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Kandyse McClure GALACTICA.TV interview
Tuesday, 14 November 2006

At the Galactica Two Convention in England, held August 4-6 2006, Martine Voppen spoke to Kandyse McClure, better known as Lt. Anastasia "Dee" Dualla Adama on Battlestar Galactica 2003. She talked about her childhood, her part on the series and fellow cast members.

What got you started in acting in the first place?

It was totally a weird coincidence, or Serendipity, you can call it either one (laughing). I just came out of high school and I wasn't really doing anything -- working a couple of jobs -- and an acquaintance of my mother was putting on a South African play and needed someone who could do the accent. I auditioned, he took a chance on me, we rehearsed for a while, and the play sold out for a couple of weeks. It just so happened that the space where we were rehearsing was the space of an actor from X-files, William Davis, and he said nothing to me. He went to his agent and said: "here's this girl, Kandyse McClure..." I got a call from the agent and I didn't even return the call (laughs) for like for a month. I was like: "Who, what, what does he want?" I didn't understand at all.

That's really flattering though, I mean... Wow!

Oh, complete "Wow!" when I actually went in and realised that here's one of the top three agents in the city, and sort of the extent of what it all meant. I was completely taken aback. The agent -- he was so funny -- gave me something to sort of read and sent me outside for a while. I came back in, I read it for him and he said: "Well... you don't know much (laughs), but at least you take your eyes off the page." (laughs) He didn't really have too much faith. He said: "Well, you know, William doesn't often do this, so let's give it a shot". And I booked my first audition. I actually booked my first and my third auditions and that essentially secured me a year's worth of work.

That's pretty good.

It was amazing! I remember standing on set and going: "Wow!" I didn't take drama in high school. As a kid I would play, you know. I would play like I was on stage.

No high school plays?

No, I didn't do any high school plays. None at all, not one (laughs) I was in the chem lab, I was a physics geek! (laughs)

I could never do that. I would probably blow up the entire school or something (laughs).

The kids in chemistry, that's their plan, that's their intention (laughs).

Are you really good at chemistry and that sort of stuff?

I kind of slacked off in the last couple of years, but I enjoyed it the most.

 

Kandyse McClure as Anastasia Dualla on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Kandyse McClure as Anastasia Dualla on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

Ok, you're originally from South Africa. How did you end up in Vancouver of all places?

You know, it's exactly half way around the world from where I lived? If you go past Vancouver you're going back to Durban. My mom was just really discouraged and disheartened with the state of affairs in South Africa at the time and she was having a tough time being there. She always felt different, she always had different ideas. It was under an oppressive regime, obviously ...apartheid. So she left. She went to the United States first, came back, and then went to Vancouver. I stayed with my grandparents and when I was eleven she sent for me (sounds sad). I stayed for a couple of years in Vancouver. It was difficult being by myself so much, in a new place and at an awkward age, you know, twelve, thirteen...

That's just the age when you start making friends and lay a foundation for your future self.

That's exactly it. I had friends and I left them all. The kids weren't really all that nice to me. I was kind of like the chubby, nerdy kid with the bad hair and I had zits and stuff. They just weren't into it. (both laughing) And I tried. I remember asking my mom for money so I could buy clothes that all the other kids were wearing.

To fit in...

I've always been a second hand shopper, back then it was because we had to be. We didn't really have a lot of money, so I would go to the consignment vintage stores and second hand stores, and buy things I thought were cool, but they weren't really. And you know what's funny? Now, I still shop at second hand stores.

Well, nothing wrong with that

I don't want to look like everybody else. I was trying so hard to fit in when I was 13. I looked like them, I tried my best to sort of fit in, and I still didn't. So I figured: Why? Why try something that you're not, why be something that you're not?

It would be a boring place otherwise.

It would be awfully boring if everybody was the same. Well, and to encourage that in new students. Individual thinking and individual expression.

Let's get to Battlestar Galactica. Grace Park initially auditioned for the role of Boomer AND Starbuck. Did you also audition for any other roles?

Oh? (looks surprised). No, the audition was so... almost inconsequential. I was on my way to Los Angeles for pilot season, going down to look for a job. I was going to be there for two months, and my agent sort of called me the day of, or the night before and goes: "There's this part, it's not very many lines and it's in this scifi show. They want to see you, look military". So I went in said a couple of things to camera, walked out and completely forgot about it. (laughs) I completely forgot about it, because at the time it was just a two hour Mini-Series. They hadn't heard anything about extending it to a series. I didn't even know about the old series. So I completely forgot about it, was all excited about L.A. and being there, going to auditions. I was there for a few weeks, my agent called and said: "That's it, come back, you got a job." And I was like: "What? Doing what?" (laughs)

Dualla wasn't saying much in the Mini-Series, but what have you added yourself to the character of Dualla that wasn't in the script?

Because Dualla was one of the sort of secondary players -- she's not one of the top players, like Starbuck and Boomer and all that -- so you didn't really get much information about the character. The character wasn't really established when I started working. So every time I got a script I would add another aspect: "Oh, she's doing this now.". I try to accumulate it and make sure that it carries through. It fleshes her out and she becomes a whole person as opposed to just a role in the background.

Talking about that whole person. In the Second Season, first you're with Billy...

Yes! Oh, Billy...

...and then you go off with Apollo or Lee Adama.

Oooh, do you blame me? (laughs)

Eh, well... yes?

Ooohhh, I know... I was heartbroken too! I was so heartbroken, but ...it's that thing. It's the difference between...

Well, I don't blame you. I blame the writers

Yes, it's the writers! I was actually really sad about it too. Working with Paul is such a pleasure. He's so funny, but it's the difference between your high school sweetheart -- who is like your best friend, that you felt so comfortable with and so at ease with -- and that guy that makes you feel nervous and kind of sweaty and makes you play with your hair and stuff (laughs). It was that passion I think, that was missing in her relationship with Billy.

It were the abs, right?

You've seen his butt?!?! It's very cute. (both laughing) Those big blue eyes, and that's the other thing, I was like: "Oh good, someone I can actually look in the eye when I speak to them as opposed to always having to find a convenient staircase every time we had to talk to one another.

Are you happy with the direction you're character is going to in Season 3?

Very much! They have her making that transition from girl to woman. Deciding what it is that she really believes as opposed to just following orders. Going along with whatever her superiors say or really sitting down and going: "Well this is where I disagree and this is what I think you fall short. This is how I think it should be done." Having her express those opinions. Which I think in large part are the opinions of the civilian population that we don't often get to talk to. I think Dualla, in many ways, forms the link between what's emotionally going on with the civilian population and what needs to be done within the military regime.

 

Kandyse McClure as Anastasia Dualla  and Jamie Bamber as Lee Adama on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Kandyse McClure as Anastasia Dualla and Jamie Bamber as Lee Adama
on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

About Dualla in Season 3. There are actually rumours going, that a major character, on the Pegasus is going to be killed off the show...

Uh Oh...You know, it's kind of tense on the set. (both laughing)

So you don't know it yourself?

Nobody knows! Not even like the top five, nobody knows. There was supposed to be an announcement, but everybody is kind of on their feet and we've had a lot of losses already this season, so everybody is like: "Who can it be?" We have a poll going on set: "I think it's... Well it can't be her, because she does this and..." But, you know what? It's a big show. People who watch LOST know. Nobody's safe! (laughs)

We all pray for you [not being killed off]. Do you have any other projects lined up?

Battlestar [Galactica] keeps me really, really busy and while a lot of the other actors go off and do other film projects, I go back to school. Not academically, but for acting. There is a school in Vancouver, The Lyric School of Acting, and I'm in their master class. Hopefully we'll form a cooperative at the end of the year, putting on plays. So, I'm looking more into producing and directing, and sort of fleshing out that way.

OK, well good luck to you and thanks so much for doing this. We really appreciate the time.

Thank you, not at all.

(Kandyse later returns to add something)

You asked me about upcoming projects. Let me shamelessly plug Mary's Christmas [this will be brought out as a TV movie called Santa Baby], coming out this Christmas with Jenny McCarthy and Michael Moriarty, Tobias Mehler...

Michael Moriarty from Law & Order?

Yes! Yeah, he was hilarious. Well, he plays the big grumpy guy, but George Wendt from Cheers plays Santa Claus. He's awesome. Mary's Christmas [Santa Baby], ABC family movie coming out in December. That's it, thank you. (laughs)

 
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