Interview: Babylon 5  
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Peter Jurasik: The Rise and Fall of Londo Mollari 
 
 
Invasion Earth pic
 
THAT ALMOST RIDICULOUS-LOOKING wig of upright black hair is in a box, back in storage. The dark overcoat, resplendent with opulent jewels, is on a hanger on a rail. And Peter Jurasik, the actor who plays Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari, has left the Babylon 5 studio, possibly for the last time.
With the exception of the occasional television movies, and a possible feature film, production on the saga of the space station has ended - although Joe Straczynski will spin-off some elements from the show in Crusade. Sadly, however, it seems that these will not feature Londo, whose destiny as the emperor of a ruined Centauri Prime has already been foreseen.
"Londo's story has been told, and is over at the end of the fifth season," Jurasik tells TV Zone. "I know my character is not going on. Unless something magical happens, his story is completed after the five years. The fans have been pressing on this point, but I feel that there is not much more to explore. There is always a chance that Londo opens a dry cleaning shop or a fruit stand, but I think the story is completed."
While Londo's future has already been glimpsed in episodes The Coming of Shadows, War Without End and the tv movie In the Beginning, Jurasik admits that he was not aware of the ambassador's fate until he read the scripts for the last two episodes of the season. "The truth of the matter is, Joe gives the opportunity at the beginning of each season to hear the entire year's arc," the actor says. "I could, if I'd liked, have gone into his office and found out where my character is going and get all those delicious spoilers. I chose not to, because you could fall into playing the back part of the story. What would we do in life if we really knew what was coming next week? We might change how we react today.
"The interesting thing about Joe that I've learned is just when you think you've got him figured out, and that he's going to go straight down the middle of the road, he twists and turns the story. He's also not one to favour sentiment, and doesn't go the sentimental route."
As an example of this Jurasik cites the marriage of Sheridan and Delenn at the end of the fourth season, and the formation of the Alliance.
"The nice thing about that marriage is you know it's going to be a really troubled marriage, and God knows how long it's going to last. He's also put together this universal alliance of all these worlds in the fifth season which seems perfect, but it's never going to last. Not with Joe. He doesn't give the fans what they want - he's plotted out the story over five years and he's going to stick to that story-line."
Much of Londo's arc in the latest season has centred around Centauri Prime, as the ambassador returns home with a bodyguard - his former enemy G'Kar. For Jurasik it's been a very satisfying year, and not just in terms of Londo's development.
"I'm really proud that TNT has stepped up and supported us finishing this story," he smiles. "The really unique thing about Babylon 5 is how the story is told, this five-year arc. I've been on series where at the end of each season you're wondering, 'Are we going to get picked up? Will we continue the story?' There was a little more on the line with Babylon 5 because we were at a crossroads in the sense that if we didn't get this fifth season, the story would not be completed. We were so close to getting it completed - 80% there.
"The wondrous thing about TNT coming is that in addition to telling the fifth season story, they are playing the series every single day. That's the way that the series should be seen, because it's a continuing story, unlike Star Trek or the other television shows. It's not the kind of show that you can tune in and jump in on. You can tune into the middle of the fourth season of Babylon 5 and not know what the hell is going on if you haven't followed it.
"On a more personal level, I have been in shows that have gone five seasons. Hill Street Blues went six and seven seasons, and what happens is you become this well oiled machine, and it's great to look around and see that people still care and still push to do a good job. They enjoy each other, have fun and have passion about the work."
Babylon 5 pics copyright TNT

David Richardson

Peter Jurasik talks more about his part in Babylon 5 inTV Zone #104.


 
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