to do that stuff in the right order. If you fuck somebody after you kill them, that’s a whole other ball game.
So she’s a monster but she’s also classy?
Exactly, a serial killer with integrity.
What a great lesson for the kids, who might take this show too seriously.
God, yeah. I do worry about some of the fans. The majority of them are fantastic, but there are about two percent for whom the line between reality and fantasy is blurred.
When you’re at Comic-Con next week and you’re surrounded by hundreds of True Blood fans, how do you know who the freaks are?
I just stay away from anybody wearing a cape.
That’s going to be tough at a comic convention.
Well, rules are made to be broken. If they’re dressed like Darth Vader, they get a pass. Obviously. Star Wars is where I cross over into geekdom. I was at Comic-Con last year, and I just wanted my picture taken with Chewbacca. Who doesn’t love Chewie? But I’m well aware none of it is real. Chewbacca isn’t a real guy. It’s a guy in a suit. Not long ago, some True Blood fan gave me her journal, and I got a little disturbed while reading it. She had these very vivid imaginations that I was her maker.
I don’t even know how to respond to that. It’s a little spooky and weird. It crosses a line.
A Vulcan with a boner is one thing.
That’s understandable. I mean, Vulcan boners happen. But stuff like that journal, you kind of feel like you’ve glimpsed another world. You want to say to them, “Let’s just agree to disagree.”
Has a fan ever asked you to bite them?
All the time. Oh my gosh. But the only person I’ve bitten is Mario Lopez on Extra. But that’s just part of doing press for a show. It’s part of my job. I’d bite Jay Leno. I’d bite Conan O’Brien. That’s just a day in the life. But if you go around biting fans, there’s no way that’s not leading to a lawsuit.
Exactly, right. How about an autograph instead? Let’s not share bodily fluids.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to read you an interesting news item from the latest issue of Star magazine.
All reliable news comes from there.
It says here that your True Blood co-stars Ryan Kwanten and Alex Skarsgard—and I’m quoting from the article here—“are constantly competing . . . about who can lift more weight or do more crunches. They always have their shirts off, flexing their abs.” That’s got to be 100 percent true, right?
Oh my God! That couldn’t be further from the truth. For one thing, they’re never in scenes together, so they don’t even see each other. I don’t even see Ryan. I only see him at parties. The other day, after a table read, I accosted him in the parking lot just to find out how he was and how his experience on True Blood had been this year.
And then he lifted his shirt to show you his six pack?
Well, only when Alex walked by. No, I’m kidding.
But you see how these rumors get started, right? There is a lot of male shirtlessness on the show.
That’s true, yeah.
It’s not like there are rumors about the cast of Modern Family competing to see who has the most sinewy forearms.
I understand that. But both Alex and Ryan are so relaxed and not in any way vain. They get in and out of the makeup chair in four seconds. They’re guys. Alex takes longer because he has to be paled. But neither one of them has that competitive thing.
Read more of Kristin's great interview at source.