Sexy photo spreads in major magazines from Maxim to Entertainment Weekly. Mob scenes at public appearances and science-fiction conventions. A highly touted guest gig earlier this week on David Letterman's Late Show.
At this point, anyone who hasn't heard about the cult-hot rebirth of Battlestar Galactica hasn't been paying attention. But better late than never.
Indeed, it's pretty much now or never – the first half of the sci-fi series' fourth and final season kicks off April 4 on Space.
You will be in good company. The Battlestar phenomenon has somehow been embraced by a sizeable mainstream audience – although, typically, their number, and relative passion and dedication, pale in comparison to the core contingent of fiercely loyal genre junkies.
And Sackhoff and Park have become the pin-ups of that passion, the postergrrls of Battlestar's "rag-tag fleet," their macha, model-perfect mugs glaring down purposefully from basement den and dorm-room walls around the world (and, for all we know, beyond).
"And just wait till the new one on a motorcycle comes out," deadpans a characteristically sardonic Sackhoff, in town with Park recently to talk about the show. "Chaps and bikinis ... it's going to be fantastic."
Not to give the uninitiated the impression these women are sex symbols in the old-school brainless bimbo mould.
The characters they play – Sackhoff a hard-drinking, cigar-chomping fighter pilot and Park an emotionally conflicted android infiltrator – are smart, strong and admirably complex.
And also, when angered, very likely to tear your head off and spit down your neck.
"She's volatile," allows Sackhoff of her breakthrough role, Kara "Starbuck" Thrace. "And sensitive and sarcastic and witty and damaged, and loving and protective and talented ..."
"She's talking about my character," interjects her pal, Park.
"Yeah, right," counters Sackhoff. "But which one?" (Park's Sharon "Boomer" Valerii was revealed early on as a Cylon "toaster," and is thus depicted in infinite incarnations – trust me, it makes sense in the context of the show.)
"I am going to miss her uncontrollable vulnerability," Sackhoff continues. "She is so many things ... she's so much of humanity rolled up into one character. Even when it's all over, I'm probably going to have dreams about her from time to time."
And it is almost all over, with only 20 more astoundingly eventful episodes to go. And that's it. No chance of a last-minute, extended "bonus" season. No theatrical feature (see sidebar, right) – although a prequel TV-movie, Caprica, is about to go into production in Vancouver, with an eye toward launching a spin-off series.
But without any of Battlestar's familiar fan faves. Much as they will miss their characters, and the BSG set's unconventional camaraderie, both actors see the impending end as a light at the end of the Viper launch tunnel.
With nine post-strike episodes still left to shoot, the inevitable separation anxiety has not yet set in. "I don't think it'll kick in until the last episode," Sackhoff says. "I think that once the characters, like, start to have closure, that's when we as actors will feel it coming for us.
"And when people start to die. Because, God knows, this is Battlestar Galactica, and people are going to die."
And therein lies one of the primary reasons for the series' enduring impact and appeal: You never know what will happen next, and absolutely anything can – particularly during this climactic last season.
Not even the cast members are told in advance.
"I don't know how they manage to keep surprising us," says Park, "because you would have thought they would have done all of the angles, every storyline would have either been done, or you can expect it ... and somehow they always manage to do something that you don't expect."
"It all surprises me," Sackhoff agrees. "But it doesn't, you know? (We don't know anything until) the day we get our scripts, really. Occasionally, they'll allude to certain things, but you don't have anything in concrete until it's on that page, and even then things get cut."
Often intentionally. Producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick are notorious for scripting and even shooting fake scenes – mostly to throw off Internet interlopers.
"You never know whether or not to believe 'em," laughs Park. "You'll get a script, and then, days later, you get another script, and it's like, `What happened to that ending?' And they're like, `Oh yeah, that was a fake.'"
"Like the one where they brought Dirk Benedict in," recalls Sackhoff of one such bogus episode, ostensibly guesting the original series' Starbuck.
"He was supposedly going to play God, and we were all like, `Excuse me?'"
The inside joke being that, unlike his former co-star, Richard Hatch – who signed on for a recurring role – Benedict has been a vocal and vehement critic of the Battlestar remake.
Initially, at least, his was the majority opinion, given fans' considerable before-the-fact outrage over the recasting of Sackhoff and Park in roles (Benedict's included) played by men in the '70s original.
"What's interesting," offers Sackhoff, who took the brunt of the sexist sentiment, "is if you add it all up – in time, not years – we have both been these characters longer than the originals."
And what a long, strange trip it's been.
"I've been able to experience such a great joy working with whatever the writers have given me," enthuses Park. "Not every episode has been a walk in the park – for me, it has been a huge obstacle course. But I grew so much through it."
Now it's Sackhoff's turn to interrupt – the ease with which these two play off one another is a testament to their working relationship.
"I found it really interesting ... umm, how do I put this? As an outsider looking in to someone else's craft, I firmly believe that Grace in particular has had the most growth as an actor."
"Yeah," pouts Park. "I started really s---ty on purpose."
"No, it's not to say that you were s---ty. It was your first show ..."
"You're right. I was very green."
Sackhoff continues: "And then they realized what she was capable of. It's just phenomenal what she has done with that character."
And she is – they both are – almost done with those characters. The end, as they say, is nigh.
As to what form that end might take ... even if they knew, they'd never tell.
"We're going to have a contest," jokes Park. "So please write in to www.scifi.com/battlestarbabes.";
"I'll tell you how it's going to end," feints Sackhoff. "It'll end with me jumping in my car, with my flight suit, my gun belt and my helmet on ... I'm going to bronze the frakking thing and put it in my bathtub. When you bathe at my house, you will have to bathe around a bronzed flight suit.
"I am going to try and drive across the border with those guns. And then I will get deported and I can never come back."