'True Blood' star Kristin Bauer van Straten Talks Season 5

Kristin Bauer van Straten on the new season of "True Blood," what's up with Pam and Eric's crazy relationship, and if she'll be back on "Once Upon a Time"

by Leslie Van Buskirk
true blood kristin bauer van straten image
Photograph: John P. Johnson/HBO

KBVS: I’m a vegan at home, and a vegetarian on the road—it’s harder to maintain a vegan diet when I’m working and can’t make my own meals. My protein sources are protein shakes, quinos, tofu, organic soy…I into avoiding white foods—you know, sugar and bread. And I love nuts, so I eat a lot of those. And I just feel so great eating like this.

More: Do you have, like, a guilt food, something you reward yourself with or can’t say no to?
KBVS: Definitely. I had a photo shoot recently where I had to wear swim suits, so I was reallygood for a couple of weeks leading up to the shoot. But the next day, I got up early and met a friend for pancakes and vegan bacon. I love breakfast food—waffles, pancakes, muffins...I love all those things, even more than any kind of dessert.

More: I’m fighting the urge to run to a diner and order pancakes. Back to “True Blood”: Will Pam ever not hate Sookie?
KBVS: I’m not sure she hates her. Pam was okay with Sookie until Eric chose Sookie over her. She’s used to Eric having other relationships, it’s not that—he can have his dalliances, but just don’t put any other female in front of her, you know? But this season, you’ll see more of the back story and understand their relationship in a deeper way.

More: This past season, you played another supernatural character, Malificent, on the hit show “Once Upon a Time.” And she died, but, considering all the back and forth between the past and present and curses and all, might we see  her again? Cuz she was really fun.
KBVS: Thank you—she was fun, wasn’t she? I had such a good time going to that set to do that. Yeah, I hope she comes back, too. You know, the finale leads me to believe it could happen—it just seems like the purple smoke or fog rolled into town and the curse was lifted. So maybe Maleficent wasn’t bad after all, who knows? But I’d love to play her again.

More: Everybody has dues-paying gigs; what did you do before making a living at acting?
KBVS: Oh boy…I was an art student, I studied fine art, so after college, I was just looking at a life of poverty. So I did just about every menial labor job you could think of, but they’d only last like two weeks before I’d get fired. I was a window washer, a receptionist at a hair salon, I sold jewelry on the street in Boston. In the winter.Yeah, that was fun…I was a nanny, a maid, I sold weight loss products...I also tried bartending but I couldn’t mix drinks, so I came home drunk andfired. (laughs)

More: But then you started working constantly, with guest shots on everything—“Dharma and Greg,” “CSI,” “Everbody Loves Raymond,” “Bones,” “Desperate Housewives,” to name a few. Why do you think you’re so adept at getting cast in so many wildly divergent things?
KBVS: Yeah, it has been fantastic and amazing. I guess I’m character actor—I can play a preacher’s wife on “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and then a vampire on “True Blood.” I’m a chameleon. But it’s not just as an actor, it’s something I’ve had my whole life. Like, I can run into a guy I used to date and have to re-introduce myself! Oh, that sounds bad (laughs) What I mean is that, physically, I’m a bit of blank canvas. And with acting, it’s hair and makeup—it drastically changes my appearance. A friend once told me that I’m a shape shifter, which is a great thing for an actor.

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