Kristin Bauer van Straten: Summer of Pam

The True Blood actress sinks her teeth into the subject of her character's sexuality, takes a bite out of her backstory, and shares a taste of her exciting new story line.



“I’m in no mood for lesbian weirdness tonight, Pam,” said Sookie Stackhouse in response to Pam’s flirtation last season, but we’re always in the mood for Kristin Bauer van Straten’s scene-stealing performance as True Blood’s most stylish vampire. Risking the wrath of secretive gay series creator Alan Ball, the 44-year-old actress sinks her teeth into the subject of Pam’s sexuality, takes a bite out of her backstory, and shares a taste of her exciting new story line in the fourth season, which premieres June 26 on HBO.

The Advocate: When members of the press receive advance screeners for a new season of True Blood, we also receive a letter from Alan Ball that lists the plot points he doesn’t want us to discuss in our coverage. Do you worry about getting in trouble for revealing spoilers or saying too much?
Kristin Bauer van Straten: I do. Honestly, I wish you could send me a copy of that letter. I’m not told specific things that I shouldn’t say, but I just feel like I shouldn’t say anything. But now I’m doing interviews, so would you like me to play the radio for you? [Laughs] It’s totally stressful.

What can you tell us about Pam this season?
Pam has a pretty wild story line this year. It’s not in the books, and it’s not something I think people would ever guess. It’s a unique, exciting story line that was really fun and challenging for me, and I think it will be pretty memorable. So we’ll see.

Have you read Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels on which True Blood is based?
During the first season, I followed along with the first book as the new scripts came in, and that was a little confusing. So for the second season, I decided I would read the book after the season. Then I thought, Why am I going to read the second book when we already shot it? I could read the third book, but it’s not doing to be exactly what we’ll do in the show anyhow ... So I suspect that one day, when the whole show is done — hopefully in 17 years — I’ll spend a week in Hawaii and have a lot of fun reading them all.

Pam is a major part of the fourth book, Dead to the World, which aligns with many of the themes in the new season. I hope that means we see a lot more of you this year.
We do see a lot more of Pam, and we see a whole other side to her.

We know from previews that Eric, Pam’s maker, has somehow lost his memory at the start of the season. How will that affect Pam?
She’s got to take on a leadership role. Also, I’ve found out this year conclusively that Pam is not a strategist; she’s a reactor. Someone’s messed with her maker and messed with their relationship — he doesn’t remember anything, so he doesn’t remember their history or their feelings for each other — so she jumps right in to try to right the situation and make those who did this to him pay. She’s not a chess player.

Tags: television