Tara Buck Talks Ginger’s Groupie Roots

By Diana Band

This week, HBO.com chatted with Tara Buck, the actress behind Fangtasia’s most beleaguered employee. Buck talked about Ginger’s backstory, why she’d make a great vampire and how she relates to her fangbanger character.

Fans finally got to learn Ginger’s origins. How’d you react to her backstory?  

When I got the script for this episode [“Death is Not the End”] I was like, “This is the backstory I imagined Ginger would have.” I don’t know if we [Buck and the writers] just picked up each other’s wavelengths or what! I guess it’s just part of working together for six seasons.

I love that she was once this bright college student.

She’s smart, yeah! And really enthusiastic! That’s the through-line -- it’s not two completely different characters. Even though she’s changed in so many ways, the passion and enthusiasm she had that first day where she met Pam and Eric is still there. She’s always been an über-vampire fan.

Where do you think Ginger’s life would have gone if she hadn’t asked for that video store application?

I don’t know. I believe in destiny, so I don’t think there was any other possible outcome. Even early on, before I read the episode, I thought of Ginger as a vampire groupie, somebody that falls in love with the lead singer of some rock band and ends up putting her life on hold to be with the band in every city across the country and sleeping in shitty motels. I think she could have taken that enthusiasm anywhere she went, but it she fell into that special trance of falling in love for the first time.

Now that the show is ending, is there anything you’d like to take from the set, or anything that you’ve taken already?

I haven’t taken anything already, but there are a few things from Ginger’s house that I’d like.

That was such a great set. I wish we’d seen more of it!

Oh my gosh, it was amazing. Every nook and cranny of that set contained vampire paraphernalia of some kind. There was a picture of Bela Lugosi signed to Ginger -- Ginger had clearly gone to some fan show and gotten the actor to sign it. She also had two sets of salt and pepper shakers in her kitchen -- one was a vampire kissing a coffin and the other was a pair of male and female vampire magnets and one was sucking on the other’s neck. I’d definitely go in and steal a couple of things from that set.

Do you have anything in common with Ginger in real life, or are you total opposites?

There is absolutely a part of me that relates to her. I feel that Ginger is the point of view of a lot of fans watching the show, and I relate to that because I watch the show all the time. I love all the other characters and I geek out over all the different storylines. Kristin Bauer van Straten and Alexander Skarsgard are wonderfully cool and fun -- who wouldn’t want to hang out with them all the time? [Laughs.] I don’t scream a lot, of course, but I do relate to her passion. Unfortunately, she didn’t know what she was in for when she signed up to work for vampires. It’s really taken a toll on her life. [Laughs.]

She’s been glamoured senseless -- there’s not an ounce of the original Ginger left.

Totally! Again, I think of that groupie or roadie that’s like, strung out from years of a hard life. It’s a little bit of a pirate’s life. A lot of great stories, but you get fried.

I’ve been asking other cast members what kind of supe they’d be if such a thing were possible.

Absolutely a vampire.

Tell me why.

Well, because! [Laughs.] I know everything about them now! I know everything about their history and their cinema lore. I know everything about the iconic dynamic between humans and vampires, the mythology and the romance behind living forever, and also how lonely and sad that would be. I love it. There’s something really exciting about being a vampire.

I think I hear a little 1990s Ginger coming out.

Uh huh! Just a little. [Laughs.] I actually went and rented all of those movies Ginger’s looking for at Pam and Eric’s video store. I have to tell you -- they are really terrible for the most part. Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Cronos’ is really fun, but the others are hilarious because they’re so, so bad. I do love that it’s all the same characters repeated over and over again in all the different stories, though.

So do you think there will be more vampires in your future?

I hope so! There will always be a really soft spot in my heart for vampires.