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Nicki Clyne Fan Site Interview
Written by Marcel Damen   
Friday, 03 November 2006

Our friends over at the Nicki Clyne Fan Site collected all questions from the fans to Nicki Clyne, better known as Petty Officer Cally Henderson on Battlestar Galactica 2003, on their message board and did this great Q&A with her. They talk about Nicki's personal life and her part on Battlestar Galactica 2003.

General Fan Questions:

Fans recognized you from a music video called, "The Laws Have Changed". When was this done and how did you get involved with that project?


As far as I can remember, we filmed this video in the midst of filming the Mini Series. I met the New Pornographers through a friend and once I heard their music and the concept for their video, I basically threatened them until they let me be in it. You see, I’ve always wanted to be a rock star, but I’m lacking a certain, ahem, talent. So faking it in a music video was the next best thing!

Does your personality mirror "The Laws Have Changed" music video and Tiki Bar (dance) rolls? Are you playing a character or playing yourself?

I’m definitely playing a character: in “The Laws Have Changed,” an mtv-style pop idol and in Tiki Bar, an innocent space invader with pointy ears. But my personality does shine through in roles like that because they’re mostly just about playing and having fun; two things I enjoy doing very much… along with dancing, of course. 


What is your most memorable or favorite acting job, outside of Battlestar Galactica?

The most memorable so far, not only because it is the last job I did outside Galactica, was filming the movie Totally Awesome last fall. It’s coming out on November 7th to DVD. It was one of the funniest scripts I have ever read and it was really great to do a comedy, which I’d never really done before. It was also a welcome change from the high stakes on Galactica. My only concern now is that I’m being typecast as a grease monkey.
(Just watch the movie and it’ll all make sense).

What kind of movies and TV programming do you enjoy?

I don’t end up watching a lot of television, but I absolutely love watching movies… Stanley Kubrick is one of my all time favorite directors, along with David Lynch and Martin Scorsese. And currently I’m a huge fan of directors like Michel Gondry, Quentin Tarantino, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Darren Aronofsky and Alfonso Cuaron. If you haven’t seen The Science of Sleep yet, go see it! It’s incredible.

Are you aware that many fans affectionately associate corn muffins and the phrase "corn muffin goodness", with Nicki Clyne and Cally in particular?

I have heard of this phenomenon… I figure as long as it has the word ‘goodness’ in it, it’s fine by me. My agent actually received a package with corn muffin mix inside it! I don’t think it weathered the postal service very well, but I appreciate the gesture. 

Have you ever visited the Nicki Clyne Fan Board (or any other board) and read what your fans have to say?

From time to time, I’ve visited links that friends have sent me or read things about my character online, but I try not to get too distracted from what my job really is, which is to perform. That, and it’s no fun reading the not so nice comments that appear. I do want to pay tribute to all the fans though, for being so thoughtful and dedicated. It is such a joy to do what I do, but to see how the effects of what I do play out in the world is truly an honor. 

Have you ever heard of the Internet fan base awards called "The Golden Toaster Awards"? Did you know you won "Best Supporting Actress" for the second season of Battlestar Galactica? What are your thoughts on winning the online fan base awards show?

Yeah. That’s so great! Let’s see… “I’d like to thank my mom, my brother, um, my orthodontist (he made me promise)… and David Eick, for accepting the terms of my blackmail to put me in the show more.” But seriously, it’s really wonderful to be recognized by fans of the show and I can’t think of a better category to be honored in. I really appreciate it. So thanks!

On Battlestar Atlantia, you talked about buying a motorcycle. Did you purchase one and most important, can you repair it?

Yes, I’ve had my motorcycle for about a year now, and I tell you, if only I knew how to repair it... It’s a 1968 and, sadly, it’s been calling the repair shop home these days. I had planned on learning more about repairing it, but somehow that hasn’t been a priority. So if anyone sees me stranded on the side of the road, just point and laugh and be on your merry way. Thank you.

Do you have plans to attend conventions on the East Coast of the United States?

I don’t have any plans yet, but I do love traveling and meeting fans, so it is possible. 

Art Asylum, a toy and collectable manufacturer are creating Battlestar Galactica merchandise. Are there any "Cally" merchandise in production from Art Asylum or from any other company? How do you feel about becoming an action figure?

I wish I could answer the first part of this question, but I honestly don’t know anything about merchandise. And come on, who doesn’t want to have an action figure made after them? I think it would be so fun. I could finally beat up all those Barbies I hated when I was a kid in a fair fight. 

Is there anything special or new on the horizon in your career you could officially share with your fans?

Not officially, but I can tell you that I’ve been too busy to work on any other projects this season. Whether that’s good or bad, well we’ll just have to see. I know I’m sure having a good time.

 

Nicki Clyne, better known as Cally Henderson on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Nicki Clyne, better known as Cally Henderson on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

Battlestar Galactica questions:

Where does Cally end and Nicki begin? How much of the character is script, and how much is your own projection?"

In a way, it’s all my own projection because it’s my understanding of the world that informs my choices. I may not be reacting in the same way I, Nicki, would under the same circumstances, but I’m imagining how Cally would choose to overcome her struggle, based on her values. It’s really quite an amazing process because I learn so much about myself through it. 

How much has Cally changed on Battlestar Galactica after becoming a Mother? How do you see your character growing in the third season?

Well she’s certainly GROWN since becoming a mother (insert pity laugh here). Sorry, bad joke. I think becoming a mother has really forced Cally to examine what’s important to her. All of what she was working toward got shifted when the Cylons attacked so she just did what she had to do to survive. But now she has much more to think about and harder decisions to make in regards to making a better life for her and her family.

Is it hard to leave "Cally" at the studios after filming? What do you do for relaxation when you are not working?

I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily hard to leave Cally at the studios, but the role that I play on the show certainly plays into my daily life. I think about her a lot and try to consider what she would be going through and, of course, I feel the physical effects of running away from Cylons for twelve hours straight. I mostly keep myself pretty busy when I’m not working, but in order to relax I like to read and watch movies, see friends, travel and learn as much as I can about myself and the world. Oh and I like massages. Massages are good for relaxation.

What's it like to let your hair down and not have to wear a ponytail going into season 3?

It feels… good? I’m going to assume that was a metaphorical question and answer accordingly. I can’t tell you how great it’s been to explore the complexities of Cally that have been rather hidden from the audience until now. We get to see a side that isn’t just about work or survival and see what’s really important to her. Not to mention that ponytail isn’t the most flattering hairstyle.

What's it like filming the webisodes?

It was like film school. We had such a limited time and budget that we all really had to band together to make it happen. And even though we were under such pressure to get it done, it felt like we got to play around more because we were a smaller team and the time wasn’t as costly. 

What were the reactions from the cast when it was revealed in the script that Cally and Tyrol would have a relationship and marry?

Jealousy. Pure jealous rage.

How do they address Cally and Tyrol now? Galen was always known as Tyrol. Do the cast call Tyrol, Galen all the time? Is it weird calling Tyrol, "Galen"?

It is kind of weird calling him Galen actually. It’s an… interesting name. And I’m still Cally. If you don’t think about it too hard, it makes sense, trust me. 

Cally's baby is born by the time the webisodes start, 2 months after the season 2 finale when Cally was pregnant: when was he born, exactly?

How should I know? I just work here… No, he was born just after the finale. But I’m telling you, don’t think so hard about these things. 

What's Cally's son's name? How is it working with a baby on the set? Is it one baby, or do they use twins?

It’s so great, when he cries or poops, I just give him away and get a new one. It’s perfect! It’s honestly such a blessing because the baby really keeps Aaron and me on our toes. If he does something unexpected, we just have to go with it and make it work. When he was younger, we had a set of triplets that we’d use, but now that he’s a little older, we’re more consistent with just one baby; which I actually prefer because I get to know him better and see him grow.

Why is Cally mildly friendly with Jammer now? You beat the frak out of him in "Resistance"

I think the idea of holding a grudge ceases to have meaning when you’re fighting for your life. Cally and Jammer have to work together and in order to do so, they must have some rapport. So they may have had disagreements and may continue to, but ultimately I think they recognize that they’re on the same team.


You received a lot more scenes with Edward James Olmos in the second season. What was your reaction when you found out you had lines with EJO? Did it seem like Cally was stepping up into responsibility on the flight deck when the chief was away?

It didn’t surprise me at all that Cally would confront the Admiral when she had a problem. I don’t think she regards the hierarchy in the same way others do, and certainly not if it stands in the way of getting what she wants. It’s always such a pleasure to work with Edward so I’m excited whenever I get the opportunity.

Is Galactica-Boomer (the one Cally shot) going to have a confrontation with Cally in season 3 and if so what was it like for you?

The cat’s out of the bag on that one. It was really great for me. It forced me to look back into all the things we’ve been through and see where we started. We’ve certainly come a long way and it’s hard sometimes to put it all into perspective. 

You said that being trapped on the Kobol set was a nightmare as it was exhausting and constantly raining. Is New Caprica filmed in the same spot of Vancouver? What was it like?

Did I really suffer that much about it? It wasn’t really that bad, it just added to the realism. New Caprica was filmed at a different location, but not so different in terms of fighting against the elements. Where we filmed was really sandy and windy. So it meant we also had to fight against the noise from the dirt bikers traversing the sand dunes nearby. 

What does the rest of the cast think of your characters popularity with the fans? Did this influence the writers to give you more to do?

Again. Jealousy. Pure jealous rage. I’m not sure if it influenced the writers, but it certainly couldn’t hurt. It seems like our producers and writers are very open in regards to reaching out to the fans and receiving feedback, so I’m sure they appreciate the support and discussion.


Would you ever work fanfic into how you play Cally on screen? Leah Cairns, who plays Racetrack, said she read a fanfic story about Racetrack having a crush on Helo and actually worked that into her character...going so far as to convince Michael Rymer to actually film scenes of this for LDYB I (Which were deleted).

I haven’t read any. But never say never. Maybe if you guys start writing about me becoming the next president and being responsible for finding the way to Earth, I could work with that.

Will Cally get more back story in Season 3?

You’ll see.

Are you in the episode "Taking a Break From All Your Worries" that Olmos directed himself? What's it like being directed by him?

Unfortunately I’m not. I made him promise I would be in the next one he directs though. I’m telling you, “Cally and the Commander,” coming to a theatre near you.

 

Also read: Nicki Clyne GALACTICA.TV interview 

 
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