Aaron Douglas: The Battlestar producers lied to me

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Jun 25, 2015

At Dragon*Con this weekend Aaron Douglas, who played beloved Chief Galen Tyrol on Battlestar Galactica, discussed how the show's producers lied to him about his role for three months and also revealed that Tyrol wasn't the part he wanted to play.

Warning: If you have not seen Battlestar yet, there is a MEGA spoiler below.

Douglas told CNN he had originally auditioned for the role of Lee "Apollo" Adama, which ultimately went to Jamie Bamber, "which is good," Douglas quipped, "because Bamber has to go to the gym and I never did. That was good for me."

He said he then got a call back to try out for the part of Lt. Gaeta but lost that role too, to fellow Canadian actor Alessandro Juliani. Douglas said he was ultimately cast as Tyrol (the last role to be cast for the show) because executive producer David Eick had seen his audition and liked him.

CNN also asked when Douglas found out that his character was going to be revealed as one of the final Cylons:

"Officially, the day before we started shooting it. But we shot that scene in December, and I had seen some papers that I wasn't supposed to see over at [director] Michael Rymer's house, in September. So I had to sit very quietly for three months, not say a word, furious the whole time. And constantly walking past Ron Moore and David Eick, who are the creators of the show, and say, "So, anything coming up for the Chief?" And they'd say, "Oh no, just fixing Vipers, just the usual." Just lying to me! So we finally found out officially, and I got Ron [Moore] on the phone, yelled at him for five minutes, and then he talked me off the ledge and convinced me that it was a good thing, and he was right."

He said before that he had absolutely no idea that his character would ultimately turn out to be a Cylon:

"I thought that the great thing about the Tyrol character is he's such a human, and I guess if they want to humanize the Cylons there's no better character to do it than him and Col. Tigh, but I did not see it coming. I thought it was going to be new people revealed, I didn't think that it was going to be cast revealed to be."

And about the ending of the critically acclaimed series, Douglas had this to say:

"I loved it. Other than, what the hell was Starbuck? I still don't know what Starbuck was. But I loved the ending. I thought it was a brilliant piece of writing, certainly Ron's opus. There was no better way to end it. And I love the fact that the Chief just walks off and goes up to Scotland and lives alone. Yep, makes whiskey and builds castles and herds sheep. Yeah."

What the hell was Starbuck indeed! This is a question that has haunted many BSG fans ever since the end of the series. However, we really quite like the idea of the Chief making whiskey and building castles in Scotland in the end.

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