July 10, 2011 2:57pm PT by Jethro Nededog
'True Blood's' Kristin Bauer on Vampire Pam: 'She's Just Not a Team Player'
As the voice of pure vampire on HBO's True Blood, Pam gets to say and do things on the show that others wouldn’t. She doesn’t care if she offends someone and isn’t interested in playing any reindeer games with the American Vampire League’s Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck) and her mainstreaming movement. She’s true vampire through and through and that means being bloodthirsty, loyal to her maker, Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), and being fabulous.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Kristin Bauer, who plays Pam, about the challenges her character will face this season with Eric’s amnesia and the relationships she will or won’t develop with the other women of True Blood.
Warning: Spoiler Alert!
THR: We’re seeing that Pam isn’t quite into the vampire politics.
Kristin Bauer: Right. It’s very fun to find out this year that she’s not a strategist. She really is the least apologetic of anybody about being a vampire it seems. She’s just not a team player. She feels that this whole thing is ridiculous. She’s a reactor. She can't think two steps ahead, which of course is what is needed now in this post-Russell Edgington world. She’s smart, but doesn’t want to be in charge of making the bigger decisions. You know, Eric has patience. He can work angles. It was a thousand years or something to track down Russell Edgington last year. He bided his time and hung out with him and, you know, had a love scene with his lover. He can really play the game and he knows Pam can't. He doesn’t expect her to and doesn’t ask her to. It’s kind of an amazing perfect relationship.
THR: How deep does this vampire goodwill campaign go?
Bauer: Well it’s really smart how these writers did it, because the analogy as to what we see in politics is what the vampires have to do. So, they shake hands, they hold babies, they do all the stuff that we see all of the people we’ve elected doing all the time. It works, apparently, because we’ve got a couple of wars going on, but if we see our politicians doing something nice in another area, we sort of still don’t give up hope. That’s basically what the vampires do, same thing.
THR: Now that Eric’s amnesia storyline has kicked off, what can we expect from Pam’s relationship with him?
Bauer: Well, you know, Pam is so loyal and so fierce when it comes to him that her entire goal would be just to get things back to normal just like we saw at the end of Season 3. She wants to get things back to the way they were and the way she likes them. We find out this year the lengths that she will go to make that happen and the methods that she’ll try, which as we’ve seen are going to be very different than what Bill would do and would be very different from what Eric would be able to do. This is the old Eric. Now, we have an Eric who has no idea of his past or his relationships. He is fresh and new like a little baby. It’s very sweet. The girls are going to go crazy. It’s very, very cute. He has a different hairstyle. I mean it’s just adorable. He dresses differently. I mean it’s really sweet.
THR: What will change, if anything, about Pam and Sookie’s (Anna Paquin) relationship?
Bauer: You know Pam and Sookie have to deal with each other more this year. It’s a very interesting complicated dynamic. I love the way it’s written in the show. I haven’t read the book yet. I think I’m going to have to wait until I’m all done with True Blood and just take a week in Mexico and just sit there on the beach reading. The way that they’ve done it on the show is we see so many layers and facets to Pam’s feelings about Eric and Sookie. It’s a complicated relationship, because Pam also thinks Sookie is hot, but, you know, so does her maker. Now, Eric is helpless and has lost his memory and has to be taken care of to a certain extent. Then, also, we get into in the middle of the season, some serious havoc, so it’s very interesting to watch. It’s like our human relationships. It’s complicated.
THR: Last season, we saw that Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) came to Pam for help as she was struggling with being a vampire. How does that relationship develop this season?
Bauer: It’s seems like because Jessica is now like a vamp teenager, you know she’s rebellious and wanting to date boys. So, she’s got to fight her nature. HBO’s marketing campaign, which used “Show Your True Colors,” this year, they picked that wording because it is true. It is definitely true for Pam. Pam is, I think, slightly hopeful that Jessica could end up being an actual useful worthy vampire as opposed to Bill. I think it’s so fun. I’ve always loved Pam’s distaste for Bill. Because what’s so great, it makes him such a good romantic character is that he is tough on the outside, but really actually sweet on the inside -- his reluctance to be a vampire. Pam is only sweet on the inside for one person and that’s Eric. So when she sees any rebellion in Jessica, Pam is interested. Like last year, her conversations with Jessica revolved around how to get around a dead body. You know that would get her interested in a conversation with someone. It’s something that’s real to her.
THR: Executive producer, Alexander Woo, told us that one of this season’s biggest themes is identity. How does that play out for Pam?
Bauer: It is really true, identity. It’s so interesting how they did it with the plot, because I’ve been noticing that fans want spoilers or they ask for spoilers. I keep saying to them what’s interesting about this season is how the characters react, and why they react that way, and how the react. It’s fun to hear the plot points of what happened. What was so great about the writing and so enjoyable to shoot is that we do see each person’s core identity come out because it has to, because they’re put in that situation where they’ve got to dig deeper. It’s very clever how they did it. For example, Eric not having his memory about his relationship with Pam causes her to have to react and have to deal with things you know that maybe she’s not suited to deal with, and have to fight for him, and have to examine her relationship to Sookie. So, it was very complex. Pam gets, I wouldn’t say she gets more vulnerable this year, like we saw that side last year. This year, she has to be a little bit more of a tough warrior.
True Blood airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro