Milwaukee Talks: "True Blood" actress Kristin Bauer
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Racine native Kristin Bauer keeps herself busy. In addition to playing Pam, the vampire club owner on HBO's hit show, "True Blood," Bauer is also an artist, an animal rights activist and a new bride who got married on her family's farm.
Bauer has 53 credited television and film projects -- everything from "Seinfeld" to "Desperate Housewives" to "Boston Legal" and now, "True Blood," which she says is her favorite project yet.
With "True Blood" approaching its season-two finale, we caught up with Bauer by phone to discuss "man hands," her new-found recognition, her memories of Mayfair Mall and more. Enjoy this latest Milwaukee Talks.
OnMilwaukee.com: What's it like working on a show that some critics are calling one of the best on TV?
Kristin Bauer: It's incredible, surreal and unexpected.
OMC: What part of it is unexpected? Because I've watched every episode of "True Blood" and knew it was a pretty unique show from day one.
KB: I don't know if it's me having been in the business a bit and have gotten my hopes up so many times, because there's so much about filming that I can't control. I've done some amazing things that people didn't really see, and some crappy things that everybody saw. I somehow have to focus on just saying the words and then forget about it. I assumed it would be amazing because of (executive producer) Alan Ball, and I love vampires, and the cast is so incredible. I was working on another show, and halfway through the hair and makeup, someone said, "We just have to tell you we love 'True Blood,' and you're incredible as Pam!" They were giving me attention that seems different than the other hit shows that I've been on like "Seinfeld." There's a real mysterious component to this level of interest.
OMC: The season is just about over, so I'm assuming you've been done filming for a while. Do you feel like every episode is just getting better?
KB: Yeah, I do. I feel the excitement, even though I know what is going to happen. I still can't wait for Sunday.
OMC: Do you watch the show?
KB: Yeah, they screen them at lunchtime on the set. I'm as excited as anybody.
OMC: What else are you working on?
KB: I'm doing "Private Practice" this week. It's totally different; I'm playing a human.
OMC: You're only 35, but your biography says you acted in 53 different roles. That seems like a lot. What are some of your favorites?
KB: I really am partial to comedy, which is one thing I love about "True Blood." I think Pam is hysterical. A lot of the TV stuff I do that is dramatic is harder work. It's great as an actor to show people that you can do that, but maybe I've just gotten lazy, but I really like playing fun roles. "Seinfeld" was fun, and "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" was fun. "Desperate Housewives" and "Boston Legal" were fun. "True Blood" is the most fun of any job I've ever had.
OMC: Even better than the "man hands" episode of "Seinfeld?"
KB: That was pretty hysterical, because a sitcom set is a blast. That cast was so happy and so easy-going. They worked like three or four hours a day. "True Blood" is 17 hours a day. It's really cinematic, so the filming moves much more slowly.
OMC: Do people still ask you about the "man hands?" Do they all want to see your hands?
KB: Yes, they do. I get asked that all the time.
OMC: I'm assuming those weren't actually your hands.
KB: No, thank God. Can you imagine?
OMC: Speaking of special effects, how do the fangs work on "True Blood?"
KB: It's a magical CGI trick. We just say the line again with fangs, and somewhere these guys just make that happen.
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This is going to win an award. Anyone who doesn't like it is a dweeb.
It's hard to fathom that a show which is into its second season could "jump the shark." Usually that term is used to refer to a show that has dipped in the ratings and, in desperation for viewers, does something totally outrageous with the characters and storyline. After some basic research, last week's episode had 5.2 million viewers and the season has had a weekly average of 11.5 million viewers, including repeats/DVR.
The show I agree has kind of been a bit of a bore this year. Hate to disagree but the Mary Anne storyline "jumped the shark" about 4 weeks ago. The only good that has come of it is that we have been introduced to some more powerful vamps!! I really didn't want to see alot of those townspeople in the buff..yet am fine with the increase of Sookie in that area..I wonder why..:)
Best part of season two: Maryann, the seemingly undefeatable supernatural evil ancient bitch who takes over the town. Michelle Forbes should've been nominated for an Emmy.
This show has become very boring this season. I don't think I'm even going to waste my time next year. I am looking forward to new episodes of Curb! And they should bring back Deadwood.
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