As Pam De Beaufort, “True Blood”’s favorite fanged fashionista, Kristin Bauer van Straten struts through steamy Bon Temps wearing stilettos while flinging insults and bodies wherever she goes. Offscreen, however, the low-key actress prefers jeans and t-shirts, painting, and the company of her singer-songwriter husband (Abri van Straten) and their four rescue pets (dogs Asher and Osmond; cats Abigail and Samuel). Far from having Pam’s taste for blood, van Straten is diligent animal activist who lends her name and time to several causes including the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “I’m from Wisconsin and I was raised with respect for nature,” she says. “Also, maybe because I’m an artist, I believe in free will and I don’t think it’s fair to tell another person or another species how to live for your convenience. It’s wrong and it’s rude.”
With Season 5 of the HBO smash about to get under way—amid rumors that her role has been put on the front burner—van Straten agreed to a little interrogation.
More: “True Blood” fans are very excited to finally see how Eric 'turned' Pam; what can you tell us?
KBVS: Well….i think I’m allowed to say…(Pause) almost nothing! (laughs) But we do finally see it and I can tell you from my experience—first from reading it and then from seeing it—that the writing was soooo perfect. It really explains their relationship and it finally explains Pam. You know, up until now, we really haven’t known much about her, she’s been a mystery. She’s pretty harsh but she also has loyalty and huge integrity.
More: And some great one liners!
KBVS: (laughs) I think part of why she’s so funny is because she just says what most of us are thinking. But, you know, that’s the writers, they’re just the best writers I’ve ever worked with, probably the best anywhere. And sometimes I don’t think the writers get their due when it comes to awards—maybe it’s because we’ve got the nudity and the blood and the violence and all that fun stuff, sometimes I think their talent is overlooked. Ultimately, though, I guess it doesn’t really matter, right? I love going to work and I love saying their words and people love hearing them, so that’s what matters.
More: Let’s talk wardrobe—Pam’s always dressed up, in heels and full makeup with her hair done. What does that say about her?
KBVS: Well, last year, I was theorizing that when you don’t have to worry about aging, illness and money, what else do you have to think about all day, except how you look? But now I’ve added to it that she comes from another time, a time when people didn’t only think of comfort—like it wasn’t acceptable to be dressed in flip flops and sweatpants like we are today. She’s from another time. And this season, i feel like her wardrobe is an homage to the time she came from…(pause) There’s a certain costume we keep coming back to—
More: Which you probably can’t tell me about–
KBVS: No, but you’ll see—everything makes perfect sense.
More: Speaking of Pam’s clothes, most of them are skintight. Is it a challenge to keep yourself so slender? <
KBVS: “True Blood" is adding years to my life because I work out more, especially after wardrobe fittings! (laughs) I eat a ton of fresh salads, and I really look and think about what I’m eating. And I won’t have the whole dessert anymore. I do cardio-barre method a few times a week, but mostly I hike and walk with the dogs. I feel better and my dogs are happier because they get longer walks. It’s great for all of us.
More: What about your diet?