And if you think the two of them are hot in the show, you should see them in person. That was one sexy stage for about an hour and fifteen. They were also clearly having a good time, or faking it well. It sounds like they spend a lot of time partying together and generally fooling around on the set.
Here's some of what I remember from their session. Apologies if this stuff is common knowledge to everyone else -- all of it was news to me.
Probably everyone but me is now aware of this, but according to Tahmoh and Katee the fourth season is definitely going to be shown in two parts, the second airing in 2009. Why? "Because they want to make more money off you" by selling two sets of DVDs. I don't know why they couldn't do that anyway, but maybe that's why I don't run a cable network.
- He's had a bit more training as an actor than Katee's had (not too difficult since she's had none). He started doing plays in junior high but didn't want to hang out with the "drama geeks." He got back into theater in high school, though, largely because he loves film so much.
- Tahmoh's SF pick is Blade Runner, a movie he loves and has seen over 20 times. He watches it at least once a year.
- Tahmoh's martial art of choice is Muay Thai.
- He loves snowboarding and heliboarding. Because of this he thought he could just hop on a surfboard and it would be just the same. I think he said he tried it for the first time in Indonesia and wiped out in a big way. He took two days to recover (mostly from the sunburn) and went right back out there.
- He referred to Michael Hogan as the "Gene Hackman of Canada," someone he'd grown up watching, and says he's pretty intimidating in person.
- He and Katee are big goofs on the set, and like to crack each other up during heavy scenes when they're in the background.
- His buddies teased him about that first sex scene with Grace, where you see her glowing spine. Apparently they were impressed by the verisimilitude of his "Hel-O-face."
- Tahmoh's answer to the question "is there something Helo's done that you would never do?" was pretty unbeatable: "Like shooting my wife?"
- Did I mention Tahmoh is really really hot in person? Wow. My photo doesn't even do him justice.
- When she was in school she was counting on an athletic scholarship as a swimmer. She was getting close to her Olympic qualifying time, but was being pushed so hard that her knees couldn't take it and dislocated (both at once!) when she was kicking off the side one day. She'd been so confident of the scholarship that she'd been slacking in school, and with only a 2.3 GPA her prospects for college didn't look good. This, it seems, is why she took up acting and we know her as Starbuck.
- Asked what SF she likes, she told us she loves the Aliens movies and is "obsessed with Heroes." She and Tahmoh also watched a lot of Star Trek growing up.
- Katee cautioned parents to let their kids watch TV, because otherwise you get bored and, if you live in a small town, you end up making pipe bombs for fun. She strongly implied that "you" in this case meant "Katee."
- Creepy Fan Story #1: at her first convention she walked out to get coffee and ran into a Klingon in full dress and makeup. "You're Starbuck," he growled, and when she fearfully agreed that she was, he added, "I love you." She went straight back to her hotel room without the coffee.
- Creepy Fan Story #2: apparently someone broke into her house and when she was looking to see what was missing she found hidden cameras had been set up. She sold the house within two days.
- Katee's afraid of planes and heights. She and Tahmoh got into telling stories about jumping out of helicopters and snowboarding, and the first time she went she refused to jump out because the uniform snow threw off her depth perception and she thought she was 20 feet up. Then their guide stepped right out of the copter onto the ground, which was more like 2 inches below.
- Katee's perfect day involves lots of time (and beer, and tequila, and siestas, and probably also "siestas") in Mexico with her boyfriend who she says is "much older". As soon as she gets off the plane in Mexico and the blanket of heat comes down over her, all of her stress just melts away.
- The angry scenes are tough for her to shake off at the end of the day, to the point where people know not to call her or talk to her that night because of the mood she'll be in.
- She says she doesn't really identify with Starbuck or Sarah Corvus (her Bionic Woman role). Early on, she could relate to Starbuck's need to figure herself out, but now she feels she's got that down while Starbuck is still searching. I suspect Katee's more of a guy's girl than she thinks, but certainly less so than Starbuck. When I asked what decisions Starbuck makes that Katee wouldn't, she basically said "all of them."
- Both Jamie Bamber and Michelle Ryan (the Bionic Woman) are of course British, and though Jamie's dad is from Detroit (and according to Tahmoh is the model for Apollo's accent), Katee often gets to correct their American accents.
- You probably know that Starbuck quit smoking on camera because Katee realized she was a role model and didn't want young girls to start smoking along with Starbuck. Sarah Corvus smokes, but Katee's kinda ok with it because (a) she's a villain and (b) she points out that the "anthrocytes" clean her lungs.
- Katee's latest workout craze is something called P90X which she enthusiastically recommends.
- Katee has a lot of sympathic for Sarah Corvus who she sees as "misunderstood." It really sounds like we're going to see a lot of her on the show, which is great news since in my opinion she's the only part of it worth watching so far.
- You probably also know that Katee fought to keep Michael Trucco (Anders) on the show, and that she forced the writers' hands by changing the line "I'll try to come back for you" to "I'm coming back for you" in every take. Later on she was going to be the cover of TV Guide and then they changed it to a photo of her and Trucco so that they had to share the spotlight. Said her mom, "That sure bit you on the ass, huh?"
- That is, Herb Jefferson, Jr., Boomer in the original series.
- He said that he and many of the other original cast members were disappointed by the new series, though he wishes the new cast well. He didn't elaborate, but obviously (and I think I read this before today) it was because they didn't just keep the same characters and extend the story.
- He teased Dirk Benedict about being a woman in the new cast, and then found out Boomer was going to be a woman too. He's met Grace at a convention and said that she was super smart and lovely and nice (though he was a bit more eloquent in saying so.
- I could tell he wanted to rhapsodize a little bit about Glen Larson's vision in the original series, so I kinda fed him that question. He says that everyone in the original cast was tuned into the mythic resonance of what they were doing, that they felt it was something original in SF TV, something special that went well beyond rayguns and aliens.
- Apparently everyone in the cast was totally in awe of Lorne Greene. Herb described Lorne's role both on and off camera in almost exactly the same way that Tahmoh and Katee talked about Edward James Olmos: a father figure, someone able to strike exactly the right tone with the rest of the cast, to keep everyone in the mood they needed right then and inspire them to do what they were capable of.
- One of the cuter guys in the audience (in fairness he didn't have much competition) asked if Herb felt that Boomer broke ground for African-Americans in SF TV (paving the way for characters like Benjamin Sisko). He said he felt that he'd received that baton from actors who'd come before him and passed it on to those who came after.
I've been to a few comic conventions (not Comicon) but this was my very first SF convention. I could tell it was on the dinky side (one tiny vendor room) and it definitely cost too much but I still had a good time and spent less than I would have on plane fare and a hotel room.
Perhaps the weirdest moment for me was walking by a table and having this HUGE hand thrust at me with a hearty greeting. I took it and found myself shaking hands with James Bond's worst nightmare, Jaws. If I'd been less shy, or watched Moonraker (or Eegah! fror that matter) more recently, I would have made conversation. As it is, I was just taking it all in.
Next year: Comicon!