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Lucy Lawless GALACTICA.TV interview
Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Recently Justin Berger had the opportunity to sit down over the phone with Lucy Lawless, who plays D’Anna Biers, also known as Number 3 on the Battlestar Galactica 2003 series, and ask her some questions about the show. Next to that he also talks to her about her future plans and her work besides Battlestar Galactica.

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.


 

Hi, Justin.

Hi, Lucy. I want to thank you for taking the time to do this today, I know you are busy.

I just walked in, so it works out well.

How did you originally get involved with Battlestar Galactica?

David Eick came to me with a fascinating role, and I couldn't say no.

Had you seen the show prior to that?

I hadn't been a faithful watcher. [So] I went and did a huge marathon and was just blown away by it. I became a devoted follower.

 

Lucy Lawless as D'Anna Biers / Cylon #3 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Lucy Lawless as D'Anna Biers / Cylon #3 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

So what was it about D'Anna Biers that appealed to you? What was it that made you decide that you wanted to take on this role?

Well the reason it appealed to me was because of the religious aspect. I had just finished reading all the His Dark Materials Trilogy -- The Golden Compass and all that -- and they had a very peripheral view of God and Angels and all sorts of things. And I was really fascinated by the nature of the philosophy of God. And this role, the character was really consumed with that. She was a zealot, she was an outlaw, she was a betrayer and yet she saw herself as a great patriot in a way. So she was very questioning. She was a really complex character.

In Season 2 we actually go back to Caprica, and the Cylons have taken over, and Caprica 6 and Boomer have made a bond because of what they experienced and D'Anna tries to box her. Do you think that maybe her viewing and understanding what those other Cylons experienced as far as love and what not had an affect on D'Anna and kind of changed her view point?

I think she always kind of despised that touchy feely stuff. I think that was the first time any Cylon had turned on their own and tried to box them. That was the first instance of that. So in a way, she is very wicked to do that to Boomer from a human perspective. But she despised that notion of love. I think she thought it was a corruption. She was a purist and an idealist in the worst sort of way.

Did you know ahead of time that your character was going to end up getting boxed?

I can't remember. I think so, I think so.

Did you know that you were going to come back in Season 4, or at the time was it pretty much left wide open?

Well it was always a possibility, but I don't know that it was spelled out. I certainly didn't depend upon it. I was off taking care of my career in other ways. I wasn't contracted. It was simply, if they needed me and I was available we would try to make it happen, and we did. It was just a wonderful role, you know. Clearly [I] had motivation to make it happen. To accommodate it.

 

Lucy Lawless as D'Anna Biers / Cylon #3 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Lucy Lawless as D'Anna Biers / Cylon #3 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

I know a lot of the fans were very happy that you came back to reprise that role.

Oh, that's nice.

So you've been watching the show from the beginning -- who is your favorite character out of the series?

Umm, I always loved Starbuck. The biggest shock was of course Tyrol, to me. Who was the biggest shock to you, of who was a Cylon?

For me it was Michael Hogan. Colonel Tigh.

Oh really?

Yeah, I really didn't see that one coming. And I think the way Michael Hogan pulls it off, he's just brilliant.

Yeah, very human. To be so deep undercover that you didn't know yourself.

Yeah and he's in so much denial about it, it's great.

Yeah.

So obviously you guys have finished shooting the entire series and we've seen half of Season 4 so far where they actually find Earth. There is a scene on the beach at the end ("Revelations") where D'Anna turns and looks to Adama and Roslin and she's kind of shocked. Can you give us an insight as to what D'Anna is feeling at that point when they do get to Earth and she finally realizes it's just a wasteland?

Traumatized. Because the idealist has had everything -- this was her final payoff for every struggle. For her the ends always justified the means and this was the ultimate prize and when she gets there the devastation is so complete that... I'll leave you to speculate on how she is going to handle it.

In Season 3, D'Anna actually sees the faces of the Final 5. She says "I'm sorry" to one of them. Can you tell us who she said that to, or does that kind of mess up the whole Final, 5th Cylon?

(laughs) I think it's the final one.

Oh, OK. So we don't know yet.

So I can't tell you, sorry.

Well we will hold off on that one.

Yeah. Big things coming.

 

Lucy Lawless as D'Anna Biers / Cylon #3 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Lucy Lawless as D'Anna Biers / Cylon #3 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

So the series is obviously over now, what are your plans now that this show is done?

I just finished doing a move with Adam Sandler, going back to my comedy roots, and then doing more movies probably.

For anybody out there who might not know, you of course played Xena, and it ran for six seasons; it was a really big deal. Is there any chance of there being any Xena in the future?

God knows. It depresses me. Depresses me what a waste of a character and franchise that was.

Yeah. Is it something that you want to see re-invigorated? Revived?

It has to happen, and it's going to happen, but it might be too late for me to do it by the time it comes around. I'm kind of trying not to be enraged about that because there's no one to kick, you know? (laughs) [I] try to put it out there as a possibility. It's a fantastic character and it needs to be modernized, you know, done in a new way. Rob [Tapert] had a really cool story for it.

You know they're trying to make a new Conan movie, so maybe that will re-invigorate that genre of filmmaking. You never know. So, I have kind of a funny question. Who would win in a fight between Xena and D'Anna?

Well ultimately, I think Xena would beat the crap out of her, but D'Anna would just be born again and keep comin' back. She's just a glutton for punishment (laughs), ‘Go on, punch me in the stomach'.

SciFi recently announced they were going to do some Battlestar Galactica movies, kind of like they did with Razor. Is that something you'd be willing to come back and do?

If the role was good enough, yeah, why not. I'm not interested in being a bloody prop in the background.

Definitely, understandable. So for you what has been the highlight of your entire Battlestar Galactica experience?

I think just coming to love everybody. I must say that that day on the beach was really awesome. It was great to have everybody in one spot. When Colonel Tigh and all that lot -- all the actors - lost, lost their shit in front of me. They could not stop giggling. That was pretty amusing. They were completely out of control and I just maintained a total poker face because I knew it would just make them laugh harder. It's like in church when you start laughing and you're not allowed to, it just gets funnier and it spirals out of control, and they did. (laughs). You've gotta have a straight man.

Was that on the beach or was that on the Galactica?

[It was] actually when the Cylons arrived onboard Galactica and got off that little helicopter thing (Raptor). And everybody was there. It was Hogan, and Jamie, and Adama, Tyrol -- everybody was part of it -- Starbuck. [It was] a complete break down. I think because the strike was eminent and everybody was sensing the impermanence, they started to lose control a little bit, so it was kind of interesting. People start to get flakey. God bless them, you just can't help it. It's sort of wild insecurity.

 

Lucy Lawless as D'Anna Biers / Cylon #3 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Lucy Lawless as D'Anna Biers / Cylon #3 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

Was there a moment in the arc of D'Anna's character that you felt really defined who she was?

Well I think the repeated killing herself, that says everything to me. And the praying. She's an idealist. As was Gandhi, as was Hitler. It doesn't make it necessarily a positive idealism.

Very much, she had that purity of thought and spirit. She had a goal and ambition.

Which in her mind justified anything, any kind of behavior.

Do you think it was on New Caprica that she kind of changed her behavior and her stance on everything?

I think she kind of came to love and protect the baby (Hera) in her own way. I think the baby changed her. Changed everything.

Was there any character or actor that you didn't get to really interact with throughout the series that you kind of wished you had been able to work with a little more then you did, or at all?

No, I'm not complaining, I had an awesome time. It was wonderful.

How do you think D'Anna views Baltar now that she has come back and she's kind of learned of everything that's transpired, even with what she knew before? How do you think she views Baltar at this point in the story?

A warm prop. A meat puppet. (laughs) Ballast.

Is he pretty much a means to an end for her at this point?

I think everybody is. For her it's not an insult.

Is there anybody she trusts at this point, at all?

No, because that's silly. That's as silly as love and having a cuddle. (laughs) That's kind of a Sharon thing.

Yeah, it's not her style.

More than [that], it's not useful. It doesn't serve the ideal.

Throughout your career you have been in X-Files, Xena, Battlestar Galactica -- you are kind of drawn to these roles, these shows, that are kind of geek oriented. Is that something that you're drawn to?

No, it's drawn to me. I'm a strong spice, you know what I mean. People [don't put me] as Jennifer Aniston's best friend in a summer romantic comedy, even though I'd be bloody good as Jennifer Aniston's best friend, but, I can be overpowering in some things. Or they fear I might be. So you've got to be in shows where a scene can allow for that, for everybody to be strong. I'm not the chorus line.

So is there any role or project that you haven't done that you want to finish in your lifetime that you haven't been able to do, like Shakespeare or something?

Yeah some kind of wild musical.

Really?

Yeah.

Is that something that you would want to help write or put together and produce?

Sadly, that's not my skill set. I can improv things -- a lot of the D'Anna speeches, they would just let me go. I don't write as a discipline, that is just not what I do. I just inhabit a character for the time that the camera is rolling, but I am not a writer.

That was Lucy Lawless, again I want to thank Lucy for taking the time to let me interview her.

 
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