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Matthew Bennett GALACTICA.TV interview 2
Written by Marcel Damen   
Monday, 10 August 2009

Recently Marcel Damen caught up with Matthew Bennett, better known to Battlestar Galactica 2003 series fans as Aaron Doral / Cylon #5. He granted him a follow up to the Matthew Bennett interview we did in January 2007. In this current interview Matthew talks about his character on the Battlestar Galactica series, the filming of the finale, working on "The Plan", what he's working on currently and his future plans. 

Last time we talked to you was at then end of Season 2 of Battlestar Galactica. You had quite a bit of screen time, even multiple copies in the same scenes. After that Cylon #5 only seems to return to get shot. In Season 4 the Fives side with the Fours and the Ones to lobotomize the Raiders. But the Sixes order the Centurions to shoot everybody. In the Finale several Fives are present to prevent the rescue of Hera, but in the CIC both are killed in the firefight after the Final Five doesn't give up the resurrection technology. Where you still happy with the time you got or do you feel you missed out on a lot of the good stuff

Well... I'll put it to you this way... By Season Five, I was pretty much showing up and getting shot... so yeah, I did feel that I missed out on a lot. That said, I did get to work on my stunt skills. I shot a lot of guns, and took a lot of squibs, (a squib is an explosive charge that's put between a blood pack and a metal plate and taped to your body... when you're shot at, the charge is triggered and blood pack blows out through your clothes... and yes... the dye in the blood does stain your skin red, but shaving cream takes it out... consider that a 'handy tip' #1 for the day...).

Were you happy with the way the series ended?

I thought it was an excellent way to end the series and the perfect time to do it. The show ended with a fiercely loyal audience and it was great to be a part of it.

What do you think the Cylons were doing afterwards; still looking for the humans, or remaking their own society?

I would say rebuilding... then off to find the humans.

 

Matthew Bennett as Aaron Doral / Cylon #5 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Matthew Bennett as Aaron Doral / Cylon #5 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

If there are some Doral's left on a remote colony, what do you think they're up to since the humans disappeared?

Well, I think they'd be leading some kind of effort to design and plan for future encounters... also probably finding a new tailor and barber... time for a new look.

Of course we still have The Plan, which delves more into the Cylon storyline. Edward James Olmos has said that we see "the first 281 days of what we went through...seen through the eyes of the Cylons".  Did you enjoy shooting "The Plan" in the aspect that we see things from the Cylon's point of view?

It was interesting to read the script and see how everything broke down in the end. I thought it was a very good script, and that Jane Espenson did an excellent job. There was some great humour in the script as well - well... Cylon humour, but humour all the same.

Are there scenes in there for you that helped you understand your character more?

There was one scene in particular which definitely seemed to cement things with my take on Doral - it sort of proved to me that I had been on the right track with my character. Without being too specific I can tell you that it involved burning bodies... you'll have to watch the movie... you'll know it when you see it.

Do you know if there are any future projects for Battlestar Galactica?

It's hard to say. I guess they could do a few movies but everything from the series is gone - the sets, the wardrobe, the props, (check your ebay listings). It would mean starting from scratch, so I don't know... but... stranger things have happened.

Which aspect in your character's storyline do you still feel they missed out on, they could have fleshed out some more, or was in your eyes sadly scratched from the scripts (or shot scenes that were later deleted)?

Doral had a storyline? Maybe I missed that...

You played many Cylon #5 versions: the PR Executive, the Suicide Bomber, the Caprican Overseer, the New Caprican Invasion Member, the Virus Infected and the Collaborator. Which did you enjoy playing most and why?

Probably the PR Executive. That version was the first and obviously the most deceiving. I enjoyed playing that aspect of the character very much - the interaction with humans... I would have liked to have played that side of the character a little longer.

Which actor on the Battlestar Galactica series did you enjoy most working with? How about a director?

Well I enjoyed working with Callum Keith Rennie. We're both able to focus on the job and still be loose on set. The actual shooting of a series is a laborious process and if there's no one there you can joke around with it makes for super long days.

As far as director's go, definitely Michael Rymer. He's a gentleman who takes great care of his actors. I had an infinite amount of trust in his direction and marveled at his focus.

Did you learn anything from the Battlestar Galactica directors or writers that helped you become a better writer or director yourself?

I don't know if I really learned anything from the writers although I did learn a few things from Michael Rymer. He's a very focused man who knows what he wants from a scene - the shots, the acting... He has a great deal of patience.

 

Matthew Bennett as Aaron Doral / Cylon #5 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Matthew Bennett as Aaron Doral / Cylon #5 on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

You wrote and directed Kick Me Down. Can you tell us a bit about this project? How did it come about?

I had a script, and I ran into a guy who knew a guy. It seems like a joke but that's how it went down. The three of us wanted to shoot a feature and after a few financing glitches we came out after two years later with a number of battle scars and a finished film in our hands. It wasn't easy at all, but I'd do it again.

Your wife Brittaney also stars in that. Did you write that part with her already in mind or did this come later?

Yeah, I definitely wrote the script with her in mind. She's a wonderfully talented actress and we've had a few opportunities to work together in the past that have been fantastic experiences for both of us. I saw this as an opportunity to do it again.

Was she easier or more difficult to direct than the other actors (because you know each other so well)?

Defiantly easier. The whole process of making a film takes a great deal of time and she was with me from the beginnings of the script. She knew the story really well and we had a lot of time to talk about her character before we went to camera... there wasn't much I had to do. I had a pretty good cast all around.

Was both the writing and directing a one time thing or are you planning to do either one more often?

I've been an actor for 16 years and done a lot of work. Beyond Battlestar Galactica I've had a full career. I've been a series lead on a number of shows and guest starred on countless more... I've been involved in some amazing projects but over the past few years I've found that the desire that made me want to become an actor was starting to burn out.

For me, the process of writing and directing has brought back my interest in "the business". I've found that I can be a great deal more creative behind the camera, and for me, it's exactly what I need... so yeah... writing and directing are definitely things I'm continuing to pursue.

When we talked to you last time you were talking about your website, but now it's only an IMDb link and agent address. What happened?

Laziness... but keep checking it out... one of these times it'll be different... cool stuff is coming.

What else is new for you? What are you working on right now?

I'm writing two scripts for television, (both cop shows although very different), and I have two film scripts that are in different stages... one is a road movie that's like Of Mice and Men meets Kalifornia, and the other is about three retired con artists who have to return to their former lives to save themselves.

 

This interview is a follow up on the Matthew Bennett GALACTICA.TV interview done in January 2007

 
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