The actress who plays Starbuck dishes on the upcoming and final season and the show as a whole
Katee Sackhoff has become a fixture in the sci-fi universe for the past three years with her portrayal of Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on the hit Sci-Fi Channel series, Battlestar Galactica. The series embarks on its fourth and final season with the season premiere on Friday April 4 at 10 PM ET on the SciFi Channel and I was fortunate enough to be in on a conference call with the young star. Here's what Starbuck had to say.
Starbuck gets all kinds of action in the show. Which is tougher for you, a fight scene or a love scene and is there anybody left on the cast that you would like to have one or the other with?
Katee Sackhoff: You've gotta start out with a good one. I'm sitting across the table from my boyfriend right now. I think the sex scenes are a lot harder than anything I've ever had to do on the show. It's not natural, it's just odd. It makes you feel like you're being paid, or being allowed to cheat on your significant other. It's very weird. The fight scenes are really easy and come pretty naturally to me, to be quite honest. Who would I want to fight on the show? Because I'm trying not to think of the other one... I don't know. I think I've fought everybody. I can't think of anyone. I think a fight between Eddie (James Olmos) would be pretty interesting. I'll go ahead and say that.
For the audience that was reluctant to accept Starbuck as a woman, what about the character do you think helped turn that around to help people accept Starbuck as a woman?
Katee Sackhoff: I think what honestly made people accept Starbuck as a woman was that she's just such an interesting character. I think once people put their guard down, with these pre-conceived notions of what this show is supposed to be, that allowed it to be re-defined and that's probably the same time where they stopped thinking of Starbuck as just a woman, when they stopped thinking of the old show. It's probably hard to figure out when that probably happened, but probably after the first season, that cliffhanger at the end, that probably got all the fans hooked.
How are you and the rest of the cast feeling, now that the show is ending?
Katee Sackhoff: Well, I can 't speak for the rest of the cast, so I don't know how they're feeling. As far as how I'm feeling, it's interesting. People talk to me, as an actor, that I have a softer side and that I should play different roles, so there is an excitement to it, but it is sad. I think that the work environment on Battlestar Galactica was absolutely amazing and I don't think it's something that comes along a lot. I know that, chances are, I'm never going to find that again, so that's sad as well.
Did you know that Starbuck would such a popular and iconic character when you signed up to do this?
Katee Sackhoff: I didn't even know that the show would become as iconic as it is. It's taken on a life of its own and become something completely different that what I ever thought it would. I thought it was just gonna be a paycheck. So no, I never knew that Starbuck would become what she has become. So many things have had to come together to make that a reality. I think that the writing was perfect, so all the planets have to align for this to be perfect.
Can you talk a little bit about how this season they're going to handle the marriage between Starbuck and Anders?
Katee Sackhoff: If I knew, I would tell you. I have no idea. We are at Episode 14 right now, in our shooting schedule, and I'm no closer to being able to have any questions answered from last season then than I am now.
Your boss, Ronald D. Moore, recently directed his first episode. How was that?
Katee Sackhoff: I've gotta say, he's the first director I've ever worked with that, after every take, he says, 'Thank you.' I think that what the crew does, what the actor does, can sometimes be overlooked because it's what we're supposed to do. To have someone thank you after every take is very interesting. I've found that after the take, I stood a little taller, I was a little happier and I thought, 'Wow, that does feel really good.' He really is a great director. Granted, I only had one scene with him, but that was one thing that I noticed that I've never had happen before, and it really speaks to his character.
I'm wondering if you can talk about Starbuck's mental state, going into Season 4, and what finding Earth really means to her?
Katee Sackhoff: She's very fragile. She's extremely lost. We've never seen Starbuck so alone and so lost. As far as what finding Earth means to her, it's her revolution. I think she's putting so much weight on this one thing, this one task. It's her destiny. She wouldn't let anything stand in her way, anything. I think that we're going to see a lot from her this season that is sort of the shell of her former self.
What is the best memory or experience you're going to take with you from your time on Battlestar Galactica and, also, what physical thing or piece of the set or prop would you take with you if you could to remember the show?
Katee Sackhoff: That's easy. I'm getting my flight suit and my helmet and my gun belt and I'm driving home. I'm gonna bronze that thing. I'm gonna bronze it and put it in my bathtub so that every time someone comes over and showers, they'll have to stand next to that flight suit. It was hell for so many years that it's only appropriate that I get to take it with me. (As for the best memory), the cast and the crew. I've made so many friends on this show. Our DP was like my Dad for five years, constantly telling me to be safe on my motorcycle, constantly. Also, the friendships that we formed through the show, we were able to maintain outside of the show. That's really important because when you do a show you have these plans of staying in touch with people and 9 times out of 10 it never happens. I haven't spoke to Richard Dreyfus or Marcia Gay Harden, you know. You never do. Unless you find a common ground outside of the show, the friendships will never last. What I'm most proud of is my friendships. I'm very proud of that.
The Admiral has basically been like a father figure for Starbuck for a very long time. In the previews that we've seen, it seems like the Admiral doesn't know what to believe of Starbuck upon her return and he's very skeptical. How does that, from someone like him, affect Starbuck and her mental state?
Katee Sackhoff: I think that's the worst thing that could ever happen. She gets her validation and she gets other things from him. He kind of sets the mood and the tone for how she feels about herself and to have that person doubt you, I think is the worst thing that can happen to her. As far as she's concerned, regardless of what she is, she's the same person she was when she left. I think the worse thing is she just wants his trust.
So what's next for you? Are you looking for another action role?
Katee Sackhoff: Do I wanna play a character just like Sarah Corvus or Starbuck? No. I've already done it. I'm looking for things that are the opposite of these two characters. Whether or not people will give me an opportunity to do that, I don't know. Five years ago I couldn't get anyone to think I was tough and now I can't get anyone to think how they thought of me five years ago.
I was recently on a call for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and it seemed like the executive producer and the cast were all extensively following the online activity surrounding the show. Is that the same with Battlestar Galactica? Do you guys follow the online buzz and what the fans are talking about the show?
Katee Sackhoff: I've learned a long time ago that you can't hang out on the web. You'll inevitably need 100 positive remarks to make one bad remark disappear. It's a never-ending cycle about reading about yourself and it never goes away. I tend to just not pay attention to it anymore. Occasionally, my mom will call me and say, "You've gotta read this," which I find very interesting.
What has surprised you the most about Starbuck's evolution over the past three seasons?
Katee Sackhoff: Wow. I don't know. That people consistently depend on her, shocks the crap out of me. That I think has always been very interesting to me, that people still ask her to go save the world. That's constantly interesting to me.
In what ways can we expect her character to evolve this season?
Katee Sackhoff: She will hopefully have a revolution of some sort. I think that's something we can finally depend on, in a sense, something that she might actually finally get. At the same time, I would love for her, I said this earlier, but I would love for her to find peace. I think there is some justice in the world that she can actually have that, because she's gone through so much hell.
(Executive producer) David Eick is developing a TV version of Children of Men. Would that be something that you're interested in?
Katee Sackhoff: Everything of David Eick does interest me. He is fantastic at what he does. He has a vision and he's always successful at that vision, whether or not other people have their hand in the pot. I've always said that the main problem with The Bionic Woman was that if you have too many cooks in the kitchen, too many hands in the pot, and no one can agree on how to make it, that stew is gonna be full of shit. Whether or not David is given the freedom to do what he's done with Battlestar Galactica, is a completely different story. I think that you'd have to be on a cable network. I don't think you can get that on network television.
The fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica premieres on Friday, April 4 10 PM ET on the SciFi Channel.