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Feature: Battlestar Galactica

War Wounds

The females of the species…

With Commander Adama gravely wounded, we talk to the women of Battlestar Galactica – the good, the bad and the conflicted…

Tricia Helfer as Number Six
With one version of Number Six having been killed in a huge fight with Starbuck at the first season’s conclusion, it’s time to introduce another Number Six. This time she’s wearing a tracksuit, and that’s just the first of some big surprises.
“There is a change in Number Six that we haven’t see before,” comments actress Tricia Helfer, “that was really fun to shoot. This clone is a very vulnerable, damaged Number Six who’s wearing sweat pants and a sweat shirt and no make-up. It’s great fun playing that side of her, in a bizarre twisted way.”
Despite her new vulnerable side, the Cylon undoubtedly has some dastardly scheme up her sweat shirt sleeve, but Helfer promises that the new series will also explain some of the mysteries behind the Cylons. Whether that means we’ll be seeing them as more warm, cuddly and misunderstood seems less likely.
“Number Six is still messing with Gaius Baltar’s head and getting him to follow a certain path, but over the episodes it’s starting to be revealed more and more where Number Six is coming from and what the Cylons really want. Which has a lot to do with the baby.”

Mary McDonnell as
President Laura Roslin

“I think Laura should help women like Hilary Clinton get into power,” McDonnell says. “The more we have actresses playing women in power the more the idea becomes part of people’s expectations and culture. People start absorbing it as a given, and start expecting women to be in that position. The repetition of the image is what shifts our perception in TV and movies and then hopefully in real life.”
“The power in Laura grows up out of the obstacles and the circumstances, it isn’t something she just pulls out of the hat or had to begin with,” says the actress, who’d previously come closest to power as Bill Paxton’s First Lady in Independence Day. “She’s dying of breast cancer, she’s not ambitious politically, she wasn’t trained to be in this position, she doesn’t know a thing about being out in Space, so if you really line up your ducks, you go ‘Who is going to follow her?’ But they keep supporting her sincerity and commitment, she’s a long haul kind of girl.”

Grace Park as Sharon ‘Boomer’ Valerii
Tere’s the good Sharon on Caprica, the bad Sharon on Battlestar, the naked Sharon clones and even more Sharons we’ve yet to meet. And of course, there’s the argument that the good Sharon can’t really be good, because she is, after all, a Cylon. It’s not surprising actress Grace Park admits she’s getting confused.
“At first it seemed fine and I never had a problem, then I’ve just filmed scenes where Caprica Sharon has come back to Battlestar Galactica and that was a bit of a mind meld. I got totally confused and I didn’t realize until then that it had been easy because they had kept them separate.
“Unfortunately they don’t pay me extra for playing so many versions of Sharon,” she quips. But the dramatic scene where Lt Sharon ‘Boomer’ Valerii faced an army of naked clones and realized for the first time that she was a Cylon was even more mind boggling for Grace to film. Producers auditioned dozens of actresses to provide the body doubles for the dramatic shots, and Park found herself facing a line-up of lookalikes.
“It started off as a joke when the cast went out to dinner and Michael Rymer said he had this idea that all the Sharons were naked,” Park laughs.“They just tried to match the bodies - it wasn’t super necessary for the girls to look exactly like me because I did all the personalities and then they used CGI to make it work. But it was a problem for them to find 12 people to look like me.”

by Jenny Eden

Get the full interviews and a complete episode guide in
TV Zone Special #65

Photo © Sci-Fi Channel
Feature © Visual Imagination 2005. Not for reproduction

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