Interview: Jamie Bamber on the End of “Battlestar Galactica” and “Pulse 2”
Actor Jamie Bamber has had a diverse and successful career, gaining noteriety playing Lt. Archie Kennedy in the Hornblower series of TV movies, working in HBO’s Band of Brothers and guest appearances on the series Cold Case and Ghost Whisperer. However, Bamber’s career rocketed into the spotlight when he took the role of Lee "Apollo" Adama in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica television series — which is soon to broadcast its final season on the Sci-Fi Channel.
During the recent San Diego Comic-Con, I had a chance to speak to Bamber about his upcoming direct-to-DVD feature film Pulse 2: Afterlife and Battlestar Galactica. We discussed what made him interested in Pulse 2, how he feels about the end of Battlestar Galactica and what moments from the show were his favorites.
COMICMIX: Jamie, what can you tell us about Pulse 2: Afterlife?
JAMIE BAMBER: It’s like Kramer vs. Kramer in an armageddon backdrop, featuring a dad who is trying to put his life back together. He’s working on his relationships and putting them back together in the aftermath of an Internet-fueled apocolypse zombie scenario.
CMix: What made you take on this film?
JB: I had time. I liked the character and I could relate to what he’s going through. I can understand and empathize with a dad and his fear for his child in a dangerous world.
CMix: Having been on such a strong ensemble show like BSG, playing the lead in a film must have been appealing…
JB: I liked the idea of fronting a movie on the quiet, which as an actor is quite a useful thing to do without it being everywhere. This is also a straight-to-DVD project, which also appealed to me.
CMix: You’ve finished shooting on Battlestar now, right?
JB: Yes, I’m completely done.
CMix: Now that the show is ending, how do you feel?
JB: Ending is a good thing and we’ve done it in extraodinary style. I can’t wait to see what you guys make of it. I think the show will be around for a long, long time. Ending, though, is a bit like climbing Everest and you long to get at the top of the mountain — and we are. It’s satisfaction more than loss or mourning, really.
CMix: Do you feel your character got a good send-off?
JB: Completely. Ron [Moore] did an insanely good job of wrapping it up.
CMix: Over the seasons, what’s been the biggest challenge for you playing Apollo?
JB: I think the biggest challenge for me, really, is keeping it different, changing it up. He is a sort of type. He’s got that heroic shackle, which is a curse always. Its a struggle to make him problematic and not have him turn into some sort of square-jawed "Dudley Do-Right."
That was a headache at times, because this character serves that purpose on the show. But he broke enough rules and got into enough trouble to make it interesting.
CMix: Now that you’ve shot the ending of the show, was there anything surprising about it for you?
JB: The surprise for me was that Ron really made the ending about character because I think there’s a lot of pressure with a muscular show like ours to end with story.
That’s not really what he did, and it works very well.
CMix: So things are wrapped up well with a definite ending?
JB: Well, there’s definitely allusions to a future and there’s definitely questions asked at the end, but I think that’s what good endings are all about. It does pretty even-handedly deal with everyone you love in the show. Everyone gets a really good signing-off note.
CMix: Any favorite moments from the show for you?
JB: There’s so many. The first time I climbed in a Viper, the first time I wore the flight suit, when I was in the courtroom and got out of the flight suit, the first time Apollo takes command of the Pegasus… and there’s that 360 shot when he realizes he’s become his father and he needs to step up and stop whining. There are so many others.
The ending has so many differnt beats and the relationship with Kara takes so many twists and turns. It’s just too many to mention them all.
The final season of Battlestar Galactica premires January, 2009 on Sci-Fi Channel. Pulse 2: Afterlife hits store shelves on DVD in September.