TULSA — On HBO's “True Blood,” Area 5 vampire Pam De Beaufort has the best clothes, the snappiest lines and is manager of the bar “Fangtasia.”
In the ABC show “Once Upon a Time,” Maleficent appeared as the evil queen and sorceress from the “Sleeping Beauty” fairy tale, both as a human and a dragon, and is killed by the show's hero Emma (Jennifer Morrison).
The woman behind these creatures is Kristin Bauer van Straten. Even the name suggests a woman of mystery, allure and intrigue.
She may be all of these, but she has a different reason about how she gets such varied roles.
“My whole career has run the gamut of characters,” she said in a phone interview from her Los Angeles home. “I've found that people see me as the part I'm auditioning for and that's what they think of me afterward.”
Meet the real woman Friday through Sunday at Darkon Expo at the Clarion/Park Inn by Radisson, 2201 N 77th E Ave., Tulsa.
Darkon Expo is a convention focusing on things scary, horrifying and supernatural. Stroll the exhibit hall and see and buy hard-to-find toys, get autographs from visiting celebrities, look at collectibles, games and supplies, find great books and see a special display of props used in the movie “Alien.”
Daily question-and-answer sessions are planned with guest stars and other programs are scheduled with authors, artists, makeup and special effect artists.
Photo sessions are available with the celebrities.
Besides Bauer van Straten, celebrity guests include Matt Frewer (“Falling Skies,” “Eureka,” Max Headroom), Lisa Wilcox (“Nightmare on Elm Street”), Veronica Cartwright (“Revenge,” “Alien,” “Scary Movie 2”), Rick Worthy (“Supernatural,” “Heroes”) and Ed Gale (“Child's Play,” “Spaceballs”).
John Ferguson (Oklahoma TV's Count Gregore) will emcee at Darkon.
Making a plan
When she auditioned for the role of Pam, a vampire with an acerbic wit and wildly sexy clothes, she made it a point not to learn too much about the books by Charlaine Harris used to create the world of “True Blood.”
“I had no idea what I was getting into,” she said.
Her plan worked and her character has many of the show's funniest lines.
“I slept with all the writers,” she joked. “Really, they are fantastic and I am so blessed and so thankful. My dialogue is a gift.”
The cast of “True Blood” gets along well together. They bring their families to the set. (The show's main stars, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are married to one another.)
“Sam Trammel has two boys and they are so sweet,” she said. “It's pretty much a dogs and kids set.
“It's a great group and great to be friends with the people you work with.”
The fifth season of “True Blood” is now showing in Europe and some of the cast have been traveling to promote the show.
And, while everyone wants to know what will happen when Season Six premieres in the U.S. in June, she has no idea what's in store.
“They don't tell us anything and we are dying to know,” she explained. “When we get together, we grill each other on what might be going on, but, no one knows but the writers.”
Bauer van Straten was visiting her mother in her home state of Wisconsin when the call came in about playing Maleficent in “Once Upon a Time.”
“I was in Wisconsin with my mother when my manager called me about the role. We checked and discovered we could fit it into my schedule,” she said. “It was great. I got a job and my mother to her hair appointment on time.
“I wanted to make sure Maleficent was different from Pam, and I had to go back and remember how I felt about the story when I was 6.”
One of her upcoming projects has her playing something quite different from what she's been doing. She's playing a human.
In “The Story of Luke,” she stars with Cary Elwes and Seth Green. She plays Cindy, who with Paul (Elwes), is charged with caring for Luke, a 25-year-old austic man.
“Relatives are stuck with taking care of an autistic man, and Cindy is a difficult character to like,” she said. “The role was a good stretch for me.”
Bauer van Straten fills her free time with charity work.
She rescues dogs, works to help whales in the wild and educates the public on the dangers of genetic modified foods and using animals in circuses and in zoos.
Closest to her heart is saving elephants already in the wild and returning captive ones there. She just returned from Kenya where she has started work on a documentary on saving them.
“I may have bitten off more than I can chew,” she said. “I took 3,000 photos and have more than 70 hours of film. I may not need to go back.”
Her husband is Abri Van Straten, leader of the South African rock group The Lemmings.
Visiting her husband's native country was an amazing experience. His family is active in animal conservation and his grandfather pioneered the “tranquilize and treat” way to help injured animals in the wild.
“Kenya is a magical place and their conservation programs are working well,” she said.
“I want to believe people are basically good, and we can change the destruction of animals in Africa before it is too late.”
Daily tickets are still available for Darkon Expo. For more information, call (918) 574-2394 or visit www.darkonexpo.net.
Kenya is a magical place and their conservation programs are working well. I want to believe people are basically good, and we can change the destruction of animals in Africa before it is too late.”
Kristin Bauer van Straten