Exclusive Final Five Interviews, Pt. 1
By: Bear McCreary
Date: February 13, 2009
Source: Bear McCreary’s BSG Blog
Note: The below is a copy and paste of just Aaron’s answers. To read the full interview, click HERE.
In the mid-season premiere, Sometimes a Great Notion, we learned remarkable truths about Earth, the Cylons and the Final Five. Now that the mutiny of the past three episodes is finally resolved, No Exit and next week’s Deadlock fill in the back story and details of the lives of the Final Five.
To pay tribute to these two Cylon centered episodes, I present an Exclusive Interview with the Actors Behind the Final Five! This week, I spoke with Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol), Michael Trucco (Sam Anders) and Rekha Sharma (Tory Foster).
Bear McCreary: How did the Cylon reveal change your approach to your character?
My acting approach is one that is quite different from other people I have spoken with. I really don’t make conscious choices about things, I just say the words. This time was different, I decided that the revelation to Tyrol that he is a Cylon was like an epiphany to him in terms of looking back on his life it suddenly all made sense. It was his “AH HA!” moment. “That is why all of that has happened, that is why I have been feeling out of place, etc”. I made that choice, the cosmic joke revealed as Bradley and David put it.
Bear: When and how did you first find out? What was your initial reaction? Were you as surprised as the audience when you found out you were a Cylon?
I was officially informed just before the read-through in December when we were shooting that episode but I had seen a piece of paper that I was not supposed to see in September and I had to keep my mouth shut for months before finally calling Ron and asking him, “What the FRAK?!?!” I initially really disliked the idea as I felt that they were taking a character that the fans really related to and had quite an affection for and were making him into something they would shun and dislike. I also realized that no one would humanize the Cylons more than the Chief so I appreciated the choice from that standpoint. After speaking with Ron for an hour on the phone, having him patiently listen to me and explain his side I was on board and eager to see what was coming in season 4, and I was truly not disappointed.
Bear: Has your character taken turns you ever disagreed with? Have you ever been frustrated or angry with your character?
No. I don’t think so. There have been things that I have questioned but Battlestar had the most gracious and open writing staff and producers that would take genuine time to listen to you and your thoughts and help you understand the path that your character was on and why Tyrol was doing what he was written to do. That and 9 times out of 10, if I found a piece of dialogue or action that I didn’t like I would just change it on the day. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission… ha
Bear: Do you feel sympathetic to the Cylon plight, or do you empathize more with the humans? In the same situation as your character, could you forgive the Cylons and join up with them?
I see both sides. It would be hard to choose. I could not join Cavil but perhaps the others. I could see my way into finding bipartisanship as it were and joining forces with the idea of a better future.
Bear: What has been your favorite scene to play in the series?
The scene with Mary at the end of the episode ‘Dirty Hands.’ I will never forget what it felt like to sit quietly with the most beautiful, lovely, talented, gracious, patient, wonderful actress I have ever met. She is an absolute delight. That will be with me all of my days.
Bear: In terms of your acting process, what was the most difficult scene for you to connect with emotionally?
All of the beginning of season 2. Unbeknownst to Ron and the writers my wife passed away on the hiatus between season 1 and 2 and for the first 4 episodes of season 2 someone was about to die, was dying or had just died and Tyrol was dealing with that. It was a tough few months.
Bear: What role in your career was the biggest stretch for you?
I think there have been many times when a director has had a very specific idea of what he wanted, that combined with the lack of trust or respect that Canadian actors get from most Hollywood directors has led to a stifling of my creativity that I just could not understand and had a very hard time dealing with. So often Canadian actors are looked down upon by people flying up to do a movie or an episode of a television show. That is the real stretch for me. Keeping my mouth shut and trying to figure out just what it is they are asking me to do. So often they have no ability or desire to communicate with actors so they just yell, say nothing or are so dismissive and condescending that you just give up and get out of the way. I think the greatness of Battlestar Galactica started with Ron’s writing, moved to wonderful casting and then to Ron, David and Michael giving the freedom to the actors they had, no matter their nationality, to create. It so rarely happens and it is so often overlooked.
Bear: Have the fans reacted differently to you since you were outed as a Cylon?
They all say, “Dude, it totally sucks that you are a Cylon.”
Bear: What’s the most memorable interaction with fans you’ve ever had?
I love the fans, I love going to the cons but my favorite thing is doing the Q&A panels and telling them funny stories and listening to them laugh and laugh.
Bear: What’s an interesting experience you’ve had hanging out with any other cast members?
Every experience is a study in fascinating idiocy. ha. My fondest memories are with Jamie and James either at James’ house or Jamie’s house drinking wine till the wee hours. Sitting down for the most interesting conversation combined with a spread created by Loretta that would rival anything from a King’s court. Tahmoh in Atlanta at Dragoncon. Relaxing by the pool with Tricia and taking care of her cats. Lunch with Katee on Sunset. My sweet extra long hugs from the very lovely Candice. Having Nicki pass me a screw everyday for years on end. Golfing with Rob, Greg, Ryan and the lads. Talking about the 70’s with Mary in NY. London Expo with Eddie. Sushi with Grace. Dragoncon with Hogan and Olmos, so say we all. The memories are many and too full to recount in one answer. It was a life lived in 6 years. It was all remarkable. My favorite times were with my Flamingo.
Bear: Aaron, do you actually have a talent for fixing machinery?
I could sharpen a pencil if you showed me how.
Bear: You and I are both big Elvis fans. How’d you get into the King?
My grandfather Walter “Bud” Douglas. Growing up he would listen to Elvis all the time and my brother and I fell in love with that music. I remember buying Time Life music of the 50’s and 60’s tapes off the TV when I was 13. I remember my friends parents telling me I was born in the wrong era. While everyone else was listening to the Eagles, Billy Joel, Alman Brothers, Meatloaf, KISS, ACDC, Michael Jackson, ZZ Top, etc I was listening to Elvis, The Rat Pack, Tony Bennett, The Byrds, The Four Tops, The Temptations, musical soundtracks, The Five Satins, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Sam Cooke, The Shirelles, The Delphonics, I could go on and on. But for me the greatest showman of all time will always be the King. TCB baby…
Bear: Any general thoughts on your time on Galactica and about the series ending?
The end of Battlestar Galactica, for me, is more than just the ending of a television program that will not only stand the test of time but, I feel will be looked back upon as a show that fundamentally changed the genre itself. It truly is lightning in a bottle. But is also a profound chapter in the book of my life. Although the filming is complete and those pages have been filled and turned this chapter will never truly be complete. It will have addendum’s, footnotes, pictures and more historical events written into it for the rest of my life. There are so many things that happened to me personally during this time that is really is the most poignant 6 years of my life. The story of the Galactica will soon be over, it will have run its course through the magic of television but the impact will never be forgotten, never fully be realized or described. It was a profound time for me, my cast mates and many fans. I am so very proud to have been a small part of something so wonderful, so transformational, so important and beautiful. My eternal gratitude will lie at the feet of Ron and David.
I’d like to extend an extra-special thanks to Rekha, Michael and Aaron for taking the time do these interviews. It means a lot to me and I know it does to all my readers out there too. Tune in next week for my interview with Mr. And Mrs. Tigh: Michael Hogan and Kate Vernon.
So Say We All!