Thursday, August 14, 2008

Interviews with Tahmoh & Joss; new Dollhouse details

IGN recently interviewed Tahmoh about the end of Battlestar and his work on Joss Whedon's new FOX series, Dollhouse.

IGN: Was it strange leaving the set, unsure if you'd see it again?

Penikett: It was weird. Ron and I were discussing it the last day. He went through it on Star Trek before and stuff, and he's like, "The hardest thing for me is when you come on the set and it's all gone; it's all taken down." We weren't quite at that point, but some of our sets were taken down. We were starting to feel it. It's like things are closing in, you know? It's a really strange feeling. It really is. I'm an optimist, always, and I like to celebrate our achievement and the wonderful bond I created with this cast and the writers – this family unit that we had on the show and really believing in this beautiful piece of art that I think redefined the sci-fi genre and the stereotypical idea of sci-fi. I'm so proud to be a part of it and I think of how profound it was and how much of an impact it's going to have on television in general – but specifically the sci-fi genre. And finally getting the respect and demanding forcibly that people respect the genre more than it ever has been before. We won't even realize how much it's done that for maybe another four or five years.

It's such a part of pop culture now. It's really incredible. The last couple of years so many new people have jumped on board. Even though we're in the fourth season, I'm constantly getting new fans coming up to me going, "Man, I love the show. I never gave it a chance. I don't like sci-fi. My friends made me watch it. I love it. I love it!" I get approached all the time. The fans are true, passionate fans. They love it. They say, "It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen!" I'm so proud of it. I'm like a proud parent. I'm always going to hold it so dear. It's such an incredibly huge and profound experience in my life as a young [actor] coming on this show – so green, like so many of us were. And just having to learn the ropes in a short period of time, but learning it with such incredible mentors. Just the actors – Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell… All the talent on the show. It's stupendous. And the writing in particular… the special effects. The entire beautiful machine ran so well. It's weird to be talking about it past tense right now!
Read the whole (non-spoilery) interview.

io9 also interviewed Joss Whedon at Comic Con about Dollhouse, with fascinating results:
Are you coming down on the side of nurture in the whole nature/nurture debate? Are we just shaped by our conditioning? Are our bodies just hardware that you can run any software on?

First of all, thank you. No-one's ever asked that question. I mean it. And second of all, nature versus nurture is something I've spent a lot of my life thinking about. And I've always been a nurture guy. I've always felt, "You're shaped by your environment, and the terrible, terrible things that your perfectly reasonable parents do to you." And then I had children, and they came out very much themselves. There are definitely things I can do to mess them up, and I'm doing my best, but they are who they are....

It's about something who — there is no nature. They've wiped out her personality. So she has to create her own. But she has the will to do that. They have not gotten rid of that. That's the key to the whole show. It explains what I'm about, it explains Eliza [Dushku], it is Echo defining herself with no parameters. With no nurture, and no real nature, to fall back on. Who am I? So I'll be answering your question, with any luck, for the next seven years.
As for new details on Dollhouse, if you're looking for some spoilers for the new pilot, io9 also has them for you over in this post. To spare the spoiler-free, I won't repost them here, though apparently Tahmoh's character has gone back to being Paul Ballard (not Paul Smith).

Photo of Tahmoh at Comic Con thanks to mizkit73. (Update: aka CE Murphy.)

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