Luke Pasqualino’s British accent is in stark opposition to the gruff, gritty voice of Edward James Olmos, but both portray different sides of the complex character William Adama in the “Battlestar Galactica” franchise. Olmos’ “So Say We All” speech in the re-imagined “Battlestar” series (2004-2009) helped define the admiral as the wartime commander he turned out to be, but it is Pasqualino who will help viewers see what events mold a young, self-secure pilot into a war-weary soldier in the “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome” Web series on Machinima. The second batch of online episodes of “Blood & Chrome” launched Friday, and Hero Complex contributor Jevon Phillips caught up with Pasqualino earlier to talk about his introduction to the “Battlestar” universe.
HC: How long have you been involved in the show?
LP: We shot the pilot in February 2011 up in Vancouver, which is brilliant. So, I’ve been in the “Battlestar” window for over a year now.
HC: How much of a fan were you before getting the role of Adama?
LP: Obviously I knew how big “Battlestar Galactica” was, but I’d never really got too involved in it. When I found out that I’d gotten the role of Adama, I was given “Caprica” to watch. Then I started to get a much better idea of what the whole franchise was about. I never watched much of Edward James Olmos’ series. I was playing Adama in his younger days, and I didn’t want anything that Eddie did to affect my interpretation of the material that I was given.
HC: Coming on to the set and getting yourself settled into this world — what were your first impressions?
LP: My first impression was “God, everything is so green.” Obviously we filmed the whole thing in CGI, so there was a lot of green screen involved. The director Jonas Tate was a huge help in terms of getting us in the right mindset to go in and tackle these characters. I had a lot of help. My co-star Ben Cotton was brilliant. We’d rehearse pretty often, and he’d just kind of sit after a day of shooting and just kind of run through things and ideas. It was good to know that I had that support from him and he had that support from me. It was just a nice working partnership between everybody involved.
HC: Going from “The Borgias” to “Battlestar Galactica” is a huge leap. Any parallels that you draw?
LP: Not really. No. If I sat down and had a real think about it, I could find something, but for me, I was just so excited to get involved with the “Battlestar” world. There are parallels in that they’re both big successful shows, and I knew that I had that weight on my shoulders to deliver the goods.
HC: So, not drawing too much on Edward James Olmos’ portrayal, what are your impressions of Ens. William Adama?
LP: When I first got the script and was told that it was “Battlestar Galactica,” I went into it with the thinking that it had just started. Everything was really kind of new to me, and as soon as I was five pages in, I didn’t put it down and I was hooked. I really liked the material I was given; Michael Taylor wrote an amazing pilot. I went in and read and got further in the audition process. That’s when I met Jonas and David [Eick] and Michael Taylor. We had a discussion about it and workshopped some scenes … it just felt like something that I really wanted to be part of. Once I did get the part, I had a great team of “Battlestar Galactica” veterans around me, so if I did have a question, they could answer it pretty quickly.
HC: What are your thoughts about the show premiering online? Do you watch a lot of Web series?
LP: I don’t watch too many Web series. But I was doing some research on Machinima and I know they just recently did “Halo” and those types of things. It’s like a sci-fi network. They enjoy playing the sci-fi shows, and from what I’ve been reading, it seems like a great place to start out before it actually comes to the screens in the U.S. in the spring. I’m happy about it. I think it’s a good way to raise awareness that it’s actually coming out, and I’m excited to see what the fans think of it.
HC: We’re a few episodes in already, but what do fans have to look forward to?
LP: Well, “Caprica” was the last thing “Battlestar” fans had. I think [“Blood & Chrome”] goes back to the old ways. It’s sort of “Top Gun” in space. The fans should look forward to the fight scenes, the relationship between Adama and Coker … and there are some really nice twists in there. Just to see William Adama grow up; you’re seeing the first stages of manhood. And aside from any of the story lines, it looks visually brilliant. The effects team has done some really great work and I think it’s going to put some smiles of people’s faces.
— Jevon Phillips
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