Eeeeee look it's James answering MY QUESTION!
Edit: OK, maybe I'll elaborate on why I loved this answer. Apart from the fact that it's James answering MY question, which I can't emphasize too much. Thanks to Nicole for asking the question! :)
Edit's edit: Oh, and the question was o"Can you tell us more about shooting the scene where Baltar meets HeadBaltar?" or something like that (the video doesn't include Nicole's question so I'm not sure how she worded it exactly).
James: It's funny, and that actually came from that roundtable discussion [to Jamie] we had at Ron's house for the.. [spins finger in the air] podcast...
Jamie: The whiskey roundtable.
James: The whiskey roundtable, yeah. And they asked me, they were like, you know, "who would your character or who would you most like to... be or act with?" And kinda half-jokingly, I said: well, me! [laughter] Because if you're Gaius Baltar and you're the kind of narcissist this man is, there can be nothing better than meeting yourself. And then it turned up in an episode! [laughter]
For those who don't know, this was from a 3-hour roundtable podcast they did with Ron D. Moore. James was very drunk indeed, and he babbled something incoherent about how the Earth won't be around forever bla bla bla, and he was reminded what the question was and he just went on: "Well I don't know about that, but bla bla..." and said the same thing he had just said. Heee! But before that, he did say he'd like to be Tricia so he can play with himself. And then Jamie made a masturbation joke.
This is awesome, also because I actually would have mentioned the roundtable discussion in my question. Something like, "In the roundtable podcast, you said you'd like to act with yourself, and we saw you doing just that in the HeadBaltar scene"... (This is assuming I'd dare ask something and talk that much.)
Actually, a very talented actor called Ryan Robbins, who has been on our show quite a few times as different characters, actually played me in the other half of the script. So I wasn't acting in a vacuum, I was acting to him. And then because of hte nature of the show, he's superimposed over, and then I take his place and we film it from the other side. We had a great director called Anthony Hemingway.
Also as well, I just read this about Rose Byrne, you know, from Damages. I just read something that she was talking about why she loved her audition. she said in a movie, it's all done already. if you've got the script it's really not gonna change all that much. But on tv, every scene, every day, it's kind of like.. it can be tweaked or changed. And I had a lot of fun ad libbing on their dialogue, all those very ianpproptriate things I was saying about Tory Foster or Rekha Sharma, [whispers] "Oh she's really hot!" All this kind of stuff.
(Even in repeated listenings, I heard Bamsley Hemingway and Rosebud, so thank god for imdb.)
I'm not sure if that's true of all TV shows, but BSG definitely gave them a lot of leeway. James seems to thrive on improvisation and loves to bring in his natural sense of comedy. It's fun to watch, and the comic timing is just impeccable, so I was thinking that they probably had someone act with him.
I'm surprised that stuff was ad libbed - I thought he only ad libbed the phrase "oh my giddy aunt". :D It's kind of hilarious that he just came up with "oh she's hot" type stuff (quite a compliment to Rekha Sharma as well). James, you horndog! ;)
It was a lot of fun, and I think actually, it kinda came out more exciting and better than I had thought, possibly because the CGI is so great. So you and me are watching like, "How did they do that? Cos it looks like they're in the same room together but it can't possibly happen." So that was a lot of fun, yes.
It's always fun to hear that the cast love your favorite scenes. It's not my very favorite Baltar scene, but it's among the top five. When he talks about the scene, his face lights up and he's laughing and hyper, so I can tell he really liked it, and that makes me really happy.
Nicole: A friend of mine* wants to know if you ad libbed "oh my giddy aunt"?
James: Oh my giddy aunt? Most definitely. [adorable grin, laughter] That's not an American expression! [laughter] And I think that "giddy aunt" is actually kind of a euphemism for "god almighty". I'm not sure but it's GA. So it was like in Victorian times, when you know, the father wants to say [stern voice] "God Almighty!" but can't because the kids were there, so he's like [stern voice] "Oh my... giddy aunt!" I've always thought that expression is ridiculous, I don't know why but it's so funny. And especially funny in a sci fi show. So yeah, they let me get away with that one.
Hee! :D I love how he has a theory on where it may have come from. That scene is the first time I heard the phrase, and I probably wasn't the only one as I've seen people calling Gaius "Gaius 'Oh my giddy aunt!' Baltar".
When Nicole asks him that, you can see for a moment he's serious, like he has to think what that's in reference to. And then he remembers and he's all beaming about it. It's kinda cool and spooky that he seems to share this with me as well - giggling at silly expressions and thinking of their origins. Words and phrases are very important for me, and one of the things my girlfriend and I do in our chats is giggle at the phrases from English/Finnish and compare them. It's one of our favorite pastimes.
There was also another video where Jamie is asked about the pigeon scene, and James actually jumps in and talks there, and they're really laughing and teasing each other, so watch it here. I'm too lazy to transcribe both at once, but it's more fun to watch than discuss. Those two have great chemistry and I'm so glad they shared a panel.