Thursday, July 6

Jamie Bamber: Battle-Tested

Source: The Trades

As one of the stars of the popular sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica, receiving praise is nothing new for Jamie Bamber. Some of the nation’s top publications have hailed the series as one of the best shows on television.

Bamber, who plays fighter pilot Lee Adama (code named "Apollo") on the show, says Battlestar Galactica’s critical acclaim puts both more and less pressure on the cast. “There’s nothing as good as knowing that people are appreciating the work you’re doing,” he tells me. “In a way, that lessens the pressure, because there’s relief there. You know what you’re doing is good, and you know the people around you are doing a good job. There’s also more pressure, because there are going to be more people watching. There are viewers that wouldn’t ordinarily watch sci-fi who are going to come to our show, and we can’t let them down.”

Bamber credits much of the success to the show’s elemental storyline and well-written characters. “It’s a bunch of people running for their lives,” he says. “A lot has been written about 9/11 and the parallels of people being attacked from nowhere and catching everyone by surprise.”

He adds, “[The show] has really good characters in really claustrophobic situations. That makes for good drama. You can’t help but have good stories when people are fighting for their lives day in and day out.”

Despite the positive media attention and increasing fan base Battlestar Galactica continues to generate, Bamber says his job involves more work and less glamour than many people think. “It’s not the glitz and the glamour everyone thinks it is,” he says. “About 99.9 percent of it is the working life like what everyone else does…I can count on one hand how many red carpets I’ve walked down. My total time spent walking down red carpets is probably under 30 minutes of my life.”

While Bamber is best known for his work on Battlestar Galactica, this British-born performer has been acting from a young age. His first role came when his actress mother selected him to play the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz.” Yet, he insists his mother was not a stage mom who pushed him into the profession. “When it became time to make acting a career choice, my parents weren’t encouraging me to make that choice,” he explains, “but once I made it, they were encouraging. I think my dad was a little more skeptical about it, because he’d lived the life of an actress via my mum and he’d seen how difficult and frustrating and unrewarding it can be along the way. So I entered into the career with very real expectations.”

Bamber says his acceptance to the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts gave him the confidence to pursue acting full-time. “I was considering what to do with my life, so I took the responsibility out of my hands,” he recalls. “I said, ‘I’ll apply to some of the best drama schools in the country. If get into them, I’ll pursue it.’ If I hadn’t gotten in, I honestly think I would have given up acting and pursued something else.”

There seems little doubt that Bamber made the right choice, because the high-flying career of this TV fighter pilot shows no signs of coming down any time soon.

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