True Blood's Pam: 'Bad-ass gay women superheroes are pretty fun to play'

True Blood's Kristin Bauer van Straten

As True Blood's Pam heads into her sixth season of bloody vampire adventures on Sunday, there's plenty of trouble ahead, promised actress Kristin Bauer van Straten in an exclusive interview with Blastr.

"For me, for Pam, so far, I don't have to go very far to get in trouble," said Straten. "Things evolve every year for Pam. I feel like we get another layer of who she is. That's still continuing, because she's trying to figure out with the s--t hitting the fan on a political level how she and her baby, who she's now made out with -– she spent a year trying to kill this girl and then was forced to make her a vampire –- and now she's making out with her. So that's a rather complex, multilayered relationship.” 

Last season, Pam and her vampire progeny, Tara (Rutina Wesley), went up against the Vampire Authority and locked lips with each other in a surprising twist to Pam and Tara's storyline.

She's trying to “figure out how to be Pam within the relationship, because she's not going to turn into somebody that's warm and fuzzy. And then she also has this relationship with her maker who released her and threatened her. Disappeared, came back, threatened her, and now she thought he was dead, and in the finale, she just realized that he's alive. So it's a bit of a dysfunctional family, you know? Pam is struggling with dire circumstances and also these relationships at the same time,” she said.

Every year we see a bit more of Pam's sensitive side. "The challenge for me is to keep Pam Pam and to understand where the volume knob is on her soft underbelly. That's something that I've worked on with the producers and writers and directors, because with Pam, the slightest little smile would be the equivalent of me sort of throwing my arms around somebody and sobbing. You know? The tiniest reveal of kindness looks huge on her,” she said.

For Straten (Once Upon a Time, Star Trek: Enterprise), this season when it comes to playing Pam it's all about her vampire father, Eric, and her vampire child, Tara. “I love my father, and he saves my life, and he's the most important person to me, and now I feel a responsibility to this other person who's got faith in me, but yet Pam has been through a lot. She has not had a lot of sympathy. People complain and say they're having a hard time. She can usually top it. She's been through worse. All those things, all those very human emotions that we all have, that's actually what we actors are doing and are using. You can't really act being a vampire. That's just a moment with the teeth.”

Playing a vampire who has toothy moments is one thing. But playing the droll and sassy Pam, who is gay and who is anything but sweet and cuddly, takes things to a whole different level, admits Straten.

"Bad-ass gay women superheroes are pretty fun to play,” she said. And Straten has a partner in that attitude. “I think Rutina really enjoyed becoming a superhero, as we like to call it. It is fun.”

True Blood premieres on HBO on Sunday at 9 p.m.

Are you ready for the show's bloody return?