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Edward James Olmos GALACTICA.TV interview
Wednesday, 11 July 2007

On June 23, 2007, Justin Berger called with actor / director / producer Edward James Olmos, better known as Admiral William "Husker" Adama on the Battlestar Galactica 2003 series. He talked to him for almost a full hour about his career as an actor, his part on the series, the upcoming Season 4 and the mid season film "Razor" which are being filmed right now.

Below you can read the transcript of this interview. If you rather listen to the audio of this interview then click the "PLAY" button below to start.


 

I'd like to take the time to say I appreciate you taking the time to do the interview with me. It's for GALACTICA.TV. First of all I'd like to talk to you about: I was reading IMDb and it says your first love was professional baseball and then that you had gotten into rock music at the age of fifteen.

Yeah, actually fourteen is when I started in rock n' roll.

When did you actually get into acting? When did that become the passion of your life?

The first acting class I took was at my first year in College. I was seventeen years old and it went hand in hand with the music stage work that I was doing and the dancing that I had done before I started singing.

And did that go from theatre into film and television? How did that work?

Yeah, I went from theatre and stayed into theatre until the age of 33. Then I decided to go into film in about '72, but I went all the way up until '81 doing theatre. From 1964 until 1980 I did theatre and singing rock n' roll music. And then around 1980 I did Blade Runner, so that kind of started kicking it off.

Blade Runner kind of mimics Battlestar Galactica, because it has kind of the darkness and the visceral, but it's also got the androids that mimic the human form. I read somewhere that you had told Tricia Helfer to go back and look at Blade Runner as an inspiration. Is that true?

Yeah, I think where Battlestar [Galactica] takes off, is where Blade Runner ended in respects of the aesthetic... [That's] what we're really talking about here. We're talking about the sense of aesthetics and understanding the kind of work that was being done on Blade Runner. Battlestar [Galactica] is a different premise, but it still encompasses the technology versus humanity conflict that was really paramount for Blade Runner. And the style of drama that we used in Blade Runner was exactly what was needed to further that reality base, you know.

It could be any kind of detective story. It could be in the 1970s or it could be in the year 2019. It was just a thriller, a detective thriller and a "who-done-it and where-were-they" kind of thing. The same thing with Battlestar Galactica. Battlestar Galactica is a really strong dramatic piece of work where you could do... It's just as dramatic in its understanding as The West Wing or The Sopranos. It just happens to be in the future sometime. We don't even know when. And it happens to be aboard ships, space ships, rather than inside of the West Wing.

 

Edward James Olmos as Admiral William 'Husker' Adama on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Edward James Olmos as Admiral William "Husker" Adama on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

And the story is still relevant even though the environment may be different. We just learned recently that this is going to be the final season, next year, of Battlestar Galactica.

We're working on it right now and I've got to tell everybody that this will definitely be the best year of Battlestar [Galactica]. The third season I loved immensely, because the first two were just done [quickly], because I wasn't even prepared for it. This next season which starts in January -- actually it starts in October with the two hour premise. We do a two hour movie which will go back in time a little bit to where what happened in the Pegasus and that whole adventure that happened before Pegasus embarked and connected with the Galactica. This next season is going to be, honestly, the finest season of television I've ever been a part of. We're into the fourth episode now and I've got to tell you: "Man, it is stellar!"

Nice, I can't wait!

It's really, really stellar. It's unbelievable. I'm in shock to tell you the truth. Like: "What's going on?" You know, people don't really get it. They think we get the thing, because we're into it and we have it, because we read the scripts. But we don't read them until the week that they're going to start them.

Oh wow!

So we're all waiting for the scripts to come so we can read them and then we sit back and go: "Holy shit! Look at this." So it becomes a real adventure for everyone, and then to see the whole thing completed. We really don't get too much of a head start from the rest of the people around [us]. I mean the people that's involved in watching this program.

How does that work for your character? I mean, if you're getting the script the week before and then you have to do these dramatic roles. It doesn't really give a lot of time to prepare as for like say a film or something. So how does that affect your role in the TV show?

You got to remember that television is a different kind of animal. Even though when you're doing a real episodic television show, which means that one episode connects to the next, it's like a large movie. So I've been working on this film for four years! I kind of know this character, so it's a matter of putting him in the situations that he finds himself in, and just playing the now of it and moving forward. Believe me, it's the most fantastic film I've ever been a part of.

They showed the last episode of the third season, last season's finale, on the big screen at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles. I've never seen it like that. I've seen it on the big screen but not in the scope of Cinerama Dome. My goodness what a piece of work! The special effects, the quality of the photography, the camera work and the production values is just stunning, and it very much transformed itself into being a major motion picture at any given moment. It's like when [Glen] Larson, Universal and the producers that be, all get their act together...

It's that where you like to see it go after the series ends?

Well actually for the series it's going to end it. That means you actually do have an ending. It was always meant to have an ending and that's one of the reasons why they opted to do it now, because they really are. They told the story and they want to complete it. They don't want to just kind of roll along for another three or four years. Kind of doing stories of looking for Earth and what happens to us when we're out there. I personally would love to, but that's me, you know. Basically we have a tremendous opportunity here to really have an ending to the piece like in any piece of work. When you read a great novel, when you get to the end of the novel you don't want it to end, but boy are you satisfied when you get there.

Yeah, that's very true.

You've taken this journey and you get to the end, close this book and say: "Wow!" Well that's what going to happen here. People are going to finish this series... It's not going to be quiet like The Sopranos, which was: There was no ending! (laughing). It's so weird. It just stops. It's not going to happen like that. This is going to have an ending. I don't think people are going to be ready for it, but it's going to have an ending.

Do you think that Battlestar Galactica has changed the way people look at television?

Those who have really locked into it, yes. I think they've really grown an awful lot. It's a mature dramatic piece of work. If it had been on another kind of cable like HBO, or had been a major motion picture and completely allowed all of the psychologicalness to come through, I think people would have been mind-blown. As it is, when you apply it so much that in many ways it's actually made it even more fascinating and better. But basically we have a piece of work that is stunning. People just like completely lose it every time they start to watch it. What can I say other than that I'm real proud of the piece.

I was just going to ask you a little bit about your character, Adama, of course. In my opinion, I think Adama has taken the most emotional journey throughout the series. That's my personal opinion. I think it's more profound than in the other characters. I just want to ask where Adama's head is at, at the beginning of Season 4?

Right now at the beginning of Season 4 we're in a lot of trouble. As you realize we lost Starbuck and then all of a sudden we're in the mist of a war -- the final moments of a war. We've been fighting this thing since the moment that we started, and then we're completely outnumbered, and we're completely outgunned. In the mist of all of this out comes the fact, which I don't know -- that Adama doesn't know only the viewers know -- that four of the five remaining Cylons have been identified to the surprise of everybody. There's no two ways around it. I was stunned when I read it! When I sat there I was going: "You're kidding me! Colonel Tigh is a Cylon?" It is mind boggling.

Of course that doesn't come into to play right now, in my dramatic structure and I don't know how it's going to work out through the rest, but I know right now that Starbuck has come back. That to me is a welcomed miracle, but still completely really not acceptable. This is not kosher. There's something wrong here, extremely wrong. She's been gone for months and all of a sudden she says: "Hi, here I am! I'm joining the battle."

We can't even begin to understand it. I'm in a point of complete exhaustion, a psychological disaster. It's always been that way and he's growing in strength at the same time. It's really interesting what I've done with the character, because the more he gets psychologically destroyed and he becomes more vulnerable, the stronger he gets. He's becoming more and more sensitized and more and more understanding of his responsibility and the lack of control that he has, and instead of it decaying him, he's actually looking stronger and stronger. In this final season I'm probably the strongest that I've ever been, both psychologically and physically.

I love the fact that Ron Moore and David Eick allowed me to create this character, because basically it was my creation psychologically and spiritually, and everything to do with it. They allowed me to go from a very, very dilapidated guy, who had given up, just about. He was part of the relics of the museum that he was now floating around with in the universe [and he was] very strong, and a very, very great leader. It's been amazing to be allowed to have this arc. I tend to agree with you. The emotion, the journey, has been very, very difficult. If you watch the series from the beginning to the end and you watch the characters evolve, you are absolutely right. I think everyone wasn't that well defined, and I think that everyone takes a hell of a journey. I think Adama's journey has been just brutal.

Very much so!

There's no fun in it. Never did he have a good time. (both laughing). Which is really when you stop to think about it, that is incredible. You have these four years of watching these people trying to find their way to keep humanity alive without ever having a good time. There's never been a time when he's been able to shuck the responsibility. I guess at one point he gets high with Laura [Roslin] off of something that she found along the side which he doesn't do. All of a sudden there he is smoking the stuff that she found along the river's edge on New Caprica which I thought was stunning and a great idea. (both laughing). That's about as close to escapism as he ever got, I'll tell you that much.

 

Mary McDonnell as Laura Roslin and Edward James Olmos as Admiral William Adama on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Mary McDonnell as Laura Roslin and Edward James Olmos as Admiral William Adama
on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

For sure! I go on the SciFi.com boards and there are a lot of fans, and they talk about the show obviously, nonstop. They tear it apart. There's a deleted scene from the episode "The Woman King" where Helo basically tells Adama: "You know, I'm responsible for killing the Cylons who we could have infected and destroyed the entire Cylon race" and Adama kind of just says: "Do you really want to go here? You should just drop this or else..." A lot of people think that's kind of not Adama's style to do that and it's kind of out of character for him. Can you give us kind of some insight into what his motivations for that particular scene were?

Well, basically you've got to remember what is coming about. You see, people have a tendency to put themselves to define the character so much so in their own mind, as of what he would or wouldn't do. They build this box that's very, very small and paint him into a corner and if you're not careful... Humanity is nothing like that. There is no way. What could he do and say to Helo? How could he hold him accountable? He doesn't hold Tigh accountable for the stuff he does. It was so elegantly written. The speech that Lee Adama gives at the very end when he's in front of the court and he's testifying on behalf of Baltar, he says: "Forget it. I'm the one who should be up here. I've killed thousand of people that were blown out of the sky and they let me go. The admiral did an entire coup, a military coup against the president and he was forgiven".

Forgiveness is all you have really, and that's one of the things he has to exercise. Now maybe two years ago, he may not have forgiven him, but in the time when it came to that moment, he had to. What could he do? There's nothing more he could do. He killed everybody and did what he had to do and we were trying to work this thing out. Of course he set us back, but he wasn't the only one that ever set us back. We've let everybody else go, what was I going to do? Kill him? Airlock him? (laughing)

I agree wholeheartly.

I want to see what happens. Your people are not going to be ready for this final season, I'll tell you that much!

Helo gave Adama a look at like: "We're still human. Committing genocide, even against our enemy, just turns us into the Cylons essentially" and I think, for me personally, that kind of touched Adama to be like: "Hey, we're not that way. We're still human" and it kind of gave him a moment of pause to realize that, but...

Like anything else, I think there's a lot of things that Adama is doing that are either first time or sort of out of character you might want to call it, and he has to because there's just no two ways around it. I mean, he's so out of luck in the beginning of the fourth season. He's totally out of control, Adama is, and he's just holding on by bare teeth, and screaming, and really like we've never seen him before. How could you have seen him like this before? Who's ever been placed in this position before? (both laughing) Which leader, point him out, has ever had to hold the responsibility of the human species. We're down to like 39,000 people and even counting. I think there's even less than that now that are left.

We're working under a lot of trouble, so when we're under battle, and they knock out all of our FTL drives and everybody is out. The preparing takes 20 minutes, to key it all up and all of a sudden we're completely surrounded by five basestars. Totally outnumbered and outgunned and I send my last... I send everybody! You'll see what happens at the beginning of the fourth season. It's like: "Forget it!". It starts off in the middle of the end of the year three finale. We're right in it. Where you left off the last time is where we start and we're head on into it. And Adama is just losing it. And it's not like he's given up. It's just the opposite. He's getting angry and he's getting even!

Remember I told you when he gets to this place where he's getting stronger. He's getting beaten down and he's getting stronger. That doesn't mean he's not more vulnerable, because he is. I think people are going to be very happy and very, very saddened that this is the last year. We're counting down already. We're finishing [episode] four and everybody is going: "Oh my gosh, this is it, man!"

We're kind of looking at every moment and cherishing every moment. Everybody is like on a marathon race. I cued up everybody from the very first episode of the very first season that this was a marathon and in a marathon your strongest mile is the very last mile. At a marathon you don't run your strongest mile at the beginning. So you come out swinging, you come out fast, you come out hard, you're running for many miles. You're running four minute miles, but your final mile has to be the best mile you've ever run of the 26 miles. So the marathon is a very difficult race to run, because you run it at high speed, and at the very end you need the highest amount of speed. After 25 miles you have to run the 26th mile like you're fresh.

That's what everybody's prepared for, and that's why the final episodes and the final scenes shot for this program will be the best ones ever shot. We paced ourselves. I know I've been doing this for a long time, so I kind of paced everybody and cued them off and everybody is really, really prepared for this.

The concept of what we've seen so far, it's so intense that you're thinking: "How can this get any more intense?" And it's just really exciting for the people.

(loud laughter) You just wait!!! You should see us on stage when we're doing it. People are screaming, breaking down. There is so much chaos. I can't even fathom. Those of us who have taken the journey from the beginning to now, and who are understanding what we're talking about this second and really got inside of this story, because psychologically it really is something, it really is disturbing, because there's an element of truth that no one really wants to say: "Hey, this could really happen." ...but it could, it could be! (laughs) You only have a small band of people left, fighting the elements that they created in their lifetime and: Bingo! There's only like 30,000 people left or 40,000 people left and people are dying, you know.

It's similar to what we saw in Children of Men. I think that film was really eloquent in its understanding of what we're doing to ourselves and the non-development of human beings. The fact that they can't have any more children, it's just breathtaking. It's out there and I think when the earthquake hits the western borders of the United States it's going to be one of those feelings like: "Wow, did I ever think I would ever experience anything like this in my life!?!" It's going to be catastrophic and nobody really understands it.

The last time the San Andreas Fault actually moved was 150 years ago. And the time before that, when it moved was 150 years before that. So it's overdue now, as of January 9th of 2007. That was the 150th anniversary of the last time it shifted. The movement they're expecting is going to be catastrophic. All of the seismologists had a huge reading in Los Angeles. We're just looking at something that is beyond the human understanding.

There's going to be literally millions and millions and millions of people that will perish in a matter of minutes, and the world will never be the same again. California, the coastline, all the way up to Canada, is going to change. Not that it's going to fall down into the ocean, but something might happen; there might be land slides or whatever, because it's going to be a huge movement. You're talking about a catastrophic event that will be something that we will be able to almost not handle. Anybody that survives, you talk about your post traumatic stress disorder, huh? That's it!

 

Edward James Olmos as Admiral William 'Husker' Adama on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Edward James Olmos as Admiral William "Husker" Adama on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

No kidding!

It's going to be monumental. You can imagine what these people are going through on board these ships with the last 40,000 plus people left of humanity. We're completely blown away by the fact that we're now searching for Earth (laughing) through the guides of these scriptures that were handed down to us and we're trying to believe in that. And of course the admiral is not an atheist but he sure isn't religious. He's far from religious. He's spiritual, but he's not religious. So therefore it's really amazing.

Do you think that's kind of changed over the course of the series though? He's become a little more religious, because of everything that has happened?

No, not at all. Just the opposite. He's become more pragmatic. He's less religious than he ever was, and more spiritual than he ever was. His own faith in his own self and this understanding of what we as human beings have to do to survive. The amazing saga for humanity! It's the amazing saga for humanity and one of the true gifts that we get to see and we try to focus on the human spirit.

I would like to ask you about "Maelstrom" when you destroyed the model ship.

Oh boy!

Ron Moore said that wasn't a planned thing and that you actually did that as an improvisation. Is that right?

Yeah, that was totally impulsive then and I think that's exactly what was happening. Well, my character has always been impulsive. A lot of the things that I've said, even the thing: "So say we all" and that whole scene, the very first, at the end of the first Mini-Series. That was all improvisationalized.

That was great.

It was a very strong. From the beginning they've allowed us to really understand ourselves to the fullest.

So is there a lot of improvisation that goes on with the entire cast, or do you guys stick a lot to what's already on page?

The scripts are so well written that it's kind of hard to try to augment them, because they're so well thought through, especially now towards the end. It's just fantastic. It's strong enough to get through the scene without trying to have to go deeper than the writers already have done. It happens. There will be some changes, and I've done some changes to almost every script that I've ever done. You use them and decide to augment or to rephrase or do something. They're very well written.

At the end of Season 3 like you mentioned, we do learn who are four of the final five Cylons... Was there ever a time during the series where you thought it would be kind of interesting to have Adama be a Cylon?

You know, at any one given moment we always talked about anybody being one, and believe me when I tell you that Tyrol and Col. Tigh were the two who just said: "No!!! Tell them... Why am I a Cylon? Get away from me!" and they've always... Low and behold they've made them two of the four. (loud laughter). You should have seen Tigh. Tigh really means it when he says: "I'm the guy who I am." In other words, he's going to die a human being, because even after he found out, he still can't accept or understand it and how in the world did this happen to him? It's really funny. It's sad. It's very sad, because there's pain in that, strong pain. You see it happen and he goes through it, and you see it in his face and his eyes, you know. It's really, really amazing.

It's almost a level of denial that he has. He doesn't want to accept it and he goes like: "No, I'm Tigh and that's all I'll ever be."

Oh yeah, big time.

 

Edward James Olmos as Admiral William 'Husker' Adama on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Edward James Olmos as Admiral William "Husker" Adama on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

So are you going to be directing any episodes in Season 4?

Yeah, I start directing next week. I'm directing episode six. I don't know how many more I'll direct this year. Yes, I enjoy it. I enjoy doing this and we've helped create part of the understanding of the fleet. I'm very proud of it, all the way around. The directorials have been fantastic and I think that has a lot to do with the people that we chose to direct us. They're great. A lot of people are coming back, from Michael Rymer, who created the first pilot, to Bob Young. Robert Young is one of the most prolific independent film producers/directors in the world. He was meant to create an independent film. He's 82 years old and here he is directing us, and most people don't even know who he is. He's the man who directed things like Dominick and Eugene, and Nothing But A Man with Ivan Dixon. I think in 1964 he was the first man under water with a camera and in 1947-1948 he created documentary journalism on television, [maybe] back in the fifties, and here he is directing and people don't even know that. That's why the show is the way it is.

Everybody behind the show is very professional. Everybody seems to have a passion for the show, everybody involved.

Yeah, we really pour ourselves into it. It was time well spent. It's been a very effective four years.

I wanted to talk about Olmos Production, which is your production company, and you and your son are involved with it of course. You guys have a movie coming out next year called Divine War.

We're trying to get that off the ground. It's a very strong piece of work.

Yeah, I read the synopsis. It sounds really compelling.

Yes, it is.

How did that come about? How did you become involved with that?

The writer-director is a friend of mine and he asked me if I wanted to jump on board and I told him I would.

Could you give us any insight into "Razor"? (the mid season Battlestar Galactica movie coming out in the fall of 2007) What we can expect from Adama in that?

Yeah, I can say the emotional... It's very disturbing, the final season is very disturbing. The emotional understanding that we're all put through is just brutal. It's trying to come to terms with the five Cylons or the four Cylons and what they do to everybody around us. So it's been a very... People are going to be very moved and disturbed about what's going to happen.

During the Mini-Movie "Razor" we actually go back in time. Do we ever go back before the Cylon attack from the original Mini-Series?

No, no, we don't go that far back. We go back to the attack that happened aboard the Pegasus. The Pegasus is something that a lot of people really found to be quite interesting, so they went back into that realm and then they went to work on it, and that's what we go back to, and so we go back to Admiral Cain and her experiences, and you actually get to experience them with her and you see the impact that it has on all of us.

I was going to ask you, if you can [answer that]: How did [Laura] Roslin's cancer returning affect Adama?

Brutally! It's like a nightmare upon nightmare, that's something I've got to tell you. It's something that is very disturbing. The cancer, the return of the [Roslin's] cancer to Adama is heartbreaking. As a lot of people have figured out, he has strong feelings for her now that he's learned to respect her, and the sadness is that her prophecy may come true, which is that she's the dying leader who'll be sacrificed, so... before finding Earth.

 

Jamie Bamber as Major Lee 'Apollo' Adama and Edward James Olmos as Admiral William 'Husker' Adama on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Jamie Bamber as Major Lee "Apollo" Adama and Edward James Olmos as Admiral William "Husker" Adama
on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

I've got a couple of questions from fans from the SciFi.com board. Do you want to go through those real quick?

Yeah, please.

The first question is from someone by the name of "TowelOfApollo" and they say: I'd like to know if there is anything that Adama has done on the show that Edward James Olmos had a difficult time playing, maybe because he didn't agree with the character's action or felt that it wasn't something that was in character?

Not really. I'm pretty well understanding of what's gone down and why it has to be, so there's been nothing disturbing. Some of the emotional beats that we have had to do of course are very disturbing. Implying the death of children, your own children, implying the understanding of self degradation when he finds out that one of his... the people who he did something to come back and all of those kinds of things. It's difficult emotionally and you don't really want to go there and when you go there you want to get out of there as fast as you can. Because contrary to popular belief you really have to go through the experience in order for the experience to really work on this medium, whether it be theatre, television or motion picture. You have to be in the now, so you have to feel the experience. It's very simple to do, but at the same time very disturbing, because of the emotional commitment you have to get into, so there been some things... There's nothing, I haven't had anything that I had to do that I didn't understand, everything was understandable. So in terms as an artist, there's the reason why it should affect a person other than the psychological effects of going through a traumatic experience like losing your children, or coming to terms with something that really was difficult for you to face and you've never faced it, and all of a sudden you have to face it years later right in the middle of a disastrous understanding of your life and what's going on around you.

It's like life after 9/11. It's been completely different for everyone on the planet, especially in the United States of America. Completely different, nothing has been the same since that day. Well, augment that by understanding that the entire humanity that we're looking at and we understand that billions upon billions of people here are gone. There's nothing left and everything that you knew is gone, and you're not even able to stay on the same planet, and it's gone, and you may not find another place to settle down on. You cannot beat the odds against you, and inevitably you're going to succumb to the truth of what it is that you're faced with, insurmountable odds that you couldn't do anything about it, and you just go down fighting. Facing all of that plus all of the psychological drama that's going on aboard the ship. This year again, [out] steps Season 4, it's the worst one. It will make Season 1 look like a walk in the park. (laughing)

I hate to say this to people because a lot of people are taking this very seriously and they're really taking the adventure and are really going there. They've been living vicariously through this experience, so they're in these ships with us so [they are] psychologically completely committed to it. We're very well aware of that, we're not taking it lightly.

Another question I have is from a poster with the name of "AdamaRroslinLoveChild" and she says: in 1968, Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura shared the first interracial kiss [in Star Trek on television]. This was done in the science fiction medium. Today a Latin-American actor is the admiral of a fleet. Do you think science fiction is a positive voice for society's views on race, and if so, how do you see science fiction shaping the face of racial equality in the future of television and other mediums?

Well if it continues to do what it did in Star Trek, and it's done in Star Wars, and it's done in Blade Runner, and it's done in Battlestar Galactica, we are definitely more honest with the cultural diversity facing us than almost any other medium. There's no two ways around it. There's no question that having Adama, being a person of color, as the driving force is tremendous. It really gets into allowing people to have heroes of color, and that really means a lot.

Don't let me forget one incident in the very beginning of the series back in 2003 or 2004, the first season. I got a phone call from a very prominent writer, a woman writer, who was a very, very strong artist, actor/writer. She called me up, and she was crying on the phone, and she's maybe ten years younger than I am. She was somewhere in her forties, late forties. I said: "What's the problem?" and she said:  "Well, I just got a phone call, and it was from my nephew, who's 11 years old, and he called up..." and she was so excited that he was crying, crying with the sense of joy, almost with a sense of understanding that it makes you so satisfied that it makes you cry. He was an 11 year old kid, crying, and he said: "We're in the future, I saw it, we're in the future". He was a Latino kid, 11 years old, who was very happy to see that someone like him, of his culture, was being represented in the future, and this is how serious this is.

People look at this as a great medium and for many people it's just a way of passing the time of day. A lot of people don't even like to watch television. If you're going to watch TV, this is the best way to watch it because it really stimulates you, as well as it informs you. This person, a 11 year old kid, was very, very grateful that he got to see that he is in the future. That the Latinos are there and that they're holding up a very strong position and understanding the humanity in which we live in. So therefore it gives him a hero and so that's very, very important and I think that scifi, science fiction has done a great job in trying to make sure that their perspectives there are whole. They look out and see if the full diversity that there is in thought, because that's what science fiction needs. It's a way of moving into an advanced form of thought and theory. So it's doing its job and it's doing it very well.

That's a very profound story. Thanks for sharing that. I have another question. This person is called "LaunchTheAlertVipers" and their question is: "Dirty Hands" showed Bill Adama darker than at any other point in the season, in my opinion. I'm thinking of the talk with the Chief in a cell. Does Edward James Olmos feel necessity dictated Adama's actions in that scene or were other elements in play? And he's talking about with... Basically if the Chief hadn't called off the strike would Adama really have followed through with his threat?

I think Adama would have airlocked him. I think, not airlocked him. I think he would have airlocked his wife (laughs) and the people who were at the head of this. It got to the point where we were really playing the ability for us to really move forward. This is a do or die situation, because it was all of the fuel for all of our systems and without them... This is the paradox that is so difficult. When people are right, and both people are right, and the situation is just so profound that you're going: "Holy mackerel, both of these people are completely right and you cannot..." That's exactly what's happening with the immigration problem in the United States. Both sides, any side you take is right. That's the paradox. That's the problem, you know. If you would take the side of Chief Tyrol at that moment, trying to bring a reality of understanding to the plight of people in general that are getting so abused by the fact that this is what happens, versus the plight of the admiral in trying to keep his ship's fuel, you have a real difficulty. This is really something that both people are right! You have a problem, a big one.

Yeah, that's a hard situation to be in. The next person is named "squirrely1" and the question is: Does Adama have any idea about Starbuck/Apollo's relationship or does he just choose to look past it?

No, I think he's very well aware of it. The ship is just too small, and things are just too intimate, and everyone is just... there are no secrets. Eventually someone will see you give a look or do something. I think he's very well aware of the problems that these two had. What can you do? He can't get involved. He can't comment on the issue. There's no more commenting that can be done. Backseat driving is a joke. Monday night quarterbacking? Forget it! It's stupidity. Life's too short and we don't have enough time. So do what you got to do and make sure you don't hurt anybody and just move forward as best as you can. And that's his mantra.

Very cool! This is a lighter question for you from "ViperChick". She just wants to know in regard to Adama: boxers or briefs?

(laughing) Well, I'm pretty sure he wears boxers when he has them. There's not many times when he has them, so... They're kind of running short on a lot of stuff and one of the things they're running short on is underwear.

The show has dealt with a lot of issues that our own world faces from terrorism, to prisoner torture, class warfare, women's rights. Is there any one issue that the show has touched upon that kind of hit home for you?

I think all of them have. All of the issues that we've been touching including women's rights and the... Oh gosh, the issue that was really difficult to really understand was the suicide bombers. That was very, very difficult, because that hit kind of at the same time when it was really paramount in the real world today. How can these people do this? You really learn. What else have you got? What else is there? When you feel like that's all that you got then that's all there is. So you teach your children to do it, you teach your children's children to do it, and you're going to do it until there is no more view and you know... There's no two ways around it. We're faced with that reality, mentality, right on this planet, right this second. You have to realize that. This Jihad is not a joke. They're training their children and a lot of their children don't go to school anymore, because they go to a different kind of school, and they're radical. Muslim are into the end, and the end to them is near. Either they're going to win or we're going to win, and the people who are standing around doing the opposite are the infidels. It's a real difficult time, because your death is a reality. This is happening right now and to your children.

 

actor/director/producer Edward James Olmos

actor/director/producer Edward James Olmos

 

Everybody knows you are a very prominent activist. You recently appeared on Larry King Live. You discussed the legal immigration there. But overall, how do you feel activism in general has changed over the years? Do you think it's as effective as it was in say like the 1970s?

Very much so. I think it's stronger and living well today. I think we've learned a lot. I think a lot of us that were out there in the 1970s are still out here in the 2000s, in the 21st century, and are doing very well.

One question I'd like to ask you, honestly, as an American: Where would you like to see this country in ten years?

Understanding of the future of the planet as a whole. There's a strong sense of having to realize that what has happened over the last six years under the guidance of this president is something that we won't really understand until 25 - 30 years from today. The effect that it's going to have, is that we'll have big, big problems. 

Battlestar Galactica works pretty much as a mirror, as you've stated, for our own society and our world in general. If there's any lingering thing that you think Battlestar Galactica should leave people with after it's said and done, maybe 25 years from now, what would you want that to be?

That it was able to understand itself to its fullest, period. That it was able to really take the journey and to not shy away from it, and play it to the end, and it really told the story. It's a very impactive medium because it's in the home, and it's in the private little place that you want to live your life in. That it didn't go out with a blank screen.

What are your plans when Battlestar Galactica wraps?

I'm going to first try to really evaluate everything that I've done, because it's really going to take a tremendous amount of patience to really understand what this is, and what we've done here. Then let's just forge ahead and see how we are going to work things out and what we do next.

I know all the fans will really appreciate you taking the time [for the interview]. Anytime any of the cast sits down and answers questions or gets on the boards. People really appreciate it. So I just want to say thank you and thanks to everybody [who are] part of the cast and the crew who take the opportunity, because there's a lot of people out there that really appreciate the show and really get it. And it's like you've said, they live this story with the characters.

Yeah.

I really appreciate it and I know everybody else does. Thank you for taking the time for answering the questions.

Thank you very much for your interest and your concern and thank you very much for everything.

Is there anything you want to say to the fans real quick?

Just a big thank you on behalf of everyone from the show, in front of and behind the camera, and everywhere in between. We hope that you are as proud of these last four years as we are, and that we'll all remember them fondly. Thank you Justin. I'll see it when it is coming out and keep the faith in this coming year.

 
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