Grant Gould (gdg) wrote in battlestar_blog,
Grant Gould

Taking a Break... for an exclusive interview! :)

Continuing our tradition of BSG excellence, I'm proud to present Battlestar Blog's 4th actor interview! Ryan Robbins has been with the new series from the beginning. In 2003 he played the Armistice Officer, who you'll remember as the man who first encountered Six aboard the space station. Now in season three he plays Connor, a character who shared the spotlight in "Collaborators" as a member of the Circle. Ryan was kind enough to take questions from members of our community and provide us with this GREAT interview.

We'll be sending him a link to this thread so he can check it out -- So if you want to add any additional comments or questions, please do so!

Without further ado:

Were you a fan of the original Battlestar Galactica TV Show?

Yes, I totally was! Remember at the beginning of every A-Team show, when Dirk Benedict bumps into the cylon?? Awesome!

What's your favorite BSG episode and why?

I don’t think I have a favorite. I love the show, I’ve seen every episode. I like the darker, heavier ones. And I love the ones Michael Rymer directs, they look amazing. I’m a fan of the underdog storylines…

What is probably your favorite episode that you’ve been in or which one was the most fun to be part of?

Collaborators was intense. As an actor, it was awesome. Everyone involved in our scenes absolutely brought their best. Especially Dom, who played Jammer. He was unbelievable.

The funnest for me, other than dodging explosions with Trucco, would have to be the scenes in the bar. We essential play around and they film it. A lot of those jokes are just us having a go at each other. A good example; Leah Cairns will never let me forget “Put it in the hole, Marge!” because now, people call her Marge all the time… Hee Hee…

Are you friends in real life with any of the other actors, and if so who? I would give about anything to be able to hang with Apollo, Helo, Sam or, the Chief in real life. :-D What are they like?

I’m actually friends with all of those guys. Good guess. Aaron Douglas is a very close friend. We’ve known each other a long time, before BSG. Jamie Bamber, James Callis and I all have kids close in age, so we see each other quite a bit during filming. I’ve known Tahmoh since before BSG as well and Michael Trucco and I have become great friends. A surprising amount of the cast are great friends and quite a few of us knew each other pre-BSG. They are the greatest, most generous group of people you could ever hope to work with. And the relationships extend to the amazing crew as well. It sounds cliché, but it’s really a tight, family-type environment… good, bad and indifferent.

You’ve had the chance to work with a lot of the actors now, like Katee and Hogan, what’s it like working with them? Do they take it very seriously or is it a lot of fun and playing around? Hogan deserves an award for his work this season.

A bit of both. They can be very serious, but also absolutely ridiculous. Katee is hilarious! We’ve definitely slowed production a few times with one too many laughs together.

And Michael Hogan is absolutely amazing. He is an extremely well respected and highly regarded Canadian actor and it’s so great to see him getting international exposure and acclaim. He’s inspiring. It’s been a fun dynamic for us exploring the strange camaraderie between Connor and Tigh.

Okay we need the scoop, who on the show is a total real life babe magnet? Everyone on the show is so delicious (including yourself) I need to know who off set is the most charming. Help!!! xxoo

Wow… tough one. It’s all a matter of perception, really. Everyone is so likeable. I’d say Edward James Olmos is the most charming. He’s one of those people that’s just great to be around. He makes everyone feel special. But as far as the other kind of charming… well, let’s treat BSG like Vegas… what happens there, stays there…

I’m a huge huge huge fan of James Callis and am wondering if you’ve been able to get to know him at all in person. What’s he like? I’m praying to the gods that they give you a scene with him at some point. Thank you

I do know James personally and I think he’s brilliant. He’s got a similar quirky sensibility to Baltar and he’s also very intelligent. He’s a fantastic actor and a lovely person. I’d love to have a scene or two with him. I wonder how that would work…? Maybe Joe’s Bar offers room service…

Which role do you like more, your MiniSeries role or your Season3 role? Thanks for answering our questions. I hope that we see alot more of you.

As much as I loved the experience of playing the old guy… and kissing Tricia Helfer, I’d have to go with Charlie Connor. And not just because he’s still alive. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding him. He’s loaded with stories just waiting to be told. I mean, the guy lost his son! I know it sounds funny, but I really like him and I want to know more about him. I hope the fans do too.

How long did the aging makeup take to apply in the miniseries?

About six hours to apply and an hour or so to remove. Tricia never saw me without the aging prosthetics. I had the makeup department take a photo of me pre makeup and show it to her. “Really, I’m not a dirty old man… see??”

Your scene at the beginning of the miniseries was incredible in itself. Where there any major differences between filming during the miniseries and during season three? And if so, what were your most enjoyable/ the most apparent or strangest differences?

Well no one really had any idea that there would be anything after the miniseries, so there was a sort of finite feeling on the set. But now, there’s a really strong bond and a desire to continue on. Every day at work is enjoyable for me. It was then and is now. I’ve stayed in touch with many of the folks during the time I wasn’t on the show and I knew it was a matter of finding the right role to bring me back, so it wasn’t all that strange. In fact everyone was very excited and welcoming.

What are your thoughts on the episode “Collaborators”? Did you feel your character was right in his actions? I really enjoyed that episode and I hope we see your character get more spotlight very soon. Excellent work.

Thank you very much. I feel that he felt he was right at that moment. Connor comes from a passive environment but the loss of his son set him off. He’s a bright guy who saw a lack of action and decided to take it on himself. He’s very passionate and probably has great principles. But, as with most of us, those principles are easily blurred when we need an excuse to vent.

I hope we see more of me too!

Are you the official bartender of Joe’s now? They need to give you a spin-off show now, a BSG sitcom called “On Deck at Joe’s” where all the Viper Jockeys come and bitch about their emo troubles to you. I’d watch it.

That’s funny… I’m becoming the Woody Harrelson of BSG.

I think they’ve been trying to keep Connor present and relevant so that, hopefully, we’ll see more of him in season 4. Whether or not it’s in the bar remains to be seen. Personally, I’d like to see him back in the fight… he can bartend on the weekends.

What kind of stuff are you into when you’re not working, like favorite music, books, TV shows, videogames, movies, etc.?

I try to spend as much time as possible with my daughter. She’ll be 3 at the end of Feb. Other than that, I love music. I play music and have a music studio at my house. I also like to read. I’m a huge Chuck Palahniuk fan. I also like Neil Gaiman a lot. I don’t watch a lot of TV, I try to catch the good shows on DVD. I love movies, but it’s difficult to find the time. And I’m a giant Vancouver Canucks fan! I go to as many games as possible. With Aaron Douglas.

Fangirl Squee <3 This is so cool!! Okay here is my question: If they paired you up romantically with any of the other characters on the show, who would you want it to be? <3

Man, I’d take what I can get… all those girls are hot!

From a character point of view, I think Connor and Racetrack could have something… What do you think? I wonder who the fans would pair Connor up with? I’d like to know… and don’t say Anders…

Conner!!! I hope we get to see more of your character on the rest of the season. Can you tell us if you are going to be showing up more or less, and also I’m curious if you can tell us any hints as to who’s going to die, I NEED TO KNOW!! lol

I hope so too! I’m not sure what’s in store. I’ve had some conversations with some writers and I know you’ll be seeing me, but I’m not sure how much or in what capacity.

I’m not gonna tell you who’s going to die! I definitely wouldn’t be back on the show if I did that. But I will tell you that the end of season 3 will absolutely blow your mind! Some of you will love it and some of you will be very upset. It’s awesome!

Does playing more than one role in the same show make you feel like a cylon?

No. Because I know if I die this time, there’s no way I’m coming back. Unless I played a woman…? Although it is nice to have the dubious distinction of being the only non-cylon actor to be killed and return on the show. I may get 2 trading cards…

You have played two different roles on the series, so does that mean I should put you down on my potential Final Five list? ;)

Hmmm… sorry, you’re typing got a little blurry there… hello?? Oh, dear… bad connection…

Congratulations my man on being the first lucky frakker on the show to get to kiss Six the hottest cylon around! Were you nervous when they filmed that? Her kiss is worth being blown up LOL.

We were both a bit nervous. As I said before, she didn’t really know what I looked like under all that. In fact, I originally had fake teeth in and I asked for them to be taken out. I said,”This may be my only chance to make out with a supermodel and I want at least part of my face to be my own!” That aging prosthetic covered almost my entire face… We had to shoot an unbelievable amount of takes, so by the end of it, we were quite comfortable…

You came back onto the show after being off for a while and there was all this critical acclaim. Was it weird at all rejoining the show? Did you find it easy to get back into the mix with actors and crew?

Well, as I said, I had kept in touch with a lot of them, so it was very comfortable coming back. But I had been following the show and actually became a huge fan, so in that respect, it was very cool coming back. The first time around, we had no idea what to expect, but this time… I was going to work on my favorite TV show! I have to admit, I had a few geeking out moments. I still do. I think we all do in some way. I eat lunch with Adama, go for after-work pints with Anders and Starbuck, hockey games with the Chief and my daughter has playtime with Apollo’s kids and Baltar’s kids. These are my friends. How is that not cool?!

What do you find to be the most challenging parts of being an actor. I’ve thought about going in to it but really don’t know the first steps to take. Thank you in advance for any advice or in-sight you can offer.

Probably constantly facing rejection. That’s the toughest to deal with early on. The audition process. You just have to understand that it’s not personal. A film or TV show or play is like someone’s baby. They want to know that they can put that baby in your hands and feel confidant that you won’t drop it. That comes with experience and your own self-confidence. But it can be the most satisfying and rewarding job. If you’re someone who feels the need to have your voice heard, maybe it’s for you. But don’t be afraid to pay your dues, we’ve all done it, and continue to. It’s not all glitz and glamour… far from it. But I wouldn’t do anything else. I feel like I’m only just getting started and I’ve been at it a while. I hope that’s helpful…

How does one get onto a show like Battlestar Galactica? Did you just go in for a regular audition or do you have to know the right people? Good luck with everything!

It’s a bit of both. Mostly auditioning but it’s helpful to know someone, no question. A lot of the cast will tell you that they auditioned several times and often for different roles. And each time they get to know the producers and director a little more. It’s an interesting process. I got the old man role because I was the audition reader, off camera, for other actors auditioning. I spent so much time in the room with Michael Rymer, he offered me the role. And he was integral in getting me back as Connor. But I still had to audition. Did you know Aaron Douglas originally auditioned for the role of Apollo? That would have been… different. He was also a great help getting me back on the show.

Of all your non-Galactica roles, what’s your favorite that you have done and why?

That’s difficult to answer. I always try to bring something a little different to every role, which keeps it fun and interesting. I like playing misunderstood characters. As I mentioned before, I like underdogs. I plated this great role a few years ago on a Stephen King miniseries called "Kingdom Hospital." The character's name was Dave Hooman, just a complete mess. That was fun. And, although I’m not in it a whole lot, the Spielberg miniseries, "Into The West." The second episode. I played a guy named Skate Guthrie. Totally misunderstood, quiet type. The unlikely hero. I liked that role a lot. I’d wanted to do a western for a long time, so that was great. And Keri Russell played my love interest… Rowr…

What has been your best tv role experience over all both including and excluding BSG? Are there any actors you know that you would love to have with you on BSG?

I have to say, I’m so grateful to do what I do, that most of my experiences have been amazing. There have been a few horror stories, but not many. I’ve had the opportunity to work with outstanding people from all levels of fame. I’m filming a movie right now called Passengers with a brilliant cast and my role is awesome. I spent all day yesterday working at a plane crash site. There was a huge plane blown to pieces all across this beach and here I am, walking through flames with explosions going off behind me… this is my job!! It’s awesome.

As for actors I’d like to have with me on BSG… too many to mention. I think Paul McGillion would suit the show well. And I wish they could find a way to bring Michael Eklund back. He’s a good friend and an amazing actor. As for Hollywood stars… Gabriel Byrne… he’d be brilliant on the BSG!

I love your work and look forward to seeing more of you. Can you tell us what’s in store for you on future episodes of Galactica and other shows?

Thanks for the kind compliments. I wish I knew what was in store for me on BSG. The truth is, none of us know. They stay pretty tight lipped right up until the week before shooting. We’re all such fans of the show, we want to know what’s happening with everyone else’s characters more than our own sometimes.

As for other shows, I have a cameo in AVP2, I recently shot an episode of a new show for Sci-Fi called Painkiller Jane, I also just finished a pilot with Amanda Tapping, Paul McGillion and Chris Heyerdahl called "Santuary." It’s very exciting. Web-based and interactive. Amazing concept, it’s going to be fantastic. Check it out at And, as I mentioned, I’m filming a movie right now called Passengers with Anne Hathaway, Patrick Wilson, Clea Duvall, David Morse and Dianne Wiest. That’s been a blast. It’s going to be a great film.

Do you and other actors on the show regularly look at fan websites like this one and see what people are saying? I sometimes wonder if that’s where the writers and actors get inspiration and ideas or just see what the fans are thinking. Best of luck with everything!

I’m a bit of a computer Neanderthal. I type with two fingers (which are killing me right now!). Sometimes people will send me a link and I’ll check it out. I don’t know if people talk about me much and if they do, I’m not sure I need to know what they’re saying. It feels a bit like eavesdropping on a phone call to me. I’ve seen the fansite created by Michelle ( and it’s brilliant! I’m very flattered.

I know some actors definitely check out the forums and a few, like Aaron Douglas, Dan Payne and David Nykl actually participate. This is the first time I’ve done this…

I’m sure some writers and execs pay more attention to what you guys say than they’d admit. Let’s face it, the fans are our lifeforce. Without you guys, I go back to digging ditches and hauling drywall… I’m in no shape to go back to the circus… so thank you!

Do you have any planned convention appearances coming up? It’d be cool to see you at Dragon-Con! :D Thank you for being part of the best frakking show in the universe!!!!!

I just got back from my first ever convention. It was the Wolf Pegasus 2 event in London. I had an awesome time. Honestly, I don’t know how to get into these things. I was hooked up with this one through friends. Maybe if you put the word out, I’ll get invited… Sounds like a good plan to me…

Thank you so much for your interest and support. And great questions! You had me thinking. I look forward to seeing this posted. And I do believe I had a question or two that I would like an opinion on… Cheers!

Again, huge thanks to Ryan for doing this, and thanks to all of you community members who submitted questions for the interview. :) To check out our other Battlestar interviews and features, please visit the community info page.

~ Grant,

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