Imagine your entire world has been destroyed, and you along with less than 40,000 survivors have to fight for your lives against human-hating Cylon robots, all in an attempt to reach a planet that may or may not exist. You’ve been told you have a destiny to lead your people to the only livable planet, but that you’re also a “harbinger of death.” How the heck do you take on those burdens without being a little whacked out?
Clearly, Battlestar heroine Kara “Starbuck” Thrace is able to handle this kind of pressure because she is crazy... in a good way. Scene-stealer Katee Sackhoff has spent four seasons playing the spirited, brilliant, tom-boy fighter pilot who may be the key to finding “Earth” and saving the last remaining humans. We spoke with the actress about how Galactica has changed her, her hopes for Starbuck at the end of the series' run, and her upcoming stint on Nip/Tuck.
TVGuide.com: After four years on this show, how has it changed you, personally?
Katee Sackhoff: I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned that being away from home for five years is hard. I've learned that relationships take work — friendships and romantic relationships. I think I've learned, with the little success that we've had with the show, that everything's relative, that family's more important. And that's an important thing to learn about yourself. I think we all move to California with these grandiose ideas of excelling at out craft and what we do. I learned along the way that what's most important is what I had back home [in Oregon].
TVGuide.com: And do you feel like you've had to make choices between them along the way, and prioritize?
Sackhoff: You do [make choices]. I just turned down my own series in New York because I don't want to be away from my boyfriend again; he's here [in Los Angeles], and this is home for me now. So you do make sacrifices, but at the end of the day, if you take the long route, if you take sidesteps up the ladder, you're a more whole, happy individual when you get there, and you'll better adapt to it. I'd like to have a strong person to hold my hand and not go through all those crazy breakups and s--t. I don't want to let him go, so I'm excited.
TVGuide.com: That's no small feat, especially in this town....
Sackhoff: It is. And what's interesting is that what I've learned out of my personal life, I then give to Starbuck. That is why, in a sense, she's had growth. The more personal growth I have as a person, your character tends to have it because it rubs off.
TVGuide.com: So what do you hope for next with Starbuck? You must know already.
Sackhoff: I do, and what I've always said is that I want for her to have closure, whatever that may be. I've always wanted her to have closure.
TVGuide.com: She goes through a lot!
Sackhoff: She goes through a lot, so I want there to be peace.
TVGuide.com: Do you feel personally satisfied with how it ends? [Battlestar's final run of episodes arrive sometime in early 2009.]
Sackhoff: I don't know. I'll let you know when I see it.
TVGuide.com: You also have a guest part on Nip/Tuck coming up. What will that be like?
Sackhoff: It's exciting. I wanted to do something that would break me out of the Starbuck stereotype. I wanted to do something that completely abandoned her, so much so that people almost in a sense forgot that I played her for a while. [On Nip/Tuck] I'm the new anesthesiologist. I'm a little devil. I give it to Sean, and I make him break out of his shell. And I may get him in a little bit of trouble along the way, but it's a fun role for me. I'm tattooed, I get to ride Harleys.... It was a nice transition, a nice four episodes. And then I have a movie that we're hopefully going to start in November.
TVGuide.com: What kind role is that for you?
Sackhoff: The movie is called The Victim, and I'm very excited about it. I'm excited to actually not beat someone up for a change!
Additional reporting by Erin Fox
Use our Online Video Guide to watch clips of Battlestar Galactica.
Sign up now for our free Daily Scoop e-mail newsletter to get the inside scoop.
Send your comments on this Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.