Hollywood typecasts its actors on a regular basis.
It happens so readily that we get used to seeing certain stars playing the same kind of character over and over again; some of us might even want to see these typecasts after a while.
Battlestar: Galactica standout Katee Sackhoff turns this entire notion on its head.
PopCultureNow.com spoke with the multitalented actress about breaking the 'blonde rom-com' mold and flexing muscles in genres like Sci-fi and action, while also crafting an extensive career in voice acting. From Battlestar: Galactica to Riddick to Robot Chicken, Sackhoff has run the gamut on a diverse acting career.
"I was an athlete growing up," she said. "I sort of had the life plan all figured out until I got hurt. It's not very common for a 16-year-old to have to change life plans. I really didn't know what I was going to do with myself at that point. My mom reminded me of how I wanted to be an actor. And so my mom found an article in the newspaper where they were looking for a body double for Kirsten Dunst. And she said, 'why don't you at least go try - it will give you good experience.' I went and they told me I wasn't the right size for Kirsten, but they had a role they were auditioning and they wanted me to audition for it. It was right place, right time."
With an acting career that encompasses so much, Sackhoff's Battlestar: Galactica era is definitely one of the most well-known. It was a show that featured her in a strong role that captured fans from day one and never let go.
"It was an interesting thing because by the time Battlestar had come along, I had already been in Los Angeles for five years," she said. "I actually had to convince my people to let me take Battlestar instead of NCIS. Everyone was like, 'Battlestar: Galactica', what the heck's that going to be?' So I convinced them that was the one we should go after harder. I never dreamed that it would be what it's become."
"The main reason that I wanted to do it was because up until that point I basically had been playing stereotypical blonde roles. I was the ditzy blonde in this. I was the blonde you hated and you hope she gets her head cut off in this. So I was sort of being the angsty teenager - when I was 20 years old I was playing 15. I was really young and I wanted to change how people viewed me so I wanted Battlestar for that sole purpose. And then I realized it was going to be a life changer."
Timing is everything. And Battlestar came during a time of minimal social media, which could have altered the show and its actors drastically.
"Social media didn't exist when we were on television - the Internet had just been created and no one really had personal computers," Sackhoff explained. "It was before its time in a sense that we didn't ever experience that juggernaut that turns people into overnight movie stars. Had Battlestar come 10 years later, our careers would have been vastly different because we are still, for the most part, relatively unknown. I still have the ability to walk around and have people not know who I am. I can still disappear into roles more than a lot of people."
Along with Sackhoff bending the norm of live-action television and film, she has also conquered the voice-acting world. In fact, almost a majority of her work is tied to some kind of voice-acting. To see an actors talents stretch and diversify between these two mediums is not only impressive, but challenging in every way.
"I like anything that allows me to be creative. I got into being an actor because I wanted to get outside of myself and I was uncomfortable in my own skin so playing other characters was so much easier for me than being myself. And it still provides that," she said. "What's great about animation and video games is it allows you to play characters that if you don't aesthetically look like that character you aren't limited based on your looks. It's really, really fun."
Sackhoff's vibrant career has covered a massive amount of roles and it's not stopping anytime soon. From live-action to voice work, she has let each role be an outlet for her creativity, but definitely feels there were certain defining moments in her career that got her to where she is at now.
"There are certain times in your career where you find your voice.. no pun in intended," she said. "You find your growths. You find your strengths, and different depths you didn't think you'd go. I started playing Bitch Puddin' in 2003. It was the first time I really put on a different voice that was so drastically different than my own and it was terrifying. Matt and Seth over at Robot Chicken gave me the confidence to find different voices inside my own. That was a career-changing moment where you realize you were capable more than you thought you were," she explained.
Sackhoff has also been a part of some amazing franchises. She had a key role in Halloween: Resurrection and got to join a select few who died by Michael Myers' blade.
"I grew up idolizing any strong woman I could lay my eyes on, and Jamie Lee Curtis was one of them," she said. "She carved out a career for herself and did something better than anyone in her peer group. And that was my goal - to be able to do something better than everybody else in my peer group because it's the only thing that sets your apart from another blonde standing next to you. I loved being in Halloween and getting to meet Jamie and work with her. It was a really great opportunity. I was 18 years old so it was one of my first jobs after I moved to California. It sort of helped me in the since that no one knows it's me. They watch the movie and they still don't recognize that it's me, which is great for my career," she said. "I've been able to go in and out of characters and have people not know it's me."0comments
It is great to see an actor take her career so seriously and build a canon of work that is guaranteed to impress anyone. Through the years, Sackhoff has been a part of some amazing films and television shows. And she is nowhere near done with this industry yet.
"I'm at a really fun place in my career," she said. "From the success I've had in this business, I can be more choose-y for the roles I take. I have a movie that starts in November that I'm overjoyed about, but can't really talk about. It's really the first straight up Sci-fi movie I've done since Battlestar. I'm really, really picky in that genre. I couldn't be more absolutely excited about it."