Friday, January 20, 2006

"It's Not Really Science Fiction": Sackhoff on Playing Starbuck

Is Battlestar Galactica "not really" being science fiction something like saying, "I believe in equal rights for women, but I'm not a feminist"?

heh.

In any case, an interview with Sackhoff about the "flak" she's gotten for playing Starbuck.

And what's with actresses playing "strong" female characters wanting to get in the whole "I wanted her to strong, yet vulnerable" line. I've never heard a male actor say he wanted his character's "vulnerable" side to come out in a performance.

And why does an interviewer who interviews an actress playing a strong female character feel it's important to mention that the actress actually has a "delicate physique" and "favors fashion more in the style of Audrey Hepburn than her alter-ego's flight suits."

For fuck's sake. It's one step forward, two steps back.

I do like that people are fighting over whether or not she's "hot." The fact that there's a debate says a lot about what kind of sex symbols we're "allowed" to pine after in this culture.

Her response to the original actor's bashing of her character is probably the best bit, though:

"That's what I said in rebuttal to that (the bashing by Dirk Benedict of a woman playing "his" character). But I never really tried to match it. But once that started happening, I was like, look, at the end of the day, I've now played this character longer. And at the end of the day, it's a TV show. We're not curing cancer, people. I wish we were, but we're not. It's entertainment. So ... tit for tat. Shut up."

3 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Alec Austin said...

Okay, seriously, there's a *debate* over whether Katie Sackhoff (as Starbuck) is hot? Is her character too scary for people or something? Does the mole above her eyebrow strike people as more significant than the pockmarks covering Edward James Olmos's cheeks? (Not that I'm knocking EJO - he's one of my favorite actors - but come on, people.)

As for the Audrey Hepburn vs. flight suits thing... sometimes our culture really makes me feel despair.

I've been hearing the "too good to be science fiction" line a lot from TV-related people regarding BSG. I think it's just another manifestation of the hierarchy of taste in our culture, as well as ignorance on the part of many in Hollywood. To them, science fiction means Star Trek fans and people in Jedi outfits, not people who read William Gibson or China Mieville. 

Posted by Alec Austin

Anonymous said...

"And what's with actresses playing "strong" female characters wanting to get in the whole "I wanted her to strong, yet vulnerable" line. I've never heard a male actor say he wanted his character's "vulnerable" side to come out in a performance."

I disagree there Kam. Sure you've never heard it but you've seen it. What likeable character never shows emotion? Even John Wayne bled sometimes. However, male actors never say anything like that cause only pussies admit they cry. Call that outmoded if you will but watch a group of men interact. You'll see that dominence (as in animal kindgom rather than those naughty movies under your bed) is how it works.

I don't really see an issue with any of this article. It doesn't reflect good or bad, just that which is. 

Posted by Dayton's Desperado

La Gringa said...

Um, let's just be clear here: Starbuck is WAY hot. It's the whole attitude behind the character.

And I do think she's shown, not necessarily a vulnerable side, but a very human side, especially in the episodes where she is wrestling with her faith and has to deal with the fact that the Cylons are a people of faith as well. It's all very well-written stuff, but it IS science fiction.

 

Posted by La Gringa