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Rekha Sharma interview

Date of publishing: 16th May 2007

Rekha Sharma interview - Battlestar Galactica From parents originated from India, Rekha Sharma was born and grew up in Vancouver. By the age of twelve she fell in love with art films, abstract and surrealist painters, and underground music. Her love for acting started in Grade 5 when she decided to spy on some of her classmates auditioning for the school play. She figured she could do a better job than them, so she gave it a go and landed the lead role. Many years later in her early twenties after having dabbled in a variety of things, she thought she should really give acting a wholehearted shot. Her credits includes roles in TV shows such House MD, Smallville, John Doe, Dark Angel and of course Battlestar Galactica where she plays Tory Foster, the assistant of President Roslin, played by Mary McDonnell.

Rekha Sharma interviewGilles Nuytens: When did you first know you wanted to be an actor?
Rekha Sharma: It all started in Grade 5 when I decided to spy on some of my classmates auditioning for the school play. I figured I could do a better job than them, so I gave it a go and landed the lead role. I remember how alive and excited I felt on stage, but I never thought of it as a career.... many years later in my early twenties after having dabbled in a variety of things, I thought I should really give acting a wholehearted shot. I very soon booked my first professional theatre gig and when I felt what it was like to act 5 days a week.... I quit my day job and that was that.

Gilles Nuytens: Tell us about yourself, a bit of your biogaphy, your back ground?
Rekha Sharma: My ancestors came from the state of Uttar Pradesh, India and during British rule, they relocated to the Fiji Islands. My family moved to Canada before they had me and I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. I grew up playing in the forests on Native Reserve land. By the age of twelve I fell in love with art films, abstract and surrealist painters, and underground music - thanks to the influence of my super cool big brother!

Gilles Nuytens: And what motivates you in life and what do you like doing when you're not acting?
Rekha Sharma: What motivates me ? Well, I'm always just trying to be a good person, spread some love, truth, and generosity around.... and fulfill my dharma, really. I think we were all brought into this world with our own unique talents and gifts and I think that the more we can have the courage to be who we truly are, the more we can contribute to society and evolve as human beings. That, and world peace, I guess. When I am not acting I try to paint, see live music, watch movies, practise yoga, pray, meditate, practise my instrument ( the sarangi ), hang out with my loved ones, organize my life, cook, you know - the usual stuff.

Gilles Nuytens: Tell us how it came about you getting on Battlestar Galactica?
Rekha Sharma: I had initially auditioned for a couple of smaller recurring roles, and from the start I was delighted by the intelligence and skill of the directors. Naturally, my interest in working on the show increased and when they kept calling me back, I just figured it was a matter of seeing if there was a role that was a good match for me. When the role of TORY came up I thought - this is perfect, I love this character. I guess they thought it was a perfect match too!

Rekha Sharma interviewGilles Nuytens: What was it like coming in after Billy was killed to be the actress replacing a beloved character as Roslin's right hand?
Rekha Sharma: Actually, I hadn't seen the show at all until after I had shot the first episode .... but once I got all caught up, I thought - uh oh - people are gonna hate me... ( ha ha ! ) what can I say ? - Billy was pretty sweet and unoffensive, and Tory's gotta whole different thing goin on.... but I'm glad I had no idea in the beginning. I'm always wary of preconcieved notions getting in the way of the work.

Gilles Nuytens: What parts of you, characteristics, do you bring to Tory? And what is something that Tory does/did that you would never do?
Rekha Sharma: Well, I think Tory is smart, loyal, dedicated, hard-working, and has a big heart. I like to think I have all those qualities too.... although, I'm pretty sure she works harder - in fact, I don't think Tory takes very good care of herself, and I am too much of a whimp to manage that. I need my sleep and my veggies ! But, you know, I can't say I wouldn't do anything and everything she does - I don't know what it's like to live through genocide and war - so I can't judge her actions.

Gilles Nuytens: What do you enjoy the most about playing Tory and being a part of Galactica?
Rekha Sharma: I love the show - it's as simple as that. I am a fan... all around. I love the actors, the story, the direction, the cinematography, the sound design, the sets.... and I love working with all of these wonderful people.

Gilles Nuytens: Your character was quite a small part in the beginning but has become more important especially now that we've discovered she is a Cylon. Are you happy with this evolution (you character is almost immortal now in the show!)? I assume this is going to be more interesting and challenging to play.
Rekha Sharma: Yes - I am definetly happy with this evolution !! My character is growing and evolving, and that means I get to as well!

Gilles Nuytens: How did you find out Tory was a Cylon, was there a meeting or did you read it in the script and what was your first impression? And how do you feel about it now?
Rekha Sharma: Actually, I first found out because of Eddie. He kept asking me if I had read the new scripts and he kept smiling and laughing and telling me to "get ready" - It drove me nuts, so I went ahead and read some early outlines - they didn't spell it out, but it sure seemed like I was going to be a Cylon. I got so excited, and then I had to calm myself down, because you know they can change anything at any moment. It wasn't until we were actually shooting the season finale that I got the official word from Michael Rymer. I guess now that I am over the intial shock and excitement, I just have a lot of questions and I am looking forward to getting down to work.

Rekha Sharma interviewGilles Nuytens: Are you aware of the direction your character is going to take next year? And how would you like to see her to evolve, in which kind of stories would you like her to be involved?
Rekha Sharma: No clue. I guess we're going to find out more about Tory, but I have no idea how. I think it'll be very interesting to see how she will handle this new information with herself, and with her fellow Cylons ( especially Anders ), but most of all - with the person she is closest to - Laura Roslin.

Gilles Nuytens: Do you think that knowing that she is a Cylon may turn her into the dark side, such Boomer, or to fall in some kind of depression?
Rekha Sharma: I have no idea what they are planning, really, but she's definetly already entered some kind of emotional hell... and I think it's probably a safe bet that there'll be more of that.

Gilles Nuytens: Some actors are fans of the show they play on, and you, are you a fan of Galactica?
Rekha Sharma: YES!! It's sooo great to work on a show that you totally dig!

Gilles Nuytens: Did you watch the original series and did you like it?
Rekha Sharma: No, I missed it entirely.

Gilles Nuytens: If you had the choice to change something to Tory or improve the character, what would you do?
Rekha Sharma: I really don't know how to answer that question. I'm still finding out who she is.

Gilles Nuytens: What was the best gig or funny experience during the shooting of Galactica?
Rekha Sharma: Well, apparently I made it to the "gag reel" when I bonked myself in the head with a painting of Baltar, stifled my laughter, and continued on with the scene as though nothing had happened.... ( pretty dorky, huh ?)

Gilles Nuytens: How aware are you of the fan base, do you sometimes read feedback on internet?
Rekha Sharma: I do read the feedback - it's pretty interesting to see what the fans have to say.

Gilles Nuytens: In 1 or 2 words for each, how would you describe your co-stars from Galactica?
Rekha Sharma: Oh jeez, this is gonna be tough, but I'll give it a shot :
Katee Sackhoff - on-the-ball, and very funny ; Jamie Bamber - sweet, smart and funny; EJO - generous, strong and playful ; Mary McDonnell - very generous, intelligent and strong ; James Callis - totally hilarious ; Grace Park - sweet and really playful ; Tricia Helfer - super sweet and easy going ; Aaron Douglas - smart, strong, and supportive ; Tahmoh Penikett - he's solid ; Michael Hogan - smart, kind, easy going ; Ronald D. Moore - intelligent, perceptive, and thoughtful ; Alessandro Juliani - smart, open, and super easy going ; Michael Trucco - he's lovely ; Leah Cairns - strong and easy going ; Michael Rymer - smart, curious, and easy going.

Rekha Sharma interviewGilles Nuytens: You played a lot of guest roles in TV shows, from Dark Angel, John Doe, Smallville to House MD and of course Galactica. Which one was your favorite one to play and why?
Rekha Sharma: Tory, hands down - because I love this show..... I think House would be my 2nd favorite - working with Bryan Singer was very cool ; and John Doe would be the 3rd - I got to work with a lot of wonderful directors on that show -and in particular - Mimi Leder.



Gilles Nuytens: If not an actor, what would you have liked to do?
Rekha Sharma: Be a Painter.

Gilles Nuytens: What is your one sinful indulgent? The thing you just have to have or do?
Rekha Sharma: well, I have two : sweets & clothes

Gilles Nuytens: Outside of Galactica, what are your other upcoming projects?
Rekha Sharma: My house, my garden, and my paintings....

Gilles Nuytens: Thank you so much for this interview, I wish you good luck in your career and be looking forward to see you in Galactica next season!
Rekha Sharma: Thanks for the interview Gilles.

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© 2007 Interview by Gilles Nuytens for The Scifi World


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