Battlestar Galactica's 10-part webisode series "The Face of the Enemy" comes to a stunning conclusion Monday, four days before the show airs the premiere of its final season Jan. 16 (10 pm/ET, Sci Fi). In this stand-alone webisode series, Cylon model "8" (Grace Park) and Lt. Felix Gaeta (Alessandro Juliani) take center stage in a gripping tale of murder, betrayal and survival. Alessandro spoke with TVGuide.com about filming the webisodes during the emotional end of the series, how he feels about the revelation that Gaeta has a boyfriend and much more.
TVGuide.com: Tell me how you felt about the fact that [your character] had a relationship with one of the "8s".
Alessandro Juliani: I think it's good. Gaeta has always been an enigma when it comes to his personal life, and needless to say these webisodes sort of blows that wide open in every possible respect. So yeah, bring it on!
TVGuide.com: And I'm sure working with Grace Park (Sharon/Cylon "8") was also really fun.
Juliani: Shooting the webisodes was hilarious. It was at the very, very end of Battlestar as we know it. The series had wrapped, and the prequel film that will come out after the end of the series had wrapped. It was just us: a skeleton crew and me and Grace and a few other actors. It felt like we were making a little student film or something. They were packing the set up around us in between takes. It was sad but kind of fitting; out not with a bang but a whimper. I think the last shot we ever did — you would have seen in the webisodes — was shot in a little tent that was supposed to be on New Caprica. If you had seen outside of the tent, you would have laughed because it looked like a construction site area.
TVGuide.com: Let's go back a little bit to last season on Battlestar when Gaeta lost his leg. That episode was very intense and moody — eerie even. How were you directed to play those scenes? Was singing just Gaeta's form of grieving?
Juliani: Yeah, absolutely. Actually I sing to my leg all the time ... to all my body parts. No, at the time that I got the script, I had to go back and read it again to see, "Wait, what? I'm actually singing?" But, at the end of the day, after I had a conversation with [writer] Michael Angeli, who conceived it, with the director and [executive producer] Ron [Moore] of course, then it was just about talking through the idea and trying to execute it in a way that didn't totally seem contrived. It was a fine line. Music is a pretty essential part of life and the fabric of this show. [Composer] Bear McCreary writes beautiful music, but we haven't necessarily had a lot of moments with live music... . It was something they hadn't explored yet, and that was exciting. It felt really natural — like an organic thing might have come out of this situation.
TVGuide.com: Did you know when you were doing that episode that it would be the beginning of exploring Gaeta's personal side more? Gaeta was always there, and everyone loved him, but this episode we got to see a much darker side.
Juliani: Well, you get shot in the leg, and your leg gets amputated without anesthetic — see if you turn dark too! No, I think Ron even hinted to me that big things were coming, in huge italics, for Gaeta. When you're on a show like this you learn to roll with it from script to script. You never know what's coming, and then you get a script and say, "OK, I'm singing to my stump. OK, I'm in a raptor with Grace."
TVGuide.com: So not only do we get to see this relationship between you and one of the "8s," we also get to see that Gaeta has a boyfriend. Gaeta's getting his groove on!
Juliani: When it rains it pours. It's been a feast!
TVGuide.com: Were you surprised about [the boyrfriend] storyline?
Juliani: I was surprised, yeah. To me, it kinda came out of left field as well. But again, after discussion and conversations it totally made sense and I welcomed it. I was just happy that they didn't pair me up with the dog (from New Caprica). [Laughs] It was great. I think for Gaeta, who has been the last series regular who had yet to hook up with anyone on camera anyway, it was a welcome relief. I was happy to be a champion for celibacy for a while... . I think it's nice for him to have someone to spoon [now].
TVGuide.com: So are we going to get to see some spooning scenes?
Juliani: Well, I couldn't tell you that!
TVGuide.com: What do you think Gaeta's journey is in the last season, and what has your journey been like from beginning to end of the show?
Juliani: Interesting... first Gaeta. For Felix, well, in a lot of ways Felix's journey and mine were parallel. Both of us grew up a hell of a lot in the past five years in life and work. Directly as a result of what happens in these webisodes, he makes some choices that have an indelible mark on the fabric of the show. So, it's true what Ron hinted at; there are big things to come. I feel like Felix is a bit of a tragic character overall; like you said, he's in a darker place. In the end, when we get there, there's a certain amount of redemption — for everyone. I think we end in a place of relative hope.
TVGuide.com: Do you have a favorite moment from the show?
Juliani: There's an episode that's coming up that stands out to me as the pinnacle of Felix Gaeta. For an actor as well it was kind of a fun moment, but you'll have to call me in a few months to talk about that. But there was also a moment on New Caprica where I think it was the first time that Felix had walked outside. And, I remember running around that set of New Caprica with the dunes and the tents... I had to run really, really fast. It was such a departure from everything else I had done on the show ... it was like I got to be an action hero for the day. So, I was running and a jeep was following with a camera — it was like Action Jackson or something. But, I had forgotten my contacts that day, and was sort of half blind. I just totally bailed. That was the first and last time you ever saw me running.
TVGuide.com: Since you were shooting these webisodes at the end of the show, was "the end" anticlimactic or did you feel a sense of closure?
Juliani: It's funny... When we shot the final episode, it was, of course, amazing and everyone was around, but at that time I didn't get emotional about it because we knew there was still the film (The Plan, no air date set) to come and other stuff to come. I'm very good at denial. But it did hit me on that day that I was mentioning earlier in the tent with Grace. Truly, they were pulverizing the sets around us, and that's when it hit me. It's just a fact of life that you don't realize what you've got until it's gone.