'True Blood''s resident bitch in heels, Kristin Bauer van Straten, is stopping by 'Once Upon a Time' (Sun., Oct. 30, 8PM ET on ABC) to play someone even witchier. Maleficent is best known as the dark and twisted villainess of 'Sleeping Beauty,' but on ABC's new fairy tale drama, she'll face off with Lana Parilla's Evil Queen.
I caught up with Bauer -- who teased me with 'True Blood' Season 5 knowledge before I could even beg for it -- to hear more about the self-proclaimed "Mistress of all Evil" and her equally evil TV rival.
She also teased a possible return to the fairy tale land, and admitted which fellow guest star made her go all fangirl.
I'm so happy to see you doing something fun and a bit evil on your hiatus. I'm already missing my Pam.
Aw, that's so nice -- me too! But I read the first script the other night, and it was really like, "Oh wow, we're going back into Pam world." I'm very excited. Now I know what's going to happen in episode 1 of Season 5 ... it's pretty freaking exciting. That first table read is gonna be social hour.
Don't tease me.
Isn't it horrible? It's really cruel! Every storyline was a cliffhanger [last season] ... I love it. Those guys let you stretch every year. Interesting writing is so lucky for an actor.
And now you've got the 'Lost' guys writing an evil witch part for you.
Exactly! I mean, how lucky am I? Really, this sort of "evil bitch" typecasting is the most awesome thing in the world. I'm so OK with it -- the clothing, the dialogue, the scene partners, the fantastical worlds. The whole thing is just ... I just want to live here forever, just all year-round.
Nice is boring!
It's true, and I get asked often, "You know, you seem pretty nice. Is it hard to get into playing the bitch?" I'm like, "No." [Laughs] It really isn't! Not sure why that is except we all think the thoughts, but we edit. So these characters are really fun to watch, to root for, to hate and to laugh at, because we all have that in there.
Agreed. So how are we introduced to Maleficent in this week's episode?
It's so great, because we meet Maleficent in her lair, and she and the Evil Queen are having tea, basically, and doing that sort of fabulous frenemy banter. You can just tell it's a long relationship of, at times, being friends and, at times, wanting something from the other and trying to figure out how to play it to get it. It's just a fascinating, deep relationship it seems, of two catty chicks.
Lana Perilla is killing it, isn't she?
Ridiculous. Are you kidding me? And she was really great because I'm new to this show and this world ... you walk on the set and go, "Hey, hi, where are we?" Because I'm in a green room. And she literally took my hand and said, "I can help you." And she walked me over to the monitor and said, "Look -- this is what it's gonna look like, this is where you are." And we just started bantering this dialogue back and forth, and went, "Oh my god, this is gonna be so much fun!"
So we know you exist in the fairy tale universe, but do we get to see you in Storybrooke at all?
We don't yet. I'm endlessly fascinated with what they're going to do with the show, and with all these characters that are so amazing and the great actors ... and it's the 'Lost' people so, you know, you expect to be invested and surprised.
You said "yet" ... does that mean that we'll get to see more of you?
Yeah, I don't know how it's gonna work out with 'True Blood' and shooting schedules and what they decide to do with the show, but it's open. It'd be fun [to do more] ... I had a really great time with Lana and would love to have more fun with her.
Sounds like all your scenes are with Lana -- did you get to play with anyone else?
No, not yet. I got a chance to coo over Brad Dourif though, because his wardrobe fitting was after mine. So I hung around just to say, "Oh my god I love you! And I loved you on 'Deadwood'! You're so amazing!" [Laughs] I was a total fangirl.
All of these characters are already so familiar to us. Did that sweeten the pot for you, to get you to travel and work on your hiatus?
Yes! I mean, that crazy Maleficent we remember from 'Sleeping Beauty' when we were scared to death of her as kids. How fun is that? It's nice that our shooting schedule [on 'True Blood'] is so opposite, because we all love to go and do other things, too. I always imagine when hiatus starts that I'm going to re-do my backyard, I'm going to vegetable garden, I'm going to paint. And then the phone rings and you can't say no. To go from one bitch to another bitch is amazing. [Laughs] One well-dressed bitch to another ...