Monday Page Two

Claudia Black 

David Kemper came back out to introduce Claudia and told us that this year, for the first time, they invited Claudia to join the writers’ meetings. He said that that’s almost unheard of, but she knows the show so well and her suggestions always make it better. There would be no Farscape without Claudia.

Claudia06M.jpg (20910 bytes)Claudia said she wanted to tell us a little story. There isn’t much science fiction In Australia but it’s getting better. Now they’re able to see Buffy and the X-Files and maybe soon they’ll get Farscape, too. She hopes the actors are all still alive to see it.

The network invited the Farscape people to the launch party for their 2001 programming, and when they got there, they saw that everyone who was anybody with that network was there. Claudia walked in the door, all dressed up, and a woman came marching up to her saying, “Excuse me! EXCUSE ME!! You can’t go in without a nametag!” So she walked over to a table with a bunch of nametags on it. “What’s your name?” Claudia answered, “My name’s Black.” The woman pawed through the tags, but hers  wasn’t there. “Oh, wait, Miss. Are you talent?” Claudia said that Australians have a real aversion to that title because if you have it, the title is an insult and if you don’t have it, it’s over complimentary! (Creation calls all their convention guests “talent”.)

If you’re tal…er…cast, you don’t need a nametag, so Claudia went into the room and ran into Gigi, who, Claudia said, is all “Guys, guys, guys! Guess what?! They have stars on the floor with all the names on ‘em so I’m gonna go look for my star!” She never found a star for any of them. “Oh well”, said Gigi, “free alcohol!” 

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Claudia originally heard about Farscape when it was called Space Chase. She remembers that two things really stuck out for her: the character of Rygel and the fact that Moya is a living ship. She thought it was really a great basis for a science fiction show because there could be so many dramatic things that could happen with the ship.

Meanwhile, she went off to play Shazza in Pitch Black. The casting agency called her back some time later and said that the part of Aeryn is probably going to be cast in the States, but suggested that she make a tape just in case. Claudia doesn’t know if the producers actually saw that tape, but the casting agency asked her to come in and read the part of Aeryn during the casting of some of the other characters. She went back to Pitch Black and later got a call to come in and read with “the guy” who’d be playing Crichton. While Claudia was getting into make-up, Ben asked her if she wanted to “run some lines” from the audition scene. They did a quick run-through and then she went in for the audition. Needless to say, she got the part. 

Claudia told us that she was shocked when a clerk in a store asked her if she was on Farscape. In Australia, she’s so used to not being recognized, that it really surprised her when somebody knew who she was. She said that she and Gigi spent a little time in Mexico just before coming to Burbank They were eating in a restaurant one day and a man told her that she looked a lot like Claudia Black. Claudia wondered what it was about her that didn’t look like Claudia Black! 

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She used to worry about being typecast in science fiction because there wouldn’t be anything that would beat Farscape and she’d get stuck in a cheesy blockbuster with a terrible script and lots of special effects. But she’s learned that you’ve just got to play to your strengths because that’s the way you advertise yourself. She’ll just wait and see what happens.

A fan asked her what she would do if she were twinned the way Crichton was. She said that one Claudia would be a completely spiritual and good person. And the other one would be completely different!

Claudia said that recently she and Gigi were asked to do a publicity thing about sexy stars of science fiction. And, they told them, “We’ve booked a gym.” She and Gigi just looked at each other. “We don’t know what to do in a gym!” If you want sexy, she told the publicity lady, take us to a restaurant and feed us.

A fan asked Claudia which scene she was referring to in chat when she said that one scene between her and Ben was really difficult for her to do. It was the scene where they were standing next to Farscape 1 and Crichton was telling her about the lethal dose of radiation he’d just been exposed to. Claudia said that when she watched a replay of that scene, she felt a complete separation from the character and was nearly in tears over Aeryn’s broken heart.

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She loves the scene at the end of The Choice where Aeryn says to John, “No, you have to go now.” Part of her is being incredibly clear and healthy and responsible, saying no, I don’t want to conjure you any more. You’re not real and you have to leave now so that I can move on. The other part of Aeryn is saying that the only way I can survive now is to revert back to my Peacekeeper ways because that’s the only thing I know.

When people ask her how she feels about being such a positive role model, she says that she doesn’t know if she’s a positive role model. As far as Aeryn is concerned, until she works herself out, Claudia is reserving judgment. As an actress playing strong female roles, hopefully paving the way for other characters and other actresses, she feels more like a role model.

How much of the romantic tension between Crais and Aeryn was brought about by Claudia and Lani. Claudia said that Lani wanted more work as Crais – he’s not stupid – so they decided that there used to be some tension between them. This opened the doors to The Way We Weren’t, especially the scene where the Peacekeepers dragged Velorek away and Crais gave Aeryn that look.

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