One TV program which is frequently rated among the best shows on TV in the U.S. is “Battlestar Galactica,” a 4-season reimagining of the 1970s series about the battle between the forces of good (humans) and evil (Cylons) in outer space. “I think the element of human drama cuts across all cultures, the fight for life and death, spirituality … we open up the doors for questions,” says star Grace Park during a recent visit to Japan to promote the DVD release of the series. “The show is visually appealing, the music is fantastic. And the storylines have a lot of surprises. Characters are both strong and flawed. Even the heroes have their doubts and ugly sides.”
Park, a 34-year-old Canadian actress of Korean descent, plays the humanoid Cylon Sharon “Boomer” Valerii, initially planted as a sleeper agent in the human fleet. During her four years on the show, she has developed a fan base and says she gets fan mail from Germany, France, Australia and now Japan. “I’ve been to two conventions in the States. Occasionally I bump into people on the street who watch the show, so that’s cool.”
The series will soon finish in the U.S. and there is talk of a movie version. “I think it would depend on if we have a story that is worth telling. We have invested so much into the series that we wouldn’t want to jeopardize the name. ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Star Trek’ did a great job with their movies but you have to have a good script,” Park says.
Working with established actors like Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell was like being with a big family on the set, she recalls. “You see each other for 14-16 hours a day. We were filming in Vancouver, so we were insulated from the creators and writers in LA and the network in New York. Eddie is like a giant teddy bear, and Mary McDonnell is super gracious.”
Though she has done a lot of science-fiction TV, Park says the genre doesn’t overly appeal to her. “It’s mostly because I lived in Vancouver and that’s where they filmed ‘The X-Files.’ After that, Vancouver attracted a lot of other science-fiction shows, such as ‘Stargate,’ ’The Outer Limits,’ ’Dark Angel‘ and ‘Andromeda.’ They were just the auditions I happened to go to.”
Park says that as a child, she never really considered acting as a career. “I wanted to be a marine biologist or maybe a chef.” After getting a degree in psychology at the University of British Columbia, she did some modeling before getting her break in 2000 in the Canadian teen soap opera “Edgemont.” “I learned a lot on that set, about the pace of making a TV series. I’ve really matured since then and put so much more effort into my work.”
Besides “Battlestar Galactica,” Park has appeared as a U.S. Homeland Security agent in the TV series, “The Border,” and as a member of a team that helps recovering addicts in “The Cleaner.” When she is not working, Park says she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, yoga and dancing. Other than at conventions, she doesn’t get much of a chance to interact with fans. “I’m totally not a blogger. Sometimes I don’t even check my email. I know I should.”
The first season of “Battlestar Galactica” can currently be seen Tuesday nights on NTV. The Season 3 DVD set will be released on May 22.© Japan Today