Paula Malcomson, who will portray Amanda Graystone on SCI FI Channel's upcoming Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica, told SCI FI Wire that Amanda is a "complicated woman." The Irish actress added that only the two-hour series pilot is complete so far and that production on subsequent episodes will begin in earnest in July.
SCI FI Wire spoke to Malcomson on Monday at SCI FI Channel's upfront presentation for advertisers and the media in New York. Caprica will premiere on SCI FI Channel in 2010, but the uncut and unrated pilot will be available on DVD (via Universal Home Entertainment) and as a digital download (via Universal Cable Productions) on April 21. Following are edited excerpts from our exclusive conversation. The finale episode of Battlestar Galactica airs Friday on SCI FI.
How would you set up the premise of Caprica?
Malcomson: Wow. It's a complicated show. It's hard to describe in a couple of sentences. It's about a couple of families that are in the wake of a tragedy and are sort of dealing with their lives. A lot of the technology, the sci-fi stuff comes in, and it's [about] how that can be a good or a bad thing.
What can you tell us about your character, Amanda?
Malcomson: Amanda! We'll have to find out. I'm just finding out, you know? In the first two hours ... I don't want to say too much. I don't want to give too much away about her, but she's a complicated woman. Most of my stuff [in the pilot] is with Eric Stoltz, who plays my husband [Daniel Graystone, creator of the Cylons]. He's great, and we'd worked together before, luckily [in the 1997 short film The Rocking Horse Winner]. So we knew each other, and playing husband and wife, I think that really helps.
Battlestar Galactica ran for four years, and SCI FI Channel is obviously hoping for similar success with Caprica. How ready are you for a long run like that?
Malcomson: I'm ready for a long run. That's the fun of doing television, I think, is that you get to play a character for a long time, and you get to explore a journey. The last thing I did, I started to wonder who I was versus the character. You really get to discover it in that time, in years, versus doing a movie that you're in and out of in three or four months.
What's the timeline here? What have you shot so far, and when do you go back for more filming on Caprica?
Malcomson: We've only done the pilot, which is two hours long, and we shot that in May/June last year. So it's big, big gaps in between. The writers are writing right now, and I guess we're going to do 18 [more] episodes. So we go in July until however long that is, I suppose until February. We'll be cracking away at that. So I'm excited to get in there and see what they're doing. We don't know.