Interview: Katee Sackhoff Talks 'Longmire', '24', 'Battlestar Galactica' & More – TVWise

Best known for her role as the tough, take no prisoners pilot Starbuck on Syfy’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica, Katee Sackhoff has built a reputation for being a bad ass and someone who can throw a punch. She’s had guest runs on series such as 24, Nip/Tuck, CSI and the Bionic Woman and can be currently seen playing Vic Moretti on the A&E hit series Longmire which is set to return for a third season this summer. On the feature side of thing, she’s recently been in the new film Riddick and will star in the upcoming psychological thriller Oculus. Katee was kind enough to take some time from her hectic schedule to sit down with TVWise to talk about Longmire, Battlestar Galactica, Riddick and why losing a fight during an episode of Longmire really bothered her.
WARNING – The following interview contains spoilers from Longmire season two that our UK readers may wish to avoid.
TVWise: How much did you enjoy the journey that Vic went on in season two and what if anything did you learn about her?
Katee Sackhoff: You know, I had a really good time during Season 2. I felt that we finally started to get to know Vic a little more than we did in Season one. Season one was really about everybody else and kind of introducing characters and I felt like my storylines were contingent on where Walt was, so for me as an actor, Season 2 was a lot more fun and hopefully Season 3 will be a continuation of that.
TVWise: The relationship between Vic and Walt has also progressed in season two. How do you think Vic sees their relationship as opposed to Walt?
Katee Sackhoff: You know, I don’t know. I can’t speak to how Robert sees their relationship, but I think Vic has convinced herself that there is nothing there and that she just respects this man tremendously. She respects his belief system and his work ethic. I think that is what she has convinced herself is going on and I don’t think that even she would admit or think that anything is going on.
TVWise: With Ed Gorski showing up in town, you definitely see a vulnerable side to Vic. How hard do you think it was for Vic to tell Walt what was going on with Ed?
Katee Sackhoff: I don’t necessarily think that she is scared of Ed; I think she’s scared of what Ed makes her want to do. I think that is basically why she’s mostly scared. I feel like she knows she can just go shoot him and that scares her as well and the fact that she kind of wants to shoot him also scares her. I think the reason she had a hard time explaining to Walt why she was in the situation she was in because there was infidelity involved and it questions her ethics and morality, so I think that is the issue.
TVWise: This show has its serialized elements, but it’s not nearly as serialized as something like Battlestar or 24. How do you feel about that more procedural aspect of the show?
Katee Sackhoff: It’s definitely different. I’ve never done procedural before and wrapping my brain around that was a bit difficult for me at first, but in Season 2 we’ve gotten into a nice swing of a little bit of both and it’s gotten a lot better.
TVWise: I have to ask you about the fight scene in episode 5 with the character Lorna. What was it like filming that scene? What kind of training did you do for it?
Katee Sackhoff: I really didn’t have to do much because I got my ass kicked. It was hard for me; I had a massive problem with it. I had a big problem with the fact that Vic would lose a fight to someone smaller than her. You know, Vic grew up with four brothers so she’s not the type of person that doesn’t know how to fight. So it did bother me and I had to take a step back and realize that this person was trained in MMA and she was probably a bit faster than Vic and probably sees openings a bit faster and a bit more than Vic would. I spent a great deal of my career culminating myself as a tough girl and then to go do something where you get your ass kicked is a bit hard to swallow.
TVWise: What are you looking forward to in season three?
Katee Sackhoff: Hmm, more of the same really. As I said earlier, season two had a nice mix of procedural and serialized television and I think that is only going to get stronger and they are only going to get better at finding that perfect balance. I hope we also get more into Vic’s private life and she can either figure that out or move on. There is some interesting stuff that can go on with Ed Gorski in town, he’s after her and how will she handle it. We saw her at the end of the season with a gun. My reasoning would subject myself to believe that she is going to shoot someone who walks through that door. She’s gotten to a point where she realizes that the only way to handle that situation is to handle it herself.
TVWise: You also starred in the series Battlestar Galactica. What has being on such an iconic show meant to you as an actor and as a person?
Katee Sackhoff: As an actor, I never dreamed that a science fiction show would be the show that would give my name cred in the acting industry. We were given so much freedom by the producers and writers to experiment and to really own and develop our characters for ourselves. I had a really good time on that show and we were such a family and still are. So, it’s meant a lot to me as a person and as an actor it was the thing that opened all the doors that have been opened since.
TVWise: Was there a scene or an episode of BSG where you thought to yourself, we really have something special here?
Katee Sackhoff: Gosh, there were so many. It was five years ago, so I don’t really remember, but there were so many. I think that truthfully, every scene we shot, you had that feeling and I think that’s why it was such a superb show.
TVWise: You had a nice run on the series 24. What was it like working on that show and working with Kiefer Sutherland?
Katee Sackhoff – It was great working on that show. 24 came at a perfect time for me because of health reasons, I needed to stay in Los Angeles and it came at a great time as well because after Battlestar, I didn’t have the recognition that I needed as far as my face in households on a regular basis on network television. Cable didn’t provide that at the time; we were 5 years before other networks were starting to have massive success. Battlestar was the first show on a cable provider that actually broke ground. We were five years too early to be recognized by any awards, but we were the best show on television for 6 years in my opinion and I think there are a lot of people that would agree with that. Working with Kiefer was amazing and fantastic. He’s so much fun to work with on a daily basis and do things with because he gives you everything he’s got.
TVWise: Were you ever stressed out on the set of 24?
Katee Sackhoff: Only the night shoot stuff. If you think about it, you are doing a show that takes place in 24 hours; six of those hours are completely at night. So, there were some nights were you literally worked yourself into a night shooting schedule for about four weeks and you were tired.
TVWise: What was it like working on Riddick and working with Vin Diesel?
Katee Sackhoff: A dream come true. Love Vin; loved the series up to that point and to take the ass kicking to another level was really fun for me.
TVWise: You have some interesting projects coming up, one of them is Oculus. You want to talk about that?
Katee Sackhoff: Oculus is a fantastic movie and I am really excited for people to see it. It’s a different kind of horror movie in the sense that it’s a psychological horror film and it’s incredibly interesting; in my opinion ground breaking. [I’m] a big fan of Karen Gillan and I think she’s going to be a force to reckon with. Just great actors and great kids with lots of opportunities in front of them and they are going to have big careers. It’s just going to be a fun movie!
TVWise: As an actor, are you able to shake off the stuff you do on set when you get home?
Katee Sackhoff: Its therapy. My therapist stops getting paid when I’m working. I go to work and I cry and I punch things and run around. I get it all out of my system and when I go home, I’m fine. I definitely have the ability to shut it off.
TVWise: Did you want to talk a little bit about your project Acting Outlaws with Tricia Helfer?
Katee Sackhoff: Tricia is one of my best girlfriends. We started Acting Outlaws a few years ago trying to marry two things we love to do, riding motorcycles and philanthropic goals in life. She and I have used it as an opportunity to do different projects for different charities. We have our 2014 schedule coming out in about a week and it’s a pretty exciting, action packed, massive schedule. We are going to be really busy with the Acting Outlaws this year and we are trying to hit all coasts and there will be something for everyone in there.
TVWise: You had a hilarious appearance on the Big Bang Theory? Would you like to do more comedy?
Katee Sackhoff: Yes, of course. I’d love to do comedy. Right now I am enjoying the action, but I will get to a certain point where they won’t let me run around and beat up people anymore and that’s when I’ll start being funny!
Longmire returns for a third season on A&E this summer and will return to UK screens for its 13 episode second season on TCM this Spring.