Q&A Magda Apanowicz of 'Caprica'
Catching up with the 24-year-old star of the 'Battlestar Galactica' prequel
Magda Apanowicz has no problem with her sci-fi roots. After playing Andy Jensen on the cult fave "Kyle XY," the Canadian actress couldn't be happier to have landed another gig on a sci-fi show (and another planet). As Lacy Rand on the "Battlestar Galactica" prequel "Caprica" (Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy), Apanowicz plays the best friend of the deceased Zoe Graystone (Alessandra Torresani), who also happens to be the prototype for humanity's destruction. This puts Apanowicz at the center of one the show's major story lines. Though "Caprica" layers soapy drama on top of sci-fi, it ultimately has larger aspirations, like exploring monotheism vs. polytheism (take that, "Gossip Girl"). We caught up with Apanowicz to get the scoop on the show, its vision of the future, and the mean things sci-fi fans say on Internet message boards.
Watch the latest episode of "Caprica"
MSN TV: Is the "Caprica" vision of the future one that you would want to live in?
Magda Apanowicz: I almost feel like we do live in a world like "Caprica." The fact that it's so close to home is why it appeals to me so much. You're making statements about what's going on right now. You take Facebook and Wii and add it together and that's what the virtual world in "Caprica" is. I like that in "Caprica" the virtual world is a new thing. The parents didn't have that growing up. And it's the same thing about the Internet and all the current technology. It didn't exist like it does now for our parents' generation. Kids aren't relating to their parents anymore and I just find that so honest. It's happening in real life and it's happening in "Caprica."
You shoot in Vancouver, British Columbia, which is your hometown. Do you like working at home or would you rather get out and shoot someplace new to you?
I always wanted to get a job and work in Los Angeles, but I've been doing this for like 10 years, and I can't seem to get any job outside of Vancouver. I do occasionally get outside of Vancouver, but it's like population 250 and still in British Columbia. But you realize you have a lot of luxury by working where you live. You get to go home. You get to go see your friends. When you're stressed or sad or have a bad day at work you have your lifelines there.
Does that mean that you're the tour guide for the rest of the cast who aren't Vancouver natives?
I try to show them things, but I'm not really a party animal so I don't really go out. I'm such a homebody.
Is that what the cast is looking to do, party?
[Laughs.] No, they're very mellow people. I just feel like I'm such a bad guide. I don't give enough of a credit to my city. I love to just sit home and eat popcorn and watch movies.
While you don't have to be a fan of "Battlestar Galactica" to enjoy "Caprica," did you feel that, as an actor on the series, you needed to be informed about all the "BSG" stuff before you started working on it?
I think the only thing about watching "BSG" is that I get the simple satisfaction of knowing little things. "Oh, this is cool," because it ties into the future. I wanted to make it a really strong point to not watch "Battlestar Galactica" before starting "Caprica" because I was afraid it was going to give me a lot of pressure and preconceived notions of what it was going to be like. We just kind of went in and threw ourselves into this world for a month and a half. We did the pilot, and, once that was in the can, we ended up having this bunch of time off where I went and saw "Battlestar Galactica" and was blown away. It was so amazing. I was really glad that I didn't watch it before I filmed it because, really, it's two different stories.
Is it hard to submerge yourself into the character for a month and a half and then have to take a really long break before production begins?
It was really stressful because we just didn't know for so long if it was going to turn into a series. I didn't know for almost a year. For that year that I was waiting, I was growing in that character just in case, and I was still in that mind-set. So it stays with you. But I love being submerged into work. I have nightmares about Cylons.
Do you think fans of prime-time soaps like "Grey's Anatomy" would like "Caprica"?
I think "Caprica" is a little out of left field, which is kind of what I love about it. It's a little different. The first couple of episodes are really about wrapping your head around this world. I love "Grey's Anatomy," but I think it's the same kind of concept: You just get lost in this world and you believe what they're setting up.
I know you've worked in sci-fi before, but in terms of fans is there a dramatic difference between "Caprica" fans and "Kyle XY" devotees?
I found that "Kyle XY" fans were really meticulous like that. They write on the forums and people sometimes come up to me and talk about characters and episodes of "Kyle XY." It's not so jarring. I haven't really felt the difference yet. It's just started so I guess we'll just see how it goes.
Do you like to read what people are saying?
I think in the beginning I wanted to know what was being said, but it's really scary. They say really mean things about you. And there's some things that are just incredibly nice and amazing and that I'm really glad I read. But sometimes it's ridiculous because they wouldn't say these things to your face. You take it with a grain of salt. Like, "Oh, you're good looking, but only when you wear makeup." Who says that?
What are the v-club (a virtual reality rave/night club) scenes like to shoot? It always seems loud and chaotic on-screen. Is it at all like that during filming?
In the pilot, it was ridiculous. There were about 490 extras for two days and it felt like you were in a rave. It was sweaty, hot and loud. And it was blaring in your ears. But once we started going into production, there were different types of v-club scenes. Some were mellow so they were filmed differently. But I like the chaos. There's something so fascinating about it.
Is Clarice trying to add Lacy to her family?
I think she's trying to figure out how to come at Lacy because she doesn't want to show all her cards. With Lacy, if you push her too far or go too obvious, she'll run. She doesn't know if she wants to bring her into the family. I don't want to give it away, but there's a few different ways she tries to come at Lacy. And Lacy starts to figure out that people are possibly using her so a lot of this season for Lacy is for her to figure out her own voice and stop letting people beat her down.
I know you can't give away too much, but did the season end in a way you were happy with? Did it surprise you?
I definitely was happy. It was kind of what I hoped. It's not what I expected but it was awesome. My character goes on such a crazy adventure and you're going to start seeing what direction she's going in. I got my motorcycle license because of the show, which you'll see in the next episode.
Production actually let you ride a motorcycle? That seems like it would violate all kinds of insurance policies.
Yes! I actually had a 6'2" dude on the back of my bike. After a month of practicing, I got my license and ended up going to the racetrack. It's awesome!
"Caprica" airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy
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