Lili Bordán talks Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, on Blu-ray February 19th
When Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome was first announced, many thought it would be a surefire lock for a series order. While that sadly wasn't the case, the show still lived on in ways many discarded pilots never do. The show was split into 10 segments for a web series on Machinima, before the complete episode ran as a two-hour TV movie on Syfy. Now fans get to enjoy Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome whenever they want with the Blu-ray and DVD release February 19. I recently had the chance to speak with actress Lili Bordán, who plays Dr. Becca Kelly on the show, which is set during the first years of the Cylon War, directly between the events in Caprica and Battlestar Galactica.
Here's what she had to say.
How much did you know about this massive franchise before stepping into this world?
Lili Bordán: Actually, I wasn't too familiar with the series. It had eluded me, somehow. I was in Europe for most of the time that the series was on the air. I had seen bits and pieces of the show in the 1970s with Richard Hatch, but mostly, I was exposed to the show after I started auditioning. That's when I really started watching the series. Then, finally, when we got to Vancouver, we all watched Caprica to get the back story we were going to work from. This is the first 10 years of the Cylon War. Loose space hadn't really been relegated to Cylon or human territory. It was guerilla warfare. It was really the darkest, bleakest time, I think, between the Cylons and humans.
Was there anything that surprised you, as far as the size and the scope of the show?
Lili Bordán: I relished this whole experience, and it was a little daunting. It was the biggest thing I've ever done as an actor, and I didn't have a whole lot of time to prepare. I think I got the role a week before we started shooting. We had a few days of prep while we were there, just to learn how to fire a gun. We practiced how we would enter a building, we had S.W.A.T. practice, and we had to work as a team. We had to know how to point the guns and how to enter a room, because we do end up entering a Cylon transmission array, and we had to know how to do that, knowing it was completely Cylon territory.
Was it beneficial, just because your character is more mysterious, that you didn't have a whole lot of time to prep and get to know the other actors as well beforehand?
Lili Bordán: Actually, Luke Pasqualino and Ben Cotton were cast a few weeks before I had. I met everyone up in Canada. Ben lives in Vancouver and Luke was coming over from London, so we met there. We got to know each other through work and through training, we became friends.
Can you talk about working with director Jonas Pate? It's such a huge undertaking and he pulled it off quite well.
Lili Bordán: It was awesome to work with Jonas. He works with us and whenever we felt we needed more of anything from him, he was right there. It was an awesome journey to go on with him. He's such a cool guy and such a great person to work with. We had three cameras going, and we worked so quickly and so well together. We had 15 days to shoot three hours, which we managed to do, in large part because of the whole CGI team who put in most of the sets after we shot. It was completely green screen.
I've been on completely green screen sets before, and there are some actors who prefer that environment, where you literally have to rely on your imagination around you, and others don't.
Lili Bordán: My first day on the set, I hadn't seen anything like it. It was kind of daunting, because the extras are still there and everybody's there. It's just this huge, giant green shoebox of a universe so a lot is left up to your imagination, and the decisions you make. A lot of it has to be created in your imagination. Jonas Pate always made sure we felt comfortable and that we knew where we were at that point. He'd show us drawings and pictures of the cliff we were hanging over in the rafter, when we landed so horribly on the snow moon.
Is there anything you can say about the decision to split this up into these 10 mini episodes?
Lili Bordán: We shot it as a single entity, thankfully, because that would have been crazy to shoot. We shot it as one over-arcing story and then it was split up masterfully. It was split up perfectly, almost as if we had created it to be an online series, when, in fact, we created it to be a back-door pilot, to hopefully go to series on Syfy.
Were there discussions about where your character and where the story would go if it was picked up? I imagine they had a far-reaching plan in place.
Lili Bordán: A bible was written for a possible series, but I haven't read that, so I'm not sure where the story goes. If you look at it, it's a pretty amazing time in the Battlestar Galactica-verse. It's the beginning of the Cylon War, and it's such a dark, bleak time, where we don't know where everything is going. Young Adama is really coming to terms with what he's really a part of, and the truth about war. It's a true coming of age story, becoming a man during war, and what's a woman's role in this war. My character is a widow of the war. She lost her husband to the war, which turned him into a hero. It's about all of these heroes and what lies behind the propaganda.
Is there anything on the special features you're looking forward to fans seeing?
Lili Bordán: There's going to be a lot of footage that was cut. A lot of the forums are saying that the characters aren't developed enough, which was strange to me because I remember working on the roles and developing the characters. I remember how clear we all were about our characters, and where we come from. A lot of that you'll be able to watch on the Blu-ray, and a lot of it will be with a green screen behind it, so you'll see the contrast between what we saw and what we experienced on set, and then see what these guys at Universal created in the 10 months after we spent three weeks filming.
What would you like to say to BSG fans out there about why they should pick up this Blu-ray and DVD next week?
Lili Bordán: I think what you're going to see is, even though it's in the Battlestar universe, it's set at the beginning of this war, and it will be familiar, but it will also be completely different. It's so much about survival, and choosing sides. We hope that you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed creating it.
That's about all I have. Thanks so much. It was great talking to you.
Lili Bordán: It was great talking to you. Thank you.