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August 13, 2012 2PM EST

Q&A with Kristin Bauer van Straten

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  • Q

    When you ''drink'' someone, what does the blood taste like? Is it sweet?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    waaaaay toooo sweet! It's corn syrup with food coloring. we try to swallow as little as possible!

  • Q

    Pam is my favorite character in True Blood. When she was cursed by the witch, how long was that makeup session & was it difficult to do?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    It was about 5 hours, sometimes a little less and twice 9 hours. The actual moment of the first hex, when it starts to melt was 3 hours in the chair and then film for a minute, then three more hours, then film for a minute…It had its challenges but I loved them. I am happy I wasn’t in that all year! But I was so happy to have such a meaty (sorry) story line.

  • Q

    Absolutely brilliant, pairing Pam & Tara up. It appears, Pam is feeling a bit tender (slight bit) towards Tara, will it continue?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I think in Pam fashion, she will continue to be alternatingly tough and then tender. Pam has only ever needed Eric so it’ll be very interesting to see how this develops for me too! I think it is a fun relationship and I think Rutina is having fun too, I know I am.

  • Q

    Do you secretly love playing a bit of a bitchy character? I know I would!

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I openly love it!!! I think we all have that side to us that would like to say it like it is. Who think the thought but edit because we know it's rude, or want to be liked...but Pam doesn't worry about either and it is fun and refreshing.

  • Q

    I loved the scene between pam and eric when he released her, very emotional, was it a hard scene to film?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I cried and cried, very easily. I love Alex and I feel like Pam and Eric are so close and I use my feelings of trust and deep connection when I work with Alex and it felt very seamless. It hurt me too to film that scene.

  • Q

    Is there an actor on the show that have been in all of the episodes but you've never got to work with them?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    Chris Bauer! The Bauers have never worked together! Also with Terry and Arlene so I am happy to say we’ve gotten to be friends outside of the show.

  • Q

    Hey Kristin, I love your passion & love you have for animals. Is it hard sometimes Seeing or hearing the horrible things animals go through?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    It is very hard! But I tell myself if another has to live it, the least I can do is look at it. Because only if we know about it will it change. And I know I don’t want to support or cause another’s suffering. I can’t have that on my soul. SO it’s a personal choice. Right now I am off to Kenya to film a documentary on elephant ivory and rhino horn poaching. I’ve got a kickstarter campaign up for it right now called “Out for Africa” - It is very hard, so I pace myself and only look with the attitude of “if I know I can change it” – If we do nothing, it won’t change. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/90829120/kristin-bauers-out-for-africa-documentary

  • Q

    We saw how Pam was made. Will there be any more scenes as a young vampire and/or time with her maker, Eric?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I don’t know. I hope so! It was a real pleasure for me! Such beautiful writing! I could nto have been happier with what they wrote for Pam.

  • Q

    Do you watch the completed episodes? If so, does it help you to further develop the character?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I do watch them, nervously. I LOVE to see everyone elses work! AND I am no there for the other worlds so it is amazing to get to see. I am a fan of the show and everyone elses work. Watching myself is ...weird. Just like watching yourself in home movies or vacation footage - it is strange. So I leave it up to others to decide if I did well.

  • Q

    What's your favorite Pam line?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    A line coming up in 11. What can I say about it. It’s in a hallway…and another super is passing me…

  • Q

    If you could have one power that a vampire does, which one would you choose and why?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    GLAMOURING!!! Oh man would I LOVE that. I would walk around the world looking people in the eyes and saying “You will not hurt animals, you will be kind, you will recycle, you will call me Goddess” Just kidding, on the last one only! (sort of)

  • Q

    The fang's on true blood do they really come down like that or is it just special effect's on the show that they edit after .

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I shouldn’t ruin it! But that is done in post. We wear our fangs and then in post they make them click in and out.

  • Q

    Do you see any of pam in yourself in real life at all??

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    When I am tired and PMSing I have Pams very same "wit" - I try so hard to curb it and hopefully no one will ever have a mic on me at some party when I am in "rare form" - so Pam is in me. But as a human it is not polite to speak ones mind as she can. And I'm not sure I'd still be married.

  • Q

    What was your audition like? Did you have to do anything crazy or unexpected?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    No, it was just some sarcastic lines and I had two auditions. They brought me back again to decide on me - or someone else I assume. I have no idea who that someone else was, I hate to ask. I am superstitious about all of the auditioning process. I do my bit and leave & try to not worry. And I got a call 3 weeks later. And here we are. I had no idea this would be what it is , very lucky

  • Q

    I am a fan of your husbands band, do you think we may ever see him in a guest spot playing at fangtasia or merlots?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    That might be fun - Although his music is so romantic and zen - it just doesn't seem to fit. But he does have one called "sleepless" that often makes me think of vampires. Would be fun to have him around the set and get a better idea of what my day is like. He came by once or twice and then he understood how long the days are.

  • Q

    Do you ad lib your lines? Or are they really written that funny? You just seem so quick witted.

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    Never- they are written so perfectly! I just try to do them the best way I can. And it's great fun to be as caustic and blunt as I can.

  • Q

    If vampires were real, would you like to become one?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I wonder. I like to think I wouldn't...but then again....you see, I think nature is pretty smart and we are supposed to be young, grow wiser and die ...but I bet on some days you could convince me pretty easily. I am one to pack too much in to a day and in to a life and I am usually very tired as I try to do too much. Sure would be nice to have more time to do all the things I want to do. But the limits of a natural life do help us evolve as better souls. So I'd hope I'd trust nature.

  • Q

    Thanks to Kristin Bauer van Straten for joining us. After 5 seasons, Pam has truly emerged as a fan favorite. How does that make you feel?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I really like to hear those words! I must be honest! But it's funny...watching oneself on TV is not the same as actually doing the scene, so for me...it's bizarre. It never looks like it felt to shoot it. So I can't actually tell if I was good or not, so nice to hear that I did ok!

  • Q

    Does your character Pam come naturally to you?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    Way too easy considering she is kind of a bitch! LOL! But I also think Pam has huge integrity, she is loyal, she is honest. I have SO much fun being Pam, that's the bottom line.

  • Q

    What is your absolute favorite thing about being apart of True Blood?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    My cast mates. Being on a show is really, for us, about the work day. And the work day on TB is wonderful. Often there are very long days so it's important to be able to laugh and talk and enjoy your scene partners, directors, writers, crew...and we do, we have a great time. It's a lovely bunch.

  • Q

    Your hair and makeup is always so amazing on the show. What is it like to see yourself all done up vamp style?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    Very fun! We have an amazing hair and makeup team! After the wardrobe fitting we start trading photos via email and planning each of Pam's looks, individually. It is great fun. We feel a pressure now a standard to top our selves and be true to Pam.

  • Q

    What is the one thing you like most about playing Pam ?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I like getting to speak my mind with no fear of repercussions! I like rolling my eyes and being openly annoyed with idiots. LOL! I also like being all dressed up for every single occasion. I find Pam very entertaining and also very likeable. You never wonder what Pam is thinking, she'll tell you!

  • Q

    if you could recast yourself as any type of "supe" would you still choose vampire?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I would! I have always liked vampires, I loved the Anne Rice books and I think vampires are the closest super to being a rock star. I feel very lucky to be one...on TV - let's be clear ;)

  • Q

    How much of Pam's "look" is your personal style?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    Very little. I like to be comfy. I'm a jeans and boots and t-shirts type. Or flip flops...comfort all the way. But Pam doesn't feel pain so she goes for effect! I do have fun though stepping in to those shoes! But enjoy stepping back in to my slippers. Immortality helps 'dress up' and so does Audry Fisher and Cindy Lee and Katherine (makeup and hair).

  • Q

    Are you good friends with the cast off the set?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    Yes, we are It is lovely. We support each other, wish each other well and see each other when we can. We also are close with our directors, writers and crew. We spend a lot of time together and it is really great to know these people. I truly can testify that this set is unique. A really great bunch of folks. I asked for help to do a doc on African elephant poaching this summer (in 10 days I leave) and the entire cast and crew donated items for my kickstarter! From Alan Ball and the cast, designers...amazing!!!

  • Q

    I love the flashback scenes! What time period would you like the next flash back scene to take place?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I'd love to see vampires in the 50s! I think that'd be hilarious. Or in the 70s. Vampires lived in all those decades so we could borrow from all decades. But we try to work in the corsets and the grandeur of the time Pam is from - 1905. Big hair, lost of makeup and always done up. I think that is the generation she is from.

  • Q

    Were you aware that Pam has a very large gay following and is a bit of a gay icon?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I've been told now. Great! I love it. I went and spoke for the Human Rights Campaign and so much love was poured back to me. I cried and cried - I think 7 times in my speech. I always cry a lot but that was even more than my normal. Very sweet to get such support and I really appreciate it.

  • Q

    Hello! Thank you for answering our questions today. I was wondering, is this the direction you saw Pam evolving when you first started to play her?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    Thanks for coming! I didn't. I'm not sure what I saw. But the writers are so brilliant! What I would have come up with wouldn't have been half as good. They are also very funny - but it's been great fun to get o play this relationship with Eric/Alex. I really like him and trust him and that relationship makes sense to me. I like how fierce she is and loyal...and this year Rutina and I have been enjoying our dynamics too. They are so good on this show!

  • Q

    what kind of music does pam like to listen to?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    For some reason I picture ...either classical or...Iron maiden...LOL! Not sure. I think she'd surprise us and just love the Pretenders. She like the sexy ladies I assume. Blondie! right? Yeah...I think I'll go with that. "til Tuesday" ...She's not much for the guys, except Eric.

  • Q

    Did you keep the sweatsuit?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I have ONE! And I am going to auction it to fund my documentary on African elephant ivory poaching that I'm off to shoot in 10 days! "Out For Africa" - OR I will put it up on my kickstarter that's up now. I wore it to Comicon to the EW panel. It is so funny! One of my favorite outfits! So funny...and warm for a night shoot ; )

  • Q

    u rock!! do u have any pets???

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    Yes, two rescued cats, two rescued dogs and a husband so five! All mutts from all over he place and they all get along! I am a rescuer as I've spent a lot of time in shelters and those sweet souls are perfect - they just don't have papers, but we don't either. We're all mutts! they are my kids.

  • Q

    Which scene or moment during filming made you laugh the hardest?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    Last season - When we were outside Moon Goddess getting pulled in to the force field. I had to go first and my fellow cast mates laughed so hard at me! It was soooo funny. It was like Steve Martin in that movie where Lily Tomlin took over his body. Deb laughed so hard her neck was wet with tears and Lana had to redo her eye makeup. We still laugh about it. At me...but it was funny.

  • Q

    If you werent an actress what would you be doing?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I have a couple of other big passions that I do as well as act, so I'm often tired. I paint. I love the visual arts. And I fight for the guys who have no voice - animals. I can't stand bullies, meanness and suffering. So any cause for rights, and not just the four legged, I am there. I think we need to figure out as a species how to be kind to each other and also to those who we can dominate - but I feel should not. So I'd be painting and saving anything I can.

  • Q

    If you could pick one person to "turn" in the real world who would it be?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    Hmmm....do I use this on opportunity to torture or to save...I think maybe I'd turn Jane Goodall so she'd be with us forever doing the incredible work she does. I am always so sad when we lose the heroes we need so badly and fight so selflessly for others.

  • Q

    How has being a part of the show changed your life?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I get a lot more free stuff! LOL! But also I get to meet very cool people and I get to get more of a platform to help those that need help so badly - mainly animals. I get to have a regular job for a bit and get to focus on my passions. I also have to shower when I leave the house now and think about what I am wearing. I am no longer able to be anonymous. AND the BEST is that I get to go to work with the amazing people on True Blood and at HBO. This network is INCREDIBLE! It is a joy to be in this family and it was a dream of mine for years watching Deadwood and Six Feet Under.

  • Q

    What was the strangest thing playing Pam required you to do?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I think that "wacky walk" we call it - being pulled in to the Moon Goddess force field. I mean how the hell do you do that? Michael. the director, said you're being pulled in and you are fighting it but can't...um...ok....how?! And the first take wasn't pretty. Alex, Stephen, Deb and Ryan laughed HARD! Ryan walked away because he is too sweet to laugh at me openly.

  • Q

    Hey Kristin! Thanks for answering all these questions! What made you want to go into acting?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I needed a job...that was kind of it at first. I was an artist, just out of art school and was always working crap jobs and getting fired. And I moved to LA to be poor in a sunny warmer place where the apt building had laundry IN the building (on the east coast they don't) and then started doing make up as it was a natural progression from portrait painting, then once I was on a set...I loved it! A perfect balance to being alone all the time as an artist. I still to this day LOVE the set and I miss it when I'm not on one. I love my job.

  • Q

    Kristin, thank you so much for answering questions in today’s Q&A. Will we see more of you in Season 6?

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    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    I sure hope so! It's every actors dream. I saw the writers room last week for the first time. The Lair! I stopped by to get signatures from writers on scripts for my kickstarter campaign for the doc I'm doing - and on the wall was THE white board with all of our season 6 story lines being mapped out! It was SO hard not to peek, but they were all looking at me so I couldn't. We're all dying to know. Every year I guess and it is always much better than anything I could come up with in my mind. Just like the fans...we're on the edge of our seats too!

  • Q

    What is ur favorite outfit and shoes that Pam has worn or will wear?

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    A
    Kristin Bauer van Straten says:

    Hmmm? So many great outfits!!! I love the black corset I wear often. It makes me look good and also its not too uncomfortable! The 1905 dress and cape, where I met Eric in the street was pretty gorgeous! All hand made and designed by Audrey Fisher.

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