Grant Gould (gdg) wrote in battlestar_blog,
Grant Gould

The CIC's #1 Girl

I'm proud to present our first Battlestar Blog Exclusive Interview of 2008! Kandyse McClure, who you of course know as Dualla on Battlestar, was kind enough to take questions from our community members. There were a lot of submissions, so she wasn't able to answer all of them, but I think you'll all be happy -- this turned out to be a really fantastic Q&A! :) A HUGE thanks to Kandyse for doing this, and a big thank you to everyone who participated.

Without further ado...

Kandyse, thank you so much for this opportunity!! Are you surprised that Dee's become such a major player, or did you know from the get-go that she was a pretty important role?

Thank you! The role was fairly small to begin with, so it did surprise me a bit. One of the great things about the show is that you’re given room to evolve, and you never know where your character will go!

How did you get your role on Battlestar Galactica? You’ve become one of my very favorite characters. I watch the show with my family and we’re all very excited for the new season. Thank you so much, we love Dee!

It was an audition like any other. Funny thing, it was sort of a last minute call, and I was leaving for Los Angeles the next day to seek my fame and fortune. Thank you for watching!

I noticed in at least one of the BSG opening credits they listed you as Candice instead of Kandyse. Was this by your request, or was it a mistake? I remember a bunch of people online were wondering about that at the time.

I totally accept the blame on this one! Candice is the original spelling of my name. I changed it to Kandyse when I was really young and first starting out in the business as kind of a joke. I didn’t realize it would stick! I did consider changing it, but then it seemed too confusing so then I asked them to change it back. Not too soon however!

Your character Dee always seems to be one of the more sensitive characters, which I love. Do you feel that she’s pretty close to you personality-wise?

This is a difficult question to answer! I think she is a little more sensitive than I am, and definitely more black and white than I am. She tends to see things as one thing or the other and I am all about the grey area… on a spectrum, you know? She seems to cling more closely to her work and her beliefs, whereas I try as much as possible to allow things to unfold.

Kandyse, you’re amazing! Dualla’s really become a strong, confident character, and I think one of the most integral parts of the cast. What, if you don’t mind sharing, are some of the things you really love about playing her? And on the flip side of that, what are some writing decisions that perhaps you disagreed with, and why?

You guys are amazing! I think her name “Dualla”, reading it as “duality”, says a lot about the role she plays on the ship. She is always trying to integrate these two sides of herself… this tender, youthful, passionate interior to her pragmatic oftentimes blunt and logical exterior world. This is what I love most about her… trying to find that balance in her work and in her relationships.

I think in my dream of Dualla, I wanted her to give voice to the revolutionary spirit I see in her and her ability to call a spade a spade.

On an actor to actor level, do you feel more chemistry with Paul Campbell (Billy) or Jamie Bamber (Lee)? And second question, which of their personality “types” is closer to what you’d be attracted to in real life?

They were both brilliant characters to work with and I think each matched where Dualla was at the time she was with them. IN a perfect world, my Prince Charming is a mixture of them both!

Back in season 2, what was your reaction to first finding out that your character would be falling for Apollo? There was a lot of mixed fan reaction; mostly the Billy fans feeling like Dee had treated him badly. What were (or are) your thoughts on this?

It was a surprise at first, but I was really excited for the opportunity to work with Jamie.

How did you feel about Billy’s death? First of all, how far ahead of time did you know about it? And second, what was the feeling like on set? Do you think it was a good decision on the writers’ part, and for Dualla’s character development? Personally I miss the Dualla/Billy relationship. :)

I was really sad to see Paul go. He was one of the first members of the cast to be killed and I was definitely heart sore. We don’t find out too far in advance about upcoming scripts, but the feeling on set was definitely sad. You have to take these things as they come and always be able to let go. You never know what the writers have in store or what incredible plot twists are coming up.

If Billy hadn't died, do you think Dualla would have chosen to be with Lee or Billy?

I’m not sure I would have imagined her being with Lee but Dualla was certainly in a period of incredible growth and even in a perfect relationship two people can’t always grow together. So I think in the end, she may have outgrown Billy, or Billy may have outgrown her.

Off the set, have you become close with any of your fellow BSG actors or crew members? Has BSG brought any long-lasting friendships or relationships for you?

Definitely! There is definitely a feeling of closeness and familiarity on set. We hang out together, we laugh a lot, and we have a great deal of fun!

Do you like your character?

It is an honor and a privilege to play Dualla. She challenges me to grow and to accept parts of myself I didn’t know existed and to see new perspectives.

If you could choose any Battlestar character besides Dualla to play, who would you choose and why?

Number 6! Because who doesn’t want to be a hot blonde Cylon. Hello!

Given the events in Season 3, what can you tell us about what Dee will be doing in Season 4? Any hints as to what direction she might be taken in?

Now you all know I can’t tell you anything about anything! You’re just going to have to watch and see! Tricky, tricky!

Has Dee left Lee for good, and if so, do you think she's better off without him?

Breaking up is hard to do. I have no idea what their relationship will be like in the future, but I hope they can continue to learn from each other. She definitely loves him.

Forgive me, but I have to say that you are my #1 crush on the show, ever since the mini. Can’t wait to see what happens with Dee in S4. My question is how did you feel about the love triangle stuff in S3? Do you think Dee really truly loves Apollo or do you think their relationship is falling apart for good? Peace.

Again, thanks so much. There is a strength and nobility in Apollo that Dualla craves closeness to. HE also ignites feelings of passion in her I’m not sure she always knows what to do with. It is difficult feeling that way and suspecting that the object of your affection feels that way about another. But hey, it’s all human, and ain’t it the truth!

What was more fun for you to play – a communications officer for Adama or the XO for Lee on the Pegasus?

It was pretty fun being the XO, especially in my deadly new uniform! It was also great that they felt that Dualla had the strength and skills to be second in command on a Battlestar.

I loved the scenes with you and Katee Sackhoff on the algae planet and raptor escape in season three. What’s it like for you to work with her, seeing as to how your characters are supposed to hate each other?

I loved that episode too! I have a great deal of respect for Katee and her work. I was really excited for the opportunity to finally get a real meaty scene with her. Contrary to what the scene is about, there was actually a lot of laughing going on… Katee is hysterical! We definitely don’t let what’s going on in the writing affect the quality of our work environment.

Your character's name, Anastasia, means "Resurrection" in Greek. Do you think maybe Dee could be the Final Cylon? If the answer is yes, how would you feel about that?

I confess I didn’t even know my name was Anastasia until season 2. Resurrection, that’s pretty cool though! I have no idea though, in regards to being the Final Cylon, they don’t tell us those kinds of things.

If you were a Viper pilot, what would you want your handle/nickname to be??

I have no idea! D? That’s boring. What do you guys think?

What has been your most memorable moment so far during filming Battlestar as well as your most memorable moment off screen with the cast?

Gosh, there are so many to choose from. I think in terms of being on set, my first scene with Eddie in the first season was a real milestone for me. Also, I remember being incredibly sick that day. Also I was being directed by Eddie for the real intense relationship scenes between him and Dee. As a director, he really cares for his actors. Offset, again, so many great memories… and more to come I hope! Traveling to my first convention in London with Tahmoh, Aaron, and Nicki, was a blast.

What’s it been like working with Edward James Olmos? He’s hands-down one of my favorite actors, and you two seem to have a lot of scenes together. You can really see Dualla’s love for him, like the way a daughter loves her father. Thank you for your inspiring work, Kandyse!

Eddie is amazing. He really is the father figure, so no acting required there! Right from the beginning he set the tone for everyone. He is centered, warm, funny, and dedicated.

How did you feel about the whole “Fat Lee” storyline? Was part of you like, “Oh sure, I marry the guy and he falls apart…” LOL. Thanks for the great work on BSG, Kandyse. My husband is in love with you, but I don’t hold it against you.

I appreciate that :). I wasn’t really sure where they were going with that, but was certainly ready to take the ride! No matter what, I believe you love a person from the inside.

If you could influence the BSG writing staff, what would be the one thing you'd like to see Dualla do in BSG's final season?

Start a compassionate revolution!

Do you know if Dee is going to end up with Gaeta at the end of the series or does she walk away with Helo and Hera?

Gaeta love? Why not? Honestly guys, I have no idea. I discover the show script to script as it progresses.

Dee seems to clearly have a friendship with Gaeta. Is that something that you and AJ came up with on your own, or did the BSG writers invent it?

Like I said, we all get along pretty great, and AJ and I are good friends. He is so talented, you guys have no idea! Plus I dig the way his mind works and we have a lot of fun working together.

What is your favorite BSG episode?

The episode on the planet where I rescue Kara. I was so excited to be outside, to have a gun, and for my scene with Katee.

In the first 3 seasons, what’s been probably the most challenging scene or moment for you as an actress so far?

Billy’s death is certainly up there. As well as a few scenes between Lee and Dee living in that space of an intense and fragile intimate relationship can take its toll emotionally.

When things are very dark and emotional on the show, is the tone on-set pretty much the same, or does it remain a light-hearted atmosphere when the cameras aren’t rolling? It seems there have been a LOT of dark moments these past couple seasons.

We all try and keep it light, it’s important to have that balance and remember how much fun it is to do what we do and what a privilege, but certainly night shoots or difficult environmental locations take their toll.

What do you think you’ll miss most about Battlestar once it’s over? Has it sunk in yet that the end is near? I love you on the show and hope to see much much more of you. Thanks for taking our questions.

I can’t even think about the end. I can’t think about not being on set and seeing the faces of the cast and crew of people I’ve grown so close to and respect so much. You guys are going to make me cry!

It must be strange and fun to know that they’re making an action figure of you! Have you seen what it looks like yet and did you have to approve the likeness? Great job on BSG, and I’m counting the days til season four!

Do you mean the mini-mates? A friend found them on ebay, I had no idea! So no, I didn’t approve the likeness, although I have to say, it definitely looks like me… they certainly got the height right! LOL

*Moderator's note: I believe the question was referring to this new figure of Dualla -- I showed it to Kandyse after she did our Q&A. :)

What’s been your favorite non-BSG related project so far?

I recently shot my first co-starring role in a comedy; a MOW with Jenny McCarthy called “Santa Baby”. She’s hysterical, the atmosphere on set was really light and fun and I got to work on my comedy chops.

First I want to say how much I love your work and how much I love you on Battlestar. I hope we get tons of Dee time in season 4. I wanted to ask what got you into acting? How did you choose it as a career path, and are you happy doing what you do? What other career, if any, would you also be happy doing?

Actually, it was kind of a fluke. I won’t get into it, my mom has dibs on telling the story :). But I love what I do; it is, in a lot of ways, a transformative and challenging journey and always rewarding. I also teach yoga which I find incredibly rewarding as well and helps build me as an actor in ways I could never have imagined.

Growing up, which actors did you admire and which actors do you hope to work with?

Growing up in South Africa, honestly, I didn’t watch a lot of TV and movies. I wanted to be a singer when I was younger so I practiced listening to my Mom’s Joan Armatrading and Anita Baker albums. Plus, I love every Disney song ever written, ever.

What advice would you have for young creative types? Any wisdom you’ve learned over the years that you’re willing to share? :) Keep up the fantastic work on everything you do. I’m a big fan of yours.

It’s been said a million times, but always, always be true to yourself. Find what it is that you love to do and do it with all the joy, passion, and dedication you can muster.

What kinds of things are you into off-set? Any favorite books, activities, movies, or TV shows other than Battlestar? You seem like you’d have great taste!

I am an incurable thrift store shopper. In fact, just today, I thrifted the most amazing leather ottoman from a flea market! I spend most of my time off set, reading, contemplating, doing yoga, and cooking for my friends when I have the chance.

What is your exercise and training regimen like?

I believe in eating well and being good to yourself and in simple, basic exercise. I do quite a bit of yoga, jumping rope, and going for really long walks with my friends, nothing too crazy!

Did it hurt when you fell down from heaven?

I do have a little bruise on my touché. You’d think they would provide a soft landing spot, but no! Ouch! LOL.

Elvis or the Beatles? Star Trek or Star Wars?

The Beatles, although Elvis was hot! ;) I love Star Trek; I grew up watching it every Friday night at home with my family in South Africa and still know the entire opening sequence by heart. I have a confession guys, I have never seen Star Wars! I do apologize and hope you don’t judge me too harshly.

When you’re not at work, are you more likely to (a) read a book, (b) watch a movie, (c) hang out with friends, or (d) other?

All of the above. Other being yoga!

Do you spend time online looking at fan forums and BSG communities? Do you know if other BSG actors do? I’m always wondering if actors are reading about fan reactions to the episodes and stuff like that. Thanks.

I do try, but unfortunately, not as much as I would like to. I do know quite a few other actors on the show definitely keep up with the fan sites.

Kandyse, thank you for being one of the most admirable and wonderful actresses on TV. My question is, do you have any upcoming projects on TV or possibly movies? I hope we get to see much more of you after Battlestar ends. Best wishes, Anna.

Wow! Thanks! AT the moment I’m all BSG all the time, but look forward to doing some interesting small indie films soon.

Are you attending any conventions this year? I would love to meet you and get a photo taken with you. Thank you for the rockin’ character on Battlestar!! SO SAY WE ALL

I do have a couple lined up; I do have to check with “the people” as to when those are. You can check my website for upcoming dates.

Thank you for the amazing questions and the great opportunity to connect with you guys. I am always so amazed at the incredible support of the fans and the online community. Thank you Grant for putting this all together.

It has been my honor and privilege, thank you!

All the best to you and yours!

Life is absurd. Be merry. Be free.

Special thanks to Kandyse McClure! Be sure to visit her website at
To check out Battlestar Blog's other Exclusive Interviews, click here.


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