If Paul Ballard spent all of last season attempting to bring down the Dollhouse, how does he justify working for them this season?
Tahmoh Penikett: Obviously he still wants to bring down the Dollhouse, but when we left him at the end of last season, he made an agreement to work for them. Why? Not only did he ensure November/Mellie’s release which gives Paul some peace of mind, he now gets to do some good. Which is where we found him at the beginning of the season. In “Vows,” he used Dollhouse technology to bring down a nemesis of his, Martin Klar (Jamie Bamber). What’s interesting though is what exactly is Paul’s hidden agenda? He has now made a deal with the devil (The Rossum Corporation) and continues to put Echo in harm’s way. And the questions of course are: When is he going to stop and when, or will his conscience get in the way?
What was it like reuniting with your BATTLESTAR GALACTICA co-star Jamie Bamber for the DOLLHOUSE season premiere?
It was awesome. When Joss [Whedon] told me that he had hired Jamie for the job, I didn’t believe him. For ten minutes I sat there going, ‘No you did not!’ and Joss would say, ‘Yeah, I did!’ Having worked with Jamie for five years, he is like family and I loved having him on the show, on my set, playing a completely different character. Obviously we have a lot of BSG fans amongst both the cast and crew and you’d be surprised how many people were like, ‘I can’t believe that’s his real accent.’ His British accent worked so well for an evil gunrunner, I thought he was perfect.
With BATTLESTAR GALACTICA having ended, is there a sense of relief not having to carry around so many secrets.
That’s an interesting question. But the truth is, stuff like that never really weighed on me. I just enjoyed being part of an amazing series. I never give out spoilers, but it was always fun giving out fake spoilers or misleading fans. I just got a kick out of how popular the show was and how big of a cult following it had. I miss it though. I do. But it’s still there, fresh and getting lots of critical acclaim and I’m still very close with the cast so it’s all good.
What has it been like joining the Whedoneverse?
People kept asking me, “Are you ready for this?” But having already come from a huge sci-fi show myself that has a massive following in its own right, it really hasn’t been that different. Yes, Joss has the cult following which is great to be a part of since his fans are so loyal and committed, but at the same time, people love Ronald D. Moore as well.
Although I’m fairly certain I’m not going to get a straight answer after hearing your anti-spoiler policy, I feel as though I have to ask. Is there any chance Paul is the one secretly feeding Senator Daniel Perrin (Alexis Denisof) information about the Dollhouse?
You’d think that he would and we’ll see. But that would be the obvious sort of thing and maybe just a little too obvious.