|Allison Warnyca GALACTICA.TV interview|
|Written by Marcel Damen|
|Sunday, 01 August 2010|
Some time ago Marcel Damen interviewed actress Allison Warnyca. Many Battlestar Galactica 2003 fans might not remember her, since she had such a short role. Allison played Lt. Jaycie McGavin, the love interest of young William Adama (played by Nico Cortez) in the first episode of Razor flashback series. In the second episode McGavin returns fatally wounded from a mission, leaving young Bill Adama in anger.
First of all, I'd like to take the time to thank you for doing this interview.
You got your acting start in music videos for Damn the Diva and Cactus Pricks. How did this came about and what was that like for you?
That was both kind of by fluke, but originally I started acting in theatre in both high school and University. I was working at a restaurant and met a band member and they asked me to be in that music video. The other one, was when I was just out of University. They're super fun, little shoots. In one I got to pretend I was a rockstar and play the guitar. It was kind of my first intro to being on set. It was good, it was a lot of fun. It wasn't a really intense acting experience, but I got a good feel how everything worked.
You graduated from both the University of British Colombia and the University of Victoria.
Yes, I started at Theatre School at Quebec and I finished at UBC.
Did you also do a lot of theatre afterwards?
I did, I went to New York and started at the Atlantic Theatre company in New York. I did their program there. Then I came back and worked at some local theatres in Vancouver. I did one United Players show and some work with the Beaumont Studio. Mostly it was film and TV after that.
What kind of roles did you prefer to play in theatre?
Theatre is fun, because you get to play anything. It's way more far reaching. I loved doing the Shakespeare plays, I loved doing comedy too -- that was fun. I also liked playing more darker characters that I don't often get to play on TV.
Is it a lot more different from playing TV roles? Do you get more various and different parts than you'd get in TV?
Oh yes. Just because it's not so specific to a look. It's really more about your range and what your strengths are as an actress. It more about suspending disbelief. You can play anywhere from 10 to 40 when you're on stage. While on TV, you're often bound to a certain category.
You also did a Moosehead beer commercial together with Leah Cairns (Lt. Margaret "Racetrack"Edmondson). Big coincidence or is Vancouver really this small?
Yes, with Leah. Vancouver is really small. That was the first time Leah and I met. We've been in each other's circle ever since. The other actress Fiona, is also a friend of mine now. We do some voicework and stuff together. That was a great experience. I was freezing -- I think they were shooting at Halloween -- running through the forest, but it was really a good group of people.
Moosehead beer commercial, starring Allison Warnyca (left) and Leah Cairns (right)
Check out the Moosehead beer commercial below by clicking on the "PLAY" button below to start.
Moosehead beer commercial, starring Allison Warnyca and Leah Cairns
Leah said it was her worst acting experience ever. It looked like summer, but was shot in winter and it was so freezing cold.
I don't know if it was my worst. I don't mind the cold. I remember it was freezing, but I also kind of live for that sort of adventure. I thought it was so much fun. I love being outside, even when it's cold. (laughing) It's always better to be outside than in some studio. It was beautiful -- a blue sky that day.
She also said, they'd sent you to a tanning salon to get a better color, but you all got sunburn which again hurt when you were raking your clothes off.
(laughs) Oh yeah, I remember that. They also put this fake sweat on us - we're freezing with this oily fake sweat and all this make-up on us. And this campfire (laughing) Well, it could be worse.
Leah told me you became friends during the shoot of I Want to Marry Ryan Banks and also did waitressing together at Nevermind in Vancouver.
That was a really fun shoot -- one of my favorites actually, because we had this big group of girls and we were all in the same hotel on the island. They'd fly us back and forth on the sea plane when we had our days to shoot. It was like a big girl sleepover party. It was such a big cast and we were all good friends. It was great.
How was Jason Priestley like?
Oh he's a sweetheart! He's really nice, actually. He's super funny. It was kind of trippy because we were all Beverly Hills 90210 fans when we were younger, so to actually meet him was great. I had a kissing scene with him actually! I was so stressed, but he was a total gentleman. He was great and would hang out with us once and a while in the evening. We'd just sit around, drink wine and have some laughs.
I've read you got your film break in the independent movie 2 Minutes Before Midnight. Can you tell us a bit how you landed that role, and what the role and the movie was about?
That movie never actually came to anything, but it was again through a restaurant thing -- through a friend of a friend. He held auditions, I just went and read for it. I got the part. It basically was one long huge shot. It was a short film about this couple, fighting the majority of the movie. I ended up smashed against the wall. It was riveting.
You did some episodic television and had guest parts on shows like Cold Squad, Smallville, the 4400. Supernatural... and of course Battlestar Galactica, on which we'll get into a little later. So aside from Battlestar Galactica, anything that stands out in your mind as something you really loved working on or someone you particularly liked working with? Either director or actor?
I always loved doing stunts -- I loved doing the combination of stunts and acting. Dead Like Me was really fun, because it was super kitschy and the lead actresses were hilarious to work for. We're all in this little plane, they all got into this little set. Oh, and doing Smallville was actually great, because I'm a big fan of Tom Welling. He was lovely. It was really fun to work with him.
I love doing stunts whenever I can, so Supernatural was super fun, because I actually got to choreograph a fight scene. We do this sequence where I smash her head into a car window and the director wanted me to get really into it. The actress, Monique, she's a stunt girl and she kept saying: "It's fine, I'm in control." and I was like "Okay. Let's really go for it." Then on the third or fourth take they really got it and then when we pull her up she has all this fake blood on her face but she also had this huge gash in her chin. I'd actually smashed her face into the wind shield. We were shooting out of order and in the next scene she was supposed to be fine. So it was kind of an ordeal and I felt horrible. She took it like a trooper.
Did you get any training for doing stunts?
No, I never have actually. I'd just done fight scenes in theatre and stuff like that. I'd like to, but I've never got any professional stunt training.
Allison Warnyca as Lt. Jaycie McGavin on Battlestar Galactica's Razor flashbacks
Then coming to Battlestar Galactica. Had you heard or seen the series before you got involved and what did you think of it?
I had heard of it, because I had all these friends on it. Again: small town. Friends like Nicki Clyne and Grace Park were on it. So I'd seen and heard about it through them. I've never been a huge scifi follower until then, when I started seeing the show a little bit. I thought: "Oh, this is a lot different than what I expected." I definitely had a respect for the show before I got to be on it.
Did you just read for the part of Jaycie McGavin or did you also read for other parts?
No, that actually is the only part that I went in for. I went in, got a call back ...I don't even know if I got a call back, I might even have booked it off page. I think they'd been searching for that character for a while. They'd found one girl that they liked but they ended up casting her in a different part for that episode. It all happened pretty quickly. It was a great part, loved her.
What was it like to act with Nico Cortez?
He was lovely. He came up from LA and he'd been a huge fan of the show. He really studies the characteristics, because he was supposed to be a young William Adama. He had really invested in doing that and he was great to work with. We became friends. He had to do a lot of work, stunt work and with the planes and stuff. He was also kind of a newbie on the show, so it was nice to be working with someone that was also new too, because we were both kind of in it together. It was really good.
Allison Warnyca as Jaycie McGavin and Nico Cortez as young William Adama
|< Prev||Next >|