Rebecca Riggs & David Franklin
[This was Rebecca's first con.]
[David learned not to go near the SACCers.]
Audience: What was it like, being cast in Farscape?
David: I had one day's notice. It was by Henson, so I thought it would be a lovely little Muppet show. I heard that it was called Fire Escape... [laughter]
I went on set the first day into this bizarre, freaky, madness that I was supposed to be a part of. My boots were like galoshes - not very commanding! And this commander I had to work with, was like some guy who was decomposing!
The series as I saw it was about this lieutenant - the peripheral stuff could just be thrown out...
And then just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, along came a new boss... [Rebecca grins seraphically] Right out of the frying pan into the clutches of the breasts!
Rebecca: Every character in Farscape is the sum total of so many creative (sick!) minds. I got an incredible character description of a cold, ruthless woman (oh yeah, that's me!). [When auditioning] David was there as a malleable weakling...acting brilliantly against type. I came out of the audition thinking god, that was fun!
[Thinking it would be appropriate for a science fiction role] I wore black to the audition, head to toe, including a black skivvy [turtleneck] right up to my chin. Then I turned up at the first wardrobe fitting, and the costume was beautiful, all velvet, with a gorgeous velvet jacket, and a top that came right up to my chin.
I came back for the second fitting, and they said, the sets are so dark, and the walls are so dark, and if you're dressed head to toe in a dark costume, you're going to look like floating head; how would you feel about a low cut top? It was my second day, what am I going to do, say no? So I said sure, whatever. I showed up for the next fitting, and -- QUITE a low-cut top!
Certainly Blake's 7 was an influence on me. I really thought 'cool, this is like a male warrior showing their chest (David Franklin interjects: CHARGE!). I thought it was daring, sort of like Grayza was daring someone to stick a knife into her chest.
People looked at me on-set in one of two ways - either their eyes were right down here [at chest level], or they were right here [smack dab in front of her face], sort of like, 'I respect you as a human being and an actor, and I'm not looking at your breasts!'
I loved working with this man [looks at David].
David: I got to see her breasts all the time!
We were working together all the time and we got to be good friends, so when I finally saw her out of makeup, I was really uncomfortable because I'd built up this relationship with Grayza, and with Rebecca-dressed-as-Grayza, but not with Rebecca-as-Rebecca.
Rebecca: We adored working together. We were always the first days of any shoot, because our set was built --
David: -- the Command Carrier was a huge set, and was fixed --
Rebecca: -- we were used to getting scripts quite quickly before going in and rolling around and having skreeths attached to our heads. I loved the episode where David had the squid thing attached to his head [KANSAS, and TERRA FIRMA].
David: Rebecca said, 'What are you going to do?' 'I don't know, but I better figure out something quick, because they're going to shoot in about 5 minutes.'
Rebecca: The skreeth on Braca's head was the only thing all season that Grayza was genuinely fond of. She was so careful about putting this slimy little mind-sucking thing into its little box; it was like Grayza's little puppy.
David: As a character you got placed in such extraordinary situations. We were always being sucked up by skreeths. The amazing thing is that you just have to commit [to whatever wild and wacky thing the script called for].
Rebecca: That's the script you have for the day, so, you just have to dive in; mostly there's water in the pool, that's excellent...
I kept saying that ultimately there had to be some way for them [Grayza and Braca] to come together as equals, but maybe that was just me.
David: Didn't Grayza wind up in a loony asylum?
Rebecca: Ah, but that was all part of my cunning plan!
[one of them makes a comment about, 'Pseudo-sexual-molestation ... right down there on the food chain.']
David: Oh no, you couldn't sully yourself with him [Braca].
Rebecca: I was busy! Busy day! Worlds to conquer!
Audience: What was the most difficult episode to film?
David: The early ones were hard. I was, in the beginning [of the show], almost apoplectic; that was hard. Most difficult...I think the skreeth thing, I thought it was going to be like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. But then it turned out all right.
Rebecca: Like David, the early ones - I watched a couple of episodes, and read a couple of scripts, but then on set everything was so much bigger. . There were so many people who knew so much more, and I just had to fly by the seat of my pants. Toward the end [of the series], I was very frustrated because there were so many things for Grayza to say and do, and there just wasn't time. I kept them all inside.
Audience: David, did you expect to live beyond the first season, given for whom you were working?
David: I knew I was going to last for the first two episodes, because that's what I was contracted for. It wasn't until season 3 that I kept getting booked, getting booked. After season two, I was sure I was going to wind up as galactic goo.
Rebecca: When I watched Farscape on Australian tv (which was very difficult to do), I saw David and thought, 'I want him to end up running the world.' . With the way he played the character, I knew he was going to survive. Playing the low-status fool with all the brilliant people around you ... that's what you were doing, right?
David: Uh, yeah.
Audience: Rebecca, what else can we see you in, look for you in?
Rebecca: Come to Australia and see some theater. Hmmm...some Australian telly - All Saints, Fire - by the way, that's where I first met Wayne. When I met him again on Farscape [looking cadaverous as Scorpius], I told him, 'ooo, you've gone downhill'. I did a couple of really bad movies of the week that I don't even know the name of. But mostly theater - Shakespeare, etc.
Audience: How did you play these very large emotions on this more intimate setting of television (vs theater)?
Rebecca: Both theater and film have technical aspects that you need to be aware of. In theater, you're at the point of the triangle focusing out. In television, you're at the base of the triangle focusing in. You want to not gesture as well.
Scorpius would have lived quite well on stage - he was just a huge character, and wouldn't take much to shift onto stage. David and I were more tightly controlled, we would need to be expanded [as characters] to work on the stage.
David: I wanted to say what she said.
Audience: David, you were in the second Matrix movie...
David: Ah, yes, my role as the snotty maitre d'. That was fun, but I was a bit shocked when I saw it, because the directors were getting me to do it all different ways (American, French, etc.), so I got a shock and a half seeing that. 'Oo, I'm French! I really sound French! I must be French!' That was very fun to do. Once again, Matrix is a movie about a maitre d'...
Audience: What did you think of the rape scene [WHAT WAS LOST]?
David: I'll tell you what I think was interesting, because that was very controversial.
Rebecca: I think that some people were very upset because a character was raped ... I didn't think that, but that was the word I heard.
David: In almost all shows, it's okay to blow the whole galaxy to pieces with a lethal weapon, and yet it was interesting, when one of Grayza's weapons is her sexually predatory nature --
Audience: Boob Sweat!
Rebecca: [Justin] Monjo wrote the 'boob sweat', and had indicated that it was going to have some succulent quality, some sort of schloopy sound effect to it, and a lot of people said 'no, Monjo, that's too far'.
Those scenes were a combination of people's weirdness and crudity. Monjo and Kemper came up with it, they gave it to Ben and I, and we said, 'oooo, cool'.
'Okay, I'm strapped down to a table and I'm nude, okay, I've never done that before...' That was a really long day. It was uncomfortable; I seemed to be face down for quite a long time.
Rowan said, 'can you go crawl on his back, because that would be really alien'...I said, 'alien, my ass!' The end product was sort of a strange mix of S&M, romance, violence -- it was a really strange, dark mix, but I thought it worked well.
Audience: What was it like to get Scorpius on that leash?
David: Did you ever have one of those days when just everything goes right? Sun shining, a spring in your step? For Braca, that was damn fine, a damn good day at the office.
Rebecca: One of my favorite physical acts on the show was kicking Scorpius. Grayza wasn't violent enough ... even though it's perfectly okay for a woman to use sex to get what she wants ... I mean Grayza! I didn't want to see her just limited to sex, because I thought she was perfectly capable of garroting someone. I thought kicking him in the guts was just ace.
David: And Wayne would say, 'do that again!'
Rebecca: Wayne would say, 'no, no you can push me over, it's all right!'
Audience: Rebecca, what role in Shakespeare would you like to play most, and which is your favorite?
Rebecca: Too many. I played Juliet and that's a really great role. Violet in TWELFTH NIGHT, and Rosalyn is the largest female role that Shakespeare wrote, and she's hot. I played Lady [MacBeth? didn't quite catch this], she's extremely cool. One character I haven't played, and would really like to explore, is Cleopatra. There's also a really small role in TEMPEST that's wonderful.
David: I did A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM; I played one of the lovers and one of the mechanicals. I worked so hard as Demetrius [the lover], and then on the mechanicals I just relaxed and had a good time. I got really good reviews for the mechanicals...
I have raped and killed so many people. I get the girl, but I rape her. In Australia, I always get cast to play only lawyers and sleazy roles, so I don't get much chance for comedy.
Rebecca: I get cast mostly as warm, victimized women. So, Grayza was fun. It's fun to be evil...on the theoretical level.
Audience: Rebecca, it seemed like in the last few episodes your makeup changed.
Rebecca: Oh, you're a clever boy, aren't you? Yes, my makeup girl left for a better paying job. [pretend sob] Jen Lamphee designed it [the makeup] but then went on maternity leave, and Anna took over. Anna, I adored, and we worked toward perfecting it [the makeup]. Then, she left, and *ahem*.
It was assumed that the makeup wasn't difficult. We did little tribute in the ep where we got captured, and then she left, the bitch! [laughter] There's a little scene [in BRINGING HOME THE BEACON] when I get put in this sort of pod-like thing, which was Anna's last day. After I came out I had this line, 'exceptional work, Aeryn' - that I really put in for Anna, to thank her for her work on the makeup.
It was difficult getting a new person to do the makeup. And yes, one rises above these things, but not really ... the camera guys were very good, the lighting guys were very good, you shift things around. Farscape, like everything, is a combination of abilities, passions, love, creativity - when one of the bits goes away, or falls back, then it diminishes the whole thing.
David: The Gynotron ... little fallopian tubes.
Audience: Which was better, when you [David] got the best of Scorpius, or got the best of Grayza at the end?
David: They were both GOOOOOOOD! He's a good Sebacean, Captain Braca, he has a bit of inner malice. To survive, to quench the natural Sebacean desire for power, to be subservient was a difficult thing for Braca, it breeds a lot of resentment. My benefactors [Scorpius and Grayza] were both horrible people, but the relationships with both were necessary.
Audience: Tell us about bloopers.
Rebecca: Just the fact that the bath kept falling apart [WHAT WAS LOST].
David: Yeah, that was sexy!
Rebecca: Looking at the rushes, I don't know how we got through each scene, because the thing kept crashing in the background. We had to ADR everything for that scene. There was one point when I slipped and said, 'I want Braca' instead of 'I want Crichton'.
David: I waved and said 'here I am!'
When I had to go back and reshoot some flashback scenes as a lieutenant, they didn't get me to try my outfit on again; it no longer fit me. My outfit was skin-tight, and the belt wouldn't do up! They finally had to glue the belt on. I looked like a sausage.
Audience: Given that he was similarly abused by Scorpius and Grayza, did Braca ever have any empathy for, or identify with, Crichton?
David: That would be a big, fat NOOOOO!
Rebecca: I always felt sorry for Braca when Crichton was around; Crichton was horrible to him, vile!
David: I understand your question, but NOOOOOOO.
Audience: What species was Grayza?
Rebecca: She was born a Sebacean. The first makeup test I had was Sebacean - human, with brown tones and shading. Monj suggested that Grayza could have black teeth (Josephine, Napoleon's partner, had black teeth). So then they said, 'we could shift her'.
I justified it to myself by thinking, well, she's had all kinds of genetic engineering -
David: If you look close you can tell!
Rebecca: -- had all kinds of genetic engineering, including the 'boobs of death', but also some other things. She can sense people's heart rate. You focus on her eyes, and she's checking people's pulse, perspiration, and other things. It's something that shows up in the backstory. She's got quite a lot of things done [genetically], so it's no stretch that her coloration would change as well.
David: Isn't that a double-edged sword? Hasn't Grayza reduced her lifespan considerably?
Rebecca: [grins] Potennntially...
David: Oh, she thinks she's so smart!
Audience: What was it like to work with Ben Browder?
David: That was great fun, very intense, full-on. That was season two [LOOK AT THE PRINCESS], wasn't it? I had something to do in that season! That was the first time I'd worked with Ben, I think, and he was extraordinary. It was just fun and very exciting. [on having Fran Buller on that episode as well:] She was extraordinary as an actor.
Audience: Crichton had a way of sort of converting his enemies, so that they wound up aboard Moya. Could you see Braca joining Moya?
David: What would Braca do? He'd be doing the dishes.
Moderator: That's it [for the Q and A session].
David: KILL HER!
Rebecca at the autograph table later that afternoon:
Q: Did you have to use something to stick your costume in place, to kind of keep everything where it should be?
A: I never really thought of myself as particularly well-endowed before this role! There were actually two versions of my costume; they were supposed to be exactly alike, but for some reason one stayed exactly where it was supposed to, all by itself, while the other had to be stuck down. But the moment I started to move, the second one would come unstuck anyway.
Lani Tupu & Jonathan Hardy
They've just finished recording commentaries for the season four dvds. [The implication is that this was for the Region 1 release, but if it was specifically stated, I missed it.]
Jonathan: We've heard the same rumors as everyone else, but we don't know anything. Personally, I haven't been told [production on the original series] has ended yet. I keep hanging around the studios every day...
[Lani related a long story about going to lunch with Michael Hurst, spending too long at lunch, and getting rather sozzled before an evening performance of AMADEUS. He pulled off his role successfully, but has never repeated that experience. Jonathan remarked that he was making notes, as he was the director of that theater company, and Lani had never confessed that before. "For those of you who will be here on Tuesday, there'll be an execution at 6 o'clock."]
Jonathan: I just was at ComicCon. I went to see an exhibition on torture in San Diego which gave me great insight into the American culture. Then we went to see a production of JULIUS CAESAR that was only marginally more painful. Anyway, I'm sure you would like to ask something about Lani's hair. His hair must've run away, because hairs don't live in burrows, rabbits do.
Audience: How much of the dialog do you get to create?
Lani: Not much. It's like a musical score. You can't change the score, but you can interpret. You get to put your stamp on it.
Jonathan: It was slightly different for me, because I had no idea what the writer was on about. [During the casting process, he was called to a hotel in Sydney, where] This American came rushing up to me, saying "My Rygel!"...which meant absolutely nothing to me, I thought this was just some crazed American. He immediately began to talk to me about what Rygel was to him. I began to realize he was talking about me playing the part of Rygel, and he asked me how I thought I should play him. I said I should play him as Hamlet, and he said "Amazing!" It turned out that the original puppeteer [John Eccleston?] had not had a suitable voice, being from Manchester, England, and having a rather high pitch.
There are odd things about about puppeteers that you learn after a while. Rygel had five people attached. Having to characterize with someone's arm in that position is rather strange.
But really, a great deal of what did work was due to [Farscape sound editor] Angus Robertson. I couldn't do a Rygel voice unless I had Rygel in front of me. What Rygel turned out to be in any episode is that which we reacted to at that time. Playing a role is a reaction, with visual triggers. We are creatures who create organically instead of mechanically; while we can adjust mechanically, we can only act in terms of a reaction that what's happening.
Audience: Was it difficult to match the logistics when voicing Rygel and Pilot?
Lani: Lip-synching was always a challenge, that was the first hurdle for us. The second hurdle was--
Jonathan: --the puppeteers.
Lani: Yeah. The first episode, I was onstage, so the puppeteers were matching to my delivery. After that, logistically it wasn't possible, since I was next door playing Crais. So Jonathan and I had to alter our rhythyms to match the reactions of the puppeteers.
Jonathan: Love them as we do, the puppeteers are not actors (and if any of them are here, I do not apologize, though they will try to kill me because they think they are), and often made what I considered amateur choices about pauses and motion.
At one stage, one of the puppeteers who was doing Rygel paused after the first word of every line. So when voicing Rygel, I had to match the lip movements, plus deliver the lines as Rygel would say them, plus bridge unnatural gaps in the flow.
All that had to be done in the context of listening very carefully to our fellow actors, so that these characters appeared to be speaking in the same tone and pitch as was appropriate with the other actors. Characterization and relationships were far more difficult. Then we'd get these loathsome creatures called writers who would say 'We want to change that line, and we want it to look as if you're still matching the old line.' There were a lot of tricky things involved.
I can't think of Rygel as a puppet, because he's real...real, I tell you!
Audience: How do you keep up the characterization when you have to reshoot the same sequence? How do you repeat the emotional moments over and over again? How do you get into that, keep it up, and not get bored?
Jonathan: Have you ever heard of Viagra Falls?
Lani: [after making a few comments about having multiple takes with different camera angles, multiple cameras, etc.] We had a continuity person on set who helped us keep track of where we were positioned, etc. But that's part of the technique of screen acting. Acting is like an expensive dress - it looks simple, it should immediately catch your eye, 'bang'. But the creation of the dress is complex. Good acting, you shouldn't see the seams.
Jonathan: If you're asking if we have to put ourselves into some emotional experience, there are two schools of thought on that. We're not there to be emotional all the time, we're there to service the character.
It's the art that disguises the art. It's like watching ice dancing, and you have those people who tell you the detail of what's just been done, and you're simply trying to appreciate the aesthetics of it. Our job is not to show you our emotions as much as elicit your emotions. We're not there to be freaks that are so emotional all the time, and that's one of the great debates in acting.
Audience: Do you think of a dead puppy or something, to bring up emotional responses for a scene?
Jonathan: We're New Zealanders, so there are a lot of sheep jokes.
[Jonathan related several jokes on a "New Zealanders who love sheep" theme:
- instead of an Axis of Evil, an Axis of 'those who would like sheep to wear lipstick'
- How do New Zealanders find sheep in tall grass? Absolutely delightful.]
Audience: How do you put a strange term or a character's family backstory reference into context, so that it becomes meaningful?
Jonathan: I have struck this quite a bit, doing [plays by] Shakespeare. But if you play on the character, you move beyond the words, and it doesn't matter if you use an unfamiliar term. People don't listen that carefully; for example, I like to play with waitresses by calling them "Bruce". They don't always notice. [Thereafter, he greeted each audience member to come to the microphone, "Yes, Bruce?"]
Lani: We allow ourselves to create the reality, to believe in it for that moment. If I believe in it as the actor, hopefully the audience will believe it.
Jonathan: If you play a lot of Shakespeare, you run into that all the time. Your audience is not deeply immersed in Elizabethan language. But if you understand it, hopefully, you can get it across to the audience.
Audience: Do you change your performance when you change genres?
Lani: I think you're asking if you change your performance based on the kind of show. I think you kind of do. If you're working on a comedy, you adjust accordingly for that. If you're working on Miami Vice, you adjust accordingly for that. If you're working on Farscape, it's a whole different beast.
Jonathan: I was doing a play called OUTSIDERS. They found it incredibly funny, and I can't account for that. I can only bring the line, straight up. What the audience brings to it, who knows? You can only say, this is the situation. There is a difference in performance like the difference between keys in music, major vs minor - we have to know what key to use for our performance.
Audience: What would be good romantic pairings for Rygel and Pilot?
Lani: Um, D'Argo? I don't know...
Jonathan: I think in Pilot's case, he would need a sort of eight-armed creature, maybe an octopus. Rygel had a love interest, but they took the mirror away. Rygel was feeling frustrated, having taken on Orrhn (who was sort of a Hynerian Phyllis Diller) [FRACTURES], but when you've been at sea for six months, it's any port in a storm.
Audience: What have you experiences been in getting cast in leading roles? Was there resistance or prejudice against you, as a Kiwi actor?
Lani: It's something I try not to dwell on too much, but yeah. I come from a country with very open casting, but if you want a Maori character, you cast a Maori actor. If I hadn't have stopped off in Australia, I wouldn't be sitting here. It has its plusses and its minuses. I've always believed in open casting which means that a name for the role is written in the script, and anyone can audition for that role regardless of race or persuasion.
Jonathan: The concept of using makeup to change the actor's appearance for a race-specific role, is just foreign to New Zealand actors. [He did a play called EINSCHTEIN (sp?), which was a three-person production, and not one of them was a middle-aged Jew.] Going around and seeing people in terms of their skin color would put us all in trouble, particularly first thing in the morning.
Lani: Australia is working on this sort of thing, and I'm doing my part, but they've still got a way to go. Sydney is a very different matter. But I'm doing what I can.
Jonathan: If they look for the difference, they can always find it. Culture is something about charting your inner landscape - it's not an applique. The only way to be national is to be local, the only way to be international is to be national. The only way to be in the world is to be immersed in yourself, in situ.
Audience: You compared Rygel to Hamlet - are there other Shakespearean parallels?
Jonathan: In Lani's case, he's playing Queen Anne from RICHARD III.
Lani: There was something Shakespearean about Farscape in general. I thought it was Shakespearean in its huge story-telling element, huge characters.
Jonathan: In Litigara [DREAM A LITTLE DREAM], they were all ruled by lawyers, and in real life it would be really boring. Kemper said, 'You're right, can you do something about that.' So we spent some time turning [Rygel] into Clarence Darrow or Rumpole of the Bailey. Most television is approached as soap - Farscape didn't soapify.
What you have to do as an actor is open up your throat and speak from your gut, like an opera singer. One of the problems with [that production of] JULIUS CAESAR in San Diego was that they were mic'ed. When you don't have a mic, you have to open your throat - do you know what I mean by that? When an actor opens their throat, there is an actual mechanical effect on their voice. [demonstrated by singing a few operatic phrases, and the effect was quite striking]
Lani: We were talking about it ... they were all capable actors. But if you take the microphone away from a really good actor, and they are working, that's when they are in their full power. If you have an actor striding onstage without a microphone, bang, that's immediately more powerful, it's a whole different dynamic.
Jonathan: The microphone distances the actor from the audience; without a mic you can really connect with them.
Audience: was a little curious about the ADR process - could you demonstrate doing your characters' voices?
Lani: Basically we'll see the rushes on the screen in front of us, and we hear three pips, and take a breath right before the last pip. [picks up a script] There's a little scene here--
Jonathan: --No, I don't do little scenes.
[general laughter from the audience]
Jonathan: We were thinking about a musical called CRAISY FOR YOU.
[general groans from the audience]
[Lani demonstrated doing Pilot's voice, and Jonathan Rygel's, by reading a few short lines from the script.]
Lani: It's basically a matter of watching the light cues to synch the dialog.
Audience: How long does it take to do the ADR?
Lani: Anywhere from an hour to four hours--
Jonathan: --to three days.
Audience: Both of you have played both heros and villians -- which do you prefer?
Jonathan: With respect, there aren't two sides. Everyone is self-justified in what they do. Crais is not a villain to himself. We can't comment on the byproduct of that. Iago in OTHELLO is more concerned with manipulation than virtue, but all these people are self-justifying.
Rygel is not a villian, I don't think Rygel is in any way bad. He is bad in your tenets. But he has two stomachs, eats a lot, and is perfectly fine as a Hynerian; there is no way to apply a human or other non-Hynerian ethic to him.
Crais is exactly the same -- he is a Peacekeeper who has suffered a great loss, and is seeking in Taoist terms an overweening revenge, but he isn't evil. If you start playing qualities of evil, then you're a very bad actor.
Audience: There were scenes with Crais and Pilot together -- was that hard?
Lani: The only difficulty was that on set, the continuity person was reading Pilot's lines. I had to restrain myself, as I do all the time. Other than that, it was just a matter of getting into the studio to record both Crais and Pilot.
Audience: We didn't expect to see deep emotions in Rygel, such as those he displayed in JEREMIAH CRICHTON. Were there other instances where you would have liked to see that side of him? Were there other areas of your characters you would have liked to see expanded?
Jonathan: We are old-fashioned actors who believe we are behind the script, and it's just the surface that we work through to reach the audience. I always think of us as the trolley bus, running on rails with the arm going up to the power line. Something flows through you [as an actor] and you are animated by that, enabling the consumer, or audience, to get a ride.
Therefore, where I would like Rygel to go is not my prerogative to demand. Where Rygel does go is very exciting to me, and getting him to that area is what I enjoy. I enjoyed it when Rygel was really heroic. The only thing I really regret is that since I had to do the voice work after John made those comments about Rygel, I never got to make those comments about him.
Audience: Will Crais come back?
Lani: I would love to answer that question. It would be nice to think that if we had been given season five, he would have appeared, but I just don't know.
Wayne Pygram & Anthony Simcoe
Audience: How's the band?
Anthony: We're still in the band together. At Burbank, we had only had two rehearsals with the bass player, and we had never performed in public before. We've now gotten to the point where we're well-rehearsed and ready to perform.
Audience: The first time I heard D'Argo, I immediately thought of Worf from Star Trek. Was he an inspiration for the voice?
Anthony: That's really interesting, because I chose D'Argo's voice deliberately to try to be different from Worf. [Demonstrating as he speaks:] Worf is very deep and clean, D'Argo has much more rasp. [laughs] D'Argo's put away a LOT more vodka!
[returning to the band topic for a moment]
Wayne: We actually recorded the drum performance for WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN in a studio, in an hour and a half session. So we were actually playing the track on that episode, in the nightclub. It was fun.
[on the guest stars]
Anthony: Because of the size of the production, vs. the size of Australia, it attracted all kinds of talent. Every guest star was an icon. I was practically beside myself when Angie Milliken was on in season one [THANK GOT IT'S FRIDAY...AGAIN]. Jon Hardy is, despite his joking, a national treasure in Australia. You cannot get more acclaim in theater than Jonathan Hardy has. It's really a privilege for us to be able to stand in his company. That's led to me directing him in something, and we're actually working on a film together right now. Imagine the top person on Broadway (in English terms it would be Olivier), coming to do the voice of your puppet. 'Jonathan Hardy? Jonathan Hardy is going to voice our puppet?'
Wayne: You get people like Claudia Karvan, who's absolutely beautiful. She was all excited about doing the paint and the prosthetics before we began shooting. Then she came up to me the middle of the first morning, and said, 'this sucks!' They tried to get her back a couple of times [for additional episodes], but missed out.
Audience: I missed getting to hear you in Burbank last Fall - where can I get a copy of the CD?
Anthony: One thing about the CD: it's a demo (it even says 'demo' right on it), it's not a full album. But now we've progressed.
Wayne: We haven't really found our sound. The most important thing is to go and do as many shows as possible, get the cobwebs out, discover ourselves. We made 500 CDs, as a limited thing, so once they were gone, they were gone.
[Anthony also mentioned that they've got several dates planned, and there was a strong hint that a new CD would be released in the not-so-distant future.]
[re: newspaper ads purchased by the fan community]
Wayne: The ad in the Sydney Telegraph was really beautiful, to thank the crew, that was really great. I think it's still on my refrigerator.
Audience: If Farscape had done a musical episode, do you know what type of music each of your characters would have been given? What would you like to have done?
[Apparently, at one point there was talk of a musical episode, but then Buffy did it, so the idea was dropped.]
Wayne: I think Scorpius would have sung Frank Sinatra.
Anthony: D'Argo's in KISS.
Wayne: [regarding doing a musical episode] It's a delicate thing, you don't know how the fans will react to it.
Audience: What are Scorpius' feelings for Sikozu?
Wayne: That last scene [in BAD TIMING] was erotic asphyxiation, but I looked at the final cut and said, I've killed her. That was just me, my reaction to seeing it, but I think I killed her.
People were concerned I would undermine Scorpius when I first started to do comedic moments as Harvey. The writers went on to support me with some really lovely scripts. I had something to do [as Harvey] in the episode, it wasn't just a frivolous thing.
Audience: How did they do the coolant rod effect?
Wayne: There were actually three versions of the headpiece. One had a head-rig with the rod extended, then there was also a mold of my head made up, that they can shoot around, plus I shot the live action part in front of the green screen.
It was actually hard on my ears [the sound of the rig]. Trying tapping your ear with the flat of your palm, even very gently - that's what it was like.
[Editor's Note: try it. It's surprisingly loud, and you can see how it would be extremely uncomfortable in very short order.]
Audience: What's your favorite Shakespeare role?
Anthony: TEMPEST is a fantastical metaphorical play, it has some of the most beautiful lines.
Wayne: I think the perfect play for me is A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
Audience: Can I thud for you?
Anthony: Can you what?
[a merry round of explanations of the term followed]
Anthony: In Australia, thud means to hit someone!
[Fan came up and demonstrated a thud; Anthony graciously caught her.]
Audience: What's up between Scorpius and Braca?
Wayne: I don't see Scorpius as a sexual being at all.
Anthony: I'll explain it like this: Sikozu is dead. Braca is not.
Audience: How did you get involved in THE CASTLE?
Anthony: I actually shot that before Farscape. In Oz, I'm only cast in comedic roles. Working class morons, that's all I play. I think you should feel ripped off, if you see someone in a film and then see them in real life, and they look just the same. The transformation is important, it's difficult, detailed work. D'Argo was a wonderful experience for me, I can really pull these things off.
THE CASTLE I've always had trouble explaining - we actually revoiced every line for the American release. They absolutely destroyed the heart of the film. They took out the Australianisms, but it's a film about Australianisms. My aboslutely favorite show right now is King of the Hill, which is actually an excellent way to describe THE CASTLE.
[on the most satisfying moments working in the show]
Wayne: The most satisfying moments in season four were the execution [of Scorpius, in WHAT WAS LOST Part II], and then [Harvey's] resurrection. We almost never worked on location, but nearby to Homebush there was an old munitions facility, and the storage facility was set up so that the munitions would be accessed by rolling them out on these metal rails. So the original plan was to roll the casket out on the existing rails. We rehearsed it there, and it looked great, with all these candles burning in the place...but all the candles burning without ventilation caused everyone to break down coughing, and we had to bag that location. We wound up doing it later in the studio.
[on the "leather pants" story]
Wayne related how on his first trip to Burbank, his credit card bounced when he was checking into the hotel. Later he was wandering down Melrose and was looking through the shops; there was this French woman in one shop, evidently dressed in leather, who kept inviting him to feel her backside to see how smooth the leather pants were. The price tag was $700, but he figured, what the heck, the charge will bounce anyway, I'll tell her to go ahead and ring them up. But no, the $700 charge went through, so he wound up with $700 leather pants. "But they no longer fit."
Audience: What have you been up to, recently?
Anthony: I did eight weeks lecturing at Australia's national acting school. I also did three telefilms, a play, hosted a tv show...
Audience: Where did you get the inspiration for the scream in 422?
Anthony: Gigi [Edgley] was standing behind me - she reached around and grabbed my balls! I actually had a line there, but no... [joking...we think:] We did take after take trying to get it right until finally Gigi's hand couldn't do it anymore.
[on behavior on the set]
Wayne and Anthony described how cast & crew went over the line of crass behavior so often on set, that they developed a little hand signal (this is the line, and you just went past it) to indicate when that line was crossed.
Audience: Scariest thing on the show?
Wayne: I'm claustrophobic. Every time I had my head molded, it was torture. The second time, I came out blue, almost unconscious. It takes, what, 15-20 minutes in the bloody mold; it felt like two hours.
[He also mentioned that the reason he turned blue was that he was congested, and just couldn't breathe. He had to put his hand up, and ask to be let out.]
Anthony: The worst part was having my chest waxed to play Jool. That was a scary moment.
Audience: Anthony was in a short film sketch as a man preparing for a blind date. When was that shot?
Anthony: About two years before Farscape started. I was quite proud of that. It was a good break for a new talent, the director said hey, I'm new and I don't have experience, but I'm prepared and would you do it? So we went over to his apartment one weekend and filmed it with a bunch of mates. He [the director] went on to win all kinds of awards, and I think even sold it to the SciFi Channel [likely as part of their series, EXPOSURE]. It's called BLIND DATE.
Audience: Who's the biggest joker on set?
Wayne: There's very little time on set for jokes, but I was given a camera to do a little documentary on Farscape. [Anth cringes] I caught Anthony in several positions scratching his backside. Finally Anth pulled a Qualta out of his ass and said, 'I think I've found the problem!'
Anthony: Farscape: high brow, intellectual humor.
Audience: Are you sure Sikozu is really dead, this being FS?
Wayne: No, I'm not. That's just what I saw in it. That was Scorpius' last scene, that was how I wanted to end it.
Audience: How do you get a break in the biz?
Anthony: I have an answer for that, and it's 'self-sufficiency'. Just getting out there and doing lots of dispiriting things, and doing things instead of whining about what you haven't been able to do. Sure, maybe nobody's watching the results of your work, but you're doing it, getting it out there. You just need to be pointing in the right direction. Being depressed about something, losing momentum, is a surefire way to not succeed.
The students I see at NILA, it's not the smartest ones who are going to be successful. It's the ones with the right attitude. Cate Blanchett was in my class, and she couldn't land a gig after school. She was working in a bar. But she didn't get discovered there - she just kept going out there and trying, until she finally got through the door. You have to be a commodity in the first place, because you love it.
[Anthony offered to sing; folks brought up some drums and a guitar and he and Wayne did a quick song.]