nothing but the rain

Trinity In Space Impressions, Matthew Bennett Saturday Panel

Posted by melancholygeek on December 25, 2008

BSGYou might not have been prepared for this, but yes, I do remember that there’s still some parts of the Trinity In Space convention (featuring The Significant Six) that need coverage. Apart from the final conclusion, which will be posted eventually, there’s two panels I just was too lazy to transcribe in the past month (/o\), namely the Saturday and Sunday panels with Matthew Bennett.

Seeing that it’s the holiday season and all, I finally got my ass up and did at least half of the transcribing and here you go, a little Christmas gift from your melancholy geek, the Trinity In Space Saturday panel, featuring Matthew Bennett, right after the cut:

A very jet lagged Matthew Bennett briefly introduces himself, mentions his new project, Lawyers, Guns & Money, assures us how much he loves not only working in SciFi but also watching it. The latter holds true especially concerning BSG, since he only ever knew some parts of the scripts and therefore is watching most episodes just like any other fan. Oh, and he loves skiing, the regular downhill. He’s not much of a boarder. Let’s go into the questions:

How did TPTB explain to you, what a Cylon is?
He did know about Cylons, seeing that he watched the original series as a kid. Originally he auditioned for the role of Baltar but eventually got the part of Aaron Doral (obviously Michael Rhymer played some part in that decision). Matt knew he had the part the moment he walked out of the audition room. In general, the actors had very much freedom in forming their Cylon characters, something you see nicely in the work of Tricia and Callum for example.

Do you know who the Fifth Cylon is?
Yes, he has worked with “him… her… it…” and it’s awesome. He won’t tell who (or what) it is though, asks the questioner for a guess.

I hope for Billy.
No, definitely not Billy. But Paul is awesome, a very funny guy. He’s doing Knight Rider now, which apparently is not doing too well.

Tell us about your writing/directing project, Kick Me Down!
It’s a story about two brothers, one of which is in love with the other’s wife. It’s a twisted story about a dysfunctional family and how family members treat each other. Matt calls it a dark comedy. He raised the money for the project himself. The movie is in post-production and should be out in spring 2009.

Who is your favorite Cylon?
Rick Worthy! He’s so funny, and he basically playes himself. And Callum Rennie does a great job, he’s got a great storyarc, but that’s because he’s so expensive. And he’s got those crazy clothes. “Doesn’t he look like a sailor in his rescue vest? I was always looking for the things to pull so he’d inflate. And those pants!” Speaking of clothes, when they finished The Plan, Callum’s clothes were so huge on him [apparently Callum lost weight over the time unlike other actors], he looked like he was dressed for Helloween. The Plan is unbelievable. And Edward James Olmos is such a great man and awesome director!

Who would you like to play on BSG if not Doral?
Six! *laughs* No, really… Not Baltar, everyone wants to play Baltar. He’d like to be Jamie Bamber, he gets all the girls.

There’s a season 3 deleted scene where you poke out Tigh’s eye. Are you disappointed it got cut? Did you enjoy the dark, sadistic side of Doral? Will there be more of that?
He would have liked to pursue that. *cell phone rings* “Sell high, buy low! Is it your broker? Or is it your mom?” [It actually was someones mom] Back to that scene: The way of shooting it was too different, so it didn’t fit with the show. People thought it was a little too graphic. Sadly the Cylons get too few opportunities for mayhem, like Kill all humans! And torture them on the way.

What did you steal from the set or would have liked to steal?
He would have liked to keep that orange jacket, it’s like his dad wore them in the seventies. The clothes were way too big, he felt like a G.I. Joe doll in them. Some company bought everything to auction it off. He actually stole a button. His character was all about wardrobe. He would have liked to take a Viper and put it in his basement. It would make an excellent bar, with beer taps and barbecue grills on the wings.

Did you know how the new Cylons would turn out to be?
Yeah, kinda. Being a Cylon is great, you can’t be killed off. You can say anything you like and they can’t get rid of you. Remember Sam Witwer [Crashdown]? He said stuff, they killed him off. *laughs* Then trhey came with the whole boxing thing.
There was this original Cylon exhibit in the miniseries, and Matt wanted to put the helmet on and run around the scene with it, but Rhymer wasn’t too amused with this idea.

You’re an actor for 16 years now. What made you become an actor?
The original plan was becoming a graphic artist, his sister is a designer. He kinda fell in the theater group and it just felt right, he just knew. He then took up the theater program, theater school. 5% of Canadian actors make 95% of the money. You have to audition for anything to pay the bills, and has he auditioned for stuff! For example there was this movie shot in eastern Europe, an Alien Western, where he was supposed to be the scientist, who’s mining Uranium. His town would then be attacked by some bugs which would have been fed the Uranium to blow them up. It’s stuff like that about 90% of the time.

Why do you like working in SciFi?
Anything is possible in SciFi. You can do different kinds of characters, stuff you can’t do in, say, CSI: Miami. He did a cop show, Cold Squad, but that’s very procedural and repetitive, it’s not like that in SciFi.

What was the most awkward and what was the best moment in your career?
There was this basketball show on HBO, Hardcore, where he auditioned for the part of a tennis instructor. A small part, with very few lines. He got a part, but not that of the instructor but of a lawyer, who had a lot of lines and the shooting was the next day. His scene was to be taken in one long shot, and after the first three sentences, he was dry. And it happened over and over again. He could see his car standing next to the set and thought “Maybe if I run, I could make it. I could quit the business.” Eventually, it all worked out in the end.
There were other experiences that weren’t too pleasant like when they were shooting for two days on a set in the middler of nowhere and one woman just refused to come out of her trailer. No one’s gonna name names.
The very best experience is definitely The Plan.

If you weren’t working as an actor, what would you do?
He is an amateur photographer, might pursue that. That and woodworking, making furniture, historical renovations, like he did before in Cabbage Town, Toronto. And he’d like to be a pilot.

What were your plans for this weekend? [Matt heard about the convention 48 hours before it started and immediately agreed to replace Callum Rennie]
Going to the gym, relax, there was a dinner party planned on Saturday which he eventually had to cancel. As for Sunday, probably nursing a huge hangover. [At least the latter worked out pretty well in Bad Salzdetfurth as well]

Did you ever consider Battlestar 2003 could turn out to be a huge failure?
Definitely. But Michael [Rhymer] had a great game plan, he’s an actor-director, so he’s just great with actors, gives them much freedom to do whatever they like. One idea behind everything, to which Rhymer agreed, was to make this a family show as in a show for the whole family.
And Matt has one rule about SciFi: No gluing on his face, no fur or such things. It worked out for him so far, but for the second part of season 4, Michael Trucco had to sit in make up for hours, he really got a lot done to himself.

Did you ever read a script and said to yourself ‘I can’t do that’?
Every time. But eventually you hang in there, make your choices, get stuck… Stunts are difficult sometimes though.

When you think back on your role in Stargate SG-1, what do you remember first?
Michael Shanks! He’s a great guy. They both were nominated for a Leo Award, Micheal won, well deserved. Sometimes people on set a real assholes, Mike’s not.
And the jacket! He should have bought it.

Would you like to have a copy of yourself?
Hell yeah! Like in Multiplicity. It would be cool, but it might get weird. You need to get one you can switch off. And he [MB] should see a psychiatrist.

BSG stirred a lot of discussion in the fan community. Do you participate in these discussions, visit fan sites?
He doesn’t go on fan sites. Michael Trucco did and read stuff that really hurt him, so he [MB] stays away. But the writers pay attention. Some things on the show are influenced by fan sites. He’d love it, if all were positive that’s written on the net.

So much for the Saturday, should I be able to further use the momentum I built up while transcribing this, the Sunday panel might be up tomorrow.

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