INTERVIEW: Calgary Herald (October 27, 2016)

First-time filmmakers shoot crime thriller In Plain View at shuttered Shamrock Hotel
By: Eric Volmers
Date: October 27, 2016
Source: Calgary Herald


Jesse Lipscombe and Aaron Douglas in a scene and from the film In Plainview

 

There are clearly some notable differences between the luxurious Overlook Hotel and the not-so-luxurious Shamrock Hotel.

But the mountainous and isolated setting of Stephen King’s horror-classic the Shining and Ramsay’s recently shuttered tavern do share a certain vibe when devoid of people.

The Shamrock has been closed for nearly a year but was briefly resurrected as the main setting of the darkly comic crime thriller In Plainview, which wrapped production earlier this week in Calgary.

“It’s weird,” says actor Aaron Douglas, sitting in one of Shamrock’s many empty rooms on a chilly morning last week. “You leave a building for this long and it loses all its life and its energy. People haven’t been in here to infuse it with that energy. It’s very The Shining.”

That may be true. But for the producers of In Plainview, the latest Calgary-based team to receive funding from Telefilm Canada’s Micro-Budget Production Program, finding an empty hotel to shoot in was a godsend.

As with most movies shot on a shoestring, the needs of the script overwhelmed the realities of the budget. Producers needed a hotel with a bar and a restaurant and needed it for cheap.

So there was a big sigh of relief when the resourceful Murray Ord, a veteran locations manager, quickly landed the boarded-up Shamrock.

“A lot of the movie is a bit of a shell game of characters near missing each other,” says producer Scott Westby. “It all happens in a hotel in a small town in Alberta called Plainview. This place just fell into our lap. It’s in town, an empty hotel and has all that stuff. That just doesn’t happen. We were extremely lucky.”

In Plainview is the directorial debut of Matt Watterworth, who is partners with Westby in the Calgary-based video production company Full Swing Productions. The thriller tells the story of a corrupt cop named Penner (Douglas) who is released from prison and seeks revenge on the man who put him there, his equally corrupt ex-partner Rand (played by Calgary theatre actor Stafford Perry). Rand is also being pursued by his jilted ex-wife Wynter (Chantal Perron). It’s based on a screenplay by Kevin Doree, a Calgarian who reportedly watches at least one movie a day. What results is a bloody, Coen-esque film with hints of Tarantino and a dash of David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence.

“It has a lot of dark comedy and it gets pretty violent,” says Westby. “It sort of rides that line. The Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men is tonally what it’s a lot like, but it has a lot of funny moments in it too.”

Ord isn’t the only film veteran involved. Calgary director Robert Cuffley signed on as a mentor and executive producer. Heartland’s Shaun Johnston shot his scenes on weekends, playing a “voice of reason” named Reverend Rickman. Theatre actor and dialect coach David LeReaney also has a role. But there are also a good number of newcomers involved, including students from Watterworth and Westby’s alma mater SAIT.

Douglas, a busy TV veteran known for roles in Battlestar Galactica and the Bridge, admits there are pros and cons to shooting micro-budgeted fare with a green director and largely novice crew. But he said In Plainview has a lot of the elements he was looking for.

“My agent has a standing order to look for festival films, indie type stuff that is cool and up-and-coming producers, writers and directors and that sort of thing,” he said. “You get a lot that come across the desk and some are good and some not so much. I really liked this one.”

“I liked the idea of dudes picking up a gun and wandering around and seeing if they can do bad things,” he adds. “I’m not super artsy. I’m not a really artsy actor, I’m not an actorly actor. I like the real kind of stuff.”

For Watterworth, who is also developing a sci-fi film with Westby, the main draw of In Plainview was its practicality. The fact that it could be shot with a green crew, small cast and only a handful of locations made it a perfect debut.

“We knew we wouldn’t be able to put together a ton of cash for our first feature film,” he said. “Part of what was attractive about it was ‘Hey, this is something we can probably shoot for $250,000.’ Part of it is just a learning experience for me to figure out how you shoot a full-length feature-length film. There’s a huge SAIT alumni presence and a pretty big SAIT practicum presence as well. That’s, in the best way, slowing us down because learning has to happen and that’s a good thing.”

INTERVIEW: Aaron Douglas at SC Comicon Made For One Hell of a Panel!

Aaron Douglas at SC Comicon Made For One Hell of a Panel!
By: Tara Lynne
Date: April 7, 2016
Source: The Geekiary

What’s it like to listen to Aaron Douglas (best known as “Chief” from Battlestar Galactica) chat with fans and tell stories for nearly an hour? Well, keep reading to find out!

This past weekend I attended SC Comicon in my [current] home city of Greenville, South Carolina. This convention has been around for several years, and it has grown exponentially since its inception – which is awesome, because I really love having a good convention “in my backyard”, so to speak. Each year they’ve had a decent number of guests, including zombies from The Walking Dead and plenty of comic artists, writers, etc. This year, however, I was extremely excited to see that Aaron Douglas was on the guest list, and I was hoping for the chance to meet him and maybe get a selfie (in my Starbuck costume, of course).

But as I was sharing a booth with my friend Tyffani Kemp, a fellow author who runs Side Street Cookie Publishing, and wanted to be at said booth for most of the partial days I was able to attend SC Comicon. Which meant that in the end I was only able to carve out time to attend Aaron Douglas’ panel on Sunday afternoon, though as it turned out I was actually very happy that I used my little bit of free time to attend the panel, because it was absolutely awesome. Most of the questions came from audience members (I asked one myself). There were some great ones, and Aaron’s answers and enthusiasm made this one of the more enjoyable panels I’ve ever attended.

First we played a little “which BSG character would you most want to have a drink with” game that included pitting the characters against each other in imaginary drinking contests. Not surprisingly (considering Aaron was running the panel), Chief won, though Colonel Tigh did take second place. I still have my doubts that Tigh could actually outdrink Starbuck, but it would certainly be a close call either way, I suppose.

Following is a transcript of what I believe were the highlights of SC Comicon’s Aaron Douglas panel! (Please note that some answers have been truncated to keep this article at a reasonable length.)

 

What was the most difficult stunt you were ever in?

The most difficult stunt? Well I’m kind of a chubby guy so they don’t let me do too much. […] Flash had a stunt they wouldn’t let me do where…Flash hammers into [The Turtle], they wouldn’t let me do that. And I was like ‘Come on! Really?’ and then I watched it and I was like ‘Oh! Yeah! No, Dave’s got that. Come on, Dave!’ because they put him on this huge…lever thing that is attached to his back. And he stands there and then they activate this machine that tightens this cable and it pulls him back 25 feet into a wall and like…What the heck is that?

In Battlestar we had that [scene] where Chief has that dream and he gets up on the railing and he jumps down below. They wouldn’t let me do the high jump, they wouldn’t let me do the high fall […] Insurance […] And they were like ‘Come down’. And I was like ‘But there’s a big airbag right there. It is right there.’ […] ‘No, no, you can’t.’ […] ‘Just turn the camera on. If it work’s it’ll be awesome!’

The fun stuff is like the fight scenes and stuff. The fight scene where it is Chief and Helo beating each other? In real life Tahmoh Penikett is a tough man. He is big and strong and MMA trained and he is tough. So, when you get somebody like that and he just goes ‘Go for it’ and I was like ‘All right big boy here we go.’ […]

And the boxing episode with Eddy. We had a guy…[who] developed a system where he numbered the punches. So…a jab was a one, a straight right was a two, and then there was a three and so on. And he would yell ‘Aaron, one, one, two,’ and I would know where to go and Eddy would know to dodge […] But then he leans in and I smoked him and his head goes back and I’m like ‘Ah!’ and he looks down and his eyes are closed and then he looks up and he opens his eyes and it’s like Fire Devil Mexican Dog and he is on the warpath and I’m like ‘Cut! Somebody yell cut!’ […] So, for the rest of the day we beat each other. There were couple of things where I punched him and he goes down and then I come over and he sucker punches me in the gut and then he stands up and punches me in the ear and I fall down. Take after take I kept falling down and in one take I went ‘You know what? I’m not going to go down’. Eddy must’ve read my mind because instead of missing me he punched me in the ear and I was like ‘what was that?’

So, towards the end of the fight where he’s in the corner and I’m wailing on his body, half of the blood was makeup and half of it was blood. But we beat each other. It was so much fun. I was sore for days.

 

The writers of the show, they didn’t let you know you were in the final five. Did you talk to them about that? How you felt?

Yeah! Because they kill people so much. You get the script and you flip it over and you go from the back. You look for yourself and you go ‘Yes! I’m alive’. But then they wouldn’t tell us anything because they didn’t want spoilers getting out. This is sort of like the infancy of the web, and blogs, and social media. Like you couldn’t keep a secret like that now. So, they didn’t tell us until the day before we started shooting that episode. But I knew. That was December. We were shooting that episode, every week we would get-together on the weekend, cast, writers, directors, whoever’s in town and we’d go to somebody’s house and have a potluck. Everybody brings a bunch of food and we’d stay up till five in the morning drinking seventeen bottles of wine […] So [one time] I went…and I see these papers lying around. We were shooting at that time, episode twelve. ‘Oh! These are outlines for thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty of season three’, and then I get to episode nineteen and so, I kind of see what it is about, grab the sheet and go into the bathroom. I must’ve been in there for a while.

And I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t flush them because then he would know. So, I did what any 10 year old would do [and stuffed them under my shirt]…I open the door. ‘Hey! What’s going on? What’s under your shirt?’ and then I remembered that it happened exactly the same way with my Dad. ‘What have you got under there? Aaron, you’re not supposed to read these.’ […] ‘How much do you know?’…Nothing!…and so he says that I can’t tell anybody. So, from September to December I couldn’t tell a soul […] Finally the day happened and I’m sitting in the read through just waiting for them to give us the extra pages and I was like ‘I knew it!’ and Hogan’s like ‘You knew? Why didn’t you say anything?’

And I [called and asked Ron Moore] ‘What are you doing? You’re taking this character that fans love and turning him into this thing that they don’t and I just don’t get it.’ And then he talked to me for ninety minutes. He talked me off the ledge […] And he was absolutely correct. So, that’s how I found out about [it]… But then it was like ‘Who’s the last one?’ and none of us knew […] And we were like why is Kate back? Are we doing a flashback thing? And then we found out and that was really cool.

 

What was your favorite episode to actually film?

I really liked the Blackbird episode because I finally got to do something with Mary. And we shot that in chronological order and I remember them saying to go to the construction shop because they’re making you a Blackbird. So, in the beginning of the show it is just a frame and then it has this and then it finally has everything but the skin, and then they had the last one with the skin. So, I walk in the construction shop which was much larger than this room and it was like five Blackbirds in a row […] And at the end of that episode getting to finally stand there and have a conversation with Marry, who is just an unbelievable human being and an amazing actress […]

 

You’ve been on iZombie and X-Files recently, and I think a couple of other shows…what’s been your like favorite guest spot on these TV shows? Because you’re kind of awful on iZombie and I was like ‘No!’

That was fun! I don’t often get to do that kind of stuff but that was a lot of fun. I could hear the producers and the director giggling from […] And then they come in and I go ‘Did do good?’ and they’d be like ‘Go again. Just do it’…there’s this sports radio show […] And there’s this one guy on the radio who is basically that guy so, it was really easy. I was like ‘I’m just going to be Dave Pratt and I’m going to do this while filming this thing.’

Once Upon a Time was a lot of fun, other than being in the makeup chair for three and a half hours. The Flash was great. That’s [a really well-oiled machine] and that cast is really sweet and the crew is really sweet. It is nice to jump onto someone else’s show because the train is flying and you just have to jump on the car and instantly get going with them. When it is your show you’re kind of laid back and wandering around… Sometimes you have TV shows that are very welcoming and other times it is just like they don’t care that you’re there. That was X-Files. They just didn’t care I was there […] And I did a pilot for Bravo last year called ‘My so-called Wife’ which is Paul Adelstein, the super handsome guy from Girlfriends Guide to Divorce…he pitched his own show. So, him and Adam Brooks created this thing called My So-Called Wife and it just got picked up to go to series last week. So we start shooting in May or June, I hope. As long as I don’t get recast. That was a lot of fun.

The Strain was good in that they just let me do whatever I wanted to do. And I just took the script and said what I wanted to say. But it was 27 below outside at night and I was wearing a suit and it was gross. I was so cold.

 

Are you kind of bummed that the door has been closed on The Flash?

But has it?

Because Turtle is one of my favorite villains from The Flash.

You just need to write to them and say bring Turtle back […] Yes, absolutely I would love to come back […] The Fendrake character from Once Upon a Time may or may not come back. I’ve got a house to pay for.

 

When did you know you wanted to be an actor?

My Mom says that when I was really little I would say I wanted to be an actor. But I always thought I wanted to be a lawyer. So, my whole path in high school was to be a lawyer. […] I wouldn’t be a very good lawyer. ‘What do you mean I have to sit here for sixteen hours and write things and read?’ […] When I was ten years old, we were visiting friends somewhere, and they sat down to watch the Al Pacino movie ‘And Justice For All’ and I snuck down to the stairs and watched it…They didn’t know I was there. And I thought that’s what lawyers do. And I was like ‘I want to be a lawyer’…No, you want to be a lawyer on TV. That’s what it is. I finished high school. I was a floor layer for four or five years. Then I started working for a sports nutrition company because my background is [in] sports. And then I started talking to a guy. I was doing his diet at this gym and I asked him what [he did] and he said he was an actor […] It wasn’t until I was twenty-seven or twenty-eight I started to go to a scene study class and in one of the sessions the teacher, who was also the artistic director of this thing, took me aside and said I was really good and [had I] ever thought about doing it as a career […] This is William B. Davis. He’s the Smoking Man on X-Files, and he set up his own school. And he said, ‘We have a full-time program. I’ll hold you a spot if you want.’ I talked to my wife at the time and quit my job. Got a job at a restaurant…And that was that. By the end of the year I had an agent and started booking stuff right away. I came into the game this late but got up to speed.

 

How it is different voice acting on Watch Dogs?

[It’s] motion capture and voice over. When they do motion capture they put you in this giant leotard and this body does not look good in a giant leotard. And where you have a bend they have these balls that glow, just a little smaller than a Ping-Pong ball… And they have these forty-eight infrared cameras that go all the way [around the room]… And it is just constantly recording you. You have a helmet with this little thing, the size of a silver dollar, and it has twenty-four infrared cameras on it that map your face. It’s just like acting. You’re doing the same thing on set but they don’t shoot a master and close-ups and you don’t have to do it over and over again because the cameras are getting you from every angle […] We did that in Montreal and it was four years of going back and doing a couple of days and going home and then going back […] We’re waiting for the next one. They’re doing a Watch Dogs 2, and that character Jordi, they’re talking about him having his own game.

 

Are you writing [and starring in] a project called Infrared?

Yeah I wrote it. I’m not going to star-star in it. I’m just giving myself a small role.

What can you tell us about it?

It is a story about eight high school buddies, in their late thirties, and every year they go off into the woods and do a two week hunting trip. And this particular year four of them get there early and two of them get there the next day, and the other two on the next day. But when the two on the second day arrive [the first four] guys are gone and they go looking for them and they go down the trails where they have infrared cameras set up and they’re looking at the cameras and realize that something very bad has happened to the four friends. And then something very bad tries to happen to these two and then it goes on. It’s like the Predator meets The Grey. That’s how I kind of explain it. It is a bunch of dudes being dudes […] Yeah I’m really looking forward to it. I had optioned it to a studio in Los Angeles that wanted to make it but they had some really weird ideas about casting that I didn’t like. So now it has reverted back to me and I’m just going to bring it back home and I’m just going to stunt cast it with a bunch of Syfy guys. So, I’m hoping to get myself and maybe Tahmoh […] Recognizable faces from different shows, because I think fans would get a kick out of that.

 

Have you ever voiced for other shows or video games, just like voice acting?

I have but I honestly don’t remember the names of [all of] them. That’s how much of a gamer I am. Yeah, it is on my IMDB page. And people are like ‘I saw you in this,’ and I’m like ‘I wasn’t in that,’ and then I go oh! Yes, I was. What is wrong? I’m losing entire pieces of my history!

 

[Back to Battlestar Galactica]…the original miniseries. They were impressed by your acting and then they expanded [your role] for the main series, right?

Yeah! The Chief really didn’t have much to do in the miniseries in the script. But then we have these scenes where I’m on the hanger deck bossing people around but I don’t have any dialogue. So, I just got up there and started yelling at people. Telling people to pick that up and move it over there. And the producers are going like what is happening and the script supervisor is like ‘He doesn’t have any words. What is he doing?’ But David said this is great […] What really sold it was that scene in the mini-series where [the Admiral]…makes an announcement and I’m supposed to say something and David Eick goes ‘What would you say here? You need to say something.’ And I did and from there on David said ‘I love you. You are my go-to guy. Say that again.’ So, yeah a lot of my stuff was ad-lib. And apparently Chief was supposed to die like early season one […] And they just let me keep talking.

 

I was wondering with your writing, novels and screenplays, how are you structuring it? If ad-lib is something you’re fond of how are you, are you doing structured scripts? Or are you kind of laid back?

I would always let the actors have fun if they can. They’re some actors who don’t ad-lib, that can’t ad-lib, and then there are actors who ad-lib way too much ::coughs:: James Callis ::coughs:: But if you hire the right people and they’re really good at getting the point across and putting it into your own words…say what you need to say. If it’s a word or phrase that alludes to something coming up, or a throwback to something, I would go ‘I just need this line but you can mash around everything around it […].’

 

If you could play any character what character would it be?

I would love to do a period war film, a World War II film […] A Hugh Hefner story […] I don’t know […] Maybe Game of Thrones would be good, but not in the winter [place]. Something that films down in Italy. I can be Littlefinger’s extra hairy cousin!

 

When you were doing Chief it was almost like you had a familiarity with military background and stuff, was that in your family somewhere?

No, my grandfather fought in the Second World War but he never talked about it. I’m from Canada so I think the East Coast Army has the gun right now […] I’m a big history buff and a big war history buff. So, I understand systems and ranks. But we had technical advisor, a retired US Army Ranger […] He took us on a boot camp. Three days and he put the enlisted over here and the officers over here and he made us march and do all this stuff, an obstacle course, and ‘this is how you stand and this is how you walk’. When we were on set he would come up and say ‘You wouldn’t wear it like that…’ We wanted to make it right. The whole thing was about getting it right. I asked questions and questions to get it right. I called Ron one time, where in Season two [we were on Kobol] and [Racetrack is] telling the Chief to do something and the Chief is like ‘No, no, no’ and she finally steps up to him and goes ‘Yes, sir,’ and salutes him and walks away… I said, ‘But wait, I think [I’d be] mad enough not to salute [me] there,’ and Ron’s like ‘No, no. It is called the F-you salute.’ You’re out in the middle of everything, and the bad guys are watching. Whoever gets saluted is the highest-ranking guy. You don’t want to be saluted when they are trying to pick out who’s the guy they need to take down. […] So, it was the little things like that [that] we tried to get right. […] There’s another thing where the Chief grabs [Apollo] up against the wall. [Apollo as an] Officer absolutely outranked [Chief] but [the Chief] can get away with such things […] These little things I think add a bit of reality.

 

They did the shoot off with Blood and Chrome – were they thinking about doing any more?

Blood and Chrome was supposed to go on for a while but then for some reason the network didn’t like it and they sort of killed it. It wasn’t supposed to ever see the light of say but then someone leaked it online. (I know exactly who it was.) And then they had to put it out. But unfortunately it had to go away. That would’ve been a very cool thing. Someone at Universal is trying to get a movie together but I don’t know if it is us or the old guys or some new guys. I don’t know if they’re going to reboot it, which I find weird because we just finished. Might as well do Lord of the Rings while you’re at it because that’s been off the air for ten years! So, I don’t know what is going on. But it’ll be fun. I don’t think I would want to pick up from the end. It would be cool to pick up from the middle [maybe]…

 

Of course Aaron Douglas being Aaron Douglas (and awesome to boot), he also included several funny stories from the BSG set throughout the panel, and I’ll leave you with two of those, because hey, everyone needs a good laugh once in a while!

First, he talked about a personal joke he had with Nicki Clyne (Cally): “I found a screw on the floor one time […] in the mini-series. I walked over to Nicki Clyne and I just put it in her hand and [asked], ‘Do you want it?’ and [she was] like ‘Sure, absolutely I do.'” Apparently this went on for the rest of the show, and to this day it still makes Aaron laugh. “It was so juvenile,” he admitted. “‘Do you want to screw?’, ‘Absolutely.’ […]

And at the very end he left us with one hell of a story, warning us that it was “a little blue” before launching into it: “Normally when you have a wireless mic on set it is a mic with a cord that goes down to a pack [the] size of a cigarette pack, which you can clip on your belt or your boot. […] They try to put it where it’s comfortable. I like to put it on my boot or wrap it around my ankle. So, they come to you and tell you to drop the wire down your undershirt, down your pants. In the jumpsuit it would come out of the leg through a hole into a breastplate thing, and would sit in one of those little pockets.” (At this point he gestured to his chest.) “In the jumpsuit I always like to do it like Superman.” (Aaron mimes tearing open his shirt like Clark Kent.) “The first time I did it I was late getting on set and other people were standing, the cast, the crew, and stuff. I’m talking to somebody and the sound guy gets on his knee and he starts lifting up my pants and his head is right about here.” (Aaron gestures to his…umm…hip area, haha.) “And I just kind of paused like ‘Oh! That shouldn’t have hit something.’ I wasn’t wearing any underwear and I was like ‘That shouldn’t hit something warm and flesh like’, and I kind of look down and the sound guy is like ‘Uh!’ […] Everybody’s head turned around and [they’re] staring at me […] So, if you’re wearing overalls and they need to wire you, put some shorts on, folks!”

Not bad advice there, right?

INTERVIEW: ‘Battlestar’ actor anticipates HawaiiCon’s fan interaction

‘Battlestar’ actor anticipates HawaiiCon’s fan interaction
By: Mike Gordon
Date: September 6, 2015
Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser


When actor Aaron Douglas is not working, he enjoys gardening at home in Vancouver, British Columbia

 

Don’t misinterpret actor Aaron Douglas when he laments the workload of a guest at pop-culture conventions. It’s the price of being a TV star. The days are long but the fans are fun, the conversation interesting and the beer is free.

Douglas, best known for his role as “The Chief” Galen Tyrol in the Emmy Award-winning “Battlestar Galactica,” is a favorite among fans because he’ll talk to them even when the convention is over. He’ll invite them to join him at the bar, too.

“I like hanging out and finding out where people are from and what they do for a living,” Douglas said in a phone call from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia. “Fans like that, the accessibility. You remove the veil of celebrity and fan, and we are all people who do interesting things.”

That’s the Douglas convention goers can expect this weekend at HawaiiCon, which will be held at the Hapuna Beach Prince Resort on the Kohala Coast. The four-day convention won over Douglas during its inaugural run last year, when he spoke about his career and went snorkeling with fans. (This year he’s going to join them on a zip line.)

“There is something so relaxed and peaceful about that convention,” he said. “Normally, we are stuck in a convention center in the middle of a downtown area or somewhere noisy, but here you are staring at the ocean and I thought: I could do this all day.”

The 44-year-old Canadian took up acting in his late 20s. When he got the part for “Battlestar” in 2004, he had not done much, dividing his time between short acting gigs and working as a waiter.

“Battlestar,” the saga of a war between humans and a race of robots they created, was his big break. The role, over four seasons on the SciFi Channel (now SyFy), gave Douglas a character he is still proud of. Later he would star in the police drama “The Bridge,” which aired in Canada and briefly on CBS, and had recurring roles in “Hemlock Grove” on Netflix, “The Killing” on AMC and “The Returned” on A&E.

The Chief is the big draw at the conventions he attends. This year he will be at eight or nine of them. He’s in Atlanta this weekend, Hawaii next weekend and Houston after that.

He doesn’t feel typecast, though.

“I’m fine with it being all ‘Battlestar,'” he said. “It is the best show I have done to date. I would be very lucky and surprised if I did something else that was as important to the science-fiction genre or television as that.”

When he’s not working, Douglas leads a quiet life gardening and writing. He produced a farmers market worth of vegetables this summer: four different kinds of tomatoes, five kinds of lettuce, spinach, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, leeks, onions, peppers and Brussels sprouts. He grew tomatillos for the first time and turned to fans on Twitter for recipes.

He is also the family chef, cooking for his wife, a government worker. He specializes in seafood: halibut, prawns, mussels.

“I like harvesting stuff and building a soup or a stew or just using them fresh in a salad,” he said. “I really enjoy it.”

Two weeks ago Douglas shot an episode of the “The X-Files” revival on Fox, and he had a fan moment himself. When he was in acting school, the original version of the series was being shot in Vancouver. He wanted to be on it, but it had moved to Los Angeles by the time he graduated.

When he heard about the revival, he immediately called his agent. He wound up in a scene with his favorite characters, Mulder and Scully, aka actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

“This was a show I watched years ago that I loved, and now I am standing with them,” Douglas said. “It was a very cool experience. It was sort of surreal.”

For more information about HawaiiCon, go to hawaiicon.com.

And that’s a wrap …

INTERVIEW: WatchPlayRead (April 17, 2014) Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience 2014

A Very Brief Interview With Aaron Douglas at SLCC FanX
By: Adrienne Fox
Convention: Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience 2014
Source: WatchPlayRead

 

Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience was my first event as a writer with WatchPlayRead and my fist ever press pass for an event. As a member of the press, I was able to attend a press conference to kick off the event. After opening speeches and recognition of local heroes, organizer Dan Farr introduced some of the special guests that were kind enough to get up early and participate in interviews. The group of guests represented a variety of interests and notoriety from Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees to Kelly Hu of more sci-fi, fantasy, and comic-inspired movies and TV shows than I can count.

Lucky for me, Aaron Douglas signed on as a last minute guest for the event and he was available after the press conference for interviews. I was able to speak with Douglas for a few minutes. As you may know, (and I certainly hope you do), Douglas portrayed Chief Tyrol on Battlestar Galactica (BSG) and recently appeared on the Netflix original series Hemlock Grove. My chat with Douglas was just that, more a casual (and awkward on my part) chat than a formal interview.

I asked Douglas about his role on The Strain, an upcoming horror TV show on FOX based on the story by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro. Douglas told me that two BSG writers, Bradley Thompson and David Weddle, wrote a part for him in one episode. Although, he wasn’t able to meet Hogan or del Toro on set he hopes to have an opportunity to do so in the future. (I will look forward to seeing him in episode 7 of The Strain!)

Douglas is an NHL fan. I asked how he felt about the season and mentioned that I grew up a Flyers fan. He mentioned his team [Vancouver Canucks] is not in the playoffs. But that the Flyers are looking decent if they can get past the NY Rangers. (I wish they would! But the Flyers lose to the Rangers all too often and are losing in the series.)

What could he tell me about his upcoming project, Infrared, which he wrote and acted will act in as well? Douglas said he didn’t have too many details to share except that Infrared is a thriller about a group of friends who go hunting and then VERY BAD THINGS HAPPEN. (That is enough to get me out to see it!)

I followed up the Infrared inquiry by asking if horror and sci-fi genres are what he is drawn to. He said that his work varies and upcoming work will include a law enforcement based story, a speculative work taking place 100 years in our future, and then a heartwarming tale about a disabled child.

And that was that! There were lots of others waiting to talk to him. I love seeing the BSG cast getting recognition for those roles and their new work. Thank you Aaron Douglas for being patient during my first attempt at in-person interviews. I hope I see him at Emerald City Comicon sometime soon because I have Chief Tyrol props that need autographed!

 

INTERVIEW: ‘Battlestar Galactica’ actor enjoys interaction with fans

‘Battlestar Galactica’ actor enjoys interaction with fans
By: Garrett Simmons
Date: November 23, 2013
Source: Lethbridge Herald

Aaron Douglas can hardly remember the last time he made a visit to our fair city.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in Lethbridge – probably since I was a kid playing hockey.”

Speaking in Lethbridge Friday morning, as he prepared for the Evening With Aaron Douglas event Friday night at The Telegraph Taphouse, the former “Battlestar Galactica” star spoke with excitement about his other appearances today and Sunday at the Lethbridge Entertainment Expo.

“I do these things all over the world but it’s always great to do them in Canada,” said Douglas, who is from British Columbia and is living in Vancouver.

The man commonly known simply at The Chief, for his portrayal of Chief Galen Tyrol in “Battlestar Galactica,” added he enjoys the friendly nature of Canadian fans, as he picks his appearances wisely now, and he only attends one or two conventions a year. “They’re quite fun. It’s a great way to meet people.”

His Friday-night appearance will be followed up by a slate of autograph signings and photo opportunities today at the expo at Exhibition Park, where Douglas will be stationed from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. He will sign more autographs Sunday from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 3-5 p.m., with photos from 2-3 p.m. and participation in a panel discussion from 12:30-1:30 p.m. squeezed in between.

It’s all in a day’s work for the actor who has made his fair share of convention appearances over the years.

“I like traveling and I like to see other parts of the world and cities I wouldn’t otherwise go to.”

Speaking of new experiences, Douglas, who had been recently filming season three of “The Killing,” which followed a guest spot on “Falling Skies” and a role in the Science Fiction Channel movie “Zodiac,” will head back to Hollywood after his Alberta trip to get back to work on a project of his own.

“It’s an idea I had a couple of years ago,” said Douglas, of the project he is producing. “It’s about hunters and a group of guys who go into the woods on an annual trip and things go sideways.”

He put pen to paper in 2011 and has been working to see it come to fruition.

“For this one, I wanted to be part of it personally, and produce it and be on that side of the camera,” said Douglas, who added he has several other ideas which he hopes other studios will take the ball and run with. “It’s a long, glacial process.”

His current project is one Douglas would like to see ramp up with filming in March or April, which would lead to a late-2014 or early-2015 release.

But for this weekend, Douglas will look back on his acting career and will face a barrage of questions from “Battlestar Galactica” fans.

“They want to talk about the show,” said Douglas, who added topics like the set, working with other cast members and what it’s like to make a television show are often hot topics. “The typical fan in general will come to things and have no idea how TV is made.”

How Douglas witnessed his career being made included a number of small roles in 1999 and 2000.

“I started late,” he said of acting. He was 28 when he got his start, his big break coming in 2003 with “Battlestar Galactica.” “From then on I was able to take off, and I’ve been very fortunate since then.”

He’s appeared in “The Bridge” and “Hemlock Grove,” and said he now has about 72 film and television roles to his credit.

Douglas will be just one part of this weekend’s expo, which goes from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. today and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday at Exhibition Park.

INTERVIEW: Q&A – Aaron Douglas (Evan Henderson)

Q&A – Aaron Douglas (Evan Henderson)
By: Eli Rosenberg
Date: July 7, 2013
Source: AMC

 

Actor Aaron Douglas, who plays prison guard Evan Henderson on AMC’s The Killing, discusses his character’s backstory and how his background in sports translates to acting.

Did you do any research into the world of prisons in preparation for your role?

I watched a documentary about life on death row. One of my best friends from high school is a prison guard and my wife is a probation officer, so I had hands-on accounts from people that are very close to me. My buddy tells me a lot of interesting stories about what goes on in prison – it just makes my head spin about what they deal with on a day-to-day basis.

You’ve previously played a sheriff, an FBI agent, and a police union leader. What makes you so well-suited for law enforcement roles?

I’m a chubby middle-aged white guy with short hair. I think that’s it really. I kind of have a look. Right now, I’m not fat enough to be the fat friend, but I’m not thin enough to be the leading man, so I look like a cop. I was going to get fit and try and expand my universe, but then when I got the part as a sheriff on Hemlock Grove, they said, “No, no. You are where we want you to be.” And I said to myself, “Now I have to go to the bar instead – damn it!”

You also played Chief Galen Tyrol on Battlestar Galactica. Is being a chief on a Battlestar at all similar to being a corrections officer on death row?

In Battlestar, somebody was always about to die, you just didn’t know. The chief is a little more of a Becker-type character, running around screaming at people, except that he wasn’t a jerk, he was just sort of, “This is what we need to do.” It’s the authority thing, and you have to keep people in line and the train on the tracks and the machine moving forward – otherwise, if it stalls, then everything goes to hell. And that’s certainly the case on death row: You give these guys an inch, and you get in trouble.

 

Inside Episode 304 The Killing: Headshots

 

How much have you thought about Henderson’s backstory?

I kept going back to that idea that he was just a regular guy who was working on a mill, and the economy turned and he lost his job. As an actor we’re unemployed a lot, so I’m familiar with the stress of trying to get a gig, and sometimes you take shows that you don’t really want to do to keep the money coming in. I thought about Henderson, who is trying to provide for his family, applying for jobs everywhere: The local garage, the local home improvement store, and then finally he takes a job for which he has no sociological training. Prisons are always hiring because there is a lot of burnout and they’re being built all the time. And now he’s guarding the worst of the worst, and he doesn’t necessarily understand the manipulation and the head games. So I just tried to keep him as simple and wide-eyed as possible.

As a hockey player, does your background in sports translate to acting at all?

I grew up playing hockey and some football, and I always think about the first time you walk into the locker room on a new team. The cliques are looking at you funny, and you make one friend, but then they’re trying to stab you in the back. I was trying to keep all of that in my brain to play Henderson. But I’m not the kind of actor who reads scripts and breaks them down. I go to rehearsal and I give what I get from the other actors. I would be the worst acting coach ever, because I have no idea what I’m doing.

Did the role allow you to gain any insights into the lives of death row inmates?

In Canada, we don’t have the death penalty. Even though we’re making believe, Peter [Sarsgaard] is such a phenomenal actor that you really just have this moment of actually believing this guy is going through this. I could not imagine being the guy being walked to the gallows, or even the guy taking somebody by the arm and having to walk him there. No matter how heinous the crime that is committed, it’s still the most intimate and horrifying thing you’re going to do to somebody. The lethal injection is one thing, but it’s the lead up – the weeks and months, and then standing there waiting for it to happen – that is so incredibly profound. I think when people watch the rest of this season, they’re not going to be able to help being challenged, one way or the other, about whether capital punishment is a good thing or a bad thing.

INTERVIEW: Battlestar Galactica’s Douglas and McClure Talk Sci-Fi, Hemlock Grove

Battlestar Galactica’s Douglas and McClure Talk Sci-Fi, Hemlock Grove
By: Terri Schwartz
Date: April 26, 2013
Interviewees: Aaron Douglas, Kandyse McClure and Mark Verheiden
Source: Spinoff Online

Note: This is a snippet of an interview cast members from HEMLOCK GROVE during WonderCon 2013 (March 29, 2013). I have included the parts of the interview with AARON DOUGLAS below. To read the full interview, click HERE.


Photo by Caitlin Holland


Battlestar Galactica alums Kandyse McClure and Aaron Douglas are reunited for the first time on the small screen in Netflix’s new horror series Hemlock Grove, although according to McClure, “if you hang out in hotel bars you’ll see us together all the time.” They team with former BSG producer and writer Mark Verheiden on the new show, and said during a roundtable interview at WonderCon Anaheim that there are a lot of similarities between the two projects.

“I saw Battlestar Galactica as a ground-floor show on how TV is made and consumed and bringing over people who weren’t traditionally sci-fi fans to the sci-fi medium,” Douglas said. “I see that this show hopefully will do the same and bring some more people over — because sci-fi is not all green and orange monsters. Netflix is doing this thing where it’s how people want to watch TV. To be on two shows in one career that are the ground floor is an incredible thing and you really couldn’t say no to that.”

In many ways Hemlock Grove is more a 13-hour movie than a 13 episode show and, because it’s being released all at once, its characters can be explored in long arcs without having to catch up an audience. That’s something McClure and Douglas feel BSG struggled with during its four-season run.

“I feel like in Battlestar they still struggled with the idea [that they need to pander],” McClure said. “They were still running up against that idea, ‘Oh, you have to include the audience, you have to fill them in on things.’ There were all these devices they started coming up with: recaps in the beginning of the show and replaying episodes, because you really had to watch it from the beginning to get involved in the story in any great depth. We weren’t given those constraints on this show.”

Douglas added, “Today’s television viewer is savvy enough to understand and you don’t have to spoon-feed them with extraneous dialogue explaining every little thing. … NBC Universal treated the sci-fi Battlestar Galactica audience like they were the regular Law & Order audience, but that’s not the case at all. Sci-fi audiences, they’re much brighter.”

That said, Douglas believes Hemlock Grove will “absolutely” challenge its audience. It’s not that he thinks the show is difficult to follow, but rather that it might make viewers uncomfortable with the subject matter it deals with.


Photo by Caitlin Holland


“It’s the best thing I’ve done since Battlestar, and that’s saying a lot,” he said. “It will challenge them in terms of what they believe. It’s similar to the ‘who’s the bad guy, who’s the good guy?’ The people in Battlestar, you always switched between the humans and the Cylons.”

As Hemlock Grove is a story-based show, it remains to be seen how many seasons it will have. Producer Eli Roth told Spinoff Online during a group interview that writer Brian McGreevy has three seasons mapped out, but Verheiden said it might be too early determine how long Hemlock Grove will run.

“I worked on Battlestar and we decided to kill it with Season 4, but in hindsight we could have found a Season 5,” Verheiden said. “Those questions are hard to answer, because in the moment you think, ‘We should wrap it up,’ but then you think, ‘Well, I might add a little something.'”

Hopefully McClure’s character has a less tragic storyline in Hemlock Grove than she did in Battlestar Galactica. She and Douglas, who played Lt. Anastasia Dualla and Chief Galen Tyrol in the Syfy series, recalled Dualla’s very emotional death scene during the Hemlock Grove interview.

“People were very affected by it,” McClure remembered. Douglas added, “Wasn’t it beautiful, though? She was unbelievable.” “It was Mark Verheiden,” McClure explained of the scene. “Mark wrote that for me.”

It turns out that watching Dualla die was a bit emotional for Douglas.

“I knew it was coming but had completely forgotten because I was so lost in that scene, and then she’s humming and she’s singing and she pulls the gun out and does that and I went, ‘Gah, what?’ And it freaked me out and then I started crying. I never told you that, I started crying,” he said. “We were best friends on Battlestar. She’d come to my trailer and watch Family Guy and hang out because we never had scenes together but we were buddies. We’d go to the craft table and we’d load up on snacks and then we’d watch Family Guy and Arrested Development and cuddle.”

“I was the only one who understood him,” McClure said jokingly. “Everyone else thought he was a jerk.”

Hemlock Grove is available now on Netflix.

INTERVIEW: Aaron Douglas on ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ ‘The Killing’

Aaron Douglas on ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ ‘The Killing’
By: Maggie Asfahani Hajj
Date: April 24, 2013
Source: What’s Up : Entertainment and lifestyle news for El Paso, Las Cruces and Juarez

 

In-demand actor Aaron Douglas currently is best known for playing The Chief on “Battlestar Galactica,” but with his new Netflix-only series “Hemlock Grove,” things are bound to change. What’s Up chats with Aaron ahead of his visit to the Sun City Scifi convention and picks his brain about human nature, hockey and what keeps him up late at night.

 

So what are you working on that’s keeping you so busy these days?

I’m doing season three of “The Killing,” and I’m doing a videogame for Ubisoft called “Watchdogs,” which takes me out to Montreal once a month for a little bit, so there’s a lot of traveling involved. I’m doing a lot of press for “Hemlock Grove” (a Netflix exclusive series). Just meetings and developing and writing my own show and a movie.

 

A big part of your resume has been sci-fi stuff, but it seems like you’re moving in a different direction right now.

I haven’t thought about that. I don’t think it’s a conscious choice. I do live in Vancouver. Vancouver is where they shoot a lot of sci-fi stuff, but after “Battlestar Galactica,” my last few jobs have been in Toronto and Los Angeles, so there’s less of that shot there and more sort of standard fare. When I came back to Vancouver, it’s “The Killing,” which is definitely not a sci-fi show. I don’t care about the genre of the show; I just like it to be good stuff.

 

Do you do a lot of sci-fi conventions?

I do. I’ve been doing them since about 2006. I’ve been all around the world talking about “Battlestar Galactica” and the things that I’m doing and having a beer with some very cool and interesting people. I love doing them. I think they’re a lot of fun. Sci-fi fans are the best fans in the world. They’re intelligent and articulate and just fascinating, and they delve into the shows a lot more than I ever do, so I get really interesting questions and comments and perspectives that make it even more rewarding.

 

Sci-fi is just so universal. It shows you that all these themes are similar, whatever part of the galaxy you’re in.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the plains in Africa or the highest peaks in Peru or in outer space or at the bottom of the ocean. People are people, and how they deal with each other and how they interact with each other is what’s compelling and interesting, because everybody identifies with either a specific character or pieces of different characters. In every situation everybody has a different opinion. I think when you hit that on the nose, and get people caring about the characters, caring about what the situation is, that makes really great television. I literally got home from work last night and told my wife, “Let’s start a new show.” We have all these backups of shows we haven’t gotten to yet, and I said, “What’s this ‘Downton Abbey’ I keep hearing about?” And we watched the entire thing until 4 a.m. I just can’t stop. It was so compelling and so interesting and so amazing.

 

OK. Because you’re Canadian, we have to talk about hockey. Does every Canadian play hockey? Do they kick you out of Canada if you don’t?

Well, I’d like to think so. I ostracize as many friends as possible for not playing. (Laughs) No, we actually don’t.

INTERVIEW: Inside HEMLOCK GROVE: Scoop from stars

Inside HEMLOCK GROVE: Scoop from stars Dougray Scott, Famke Janssen, Aaron Douglas and Kandyse McClure
Date: April 19, 2013
Source: The TV Addict

Note: This is a snippet of an interview cast members from HEMLOCK GROVE during WonderCon 2013 (March 29, 2013). I have included the parts of the interview with AARON DOUGLAS below. To read the full interview, click HERE.

During press interviews at WonderCon in Anaheim, stars Dougray Scott, Famke Janssen, Aaron Douglas, and Kandyse McClure provided some insight into murder, mystery and intrigue that layer HEMLOCK GROVE.

 

Do you see your characters Sheriff Sworn and Dr. Chausseur as the bad guys on the show? They are investigating a beast attack and yet they have fixated on Peter pretty fast. What’s up with that?

AARON: My character doesn’t think there’s anything supernatural to these attacks. But Kandyse’s character comes at it differently. That’s a different story.

KANDYSE: For as long as it is necessary, she certainly plays along with that reasoning. She’s also certainly obsessive. She has her own ideas about things. She struggles with her own intuition, whether to believe it or whether to follow the status-quo line of reasoning. She’s a scientist on one hand and tortured on the other. I think that constantly interweaves in how she approaches this case and how she interacts with Sheriff Sworn.

 

What motivates her to come at this case so hard?

KANDYSE: I think she is a deeply troubled soul. I think she was somehow wronged in her life and she wants justice for everyone else and she thinks it’s her duty to simultaneously atone for the hurt she’s caused or the hurt that’s been caused her — and to make someone pay.

AARON: But there is also a very specific reason, that I’m not sure we’re allowed to talk about.

KANDYSE: (Laughs) I think “atone” is a good word.

 

How did you hear about and get involved with HEMLOCK GROVE?

AARON: Netflix/Gaumont, they could not be more supportive and more excited to do things out of the box. To start things off in their own way. I was excited to do this show, first of all because it’s Mark Verheiden (he ran the writer’s room for BATTLESTAR GALACTICA for the last few seasons, and he and I are really great friends), and he read the book and when they called him to do the show, he said, “Aaron, I read the book and I thought of you for the sheriff. So will you come and do the show?” And I said, “Absolutely.” What I love about it is this is how I consume TV. I’m a Netflix subscriber. My family all subscribes to Netflix. I watch things when they are done and I just power all the way through them. As I saw BATTLESTAR as a ground-floor show of how TV is made and consumed, this is going to be the same thing. Netflix is changing how TV is made and how it is consumed. So the idea of going and being a part of that, as opposed to going and working for the traditional network and waiting week to week and you’ve got 42 minutes to tell a story, but you’re not really telling anybody’s story, other than the story of the week. It is so much more compelling to be a part of this. I mean, what would you rather do: LAW & ORDER or THE SOPRANOS? For me, it’s that. DEADWOOD is the greatest show in the history of TV and to be able to build something that is serialized as a 75-hour movie is genius, and working with incredible people. It’s going to be a difficult show to watch in the sense that it’s going to be very challenging, and that is so much better than HAWAII Five-O. (Sorry, Grace!)

 

Have you read the book which the series is based on?

AARON: It’s the first thing I did after Mark called me ’cause I read a lot. So as soon as I rewired my brain on how to read — ’cause it’s like reading if Yoda wrote a book. So the first thing I did was read the book and then I called Mark and said, “That’s unbelievable. It should be a show.” And he said, “You know, we’re making a show, why don’t you come and do it with us.”

KANDYSE: I read the book as well. It was Mark again. He thought of me — I learned that afterwards. It came as a regular audition and I immediately fell in love with it. I was obsessed with the sides. I got them 4-5 days before the audition and I could not put them down. I think I was driving my boyfriend crazy ’cause I kept saying the monologue as I was in the shower and I was walking around. He was like, “What are you doing?” and I was like, “I love this woman. There’s something about her.” It’s a different kind of role for me as well. I’m always excited when it’s a person. She could be a “he.” It could be so many things, but she happens to be this doctor, this personality, this role in the group of players. That’s always interesting to me. And it’s not an opportunity I get all the time. I felt like there was room for quirkiness. And that’s what they were looking for.

AARON: For me, it’s Mark Verheiden and Deran Sarafian, who is really the reason the show looks the way it does. In terms of directing it was Fernando Arguelles. Together they built this unbelievably beautiful world.

 

Will we be seeing Dr. Chausseur and Sheriff Sworn interact with Dr. Pryce at the Institute?

KANDYSE: My character interacts with everyone. She gets under everyone’s skin. There isn’t a rock she leaves unturned or no nook and cranny she doesn’t look into.

INTERVIEW: On the Set of Hemlock Grove: Interviews With the Cast & Crew

On the Set of Hemlock Grove: Interviews With the Cast & Crew
By: Bryan Cairns
Date: April 19, 2013
Source: Shock Till You Drop

Note: This is a snippet of an interview with the cast and crew of HEMLOCK GROVE during a press set tour on December 12, 2012 in Toronto. I have included the parts of the interview with AARON DOUGLAS below. To read the full interview, click HERE.

Also on hand was Battlestar Galactica’s Aaron Douglas, who had already wrapped his role of Sheriff Tom Sworn for the season. Nonetheless, the Canadian actor, who specifically came in to speak with us, was obviously fracking excited to be a part of such a ground-breaking show.

“I’m the Sheriff of a small town and I’m holding on to 10,000 kite strings in a hurricane,” reports Douglas. “As things spiral out of control, I try to figure out what’s going on, how it’s going on and who is making it go on. I’m sort of the Columbo, but with both good eyes. He’s really kind of the heart of the show.”

“Tom has a good relationship with everybody,” he adds a few minutes later. “He’s the Sheriff, so he has to be that politician. There’s no mayor, so he’s sort of the leader of the town, or at least a political-type figure. The Godfreys tend to run things otherwise. I would say if he had a best friend, it would probably be Norman Godfrey, who is played by Dougray Scott, and who is absolutely phenomenal.”

INTERVIEW: Hemlock Grove’ – Everything You Need To Know

‘Hemlock Grove’: Everything You Need To Know
By: Chris Jancelewicz & Annette Bourdeau
Date: April 18, 2013
Source: The Huffington Post Canada

Note: This is a snippet of an interview with the cast and crew of HEMLOCK GROVE during a press set tour on December 12, 2012 in Toronto. I have included the parts of the interview with AARON DOUGLAS below. To read the full interview, click HERE.

1. It feels more like a 13-hour movie than 13 one-hour episodes. “Like a novel, it’s designed to work as a whole,” explains McGreevy.

“The cool thing about doing it for Netflix is there are no act breaks,” adds Douglas. “You don’t have those shlocky breaks where you have to watch a soap commercial and then wait to find out what happens. It’s seamless in that way.”

“This is something completely fresh and new,” agrees Skarsgard. “You hear ‘werewolf’ and ‘vampire,’ and think ‘Oh, God, this is something I’ve seen a million times before.’ But our show takes that and reinvents it and makes it a weird, special, unique show. I hope people appreciate this as something that’s completely different.”

4. There’s plenty of family drama mixed in with the murder and monsters.

“[The Godfreys] really do argue over what’s for dinner,” says Joel de la Fuente, who plays Dr. Johann Pryce.

“I feel like humans are ultimately worse than monsters,” says Liboiron with a smile. “The town has normal people, like the sheriff [Douglas] … they’re all reacting to this supernatural energy that they can’t explain. You see them slowly progress into their deeper, darker spots and they can’t fully grasp the seriousness of the situation. As soon as things get a little out of control, humans can do some pretty wacky things.”

6. “Hemlock Grove” is not a show about werewolves and vampires.

“I don’t really see it as a vampires-and-werewolves kind of show at all,” says Douglas. “It says it right on the poster: ‘The Monsters Within,’ and it’s a human hand coming out of a creature … it’s more (at least for me) about the dramatic human interaction and how human beings are with one another when strange things start happening.”

“We get asked the ‘Twilight’ question a lot,” says the book’s author. “There are unavoidable parallels between my work and that series, but in no way did I write the book with that franchise in mind.”

INTERVIEW: Aaron Douglas upholds the law in ‘Hemlock Grove.’

INTERVIEW – Aaron Douglas upholds the law in ‘Hemlock Grove.’
By: Kyle Wilson
Date: April 18, 2013
Source: The Nerd Repository

 

Odds are the majority of our audience on NerdRep.com will recognize Aaron Douglas for his stellar work as Chief Tyrol on Battlestar Galactica, but he’s a veritable “that guy,” having made appearances in numerous television projects over the last decade. His next role is in the third original series from Netflix, the supernatural family drama Hemlock Grove. Netflix and Aaron were cool enough to carve out some time for us to talk about all things Hemlock and a bit about the nerdy…

 

Talk to me a little bit about your character, Sheriff Tom Sworn, and how he fits into the overall mythology of Hemlock Grove.

The sheriff is the moral center of the show. When everything else starts spinning out of control the audience will always be able to go back to him as the touchstone of what’s right and wrong because he is…he is the sheriff. He’s a very everyday guy, a normal guy, likes to have a beer at the end of the day. He’s a father of twin teenage daughters and they’re the love of his life, but they’re also menaces, whirling dervishes. He’s a single father so he has that going on.

When bad things start happening in the town he’s the lawman that has to figure out what’s going on, and he doesn’t have any sort of understanding or belief in supernatural B.S. so he comes at it purely from a nuts and bolts, as a cop would, investigation: “Okay there’s a been a killing and let’s see who did it. If it’s not a who then a what, maybe a bear or a pack of dogs.” He’s really just a simple normal sheriff kind of guy holding on to a thousand kite strings in a hurricane. It’s a very small town that bad things start to happen in, and it really spirals out of control.

 

Netflix has really changed the landscape recently on how we view and consume television series. Do you think it’s beneficial to a show like Hemlock Grove that the audience gets access to the entire season on its premiere date?

Absolutely. Netflix does TV the way that I consume it. Game of Thrones is on right now but I won’t go near it until it’s done because I can’t wait week-to-week. I will literally watch it on a rainy day. I will power through all thirteen hours of it. Because like that, Hemlock Grove is a thirteen hour movie, and you wouldn’t sit down and watch Lord of the Rings in 15 minute snippets – you want to watch the whole bloody thing. So every episode is ten minutes of a two hour movie.

Which makes it tough for you guys because you only saw…three [episodes]? The press has been telling me that they saw three, which is tough because the first three are really just introducing everyone and what’s going on. It really finds it feet and gains momentum in the fourth and then it’s off and running.

It’s going to be a much better way of viewing it, to be able to just power through it and pause it when you want to pause it, you could be in the middle of the episode or not, you really need to treat it like it’s one thirteen-hour movie. I think that’s really going to help us because if you sat down and watched one episode at a time, there’s so much left unsaid in this show because we don’t spoon feed the audience, that there would be a lot of head scratching week-to-week.

 

On the creative side of things, how was it working with [executive producer and director]Eli Roth?

You know what? I didn’t have a lot with him. He was there for the pilot and then he had to go off and do a movie down in South America. My experience with him was one or two days on set maybe? Super nice guy. Friendly. Good director, obviously, had his obvious real vision for it.

But then he was gone and the person that really took over and drove the ship was Deran Sarafian and Mark Verheiden. Sarafian from the directing and executive producing standpoint, sort of keeping the train on the tracks and moving along and took out his giant iron and smoothed out the wrinkles, and Verheiden on the writing side, which was a little bit more of the creative in terms of story and arc and all of that kind of stuff, but together those two are the reason this thing is going to be special.

 

You worked with Verheiden on Battlestar, correct?

He’s the reason I’m on this show. He called me and asked me if I’d do the show and I said “absolutely.” Which was an opportunity to be on the ground floor of how TV is going to be produced and consumed going forward with Netflix, and I see Battlestar Galactica as a ground floor show in terms of sci-fi and how people view it and how people see it. Battlestar was always in the top three of downloaded TV shows on iTunes and DVR’d so that really changed how people watched TV shows, and now I think Netflix is going to do it again. I’m just feeling very fortunate to have done two shows in one career that are really changing the way things are done.

 

And did Verheiden write your episode of Smallville? I’m a huge Superman nerd so I remember your appearance…

Yeah! That’s exactly it. I did his first episode of Smallville. He reminds of that constantly. I say “Yeah, I’ve worked with Mark twice now…” and he says “No, no, no… three times. You did my episode of Smallville.” Yeah, way back in the day.

 

Did you read the novel Hemlock Grove before approaching the role, or do you prefer to stick with what’s in the script and how the director guides you along?

No, I’m a big reader. I read a book every couple of days and that’s what got me hooked to this thing. Mark called me and said “I’m doing this show and it’s based on a novel, go get the novel.” I powered through this novel, which I thought was just fantastic, and I called him back and said “Why?” and he said “Because I want you to play the sheriff.” I said “Yes! Done! Tell me when and where.” And my character is a lot bigger in the show than he is on the page.

 

What sets Hemlock Grove apart from other shows and movies that have a similar supernatural premise?

Everybody keeps asking me about the werewolf and the vampire thing, and if we’re saturated with too much of that, and my answer to that is we’re not really a werewolf/vampire show. It’s really about the human drama and the poster says “The monster is within” and there’s a hand coming out of a creature’s mouth and that represents the monster within all of us.

So our show delves into how people interact with each other and how people deal with each other when things start going horribly wrong. It’s very much like Battlestar, it wasn’t a sci-fi show about aliens and stuff it was about how those people dealt with each other, and how they took care of each other, and how they were awful to each other when things got really stressful and things went wrong. Our show is very much the same, the fact that one person seems to have come from a lineage of werewolves is really not much to do with the show. The mythology is more about the family and what they do and how they do it to each other than it is about anything else.

 

Lastly, NerdRep.com is all about nerding out on pop culture things. What are some things that get you to nerd out and get excited?

Oh yeah, I like Game of Thrones. I just marathoned all four seasons of Justified, I quite like that show. I do not miss and can not miss Archer or Bob’s Burgers. Those shows absolutely kill me, especially Archer. I love Mythbusters and my wife and I like to watch the cooking shows.

 

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you, Aaron. I appreciate the time. Come visit us next to time you’re out here for Phoenix Comicon.

I’m trying to remember if I was out there last year or the year before.. but I think I’ve been to that show two or three times and I’m sure I’ll be back next year after this show goes… I’ll be right back on the Con circuit doing the rounds for Hemlock Grove.

 

That’d be great, and hopefully we can talk about a Season 2 renewal.

Yeah, we’ll do it in person. Sweet!

Hemlock Grove premieres its entire first season Friday, April 19th, exclusively on NetFlix.

INTERVIEW: Aaron Douglas Talks How His Character Fits into the Show, Humor, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, and More on the Set of HEMLOCK GROVE

Aaron Douglas Talks How His Character Fits into the Show, Humor, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, and More on the Set of HEMLOCK GROVE
By: Rob Vaux
Date: April 17, 2013
Source: Collider

 

Aaron Douglas is best known as Galen Tyrol, the beloved Chief and possible Cylon sleeper agent on Battlestar Galactica. His other sci-fi television credits include Stargate SG-1, Smallville, Eureka and the new Netflix original series Hemlock Grove where he plays a small-town sheriff on the trail of some big secrets. A jovial, upbeat man in person, he was happy to sit down with the press for a roundtable interview shortly after wrapping his shoot on Hemlock Grove. Hit the jump to read on.

I can’t believe you’ve wrapped.

I can’t either. I’m unemployed as of right now. You better be paying me for these interviews.

So I take it you play a sheriff?

No I just borrowed the coat. I’m actually a small Korean grocer. [Laughter.] Yes, I play the sheriff. Sheriff Tom Sworn. That’s what I do. That’s all I’m allowed to say. Thanks very much, it was great.

Since you wrapped, what’s been your favorite memory?

It’s a tough show. The material’s pretty heavy. The days on set are pretty exhausting emotionally, a little bit of physically sometimes, but mostly emotionally. Really, really draining. But my favorite time is — and it’s the same on other shows — away from set when you’re spending time with the actors and the producers. And you just have an opportunity to sit down and goof off, tell stories, tell old Hollywood stories, stories from your past, their past. It’s those connections, those friendships that I always take away and miss the most when we’re all said and done. Set is pretty damn boring. It’s hurry up and fracking wait. It’s nice when you’re not filming sometimes.

How does your character fit in with the show itself?

I am the sheriff of the small town and I am holding onto 10,000 kite strings in a hurricane. As things spiral out of control, I try to figure out what’s going on, how it’s going on, and who’s making it go on. I’m sort of the Columbo figure, but with both good eyes. I don’t do a lot of this, “Just one more thing.” Sheriff Sworn is really the heart of the show. He’s the center that everything spins around, and he’s very much that anchor, and all this is going on out here, and the audience can always come back and have a little settling point and find the humanity in the moral, straight line with him for a few episodes at least.

What’s his relationship like with the Godfreys?

Sworn has a good relationship with everybody. He’s the sheriff, so he has to be that politician and there’s no mayor or anything, so he’s the leader of the town, at least the political type figure. The Godfreys tend to run things otherwise. I would say that if he had a best friend, it would probably be Norman, who’s played by Dougray Scott. A great guy, both on and off camera. That was a treat, working with him.

You said he’s kind of a Columbo figure as we go along. Are the viewers going to connect with him that way?

I would think so. It is a bit of a whodunit and a what-the-hell-is-going-on sort of thing. I guess he would be the investigative eyes that the audience would sort of get piecemeal information as to what’s going on through Sworn. That makes sense. Look at me, I’m just making it up.

Are you funny on the show as well?

Nobody’s really funny. It’s a bit of a dark show. But they’ve given me these weird non sequitur lines that they talk about, even in the editing, these funny lines that are just out of the blue and out of nowhere; they just love the way that I delivered a few of them. I hope they become the lines — I have Battlestar fans that come up and quote Chief lines all the time — and I’m hoping I have Sworn lines. “Hey Sheriff!” Instead of yelling Chief across the street, yelling sheriff. “Good evening. Are you the sheriff of Hemlock Grove?” “I am.” “You’re on that Battlestar show, aren’t you?” “Indeed I was, you nerds.”

So what kind of arc does your character have during the 13 episodes?

Oh god. Well, like I said, it’s a small town where everything is going along swimmingly and then bad things start to happen. So as the sheriff of that town, when bad things start to happen and the spiraling gets even more sprialesque — that’s a word now — that arc becomes “what the hell’s going on” and then he sort of gets drawn into it a little bit more personally as well. So by the end of the show, he’s nowhere. He’s a thousand miles from where he started.

Can you tell us how this experience has differed from other shows that you’ve worked on? I feel like it is really pushing boundaries in terms of edginess but also in terms of its approach to storytelling.

It’s by far the best thing I’ve done since Battlestar Galactica. Without question. The writing is exceptional. I got the book and I loved it right off the bat. The way that Brian writes, it’s got a weird sort of cadence to it. He writes how Yoda speaks, which is kind of odd. But I found myself having to go back and reread until my brain clicked in. It’s like I forgot how to read. It’s like when you go to England: you forget how to drive, so everybody’s coming at you. The show’s like that too. You’ve got to wrap your brain around what’s really going on. I love it because it doesn’t spoon-feed the audience. It’s not like, “Oh here, now we’re doing this.” There’s no spoon-feeding. You will have to pay attention. And what I love about people who love watching this genre, and sci-fi fans and horror fans, is that they’re really intelligent. They can follow story and they can follow plot and they can follow character and they love the character development, so I think people that are into that would fancy themselves an intelligent TV viewer, they’re really going to love this show.

In terms of doing it, my favorite part about the show is I got to work with my buddy Mark Verheiden again. I did his first episode of Smallville way back in the day when I looked like my thinner younger brother. Then, of course he ran the writers’ room for Battlestar. Then when he read the book and got offered this job, he thought “Aaron Douglas is Tom Sworn obviously” and he got Netflix onboard. So it’s been six months hanging out with Mark, which is just a wonderful thing because he’s such an incredible human being. Then making friendships with people like Deran Sarafian, who’s just an unbelievable director, just killed it on this show. And then just working with great material and great writing and interesting stuff. It’s nice to be able to get back to the days of, you get the next script and you immediately just start poring through it because you have to find out what happens. Even though you’ve read the book, they’ve changed it enough that you don’t know what the hell’s going on. Battlestar, you’d flip it over and you’d start at the back ’til you found yourself and go, “Oh he tells the general to walk away and — Yes, I’m not dead!.” That’s really how you lived. This show’s kind of the same because we’re like, “Who dies now?” So it’s… And I’m not splattered with blood. But maybe this isn’t my last scene. Working on has been wonderful from just every aspect. It’s been really cool. Other than being away from home. But that’s alright. I get to go home next week.

Do you think people will be happy with the changes that were made?

Oh yeah. I mean the book’s great, but the book’s only so many pages and to turn that into 13 episodes is a little thin, so they’ve really beefed that up and moved things around. Some of the characters that are a little bit smaller in the book have really been expanded. There’s a lot of people to fall in love with on this show. Even fat old guys like me.

You mentioned Battlestar Galactica. Do you have scenes with Kandyse [McClure] in this as well?

I do.

What’s your dynamic like and how is it working with her again?

Kandyse and I are old friends. She was probably my closest friend on Battlestar. Between scenes, we would retire to my trailer and cuddle up on the couch and watch Family Guy, just to sort of let it all go. So getting back to hanging out with her again is always wonderful. I absolutely adore that woman and she quite fancies me as well, so it’s great to be able to spend some time with her and have a completely different dynamic. She and I really didn’t have any scenes together in Battlestar, but in this show, there’s a lot of Sworn and Dr. Chasseur. I’m the sheriff of the town and she is in an outside police agency who comes in and starts to oversee and frack with my shit.

Being sheriff, are you in charge of a bunch of constables? Is there an office dynamic that we get? Or are you the lone wolf?

We don’t really visit the office, but I’m not a lone wolf by any means. There are a bunch of deputies that arrive in the show and they all have different dynamics, just as you do in life. They’re all fun, cool, good guys — and ladies.

There’s such a fandom around Battlestar. Is this the kind of show that will get that kind of crazed fandom as well or is it a different kind of beast, so to speak?

It doesn’t have the complexity of the political and mythological story of Battlestar. But the fans will love it, I think; just for different reasons. It’s edgy, it’s dark, it’s wonderful, it’s gory and grotesque and sexy, so they’ll love it for that. But there are interwoven stories and histories that you can cast your mind back and make up, and the dynamic of the families is pretty interesting. I have no doubt that people will love this show. If this is their cup of tea, they will drink a lot of it.

INTERVIEW: Werewolves, Rich Kids, Murder And Revelations On The Set Of “Hemlock Grove”!!

[Special Report] Werewolves, Rich Kids, Murder And Revelations On The Set Of “Hemlock Grove”!!
By: Evan Dickson
Date: April 17, 2013
Source: Bloody Disgusting

Note: This is a snippet of an interview with the cast and crew of HEMLOCK GROVE during a press set tour on December 12, 2012 in Toronto. I have included the parts of the interview with AARON DOUGLAS below. To read the full interview, click HERE.

But how is working on a Netflix series different than working for a network? After all, there are fewer episodes and they are all made available on the same day. Director Deran Serafian (a longtime veteran of the small screen) answers, “Netflix is letting us spread our wings and letting us break the boundaries that exist in network television. For a director and a producer it’s a fantastic opportunity. It’s going to be hard to go back and do a normal show after this… It’s different than anything I’ve ever done. It’s a very twisted, Lynchian experience. It’s almost like a graphic novel.”

It also differs in terms of organization, with everybody making their own mini-movies (sans commercial breaks since Netflix doesn’t air spots), “After the pilot, each director gets two episodes to do at a time. I happen to be doing the last two episodes. They’re out of order, so sometimes I’ll be doing a scene from episode 12 or a scene from episode 13, so it gets a little crazy.”

Of course, there is one person who only got to direct one episode before departing to Peru to shoot The Green Inferno, Eli Roth. But Serafian maintains that without Roth’s vision, the show would be a very different beast, “Eli brings such a great, offbeat sensibility to it all. The aesthetic he established hangs on throughout the entire series, it doesn’t leave. Brian [McGreevy] and I also watched a lot of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’. There’s a sense of humor there that was a big influence on the show.”

How about the actors? They’ve been in this mindset for almost 6 months now. Aaron Douglas, who plays Sheriff Tom Sworn, says it hasn’t been easy grappling with all of the dark material, “It’s a tough show. The material’s pretty heavy, so the days on set are pretty exhausting emotionally. It’s really really draining. My favorite time is away from set when you’re spending time with the other actors, writers and producers. It’s those connections I’ll miss and take away when all is said and done.” 
Still, at least Douglas can toe the rudder a bit by being the straight man. “My character is very much the heart of the show, he’s the humanity and moral straight line. For a few episodes at least.”

INTERVIEW: Collider Visits the Set of Eli Roth’s Netflix Series HEMLOCK GROVE

Collider Visits the Set of Eli Roth’s Netflix Series HEMLOCK GROVE
By: Rob Vaux
Date: April 16, 2013
Source: Collider

Note: This is a snippet of an interview with the cast and crew of HEMLOCK GROVE during a press set tour on December 12, 2012 in Toronto. I have included the parts of the interview with AARON DOUGLAS below. To read the full interview, click HERE.

“The beautiful thing about Netflix,” McGreevy says as he walks among the cameras and lighting squeezed into Parkwood’s confines, “is that there’s so much freedom. We can do the things we want to do, go as dark or violent as the material demands, and not have to worry about landing the right rating. We’ve got great people to bring the material to life and a partner in Netflix committed to giving them the freedom to do their thing.”

That fact isn’t lost on the show’s cast, most of whom are wrapping up their schedule when we arrive. They speak fondly of their time there and stress how different this felt from other shoots. “I’ve been a part of some special shows,” says Aaron Douglas who plays the sheriff in the town of Hemlock Grove. “Battlestar Galactica was something that comes along once in a lifetime. But this one, it’s up there too. We all can do our thing and be what the show needs us to be. No jumping through hoops to please some suit back in LA or New York. Do you have any idea how awesome that is?”

Douglas finished his last shot just before speaking to the visiting press; he’s still dressed in his sheriff’s uniform, and his energy level is bouncy and upbeat. The rest of the cast and crew share his ebullience, even director Deran Sarafian working under a tight deadline to finish the last of the show’s thirteen episodes. He lets the press come in close to watch him set up a series of shots, while the lighting crew works hard to get the composition just right. He chats briefly with us and looks into his viewer. On the other end of the camera, Famke Janssen’s stand-in sits patiently as the crew does their work. (She resembles the actress so closely that several press members mistakenly approached her with questions.) Sarafian looks at the composition, nods and smiles.

“I’ve been directing television shows for a long time,” he [director Deran Sarafian] explains. “People are consuming it differently these days. They don’t like waiting a week to find out what happens. They’ll download the whole thing, take a sick day, and power right through it. We want Hemlock Grove to speak to that, to be the kind of vehicle through which those changes can be made to the medium.”

It’s a tall order, but there’s no shortage of confidence at Parkwood. More than anything else, the cast and crew feels hopeful that the show will become a hit… letting them come back and do it all again. “Everyone wants another season when you’re doing a TV show,” Douglas says, his smile growing broader. “But in this case, it’s a lot more than steady work. You don’t get this combination of elements very often. If they can keep it going past the first season… man, that’s going to be something worth watching.”

INTERVIEW: Up Next: Northern lights

Up Next: Northern lights
Canadian Creativity 2012 – Canadian Talent to Watch

By: David Friend, Katherine Brodsky, Brendan Kelly, Jennie Punter
Date: September 5, 2012
Source: Variety

 

Aaron Douglas
“Battlestar Galactica” alum’s career is gaining traction

Douglas spends much of his time far from Hollywood, but he says that has worked to his advantage.

Being Canadian and competing for roles north of the border, he says, has helped him secure roles in numerous big-budget American pics that lensed in Canada.

“In L.A., there’s 5,000 guys that look like me, and in Vancouver there’s 25 guys that look like me,” he says.

“The pool is just so much smaller, and if you’re good, and you live in Vancouver or Toronto, you’re going to work all the time.”

Douglas made the jump into acting school in his late 20s, after years as a floor layer and sports nutritionist. He found minor roles in blockbusters like “I, Robot” and “X-Men 2” while guesting on TV series. A few years later, he was Galen Tyrol on “Battlestar Galactica.”

Since then, Douglas’ career has gained traction as the lead on Canadian co-prod “The Bridge.” Next year, he appears as the sheriff on Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove.”

INTERVIEW: Aaron Douglas – Chief Galen Tyrol, Battlestar Galactica

Aaron Douglas – Chief Galen Tyrol, Battlestar Galactica
By: Michael Flet
Date: May 9, 2011
Source: GEEKchocolate

 

On Sunday 8th May, Aaron Douglas, Chief Galen Tyrol of Battlestar Galactica, was good enough to take some time out from entertaining the attendees of the Starfury Invasion convention at Heathrow’s Radisson Edwardian Hotel to chat to GeekChocolate about his work on that show and the other items on his extensive science fiction resume.

Oh, god, nothing compares to working on Galactica. Galactica was six years of my life. Galactica was a regular role. The Chief was a real fleshed out character. All those other shows I was just a guest star, you pop in for one day, you sort of make up your own whole back story, and you’re usually dead by the end of the episode. Dead or in jail. Yeah, I much prefer to work on something that’s long lasting, something that continues, but they’re all fun to work on. The Canadian crews are great, and the actors are typically fun, but it’s a different beast when you’re going to work on the same show for months and years on end.

 

Your film CV isn’t all that different – X Men 2, Chronicles of Riddick, I, Robot. Is science fiction something you go for, or do you just have a face that makes casting directors want to put you in those roles?

I get sci-fi because that’s what shoots in Vancouver. It’s literally as simple as that. Most sci-fi is shot in Canada in Vancouver, so that’s what you end up working on.

 

I read that you snag support roles from helping in casting by reading the feed lines for whoever is auditioning. How did that come about?

Yeah, I was a reader for auditions, so I read the other side of the dialogue from whoever is auditioning, and so a lot of times you get to the end of the session and the director looks over and says “You know that cop role with three lines, do you want to do it?” “Sure, yeah, I’ll do it.” “Alright, that’s it.” It’s as simple as that. I get lots of work from being a reader. Built my resume on it for sure.

 

The last scene Galen Tyrol has in Galactica. It’s not specified onscreen, but the story is that the uninhabited island you leave for is Scotland. True or false?

It is Scotland, I made it Scotland. When I first read that, the dialogue was, the Chief was talking to Tigh and Ellen, and they say “Are you sure about this?” and he says “Yeah, I’m getting on a heavy raider, and it’s going to drop me off on an island, I found an island off one of the northern continents, it’s cold but I like the cold.” And I thought immediately of Scotland, because I’m a Douglas, and I’m a very, very fiercely proud Scotsman, or of Scottish heritage at least, and so I called Ron Moore and I said, “Are we sending him to Scotland, is the Chief going to Scotland?” and Ron said “Actually I was thinking Vancouver Island,” and I said “Can it be Scotland?” He said, “Yeah, you make it whatever you want,” so that’s when I adlibbed “I found an island off the northern continents. There’s a good spot up in the Highlands. It’s cold, but I like the cold.” So just by adding Highlands, it makes it Scotland without making it Scottish. So in my mind it is, that’s where the Chief went.

 

Working on Galactica must have been a very demanding and intense experience. Looking back at the pilot episode, and this is not aimed at you personally, it goes for the whole cast – you were all so young! Did that show just suck the youth out of you?

In some ways, yes. In the pilot I look like my thinner younger brother. Well, what happened was, after season one, I lost my wife to breast cancer, and then half way through season three, I am a hockey goalie, and I tore my groin really badly. So the death of my wife was a huge turning point, and I tried salve the wound with a fine scotch, and then when I tore my groin, I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t exercise, so watching the Chief getting heavier and heavier is literally a product of me not being able to do anything but lie on the couch and eat. So that’s the cause of a lot of the weight gain. I’m trying to get it off now, but it’s really difficult, because my leg doesn’t work quite properly. But I’m trying.

 

Did you ever resent being about the only one of the regulars who never got to pilot either a Viper or a Raptor?

No, not at all, because enlisted people make the army run, they make the navy run, they make the marines run, they make the air force run. It’s all about the enlisted people. It’s about the chiefs and the mechanics and the guys who hump shit around. I have no problem not doing what the officers do because I am not a military guy, I do not have it in my background, but I know that the enlisted people are the fucking badass guys in the service. Men and women that are enlisted, they rule the world.

 

And the only time you ever actually made it out into space, you did it without a spacesuit.

I blew out an airlock! I remember filming that episode was really difficult, because it was about thirty five degrees outside, centigrade, so about a hundred Fahrenheit, and it was unbelievably hot on stage, and we were sweating profusely, so makeup had to come on after every single take and get rid of our sweat, so it was brutal. But I remember seeing it for the first time, I remember the visual effects guy said “Aaron, we want you to take a look at this, we’re pretty proud of it.” So I went and I watched it for the first time, just the sequence of the airlock blows, we fly out, and the Raptor catches us, and I remember seeing that and thinking “Jesus Christ, perfect!” It was so well done, it was unbelievable.

I have a buddy, Doctor Paul Abel, who works for NASA in Houston, and I called him and asked what would happen if there was a leak or you just suddenly opened a door to space. He said it would be catastrophic venting, you would go from here to out there in a nanosecond, and he watched it and he thought it was perfect. Our visual effects guys are the best guys on the planet. There’s a lot of shows and movies have tried to copy us, but the Battlestar guys really set the tone. I think for TV science fiction, and for a lot of science fiction, space battles and such, what Jurassic Park and ILM did for dinosaurs, no longer motion capture but visual effects bringing an animal to life that doesn’t exist and making it run and eat and kill things. I’m so proud of our guys. They won and Emmy and it was well deserved. I remember watching that scene just thinking “Holy god, that was amazing.”

 

Battlestar Galactica was conceived in a time when America was in great turmoil, with the nation polarised on a great many domestic and world issues. The new administration is not without its problems, but they are of a different nature. How do you think that would have changed the show?

Well, that’s an interesting question actually. America is never without polarising ideals and discussions and angst. How different would the show be now? Occupations, people have been occupied since we lived in caves, suicide bombers have been around for a while, people who commit suicide for an ideal have been around for a while. All the things we talk about in the show, how the themes, all of the angst, the drama, the human nature things, they’ve been around since the dawn of time, so these are universal. I think our show will stand up, in two hundred years, it’ll be just as relevant as it was when we were filming it.

We held a mirror up to society, it’s what art does, and people react to that. I don’t know how it would be different now, because we’re all eight years older, and Ron would have a different view, and a different writing style and technique, so it’s really hard to say. It’s like telling an artist to paint a specific picture, and then ten years later telling them to paint the same picture. They’re not going to paint the same thing, it’s going to be based on their life experiences, and everything that’s happened to them, and their vision at that time and whether they’re up or down or grumpy or happy. Interesting question.

 

Because Battlestar was so tied with that period, do you think in future years it will lose its power, or do you think it will continue to be regarded as a classic, a milestone?

Oh, I think it’ll be a milestone of science fiction, I think it’s the Jaws of it’s day, I think it’s Star Wars for TV. It changed the landscape of TV. It brought over millions and millions of people to sci-fi that normally wouldn’t watch, and see this as something viable and important, and it changed how TV is done. Sci-Fi Channel, see what they did with Stargate Universe, they tried to make it Battlestar-esque, and make it dark and gritty and real and interesting to watch, and a lot of people have modelled what they do after the show. I really think that it’ll stand the test of time, it’s one of those shows that you’ll be able to watch twenty, thirty years from now and go “Yup, it still holds up.”

 

Aaron Douglas, one of the Final Five, and the guy from the deck, thank you for sharing your insight with us, it’s been very kind of you.

Not at all, thanks for having me.

 

Special thanks to Aaron Douglas for his time, and Sean Harry of Starfury Conventions for arranging the interview. Details of upcoming events can be found at www.starfury.co.uk

INTERVIEW: Aaron Douglas – Dragon*Con’s mercurial sci-fi fan

Aaron Douglas: Dragon*Con’s mercurial sci-fi fan
Date: September 4, 2010
Source: CNN.com

 


Aaron Douglas: "Mom says that when I was a little kid I always used to say I wanted to be an actor, but I don't remember that."

 

(CNN) — Aaron Douglas, better known as “Chief Tyrol” on “Battlestar Galactica,” is a Dragon*Con veteran. Well known for being open with fans and the life of the Dragon*Con party, Douglas made a pit-stop at CNN to answer some of our BSG-fan questions.

 

Had you seen the original BSG before taking the role?

Absolutely, I grew up on the original BSG, I grew up on “Star Wars.” The great thing about “Battlestar” was that it was basically “Star Wars” but once a week, as opposed to waiting for three years for the movie to come out. I was a huge “Battlestar” fan.

 

Tell us about when you first auditioned for “Battlestar Galactica” — was it for the part of Capt. Tyrol?

No, no I originally auditioned for the part of Apollo (Capt. Lee Adama) which Jamie Bamber got, which is good because Bamber has to go to the gym and I never did. That was good for me. And my callback was for [the role of] Lt. Gaeta, which went to Alessandro, who’s great. He’s a great actor and he can do the tech talk really well. When they got to the end of the casting there was just no one for the Chief, this Tyrol character that they had left, and David Eick [one of the creators of the show] said, “Why don’t we get Aaron to do this?” because David had seen my auditions and quite liked me. So, they offered me this and it grew into what it was.

 

At what point did you find out that your character was a Cylon? [a robot]

Officially, the day before we started shooting it. But we shot that scene in December, and I had seen some papers that I wasn’t supposed to see over at [director] Michael Rymer’s house, in September. So I had to sit very quietly for three months, not say a word, furious the whole time. And constantly walking past Ron Moore and David Eick, who are the creators of the show, and say, “So, anything coming up for the Chief?” And they’d say, “Oh no, just fixing vipers, just the usual.” Just lying to me! So we finally found out officially and I got Ron [Moore] on the phone, yelled at him for five minutes and then he talked me off the ledge and convinced me that it was a good thing, and he was right.

 

Did you suspect that you might be one of the Cylons?

God, no. Absolutely not. I thought that the great thing about the Tyrol character is he’s such a human, and I guess if they want to humanize the Cylons there’s no better character to do it than him and Col. Tigh, but I did not see it coming. I thought it was going to be new people revealed, I didn’t think that it was going to be cast revealed to be.

 

Did you draw inspiration for your own character from having watched the original BSG?

No, my character wasn’t in the original BSG, and I don’t really know how I do what I do. I literally, I just show up and I say the words as simply as I can. I have a new show now called “The Bridge,” where I play a guy who’s a real-life guy. My character’s based on the life of a guy named Craig Bromell who was a cop for 12 years and then became head of the police association, so basically the president of the union for 85,000 cops. It was the decision to either play it like him or just play it as I see it, so I just play stuff as I see it.

 

What were your thoughts about the ending of BSG?

I loved it. Other than, what the hell was Starbuck? I still don’t know what Starbuck was. But I loved the ending, I thought it was a brilliant piece of writing, certainly Ron’s opus. There was no better way to end it. And I love the fact that the Chief just walks off and goes up to Scotland and lives alone. Yep, makes whiskey and builds castles and herds sheep. Yeah.

 

Was “The Bridge” your next project, then?

I literally wrapped the last day of Battlestar, I wrapped at 5 a.m. on Friday and on Monday I was on a plane to Toronto to start the new show. So, yeah, there wasn’t much of a break.

 

How would you compare the character you’re playing now to Chief Tyrol?

You know, they’re very similar guys. They’re both blue-collar guys, they’re both in charge of a group of people that they are fiercely loyal to, they will do whatever it takes to get the right thing done, they’re both very flawed, which makes them interesting to watch and interesting to play, they’re two guys that you could definitely go to a ball game and have a beer and make fun of people around you.

 

How did you get into acting in the first place?

My mom says that when I was a little kid I always used to say I wanted to be an actor, but I don’t remember that. I remember in high school thinking that I wanted to be a lawyer, and now I realize I saw that movie “And Justice for All” when I was a kid and thought, “That’s what lawyers do, and I want to get up and yell and scream in the middle of a courtroom.” I want to be a lawyer on TV is what I finally figured out. I fell into it late. I think I was 27 or 28. I was working with a sports nutrition company doing diets for athletes and I met a guy who was working on his nutrition and he was an actor. I eventually quit my job and went back to theater school and that was it, the rest is history.

 

Besides acting, what are your hobbies?

Sitting quietly and reading a book. I play hockey, I’m a goalie, so people fire pucks at me. And I like to golf and I travel, I travel a lot. But mostly I’m a pretty quiet guy. I just kind of go home and hide away.

 

I see you’re wearing a shirt that says “Chronicles of the Nerds.”

“Chronicles of the Nerds,” yeah! These are some friends of mine from Oregon that have a website, chroniclesofthenerds.com. I have literally almost 400 T-shirts, because everywhere I go the fans know I like T-shirts. So they’re constantly giving me T-shirts. So, any time I get a chance to plug one of my friends or plug a band or something like that, I like to wear their shirts. And the fans think it’s really cool. So when I’m at ComicCon or Dragon*Con I’ll switch shirts throughout the day, so people get pictures.

 

You were at Dragon*Con last year, right?

I’ve been at Dragon*Con, I think five of the last six years. I love coming here. It’s unbelievable fun. Last year I came as a fan. I snuck in. I didn’t do any panels except for the one that I crashed. I didn’t sign or do anything, I just wanted to experience it from the fan’s point of view, and it was really, really cool. I come here with, literally, like 25 friends and we take over an entire floor of the hotel and we just have a blast, it’s a great place. It’s like Vegas without the gambling.

 

What’s your favorite part of Dragon*Con?

The best times are usually in one of our rooms, where we’re all just sitting around having a drink and just laughing our faces off. It’s just hilarity for four or five days. It’s just hanging out with friends. I travel so much and I work so much and we’re all from such disparate parts of the country in different jobs. It’s hard for us all to get in the same place at the same time and Dragon*Con creates a good venue for that.

 

Anything you want to say to your fans?

Everybody, go to CNN.com every day! Every, frackin day!

INTERVIEW: ‘The Bridge’ links both sides of badge

‘The Bridge’ links both sides of badge
By: Kate O’Hare
Date: Date: July 1, 2010
Interviewees: Alan Di Fiore and Aaron Douglas
Source: Zap2it and Kate O’Hare’s Hot Cuppa TV

 

Being a police officer may be a calling for some, but it is also a job — a union job. And where there are unions, there are the bosses and the rank and file; there are negotiations and disputes and sometimes a strike.

And there is always a police officer whose extra job it is to stand in the middle of all that, to bridge the gap between the officers and the men, between the police and the people, and between the police and one another.

With a two-hour episode on Saturday, July 10, CBS premieres the Canadian-produced drama “The Bridge,” loosely based on the life of Toronto radio personality Craig Bromell, who also used to be head of the Toronto police union from 1997 to 2003 and is an executive producer on the show.

“Battlestar Galactica” star Aaron Douglas plays Frank Leo, a tough and dedicated officer in a big-city police force who is voted in to head his union. To serve the 8,000 officers under his care, he must battle street criminals, corruption in the ranks and his own bosses, the so-called “brass wall.”

Also starring are Paul Popowich, Frank Cassini, Inga Cadranel, Theresa Joy and Michael Murphy.

“The question is,” says executive producer Alan Di Fiore (“Da Vinci’s Inquest”), “the moral ambiguity of the show is, how far will he go? He ends up quite often crossing the line, dealing with a bad cop on his own terms, so it doesn’t hurt the department. Because to hurt the department means that the funding is going to get cut, that they’re going to have problems with the mayor, with money.

“I knew so many cops that when I met Craig, it wasn’t a big surprise to me. I got him right away. I understood where he was coming from. The idea was to present that world differently than anybody had ever seen it before. The fact that Craig had become head of the police union — that’s where the comparison ends. He’s not Frank Leo.”

And Frank Leo is not Chief Galen Tyrol, the character Douglas played on “Battlestar,” but there are similarities between the street-wise cop and the tough, resourceful chief.

“It’s funny,” Douglas says, “it’s very, very similar to the chief in many respects — blue-collar guy, he’s there for the working man, he’s going to do his best and is very loyal and very honest, just tries to make life a little bit better for those around him. And he will go to the wall for the people that he believes in.

“I like the fact that Frank’s a real guy. He’s flawed, just like people in life are. He’s doing the best he can with the tools that he has. He makes mistakes, and he owns up to them. But he does the best that he can. He leads by example, and he leads with his words. People rely on him and need him.

“He will do whatever he needs to do to make a better environment for the people around him, and particularly the people who don’t have the ability or the power to do it for themselves.”

For his part, Di Fiore had no doubt about his pick to play Frank.

“I kept telling everybody, ‘Look, I don’t want a traditional pretty boy. I want somebody who has some character in his face,” Di Fiore says. “I want somebody who looks like a young Gandolfini – better-looking than that. I wanted somebody with some power behind them.

“Finally, we found Aaron, and I was just over the moon. As soon as we got him, I said, ‘We have to have this guy.’ He’s exactly who I pictured in this part, somebody you could believe was actually a cop on the street.”

That means Douglas is again wearing a uniform. As to whether he prefers his police blues or his “Battlestar” flight suit and orange work jumpsuit, Douglas says, “Oh, ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ by far. I know if the fans had their druthers, they would rather see me walking around in an orange jumpsuit than a cop’s uniform.”

He’s also learning to cope with wearing a gun belt, a radio and all the other accoutrements of a street cop.

“They hang a lot of stuff on your belt,” he says, “put it over your shoulders. It’s not just getting dressed and walking on the set; you’ve got 10 minutes with the prop guys.”

“The Bridge” has already started airing in Canada , and Douglas is beginning to experience what it’s like to have fame beyond “Battlestar.”

“In Canada,” he says, “when I do [get recognized], people point and wave and say, ‘Hi, Frank!’ It’s weird. I’m so used to people yelling ‘Chief!’ across the street. I don’t know whether to respond or whether they’re talking to the guy with the beard behind me.”

INTERVIEW: FedCon XIX – our interview with Aaron Douglas

FedCon XIX: our interview with Aaron Douglas
By: Peter Glotz (Pedda), together with Robert Vogel
Date: May 21, 2010
Source: CAPRICA-CITY.DE

 

His role in “Battlestar Galactica” started as a minor supporting character, but during the seasons, the “Chief” became more and more important. The actor behind the fan’s favorite mechanic, Canadian born Aaron Douglas, was among the many guest stars of FedCon XIX, held from April 30 to May 2 2010 in Bonn, Germany.

During the convention, he was kind enough to meet us for an interview. We talked about his time on board Galactica, the chief’s character development, and the possibility of a final five visit on “Caprica”. Also, he told us about his new character, Frank Leo on “The Bridge”, and what kind of beer he likes to during while visiting Germany.

 

 

 

You were one of the first actors from “Battlestar Galactica” to go to conventions. Did you spread the word to get your colleagues to go as well?

Well, they all know me as the guy who goes to conventions, so whenever they go, the first thing is they come and ask “So, what is this convention thing all about?”. I explain it to them and the people started to go. I always have a blast.

 

Are you going to continue to go to conventions, after the show ended?

I’ll probably slow down a little bit. There are a few that I’ve gone to recently just because I like going to those cities. I did one in San Fransisco and one in Calgary last weekend because I hadn’t done one in western Canada in a while. And of course, any chance to come here [to Germany], I’ll say yes.

 

This is your second convention in Germany. Do you already have a favorite German beer?

Oh, I like them all, but I was drinking Bitburger last night, and the local one, Kölsch. Those were really good, I like those a lot! The problem is you can’t just have one. It’s 4:30 in the morning, you’re having another one and you are wondering what the hell happened. When you come to Germany, you expect to have some fine beer.

 

During your time on “Galactica”, were you hired as a recurring character, or on an episode basis?

I was hired for the mini series just as a a day player actor. I don’t know if they had any plans what to do with this character. I think the original plan was that the chief dies somewhere at the beginning of season 1. I’m thankful that he didn’t.

 

What do you remember the most about your first day on set, and the last day?

You know, i don’t really remember the first day. I remember walking in and see the enormity of the set and go “Holy shit, this is cool!”, seeing all this kind of stuff and realizing that I’m on something that is much bigger than I am.

My last day? I don’t remember the last day so much, but I remember the scene that you see me last on the show, when the chief walks off to Scotland. I remember shooting that and then go back to my trailer, just standing there and thinking “That’s the last time you’re going to see this character, ever”. That’s kind of a weird thing. He’s gone, dead. Nobody is writing anything more about him. I have it in my head, what he did, but I’m not going to tell you about that.

 

After the first season aired, did you recognize that this Galactica thing grows more and more?

When it started to air, the fans really started talking about it and the critics picked up on it and started to write stories about how amazing the show is. It was a very small snowball that role down the hill and became gigantic by the end. At the beginning we had no idea what it’s going to do.

 

The Chief started as a minor character in the show. What happened that your character grew more and more during the series?

I don’t know. I know that the writers really liked what I was doing in the pilot. Then in season one, they started giving me a little more to do. And than they realized that I can actually act. So they gave me a little bit more, a little bit more. Ron started “Oh, I really like this character, there’s a lot of things we can do with this character and Aaron is a good enough actor to be able to do it.” So they started giving me more and more. And I could not be more blessed, I love the chief. If I had my choice of characters on the show to play, I’d pick the chief again.

 

How do you think your acting influenced the writers to write more about your character?

Well, they watch and see what you’re doing. If you’re giving a good performance, the writers will give you more to do. Because they know they can trust you, they don’t have to write around you. That’s what Ron talked about. He said he’s been on shows before where you had to kind of write around certain actors because they’re not talented enough to be able to do the material. They can write anything for anybody if they know they can pull it off. They see it, they trust you and they write some more. I also know that sometimes my performance was not what they had in mind, but they liked it better. They go “Oh, I never thought of that, let’s do this with him.” Yeah, they really put me through the years a little bit, those writers.

 

Is it a door opener? Do people recognize you as the chief on “Battlestar”?

Well, it gets you into a lot of rooms in Hollywood. They haven’t seen it but they certainly know that it was a great show and the actors are worth meeting and auditioning. It’s tough, though, because it’s the show that used to be on TV and they start to forget and ask “what have you done lately”?

 

During the days of the mini series, did you get any negative response from the fans of the original show?

I didn’t get anything because the chief wasn’t in the original. Had I played a boomer character or something like that, it would have been a different thing for sure. You get some people that come up and are upset about it, and they go all the way to tell you that they love the original and only the original and won’t watch your show. I don’t know why people feel the need to tell me they don’t like my show.

If you don’t like my show, fine, don’t watch it, turn the channel. It’s bizarre to me that people feel the need to do that. I just say “Okay, thanks, I won’t watch your show either”. The people who refuse to watch it, because they love the original… I love the original, too. I love them both, for different reasons.Too bad, you miss out on about 96 hours of great television. You’re missing out on some great stories and some great entertainment. If you’re that small minded, go frak yourself.

 

You played an union leader in season 3, and I talked to some actors who told me, Aaron is exactly the guy who’d create an actors union at our set and that’s how the writers got that idea.

Aaron Douglas (laughs): Yeah. I don’t like it when people are being threated unfair. And I have no problem speaking my mind.

 

Now that the series has ended, there has been one follow up, “The Plan”. Do you think there’s a big demand on more “Battlestar” related stuff? Or do you think it is finished for good?

I never say never. There’s too much money to be made. That’s what makes the word go round, what makes television happen. There’s some accountant sitting there somewhere going “look at all the money we made of this show. Why can’t we make another mini series, another movie?” I think the plan with “The Plan” was to make three, that one plus two others. But then they scaled it down to the one, just “The Plan”. I don’t want to see any more ofter the end of season 4, don’t go show what the chief is going to do in Scotland. Bu I think a back story ore stuff like this could be interesting. Or something from between “Caprica” and the beginning of our time line. There are 40-50 years, there’s gonna be something. But who knows?

 

Have you seen “Caprica”? What do you think of it. Do you think it would be a good idea to see the Final Five in “Caprica”?

I have not seen it, I haven’t had the chance. I haven’t been home very much. But I’m very excited to take a look. The crew that did “Battlestar”, those are the same guys that make “Caprica”. And I talked to those guys a lot. They said it should be really cool. Well, as far as the Final Five go, you know, I don’t understand that whole time line thing (laughs). We’re Cylons, we’re thousands of years old. I can’t really wrap my brain around that. I think it would be very cool for one of the characters to walks into a coffee shop, Michael Hogan sits in a corner, reading a paper. Tory is behind the counter making me an espresso. I think that would be very interesting. We’re not the Final Five, like, he’s not the chief but somebody else. That would thrill the fans for a week.

 

I heard rumors about a remake of the original “Battlestar Galactica” movie. What do you think, as a fan yourself, does it make sense?

I have no idea. I heard that rumor, too. Glen Larson and Bryan Singer going to do this thing. I do know that Bryan Singer is a brilliant film maker, I love his movies. I think he’s a great director and if he were to do it, I know it will be outstanding, it will be great. But why to remake a show that’s just been remade, I don’t understand. I’m sure those guy have a plan that it will all make sense.

 

Like you said, maybe there’s an accountant somewhere sitting at Universal thinking “‘Battlestar’ is popular right now, let’s make a movie!”.

Well, you know, NBC Universal never had the rights for a theatrical release, they only own the rights for TV. So Glen Larson still has the movie rights. So I think he wants to do something to put it into the theaters.

 

You recently told me that your new show, “The Bridge”, has been sold on the international market, so it is likely that it comes to German TV soon. For all those who are not familiar with it, what’s the premise of the show? What can the viewers expect? How did you get that role?

I got the role because somebody at [the Canadian station] CTV is a big fan of “Battlestar” and a big fan of mine. He thought that I would be great as this character, Frank Leo, who was a cop for 12 years and the he becomes head of the police union. So he’s in charge of 8000 men and women on the street. The story is about his life as a union leader and how he balances taking care of the membership and fighting with city hall. What happens when cops get in trouble, what happens when cops do bad things and how does he protect them? It’s a pretty dark show, something like what if Tony Soprano was a cop? This guy is a bit of a bad ass. Yeah, I quite like the character. It’s doing well in Canada and it’s waiting for CBS to air it, and then the rest of the world can get it. It has been sold to a hundred and thirty some countries. It’s just a matter of when they be allowed to put it on. We’re all just standing around, waiting a little bit. Waiting for CBS to put it on their schedule.

 

The last question: There’s another project that seems to be in post production hell for quite a while and I don’t know if it’s ever going to be released.

Is this “Blood: A butcher’s tale”? I have no fraking clue what the hell they’re doing with that. It’s all green screen, shot in a studio, smaller than this room we’re in, probably 15×15 meters. It was a weird thing to shoot. I haven’t seen it, and I haven’t heard of those guys in three years. I have no idea what’s going on with that show. I would be surprised if it suddenly comes out. I was paid, so, yeah, I passed the point of caring. Too bad for all this work, and somebody put millions of dollars into it. Vampires are popular right now. You’d think somebody would put it out, straight to DVD or something like that.I don’t know. Maybe it’s just awful. (laughs)

 

Okay, thank you very much.

Okay, see you guys around.