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Michael Trucco GALACTICA.TV interview
Written by Marcel Damen   
Monday, 16 April 2007

On November 29, 2006, Marcel Damen caught up with Michael Trucco, better known as Samuel Anders in the Battlestar Galactica 2003 series. He had an interview with him by phone and talked about his career, his part on the series and him playing lead guitar in the band "Simpleworld".

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.


 

Did you watch the original Battlestar Galactica series when broadcasted back in 1978?

I was about... (pondering)

...you were about eight...

...seven or eight years old, yeah. I was aware of it, I don't know that I actually watched it. You know, it's hard to say. I was aware of it, I don't know if I... I wasn't a huge fanatic for it. It wasn't like for me as it was with Star Wars for example, but I remember it. I don't remember watching it regularly though.

Did you ever see any reruns of them?

Not for a long time, no.

I'm asking this because the series starred Jane Seymour as Serina. You guest starred on a Dr. Quinn episode back in 1998 [starring Jane Seymour]. Because I wanted to know if that had a special feeling for you because it had Jane Seymour in it, who starred as Serina...

Right, right, the connection! I've never even put the two together. It didn't even occur to me. That's funny, I would never have thought of that. Good research! (both laughing)

You also did quite a few episodes of Beverly Hills 90210...

That's correct.

...which at the time was probably the most watched show on television... 

I think it was, yeah.

Did you start getting noticed on the street as an actor from this show?

That was my first experience of people recognising me. That came from [Beverly Hills] 90210 and it was... It's nice. You're an actor and trying to make ends meet and get different jobs here and there and that was the first one that was really internationally known. It wasn't just the United States, but people from all over the world. I would be in places like Las Vegas for example where people come from all over the world. It was the first time I noticed that people recognised me and yeah, it was nice. I think actors would be lying if they said that they didn't like getting recognised. I can see where it can become a hassle. I don't have that problem. I don't get followed and I don't have paparazzi. I can see where maybe those people find it to be a drag. I'll be honest, it's nice when people say: "Hey, I saw your show. I know you from that show". It's nice, it's nice to be recognised.

 

actor Michael Trucco

actor Michael Trucco

 

Did it help your acting career to be associated with 90210?

I don't know if it necessarily helped, but it certainly didn't hurt. I don't know, you know... The way those things work is that it just makes your representation have something to talk about. You agent or manager can say: "Perhaps you remember Michael from 90210?". But I don't know if it directly helped me. But I can say without a doubt that it definitely didn't hurt.

I want to go back a bit. You started out in High School theatre and later traded your sociology/criminal justice major for theatre and acting.

That's exactly right.

You graduated in Theatre Arts at University and you did some theatre before becoming an actor on film/television.

Exactly right.

What made you decide to change from theatre to movies?

Uhm, I was broke! (both laughing) I needed to start making some money. You know, it was just a logical progression of how things go. I wasn't really prepared for theatre, I mean, for the film or television aspect of this business. The one thing that my training did for me was theatre, but there were no courses at my university that prepared you for the business of film and television. You know, we studied the craft of acting in theatre, in set design, in costumes, in make up and all the things that go along with the craft, but I wasn't really prepared for auditions, and agents, and managers, and producers, and studios, and network... All these things that are now a part of my life, I didn't have any preparation for, so it was trial by fire as we say. I was actually approached by a management company who had seen a play that I was in and that play was A Few Good Men. Do you remember A Few Good Men, [written by] Aaron Sorkin?

Yes, I remember.

It was obviously made famous for the movie that was made with Jack Nicholson. But it was a play written by Aaron Sorkin, who of course now is... [famous for] The West Wing, you know, he's a big television writer.  There was a local production of A Few Good Men in Los Angeles and I was cast in the role that Tom Cruise played in the movie.

Oh, that's cool.

And it was great, yeah.  We ran that show for probably, I don't know, eight weeks, I guess it was, and about halfway through there was a message at the box office that said: "Hey, this particular management company wants you to call them." I was a bit sceptical and I sort of blew it off for the first couple of weeks, but they kept calling, so... From there it was my first introduction into representation and, you know, the bigger picture.

Do you have any aspirations in doing theatre again, because now maybe you can get bigger and better parts?

Yeah. I've said this... Actually somebody asked me this question not too long ago and I said the same thing. Theatre is very gratifying as an actor. I also believe it's the purest form of the craft of acting, because you have to create a character and sustain it for two hours or three hours. It's just so difficult. It takes a lot of time and as everybody knows it doesn't necessarily pay as well as television does, obviously, but I would like to be at a point where I could take some time off and at some point revisit the stage. I think it's important as an actor to get back to your roots and sort of dig your nails in deep and get back on stage. I hope I'm not just saying it. I hope I actually will take some time in the near future. I don't now if it's going to be this year or next season or when, but to try to get back into some sort of theatre, yes.

And what kind of roles do you prefer?

Uhm... (pondering here)

What kind of plays?

I play the whole gamut. I like the dramas. I like drama or comedy, I'm not a musical / theatrical guy. Although I love to watch musicals: Les Mis [Les Miserables], Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, things like that. That was never really my forte. I find those productions incredible. I love to see those. [I saw some] when I was in London, I've seen some in San Francisco. I've never seen any in New York, but I've seen some beautiful productions. I like the roles, you know, the dramas. I like period pieces. I love Shakespeare, love Shakespeare.     

Because also for television, next to doing more serious and action-packed parts, you also did some comedy. Which do you prefer?

Ha! I like the drama, I like the action parts. I like bad guys! That's sounds pretty obvious and pretty cliché, but there's something intriguing about playing a bad guy, being in a disarming fashion. It's one thing to be just bad and have an evil scar and one eye missing and always some kind of mean looking scowl, but it's different to play a bad guy who's got a real gentile exterior and very welcoming demeanour and then you find out that there's something deeper going on psychologically. I like those kinds of parts. 

You also did some directing on Pensecola: Wings of Gold.

That's correct

What made you decide to do directing? Most actors first act for years before they start directing, you did this pretty early in your career.

It's... I'm fascinated by the process, I'm fascinated by every gamut, every facet of moviemaking, of storytelling. That's really what it is. Making a movie, making a TV show is telling a story and I think it is as old as the history of human beings. From the time we sat around fires 40,000 years ago and drew pictures in the sand with sticks, the good old proverbial campfire story. People love a good story and as an actor you get to be part of that. You get play an act or a part in the storytelling. As a director you get to actually tell the whole story and I've always been intrigued with the process and so I'm always really interested. When I was on Pensecola I would hang out by the video monitors, I would watch the gaffers work, I would watch the director, I would watch the grips, I would watch the set designers... I just was curious to know how everybody did their job. I hung out enough and picked up enough that when we made the suggestion to the network and to the producers, they didn't laugh me out of the office. Because they could have said: "Yeah, nice try kid, go away!", but they said: "Alright, if you think that's something you want to do, we need you to shadow a couple of the directors and really do your homework and show us that you've got what it takes". So I was given an episode late in the season after having watched them for quite some time. I had the script for quite some time, a good couple of three weeks I guess, so that I could break down every scene and I could map out what I wanted to do. I contacted all the different department heads and they discussed what my plans were. I just went through the whole process and it actually turned out to be one of the best experiences I had on that show.

 

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders in Battlestar Galactica 2003

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders in Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

Okay. We're going to Battlestar Galactica. Did you do a screen test for the actual part of Samuel Anders?

No, it wasn't a screen test. You know, that's a tricky word. What it is... I was called in.  You go in to read for a group of casting directors and a few producers. You know, television shows can have any number of producers. You have executive producers, you have co-executive producers, you have producers, so when you first get on the show you don't really know exactly who's who, but there were some representatives of the show. And they also put you on, what they call "put you on tape", you read [while being] videotaped. And that's... From the group, the people that were in the room say: "Okay, I think we like this guy" and they all agree. They see X amount of people over the course of a few days and then they narrow it down. They say we've got it down to so many choices, five, ten, three, or how many people they ever figure. And then the one that they like the most and if they all agree that that's the one they like. That tape ends up... They compile all the people they like onto one tape and that tape is then watched by a larger group of producers.  You know, it just keeps expanding until all the people have come to some kind of agreement. It wasn't, you know, the old glamorous screen test like they used to have in Hollywood where they put make up on and you work with the other actors.  This is more going into a casting office, reading with the casting director and being videotaped. But it's a performance, you know, you have to make as much as you can with the material while you're sitting in an office with fluorescent lights, desks and telephones and everything around you. You do what you got to do.

When did you actually find out that you were cast for Samuel Anders?

It was about... I don't recall the exact time.  I may have gone in on a Wednesday and I think I knew by Friday, maybe a couple of days. It usually takes two or three days for the tape to be sent off. It was probably sent to Vancouver. I read for the role in Los Angeles. At the time if my memory...at the time, it was just supposed to be for two episodes.

Yeah, that's right.

I think that's better. I have to be honest with you. It's much better, because there wasn't as much gravity, there wasn't as much pressure.  If I knew that this was going to be a role that was going to end up coming back for five more episodes in Season 2, and fourteen episodes in Season 3, and possibly coming back more, then I think there's a lot of pressure you put on yourself. As far as I knew, I was reading for a character that was going to appear in two episodes. So, I was able to relax a little bit more and had no idea what to expect. I just figured: "Okay...". I remember reading for the show... I don't know if you knew that, I had at one point, a couple of years earlier, had actually read for the part of Apollo...

Okay!

... and obviously did not get it, because it went very deservingly to Jamie Bamber who does an incredible job. But I remember at the time, reading the script, going: "Wow!", literally said the words out loud: "WOW!". This is a really good script. Somewhere in the back of my mind I've always hoped to get a chance to be a part of it. And then a couple of years went by, I guess it was a year and a half went by, because I didn't come on until Season 2. I got a call from my agent who said: "You reading for a show called Battlestar Galactica" and I said: "Yeah, I remember, I read the pilot, I read the Mini-Series and couldn't believe how great it was". So I was excited just to get a chance to read for the show and end up doing a couple of episodes. Fast forward to December of 2006, and here we are finishing up Season 3.

 

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders and Katee Sackhoff as Kara Thrace in Battlestar Galactica 2003

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders and Katee Sackhoff as Kara Thrace in Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

What's it like to work with Katee Sackhoff?  Is it rough work as an actor to be making out a lot [with Katee] onscreen? 

(laughing) Good question! (starts being sarcastic) Yeah, it's a tough job, man. You got to train really hard. No, that's a two part question. Katee Sackhoff is first and foremost an excellent actor. She has the gravitas, she has the presence of someone with much more experience than someone who's only in her twenties. She's so young and yet she's got so much weight and presence. It's a real treat, because I feel like... If you work with someone like her, it lifts your game. She's just so damn good. I don't want to get too philosophical about it. She's just an incredibly gifted actress and we had a really good chemistry. Right from the start we had a good repoir. Our characters blended well together and we as actors blended well together. I think maybe that had something to do with the character coming back, because it was originally just going to be a foil. The character was just there to create a diversion. Obviously there's been the tension, Apollo and Starbuck, and they've always had that tension throughout the series. So it was good having her being diverted by another man and it kind of grew.    

I want to get back to one thing you said earlier, about you playing a bad guy. Samuel Anders is introduced as the Captain of the professional Pyramid team, the Caprica Buccaneers now acting as leader of the resistance. But he also has a very scarred side to him. He once said that his aim is to scare the Cylons into believing there is no safe place for them to hide and to kill them in the most gruesome way possible so they remember when they are reborn what it is like to die violently, like in an explosion. That sounds like a scarred man who stepped up to lead the resistance since he has a personal score to settle with them and not just a simple Pyramid player.

Yes, fortunately the character started to get some more dimension. You're right, that just kind of adds layers to an otherwise simplistic jock kind of role. The hero, superstar, whatever that character may be, that's all been left behind and there is a darker side to Anders that has come to the surface. He is... Like I said earlier, this is an intrinsic good guy. He's good on a lot of different levels, but even good guys can have demons. He's fighting the good fight, fighting the cause, but he's fighting it almost in a sense of desperation. The circumstances behind this show are so... Sometimes I have to remind myself what an amazing... how dire these circumstances are. Imagine the human population being reduced to just a few tens of thousands of people. Whether it's 40, 50, 70, even 100 or 1,000.... When those numbers are that low, that's a horrifying scenario and that's one you have to bring to the set, to every scene, to every line of dialogue. Remember that in the backs of our heads always, no matter what the scene entails, remember those circumstances. I think that in part drives to somewhat... Yeah, those quotes are somewhat sadistic sounding, aren't they?

Let me ask you this: Were you given any more information as to what Anders life was like on Caprica before the attack of the Cylons? Was he married, did he have children and did he lose all that?  

Yeah, you know, that's interesting. We never addressed that directly in the show, we don't address it in the dialogue in the script. I created a reality, a back story for Samuel Anders simply because I have to inhabit the character. I have one that I use for my own personal [benefit]. As an actor you use... I create it and I've never really divulged that and I sort of keep those... I play those cards close to my chest as they say. But the writers have never, as far as I know, given Sam a back story. 

Since he was the captain of his team of course he had natural leadership...

The things we do know... Right! He was a professional athlete in the context of these worlds. They were probably a pretty good team. He would be the equivalent of an American football quarterback, you know, or the pitcher on a baseball team, that kind of the role. So yeah, that's one of leadership and so that's what we do know and when he gets into this resistance there's a natural ability to lead. So obviously I try to incorporate...

...do you think he had some background in combat or did he just learn as he went?

No. I think both he and his team mates it's completely learning fly by wire. You go... army fly by the seat of your pants I should say. You go out of the need to survive. I like that sometimes things aren't exactly technical, because we weren't militarily trained. We were trained in the woods, fighting for our lives and often times the smartest thing to do wasn't to stand up and fight, but it was to run. That's your instinct. They talk about fight or flight. Those are the two things that kick in when you're faced with danger. You can fight to a point, but often times when you're outnumbered like that, flight is a much more... at least for Anders and his crew that was a much more viable option. There's a lot of fears... There's the ying and yang and there's as much fear as there is courage in the survival of these people.

That's true... Where you given any background story about how to play Pyramid? Because you have to be... You're a professional Pyramid player. Were you given any rules for the game?

Yeah, yeah. I worked with Duane [Dickinson], our stunt coordinator. He was great, man! He had a pretty good idea of how the game should go, but it was a work in progress. I have to be honest with you. When we first got out to the set, we were shooting that first scene with Katee [Sackhoff] and I playing one on one Pyramid... We rehearsed for a couple of days before we got to shoot that. We had to go and... We sat on the sound stage and we would tape the floor and make baskets for our goals up on the walls and we had the little ball and put the pads on... We sort of worked together and invented what we thought would be some moves. But we don't have... We definitely don't have a rulebook. We don't have the whole game figured out, but we wanted to make it look like we knew what we were doing and doing it for several years. It was pretty hairy. We were making it up as we went a lot of times.

 

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders and Katee Sackhoff as Kara Thrace in Battlestar Galactica 2003

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders and Katee Sackhoff as Kara Thrace in Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

I thought the outdoor scenes [on occupied Caprica] were great. Where were they filmed?

What was that? The outdoor?

The outdoor scenes, on New Caprica.

It was all filmed at various locations in greater Vancouver area.

Is it more difficult to work outdoors?

I love it, I love it! But that's speaking as an actor, I don't know... It might be more difficult sometimes for crew. I love being able to... You know, the studio is great because it's an easier environment to control. Sets are beautiful, everything is lit. But I love going on location and being outdoors. I get a real kick out of it. 

In the episode "Downloaded", where Anders plants a bomb in a garage to kill 40 Cylons and gets buried in rubble, where was that filmed?

That was... Where were we? That was interesting. That was actually a location and I believe it was in an old warehouse and the art department basically had built a parking garage or a structure. They brought in, much like they'd do on a soundstage at the Vancouver studios, but we were actually at a location... So they came in and built the temporarily set and constructed this amazing garage, because it was all designed to collapse. These huge slabs of concrete and rebar and wiring popping and snapping. That was all created by the art department and set designers. It was a location in Vancouver that was not on stage. It was in a building that we used and we shot there for a few days actually.

Because how much of the debris was props and how much was actually block and stone?

The majority of it was props.

Okay.

Really the majority of that stuff is constructed and fabricated. Then there's a lot of dust and sand and you know, spine particles that they pipe in, but those big and heavy concrete slabs, rebar and all that metal and stuff, that's all constructed and it looks incredibly real.   

Did you actually do that scene or was it stunt double work?

No, I was in that. We... I'm trying to think, the explosion... Obviously the explosion, you need special effects and we didn't actually blow up a garage. We did do a lot of simulating explosions, stuff falling down from the ceiling and there was guys up above us up on ladders throwing dirt and bark and all kinds of stuff, dust and rocks.

 

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders in Battlestar Galactica 2003

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders in Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

You'd expect that to be done by a stunt double.

Yeah, to be fair, they always have stunt doubles ready. They never ask you to do anything that you're not comfortable doing. And anything that even remotely resembles any kind of stunt there always somebody that's there and ready that they have that fits your physical description, wearing the same thing as you.  I prefer to do as much of those things as I can. As much as is realistic, you know. Obviously there's going to be times and there are stunts that we just can't do. I'm not trying to be the hero and pull one off. I like to... I'll take falls. I like to do fight scenes and I like to get in there and mix it up. As much as I can do I'm willing to do.

Okay, great!

If they'll let me. But it's always under... They scrutinize every scene and safety is such a priority when you do stuff like that. We never just [say] "roll a film and going to see what happens." That never happens. Everything is always carefully scrutinized.

Yeah, you rehearse a lot.

Oh yeah. Anything that has to do with stunts, we go through everything. We walk through everything at half speed and make sure that everything is correct and right and everybody is comfortable in their role. It's quite... It's done very professionally.   

Okay, let's move on. Samuel and Kara reunite and on New Caprica we suddenly find out they're married. Who performed the wedding? Was it Commander Lee Adama? [Editor's Note: This interview was taped a DAY before the episode aired where it is shown that Kara and Lee have an affair and Kara marries the next morning. Michael Trucco obviously knew all this, which is why he laughs when I mention that Lee could have performed the ceremony, but couldn't tell at the time.]

What, Lee Adama?

He could have performed the wedding (as ship's captain)...

(laughing) I don't think Lee performed the actual wedding. You know, that was an interesting, interesting...

Because I was wondering: Was it an official wedding? Would Kara wear a big nice dress? Would there haven been a big ceremony? Who attended?

No. If anything, it was done as what we would call in America a "shotgun wedding". The proverbial Las Vegas wedding chapel; let's jump right in and let's do this. It was spontaneous. It was small. It may have been just the two of us and somebody to unite us. I don't know if you know the tattoos that we wear are matching tattoos. They actually represent... they're sort of our wedding union.

Yeah, they combine into a circle with wings.

Exactly, those two combined... And also there's a part you don't see and nobody knows in detail. There's the constellation of Capricorn [used because of the reference] of the planet Caprica. So when you join the two arms together you get the constellation...which becomes one complete [circle] and then the two wings. So those essentially are our wedding bands.

 

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders and Katee Sackhoff as Kara Thrace in Battlestar Galactica 2003

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders and Katee Sackhoff as Kara Thrace in Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

That's great. Do you think we will we see flashbacks in future episodes? There are a lot of people marrying during the year break. We find out Lee and Dee are married, you and Kara married, but we never actually see it. Do you think we'll see some of that in flashbacks?

I can tell you this, without saying too much... At least on the American schedule, having the shows where we are right now in season three, next episode that airs...

Yes, episode nine ["Unfinished Business"] I think...

Yes, I believe it's either eight or nine. That's the first episode that I'm aware of that we do actually go into flashbacks.

Okay.

And that's all I'll say about that.

That's okay.

Because until it airs, I'm not giving anything away, but there are... There is some explanation as to what transpired over the course of that year.

Because coming back to the more darker side of Samuel. He joins the Resistance on New Caprica and he has to tell Saul Tigh that his wife betrayed him. He puts him in the position to kill his own wife. That's pretty cold.

Yeah!

We actually thank the Gods, that Kacey turned out to be a normal child instead of a half Cylon / half human that his wife carried. We wonder how he would have reacted...

Oh, if Kacey were actually...

Half human / half Cylon...

Yeah, you know, that was sort of glazed over... That was a great storyline with Katee and Leoben and the baby. And that's a good question you pose. What would Sam's reaction be upon learning... Well, think about that. That's a multi-faceted scenario, because it would not only be that's she's a half Cylon baby and the fact that she had a baby and all of those implications, and what that means for a relationship. It would be horrifying. And they resolved... The way that storyline played out was great, because it just reinforced the mind manipulation that the Cylons put on Starbuck, on Kara Thrace. To mess with a woman at that level is so intimate, so personal. To say: "This is your baby, this is your child" and how she sort of rejected her in the beginning and then she felt this incredible love and to find out that it was all a ruse. You know, it was all just a charade. Psychologically what that does to her character is pretty powerful. They didn't...we never got to the point where Sam and Kara would had to have dealt with those circumstances, so I never addressed those as an actor. I never thought of what Sam would do if he had to contend with...

Because if you compare it to Saul Tigh, you know...

Yeah! (sigh)  I mean, that was a difficult scene to get my head around. The scene were Saul and Sam are circling each other. I tell him: "You know what has to be done. You know what's going on. This is how important this resistance movement is." We were nearly compromised by his own wife. That was a really, sometimes painful scene to shoot and it was played so, so good by Michael Hogan and Kate Vernon. Oh my God, they were amazing!

They were, yeah!

I love watching that scene. Wow! They are two really, really, really strong actors, so it was quite nice just to be a part of it, on the fringe even, just to be the catalyst to watch their scene was really poignant.

Do you think Anders really did all he could to find Kara on New Caprica? Do you think she held a grudge and that was part of the reason they split up later?

Yep. Yes, I think she held a grudge. And yes, I think Sam did all he could do. And I think it's as simple as that. I think yes and yes. I think Sam spent every moment of every waking moment of every day thinking "Where?", "How?" and ultimately did find her and rescued her, but I think that maybe there was some resentment by Kara. Why was it four months, why so long and... Obviously, like the things I said before about how she was messed with so psychologically. I think it started creating a little rift between our characters. Definitely!

Samuel actually joined the... He didn't want to participate in the useless executions anymore. His wife took his place. This also becomes a problem and he and Kara break up. When Anders handed her her dogtags, is that a signal like: "We're divorced now"? Or will they get back together, since Kara picked up her old life again?  

Yeah, it was a symbol... I don't know if it was so much a symbol of directly stating: "We're divorced", but it was Sam's way of retaining... That's a tough question, because in a break up there's always this defensiveness, and there's anger, and there's hurt, and all those emotions are sort of rolling around in your head at the same time. I think that that was more than... It differentiated in the other arguments that we may have had or that we had a rift between us. It was... There's a certain amount of finality to saying: "I don't want these anymore". Where Sam is always going to fight for his woman. The way she put it, you know: "I can't force you...", the way she said to me: "Sometimes I feel I'm going to tear your eyes out...". Sam can't force her to love him, so... I think he was saying: "Okay, if that's the way you want it, that's the way you want it." and then these are lost on me, so... It was a gesture that was made in anger and in hurt and I don't know that sometimes we do things even though we're not really sure what we're doing in the moment, not really sure of the consequences. I think that was just a reaction and I don't know that it was necessarily... I forget if it was written in. I think that it was written in that we exchange the dogtags. But we played around with that scene, Katee [Sackhoff] and I, and [director] Michael Rymer.

William Adama really put her back on the spot again and now she's picking up her old life. Does her going back to her old life also include not being with Anders?

I think that's probably a better question for Katee, but if you're asking in my perception, in Anders' perception, I think that's true. I think that yes, to her old life, being a pilot and going back to the way things were. I feel that Anders is getting kind of squeezed out of the equation, so to speak.

What tasks are there for a professional Pyramid player and leader of the Resistance on a battlestar?

(laughing) Any task that you might...

 

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders in Battlestar Galactica 2003

Michael Trucco as Sam Anders in Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

...he might make a good marine, because he led the resistance movement or perhaps maybe the fleet needs some sports to keep their morale high.

I think, yeah, the sports has become secondary. I think that this need for survival and this need to go on, I think banding together, breaking down the... losing the athlete moniker or wearing that hat as an athlete has taken second seat to making himself useful wherever he can. In whatever capacity, they need bodies, they need able bodies. Maybe people like Sam with leadership qualities can find a way to be useful in the fleet. If it's not on Battlestar, it's going to be one of the other ships.

You could always start a Pyramid League.

Hey yeah, you're right. Diversions are as vital to the survival of humanity as anything. We need entertainment, we need sports, we need outlets. So sure, there's always the possibility we'll see this game stay alive and well.

Can you give a glimpse what future episodes have in store for Anders?

Can I give a glimpse? Ha! (laughing) I don't know how much of a glimpse I can give. Uhm... (pondering) Well, it's no secret that I'm sticking around through this season, so... I can tell you that we'll see Sam again. Whether or not Kara and Sam work out their marriage and their relationship, that's still up in the air and there's lots of possibilities for the two of us, but you haven't seen the last of Sam Anders.

I already read you come back in the next episode when they have a huge fight. You and Dee are watching the fight and are like: "What are these guys doing to each other?".

Right. Yeah, he finds his way back. I've been off the show for a few episodes right now, because we had our break up and there was some speculation...  It's not the end of Anders, it's NOT the end of Anders. He comes back and he makes his presence known.

I heard you were offered the role of a regular?

Yeah, yeah.

So we will see you back, even in Season 4?

Well, that's the idea. I guess so.

There's also a lot of speculation. Because there's still the thing hanging over everybody... There's going to be a main cast member killed off. Some even hope it will be Apollo and you and Kara become a couple again.

(big laugh) Who? Who are these people? God bless them! Buy them a drink! (both laughing) No, I kid, clearly. You know, we've all heard. The cast knows that there is supposed to be a major character [going to be killed off]... And what happens is that speculation goes around...

[Editor's Note: The interview is interrupted because of knocks on Michael's hotel room door. He gets a new TV set, because the one in his room is broken. He wanted to watch CNN, but it didn't work. He also doesn't want to miss tonight's episode of Battlestar Galactica.]

...What were we talking about? I'm sorry...

Who was going to be killed off...

Oh yeah, yeah. You sure as Hell aren't going to get the answer from me. (both laughing) Believe me! Even if I knew! I'd love to tell you... You know what happens is that speculation and rumor, it abounds, and I think that's kind of the design. They want everybody to keep guessing and everybody should be on their toes and that's what's great about shows like this. It's not uncommon in shows that have large casts. Even other shows like Lost and 24. All these great shows on TV, major characters suddenly can get killed off and then that keeps everybody on their toes. We all pick up every new script and we start flipping each page and go: "Oh, is this going to be the one?".

For a second there I thought Alessandro Juliani was going to be thrown out of the airlock. 

Oh, you mean on the one where we... Yeah, got close, didn't it?

Yeah. Kate Vernon played a pretty big character. She's not on the show anymore...

Yeah. That was also shocking when we read that. But of course now everybody knows, because that's already [been] aired. Uhm... Yeah, I don't know. (laughing) The powers that be get to make these calls. They do what's good for the show or what they think is going to generate the most shock. I think that's their job.

Do you think it will be the season's cliff hanger?

Yes!

Probably...

Yes... I think that will be a season cliff hanger.

We just have to wait ten episodes and then a whole season's break again to see if it's real or not.

Yeah, I'm not sure how they air the episodes. Is that what they do? They run ten, and then they take a break, and then they run the last ten.

 

actor Michael Trucco

actor Michael Trucco

 

Yes. So what other projects do you have lined up, besides Battlestar Galactica? I've read you also have a part in Next, starring Nicolas Cage, based on a story of Philip K. Dick.

Yes, that's coming out next summer. It's a movie with Nicolas Cage and Jessica Biel and Julianne Moore.

Can you tell us a bit what the movie is about and what your part is in it?

It's based on a short story by Philip K. Dick and I believe it is called The Golden Man if I'm not mistaken.

That's correct.

Nicolas Cage obviously plays the lead in this film in which he plays a clairvoyant. He has the ability to see the future, but not consistently and not very far in the future. He can see a few minutes into the future, sometimes up to a couple of hours. He lives his life as a sort of two bit magician in Las Vegas. He makes his money by playing Black Jack because he has the ability to see all the hands before they happen. So he can consistently win at Black Jack, but he never makes more money than he... He doesn't try to break the house. He just makes enough money to get by. So he has this ability to see in the future and of course the government, the United States government and the secret agencies that live in this fictitious government. They want to utilize Nicolas Cage's character to help towards terrorists attacks. So they've been looking for him all their lives, all his life, and they find him and they want him to work for the government, help them to see in the future and help prevent terrorist attacks. He doesn't want anything to do with it, he does not want to work for the government, he doesn't want to become a test... you know, a lab rat. He just wants to be left alone. This struggle to avoid the government and he's on the run, basically. But meanwhile he has this vision that he's going to meet this beautiful girl. The beautiful girl is Jessica Biel's character.

And what's your part in it?

I'm the catalyst for those two to meet, because I play the, sort of an ex-boyfriend of Jessica Biel's [character] and we have an argument in a cafe. Nicolas Cage comes and steps in and breaks up the argument. But actually it becomes a kind of memorable, kind of fun little scene. I play this guy, this kind of uptight... kind of a prick for lack of a better word, who's a little bit obsessive. He's looking for Jessica Biel and says: "I've looked everywhere for you and couldn't find you. I went to your apartment. I went to Starbuck's. I went to your drycleaner." and she's a little freaked out by that and she says: "You know I told you it's over and we're not together anymore". I say: "Give me another chance" and she says: "Get out of here" and I grab her wrist and she pulls back and says: "You're hurting me". It gets kind of... it starts to heat up a little bit. And Nicolas Cage comes over, puts his hand on my shoulder and says: "Hey man, it looks like you're having a bad day and why don't you just take off?". Of course I jump up, I'm being the though guy and say: "Who the Hell are you? Get the Hell away from me". I want to be Mr. Tough-guy and kick his ass, but because he can see... he's got this ability to see in the immediate future, he sees the whole fight play out. So he knows exactly where I'm going to throw every punch. So he never has to fight me, he just ducks, turns, twists and every time I'm just millimetres away from hitting him. It actually becomes almost a comedic scene, because I'm trying like Hell to punch him and tear his head off, but he just slowly steps back, moves forward, turns around, trips me. It's actually a pretty funny scene.

That sounds great!

Yeah, and he looks like he's impressing the girl. The punches keep missing him and he's trying to talk to Jessica [Biel's character] and she of course storms out of there, because she's not impressed by any of us. He sees this happen in the future and so that scene plays out a couple of times in his head how he's going to meet the girl. It was cool, it was a fun part. That was a real treat to work with somebody like Nicolas Cage. I've admired him ever since I wanted to become an actor. He's one of the guys I admired. I think he has had an outstanding career. I find him really inventive and it was a real honor to get to share this... Albeit a very small scene, but for me it was a really big deal, you know what I mean? Most people will be like: "Eh, Yippie, so what, great, good for you...". For me, my personal journey, it was a really big deal and I really enjoyed it.

 

actor Michael Trucco

actor Michael Trucco

 

Okay. Any other projects?

No, you know Battlestar [Galactica] has been taking up the majority of my time. I kind of like it that way.

Do you think you'll direct an episode [one day]?

You know, it's funny... I'm certainly going to ask. Maybe not ask directly, but I'm definitely going to hint that I would like to. It's not up to me. All I can do... My momma always said: "The answer is always ‘no', until you asked". You have to at least ask. It's automatically "No". All they can say is "No" and then I'll go: "Okay, at least I tried". I think in order to do that you have to shadow directors like Michael Rymer, who's a very important director on the show.

Yeah.

...And show your willingness to learn and your enthusiasm and your ability. But I would love to! To answer your question, I know it's a long answer to your question, but yeah... The thought of being able to direct one of these shows excites the Hell out of me. I'd love to! I don't know if it's going to happen, but I could sure... A kid can dream, right?

Yeah, could be... Edward Olmos directed one.

Oh yeah, well sure, of course and he should. I was lucky enough to get to be in one of the episodes that he directed. The man's great, because he's so... because he's an actor and he has such an immense appreciation for actors...the way he communicates, it was really cool. He was good, he was really good.

Okay. I've also read you're the lead guitarist in a band called "Simpleworld"?

That's correct.

You keep promising on the [Michael Trucco Fan] forum that you'll send some new songs...

Son of a gun. (laughing). Yeah, I do keep saying that, don't I? Alright! Alright, alright, alright...

Because you keep telling us that the new songs are better, but we never...

They ARE better!!!

 

Michael Trucco in Simpleworld

Michael Trucco in Simpleworld

 

We never heard them.

You're right! I've made this pact in my life to not be that guy that says that he's going to do something and then not do it. Alright, I'm going to... Yeah. Here's what I want to do: I want to... I would like to make all songs available, but I think what I'm going to do is that we're probably going to upload one or two songs of the last ones that we recorded, which are from about a year and a half, two years ago. We recorded eight songs on a CD and I'm proud of them, you know. Music is so subjective. I'm proud of it and I think that's the most important thing. There were other times, when people would say: "Hey, let me hear your stuff" and I always felt like I was apologizing: "Well, it doesn't sound right and these aren't the songs [I had in mind]". This is exactly how we wanted it to turn out, and the last songs that we did... You know man, I'm proud. I like them and I think that some other people might dig them. If not, no big deal. But I do keep saying that I'm trying to make them available. And I'm glad, it takes guys like you to light a fire under my ass and to make me do what I said I was going to do. So I'll just talk to the woman who helps me design my website. It's just a matter of getting them into the computer, uploading and then making them available. But I travel a lot, I'm never in one place very long, so... I'm trying man. I'm glad you said this, because I'm going to go downstairs to the business centre and I'm going to check my forum. Just write in and say "Hi". I haven't done that in a while.

Do you actually bring your guitar to the set, to kill some time?      

No, I haven't done that in a long time. I would like to bring an acoustic. I play in my home. In my home in Los Angeles I have one sitting in the living room and very rarely does a day go buy that I don't pick it up. Even just five minutes sometimes, just to put it in your hands feels good.

So, any more musicians on the [Battlestar Galactica] series?

You know, I don't know. There's a guy in the transportation department, he plays guitar. We talk about it a lot. I don't about anybody in the... any of the actors. It's so difficult, it's so hard, because both of those crafts take so much of your time. To do one, very successfully takes all of your time. I wish I was a better guitar player. It's hard and sometimes I don't have time for it.

I want to thank you for doing the interview.

Hey, thank you. I'm glad you called. I hope you got what you needed.

 
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