Wednesday, September 6

IF Magazine interview James Callis part 1

Source: IF Magazine

At the end of season two of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, Gaius Baltar (played by James Callis) was President, and the Cylons had invaded New Caprica to take control of the last remnants of humanity. Is Baltar the villain that most people think he is, or is he the only character on a television show that is willing to be human when others are trying so hard to be super-human? Only James Callis can answer those questions, and tell us what is happening next. During the break in filming for season three, iF MAGAZINE caught up with Callis and got some interesting NEW info about the upcoming season on the SCI FI Channel which kicks off with a two-hour season premiere on October 6.

iF MAGAZINE: How long do your breaks in the shooting schedule last?

JAMES CALLIS: This is a hiatus in filming and it lasts a month.

iF: What have you been given authorization to talk about with season three?

CALLIS: I haven’t really. I don’t know where your article comes out. I suppose you’ve read many of the hints and spoilers that are available. Basically, we start season three with the Colonials being under Cylon occupation.

iF: I’ve seen the picture with the Cylons surrounding you with a gun to your head.

CALLIS: At the risk of repeating myself, [this season is] really phenomenal, it’s really amazing, but it’s the nastiest and darkest place so far. There has really been nothing like it. Everyone collectively has their s**t together. It’s like the MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS or THE TRANSFORMERS where all the separate elements make one big ship; well it’s nothing like that. [Laughs] But, in the sense of all of the energy coming together it’s fantastic and the show has really matured. The actors all know what we’re doing and where we are. We got these scripts quite far in advance, and there was hardly anything that anyone wanted to change because they were so good. Some things are made amazing in the making of them, but with these scripts they were amazing before we even began.

iF: Do we get to meet the new fourth Cylon in these first few episodes?

CALLIS: That hasn’t shown up yet. There’s so much that needs to happen, there’s so much that the Colonials need to do, and no that hasn’t happened yet.

iF: How much of the missing year between two and three back story did you get to film?

CALLIS: I got actually myself hardly any of that at all. We filmed something and you never know where the thing you filmed will be a surfaced requirement. It was a terribly small little thing about laying a foundation stone for our new society. Other characters like Lee [Jamie Bamber], Kara [Katee Sackhoff] and Duala [Kandyse McClure]; yeah you get to see why they’re in the mess they’re in.

iF: A lot of characters got new looks this season, like Jamie Bamber’s fat suit, and Katee cutting off her hair even shorter … did you feel left out?

CALLIS: Mine comes a bit later. I look very different right now. I’m wandering around Los Angeles, and it’s a strange thing. Is it every person with long hair and a thick beard called Jesus? Everyone I meet is saying "Oh! It’s Jesus…hello." I think I look a bit more like John the Baptist to be quite frank; I’ve been out in the desert eating locusts and honey for a while. I’m a cross between humanity and the missing link, which I kind of like.

So much has happened to him [Baltar]. The idea is that when eventually I make my way back to where I have came from, it is in a sense of Lazarus returning from the dead. The idea is if I look totally similar, it wouldn’t show the enormity of what I’ve been going through. I don’t know, maybe Robinson Crusoe meets Shaggy [from SCOOBY DOO]. [Laughs]

iF: You had Lucy Lawless as a regular this season, how did that change your dynamic?

CALLIS: She and Baltar have a connection. It’s quite interesting, even though they share a connection there doesn’t seem to be very much trust in the way that Baltar has his relationship with Six. You never know which way it’s going to turn, and Lucy is a very beautiful girl.

iF: Did she sing to you?

CALLIS: No. But she is going to be singing. Have you heard? I think she’s going to be singing, not in our show, but in another show. [Laughs] The musical number on the Cylon base ship "One…Singular Sensation" didn’t make it. She doesn’t stay all the way through. She’s a Cylon so she lives forever. Due to her involvement with me, and her own strange messianic trouble she puts herself at odds with the rest of Cylon society.

iF: The first half of season three kept you primarily with the Cylons, how was that to essentially switch casts that you were filming with from day to day?

CALLIS: I’m only with the Cylons until really episode 11. It’s a bit like history repeats itself, but in a slightly different fashion. When Baltar arrived on Galactica, actually I think it may have helped me get the part; I wanted to be one of the people who didn’t know what the red lights meant. Everybody else is terribly purposeful, something blinks on the dashboard and everybody knows what it means. Baltar is wandering around not really knowing; he was like a fish out of water. This time around with the Cylons, he’s even more of a fish out of water. He’s going through more of an existential crisis.

iF: Is your character going to be a part of the "Resistance" Web casts that are coming up?

CALLIS: No. What they’re doing is focusing on the people who don’t get quite as much airplay in the cannon that come out on television. If you watch these Web casts they inform everything that happens in the show. It’s kind of like a private addendum. The Web episodes go into the private lives of individuals who you have not seen, and how their lives are affected by the occupation. Then in turn how they try to affect the occupation, and how that happens in the episodes. I’ve some of these and the acting is just fantastic the whole idea is really brilliant.

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