While one of the joys of HBO’s True Blood is anytime fiery, ultra-sexual vampire Pam Swynford De Beaufort appears on the screen, her portrayer, actress Kristin Bauer, is taking a deep, satisfying bite out of another juicy role – “Mistress of Evil” Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty – in her guest starring turn on the new ABC series Once Upon A Time.
The new ABC fantasy drama got off to a strong start last week when it premiered to over 12 million households, which bodes well for the network that has seen other new series like Charlie’s Angels crash and burn (and Pan Am isn’t looking too healthy either).
In this Sunday’s episode, viewers are given the back-story to just how the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) cast the spell that sent our cast of fairy tale characters (including Ginnifer Goodwin’s Snow White) to be held prisoner in the town of Storybrooke, Maine without any memory of who they truly are. The rivalry between the Evil Queen and Maleficent (Bauer) is key in how this all happened and, perhaps, how the spell can be broken.
AfterEllen.com grabbed a few one-on-one minutes the other day with the always-enchanting Bauer to chat about how her new role is different for Pam, how women are portrayed on Once Upon A Time and any new True Blood scoop we could get from her.
AfterEllen.com: How is Maleficent different from Pam?
But when we get into this cartoon/storybook Once Upon A Time fantasy world and this evil character, Maleficent felt more like a real game player. She’s not going to show her hand, she enjoys the cat and mouse game [and] it’s a long-standing frenemy relationship [with the Evil Queen] so at times they’re allies, at times they’re not allies. I would imagine at times they both have something the other one wants but they don’t want to just come out and say it and they don’t want to play their hand. It’s more like the power playing we see in politics on Earth with countries and somebody wants this area and they’re allies and then they’re not and they go to war. It’s much more complicated. Pam is so much more direct.
AE: Would you say that Maleficent is all-evil or does she have some redeeming qualities that we’ll see?
KB: I think we see some redeeming qualities but with each new character as you start building … just like you are as a human throughout your life trying to figure out your code of honor and what you will do and what you won’t do and what you believe and that’s the thing that you build as your life goes and you do that with a character. I sort of did figure out with Pam that she has one Achilles heel, which is Eric (Alexander Skarsgård). That’s her one true love and then we found out last year her face is a close second. [laughs] Oh, you know, her vanity! We do see where Maleficent does draw the line and she’s had huge loss and she has now found her comfort and the Evil Queen is trying to take that away because she wants something and she has to get it from her in some way.
AE: Women in fairy tales are often either pure evil or damsels in distress but the women in Once Upon A Time seem very strong.
CREDIT: © (ABC/JACK ROWAND)
AE: In getting into the role of Maleficent, how much did the costumes themselves help you?
AE: We’re coming up on Halloween. Is there a scary movie you always go back to this time of year?
AE: Oh, that’s a good one.
AE: When do you go back to shooting True Blood?
AE: Did you rush and read it right away?
AE: Any chance we’ll see more of you on Once Upon A Time? Is the door left open for you?
AE: Oh, I can’t wait!
Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8/7 p.m. Central on ABC.