Are you ready to let True Blood go?
Kristin Bauer definitely isn't.
Just weeks away from shooting her last scene on the long-running HBO vampire series, Bauer shared her feelings with me about the show ending and saying goodbye to her TV family.
She also talked about who in the large cast she wished she had had more storylines with, along with the identity of Pam's ultimate goal is (and long time fans won't be shocked that it has a lot to do with Eric!).
Let's check in with Bauer for some scoop on what we'll see...
TV Fanatic: I know I’m not sure I’m ready to let go of this world yet. How are you feeling about it since you’re still in the thick of it.
Kristin Bauer: I feel the same way. I feel like it’s such a magical world, creative minds, such incredible people, supported by the greatest network. They really let artists do their thing, and also, on top of that, I’m surrounded by people I’ve loved like family for seven years.
I’m running my last scenes with people and it’s killing me. It’s terrible, absolutely terrible. It’s like high school, where you don’t want to leave. It’s like this is the greatest, I think every single time I worked, at some point, I looked at the people around me and go, ‘We are so lucky. We’re at work right now. This is actually a job.’
TVF: It’s your job to be covered in blood and just have chaos everywhere! That’s your job.
KB: That’s my job. What a hilarious job. [laughs]
TVF: Where we find Pam at the start of the new season?
KB: Pam made a decision at the end of last season to leave everything in search of Eric. And we have seen over the years how important he is to her, that she made the ultimate move, the ultimate sacrifice at the beginning of [season] seven. And it takes her out of her element, out of her home, so we see Pam on the road and in places that we wouldn’t expect in some dire circumstances, all in an effort to find Eric.
TVF: Even in that environment, I never really worry about Pam. I feel like she may be a little daunted by the surroundings but you can always count on her to take care of herself and not wither in a corner, right?
KB: Yeah. I totally agree with you because you never know when you take a big fish out of a little pond but we’ll find out more about Pam this year and partly through the use of flashbacks. We once again learn what a survivor she is. She’s a very tough cookie. She only has one soft spot, and that’s Eric.
TVF: Do you think that the search for Eric is what’s truly keeping her going at the start of the season?
KB: Yeah. I think that she saw a glimpse of her life without him and couldn’t do it and just had a compulsion. She just had no choice but to try to do everything she could to find him.
TVF: You mentioned flashbacks and I know we have some early flashbacks with Sookie and Bill when they first met. Will we go back to some of those early days with Pam? It’s all very full-circle.
KB: Yes, and that’s what I feel like they do in these flashbacks. We get so much more information about not only who these characters are but how they ended up where they ended up, and how they ended up with certain people. So the flashbacks are really informative and also super-fun for us. It’s fun to go back a decade.
TVF: Is there anyone that you wish that you had more story with over the years, that maybe you just didn’t get to explore enough of that you wish you could do more?
KB: I’m a huge fan of Jason Stackhouse. That character is so much fun, and Ryan [Kwanten] is a frigging genius, and would entertain myself endlessly at the table reads or in my mind or while I watched the show to what Pam would do with Jason. And we only got to see them in past years in big action sequences. So, technically, we’re in the same scene, but we really have only interacted once, for I think three lines, when he came to Fangtasia in year two or three. But that’s a character that I really love.
TVF: Is there any time for Pam to find love in this season, because you know, of course we want everybody to have a happily ever after. I don’t know if that is possible on True Blood.
KB: You know, she does, how do I put it, because she does find…I’m really happy with the arc of the storyline that I got to play this year. And I have been every year, but you know, of course, there was more need for it to feel right this year, because it was our last year. And I’m just so happy with the colors that I got to express, and the new layers that we see in Pam.
Every year, I feel like we got to know her a little better, a little deeper, and that happened once again. So, I’m really excited for people to see it.
TVF: I’ve seen you play sides of Pam that are both very vulnerable and also, of course, her hard edge. What’s more challenging for you to play?
KB: Being cruel is astoundingly easy. [laughs] It’s fun as well. I just absolutely love it. I relish it. The vulnerable, luckily, has mainly been with Rutina [Wesley, Tara] and Alex [Skarsgård, Eric] and I know Alex better than I know Rutina, but I got to know Rutina, and I don’t even have to go to imagining the character in dire straits. I can just imagine Rutina and Alex in dire straits and I’m already vulnerable. I’ve been so lucky.
There have been acting experiences in the past where I have to kind of keep a picture of my dead dog there and then just say the dialogue over that. This isn’t that. I can be in the moment, looking into the eyes of my scene partner, and actually feeling. And it’s challenging because you have to do it for eight hours so those scenes, I’m a little more tired since they’re a lot more tired at the end of the day, cost you a little more. But it’s been available to me without having to reach other places beyond that set.
TVF: How do you think the show has changed you as an actor?
KB: I think it probably has given me another edge of confidence. I’ve done so much work a lot of whoring around. I was on every show, and you know, it’s a different feeling to show up, it feels like you’re in a new school. You don’t know anybody and you feel more autonomous, where you did the audition, you show up on the set, you don’t get time to know this other person, your scene partner, so you do what you imagined you’d do in your head. And no matter what they do, you’re going to do what you did to get the job.
With this, we got to play, because we had so much trust and so much information, knowledge about the character we’ve been embodying for seven years, that we know more about the character than anybody else. So, the visiting director relies on us, and in the moment, in the scene, and because we take 20 days to shoot an episode, you get the time in rehearsal and blocking to try things out.
I feel like it’s given me, afforded me comfort, and therefore depth and confidence, I’m sure. I don’t know how it will translate to a new environment again but I think it does give you a little more spring in your step when you walk into a new environment. You have confidence.
True Blood Season 7 kicks off Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.