Ask The Chief
Date: November 16, 2009
Source: The Chief’s Deck (Aaron Douglas LiveJournal Community)
Note: The questions were posted in March 2009 but not answered by Aaron until November 2009.
Source: THE CHIEF’S DECK
now_all_is_well: Did you have input on how your character arc was wrapped up? Did you feel like your character had enough closure? If not, what would you have liked to have seen happen to Chief in the last episode?
Thank you for an amazing 4 seasons.
Sorry I have taken so long to get to these questions.
I love the way the show ended. I am very pleased with the way the Chief finished up. Nuts to the humans and nuts to the Cylons. I am heading off alone.
thespos: Hi, Aaron. Thank you for your great work.
As I was thinking about the end of BSG, it seemed to me there were several other stories that would work well as a mini-series or movie, besides The Plan – like more about the Final Five on their Earth, and the events leading up to their departure, or the Exodus from Kobol in the first place for the 13th Tribe or the other tribes.
Do you know if there are any plans to explore these ideas?
Thanks again for being a part of television history with such a quality program.
I have no idea about anything upcoming. I know they tore the sets down immediately after we finished so I would assume it is done and done.
I would not like to see anything further of the Chief. I would do more backstory but following him through the Highlands doesn’t make for compelling TV.
baterista9: We know you’re a musician. Which instrument(s) do you play? Do you sing, and if so, what range?
*trying to make up for my poor question at Dragon*Con*
Guitar just a little.
I sing but not as well as I used to. I would consider myself a crooner.
elektra_lite: Thank you so much for your work on the show – it’s been consistently amazing. I’d like to know what the Chief’s motivation for strangling Tory to death was – I mean, apart from the obvious! But what was going through his mind at the time – love, anger, hatred, etc? Also, what did you think of the finale as a whole – love, like, not so much, hate?
I’m looking forward to seeing you in The Plan, and good luck with the new series!
I think the Chiefs motivation for killing Tory was pretty simple. She killed his wife and lied to him and betrayed him.
oriencor: Hello Trouble!
I know you said you had thousands of songs and listened to a lot of different music, so..
Do you have a favorite by:
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds?
Have you ever played a role paying game? If so, which one?
(Wish I had a more clever question, but I’m currently medicated as hell due to wrecking my knee!)
I like a lot of Flogging Molly.
I have never heard of Nick Cave
Role playing? nope
juliet_demarcus: Hi, Aaron. First of all, thank you for your consistently incredible work on the show, from the miniseries all the way to the finale!
How do you personally imagine Tyrol’s life on “new Earth” playing out once he leaves for the northern island he spoke of? Do you think he would survive very long, entirely cut off from others, with just whatever provisions he had? Do you think that the mental place he was in when he made the choice to set off on his own would ever dissipate, or do you think he would feel the need to be removed from other people until the day he died due to all that he had been through? In other words I suppose, would he ever regret the decision to go off alone?
Also, was there any other character you would have really liked Tyrol to have had a parting scene with on the planet, in addition to Tigh and Ellen? If so, who would that be, and why?
Thank you again for all your amazing work! I very much look forward to seeing you in The Plan and your new series The Bridge as well!
I liked the fact that the only scene was with Tigh and Ellen. They were there since the start and they are there at the end. Galen realized he had no ties to the humans and I think he psychologically left them behind on the ship.
I love that he went off alone and I picture him getting on very well alone.
Samiface: How do you feel about the progression of characters now that the bsg series has ended? how do you feel about the chief’s ending? is the closure for your character as perfect as we as fans see it?
Some characters I really liked and some I didn’t care for at the beginning and still didn’t care for at the end.
I think it is an amazing show, well written, well directed, well acted and well told.
It really is an incredible piece of TV.
Iheartcylons: Hi Aaron, thanks for taking the time out to answer questions for us. Congrats on your new show, I can’t wait to see more of your great work.
What do you see yourself involved in a few years from now? Meaning, do you have any specific goals set for your career, or are you just wanting to see where life takes you?
Do you plan to keep going to cons? (*Crossing fingers, hoping to get to meet you again. LOL.*)
I go where life leads. The universe has been very good to me thus far and I trust it will continue to take care of me.
Yes to cons
jessie187: First and foremost, My husband and I felt that your performance on BSG was beautifully authentic and even. Never over the top which is incredible considering the major transitions, emotions and obstacles Galen had to face. He always rang true for us. You did a brilliant job- so Thanks
Now for a query or two, We enjoyed the back stories on Caprica and we would have loved to see the Chief. Was there any discussion about showing Galen and his life before the fall? If so, what were the ideas? Secondly did you have a hand in choosing Galen’s final destination-we thought it was perfect!
We are looking forward to meeting you at Emerald Con-our first-and once again excellent work!
have no idea what goes on in the writers room.
Ron Moore wrote the final destination as an island off the Northern continent and I asked if it could be Scotland. He said sure…..
stogam612: You had some amazing storylines and episodes during the run of the series such as Dirty Hands. Did you ever have any input as to the writing or the direction of your character?
the writers and Ron were always available to talk about story lines and direction.
I had questions from time to time, not often, but mostly I simply trusted them to take the story where they felt it should go.
They did an amazing job and I disagree with nothing.
blue_crow: Overall, what was your favorite arc for Tyrol? The beginning as Boomer’s boyfriend, the Union Man/Resistance Fighter on New Caprica, the Blackbird construction arc, the Final Five discovery arc? What was the most fun, and what was the most rewarding acting experience?
What did you think about the decision that the pro-worker, union Chief who seems to prefer sweats and duty tank tops was totally metro on Earth and wore emoglasses?
Also, I really liked the interview that you did with Bear McCreary not long ago, and I was really curious about some of the experiences you talked about having with other cast members. Would you care to elaborate on any of them? I’d love to hear any good stories.
I hope to get to thank you in person for all your incredible work on BSG at Emerald City Comicon.
The final five for sure.
Working with Mary. She is pure genius and wonderfully lovely.
That was a different person.
Interview with Bear? I don’t remember that.
The interview with Bear was emailed questions. That is all I can remember. We didn’t do a sit down Q&A.
boonav: So I fell in love with the Chief so very long ago and have enjoyed your intrepretation of him from season one. There have been so many wonderful scenes for you to play. Nope, not gonna ask you which was your favorite, ’cause after 5 years how the hell do ya pick? What I do wanna ask is what will you miss by not being able to play this role any longer?
Second question… Can you tell us a little about your next role? I call him Chief Frank (LOL). Gotta have Chief in there.
Third question…If there was a brewery on one side of the street and a fine whiskey maker on the other.. what do you do? Do you just stand in the middle of the street drooling, or do you pick one?
Forth question…How does it feel to know that you will ALWAYS be known to a lot of fans as the Chief, no matter what role you are offered? Would being the Chief be like being Captain Kirk? ALWAYS being known as that character? How do you feel about being an icon like the Chief to people for years to come? Legacy or curse?
And last but not least Number 5…We have Frank Leo to look forward to and THE PLAN also. Any other irons in the fire? Or are you gonna become a con addict. I know how you feel about us rabid (in a good way) fans!!
Lastly thank you for being cool. Not a breezy-wind-blowing-in-your-hair kinda cool, but the gotta-be-my-own-kinda-guy-and-you-can-kiss-my-a$$ kinda guy. We need more of you out there and you ARE appreciated.
I miss the crew and some of the cast but the story is done and it is good to move on.
Frank Leo, President of the Police Union. When cops get in trouble it is up to him and the union to help them out. This show will be dark and hopefully real. I hope real life police officers look at The Bridge the way Military people look at BSG.
Start at one then move to the other.
I LOVE being the Chief.
I love the fans and anyone that has ever seen me at a con knows I love those as well. I am doing a new show called Emissary with Phil Morris starting in 2010.
damaged_hearts: Dear Mr Douglas,
First may I congratulate on your amazing work on BSG, it has been a privilege to see you on our TV screens.
Ok questions: Were you initially surprised that the Boomer/Tyrol was brought back near the end of S4 and also, I’m sure there are lots, but what were your funniest moments on set..
BSG, best show ever made, Mr Douglas, I salute you! :)
I like that the Boomer Tyrol line came back to be dealt with.
Funny moments? Those usually happened off set.
shaylyn29: Hi Aaron, thanks for taking time to answer questions again.
1. What did you think of the last episode of BSG after seeing it all done and put together? Do you have a favorite part?
2. Have you ever read anything by Stephen King or Dean Koontz? If so what and did you like it? I recommend Insomnia or The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.
3. What would you consider the most perfect date with someone?
Thanks for being part of BSG the last 4 seasons. You and the rest of the cast made it was it was. And thanks for being so cool, hope to be able to meet you one day.
I thought it was amazing and I love the way it ended.
I really liked the Dark Tower series. King is hit and miss sometimes but I liked that. Never read Koontz.
Perfect Date? Not sure…. there would be beer…. and gambling….and hilarity…
lls_mutant: Hi Aaron,
Thanks so much for doing this. Tyrol was one of my favorite characters from the beginning, and one of the few to actually stay that way consistently throughout the show, and I really enjoyed your work.
Knowing how the story all turned out, if you could go back and rewrite anything in the series with 20/20 hindsight, what would you add in/subtract/change? (And saying “Black Market” is cheating.)
If you were a soldier on the Galactica without the viewer’s omniscient viewpoint, do you think you would you have mutinied during the Gaeta/Zarek mutiny?
I wouldn’t change a thing. BSG is the sum of its parts, warts and all. And there were not many warts.
No mutiny. I always thought, ok so you take over the ship…. then what? it changes nothing.
taragel: Thanks for taking the time out to answer our questions Aaron. Your portrayal of Galen has been one of my favorite elements of BSG.
My question is about how you felt regarding the escalation of violence as one of Galen’s personality traits (beating Cally, taking a wrench to Helo, clubbing the random worker eight to help Boomer, finally murdering Tory). Such actions always felt so uncharacteristic (as did him dismissing Cally as someone he never truly loved and just settled for) to me, but was wondering what your thoughts on that was.
Looking forward to watching you in The Bridge this summer!
Chief always loved Boomer. That never ended. If you watch from the start there was never real love between Cally and Galen. More of a sense of duty.
Beating Cally had nothing to do with it being her. Anyone who woke him up during that nightmare would have gotten the same thing.
Helo was rage born from Helo being with a Boomer look a like.
Clubbing the random worker was done to serve a greater purpose. That was a mistake.
Murdering Tory was just desserts….
mmegiry: Hello, Aaron! Thank you for everything, for developing a character as complex and fascinating as Chief Tyrol and I look forward very much to seeing more of your work.
Now the show is on hiatus until Season Five(*is in denial*), is there one particular storyline, other than any of the Chief’s own story arc’s, which you look back on and think think WOW more than the others?
And other than the Chief, (and feel free to ignore this question if you’ve been asked it before!) do you have a favourite character?
I hope to see you in London at some point!
I think all of the work of the writers was tremendous.
I like everything Tricia Helfer did in the show. And Tigh
dirty_grrl: My question was already asked, so you get this completely lame question instead.
Would you rather
A) be able to fly, or
B) have the ability to read peoples’ minds?
There’s really no point to this question and in all honesty, it should probably just be ignored. However, I’ve chosen and reasoned it all out, so I’m curious to see which way you’d go. Dazzle us, Sir!
people minds for sure
greatest poker player ever
madelineanne: Hey Aaron!
Thank you so much for all the wonderful work you’ve done on BSG and the generosity you’ve shown to your fans!
I have 3 questions so here goes…
1. Which is your favorite Pendergast novel? I’m in the midst of re-reading the series and I’m so torn between my love of “Relic” I think because it was the first and a great story and due to my love of the Museum of Natural History (the only museum I’ve ever been able to explore after hours and make out in the fake rainforest). But as the series progresses Pendergast and D’Agosta as characters are just getting more and more fascinating and their relationship becomes so entertaining. So I’m curious about which novel you feel was the best.
2. There was some mention in interviews of your flamingo. Was that by any chance referring to something my friends and I used to do, namely using plastic lawn flamingos to shotgun beer? I hope, if you have never used a lawn flamingo as a beer bong you won’t think our actions too too lowbrow. I was living in central Illinois at the time and frankly think that shotgunning beer through a lawn flamingo is a step up from cowtipping. :)
3. What was your favorite relationship on BSG? And by relationship I don’t necessarily mean romantic relationship. I mean, it could be a romantic relationship, or it could be a friendship, or a love someone had for Galactica, or a familial relationship.
I love them all. I like Relic and the one with the Crows.
We didn’t use flamingos. We used a GIANT glass boot. Flamingo refers to one of my best friends in the world who happened to be a producer on BSG
I cherish a lot of the friendships I made during the making of that show. I love my friendship with Tricia, Jamie, James, Tahmoh, Grace… I should stop before I miss someone.
The person I stay in touch with a lot and who I absolutely adore is Candice. She is so lovely and sweet and we always have great chats when we find each other in the same city and have a dinner.
ninety6tears: What are your big aspirations or ideal dream jobs? Are there any projects or directors you would particularly love to work with in the future?
Thank you for your amazing work on this show and for being so cool to the fans! :)
Tim Burton for sure!! Love his films
Peter Weir. Master and Commander is one of my all time favorite films.
I would really like to do a film with Kenneth Branagh.
shastastar: Hey Aaron-
Besides your anticipation of being able to speed as much as you want wherever you want, what was your favorite thing about getting to play Frank Leo so far ( in the pilot) , and ( part 2) What aspect of portraying this new role do you anticipate is going to be the biggest challenge for you moving forward?
On the Bridge I work 15 hours a day 5 days a week. It is exhausting.
that is the biggest challenge.
jeebs83: Hey Aaron, thanks again for doing this. :)
Can you talk a little about working with Michael Nankin? What is his directing style? His shows seem to bring out something special in each actor, making them some of my favorite episdoes of the whole series.
Oh, and AMAZING working in Someone To Watch Over Me. Really amazing.
He is not only a great guy he is a great director.
He makes us all feel very safe as actors and gives wonderful direction. He is very knowledgeable and has a very clear vision of what he wants. He is prepared and simply is a great story teller.
od0_ital: Hey, Aaron!
Thanks so much for all your work on Battlestar Galactica! And, personally, it was so cool when ya found out I’m “that guy” from All-Con. Good memory, man.
Anyway, I’m just curious, now that you’ve done a miniseries, four seasons and a movie on BSG, has it spoiled you from doin’ any other scifi work? Is gettin’ cast as the lead for The Bridge a sign for your fans to follow you away from scifi? Or will the right material bring ya back to the geeky side of entertainment?
Good luck with the new series, hope to see ya in Dallas again next year, maybe with a couple of your really articulate & educated castmates! Or Starbuck.
If there is a great script and role and situation I would love a return to scifi sometime.
annabella: Aaron –
First, Thank you for being willing to do another Ask the Chief! Second, thank you for bringing the Chief to life for all of us to enjoy. :)
And now onto my question(s) –
What’s the one thing you would say to someone who can’t decide whether or not to attend a convention? I ask because I’m trying to get up the desire to go, I mean I think it would be awesome to meet people who are into the things I am but all those people in the same place for days? Gives me the willies.
What material souveniers did you get to take away from BSG?
If this last one is too personal, feel free not to answer it – It appears that several of your Angels are looking forward to watching you make out on screen again. Do you like or dislike doing “romantic scenes”? Why or why not?
Thank you Thank you Thank you! :-)
Go to the con. My boys and I will be there and we will have a beer with you.
You will have a blast.
There is nothing romantic or hot about shooting those scenes. There are 100 people watching and it is really artificial.
amysisson: Hi Aaron. I do have a question, but first, I’ve been waiting to type this sentence forever — had to see the finale first to make sure it still held true: this is the best television show I have ever seen. Your role played a huge part in that.
OK, question: did you think it was in character for Chief to vote to leave the fleet? I have to admit I think Tory would really be the only one who would want to leave. But I think for suspense the writer(s) wanted Ellen to be the deciding vote, so they needed another “leave” vote and they handed it to Chief by default. Maybe you have some insight that I’m missing.
Hi from NASA Abell, by the way.
how are ya sweets?
I think it was in character, absolutely! He had had enough of all of the BS. It was not his life anymore and he had no ties to the ship or humanity. I liked the choice.
But maybe they did need the Ellen vote suspense.
Hey to Abell for me
grammarwoman: You, sir, are a truly great guy to answer more questions for the fans.
In thinking back to the miniseries and the first season, did you ever ponder what arcs Tyrol and the other characters would go through, and if so, which one(s) turned out the closest and the farthest away from what you pictured?
Do you see Tyrol visiting and/or living in Boomer’s or a projection of his own creation during his solitary exile on that northern island?
Are there any good drunken BSG cast/crew stories you can share with us? *grin*
On what big or frivolous purchases did you spend your first large “I’m an actor now!” paycheck?
Thanks for taking the time for our questions!
I had no idea where they were taking any of it. I was along for a pleasant ride.
I think the Starbuck thing was confusing but that is it.
No, I see Galen blocking it all out and spending his days building a still.
there are many many drunken stories….. i just don’t remember them…..
imfiery: My question already got asked as well. And you have been so awesome about answering questions at the cons I’ve seen you at. So I will just continue a conversation that I had with you in Phoenix. Battlestar was my show of choice when I was sick and it became a carrot to getting through my treatment. You said you thought that was a result of the excellent writing. I agree with you in part. They are still only words on a page until an actor breathes life into them. So thank you to your castmates for their amazing work and to you for making Chief Tyrol a wonderful and complex character to watch and get into. I’m disappointed about the scenes that got cut, but that’s show biz and I do think you did the best work I’ve seen you you do in “Someone to Watch Over Me”. I cried like a baby. The bar has been set Mister. Looking forward to more in The Bridge.
So how are you enjoying your iTouch?
And what is your favorite moment with Callis?
I love my itouch. So much better than a blackberry. I can’t wait to get an iphone.
Every moment with Callis is pure gold
rebelliousrose: Welcome back and thank you for taking the time to answer questions.
I miss BSG and Chief already.
You said that you did a journal of the last couple of months of BSG and that you were planning to share- any hope of seeing some of that, because speaking as an addict whose supply has just been cut off, I’d be delighted to know what BSG folk ate for lunch! I know I was really interested in the idea of your set diary (especially because you can be relied on to tell a good story) and, well, might we have a peek or two?
The diary is a little to honest to print at this point…..
whiteindigo: Hey there. I’ve done my best to weed through all the other questions, so hopefully these haven’t been asked!
As has been said by many others, thank you for an amazing four seasons and I look forward to seeing what you will be up to in the future! The Bridge looks great!
1) Was there anything in the Tyrol story arc that you felt was really out of character?
2) What memory (or memories) stick out most in your mind when you think of your time working on BSG? Do you have a favorite memory? (Sorry! I know this is a bit of a tough question!)
3) Do you know your Meyers-Briggs (personality type)? If so, what is it!?
……. not sure….. I think taken in view of the entirety of the series and his arc it all makes sense.
Working with Mary. Silliness with Hogan, Trucco, Callis. Working with Nankin, Hardy, Rymer and Hemmingway.
And wine with Angeli
jamieaddict: Hey Aaron just a few questions, I hope they are not lame…
Do you ever see yourself directing?
-What kind of movies do you like?
-I felt bad for the Chief when he decided to go to an island alone. Do you think in time he changed his mind, met someone and had a shitload of kids?
-If Tory would not have killed Cally and we he found out Nicky was not his, how do you think he would have reacted towards her?
I would love to direct. hopefully soon.
I like scifi movies and fun action films. I love almost anything by Tim Burton.
dk_siberian: Hey Aaron.
First off, I just wanted to say thanks for doing your part in giving creative life to the character of Chief Tyrol. Amazing job.
So I have an unusual question/scenario. If you, Aaron, could go back to meet Galen Tyrol on Earth, maybe to see him for one last time, would you? What form would that meeting take? Would you have a drink, just talk, chop some wood? What would you say? What would you want to learn? How might you say good-bye?
No, let the man/machine be. It is what he wants.
katie_9918: Dear Aaron,
First of all, thank you for your portrayal of the Chief and your candor with the fans. And from what the other actors had to say at D*C, thank you for nudging some of them in the right direction. Our gratitude probably eclipses theirs.
As a major Star Trek fan, I was wondering if you (having been directly involved with BSG) have any objection to the crazy crossover fangirl in me imagining that this is the human race that broke the cycle and grew up to nearly destory themselves in World War III, made first contact with the Vulcans, and grew up into the Star Trek universe?
Before you answer, remember that the two best Trek engineers of all time, Scotty and O’Brien, came from Scotland and Ireland! Your Chief, being the father of mitochondrial Adam or Eve of the Scotch and Irish? *bouncy*
Also, I really appreciate the fact that Tory was found out regarding Cally’s murder. There are a lot of people who didn’t like the character and made fun of her and just thought she was a waste, but I really loved her even in her most whining and annoying moments (and I’m fully aware of just how many of those moments she had) and I just have to ask: I know there were times when the Chief didn’t like Cally, but there had to be underlying affection there, wasn’t there? Why did he say it wouldn’t have mattered to Captain Kelly when he said, “I could’ve told you she was trouble,” if there wasn’t at least a little love there?
There was a little love there but more duty than anything.
As creepy as it sounds I think Galen saw her as a little sister type rather than a love interest. I still don’t know why or how they got together. Nicki and I thought it really weird when it happened. Did you ever see Galen and Cally kiss? no
fanfiction is fun. make up whatever you want. just make sure Chief has a beer
xanthopsira: You seem like a pretty funny guy in all the interview clips I’ve watched. My first question is (1) what comedians/TV shows do you enjoy watching?
I’m hoping to make it to DragonCon this year (my first convention ever). Someone already asked you if you’re going, so next question!
If it wasn’t for acting, what career path do you think you would have taken? Or what career path were you on prior to landing acting roles?
PS. You’re an AWESOME actor. Can’t wait to see you in The Bridge. Also, thank you for doing this and always treating your fans so well! I wish you tons of success. :)
family guy, american dad, cleveland show.
i have no idea what i would do if i wasn’t making a living acting.
I did a little of a lot of things. floorlayer, sports nutrition rep, etc etc
canadiangirl_86: Hello, Aaron. I’m gonna be a pain in the ass and add to all the questions you’ve already been asked.
I was wondering about your thoughts on Chief/Boomer. I don’t think I realized how much I enjoyed the complexity of that relationship until they brought it to the forefront of the storyline for those couple of episodes this season. Their ending was probably one of the more tragic ones in the entirety of the series, particularly because it ended with Chief right back where we all started at the beginning of the show – believing that the Cylons are “all the same”. While Boomer totally screwed him over and betrayed him, I still believed that there were genuine feelings on her part. Seems as though Galen would never believe that, and it strongly informed the lonely and cynical end of his storyline on the series.
What was your take on the way the relationship between Chief/Boomer ended?
Also, I saw the trailer for The Bridge and it looks effing awesome! Can’t wait to see you on my TV again.
All the best, Aaron.
I thought it was incredible. As an actor it was a great opportunity and it was especially special because that ep was written by Bradley and David.
meshel73: How do you take your coffee from Starbucks?
3 raw sugars
half and half
NOTE: Aaron posted the following message after he finished replying to the questions …..
Sorry I took so long to get to the questions.
I also realize I didn’t answer every one. I did that because the question had already been asked and the answer is somewhere above.
I have a lot of fondness for BSG and the more time passes the more that fondness grows. It seems that time heals the frustrations and annoyances of working, whether it be in TV and Film or anywhere else.
I do miss the show and the people from it. I am thrilled with the way it ended, I think Ron Moore made something incredibly special and life changing for many of us. I also truly believe that BSG changed the face of TV in a significant way.
Having seen the new Star Trek, which I think is just plain incredible, I can see the influence of BSG particularly in the Viz FX. Those battle scenes are wonderful and very much resemble the Viz FX from BSG.
I am happy that the Chief walked off and I don’t want to see him again. I will let my imagination tell me a story of what he is doing now.
Maybe when the Bridge airs we will do another of these.
bye for now.