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Chat: Paul Goddard

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Chat: Paul Goddard

Subject(s): Paul Goddard, Farscape Actor
Dated: May 10, 2001
Source: SciFi.com


PaulGoddard: Hi, everyone out there in Cyberword!

Moderator: Hello, and welcome to tonight's Farscape chat featuring Paul "Stark" Goddard.
Moderator: Paul, how are things on the set these days?

PaulGoddard: Nice to see so many scapers logged in
PaulGoddard: I'm a virgin chatter so this is quite exciting for me
PaulGoddard: ....please be gentle

Moderator: OK, just this once.
Moderator: Are you ready for some questions?

PaulGoddard: oh yeah...hit me

Moderator: <olincoln> to <Moderator>: Question: Paul, Did you know that the character Stark would be a regular on the show or did this come as a surprise?

PaulGoddard: When I did the double ep. in Series 1, some of the cast were keen to see me come back and I got some good feedback from the writers and producers.
PaulGoddard: Shortly after that it became clear that they wanted to bring Stark back at some point.
PaulGoddard: But...he was not created as a character that would return initally.
PaulGoddard: I was very pleased that they considered him enough of a success to bring him back

Moderator: <shokoti> to <Moderator>: And I have another question... Stark and Zhaan have great on-screen chemistry, and I loved their interactions. Did you and Virginia have good chemistry off-screen too?

PaulGoddard: I'm glad you asked me that shokoti.
PaulGoddard: I'm pleased that you think there was on screen chemistry. Sorry to say we weren't entwined romantically in real life.
PaulGoddard: We worked hard to develop a great working rapour and did spend a good deal of time rehersing the scenes together and trying to establish a bond and connection on screen
PaulGoddard: It was a great pleasure working with and off Virginia.

Moderator: <dw-mckim> to <Moderator>: One thing that impressed me with your debut was your chemistry with Ben (always a treat to see great male/male interaction) - will there be any more of that coming up this season?

PaulGoddard: Ben was one of the people agitating for my return.
PaulGoddard: Because we had a great time working together
PaulGoddard: Both of us bemoan the fact (we did only yesterday in fact) that since Stark's return Crichton & Stark have had very little interraction.
PaulGoddard: Stark had his Zhaan and Crichton had his Scorpy
PaulGoddard: But we'd love to get some story lines where Crichton and Stark have a bit of drama together

Moderator: <BigNoseBob> to <Moderator>: Paul, I know firsthand how hard it is playing an unstable character. Do you do any warm ups...mental or physical in terms of acting?

PaulGoddard: I just take a lot of drugs....ha ha!
PaulGoddard: No...I do drink strong coffee if there is a scene where Stark is supposed to be extremely agitated. I'm not much of a coffee drinker you see.
PaulGoddard: For the initial preparation I looked at One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest of course. It was particularly the characters other than Jack Nicholson that were of use.
PaulGoddard: I found the whole film in retrospect a bit of a romanticisation of mental illness.
PaulGoddard: I also looked at Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys, I thought he was terrific.
PaulGoddard: It's tricky playing an alien who is mentally unstable because you are not operating under the same perameters as if you were a human. You don't know what an alien's idea of stable is. Perhaps what we consider as a bit of craziness in Stark is actually the norm in his culture.
PaulGoddard: I have wondered whether upon meeting more Banik slaves we might find they are all neurotic by our standards.

Moderator: <RygelEstrogenBrigade> to <Moderator>: Paul, you didn't have much chance to work with the puppets before "Liars, Guns, and Money". How did you find working with them as opposed to a live actor?

PaulGoddard: When I first came on the show and me Rygel I said to myself, "He is an actor, I would *love* to develop and onscreen relationship with....I don't mean that romantically.
PaulGoddard: When I was a kid I used to rush home, aged 14, to watch Seasame Street just for the Muppet moments.
PaulGoddard: I wanted to be a Muppet! Failing that to be a Muppetier.
PaulGoddard: So working on a Henson show was a dream come true
PaulGoddard: I have had more to do with Rygel of late, in particular an ep. coming up Rygel and I spend a great deal of time in a little power struggle.
PaulGoddard: It was fantastic doing this episode because in a way it was like a little road movie for me and Rygel.
PaulGoddard: He may appear rude and selfish on screen but off he's always a gentleman and a joy to work opposite.

Moderator: <naturalredhead> to <Moderator>: paul.. what do you wear under your "mask" if anything? and how long does makeup take for it?

PaulGoddard: A little bit of rouge and some eyeliner :)
PaulGoddard: but seriously..... I am the lukiest S.O.B. in the show with regard to make up - only half a face to be made up in the first place and very little hair.
PaulGoddard: I'm in the chair for 10 minutes while others are in there for hours.
PaulGoddard: Underneath the mask when we do the special light effect I sometimes wear a few dots, so that when I remove the mask the special effects team have a kind of grid to lock onto.
PaulGoddard: For the moments when you have seen my actual face without the lights they have used a big blue patch to blue screen in the nothingness.

Moderator: <TimToon> to <Moderator>: Here's an simple question: do you have any depth perception problems while wearing Stark's 'phantom of the opera'-type mask, or can you see out of it with the other eye?

PaulGoddard: Fabulous question TimToon!
PaulGoddard: Absolutely.
PaulGoddard: Your depth of field virtually disappears, hence running down stairs, that appear flat as a board while being chased by Peacekeepers etc. provides a significant challenge.
PaulGoddard: So I'm visually and aurally, because of the masking of the ear, impaired.

Moderator: More mask questions (we're on a roll):
Moderator: <Summerhush> to <Moderator>: Paul, this may sound stupid, but I've always wondered... Do you keep the eye under the mask open or closed?
Moderator: <Tolfin> to <Moderator>: does you face hurt after whering it for so long

PaulGoddard: Initially, we had trouble with it, every time my left eye blinked my right eye would follow suit and the eyelid/lash scraped itself against the chamois lining of the mask.
PaulGoddard: We then dug out the chamois around the eye and tried putting an eye patch over the eye to hold the lid down.
PaulGoddard: But now I am able to wear the mask and forget about such questions all together. Some how its taken care of itself. I can't tell you now whether my eye opens and closes naturally in tandem with other eye.
PaulGoddard: Tolfin, my face doesn't hurt, I remove it after every take. It's just strap on, strap off.

Moderator: more mask questions!
Moderator: <Thinkum> to <Moderator>: what is Stark's mask actually made of?
Moderator: <Bart-Simpson-Delta> to <Moderator>: How heavy is your mask? It looks like bronze.
Moderator: <Crichton-32288> to <Moderator>: This is a dumb question, but... What do you do if you get in itch underneath the mask?

PaulGoddard: Regarding the itch question, I just strap off, itch then strap on.
PaulGoddard: The mask is quantamly engineered using a genetically unmodified froonium derivative that naturally takes the shape in a situation of zero gravity while I'm standing on my head obeying the natural law F = KQ1/R squared
PaulGoddard: It's pretty heavy but then Stark is a pretty heavy dude.

Moderator: speaking of itches...
Moderator: <RoguePlanet1> to <Moderator>: Paul, we usually hold off on this question until near the end (it's sort of a 'Farscape Chat Tradition' but, tell us honestly: Boxers, or briefs?

PaulGoddard: I already been briefed that I may receive this question

Moderator: ...aren't you glad it wasn't another mask question? :)

PaulGoddard: And to be honest it is a question I ask myself every day.
PaulGoddard: Boxers...or Briefs...?? Boxers or Briefs??
PaulGoddard: It's a mood thing
PaulGoddard: Though it has become a health issue since seeing the ep. of Seinfield recently in which the dangers of brief wearing were carefully set out. I am inclining more frequently towards boxers and am increasing surprised with the sense claustophobia that I am experiencing when I return to a favoured pair of Calvins.
PaulGoddard: Boxers today.

Moderator: <StaRMS-JennHi> to <Moderator>: Hello, Paul! Jennhi of the Stark Raving Mad Society here (StaRMS.org). In almost every episode that has Stark, you have at least one scene where he just goes wild. We at StaRMS call it a "Stark Moment". It's fabulous! How much of that is scripted, and how much is improvised?

PaulGoddard: Well Jennhi (love the idea of a SRM Society), do you realise that Stark is of the Raving Mads. It is my belief that there is a long line of Raving Mads who have an illustrious and noble past.
PaulGoddard: The words are carefully scripted, I may add a few here and there as we do, but I guess what I do with them is where sense of play and improv comes in.
PaulGoddard: When Stark returned in the second season it was my concern that the feigned madness from the first series would go, leaving Stark with just his calm spiritual side.
PaulGoddard: What I thought was fantastic about the character was the polarity.
PaulGoddard: The writers were keen to keep both elements and for a while we played up the craziness.
PaulGoddard: But when the idea of Zhaan and Stark getting together was muted, Virginia said one day, when Stark was being particularly demented. Oh my God! Zhaan gets together with that! or something along those lines and I thought.. she's quite right.
PaulGoddard: I have to find the part of Stark that Zhaan would respond to positively and make him more that man when he is with her.
PaulGoddard: So Zhaan came to have a calming effect on him and he became someone who when, with her, was a more attractive mate.
PaulGoddard: When she died, I took that a cue for Stark through grief and through losing his "better half" to regress into a less stable state.

Moderator: <TracicarT> to <Moderator>: It seems most of the Farscape cast & crew have extensive theatre experience - can we add you to that list? I'm working on your bio for the atf FAQ - could you give us a few tibits of info, like birth date, favorite food, acting experience, phone number....<evilgrin>

PaulGoddard: Sure add me to the list of thespians.
PaulGoddard: Most of my career has been spent in theatre. Most of the work I've done has been with the Sydney Theatre Company, Australia's most prominent Theatre Company.
PaulGoddard: I'm about to do a play for them which will be performed at the Sydney Opera House
PaulGoddard: It's called School for Scandal and Judy Davis is Directing. I hope you all know who she is. A brilliant Australian Actress with an international profile and this is her second foray into Directing.
PaulGoddard: I think this will be the 22nd or 23rd production I've done for the Sydney Theatre Company.
PaulGoddard: I think a theatre background is of some use for a Farscape actor. After all Farscape is quite fantastical, it's not your kitchen sink drama, and often requires extensive characterisation.
PaulGoddard: A lot of the guest actors have extensive theatre backgrounds as well.
PaulGoddard: My favourite colour is Red, I love Thai food, love chocolate ice cream, but don't endulge often. At the moment I'm right into Apricot and Nuts porridge.
PaulGoddard: The films I've worked on are among others The Matrix, Agent Brown.
PaulGoddard: In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie I was in it for a moment as construction worker number two.
PaulGoddard: In Babe I was the tight arsed son in law.

Moderator: (mighty morphin' construction worker number two?)
Moderator: <She-Wolf> to <Moderator>: Paul, you are fantastic! Off topic, but will you appear in the Matrix sequel(s)?

PaulGoddard: I can't give anything away in that regard its all top secret.

Moderator: <RoguePlanet1> to <Moderator>: Paul, do you think the advent of so many American-produced science fiction productions in Australia (Farscape, Star Wars: Episode II, Pitch Black, The Matrix) has opened the doors to science fiction - as a genre - to Australian productions and performers?

PaulGoddard: Certainly to Australian performers but I'm not aware of any solely Australian SciFi productions. I guess the bottom line is Scifi costs a good deal of money not usually availabe to Aussie prods.

Moderator: <Zakalwe> to <Moderator>: Paul..I enjoyed your performance in the movie "Holy Smoke." How did you like working under Jane Campion?

PaulGoddard: It was a great thrill and so much to learn!
PaulGoddard: Kate Winslet was also terrific to work with, we discovered on the first day of rehersal that we hailed from the same town in England which fascilitated an immediate rapport and cemented the brother and sister onscreen relationship.
PaulGoddard: The town of course is, Reading, England
PaulGoddard: Holy Smoke is an extraordinary movie it really polarises people, my father loathhhhhhhhed it, whereas I know other people who found it profoundly moving.

Moderator: <Muse0> to <Moderator>: Paul, were you a fan of SciFi before Matrix and Farscape?

PaulGoddard: I loved the Avengers, absolutely adored it.
PaulGoddard: It wasn't so much the Scifi elements as the rapport between Steed and Emma and later Tara King and Steed that attracted me. It was also *such* a glamorous and sophisticated world they moved in.
PaulGoddard: But the science fiction element of it also hooked me.
PaulGoddard: I loved Lost in Space as child.
PaulGoddard: Of course Dr Smith, was more an attraction than the scifi parts.
PaulGoddard: Love the Borg!!! Love the Borg!!! Especially in First Contract, loved the queen. Just heard she's back ST Ten.
PaulGoddard: Bond movies, had an absolute passion for them and it was the high tech elements particularly that hooked me.
PaulGoddard: I am more of a psychology fan than physics fan. Hence it is often the episodes of Farscape in which the core drama is interpersonal or psychological or philisophical that I find most galvanising.

Moderator: <Prokofiev> to <Moderator>: Word has it you're actually a friend of Justin Monjo. What dirt can you give us on the Monj?

PaulGoddard: I love Prokofiev, love Prokofiev.
PaulGoddard: Dirt?
PaulGoddard: let me see.....
PaulGoddard: the man is a Saint
PaulGoddard: what else can I say?
PaulGoddard: he's currently writing an episode with a good Stark story line.
PaulGoddard: the man is a Saint!
PaulGoddard: (I hope he reads thise)
PaulGoddard: oops -e
PaulGoddard: Justin was a year behind me in the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). He is a terrific actor and Stark a little bit based on him, I would say. He has a wonderful manic energy.

Moderator: good LORD, it's already 7 minutes past the hour. can you stick around a bit longer for a few more questions? we've got plenty...

PaulGoddard: Oh absolutely! This is a joyful deflowering. Doesn't time fly when you are having fun talking about yourself.

Moderator: Super!
Moderator: <LittleLeviathan> to <Moderator>: Hey, Paul, can you give us any indication (*cough* spoilers *cough*) as to the direction your character is headed?

PaulGoddard: Forward, sideways and frequently backwards.
PaulGoddard: As you know I *can not* simply _cannot_ divulge any spoilers
PaulGoddard: But.....
PaulGoddard: I guess I could say..
PaulGoddard: It's the Season of Death
PaulGoddard: But.....
PaulGoddard: as you know Stark has this very handy fascility for dying and coming back to life.

Moderator: (if you've just joined us, we've entered overtime in our chat with Paul Goddard...)

PaulGoddard: sorry about the delay, can't give away any more....
PaulGoddard: ...not that I've given away anything really.

Moderator: On behalf of the group, I'll take one more stab at gleening some new info:
Moderator: <ShipperShan> to <Moderator>: We have had a ton of dark episodes so far... at least one person has died in each one!! Are we gonna be getting any episodes like Crackers Don't Matter, or Beware of Dog anytime soon?

PaulGoddard: Yes.
PaulGoddard: There are zany times ahead
PaulGoddard: I just watched Crackers Don't Matter for the first time a couple of nights ago and loved it!
PaulGoddard: I was just talking to Ben yesterday about how much I loved his craziness in the show. He said that they really had a lot of fun playing around with that one.
PaulGoddard: It was Ben that showed me how far I could go initially with the madness of Stark.
PaulGoddard: Watching that episode gave me a little boost in terms of letting Stark's craziness rip a bit more in the episode we are shooting now.

Moderator: <DaniRoyer> to <Moderator>: Paul, love the character...love the character...love the character! The rest of the cast has had a bit of time to get use to us fans. What do you think about the fan reaction to your character and the show and did the rest of the cast and crew give you warning of us?

PaulGoddard: They did give me warning, but I am very timid when it comes to logging on and checking out feedback.
PaulGoddard: I guess I really should be braver and see what you guys have to say.
PaulGoddard: When I did log on I was fascinated by the speculation that goes on. You really go into it at a deep level. This inspires one to pay attention to every detail and nuance in the knowledge that somebody out there will pick it up.

Moderator: <Xenajules2> to <Moderator>: Paul, do you ever read the SciFi bulliten board?

PaulGoddard: Yes I have, a couple of times. Only after series one aired. I was pleased to see that I was nominated for an award from the society of prevention of cruelty to crichton.

Moderator: <dw-mckim> to <Moderator>: So from one Henson fan to another...what's it like being the recipient of "Pilot puke"?

PaulGoddard: Fantastic
PaulGoddard: Delicious
PaulGoddard: That was a joy to do.
PaulGoddard: I love a bit of comedy.
PaulGoddard: Surprisingly its a lot tastier than it may look.
PaulGoddard: I really had to act disgust because well, it was, rather...moorish.

Moderator: Going back to the "letting Stark's craziness rip," which ep are you working on now, so that we can look forward to it?

PaulGoddard: Episode 12 Season 3

Moderator: Thanks.
Moderator: <stargatetravler> to <Moderator>: Hey Paul, which ep of the ones you have been in did you have the most fun doing, which one was the hardiest and which one was your favorite?

PaulGoddard: Episode 8 coming up has been my all time favourite. Green Eyed Monster.
PaulGoddard: You'll understand why when you see it.
PaulGoddard: Of the ones you have seen which was the hardest???
PaulGoddard: hrm....
PaulGoddard: I guess the ones that are hard are the ones where there is some degree of emotion other than anger or fear that has to be explored.
PaulGoddard: The early episodes of this Season where Stark is dealing with Zhaan's death were tricky in regards to emotional placement.
PaulGoddard: You don't want to get too sentimental in the playing of it, you want the audience to feel the emotion more than you displaying it as an actor.
PaulGoddard: I hope you understand what I mean.
PaulGoddard: There is nothing worse, for me, than watching an actor indulge in some emotional acting to the degree where they don't let you in.
PaulGoddard: So many times I've watched documentaries where people have talked about the most horrific and tragic things without turning into a blubbering mess. Yet you know, that underneath they are experiencing deep pain.

Moderator: <dik-dik> to <Moderator>: Greetings from the UK, Paul! Farscape has a wonderful history of startling its audience with its audacity and unpredictability. Are you jaded to that element of surprise now, or do the writers still find ways to shock you?

PaulGoddard: Every moment.
PaulGoddard: I am still shocked by the scripts.
PaulGoddard: I mean that in a good way.
PaulGoddard: I love it when you get a script and you realise that they have provided you with an opportunity to go left field.
PaulGoddard: On a day to day basis because of the culture of left fieldism on the Farscape set I am always trying to find new and slightly odd ways of dealing with moments. Sometimes you resort to the familiar but it is always a joy to discover a way that you think will be unexpected.
PaulGoddard: It's something I love about the show.

Moderator: <Gmmas> to <Moderator>: Paul: you did an excellent imitation of Zhaan in Different Destinations. Can we expect to see Stark mimicing any of the others on Moya?
Moderator: (we've got time for a few more questions, so send your last questions to me now)

PaulGoddard: I'd love too.
PaulGoddard: I always thought that Stark should have kept some of Zhaan's clothing
PaulGoddard: she had the best outfits.

Moderator: <accapella> to <Moderator>: Paul - great job on the show!!! Hope see you at ScaperCon2001 in Cincinnati, OH !!!!! My question: Can you shed a little insight on the moment in "Wait for the Wheel" when Stark looks at Aeryn and says "You are very pretty." - What's going on there???

PaulGoddard: We spent quite a bit of time on that moment trying to figure out how to play it and what it meant. I don't want to say that there is a definative meaning to it after all the construction of meaning is in the eye of the beholder and we wanted there to be some ambiguity.
PaulGoddard: We also wanted to give ourselves the option to go in a number of directions.
PaulGoddard: First I've heard of ScaperCon2001, I'm a convention virgin too. I'll have to get back to you on that.

Moderator: <heliophobe> to <Moderator>: Paul, will you be attending any conventions such as the San Diego Comic Con?
Moderator: Or making any appearances in the States at all?

PaulGoddard: No plans to visit the States at the moment but it sounds very attractive. I'd love to during the break between Seasons.

Moderator: <Inity> to <Moderator>: . Paul, I never thought I'd get a chance to say you that you were my _favorite_ actor in "the Matrix" and your character there was my favoritest! I made a gallery of your pics in "the Matrix" and I wanted to create a fan-site about you here, in Russia. How do I find more information about you, there's not much info about you on the Net, and may be you have an address where fans can write to contact you? Thank you a lot...
Moderator: Paul?

PaulGoddard: Fascinated to have a fan in Russia, thanks Inity
PaulGoddard: I'm just chasing up an address for you.
PaulGoddard: send mail care of Jim Henson Productions 1416 North La Brea Avenue Los Angeles CA 90028
PaulGoddard: I'm thrilled that you are interested in making a site around me. I'm trying to get something up and running myself so that there will be some information out there but that will be some months away.
PaulGoddard: When I get my bio information together and on the web I'll post the URL on the bboard.

Moderator: Paul, we have so many questions we could do this all night...
Moderator: ...but I'm afraid we'll have to wrap this one up. Will you come back again sometime for a follow-up?

PaulGoddard: absolutely, this was only the foreplay.

Moderator: I hope we were sufficiently gentle. We'll save the rough stuff for next time. ;)
Moderator: Any final comments for the assembled throng?

PaulGoddard: Yeah Baby, yeah!
PaulGoddard: Thanks heaps for logging on, it's quite a thrill to know that there are so many of you taking such an interest in the show.
PaulGoddard: Caio for naio