Photos by Janine, more great James shots here.
There were two Q&A sessions - James and Mark Sheppard and James and Katee Sackhoff. The two videos uploaded are from the James and Katee one.
FIRST VIDEO! James is asked about the Gaius/Gaeta shipping. I was listening to this again and I think the person asking the question is saying she met Alessandro Juliani and asked him about the Gaius/Gaeta slash fic, and Alessandro had "said he is not against a romance between Gaius and Gaeta". So the question is what James thinks of it.
I must admit I've been secretly curious about how James feels about this, but I would have been worried to ask him, because he's mentioned before about people thinking he's gay, and he didn't seem happy about it. (Although "oi, you fucking gaylord" isn't exactly the same thing as "I wrote a story about your character being in love with this other character of the same sex".) I must say I was relieved to see James very calm about the topic here, and not acting like it bothers him in the least.
"I just wish he'd told me, it's tragic I found out right now. [laughter] I think that that was something that he really had programmed into the background of his character. Very subtle, very clever actor, he's a brilliant actor. And for a while I think fell a bit... Oh, *I* felt initially that, you know, he had the rather thankless task of talking kinda technobabble in the CIC and stuff. He's quite brilliant to work with. And so really, again, totally taking his own lead. He said to me on several occasions, he was like, "You know, I just don't buy the ridiculous hero worship that you know, I'm going to..."
Because he was so clever very early on, he could have exposed me or found out that it was really... me. There's something about the computer codes and I ask him to erase them, in the miniseries, in the pilot. And I think he had the idea then that he'd have this fawning respect, based on maybe a kind of... a latent homosexuality, that would continuously blindsight him, and think about the better side of Gaius' qualities. Gaius being the ri... gargantuan egomaniac and narcissist that he is, is like...[chuckles] has no idea that's going on on some level. He's very surprised. [Or: he'd be very surprised] To, you know... So i think it might have been... you know, not reciprocated on that level unfortunately."
OK, this is a great answer. It proves that Alessandro had really thought of this from the start, and it's not just something the fans projected onto the character. There were some complaints about that recently at Skiffy, and I feel very validated now that this is obviously not just the fans' imagination running rampant. Gaeta loves Gaius! Squee!
I also like how James points out the "technobabble in CIC" thing. Yes. Thank you. I really like Alessandro as an actor; I think Gaeta's a great character, and I really think he was shortchanged in the first season doing those boring "dradis contact, sir" scenes. I've been glad to see him as the star of the new webisodes and hope for a more central role in 4.5.
SECOND VIDEO! The title refers to Katee, she's the one who quit smoking, not James. (Whew. Socially acceptable response: OMG smoking's bad for you I wish he quit! Genuine response: He looks so damn hot when he smokes, I'm glad he hasn't quit.)
Asked about playing Hamlet. Not sure why.
"Um..uh.. maybe one day, I might... but I'm not, I dunno. I like Shakespeare, I haven't been on stage for a while. I think science fiction is a bit [?] like, I remember somebody saying that Strek Trek is like bad Shakespeare, you had like these two [embassies] on either side, they've got a political debate, bla bla... Yeah, it's fascinating. I'd actually love to get a chance to see David Tennant playing Hamlet right now, but I imagine that... [someone says something from the audience] No, I mean that, but like totally sold out, so..."
I'm not really sure if I'd like to see him do Shakespeare. For one thing, I wouldn't understand anything. I have actually read Hamlet, discussed it in class and seen a performance of it on video (as well as a modernized movie version), but I still don't feel like I really "get" it. James probably does, though.
James and Katee's singing voices are complimented, and I think the question is if they'd like to sing for the crowd today.
"Battlestar: The Musical, [live on stage]," says James.
"I always thought that would be kinda fun to do, like they did on Buffy," adds Katee. They both look very amused, and the crowd laughs. It's a silly question, but it makes for a nice warm feel.(I'm glad BSG didn't do a musical episode, by the way. Those might be fun to do, but they always end up taking away from the reality of the show.)
Someone asks a question for a friend who can't be here this weekend because she's attending... some other weekend in Belgium. I can't really hear it, but the crowd seems very amused by this, as does James. "Great," he says and people laugh some more. This is the kind of stuff that doesn't really translate well if you weren't there.
Anyway, on to the question. Speaking of David Tennant, would he be interested in being the next Doctor Who? If someone called him and said, "James, come to Cardiff and play Doctor Who, what would you say?"
"I think it would be like that radio... phone-in hoax line, it'd be like... actually the guy from Canada who rang up Sarah Palin and pretended to be Nicolas Sarkozy. [laughter] And so... yeah, no, I um... Time travel... It's not... It's that on some level, the parts are similar in my mind, not that they are at all, I have been a doctor or professor, whatever, in a sci fi drama. Being Doctor Who is not the right idea for me right now."
There's a ripple of (mock?-) disappointed "Awwww" in the audience. James looks amused.
"Sorry.[laughter] Maybe, but I mean they could cast maybe a female Doctor Who? [Cocks his eyes meaningfully at Katee; laughter] A real kick-arse [???]."
Sorry about that last bit, but I just can't hear what he says after "kick-arse". I thought it was "boots", but I don't hear that anymore. Boo-something? On a first listening, I thought he was saying, "Maybe they could cast me as a female Doctor Who?" That would have been funny. Kinda nonsensical, but funny. I love when James says "kick-arse" or "bad-arse". It just sounds amusing. I guess to my mind, American English is the norm and the other regional varieties are always a bit exotic.
And hee at the hoax bit! Always so self-deprecating. Somehow it feels funny that he'd bring up Sarah Palin - she's someone my girlfriend and I have often discussed (mostly mockingly), so it's odd to see the same topic come up in a James context. I realize we live in the same universe and all; it's possible he celebrated Obama's victory just like we did, but it still feels a little surreal. (I had another dream where James was elected president of the USA. Maybe it was because of writing that bit in the post.)
Katee is asked about working with Nathan Fillion, and she mentions how Nathan got her to quit smoking by telling a tragic story about a relative who died from cancer. "I couldn't smoke after that, I was like oh my god... I do miss it though," she says. James quips, "And the funny story he told you was...?" The audience laughs, as does Katee. She says there is no funny story. James is lightening the mood a bit there, I see. The interaction between him and Katee is very friendly and mutually appreciative. Katee seems slightly nervous, and James' presence is soothing and calm.
It's kinda weird that all questions to James in that file were in the "would you play this particular other role" vein. I've seen the Doctor Who discussion online - imdb, Doctor Who forum, Youtube - but I didn't think James would be interested, considering that he's done sci fi for five years now. I'd personally like to see him in a more grounded everyday life drama, maybe something British. Something a bit more low key with humor. (But not as low key as Bridget Jones' Diary.)
Sarum posted a funny story at Skiffy:
James Callis and Mark Sheppard were a terrific pair. James was joking that he could have slept with the entire female cast if only the writers had shown a bit more spirit. He mentioned that he worked on Merlin, had long hair and looked dishevelled. When another disgusted guest in his hotel in Canada asked him how long he was staying there for, and James said six weeks, the guy looked really shocked. Mark said that he should have added 'and my name is Merlin'.Hee! :D But wait, does this mean that the Merlin hair was his OWN?! Did he grow it all that fast? It really looked like a wig to me, with the lighter color and all. Weird.
Sarum later added another bit about the Mark Sheppard/James Q&A at the same thread at Skiffy. They were asked about props:
James said there are problems. Sometimes he tried too hard. He'll remember to take off his glasses, pick up a pen, write something, take a drink and then realise he's completely forgotten to actually act!Hee!
The German fan community Caprica City has a few updates here. These are my translations of their paraphrases, so I have no way of knowing how close it is to James' actual words, but the content certainly sounds like stuff he would say.
-He said in one of the panels that Baltar should have been made to juggle and dance, all at the same time, to avoid being airlocked.
-Stewardesses treat him like "the second coming of Christ", and he supposes it's because they still remember him from Bridget Jones.
-He told the fans that he had played Santa at his kids' school some time ago, even if he's not nearly fat enough for the role.
Thanks to Daniela for translation help.
My favorite is the Santa bit. A true professional would have gained weight for the role, of course. By the way, don't you just love the Sci Fi Forums censorship when you can't quote a German text? They censored "dick", which means "fat". "He's not nearly **** enough for the role" - sounds like a naughty Santa!
As for the stewardesses - they probably get a lot of rude jerks pinching their asses and drunkenly hollering, so I can imagine that a customer like James, who's not only very cute but also very charming and kind, would be a dream. (Not that I know how he acts on planes, but I just can't see him being rude or sexist.)
A brief report here:
And how would Callis like Baltar to finally die, given the choice? "Baltar would die during an orgasm with a smile on his face," said the British actor.I can just imagine a very dark finale where Baltar dies in a very comic relief orgasm. Heee. The author also says that James has a wry wit that makes it hard to tell when he's joking, which baffled me. I don't feel like it's that hard to tell. Maybe it's because Finnish humor is also very much like that, saying funny stuff with a serious face (or conversely, saying serious stuff you mean but with laughter in your voice). Basically, I often write tongue in cheek, and I hope my readers can tell the difference.
-Heard at the meet and greet: "James misses Vancouver and hates London stress and traffic."
I visited London in 2006, and I must say I hated that part of London too. There's a lot to do and see there, and it's a town with a rich history, but the sheer amount of people! I don't know how he can stand it. Move to Finland, James - not too many people here! It's a bit like Canada.