Adorably Dangerous: An Interview with Nicki Clyne
By: Michael Ricci (aka aeolus)
Date: March 17, 2006
Source: Sci-Fi Brain
Note: This is a snippet of an interview with NICKI CLYNE where she mentions AARON DOUGLAS / CHIEF TYROL. To read the full interview, click HERE.
At the end of season one and the beginning of season two, Cally and a group of deck technicians—including Chief Tyrol and Dr. Gauis Baltar—were trapped on the mythical home of the Human race, Kobol. In constant pursuit by Cylon centurions, the lines of life and death were never so apparent. “I think with what she had been through on Kobol [it] was really traumatizing, and I think she was still in a state of shock, because when your reality is invaded by something you thought totally [seemed] threatening to your life and to your world, it shakes you. Like the things you thought were important might change.” Nicki said believing those to be the deeper motivations behind her character’s reasoning for killing Galactica Boomer. “I think Boomer represented all the things that were wrong for her at that time, including her relationship with Tyrol. So, I think she just saw Boomer as this symbol of what was wrong for her at the time. She couldn’t see any other way to deal with it.”
What came after was just as equally perplexing. In the episode, The Farm, Tyrol distanced himself from Cally, yet still pleaded with Commander Adama to show leniency. Adama sentenced Cally to thirty days in the brig for misuse of a firearm, though seemed saddened at the death of Valerii.
Clyne’s character was absent in the following three episodes. But, in that time, the actress believes Cally’s character took deep reflection on what transpired. Whether or not she actually felt guilty about killing Tyrol’s lover remains to be seen. “That is a tough one, and I think about that a lot, because I don’t think it is right to kill anything. I don’t think it can ever be a positive feeling. At the time, she felt like there was no other way, and that was her only option, but I am sure upon reflection in the brig, or when she got back to work, that she saw how it affected Tyrol. That she, she shows a lot of wondering. There is actually a scene that got cut, but she finally approaches the Chief, when she is finally sick of him ignoring her, after she has gotten out of jail, she says, ‘If I had a chance, I would do it all over again.’ “
Crewman Cally’s strong affections for Chief Tyrol have never been overtly subtle. Whenever someone badmouthed him, she was the first to jump to his defense. Nicki felt that their eventual coming together was beneficial for her character’s development. “I think it made a lot of sense for my character,” a pause came, “I think that Cally has been in love with the Chief from the beginning and looks up to him so much, because he is such a wonderful person and always has [been]. Not only that, they have shared such a traumatic experience and that they have gone through so much together, the bond they have is so strong. And, I think it makes sense.”
Easy relationships, just like in real life, aren’t common in the world of Battlestar Galactica. In the episode, Lay Down Your Burdens, Part One, Chief Tyrol has a violent nightmare and takes out his repressed anger on Cally when awoken by her. It was so graphic, that for the first time, the show had a parental advisory for younger audiences. When asked about the scene, Nicki took it in equal parts seriousness and hilarity…
“It was difficult for people to watch. Even when we were filming it and it was difficult to do. Not only physically, but I had to make it look real. Actually, Aaron (Douglas–Chief Tyrol) actually punched me in the face!” She chuckled as she continued on, “And, it’s really difficult, but the funny part about it is that he and I were trying to be brave, but whenever you get knocked in the face I think the instinct is to start crying. I was laughing at the same time, trying to persuade everyone that I was fine, but there were tears streaming down my face. And, Aaron was all, ‘But it wasn’t me.’ I was like, ‘Ok, ok, I am not blaming you, I know it was an accident, but I don’t think I punched myself in the face.’ He felt terrible about it happening. It was fine. Luckily, I didn’t get a bruise and slow everything up.”
“But it was difficult and I am trying to block the punches and then my own hand was going into the whole scene and realizing what he had done. It was pretty emotional.”
When asked about her professional relationship with Aaron Douglas, she said they shared a great friendship that translated well on and off screen.
“With Aaron? Absolutely! Mostly because we work together, I think he is a great actor. He is really a generous person. Really fun to work with!” Nicki continued by saying she didn’t have a favorite actor to work with, but Aaron was the one she worked with the most. “I wouldn’t say I have a favorite to work with, because everyone is so different. He is definitely the one I work with the most, so I know him the best. We have a great time together, but I think everyone on the show is so great and has something to offer that I really appreciate.”
“When I got to work with Eddie (Edward James Olmos—Admiral Adama) [it] is really amazing. When I had this scene with James Callis, who plays Baltar, it was great! Because, I think he is such an amazing actor and loves his character.”
Which was yet another groundbreaking scene for the mousy character. After Dr. Baltar shot Crashdown, a crazed Lieutenant in the episode, Fragged, Cally threatens the not-so-good Doctor by exposing him if he doesn’t help clear Chief Tyrol’s name as a Cylon supporter. Even though it was an act that saved Cally’s life, she still blackmailed Baltar into doing what she wanted.
“They really are terrible people,” Nicki joked about her co-stars. “No! I think this is the most amazing cast that anyone could have…they are so nice and friendly. Funny, great to be around! It’s interesting, because we often just spend time with the same people and there are some people with the show, which I barely work with, which is unfortunate, because I think everyone is so great…I mean, Aaron and I work together all the time, so obviously we have a really close relationship and always play jokes on each other and gang up on the other people. We try and make it as fun as possible. We try and have a good time together.”