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Feature: Farscape

Riggs the Outcome

The Commandant in control

The latest addition to Farscape’s villainous ranks is Rebecca Riggs as Commandant Grayza, a woman who has an impressive arsenal of weapons to get just what she wants out of John Crichton…

When you’re chatting with aussie-born rebecca riggs, it’s hard to imagine a warmer, friendlier person. Unless you’ve had the pleasure of watching her freeze everything in her path with a glacial stare or comment as the violent, aggressive harridan Commandant Grayza in Farscape. Which begs the question: how did she end up playing such a nasty person?

“Well, they needed a nasty person,” she shrugs. “Of course, I’m not really a nasty person. I just enjoy playing one. Grayza is such a fantastic character to get into. She’s wonderful. I mean, she’s definitely ethically directly opposed to me as a person, but that kind of makes her interesting. She’s also fun because you don’t get to express the kind of stuff she does very often. She’s outrageously confident and sure of herself and that’s another thing that is very nice to play. Of course, that does lead to some problems for her because I think she can underestimate people sometimes.”

Jokes about Mele-on Grayza, Peacekeeper Commander First Class, becoming a role model for power hungry women everywhere are met with a hoot of laughter. “No way!” says Riggs. “Grayza’s completely amoral. Wicked in every way. I do think the strength of her is fantastic. That is admirable, particularly because I feel the Peacekeeping regime – despite the fact that there are female soldiers – from what we’ve seen are a relatively male hierarchy. So she must be fairly phenomenal in a lot of ways to get where she has as quickly as she has.”

The fourth season of Farscape has Grayza coming head to head with another venomous character well-known throughout the Farscape universe, Scorpius (Wayne Pygram). It’s clear from the start there is a bit of history between them. Riggs has some thoughts on their relationship. “I think they probably came from different power groups within the Peacekeepers. Scorpius is very much out on his own. He’s a bit of a renegade. I think it would be fair to say that Grayza is much more politically adept than Scorpius. She’s kind of playing a different game to him and although she respects certain aspects of what he does, I think she thinks that the way he does things is far too anarchic. When she storms onto his ship and says, ‘You’ve completely lost control’, I think that, to her, she’s just delivered one of the biggest insults there is. For Grayza that ‘You’ve completely lost control’ is just the quintessential put-down.”

by Thomasina Gibson

Find out more about Rebecca Riggs' history, as well as more about her masses of make-up in:
Cult Times #85

© Sci-Fi Channel, Jim Henson Product
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #85
October 2002
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