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Brad Dryborough GALACTICA.TV interview 2
Written by Marcel Damen   
Thursday, 19 August 2010

Recently Marcel Damen caught up with Brad Dryborough, better known to Battlestar Galactica 2003 fans as Lt. Louis Hoshi, to do a follow up on the interview he did with him 2007. He talked with Brad about his role on the Battlestar Galactica series, the finale and in The Face of the Enemy webisodes. Next to that he also talked about Brad's own work as a writer, producer and director and his future plans.

Last time we talked was during Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica. Your character Hoshi had been in the Pegasus arc and occasionally popped up in episodes as the onboard communications officer. Next to that you were starting up a new movie with Kris Elgstrand called In Her Ear. A lot happened since then so I thought it would be nice to do a follow up.

Sure, sounds great.

Let's start with Battlestar Galactica. Last year we talked with Alessandro Juliani about this one fleeting kiss that sparked the screen in The Face of the Enemy. He said he first had reservations about it and was concerned it would come across as sort of tokenism. He even talked with writer Jane Espenson about that. What were your feelings about it when they asked you or when you read the script?

I guess I was a little bit surprised, but not really, because he was one of the people that joked how lots of the fans sort of suspected that of Gaeta. I know when it was first written the part was supposed to be for Narcho (Sebastian Spence), but Sebastian was away in Montreal shooting and couldn't do it. So they changed it to Hoshi and I thought it was interesting. It's too bad it didn't work out, because we shot those after the season was complete. During the mutiny scene Alessandro and I played with the fact that I was taken away to be put in the brig. We'd played some scenes with some moment of friendship when I was taken away, like: "How could you do this?" kind-of-thing.

 

Alessandro Juliani as Felix Gaeta and Brad Dryborough as Louis Hoshi on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Alessandro Juliani as Felix Gaeta and Brad Dryborough as Louis Hoshi on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

It never ended up in the episode, but it was funny when we ended up doing the scenes in The Face of the Enemy. We'd already sort of played that moment where The Face of the Enemy ends and he walks away. We replayed that moment. So it made sense to me it was Hoshi.

I never had any reservations about playing the part. We did talk about if it was just a token issue, but it seemed to make sense in a more bigger picture kind of way. When there's that few people remaining maybe relationships change and they become less about sex and more about connecting to another person. It's more about that there are only so few people left and not about homosexuality. I thought that played very well in the webisodes. It had that one kiss to let you know what our relationship was, but to me it really ultimately ended up being more about two really close friends.  

Did you go back in your mind to your scenes? Did you think about what you might have done body language wise or how Hoshi had looked at Gaeta that they'd pick him -- other than this one mutiny scene in Season 4?

I guess I could see why they picked Hoshi. In the episode where they find Earth, Gaeta and I have a nice big hug and we share the moment together there. And in the mutiny scene we also play it out a little bit. I could see where they'd take that friendship and they'd make it that. As far as playing it any differently, I played gay characters a couple of times before, on stage and in short movies. I had a friend that asked me, after the Battlestar Galactica webisodes aired, what I did to play gay. I said: "I don't ever actually play gay, I just play a person that is in a relationship with another person. I don't make it about body language or stereo typing it other than this is my character, this is the person my character is in love with and it doesn't matter if it's a man or a woman. My character is still my character."

It's the same thing for Alessandro, since that takes away some of that tokenism. We're not playing them as token gays. They're just people. I've never, in all of the times that I've played a gay person, put on a voice, body language or that type of thing. I just play it as a person that is in love with another person.

Hoshi also suddenly was given a first name: Louis. Did this fit for you or did you always think it would be something totally different like Mark, Glen or Stephen?

With his last name being Hoshi and that being a little odd for a white male, I thought Louis was a good name. That was kind of the funny thing on Battlestar Galactica, as the years went by, people were starting to find out what their names were. At first there were a lot of people who didn't know what their first names were, so it was always interesting to see what they would come up with. And I like Louis.

The one thing that kind of saddened me is that they didn't shoot an extra scene when Gaeta took over the bridge or when he was executed. You'd expect Hoshi to cry out: "Felix! What the hell are you doing?!?" or even have sympathy for him when he's in the brig or him to be present at Gaeta's execution.

That's the problem you run into sometimes, because they didn't know until after the end of the series that they were doing those webisodes. Yes, it would have been nice to have some of those moments, but at the time we shot The Face of the Enemy most of the sets were gone. We really shot it on what was left. It was interesting going to work those days, because as we were shooting they were still taking things down. Most of the CIC and the hanger deck was already gone, so it just wasn't possible to go back and pick up some of that stuff. You're right. It would have been nice and it would have given it a little more depth. 

There is this scene between Baltar and Gaeta when he's in prison. It would have been perfect for Hoshi to play as well.

Yeah, next time! (laughing)

So The Face of the Enemy was shot after the complete finale was shot?

Yes, it was shot after the finale. It was shot during the last movie that came out (The Plan). So we'd already shot the finale, we'd been to Kamloops and shot the Africa stuff and finished that already.

 

Brad Dryborough as admiral Louis Hoshi on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Brad Dryborough as admiral Louis Hoshi on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

During the finale Bill Adama makes you admiral of the battlestar. Was this a surprise for you?

Huge surprise! Very nice though. I was talking to Ron Moore at our wrap party. I walked up to him and said: "Thank you very much for what you wrote for me in the end." He just smiled and said: "I thought you'd like that." It was just a nice "thank you" for all the work. More than anything I was surprised and honored... and it was fun! It was fun to have Hoshi a little more heavily involved in the end.

How do you feel about the story of the finale and how it all ended?

I thought the ending was great. When I read it, it made sense. I liked that it ended and it didn't leave it open to go back and do anything else with it, like they did on the original series with Galactica 1980 or whatever it was called. This ended their story, it ended their quest and I thought that was really important -- for the show to have an ending. Not to be left with some kind of feeling like:  "Oh, this could come back as something else. " I liked that they started over, since that was their mission from the start of the series. To me it was very fitting how it ended.

Last time we talked you said you travelled quite a bit yourself. Hoshi is seen participating in the planning for settlement of the people on Earth. Where do you think he ended up going? Or if it was up to you, where should he have settled?

I would have settled Hoshi somewhere warm, I think (both laughing) -- as I've come through another winter in Vancouver! I know Aaron Douglas spoke to the writers because he really wanted Chief Tyrol to go to Scotland. He really felt that that was where his character wanted to go.

 

Brad Dryborough as commander Louis Hoshi (right) on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Brad Dryborough as commander Louis Hoshi (right) on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

It's interesting. You wonder if Hoshi would have gone somewhere himself or would he have found someone to go somewhere with. But I think it would have been somewhere warm. After all the years in space, he'd just want to relax on the beach ...in Hawaii.

Last time we talked you also had done some writing for television and said you might write a Battlestar Galactica episode to unexpectedly give them. Did you ever end up doing that?

I've played with some stuff, but I wasn't really getting anywhere with it and was so close to the end. It didn't really work out. I've been writing since and hopefully next year we'll film something that I've been co-writing with Kris Elgstrand, who wrote The Cabin Movie. We're writing something together now. The short I'm now directing is also something Kris wrote as well, so I'm still involved with him quite a bit. 

Since you're a writer, producer, director yourself, how was your relationship with talented Battlestar Galactica crew members like writer Jane Espenson and director Michael Rymer? Did you have a chance to talk to them and/or watch them work?

I talked to Michael Rymer and he's seen some of my work. That's the thing about the show now gone. The people you got to see are now also gone and you don't get to see them anymore. Especially Michael was very supportive and really liked the work that I showed him. Since then it's been really on my own again.

What kind of work have you been doing since then? I saw on IMDb you did some acting and an increasing number of scifi/fantasy/horror roles.

Yes, I did The Thaw and a part in The Imaginarium of Doctor Pernassus, which I believe got cut out of the movie . I did Alien Trespass and an episode of Stargate Atlantis, which I really enjoyed because I got to play a Wraith Hybrid. It was my first time in real alien make-up and a good little part. That was a fun experience. I did another episode of Supernatural, where I get killed by the ghost of James Dean. That was fun, because I got to work with Paul McGillian from Stargate Atlantis who's a good friend of mine.

Was that coincidence that is was all scifi/fantasy/horror type of series/roles?

It seems like that's a lot that's been going on in town lately. The guys who made The Thaw are friends of mine and that worked out quite well for me, because I'd helped them do some stuff when they were in pre-production. It was very nice of them to find a part for me. A couple of parts actually, because I played three different people in that movie.

Did you also get to work with Val Kilmer?

No. I believe they only had him for five days for that movie. One of the producers of that film is now working with Kris, Dylan, and me on something we plan on shooting in the fall.  

 

actor, writer, producer and director Brad Dryborough

actor, writer, producer and director Brad Dryborough

 

I saw that the last thing you were in was Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods. Can you talk a bit about that?

It's interesting because none of us really knew that much about the movie. No one got to see a whole script, so I really only know the scenes that I was in. I know it's a zombie movie. I got to work with Richard Jenkins, who was the father in Six Feet Under. It was a pleasure, because I'm a big fan of his work. I also got to work with Bradley Whitford from West Wing. I got to spend four days with those guys and they were both delightful men. It was a lot of fun to watch them work.

That was probably one of the best experiences I've had on set. It was a big movie and there was a lot going on, but it was so relaxed and the guys, Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, were having so much fun. I've never worked with people who had so much fun in what they were doing. Joss Whedon was fantastic.

How was it to work R.W. Goodwin in Alien Trespass?

It was fun, but unfortunately again it was a scene that got cut out of the movie. It was at the start of the movie and I was in the present day, not the past of the film. It was a scene with myself and Eric McCormack, who was playing himself. I was the head of the studio that was releasing the movie. I hope to get a copy of that scene for my video reel, because Eric and I kind of improvised and made fun of each other. It was a really fun day. I've met him a couple of times through a mutual friend. Goodwin did a really nice job on that. It's about another time and another style of film.

How about your own work and what you're doing right now?

I'm just finishing up a short called Clean Dirt. It's based on a monologue that Kris Elgstrand wrote and it's a mix of live action and animation. It's going very well and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be on the Toronto Film Festival this fall. We're in the process of getting it all finished and send out there.

My next upcoming project, that I'm trying to get funding for, is another short. It's a very highly stylized piece based on a poem by a British poet named Roger McGough. I read the poem in University about twenty years ago, fell in love with it and have always had this secret desire to turn it into a short film. We got permission this year to do that. Christine Chatelain is going to be starring in that. She lead in the web series Riese and a good friend of mine. Peter New is also in it. He's a local character actor, who you might recognize from a bunch of stuff he did. I'm very excited about that.

Some years ago I started with The Things We Do -- which is now on You Tube -- and each time I'm trying to raise the bar a little higher. This latest one is far more ambitious, so I'm looking forward in making that. And like I said I'll be doing a film with Kris Elgstrand and Dylan Akio Smith again in the fall called Doppelganger Paul. It will be starring myself and Tygh Runyan, another Canadian actor you might recognize from a bunch of stuff.

 

 

You can view the short THE THINGS WE DO by clicking on the "PLAY" button below to start.


 

THE THINGS WE DO - A short film with Peter Benson and Erin Wells. Cinematography James Liston.
Sound and Music Allan Levy. Edit Lee Baran. Design Scott Moulton.
Written and Directed by Brad Dryborough

 

I'm also trying to get the rights to adapt a novel at the moment and we'll have to see how that goes. That's after my next short and sort of my plan for my next big piece.

So you're also actually writing some more now?

I'm co-writing with Kris Elgstrand and we'll go from there and see what happens. I do have interest in directing now and I've started doing a little more of that. If we get the rights to this novel, I'll do my own adaptation of that -- I'll be writing that as well. I like the adaptation process. The short I'm doing with Kris is an adaptation too. I like having the story provided and bringing myself into the story somewhat. I enjoy that process as opposed to the imagining. I find my own writing to be more personal and very slice of life -- topical of things that go on in my world -- and I like the ability to broaden that by the ability of adapting something. It allows me to step outside my own experience, imagine other experiences, and write from that point of view.

Any plans in writing more episodic television, since you were already doing that a couple of years ago?

No, I did that children's show (Mustard Pancakes) and was supposed to do more of that, but the show stopped after three seasons. As far as my writing I've decided I prefer to create things on my own as opposed to sit down and write scripts for shows.

I've also been teaching acting quite a bit lately. It's taking up more and more of my time, but I really enjoy doing that very much. And I'm still auditioning and hope that huge part shows up at some point.

Me too! Thanks again for your time.

You're very welcome, Marcel.

 
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