Sunday Page Three

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As an introduction, they ran a clip from each of the three episodes that Fran guest starred in: from Bone to Be Wild, the scene where M¡¯Lee was telling D'Argo that she was starving to death; from Look at the Princess, the scene from the Jakench cargo ship when ro-NA is asking Crichton about wealth; and from Scratch ¡®N¡¯ Sniff, the scene where Raxil is berating the great Crichton and D'Argo. In fact, David Kemper told us, they actually wrote the episode to service her tremendous acting abilities.

Fran bounced barefoot onto the stage and told us that the beautiful leather-clad man we watch every week parks his space shuttle in her bed! (In case anyone doesn¡¯t know, she¡¯s married to Ben Browder). The last time they were on a stage together was 10 years ago in New York in the Merchant of Venice, with Dustin Hoffman.

David Kemper offered her the part of M¡¯Lee when she and Ben were having dinner with him in a restaurant in Sydney and she said sure because she thought it would be great fun. She was excited about working with Andrew Prowse as the director because ¡°he¡¯s a god¡±.  She told us that the mechanical parts of M¡¯Lee are incredible. They were worked by two puppeteers, one for the head and one for the body. Fran was a little nervous about being electrocuted because she was surrounded by a lot of wires for the animatronics.

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When they offered her the part of  ro-NA, she said yes right away. Then she spent a lot of time working on the voice and deciding how ro-NA should speak. The whole time Fran was telling the story of ro-NA, she was flipping back and forth between Fran¡¯s voice and ro-NA¡¯s, and it was really funny to listen to.

For Raxil, they told her they wanted her to be Joe Pesci!

The first question was about Fran¡¯s background. What could we have seen her in prior to Farscape and is there anything in the future? Fran said that she started at the London School of Speech and Drama and that¡¯s where she met Ben. One of her Farscape characters is coming back but she didn¡¯t say which one.

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Eventually, she¡¯d like to work in the US doing movies and stage. But this is the Farscape section of their family¡¯s life and she¡¯ll stay with Ben in Australia until Farscape finishes before returning to the stage or screen.

A fan asked her if there was a possibility of a more romantic role for her on Farscape, if perhaps she could get in a catfight with Aeryn. Fran said that it¡¯s definitely Ben¡¯s show and the chemistry between him and Claudia is so great that she wouldn¡¯t even think of messing with it.

Blooper Reel

They showed this three times during the weekend. There were a lot of bleeps in the thing to make it ¡°frell friendly¡± but that made it even funnier. D'Argo as snake-oil-salesman was hilarious, and so was Rygel, the dancing fool!

Lani Tupu

Lani originally auditioned for D'Argo, but when that part went to Anthony, he was offered Crais. He had no idea who Crais was but he really wanted to be part of the show so he said yes! He read the Farscape ¡°bible¡± and thought, ¡°Oh, my God! That Crais?!¡± He said that doing two roles on the show is slightly schizophrenic and that¡¯s probably the reason he was chosen anyway. Lani got the role as Crais before the Pilot role was offered to him. He said something in Pilot so we could see how much his voice changed between the two characters.

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When he goes to record dialog for both Crais and Pilot, he has to do Pilot first. Crais¡¯s voice is so much deeper that he finds it difficult to go from Crais to Pilot, especially when Crais is doing a lot of screaming. He gave us a quick lesson in screaming. First he showed us some of his voice exercises ¨C I¡¯ve never heard anyone hum so loudly in my life! Once we were all warmed up, he let loose with a great scream and then we all got a chance to try screaming. Very liberating!

He adores Crais who he says is complicated and complex. He¡¯s searching for something. He¡¯s now one of the outcasts and Lani hopes that we can see his amazing evolvement since the first season.

When Lani asked for questions from the audience, he was nearly stampeded by fans running for the microphones.  The first fan wanted to know how it felt wearing high heels in Won¡¯t Get Fooled Again. Rowan Woods told him that he was going to be wearing Y-fronts (briefs) on the outside of his uniform. So he said, ¡°Uh-huh, okay.¡± During shooting he was waiting by the car on the set and he asked where the Y-fronts were. ¡°Don¡¯t worry¡±, he was told, ¡°somebody else is bringing them.¡± A white shoebox came on set and Rowan said, ¡°Look at that¡±. Lani opened it up and slammed it shut again. ¡°Are they my size?¡± Yep, they were!

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He talked a little bit about the Boolite scene where he and Tammy were bombarded with pieces of the thing and ended up screaming together. He said that they were being covered with bits of gunk and sausages and all kinds of stuff. It was an ad-lib thing that he and Tammy worked out together, figuring they¡¯d never use it. He said they had to time the scream just right ¨C look down, look at each other, look down again and then scream.

Lani plays the bond between Crais and Talyn like a parent/child relationship. That¡¯s how he works it out in his head because actually, he¡¯s just talking to the walls. Talyn really isn¡¯t there. In Green Eyed Monster, you have this totally out of control adolescent who takes over and Crais realizes that he can¡¯t control Talyn so he must learn to actually work with him.

One fan asked about the chemistry between Crais and Jool. Are there any plans for Crais and Jool to get together? Lani said he didn¡¯t know, what do you think (to the audience). There were a lot of answering cheers for that relationship. 

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Someone else asked how Crais, a Peacekeeper captain, had the knowledge and the ability to work at putting the Boolite back together. Lani said not to forget that the Leviathan pregnancy experiment was Crais¡¯s and that he must have some medical knowledge to have done that. He was involved in the design of Talyn as well.

He was asked what work he¡¯s done outside of Farscape. He¡¯s done an episode of The Lost World, voice-overs for several commercials, and he¡¯s also going to be in a new series in Australia, but that won¡¯t have any bearing on his Farscape work. He¡¯ll work on the two series simultaneously. He¡¯ll be playing a QC (Queen¡¯s Counsel) in the new show.

Why did he drop his middle name from credits? He uses Lani John Tupu because his father¡¯s also an actor so he uses the John to distinguish between them. He didn¡¯t really drop it, he just doesn¡¯t always use it.  

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