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Chat: Gigi Edgley

Subject(s): Gigi Edgley, Farscape Actor
Dated: January 20, 2000
Source: SciFi.com


Moderator: Hey everyone! Join me in a big hand of welcome for Gigi Edgley, the fabulous Chiana of that wonderful show Farscape! Chiana's now been with us for a few episodes, and has figured prominently in the last two we've seen.

* GigiEdgley blushes and curtseys politely. :) *
GigiEdgley: Hello from down under!
GigiEdgley: I'm sorry to keep you waiting.

Moderator: <Enigmatic-Scully> to <Moderator> Gigi, great job on Nerve and Hidden Memory, you were great, and I guess I missed this, but where did the "Pip" nickname come from?

GigiEdgley: Ahhh...you'll have to speak to Ben Browder about that one.
GigiEdgley: It's a little bit of a behind the scenes joke, I hear.
GigiEdgley: But coincidentally enough, I was actually called Pip as a young girl.

Moderator: <goneflyin> to <Moderator> Gigi, do you have any hobbies or pastimes? Ya know flyin is a great way to spend time.

GigiEdgley: Fire twirling, playing the bongos, playing away in the garden with my puppy...
GigiEdgley: also painting (as in visual arts), and trying to find Gigi after Chiana has taken almost for good!

Moderator: <Rehanna> to <Moderator> Thanks for coming Gigi! I know that you've done stage work such as Les Miserable, is it a lot different than working on Farscape? If so, how and which do you like better?

GigiEdgley: My passion was initially spurred from theatre work, because I did it from a very young age.
GigiEdgley: I always thought I would stay in theatre, but somehow I was talked into the film & TV industry.
GigiEdgley: Because I had to pay the bills. My father suggested getting a few good gigs in film and TV to support myself.
GigiEdgley: Once you make a good name for yourself, you can go into any artistic path you want to take.
GigiEdgley: And, yes, it is very different!
GigiEdgley: I love 'em both, for different reasons.
GigiEdgley: Theatre is more spontaneous and in the moment, and you've got to deal with situations that arise -- the feedback the audience gives you then and there.
GigiEdgley: Film and television is a totally different feel, a lot of stop and start.
GigiEdgley: Some days we spend all day on just one thing, if there are tricky camera moves or special effects or bits and pieces like that.
GigiEdgley: So, within film and TV, you have to find really good "acting choices" to focus on to keep everything fresh and instinctual.

Moderator: <Cush> to <Moderator> Hi Gigi! How long does it take for the make-up to be applied, and how do you pass the time (if possible)??

GigiEdgley: Hi!
GigiEdgley: 3 1/2 hours.
GigiEdgley: I help my makeup artist -- passing things, etc. You don't have time to sleep -- you can't sleep because you have to sit upright -- the makeup is on the back and front.
GigiEdgley: I'm lucky enough to have a magical makeup artist. We talk the whole way through.
* GigiEdgley laughs. *
GigiEdgley: We start the average day when I wake up at 3am, get picked up at 4am, get to the chair about 4:30-5am, and get on the set at about 8am.
GigiEdgley: and then it's my bedtime!
* GigiEdgley laughs. *
GigiEdgley: The day usually goes until about 7-8pm.

Moderator: <M-E> to <Moderator> Hi there just another makeup question-- Is that a wig you wear for Chiana or do they mess with your hair?

GigiEdgley: Hmmm...I don't know if I'm allowed to tell you that!
GigiEdgley: Yes, it's a wig.
GigiEdgley: But my hair is starting to look very similar to the wig. It's getting slightly tortured as the days go by.
GigiEdgley: Very scary. :)

Moderator: <truthseekr> to <Moderator> What experience or techniques did you draw from in helping to develop Chianas unique mannerisms (in particular the walk, head tilts, eye shifts)?

GigiEdgley: Throughout my university course, I was trained in Method. So I use a lot of the character choices, a lot of stimuli of animals, or dreams, or fantasy creatures.
GigiEdgley: Because no one knows what an alien looks like, I had a lot of freedom to play with.
GigiEdgley: Originally I went into the audition and said "how much alien characteristics do you want me to use here?"
GigiEdgley: And they replied: we just want to know if you can act.
* GigiEdgley laughs. *
GigiEdgley: On the first makeup test, which ended up taking about 6 hours the very first time, I realized what an amazing look she had and how much there was to play with.
GigiEdgley: So I disappeared to a dark corner of the studio and tried to find Chiana.

Moderator: <DanteX> to <Moderator> Is Chiana going to be added to the ranks of permanent cast members for the second season?

GigiEdgley: Oooh...you'll have to ask Mr. Kemper about that one.
* GigiEdgley smiles. *
GigiEdgley: Chiana gets down in prayer position and prays!

Moderator: <icy-all> to <Moderator> what sought of acting technique do you use to play an alien?

GigiEdgley: Exploring the imagination is all I can say...sometimes I use music, if I get home (and usually it's pretty late) I'll close myself up in my room and put on good strong music, and play with her.
GigiEdgley: Try to find movements, and see how different stuff affects her.
GigiEdgley: Where she's come from and where she's going.

Moderator: <Lil-Luxan> to <Moderator> Hi Gigi. Has any of your friends seen Chiana yet and how did they react?

GigiEdgley: No, they haven't, cause it's not here in Australia yet.
GigiEdgley: But my family has.
GigiEdgley: And they rung me up and taunted me for days.
GigiEdgley: For hurting the cute little slug-like creature.
GigiEdgley: I think he's their favorite!
GigiEdgley: I think they were very surprised at the overall production itself, and how professional it looked.
GigiEdgley: My brother now rings me up and imitates Chiana's voice when we speak.
GigiEdgley: And he keeps playing it in forward, and rewinds...won't stop watching.

Moderator: <Heat-Miser> to <Moderator> Thanks for coming Gigi!.....on a lighter note, whats it like being the love object of a 20" muppet?


Moderator: <sfweekly> to <Moderator> How does it feel being the "bad" girl on the show?

GigiEdgley: Really good.
GigiEdgley: Fantastic, because I've never played a part like this before.
GigiEdgley: I've always been cast as the sweet and virginal type girl next door.
GigiEdgley: So Chiana is a real challenge for me.
GigiEdgley: Especially when you meet your daily lover (or current lover for that day) 3 minutes before the actual scene starts, and you're running on about 4 hours of sleep.
GigiEdgley: hee hee.

Moderator: <Stealth0> to <Moderator> How long does it take you to memorize a script?

GigiEdgley: Usually, I read them about 2 or 3 times over the weekend. And then work out the emotional journey and objectives, and the character work.
GigiEdgley: And then the night before, I'll go back and get those scenes out of my script and refresh them, remind myself.
GigiEdgley: Usually there's about 10 hours between the time you leave the set and the time you have to return to the set.
GigiEdgley: But during the week you don't get a big chance to dive into the script that much, other than on set.

Moderator: <elhaym> to <Moderator> Gigi, Chiana makes an amazing couple with Rygel!! do you like your interaction with the puppets?

GigiEdgley: What do you mean "the puppets?" Aren't they real?
GigiEdgley: ;)
GigiEdgley: It's fantastic, when I work with Rygel and Pilot I feel like I've got a lot more freedom to play.
GigiEdgley: I still get very nervous -- I'm just a small little thing.
GigiEdgley: Especially when working with masters like Claud, and Anth, and Ben.

Moderator: <jothee> to <Moderator> Mrs. Edgely , are you in any way like you charachter in real life ?

GigiEdgley: I don't think I'm so extreme as Chiana, and maybe not as brave.

Moderator: <XENA> to <Moderator> You are awsome, how long does it take to shoot an episode?

GigiEdgley: I think now we're shooting an episode within 10 days to 2 weeks.
GigiEdgley: But usually, in the last 3 days, we start the next episode, and we do pick-up scenes in between, when we get spare time.
GigiEdgley: Sometimes, though, there have been points where we have been shooting 3, almost 4 eps at a time. And that gets very confounding.
GigiEdgley: Almost 4 with ADR, I should say.

Moderator: <truthseekr> to <Moderator> Weve recently seen Chiana begin to develop an alliance with Moyas crew, in particular to Crichton, what can you tell us about the direction her loyalties will lead her in the near future?
Moderator: <Lynyrd> to <Moderator> Gigi, how would you like to see Chiana grow ?

GigiEdgley: Well, she's definitely becoming closer to the crew. And I think as she becomes closer, she slowly gets a chance to gain some morals.
GigiEdgley: I'd like to see Chiana become more naturalistic within the alien form.
GigiEdgley: And I'd like to keep the trickster within her, but also show a bit of Gigi's vulnerability through it.

Moderator: <ChianasPet> to <Moderator> Gigi, What kind of movies do you watch......books do you read......favorite author?

GigiEdgley: Hello ChianasPet!
GigiEdgley: Oh my gosh, where do we start?

Moderator: Any other scifi stuff?

GigiEdgley: A total eclectic liking for a lot of movies.
GigiEdgley: The more you watch, the more you can learn from them, of different styles of acting.
GigiEdgley: I saw A Beautiful Life the other day, which rocked my soul. Loved it.
GigiEdgley: I don't get much of a chance to do any reading, other than scripts at the moment.
GigiEdgley: My favorite authors: David Kemper and the Farscape script writers.
* GigiEdgley smiles *
GigiEdgley: hee hee
GigiEdgley: I haven't had a chance for scifi stuff at the moment, but I've heard from a few Farscape fans that I've got to see Galaxy Quest.
GigiEdgley: Farscape's my favorite sci-fi.
GigiEdgley: But I'm more into phantasmagorical story, like The Dark Crystal and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Moderator: <ev-n-ken> to <Moderator> welcome GIGI WE are so excited that they kept Chiana on as part of the crew. What future developments can we expect for her??

GigiEdgley: I'm so excited that you're so excited.
GigiEdgley: Chiana grins wickedly.
* GigiEdgley giggles. *
GigiEdgley: To answer the second part -- you'll have to wait and see.
GigiEdgley: But there are a few more supernatural traits coming up in the next eps.

Moderator: <ChaoticDreamer> to <Moderator> Gigi, what would you say was the best and the worst part of joining an established cast?

GigiEdgley: It's very scary!
GigiEdgley: And because I'm still learning so much -- I think I'll never stop learning...
GigiEdgley: The best thing, basically, was to become part of an ensemble that works so well together.
GigiEdgley: Everyone has a lot of respect and admiration for each other.
GigiEdgley: And challenge you, in different scenes on set.
GigiEdgley: Ben's always got a few tricks up his sleeve.
GigiEdgley: to get the instincts POPPING.
* GigiEdgley laughs. *

Moderator: <jasonm> to <Moderator> Hi Gigi! Chiana is a great addition to the show and you're characterization of her is beliveable. How much input do you have into your character? I hear Ben Browder some times ab libs. Do you?

GigiEdgley: I tamper in artistic license, but usually stay within my boundaries.
GigiEdgley: Sometimes, if I read a script and I find bits that Chiana probably would say but in a different kind of tone, I alter them slightly.
GigiEdgley: But there's always room for a little improvisation.

Moderator: <dw-mckim> to <Moderator> Everyone always asks you and Virginia how long it takes to get IN makeup bu how long does it take to get it OFF and is it problematic? Any tips on how to get rid of the bathtub rings?

GigiEdgley: We don't take it off. I stay in it about 24 hours a day.
GigiEdgley: Actually, I really am in it now.
GigiEdgley: I just hopped off the set -- it's a really crazy day.
GigiEdgley: Usually, it takes about 45 minutes to get it off properly.
GigiEdgley: And you have to be careful not to forget about inside the ears and up the nose, because very embarassing situations can occur with normal, everyday life people.
GigiEdgley: Little bits of grey, little bits of Chiana left over from the day's work.
GigiEdgley: When we first went to remove the makeup, it was basically just scrubbed off.
GigiEdgley: After 3 days, all my skin broke out in hives. I got very worried.
GigiEdgley: We found a much more efficient way to remove it: keri oil and hot towels.

Moderator: <Qarc> to <Moderator> And what does it taste like....?

GigiEdgley: Taste like?
* GigiEdgley laughs *
GigiEdgley: Well, it depends what kind of makeup you're dealing with.
GigiEdgley: Like if you're kissing someone -- ELSE --
GigiEdgley: it can be very tasty and make the kiss challenging to pull off.
GigiEdgley: The stuff they put inside my lip, actually, I think I'm just immune to it now.
GigiEdgley: But eating in the makeup is very tricky.
GigiEdgley: At lunchtime, I have to hide from my makeup artist while I eat.
GigiEdgley: hee hee.
GigiEdgley: Especially eating pastas and mud cake!

Moderator: <Third-of-Five> to <Moderator> Gigi, other than Chiana, who do you think is the most interesting Farscape charactor?

GigiEdgley: I love the guesties that come on, and seeing the new Creature Shop arrivals.
GigiEdgley: One, because they're always so fascinating to look at and see how they function.
GigiEdgley: and two, because it's the only way I get to meet new people now!
* GigiEdgley laughs. *

Moderator: <Sylvester> to <Moderator> GiGi....when your character was introduced, there was some uestion of weither or not she was a murderer......do you play Chiana with this in mind?...How DO you see Chiana?

GigiEdgley: Episodes coming up will explain it.
GigiEdgley: But I can never really tell with that girl.
GigiEdgley: She's pretty sneaky.
GigiEdgley: Creeps up on you.
GigiEdgley: Chiana would never think of herself as a murder...she always does the necessary thing at the necessary time.

Moderator: <Scapefan> to <Moderator> do you play any jokes on the cast member?

* GigiEdgley laughs. *
GigiEdgley: No, I leave that to Mr. Simcoe and Mr. Browder.
GigiEdgley: I'm too tired by the time I reach set!

Moderator: <Byronic> to <Moderator> Hi gigi , Did you ever see an epasode of farscape befor you tryed out for the part of Chiana?

GigiEdgley: Not before I tried out for the part.
GigiEdgley: I did see one, just before the very last audition.
GigiEdgley: It was so exciting to see that I might be able to have a taste of this amazing production. It just blew me away.
GigiEdgley: I thought "they've got the wrong girl!"
* GigiEdgley smiles. *

Moderator: <valleyofstags> to <Moderator> Gigi, a lot of your work is very physical. How many of your own stunts do you do?

GigiEdgley: As many as I can do.
GigiEdgley: I'm the next up-and-coming Jackie Chan
GigiEdgley: I hope...
GigiEdgley: I'm just about to start kung-fu and ti-boxing classes as well, which hopefully will extend Chiana's action ability a bit more.
GigiEdgley: And Gigi's health a bit more, too, hopefully. :)
GigiEdgley: I love doing action scenes because you're absolutely thrown into it. You can't ACT, you're running from fireballs or smashing someone around.
GigiEdgley: You don't have an opportunity to act, you've just got to be there in the moment, and that's awesome.
GigiEdgley: That's the fantastic thing about Farscape. You can really be in the situation with the sets, the props, the other characters.
GigiEdgley: They allow you to experience.

Moderator: <venomsoup> to <Moderator> Have you gone online and checked out the many websites devoted to you?

GigiEdgley: Ahhh.yes.
GigiEdgley: Basically, the schedule is so crazy it's hard, but when I get a moment I do.
GigiEdgley: So far, the only ones I've been able to check out are the Chiana official page (and thanks for the amazing input) and the SCIFI.COM page.
GigiEdgley: And I"m waiting for you guys to give me addresses so I don't have to hunt them down. Basically I'm still a new girl at the whole cyber thing.

Moderator: <elhaym> to <Moderator> Gigi how many bloopers happens to the cast in a day? :)

GigiEdgley: Ahhh where do I start? Countless!
GigiEdgley: Especially if you're working on a really tricky scene...
GigiEdgley: no, usually it's pretty controlled.
GigiEdgley: but sometimes the gadgetgirl technobable gets you a little tongue-tied.

Moderator: <AJMatthews> to <Moderator> what does Gigi think of fanfic?
Moderator: or...have you even seen any?

GigiEdgley: No, I don't think I've seen any.
GigiEdgley: Where do I find it?

* Moderator promises to send her some urls *
Moderator: :)
Moderator: <SM28> to <Moderator> So, Gigi, of all of the episodes that have aired so far, which was your favorite to shoot?

GigiEdgley: 15 and 19. My first one, and the one you guys saw a couple of weeks ago.
GigiEdgley: Because when I initially came in at 15, I had a really strong idea of the character I wanted her to be, which in some ways is a good thing and others a bad thing.
GigiEdgley: But I trusted my choices a lot. And now I'm starting to replace the nervousness with just excited enthusiastic vibes, and just to bring back the playfullness in it.
GigiEdgley: Sometimes you can forget about the playfullness when everything is so crazy.
GigiEdgley: But the guys here tell me I'm young and exhuberant -- so I'm giving it my best shot.
* GigiEdgley laughs. *

Moderator: <SWORDandMUG> to <Moderator> Gigi, do you follow the Farscape Bulletin Board, and what are you views on the commentary you may have seen there?

GigiEdgley: I try and follow it as much as I can, but basically moreso I try to get into the Farscape chat room as much as I can.
GigiEdgley: Because I can speak to you guys live and get feedback there.
GigiEdgley: I've been trying to get into the bulletin board a lot more, but between e-mails and checking out websites and going on the chat program, it's a little tricky to get there sometimes.
GigiEdgley: I did get online when ep 19 featured the other night, and I was online watching all the comments come in.
GigiEdgley: My hands were shaking and I was sweating profusely.
GigiEdgley: It's awesome to hear feedback from you guys, because it's not out here in Australia at the moment.
GigiEdgley: And a lot of the time I don't get a chance to watch the eps until they're absolutely locked off. Sometimes it's a good month and a half before I get to see a finished ep.
GigiEdgley: So you guys might have to start writing to me to tell me how they're going!
* GigiEdgley laughs. *

Moderator: <MrRoboto> to <Moderator> will there be some sort of conflict between Chiana and Aeryn over Crichton?

GigiEdgley: We're trying to stay out of that situation, but you can never tell with these writers. They like confrontation.
GigiEdgley: I'll be interested myself to see how it all works out.

Moderator: <pscard> to <Moderator> "Gigi, I had to laugh when Chiana and Rygel spoofed the 'hand sliding down the steamed window' scene from Titanic. It was a real hoot. Whose idea was that?

* GigiEdgley laughs. *
GigiEdgley: It was the puppeteer's. John Eckelston's.
GigiEdgley: He's a character. He's also one of the crew that's very clever at pulling tricks on the actors.
GigiEdgley: You've got to watch Rygel. he's sly and quick. or so he thinks.

Moderator: <Garrick> to <Moderator> Do you plan on having your own page, like Virginia Hey does?

GigiEdgley: There's already one out there.
GigiEdgley: Mindy Sumter has created an amazing website for me.
GigiEdgley: And every time I look at it, it keeps changing constantly.
GigiEdgley: There are some fantastic pictures and posters there.
GigiEdgley: I've printed a few of them out, they're hanging around the walls in my trailer.

Moderator: <babymoya> to <Moderator> In waht direction would you like to see Chiana go in the Farscape? A heroine, gun toting chick like Aeryn Sun or a seductive, priestess like Zhaan?

GigiEdgley: To dabble with the two, I think.
GigiEdgley: Yeah, I can't really tell you that. Chiana sort of makes up her own mind.
GigiEdgley: It's got nothing to do with Gigi.
GigiEdgley: I usually find out just before they go "action!"
* GigiEdgley smiles *

Moderator: <Olympiafishhead> to <Moderator> What do you think about the idea of doing a Farscape movie?

GigiEdgley: oooh, that would be a dream.
GigiEdgley: it would be fantastic.
GigiEdgley: c'mon you guys, you've got to keep evangelizing for it!
GigiEdgley: it's bizarre enough at the moment having action figures on the way.
GigiEdgley: she comes with her own handcuff. very very scary.
* GigiEdgley laughs *
GigiEdgley: lucky, otherwise there would be Chianas running amok everywhere.

Moderator: How're you doing, Gigi? We're closing on an hour. Should we wrap it up with a couple more questions, or should we just keep going?

GigiEdgley: Give another 10 minutes?

Moderator: Sho 'nuff!
Moderator: <SENORSHUTTER1> to <Moderator> Gigi have you seen the film Pitch Black yet?

GigiEdgley: No, I haven't seen it yet.
GigiEdgley: It'll be awesome to watch some of Claudia's other work. She's an inspirational actor.

Moderator: <Powrhug> to <Moderator> Gi-has this all been a little overwhelming? Fun?

GigiEdgley: Yes, it's been very strange! I feel so foreign to you guys.
GigiEdgley: Speaking to 306 people is a bizarre experience.
GigiEdgley: Yes, yes, some more please, sir.
* GigiEdgley smiles. *
GigiEdgley: The whole Farscape experience has been a surreal dream.
GigiEdgley: There's just one lesson after the next, and the more I realize I know, the more I realize I DON'T know.
GigiEdgley: On my 2nd day of work, I got called up to the office and I thought "maybe maybe Chiana's gonna stick around, be a part of the crew for good,"
GigiEdgley: and instead it was a note on the accent.
GigiEdgley: originally I was a mid-atlantic american alien.
GigiEdgley: and the australian producers wanted an australian alien.
GigiEdgley: so there have been good technical lessons in that form as well.
GigiEdgley: to learn who to listen to, because after ep 15, Chiana changed her accent back to australian for the austrailan producers.
GigiEdgley: you may pick up some of it in the eps.
GigiEdgley: by the end of series one, they decided they wanted her back in american, so we dubbed over as many scenes as we could to try to meet their needs.
GigiEdgley: but there are still a few australian bits coming out here and there.
GigiEdgley: so, sorry! I don't mean to offend your beautiful accent.
GigiEdgley: that was a little overwhelming.
GigiEdgley: but in series 2, miss cheeky mid-atlantic american alien is returning. :)
GigiEdgley: and HAPPY about it.
* GigiEdgley laughs. *

Moderator: <Rictor> to <Moderator> Did you actually have to inhale helium?

GigiEdgley: hahaha
GigiEdgley: it's all done in post-production.
GigiEdgley: but to get the right feel, we sometimes put on a "helium voice" in the scene.
GigiEdgley: we can entertain ourselves for hours.
* GigiEdgley laughs. *

Moderator: <sfweekly> to <Moderator> This isn't your first sci-fi experience...are you a fan of the genre? Any favorite shows (besides Farscape)?

GigiEdgley: My first sci-fi experience, this time I get to play a person who lives on a different planet. And as I was driving to work today I looked at the full moon that was still high in the sky, and counted my blessings for being able to explore some of those planets on this planet.
GigiEdgley: Let alone the creatures and different life forms that live within them.
GigiEdgley: And it was a full moon, too -- we had an eclipse yesterday!
GigiEdgley: Except we were inside shooting, so we didn't see it.

Moderator: We get one tonight. :)

GigiEdgley: But I felt it.
GigiEdgley: ahhh, beautiful. don't forget to make your positive affirmations!

Moderator: still working on that part.... :)

GigiEdgley: dream the life, live the dream.

Moderator: <babymoya> to <Moderator> Did Claudia Black's alien voice scare you when you first heard it coming out of own her mouth live and in stereo? Do have an alien voice that you do as well?

GigiEdgley: I didn't see it until I saw ep 16, about a week ago.
GigiEdgley: And I thought it was done in post-sync. And I asked Ben about it, and he told me no, it's her real alien voice.
GigiEdgley: I was very impressed.
GigiEdgley: Yes, Chiana has a few different lingos that she slips in and out of now and then.

Moderator: <elhaym> to <Moderator> Gigi you are on a show that deals with aliens so...do you believe extraterrestial life?

GigiEdgley: Absolutely!
GigiEdgley: I've grown up with a family that encourages believing in the magical and the mystical.
GigiEdgley: If you don't look for them, they'll never look for you.

Moderator: Well, thanks for taking the time off and coming to chat with us.
Moderator: Do you have any parts shots for the crowd of...

GigiEdgley: Thank you so much guys for all coming today. I'm sending you all my faerie kisses and luff!

Moderator: wow! so many people!
Moderator: ...before you go?

GigiEdgley: I'll be checking out the message board and getting into the chat rooms over the weekend. Hope to see you guys there.
GigiEdgley: Thank you for all your support, and love, and giggles!

Moderator: Thanks again for coming.