The mysterious, the enigmatic, the press shy Michael Hogan is a mystery no more. For the actor, who famously shunned interviews and conventions during the course of his critically acclaimed four seasons stint playing BATTLESTAR GALACITCA’s Col. Saul Tigh for fear that it would dilute the power of his performance is now doing a victory lap on the convention circuit as a thank you to his most important critics, the fans. Which is where this TV Addict had the privilege of catching up with him, at this weekend’s Polaris Convention 23 in beautiful Toronto Canada and why we’re thrilled to be able to bring you 10 things you might not have known about BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Star Michael Hogan.
He almost didn’t bother auditioning for the role: “I hadn’t seen the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, so when I found out they were doing it [the re-imagined series] I wasn’t really interested in it,” explained Hogan, who credits director Michael Rymer for even getting him into the audition room. “I saw Angel Baby, an independent film out of Australia and it was an amazing film.”
He was almost too Canadian for the role: “Americans don’t like the Canadian accent and the powers that be thought I was too Canadian for the role.” joked Hogan who revealed that after a few seasons the producers relaxed bit. “Lucy Lawless, James Callis, they [the producers] really eased up as the series wore on.”
He always knew BATTLESTAR GALACTICA would work: Said Hogan on the moment early on that he knew the show was going to in fact turn out to be something special. “The first day of principal photography was the funeral after the attack in the miniseries and we were shooting the scene where Adama stands up in the eulogy and says we have to be responsible for what we create. It took forever to shoot this, we were waiting for hours and hours, all these coffins, everybody in the cast, all the background performers — it took time to set up. When we finally started shooting the first thing we shot was Adam’s speech where Eddie [James Olmos] at the end says ‘So say we all.’ So we say ‘So say we all!’ Eddie says it again, ‘So say we all!’… pause… everybody looks around at each-other and we say it again, ‘So say we all!’ Eddie kept going until we had shivers. The producers didn’t know what was happening, the intensity, the sincerity, that really set the mark and Eddie was responsible for that.
He isn’t afraid to speak his mind: “I totally disagreed with the writer’s decision to send Saul down to the planet.” explained Hogan, who argued based upon a book he was reading that a career soldier such as Tigh would never abandon his post to colonize New Caprica. “I remember Moore [Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore] was like, ‘I didn’t know Hogan was that smart’ and look at the arc that they wrote for Tigh. I’m so proud of the whole series, but particularly that body of work that we did on the planet.”
He wasn’t thrilled [initially] upon discovering that he was a cylon: “When we first stated shooting the early episodes I often watched Grace Park walk around talking to herself and thought, ‘God, I’m glad I’m not a Cylon!’, said Hogan, citing the fact that he’s a very research based actor and how do you research that. Only to eventually come around after Ronald D. Moore, who Hogan calls “a total class act” flew up to Vancouver to talk him through it, figuring, “they haven’t steered me wrong yet. In fact, I’m honored as an actor that they choose Tigh.”
Killing Ellen Tigh wasn’t easy: “On the day we were killing Ellen I stayed in my trailer. The assistant director would knock on my door and bring me on set and I said, ‘Don’t bring me on set until we’re set and ready to go.’ A couple times a that day I’d go to set and they weren’t ready and it’s not like me, but I turned around and said, ‘Call me when you’re rolling.’ recounted Hogan on the difficult day on set.
Credits his success to the fact nobody knows who he was: “The series opened with that wonderful scene in the armistice, where you see Number Six, this gorgeous thing.” recalled Hogan, who credits much of the show’s success to the anonymity of the cast. “If that was an actress that you already knew, you’d be thinking ‘Boy, she’s sure good in this part.’” But back then, nobody knew Katee [Sackhoff], Tricia [Helfer] or Grace [Park]. My goal has always been to be journeyman actor because there’s a danger if you get too exposed.”
Starbuck is his constant: Although Hogan was quick to point out that Tigh is definitely not a people person, “Starbuck is the one I’d want by my side in battle, every-time.”
His favorite scenes are flashbacks: “Because I’ve got two eyes!” said Hogan who revealed, “that as an actor, especially on a show like BATTLESTAR GALACTICA where the shooters come right in — You’re taking 50% of my tools away!”
He needs a job: Memo to showrunners prepping their sked for the Fall, Michael Hogan is ready and waiting. “Having done BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, career wise it’s little bit confusing. Because I’m a Canadian actor and not based in the states, people think I’m working all the time.” explained Hogan. “I audition now constantly. For FRINGE and other Sci Fi shows and don’t get the roles. I didn’t get one on a show called PSYCH which was funny, because I auditioned for a Canadian RCMP guy in his 60′s with a tough sense of humor. I mean he’s Canadian with a Canadian accent and I thought, ‘won’t it be hilarious if i don’t get this.’ And of course, I went and auditioned and didn’t get it! Which certainly keeps my humility in tact.”