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ModWoman Gets to the Heart of Kristin Bauer Van Straten

Posted on the 25 January 2012 by Tbfansource @tbfansource

ModWoman Gets to the Heart of Kristin Bauer van StratenThe blog ModWoman recently had a chat with Kristin Bauer van Straten (Pamela Swynford de Beaufort) which covered a wide variety of topics ranging from her childhood and life philosophy to who she’d cast in a movie of the book she is in the midst of writing. But what separates this particular interview from others Kristin has done is that it has managed to reveal who she is beyond the True Blood role she is now infamous for.

Unlike her vampire alter ego, Kristin grew up in Wisconsin living a normal, fairly traditional life full of outdoor activities with little time for television or movies.  Life has pulled her in a different direction since then however and now in addition to being a talented actress, artist, and tireless activist, Kristin is also a writer. For the last several years she’s been writing a fictional novel centering around Hollywood. So ModWoman couldn’t resist asking about it and who she would cast if it was made into a film:

“…I need to get back to it, it’s been slow as I have been so lucky to be busy acting. I am really writing fairly close to home for the lead character so I think I would certainly be well cast. But there are so many actresses I admire. I would watch Patricia Arquitte read a phone book. I hope to have the book in presentable shape this year. I just need to carve out the time somehow. It’s about a girl in Hollywood and half of it will be true, I will just never be able to tell which half.”

When asked to share some of the obsticles she has overcome to get to where she is now, Kristin provided a very thoughtful and introspective answer:

“Oh boy. There have been some highs and some lows.  Loss has been a blunt teacher. Loss of loved ones sure changes ones perspective. For me it made me cherish and respect life much more, all life, not just human and not just people I know. I have also had many successes and many failures in love and work-like most of us. And that did create, I hate to admit, probably a good balance in me. The hard times knocked me off balance enough to let other kinds of information about life in as I was more raw and therefore more open. One is really present and hungry for information in the tough times. I have read many, many spiritual books in those times. I certainly got a wider view of the way I see and do things. It does seem that people who have had every blow cushioned, every jam fixed for them… can be terribly lost with no idea where they fit in to this life in a useful way. I used to joke that growth is over rated – And I am really enjoying not having the big fires to put out anymore, and am able to focus more on the things I want to say and do. I guess the bottom line is a balance — leaning more towards the harmony end than the rip your heart out end — and to pay attention in the good times too — keep learning.”

ModWoman Gets to the Heart of Kristin Bauer van StratenActing and activism are things that keep Kristin busy on a daily basis. So does one day in her life consist of? Kristin told ModWoman that it starts with having to get up much too early and dealing with 150 emails a day followed by reading about animal and environmental issues which leads to writing a series of emails of companies or politicians who could be doing better than they are. Some of her days are spent on set working and on the days she’s not, she goes to the gym and walks her dogs. The rest of her day is spent doing more work on the computer with animals and evironmental issues and posting about them (with the occasional vent) on her Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Because Kristin spends a lot of time giving voice to issues that most of the world might never have become aware of, she herself has become an inspiration to many people across the world. But who does she find inspiring?  At first, Kristin names inspiring women such as Rosa Parks, Jane Goodall, and Ayn Rand. However she is also quick to say that there are many women in the world working tirelessly for causes such as animals and the environment whose names we don’t know. Kristin says she only hopes that she might be able to feel like one of those women someday.

One of the issues that has gleaned media attention lately in part thanks to Kristin lending her voice to it is animal testing in the cosmetics industry. As a result, one of the things she gets asked a lot is what kind of cruelty-free beauty products she uses. They change often as she learns of more  products people tell her about. Right now her beauty products consist of brands such as MyChelle, L’Occitiane, Dr. Weil’s for Origins, Adonia and Dr Haushka. As for make up, she’s currently using Bare Minerals and a new company called Youngblood (appropriate for someone who plays a vampire, yes?)

When she isn’t working, writing, painting, or advocating for an particular issue, where does Kristin like to go to get away and what does she take with her?

“I travel a lot now. I literally dream of Africa, my husbands home. I also love Northern Wisconsin. I like trees, land and lakes. My husband likes the ocean. So we go to Northern California which satisfies us both, like Carmel. I never fly without my pashmina for warmth and my Brookstone neck pillow as flights are the only time I can totally rest.”

ModWoman Gets to the Heart of Kristin Bauer van StratenOther interview questions included what handbag she’s carrying (Steve Madden, vegan black bag), who her style icon is (Marilyn Monroe), and who she’d sing a duet with (her husband, singer/songwriter Abri van Straten naturally). East of Eden and Atlas Shrugged are books that changed her life. She says they define her life’s mission statement in different ways.

The interview closed with a question about whether she’s always been an avid animal rights supporter and here’s what she had to say:

I grew up with many animals and have always been taught to enjoy and respect life. I have an awe of nature whether it be trees, a river, a lake – to my family there is no difference between the neighbors back yard and the ocean, which is really just someone else’s backyard. Causing someone else’s suffering is something I am looking to not do, daily.

To read the interview in its entirity please click here.


Image Credits: Lionel Deluy, Cheyenne Ellis, and Andrew Toth, Patrick Mulligan.com/Just Jared

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