We had two chances at Comic-Con to talk to James Callis about his cult following as Battlestar Galactica's Gaius Baltar. The first time, he told us about his amazingleadership secrets, and explained the difference between political and religious leadership. The second time, he talked to us more about the choices he makes in playing Baltar, and what it's like to be Battlestar's "teflon man." Transcript is below.
In the episode "The Hub," Baltar was suddenly much more comic, much more silly. Talking to the Cylon centurion, yelling at the hybrid. Was that a note you received, or something you decided to do?
Only in the sense of, I knew there would be this huge explosion. I'm very much of the school that what I will give with one hand, I will take with the other. So because he's going to look like he's going to die, and he's going to say these dreadful things that he thinks in his mind about, "Hey, I'm absolved and it's okay," that that's so serious, it would throw you if the beginning of this thing was not that way at all. So it was kind of, just trying not to endgame so much. But the material lent itself to being kind of silly.
Do you think Baltar is the guy we're constantly waiting to get hiscomeuppance? And yet he always lands on his feet?
That could be. It could be that way. It's really odd. I actually realize now that I'm so much more fond of him than other people. No, I really care about that man. I feel so sorry for him. But yeah, I suppose on some level, he does subvert your idea about where he's going to end up. And it does look like, the episode's always threatening, "We'll expose you! We'll find you!" Etc., and then somehow like teflon he's squeezed out of it, he's somewhere else.