True Blood Q&A: Kristin Bauer Van Straten Talks Kissing Alexander Skarsgard & More

Just three episodes in, and it’s already proving to be a big season for Kristin Bauer van Straten’s Pam on “True Blood.”

She saved Tara from death by turning Sookie’s pal into a vampire and finally, fans got to see how Pam became a bloodsucker in the first place.

Last week, it was revealed that Pam forced Eric Northman’s vampire-turning hand by slitting her wrists, after he first rebuffed her suggestion to join him in the world of the undead.

But before fans find out about sharing a lip lock with Kristin’s co-star Alexander Skarsgard, who plays Eric, and what’s to come on this Sunday’s episode on HBO, Kristin shared with Access Hollywood her impressions of another “True Blood” star’s big screen work.

AccessHollywood.com: You were at the premiere of ‘Magic Mike.’

Kristin Bauer van Straten: (Giggles) I did. I took the girlfriends.

Access: It’s not just a movie about men stripping, but what did you think of that part — especially of your buddy Joe Manganiello (Alcide Herveaux on ‘True Blood’)?

Kristin: Joe leaves a big impression and I think I had the same expression on my face that the women in the film did in the club. It’s super fun. It’s a very sweet love story actually, a coming of age story for Channing Tatum, but there is also eye candy. It’s a lot like ‘True Blood’ – it’s got a great story, but then you get to see some fun stuff.

Access: Were you blushing in the theater?

Kristin: Joe was sitting behind me and I kept turning around and giving him looks, but I was pretty glad that I wasn’t in the actual club… I might have just like covered my eyes and turned purple.

Access: This season on ‘True Blood’ it was revealed that Pam had gotten together with Eric (in her backstory). When you saw that in the script – and you’re friends with Alexander Skarsgard – what went through your head?

Kristin: I have such comfort with Alex and such trust that I just kept trying to picture what I wanted the scene to look like, because we’ve waited so long for this… We’ve known Pam for the last five years, and she’s 100-and-some-years-old. We know that she’s pretty unapologetic, she’s pretty blunt, she’s pretty harsh, she really only has affection for one person and then [as an actress, I] work my way backwards and go, ‘Wait a minute, what would be the genesis of that? How do I find the vulnerability? I have to show the vulnerability because we have to understand why she leapt into this other life and chose it.’

Access: You actually got to kiss Alex for the first time. He talks about those kinds of things as part of the job, but when you actually have to kiss a friend – after all this time – it seems like it would be a little weird.

Kristin: Yeah, I know. [But] for some reason, it didn’t feel weird… But Stephen [Moyer, who plays Bill Compton] and Mariana Klaveno [who plays Lorena]… they were standing right outside the doorway to that room in the brothel… So we kiss and [Alex] sort of scoops me and twirls me out of the scene — one of my legs is incredibly tangled up inside the skirts… I’m battling with this fabric and six inches from Stephen and Mariana who are staring at us like they’re watching their parents make out.

Access: Oh no!

Kristin: I look at them and go, ‘What?’ and they go, ‘It’s like watching our parents kiss.’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean by that!’ So there’s always this difference between the experience of filming it and then what it looks like, and I felt like when I watched it that it was good. It was perfect.

Access: Why do you think Pam needed to escape the life she was in by slitting her wrists in the hopes that Eric would turn her into a vampire?

Kristin: I feel, from an actor’s viewpoint and talking to Raelle Tucker, who wrote that episode, she had to force the issue with Eric. She could see that he wasn’t gonna do it, and also, it shows the same Pam that we know today — that she’s a very committed, ballsy person and that she also really was only giving up five years of life. She was saying, the story doesn’t end well for women in this time… I will die alone, horribly. It shows that bold character that we know, and it also, to me, really represented how unbelievably happy she is and unapologetic about being a vampire. She had no love for humanity. She chose this, she forced this and then the fact [is] that he really does save her.

Access: What’s coming up in the Pam/Eric storyline? He’s in some trouble again.

Kristin: What is coming up, is we see a couple of things. One is the depth to which the Vampire Authority is affecting all of our lives and how extreme the situation could possibly get and it forces us into making tough decisions and we see on the [promotional] billboard – ‘Everything’s At Stake’ – and I think, yeah, it is. So much of what Pam values, which is mainly her relationship with Eric — even that is now at stake.

Access: Pam hates Sookie, and Tara, her vampire progeny, was close to Sookie. Will we see a bond start to develop because the two of them hate Sookie so much? Like a little mean girls vampire club?

Kristin: That would be really fun. For some reason, it’s fun to play a character that hates other characters. I just love Pam’s hatred of Bill, but what’s great about this show is like last year, Pam and Bill started having to work together and that’s where a lot of these alliances shift, shift back and shift again this year and I do not know what they’re gonna do. We’re about to film Episode 12, so I’m not sure what that end is for all of this, but it’s a pretty chaotic year. It’s a pretty hard year for relationships because the Authority really wreaks some havoc.

Access: Are we going to get to find out how Pam got so damn sassy?

Kristin: I would love to have something from every decade where we kind of see the evolvement. Hopefully we’ll go long enough that we see Pam in the ‘50s.

Access: In the 70s!

Kristin: In the 70s! Can you imagine? Just feeding on hippies with abandon.

Access: Before I let you go, are you going to head down for Comic-Con?

Kristin: I am. I’m heading down to Comic-Con and then, a month later, I go to Africa shooting a documentary.

Access: On the elephants?

Kristin: Yep… I’ve gotta take a camera crew over to Kenya… I’m setting up meetings in all different parts of Kenya with people on the ground who live and breathe trying to stop the poaching of the elephants and the rhino. Two species of rhino have gone extinct in the last six months. The numbers they’re guestimating of elephants that are being poached daily is so sickening. We’ve heard really heartbreaking numbers, so I’m going to interview these people and say, ‘What’s happening? You live here. Please, tell us what you think are the solutions and how can we help you.’

-- Jolie Lash

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