Tuesday, June 5
Date: 1st June 2007
Tahmoh, over the past few years, you’ve developed a very devoted and loyal following. Is it weird to have fans?
Jeff, more than anything, it’s just extremely flattering. I’m honored and I’m touched, and hopefully it’s a reciprocal relationship, you know? I work my ass off because I know there are fans out there, and I believe in this art form so much. I work very hard to bring my best and most truthful work to the screen whenever I’m there. I don’t ever want to be a lazy actor, and I don’t ever want to be associated with that. I’m growing very rapidly on this show because I’ve had the opportunity to work with such an excellent cast and of course such excellent writers, and I just want to keep improving. I want to get better. So hopefully that’s what they appreciate, and you know I take it very seriously.
Over the past season your character became quite a polarizing figure, becoming possible the most loved and most hated character at the same time.
Yeah, it’s quite a dichotomy isn’t it?
Yeah it is. As an actor do enjoy playing a character that evokes such strong emotions, and has any of that reaction seeped into your one-on-one interaction with fans?
Well it’s funny, in the first and even second season I would sometimes have fans come up to me and be angry and it’s hilarious. They were angry at me about the fact that I had gone to the other side, or that I was giving this person a chance. To me, I just couldn’t understand that rationale or that way of thinking. You know, I’ve heard Helo referred to as the moral compass of the show in many ways, and I think it’s a great quote.
Helo, especially in the beginning, you’re questioning his character, and it’s hard with so few scenes and so little dialogue to show his reasons and to give validity to why he’s doing this; why he trusts this woman who has saved his life, regardless of the fact that she’s a Cylon. Well, she’s proven herself different to him. So much so that he’s willing to go as far as he did.
In many ways it’s the theme of the show. Who are we and why are we better than these that we’ve created and are responsible for? We’ve created them, but they’ve evolved into something else. They are alive. This is an organic being, they aren’t a piece of metal, they have a conscience and they have a soul. Helo might be one of the first people that actually sees this and sympathizes with it, and hopefully instead of war, one day there can be a compromise and we can move beyond this. It’s a great storyline, with a lot of opportunity.
But all in all, the fan response for Helo has just gotten better and better and I think it’s great when people question the show. I know when Helo prevented the opportunity to unleash the biological weapon on the Cylons, I definitely got some response from that at the convention, and people like ‘Why? Why?’. And I asked them are you serious? You wouldn’t be watching the show any more! If Helo killed the Cylons you wouldn’t be watching a show any more, would you?
Well my next question was going to be how much did you agree with Helo’s decision to stop the virus, but it sounds like Tahmoh Penikett would have done the same thing.
Tahmoh Penikett would have done the same thing, and I very much agree with Helo. I know why he did it, and it actually even makes sense to me as an actor, which is something that some of Helo’s actions haven’t always done. But all in all I do agree with Helo’s decision.
Of course he couldn’t let it happen. He’s got a child who’s half-Cylon. He’s got a wife who’s a Cylon. We can’t just go and commit genocide on these people. Just like he said when he’s having the argument with Roslin, he said we’ll be guilty of the same crimes. Humanity will suffer this, we’ll be passing this on to the next generation, we’ll be responsible for this. What does this make us?
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Posted by Phantom Dennis at 04:47