|Birthplace:||Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada|
|Birthday:||May 20, 1975|
Quotes in italics are direct quotations from Tahmoh.
Family and Youth
"I come from a storytelling culture, I love stories."A member of the White River First Nation, Tahmoh is named after a great uncle who was a hunter and trapper near the Yukon/Alaska border.
“My mother is First Nation, I was named by my grandmother. The nation Upper Tanana which is an Athasbaskan language group situated in north west Yukon in Alaska. I’m named after my great-uncle. I was born and raised outside of Yukon, right beside Alaska, lived there until I was 19. Lived in BC the last 8 or 9 years…. My father is British.”He is the son of former Yukon premier Tony Penikett (1985-1992), a member of the New Democrat Party of Canada and a member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly for 18 years. Tony Penikett, Tahmoh’s father, was born in Britain and immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of 12. Tahmoh's mother, Lulla Sierra Johns, is part of the Dene Nation and was born in a tent in Snag, a tiny community near the Alaska border where the coldest temperature on earth (-63 degrees C) was recorded.
"My grandmother was a great matriarch up there.”Like most native young people of her era, his mom was taken away from her family and forced by the provincial government to live in and attend a "residential" school from which she tried to escape.
"She's probably one of my biggest role models," says Penikett. "I look up to her, the hardships that she's faced in her life, and she's never once made an excuse, everything that she endured," he pauses. "She's one of the hardest-working people I know."Penikett's father was also an actor during his university years, appearing in 40 productions over three years. His grandfather, too, had been a Shakespearean actor at school.
"My father always loved film, he took me to films and I started to appreciate good drama at a very young age, and learned to critique it, too. And I think as a kid I thought, 'Wow, I can do this. I wanna do this, I wanna tell a story.'"That, and the fact that the chilly north is a breeding ground for indoor activities.
"The Yukon has very artistic communities -- we've got cabin fever up there," he says. "Eight months of darkness -- people socialize, congregate to bars, what have you, there's a lot of music and theatre and art."Tahmoh, his father, and his twin sisters Sarah and Stephanie live in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Tahmoh first got involved with acting in high school:
“There was a new music, art and drama program that I was asked to take part in. Ironically I signed up with the intention of focusing on art because I loved to draw but ended up acting on stage for the rest of the year. After that I studied theatre for years at a couple of different schools and a year long acting program tailored for on camera acting.”He is a graduate of the Music Art Drama program at Yukon College and briefly attended Douglas College in Vancouver. He then pursued his studies at the Victoria Motion Picture School in a one-year program before joining up with the highly-thought-of Lyric School of Acting.
“I love gritty dramas. My idols growing up were DeNiro, Pacino, Ford, and Voight to name a few. I'd really like to play a bad guy soon. I think sinking my teeth into a truly evil character would be so much fun.”
His first film appearance was in a scene with Kate Jackson in the CBS movie Cold Heart of a Killer. He went on to appear in a dozen independent short films and many television series, including Smallville, The L Word, Just Cause, Stargate SG-1, and Dark Angel.
In the seventh and final season of the Canadian police series Cold Squad, Tahmoh had a regular role as Constable Ray Chase. In 2005, he starred as Dr. Noah Hamilton in the Lifetime TV movie, Hush.
He starred as Lieutenant Karl "Helo" Agathon on the Sci-Fi (now SyFy) Channel television program Battlestar Galactica. After filming the second season of Galactica, Tahmoh had the opportunity to work with eminent director Monte Hellman in the horror film, Trapped Ashes. Another horror project, Bryan Singer's Trick 'r Treat, as well as guest appearances on Smallville and Whistler kept Tahmoh busy during the third season hiatus. While filming the fourth and final season of Battlestar, Tahmoh was cast as FBI agent "Paul Ballard" in Joss Whedon's Fox series, Dollhouse. He starred in the SyFy miniseries Riverworld. In 2010, he worked with long-time friends Aleks Paunovic and Brent Cote on the short film The Hostage.
(click on the titles to see all related posts; for more info, visit IMDB)
- Trick 'r Treat (2007) - Henry
- Taming Tammy (2006) - Wilson
- Lesser Evil (2006) - Greg
- The Green Chain (2006) - Brett Jackson
- Trapped Ashes - Stanley's Girlfriend (2006) - Young Leo
- Hush (2005) - Noah Hamilton
- Battlestar Galactica miniseries (2003) - Lt. Karl 'Helo' Agathon
- Wildfire 7: The Inferno (2002) - Ranger
- The Cold Heart of a Killer (1996)
- The Hostage (2010) - The Figure
- Need for Speed: Carbon (2006) - Darius
- Sandra Goes to Whistler (2005) - Conrad
- Under the Cover (2003) - Jonas
- Go-Go Boy: Prelude (2002) - Aaron Fitz (Go-Go Boy)
- The Winner (2002) – Jackie
- Mark It
- Tabitha's Rainbow
- Power of the Heart - Thug #1
- The Interview
- The Cold Man is Remade
- The Samaritan
- Suspicious Circumstances
- The Lie You Tell Yourself
- Post Haste
- Below the Belt (2000) - Jonas
- Riverworld (2010) - Matt Ellman
- Dollhouse (2008) - Paul Ballard
- Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) - Lt. Karl 'Helo' Agathon
- Cold Squad (2004) - Det. Ray Chase
- Titan Maximum (2009) - Troy Hammerschmiddtt in 4 episodes (1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8)
- Whistler (2007) - Elias Noth in 4 episodes (2.05-6, 8, 13)
- Robot Chicken (2007) - Various Voices (3.3)
- Smallville (2007) - Wes Keenan in "Nemesis" & "Prototype" (6.19-20)
- Smallville (2004) - Vince in "Resurrection" (3.15)
- The L Word (2004) - Sheriff in "Losing It" (1.6)
- Just Cause (2003) - Principal in "Blackboard Jungle" (1.20)
- Stargate SG-1 (2003) - Third in "Unnatural Selection" (6.12)
- Dark Angel (2002) - N.D. Cop #1 in "Freak Nation" (2.21)
- Glory Days (2002) - Eric in "No Guts, No Glory" (1.08)
Tahmoh is a gold medal competitor in kickboxing, and has studied Muay Thai for years.
“I have been interested in the martial arts ever since I was a child, I first studied judo for a number of years and then took up kick boxing after seeing a Muay Thai practitioner in a foreign film.”He enjoys many athletic pastimes, among them: snowboarding, soccer, biking, and roller-blading. A lover of fiction and biography, he reads constantly. Tahmoh has also traveled extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Q: Describe your style.
A: My style varies so much. I’ve always had a sporty, casual style with some hip hop and urban influences. Nothing beats a new pair of kicks and a nice pair of jeans. I appreciate quality and don’t ever want to be associated to one style. That’s the beauty of clothes and fashion; if you have a sense of style and know what works for you, then you can dress for the mood, occasion and pretty much get away with anything.Q: How do you keep life in perspective?
A: I keep short-term goals and make my responsibilities my first priority. It’s easy in my business to get discouraged with the sometimes constant rejection and lack of work. So you have to stay true to your art, constantly training, keeping healthy and being focused.Q: What things make life easier?
A: I love to drive and listen to music. It’s fun and relaxing. For me, there is no better stress relief than a good workout at the gym. Sometimes, I enjoy being in the outdoors to clear my head. The silence can be so cleansing and energizing.Q: What are your healthy eating habits?
A: I try to drink a full glass of water without ice before every meal. I try to have an equal mix of carbs and protein in 5-6 small meals a day. I was born and raised in the north (Whitehorse) and we consumed the healthiest meat there is, like moose, caribou and fish. I still eat a lot of fish. Every so often I’ll indulge in a great steak.
(for all convention related posts, click here or use the search box at top)
- Comic Con (July 2005) – San Diego, CA
- Gatecon (August 2005) – Vancouver, BC
- Galactica One (October 2005) – London, England
- London Expo 2006 (May 2006) – London, England
- Timeless Destinations (August 2006) – Vancouver, BC
- Official Battlestar Galactica Con (August 2006) – Burbank, CA
- Dragon*Con (September 2006) - Atlanta, GA
- Pier 39 (February 2007) - San Francisco, CA
- Galactica 3 (August 2007) - London, England
- Official Battlestar Galactica Con (Nov. 2007) – Burbank, CA
- Cintermex (March 2008) - Monterrey, Mexico
- New York Comic Con (April 19, 2008) - New York City
- "Wrath of Con" (May 30 - June 1, 2008) - Panama City, FL
- Dragon*Con (August 29 - Sept. 1, 2008) - Atlanta, Georgia
- Starfury (December 2008) - London, England
- New York Comic Con (February 2009) - New York, NY
- Emerald City (April 2009) - Seattle, WA
- San Diego Comic Con (July 2009) - San Diego, CA
- Calgary Comic & Entertainment Con (April 2010) - Calgary, Alberta Canada
- Fed Con (April/May 2010) - Bonn, Germany
- Echo 1 (May 2010) - London, England
Official Contact Information
c/o RED Management Inc.
Box 3, 415 West Esplanade
North Vancouver, British Columbia
V7M 1A6 Canada
To find out more, check out Interviews with Tahmoh.