weeks ago, Claudia Black was interviewed on a morning chat program
here in Oz called Morning with Kerri-Anne. It just so happened that
fate had me on a rostered day off that day with nothing planned,
and I happened to hear Kerri-Anne introduce what was going to be
on the show for the day. Needless to say I ferreted out a video
tape, stuck it in the machine, and didn't move until the interview
was over. It really is a great interview, they talk largely about
Farscape (Kerri-Anne is apparently a huge Sci-Fi fan), how Claudia
got into the business, family etc. For anyone who loves Claudia's
smile it's a must see, she hardly stops smiling and laughing throughout
Morning with Kerri-Anne
February 6, 2003
been eaten by aliens, irreversibly contaminated, turned into a vampire,
a warrior, mutated and she's won the award for the Sexiest Sci Fi
actress. We welcome to the show, Claudia Black. Claudia, welcome
to the program!
great, I've been a huge fan, because Farscape was the series and
I have watched it for ages.
that's amazing to hear, because we felt we were working in a vacuum.
It was very hard to find a place for Farscape, because Science Fiction
quite a strange genre to place on television here, and It wasn't
until recently that I went to Texas for some work and...just people
in the street were recognizing me and I just got used to just quietly
bumbling along. And to hear that people are watching it means a
lot to us, because a lot of hard work and a lot of creative energy
was put into it.
I loved it, and I'd love a lot of sci-fi, but particularly I thought
it was an "excellent" excellent program. We've got some
vision of your character.
CB> Oh no.
you're a tough girl, you're the macho warrior. The one who's sort
of saving the world.
Butch, never smiles. Yeah, she's a real laugh that one. (Claudia
You work with some great people. In fact, Farscape, was it "the"
most expensive production ever in Australia? Like, two million bucks
It was something like that, it was interesting, becoming victim
to the exchange rate as well, because certain things would be possible
one day and the next day certain things would change slightly. And...it
certainly was the most ambitious project we've ever had in terms
of fast turnaround television. Because we were shooting an episode
every ten days, with the last three days overlapping with a "B"
in it. And to shoot that on 35m cameras, it was an extraordinary
feat. And I don't know if it's anything to boast that it was the
most expensive show, but we certainly put everything on the screen.
you could see it. It looked like a fabulous production, and a very
expensive production. It had that quality look about it. I mean
there were some wild themes! (Claudia laughs) You know, eaten by
aliens and all that sort of stuff. In fact, let's have a look at
a piece of the show.
Clip of Farscape
from the episode, 3.07 Thanks For Sharing.
Aeryn discussing who it was that attacked Talyn.
with an immobilizer pulse. (Turning toward Crais) What attacked
Talyn was a retrieval squad. Crais: They will not relent until they
accomplish their goal - recapture Talyn. And to force Talyn's surrender
they wouldn't hesitate to take Moya hostage. I will return to Talyn
so that Moya can flee immediately. Aeryn: With Talyn's condition
worsening, Moya will not abandon him and neither will we.
Claudia Black is with us. Da-dada-da
so funny doing this, it's sort of like soap opera in space. It's
always very melodramatic, any moment we could die. So playing the
stakes as that as a performer is really funny because you just...it's
so hard not to
crack up. It's like "the immobilizer pulse, but if we go through
the ion backwash chamber we could die!" (This was done in a
great takeoff of Sigourney Weaver's television character from the
show in Galaxy Quest, very breathy, not like Aeryn at all)
And then you go to an ad break and everything is always so serious.
I saw Galaxy
Quest and it destroyed me for about an episode. Because
every day I would go onto set, I don't know if you've seen the film.
it was so hard to take everything seriously because once you've...We
just really empathized with the characters on Galaxy Quest
and being on those convention tours.
that was a complete, Galaxy Quest with Sigourney Weaver,
was a compete send up of Sci Fi.
but they did it beautifully. Because they really captured the spirit
of what those conventions
are like. There are people who dress up like your character, cross-dressed
so there will be guys dressed as Aeryn, or women dressed as Ben.
I mean, you can't blame 'em, he's such a spunk.
I gotta say he's
the lead guy.
KA> So tell
me about those Sci Fi. conventions. Do you do a lot of work with
Ah, I limit them only because we've spent so much time working on
the set that the little time that I had in between I would try and
spend time with my friends and family, they forget what we look
like. And I do love to travel. That's one of the reasons why...the
entertainment business was very appealing to me because I knew I
would have opportunities to travel if I was working. If I was lucky
where did it all start for Claudia Black, because you are Australian?
And even I have gone 'you're Australian'. That's right, you've got
such a cultured accent.
I've seen the show, but you're an Aussie girl!
(showing off an Australian accent) I'm an Aussie and I eat Vegemite,
heaps, (gives a thumbs up) and
everything's tops! (Laughs) It took me...my grandmother's very much
in denial about the fact that she was born in Australia. So we called
her, she was either called Dutchess of Darling Point or she was
called The Queen of Australia. Because she was "frightfully,
frightfully" (upper crust British accent here) and she brought
us up to speak very round and forward and it's taken me many years
to sound like...this is about as neutral as I get, I think.
KA> So what
about your mom and dad? When you said, "mom and dad I think
I'm going to be an actor."
CB> Oh my
god, mom...I come from a very long line of family members who went
to university, they're all academics. I'm like the back sheep of
the family, pardon the pun. And I thought I would have to book two
ambulances to stand outside the house when I told them one night
at dinner that I was leaving Uni. I lasted three weeks and the deadline
at Uni for paying HECS was at the end of the third week. And I thought
well, before mom and dad have to start forking out any cash for
my tuition probably a good time to tell them I'm getting out. And
they almost had a heart attack, it was just one of those amazing
As academics, what do they do?
both doctors, actually.
They're so scientific about everything, it's so funny and they're
so practical. And my sister and I were always peace loving moonbeams
and talking about, you know, all the new age stuff. We had these
great passionate discussions over the dinner table about mom needing
empirical evidence about things. And they're saying, "Yeah
but if you can't really prove it how do you know it's not there?"
You know, I mean...So doing a science fiction show...
then you go get eaten by an alien.
KB> On a
transmogrified with another creature and end up a mutation.
what did they think of the show?
love it. I think, the way that unfortunately it's ended up being
programmed it's the show is really for insomniacs.
long did it take them to tell their friends you're in the show?
That's the benchmark.
twenty milliseconds. To finally have a daughter who's an "actor"
(rolls eyes) who's getting paid to be an actor, that's a
big difference, a very big difference. So, they're really proud,
really, really proud. They've both come onto the set. And unfortunately
the day mom came I'd actually been transformed into another creature,
as you do.
Could I see my daughter, please?
she'd be the creature in the corner.
you know Pilot, the
Who's sort of basically is in charge of the ship. But not very often,
and that's why we always have something to solve because we're all
going to die every episode. Pilot sort of looks like a cross between
a wombat and the Opera house, I think. Cause he's got these things
coming out of the side of his head and this sort of big
nose. And so they put the makeup on me and I really did look like
an Opera House Wombat. And mom turns up and I've got like this mutated
stomach with a chicken
wing thing sticking out the side. And they'd lubed me up, we
used K-Y Jelly on the makeup. And they lubed me up with all this
sort of slime
and stuff and I sort of walked out the door. And mom just couldn't
look at me, it freaked her out - she was really disturbed.
(Pulling out an Aeryn action figure) And what's more you got your
and a mutated doll no less. That's a limited edition.
KA> I think
I got one of my own. (KA pulls out a scruffy looking Barbie doll
with her face taped to its head) Oh, she spots the difference, one
of us works out!
jealous, I want that kind of doll.
I having a bad hair day, or what? Hey, listen Claudia, great to
have you with us on the program. All the very best.
sorry the show's finished, cause I am a huge fan and I know it will
keep rolling around.
you. There's more to come on air, so at least in Australia we have
a bit to go.
good on ya.
you very much.
Kerri-Anne is copyright ©2003 Nine Network Australia
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