Exclusive Interview: Tamoh Penikett Talks BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and DOLLHOUSE

tamoh penikett
The TV Addict with Tamoh Penikett in Los Angeles, January 2009

After parlaying five seasons on the critically acclaimed BATTLESTAR GALACTICA into a starring role in Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated new series DOLLHOUSE, some might say Tamoh Penikett is the luckiest actor in Hollywood. This TV Addict wouldn’t be one of those people.

As recently, we were given the opportunity to interview Penikett, whose incredibly concise and well thought out answers made it clear that ‘luck’ has nothing to do with it.

The following is what he had to say with regards to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA coming to an end, the fate of his character Lt. Karl C. ‘Helo’ Agathon and his role in Whedon’s upcoming DOLLHOUSE.

What would you say you’re more excited for, the premiere of DOLLHOUSE or for people to stop asking you about the identity of the final Cylon?
Tamoh Penikett:
[Laughs] Good question! I’m excited about both. I’ll tell you this, from a purely egotistical stand point, I’m just proud of the fact that I’m on two shows at the same time. I think it’s great. I’ve got an incredible series coming to an end that I think fans are going to be really really happy with. Especially the last three episodes where all I will say is that it’s going to be a very just and perfect conclusion for BATTLESTAR. And I’m really excited to be a part of this new Joss Whedon series (DOLLHOUSE). I’ve gone from one successful show to potentially and hopefully another one. I’m a lucky guy.

Was it a challenge to prepare for Helo’s big heroic death scene?
[Laughs] Ahhh… trying to be tricky I see.

I knew you’d be too smart to fall for that one, but can you really blame me for trying?
I understand.There are pictures all over the internet where obviously Helo isn’t doing very well and there is a lot of speculation about what happens to me. All I can say about this is that what happens to Helo is not going to be predictable. A lot of people are going to be really surprised.

Does the internet’s insistence on spoiling everything frustrate you as an actor?
I’ve never understood spoilers. Is not being surprised why you watch a series? The opportunity to enjoy the roller-coaster ride. It’s like sports. I don’t want to know the result. It’s funny, some people like spoilers, some people don’t. I’ve never given any away and I’m not going to start now.

Tamoh Penikett dollhouse

Moving on to something you can talk about. How excited are you to be joining the Joss Whedon Universe and with it, gain an entirely new legion of loyal followers.
I keep hearing about this and luckily, I’ve somewhat been set up for it coming from the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA world. I’m excited that there’s already this built in fan-base and so much expectation and excitement about the show. It’s great because a lot of shows don’t have that working for them right off that bat and we do.

What can you tell us about your DOLLHOUSE character?
Paul is an FBI agent who is given the case of the “Dollhouse.” Now I think, it’s kind of like his last case where he either solves it or he doesn’t. The fact is that it’s kind of a catch 22 situation. I don’t believe his superiors have any confidence that he’s actually going to get to the bottom of the dollhouse. Because anytime he gets any leads, makes any progress, he runs into walls and stops. But Paul is incredibly driven and once he starts something he has to finish it.

What would you say are the most interesting qualities about Paul?
What’s interesting about Paul is the question as to why is he so alone? Why is he so incessant on working by himself? Is it his self righteous attitude that pushes everyone away and what happened in his past that has made him like this, so destructive.

Do you know the answers to those questions?
Joss has given me some stuff, but I’ve also made some choices, which is something you always have to do as an actor. Whether or not my choices fit in to where the character eventually goes, I don’t know. At a point where Paul starts getting information about Echo (Eliza Dushku), something clicks in him. Motivates him even more. Even with all his frustrations and all the roadblocks that he keeps running into, something compels him even more to get on the case. It’s not just the dollhouse, a beautiful girl, I’m not sure what it is. But there is definitely something about this girl.

Would it be safe to say that Paul has a personal connection to someone in the dollhouse?
There’s definitely potential for that. But we all know Joss Whedon. Perhaps in our second or third season it will come out that Paul and Echo knew each other at a certain point. Or what I’d like to say and I don’t often share my choices, is that I think Paul suffered some loss in the past and that something in this girl (Echo) reminds him of that. Something happened in his life that makes him set on helping those in distress, especially females. There is something with this girl that changes everything and motivates him even more.

With all the hype surrounding the conclusion of BSG and DOLLHOUSE, how surreal is your life right now?
It is surreal but I’m not a guy who takes it for granted. I’m very grateful for everything that has happened in my career and I think you have to be. It keeps you humble and gives you humility, which you need in this business. There’s not a morning that I don’t get up and I’m not grateful to be going to work. I’m an actor, I get paid to do what I love and I’m working with some of the best in the business.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA airs tonight at 10PM on the Sci Fi Channel and DOLLHOUSE premieres on FOX on Friday February 13

Co. Cr: Kurt Iswarienko/FOX

 

After parlaying five seasons on the critically acclaimed BATTLESTAR GALACTICA into a starring role in Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated new series DOLLHOUSE, some might say Tamoh Penikett is the luckiest actor in Hollywood.

This TV Addict wouldn’t be one of those people.

As recently, we were given the opportunity to interview Penikett, whose incredibly concise and well thought out answers made it clear that ‘luck’ has nothing to do with it.

The following is what he had to say with regards to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA coming to an end, the fate of his character Lt. Karl C. ‘Helo’ Agathon and his role in the Dollhouse.

What would you say you’re more excited for, the premiere of DOLLHOUSE or for people to stop asking you about the identity of the final Cylon?
Tamoh Penikett:
[Laughs] Good question! I’m excited about both. I’ll tell you this, from a purely egotistical stand point, I’m just proud of the fact that I’m on two shows at the same time. I think it’s great. I’ve got an incredible series coming to an end that I think fans are going to be really really happy with. Especially the last three episodes where all I will say is that it’s going to be a very just and perfect conclusion for BATTLESTAR. And I’m really excited to be a part of this new Joss Whedon series (DOLLHOUSE). I’ve gone from one successful show to potentially and hopefully another one. I’m a lucky guy.

Was it a challenge to prepare for Helo’s big heroic death scene?
[Laughs] Ahhh… trying to be tricky I see.

I knew you’d be too smart to fall for that one, but can you really blame me for trying?
I understand.There are pictures all over the internet where obviously Helo isn’t doing very well and there is a lot of speculation about what happens to me. All I can say about this is that what happens to Helo is not going to be predictable. A lot of people are going to be really surprised.

Does the internet’s insistence on spoiling everything frustrate you as an actor?
I’ve never understood spoilers. Is not being surprised why you watch a series? The opportunity to enjoy the roller-coaster ride. It’s like sports. I don’t want to know the result. It’s funny, some people like spoilers, some people don’t. I’ve never given any away and I’m not going to start now.

Moving on to something you can talk about. How excited are you to be joining the Joss Whedon Universe and with it, gain an entirely new legion of loyal followers.
I keep hearing about this and luckily, I’ve somewhat been set up for it coming from the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA world. I’m excited that there’s already this built in fan-base and so much expectation and excitement about the show. It’s great because a lot of shows don’t have that working for them right off that bat and we do.

 

What can you tell us about your DOLLHOUSE character?
Paul is an FBI agent who is given the case of the “Dollhouse.” Now I think, it’s kind of like his last case where he either solves it or he doesn’t. The fact is that it’s kind of a catch 22 situation. I don’t believe his superiors have any confidence that he’s actually going to get to the bottom of the dollhouse. Because anytime he gets any leads, makes any progress, he runs into walls and stops. But Paul is incredibly driven and once he starts something he has to finish it.

What would you say are the most interesting qualities about Paul?
What’s interesting about Paul is the question as to why is he so alone? Why is he so incessant on working by himself? Is it his self righteous attitude that pushes everyone away and what happened in his past that has made him like this, so destructive.

Do you know the answers to those questions?
Joss has given me some stuff, but I’ve also made some choices, which is something you always have to do as an actor. Whether or not my choices fit in to where the character eventually goes, I don’t know. At a point where Paul starts getting information about Echo (Eliza Dushku), something clicks in him. Motivates him even more. Even with all his frustrations and all the roadblocks that he keeps running into, something compels him even more to get on the case. It’s not just the dollhouse, a beautiful girl, I’m not sure what it is. But there is definitely something about this girl.

Would it be safe to say that Paul has a personal connection to someone in the dollhouse?
There’s definitely potential for that. But we all know Joss Whedon. Perhaps in our second or third season it will come out that Paul and Echo knew each other at a certain point. Or what I’d like to say and I don’t often share my choices, is that I think Paul suffered some loss in the past and that something in this girl (Echo) reminds him of that. Something happened in his life that makes him set on helping those in distress, especially females. There is something with this girl that changes everything and motivates him even more.

With all the hype surrounding the conclusion of BSG and DOLLHOUSE, how surreal is your life right now?
It is surreal but I’m not a guy who takes it for granted. I’m very grateful for everything that has happened in my career and I think you have to be. It keeps you humble and gives you humility, which you need in this business. There’s not a morning that I don’t get up and I’m not grateful to be going to work. I’m an actor, I get paid to do what I love and I’m working with some of the best in the business.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA airs tonight at 10PM on the Sci Fi Channel and DOLLHOUSE premieres on FOX on Friday February 13

Co. Cr: Kurt Iswarienko/FOX

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