Date of publishing: 20th
Ryan Robbins began his career in the arts performing
in a circus; he then started a band, and it was while
performing with them that he was discovered and got
his start in acting. He has appeared in many television
shows and movies.
His most known appearances are in Stargate Atlantis,
playing the leader of the Genii "Ladon Radim"
and in Battlestar Galactica playing 2 roles, he was
the first actor seen on the show, playing the old
armistice officer (the reasons of playing an old man
are explained below) and then playing "Charlie
Connor" in season 3. He also recently got a role
in "Alien VS Predator 2".
the audio interview by clicking here (Zipped MP3 file)
do not direct link to this file, link to the page
Linda Craddock: Having
won a Leo Award (Men Feel Pain 2004) and nominated
for When Jesse was Born 2005) another for Best Performance
by a male in a drama, would it be safe to say a dramatic
role would be dream role for you?
Ryan Robbins: Dramatic roles
are great. I do have a soft spot for comedy. I have
done a fair bit of comedy. The key for me is just
finding a role that is interesting and unique and
I’m a big fan of just being as sincere as possible
in the character. I just think comedy or drama you
know, you make that character sincere and relatable,
but there is something to be said about doing drama,
that you know doing a really good drama sometimes
feels like you’re almost kind of selfish cause
it actually feels really good to get that kind of
Craddock: To tell
Ryan Robbins: Yeah
Linda Craddock: Tell
us a little about your role in "Men Feel Pain"
and "When Jesse Was Born".
Ryan Robbins: “Men
Feel Pain”, its a film about, it’s
actually a dark comedy which if funny that it got
a dramatic title. It’s about the false messiahs
syndrome and I play a character who comes across as
a guy going through a really rough time and I miss
interrupt his rough times or him trying to sort of
sacrifice himself in a way to atone for my sins and
it becomes this case of a false messiahs where my
character’s so desperate to have somebody make
my life better I find the poor guy and bring all these
other people to him and decides that he’s going
to be the one who saves us all and in actuality he’s
unable to even save himself. And then “When
Jesse Was Born” is written and directed
by Christopher Petry who is somebody I continue to
collaborate with. Actually same with “Men
Feel Pain” with Brad Dryborough and Kris
Elgstrand who collaborated on things for a number
of years. But, with “When Jesse Was Born”
it’s a story of a father, a young father and
husband whose trying the best as he knows how to make
a good life for his family. Unfortunately it entails
some criminal activities and some really bad choices
and its a story about how the best intentions of somebody
can go horribly, horribly wrong. Great role to play.
I had a lot of fun playing that role and had definitely
nominated for the character. That film actually won
a number of awards throughout the U.S. including several
awards from the Sacramento Film Festival, including
a best actor for myself, well it won a whole bunch
of awards down there.
Linda Craddock: Will
have to look into that, interesting. What aspect of
the role of "Charlie Connor" in Battlestar
Galactica motivated you to audition?
Ryan Robbins: Well, I’ll
tell you what, I don’t know if many people know
this but I have the dubious distinction of being the
only actor on Battlestar Galactica to return after
being killed whose a none Cylon because I actually
played a role in the pilot, in the mini series but
the character I played was an old man. At the very,
very beginning of the mini series, the first guy you
see is me.
Ryan Robbins: Yeah and the reason
that happened is they had originally shown that character
aging over a series of decades. So see me as a young
man and gradually age but all they ended up using
in the final cut was a shot of me as an old man. So
we were trying to find something for me to come back
on the show for a couple of seasons and we finally
found something in “Charlie Connor”, who,
because we didn’t want the character to look
at all the same or be at all similar. Didn’t
want, obviously people to try and draw any conclusions,
they are completed unrelated characters I just happened
to be the fortune actor to get to come back on the
show. Now “Charlie Connor” I related to
as a father because he is an insurgent who lost his
family during the collaboration, humans with the Cylons,
his son was put on a death wish list and killed, his
7 year old son so he becomes somewhat of a vigilante,
angry. And being a father, I can only imagine how
painful that would be and it was just a great character,
its a great role and he’s still around, “Charlie’,
“Charlie” keeps popping up here and there,
so we get to see him some more, and plus there are
so many of my friends on that show. That show is such
a pleasure to work on for an actor, it’s such
a treat to be involved in it.
Craddock: Well that
laid the foundation for the next question. You were
actually a part of the “Battlestar Galactica”
TV mini series in 2003. Was this prelude to the current
weekly series at conception?
Ryan Robbins: Well, my role was uh,
he was meant to be – there’s a character
in the mini series “boxey” the kid and
my character was his father who is the first Cylon
casualty upon their return, the Armistice Officer
at the beginning of the mini series. You see when
#6 comes in and they have a little bit of dialogue
exchange, then they kiss and the station blows up
and it starts the war all over again. “Charlie
Connor”, I think, you’re going to be the
first person to actually put that out there. I don’t
think anybody else knows that. We’ve never told
anybody else. So this may be somewhat of an exclusive
Linda Craddock: Well,
we’re honored (laughter). We are absolutely
Ryan Robbins: That’s great.
Linda Craddock: “Battlestar
Galactica” is one of the most popular sci-fi
series on television. Tell us a little about the chemistry
among cast/crew members.
Ryan Robbins: Gladly, I’ll
tell you it is such a great show to work on, its just
such a great atmosphere. You know, I’ve never
been on a show where the actors care so much about
the show and the characters and the dynamics between
everybody is really amazing. You know when we get
scripts everybody is eager to read the script to find
out what’s going on, not just with their own
character but they want to find out what’s going
on with everybody else, its really fun. Scripts come
and people are reading scripts “Oh my God,
can you believe this is really happening”,
this is really crazy. Everybody talks about it, everybody
has a lot of input and really, really cares about
it, the cast and the crew. The attention to details
and the caring that goes on is incredible. And it's,
you know Edward James Oleos, I unfortunately don’t
get a chance to work directly with him, but I do get
to know him and I see him a lot at work and he is
such a great guy, he is like the father figure to
everyone, he legitimately care for everybody as does
Mary as does the entire cast. A lot of cast has become
close friends, you know. A lot of children have been
born in the last few seasons. People actually hang
out. You know you got to a lot of shows where cast
members don’t hang out afterwards, they’re
just kinda of happy to get rid of each other.
Linda Craddock: Yes,
Ryan Robbins: But on Battlestar Galactica,
Aaron Douglas is one of my close, close friends and
has been since before the show, Jamie Bamber, our
daughters are close in age so they spend time together
and James Callis’ children is close the age
of my child and we have all gotten to know each other
quite well. I’m just happy to be a part of it
even at the level of a supporting role, you know.
I am just actually, I’m going to meet Michael
Trucco for coffee after we finish this conversation.
So you were a fan of “Battlestar Galactica”,
the original, prior to landing role as "Charlie
Ryan Robbins: I totally was.
I really like the show and as you know, but watching
the show, the two are totally dissimilar. They don’t
really have a lot to do with one another it’s
a complete re-imagining, but yeah the original was
great. One of my first days back on the show, like
when I came back as “Charlie Connor”,
I got to hang out with Richard Hatch who of course
is the original “Apollo” and its’
funny because we both have circus backgrounds and
so we sat there all day talking about our past circus
lives which is really fun.
Linda Craddock: Interesting.
Ryan Robbins: I’m talking to
the original “Apollo”. How cool is that?
(laughter) Yeah, there’s another great guy,
just can’t say enough about him and also the
crew. They’re really, really fun people (great)
Linda Craddock: Great!
"Charlie's” motive for participating in
the secret tribunal of 6 “Galactica” crew
that try and convict those accused of collaborating
with the Cylon during the occupation is the death
of his young son. Can we anticipate more "Charlie
Connor" as the group is sure to be discovered
by senior staff?
Ryan Robbins: We do keep talking
about it because I was actually at this shooting the
other day and we were talking about the discovery
of the tribunal, this circle we like to call it and
we’ll just have to see, you know. It's hard
to say because you know “Laura Roslin”,
she did part in everybody for their behavior at New
Caprica. But then again, what happened with the circle,
the tribunal although it was, it was allowed when
“Tom Zarek” was President, he gave us
the free reign. This did happened after New Caprica
so its falls into a really interesting crack in the
politics because although Laura pardoned everybody,
she pardoned everybody prior to coming back on Galactica
and “Tom Zarek” had written this letter
saying that we could still do what we were doing so
that is still fishy. We keep talking about it and
to be honest, we don’t know. We’re just
as curious as everybody else is if we get busted,
but I will say this, you will see more of “Charlie
Connor” in season 3 and hopefully the plan is
to see much more of “Charlie Connor” in
season 4, especially if the fans like it.
Craddock: Ok, so
you collaborate with your fellow members of the circle,
decide who to target, by comparing notes of their
collaboration with the Cylon, vote guilty and execute
them by blowing them out of the airlock. I'm curious,
how does one open an airlock on a battle cruiser without
the control room knowing there is a breach?
Ryan Robbins: Well, (lots of laughter)
we were in the control room, we were in the launch
bay and I actually pushed the launch button to open
the hatch. You would think that maybe somebody in
the CIC that a hatch had been opened, boy oh boy,
that’s a Ron Moore, David Eick question (lots
of laughter) I’m going to defer to those guys
along with Michael Rymer. There was so much discussion
about what it would actually look like when someone
goes out an airlock. These guys, “Battlestar
Galactica” really try super hard to pay attention
to details. We have people, you know from NASA, that
you know, technical people that get phone calls from
time to time saying what would actually happen. There’s
a fine line between scientific fact and truth and
dramatic effects for television so sometimes I think
lines get a little bit fuzzy. But I’ll bet somebody
out there has a great excuse has a great reason why
nobody notices that airlock being opened. (laughter)
but it ain’t me. I just push the button and
pushed poor “Jammer” out that thing, poor
Craddock: What are
your views on the evolution of the Cyclon war and
the effects of the virus on the resurrection process
and the high command's reluctance to download during
Ryan Robbins: Well, I think you guys
are just going to have to wait and see. My personal
thoughts are as a fan of the show is seeing more and
more Cylons getting more of a conscience and concerned
and the fact I like the idea that there is something
within the Cylons that threatens the Cylons as opposed
to them always threatening the human race. The human
race threatening the Cylons you know we as human beings
constantly have these issues amongst ourselves so
I really like the twist of the Cylons actually having
to deal with a plague within themselves, you know.
You see more and more ironically, human clause in
quote unquote machines, and I think that is a really
interesting twist on the Cylons relationship. We’ll
see how they recover.
Linda Craddock: I’m
looking forward to it. How familiar with Stargate
Atlantis were you prior to your role as Ladon Radim?
Ryan Robbins: A little familiar with
it, you know, from SG1, knowing a little about SG1
and again, Stargate Atlantis knowing some of the folks
on that show. Paul McGillion is a good friend of mine.
I really had to brush up on the back story of the
Genii because when I first came on the show I was
a Genii scientist, then the next thing I know, I’m
the leader of my people and so I really had to do
a little bit of home work there and again another
show where the writers have a back story for everything.
They have a little meeting, sit down and talk to the
writers and ok so what do you know, what haven’t
you shown yet. What do you know about these people
that I wouldn’t know as an audience and that’s
really helpful to figure, then again, they really
let me sort of create my own story for Ladon, especially
when Ladon becomes the leader, he’s very conflicted,
he a very, very different kind of leader, again, there’s
another guy who appears to be a bad guy who really
just wants the best for his people.
Linda Craddock: Well
that answers my next question about your approach
to the role and also, do you think Ladon will evolve
as a real ally or turn to the dark side so-to-speak?
Ryan Robbins: My opinion is that
I think Ladon would love to be considered any ally
and would like to be an ally but at the same time
he will always do what is best for his people first.
So, if at any point his people are threatened or compromised
by any sort of friendship with Atlantis then the friendship
with Atlantis would definitely be in jeopardy if it
in any way conflicted with the betterment of the Genii.
That’s my opinion about Ladon. I he sees Atlantis
as a great opportunity, you know technologically and
also as a protective ally. I think the Genii tend
to be a proud race of people who want to be in as
self-sufficient as possible ironically by any means
necessary. I’ll be as self sufficient as possible
right after I steal all of your stuff (laughter).
Craddock: The beard
disappeared. was it a personal choice or a choice
from the producers?
Ryan Robbins: Let me ask you something,
what did you think about the beard disappearing?
Linda Craddock: I
actually liked I because it’s like you have
a new role, and so it’s a new image.
Ryan Robbins: Yes, that’s what
Linda Craddock: That’s
Ryan Robbins: I mean I had the beard
when I first became the leader but then as I settled
into the role of the leader, I was shooting, I think
I was actually working on “Battlestar”,
I think but I didn’t have a beard anymore so
when I went back on Atlantis, it was a little bit
of a concern, people were a little worried. They thought
about putting on a fake beard, but I think I convinced
them that they didn’t need to do that and I
think the fans, you got to give the fans credit, you
know, there’re not going to realize who that
guy is, you know. They’re not, I think people
realize it’s the same guy, just without a beard.
People shave, even in space. We were just talking
about this the other day because I was shooting a
movie and had all my hair cut short so towards the
end of “Battlestar” I pop up towards the
end, but I’ve got short hair. And it’s
not talked about. No one complains or anything. Those
guys were like people cut their hair, you know, no
big deal ...
Linda Craddock: Absolutely.
Ryan Robbins: You know we’re
not stuck back in the days when people thought they
have the exact same hair cut for 5 seasons, you know.
I mean you look at Battlestar Galactica and Stargate
Atlantis. All the other actors change their hairstyles
and whatnot, so.
Linda Craddock: Yeah,
Sheppard does the beard things sometimes.
Ryan Robbins: Yeah
Linda Craddock: Very
rarely, but yes.
Ryan Robbins: Yeah, that’s
Linda Craddock: Martin
Wood directed several Stargate Atlantis episodes you've
appeared in including "The Return, Pt1",
"Coup D'etat", "The Storm" and
"The Eye", William Waring directed "Common
Ground". Can you describe any differences in
the director technique between the two?
Ryan Robbins: Well, Martin’s
really energetic, he a very outgoing personality,
he’s really fun. Will is also an incredible
nice guy. Will’s also got, I think he looks
at it from a completely different perspective I imagine
because he’s also a camera operator and DP,
so he, I think comes at it from a slightly different
angle than Martin does. When you get on a show like
that and people are staying true to the vision of
show, the difference between directors is, you know,
it’s pretty slight. Both those guys are really
hilarious, both are really, really fun to work for.
But, I think probably the only difference is maybe
just seeing that maybe Will spends just a little more
time behind the monitors checking shots and framing
and stuff and Martin will come right out there to
chat with the actors. You know Martin is responsible
for Ladon even hanging around, to tell you the truth.
Here’s a little scoop for you: In the... I believe
it was “The Storm”, originally they had
thought about killing Ladon and then Martin and I
talked and then you know we got along very well and
he said I’m going to kill somebody else. That’s
when he kept me around and made me the leader of the
people, so there’s a good actors story.
Craddock: Well thank
you Martin Wood!
Ryan Robbins: Yeah I do, Martin paid
my mortgage for awhile.
Linda Craddock: Will
the writers continue to exploit the rivalry between
Ladon Radim and Robert Davi's character Acastus Kolya
in the second half of season 3 on Stargate Atlantis?
Ryan Robbins: Not so much just yet.
I think we’re, I think there’s taking
a bit of a break from the Genii with all the events
that are actually happening within Atlantis right
now and I think there’s a lot going on with
the wraith right now, as well. So you’re not
going to see a lot of Ladon towards the end as he
does pop up a little bit and then we’ll see
what happens for next season. I think what with the
end of SG1, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some
characters cross over, I don’t know, I mean
I don’t know if that’s going to happen,
I have no idea, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
So you gotta imagine you know you got to find where’s
there room for old Ladon and the Genii. That’s
up to the writers and the fans.
Linda Craddock: In
the Stargate Atlantis Episode "The Return Part
1", Ladon pays a visit to Teyla and Ronon in
hopes of convincing them to join him in the fight
against the wraith but didn't want to share any plans
developing within the Genii ranks as a method of persuading
them to join even with Ronon's resistance. Why to
do you think that is?
Ryan Robbins: Well, if I couldn’t
tell them, I certainly can’t tell you (laughter).
I think it goes back to what we were talking about
earlier with Ladon, first and foremost looking out
for his people, you know and you remember Ladon tempting
them before with the ZPM that actually didn’t
work. You never know what’s up his sleeve. I
think Ladon definitely learned from that lesson and
I think he definitely does have a plan. I think there
is something more that he can use the folks from Atlantis’
help, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Again,
it’s a funny time for Ladon and the Genii. They
left so much unsaid. They left a lot of potential
there. We don’t know what’s happening.
They’ve got so many story lines going on right
now and I think its’ up to the writers and the
fans to decide what story lines they want to see more
of. Right now I think they’re just letting the
Genii hang around and make their big plan and when
they do finally see the Genii that something significant
will be going on.
Linda Craddock: What
other projects can we expect to see you involved in
within the next few months?
Ryan Robbins: Within the next few
months, more “Battlestar Galactica”. I
just finished filming “Alien vs Predator 2”
so that should, well that one won’t be coming
out for a while yet. Oh, I know there’s something,
what else is coming up. There’s a great independent
feature coming out called “Taming Tammy”
and a really great film that I am really proud of
that’s doing the film festival circuit called
“The Visitor”. So there’s those.
I did, I was hoping because I had a character on the
“Blade” series which was really exciting
to play. We were hoping that that was going to go
to season 2 but it looks like that’s not going
to happen. Wow, when the “Blade” series
comes out on DVD, you should go out and get it, it
was a really great series.
Craddock: I enjoyed
Ryan Robbins: Yeah, I loved that
character I played on that, but that’s the nature
of the business.
Linda Craddock: And
that again brings me to my next questions about your
appearance in the “Blade” series, 2 episode
to be exact. Wanted to talk a little bit about your
experience on the set, your character “Sands”.
Ryan Robbins: Sands, again what an
interesting guy. Such a fun guy to play because he’s
a loner, he’s a vampire who maybe doesn’t
particularly like being a vampire, you know, he used
to really like it, didn’t have he’s a
hustler, he’s a gambler, he’s charming,
he had everything and then after the abduction and
torture, he’s got nothing. He’s scared
and ugly and a shell of his former self and he’s
just kind of done with this world. Then he meets “Blade”
and he is secretly hoping that “Blade”
will just off him, but it turns out “Blade”
needs him and then they form a sort of an interesting
kind of a bond, an interesting kind of relationship
and “Blade” decides to keep him around.
Then you see that “Sands” is really one
of the first vampires to rebel against “Marcus”,
other than pure bloods. He’s willing to go toe
to toe with “Marcus” and tell him how
he really feels. And they were really setting up David
Goyer and some of the other writers were really setting
up an interesting story line had it gone to season
2 with regards to some of the house of vampires, you
know simply forming a house. I mean that was rumors
and that was stuff that was being talked about. Again
“Sands”, there’s another guys that
originally, in the original script was supposed to
die in that scene where I’m telling “Marcus”
off and the guys comes up from behind me with the
stake and was going to stake me. Well originally he
was going to kill me. I was supposed to die and after
speaking with the folks from New Line and Spike and
David Goyer they’d all really liked what I had
done with the “Sands” character in the
previous episode then they thought man we got to keep
this character around and all of a sudden say a lot
of potential for “Sands” for season 2
so we were actually set to see a lot more of him and
have him be considerably more significant in season
2 what I was told, then we didn’t get a season
2. Now we’ll never know what happened to poor
Linda Craddock: Yeah,
but I enjoyed that, though.
Ryan Robbins: Chase disappeared,
you know, there was Krista, she had become completely
disillusioned with “Marcus” and his journey
and his behavior. There was lot of great potential
there for a whole nother house, you know, of loners.
And I think the speculation is, I think that they
were setting up to have sort of a the house of the
houseless, so-to-speak who would maybe, possibly be
double agents of sorts, not really team with “Blade”
at all because no vampire likes necessarily likes
“Blade” but be a house that conspired
against ... That was a rumor that we’ll never
know. But that would have been cool. They were even
talking about bring back Deacon Frye from the movie.
Yeah, you would have imagined the rumor, again, please
because this is just a rumor, I don’t know how
much fact is in this but, it doesn’t matter
anyway, but there was a rumor that part of the house
would be run by “Chase” and would consist
of “Sands” “Boone” and “Deacon
Frye”, among others so you can imagine just
the dynamic of those characters between “Chase”,
“Boone” whose crazy, “Sands”
who is kind of an intellectual, but an angry intellectual
and then “Deacon Frye”. It would have
Linda Craddock: It
would have been. Would writing, or directing television
or movie be a goal for you in the near future?
Ryan Robbins: I tell you I wish I
could write. I have a billion ideas in my head, I
just wish that, I need to find a writer that I can
collaborate with. So, writing is just some how just
doesn’t, I guess I just don’t have the
patience for writing. I think eventually I would like
to direct, try to directing. It's not something that
I’m in a hurry to do. I love acting, I love
it, I am literally living the dream. I’m doing
the thing that I most wanted to do as a child for
a living and I’m very blessed, very fortunate.
I still have a lot to do as an actor and a lot to
learn as an actor, I think. So one day I think I’ll
direct, film, I like acting more in films as well.
But it’s all coming. There’s some things
in the works for 2007 as far as acting and television.
So, yeah, one day, one day I will direct, but I’m
in no hurry.
Craddock: Have you
attended any sci-fi conventions since your work with
both Atlantis and Galactica?
Ryan Robbins: I haven’t, you
know. I hear about them all the time, but to be honest
with you I haven’t been invited to one. I’ve
been to one in Las Vegas with Aaron Douglas who as
I said is one of my very, very close friends. I just
went because we were together in Las Vegas together
for his birthday so he had an appearance for that
convention so I went and checked it out and it was
so much fun, but no I haven’t done them yet.
I get talked to a lot about it, just having done Atlantis
and “Blade” and of course “Battlestar
Galactica”. No they haven’t come my way
yet. I’d be interested to do one, if the opportunity
Linda Craddock: Well,
I’ll have to keep an eye on the guest lists
for different conventions to see when you do decide
Ryan Robbins: Yeah, I’ll let
you know. When someone wants me there, I’d love
Linda Craddock: How
do you feel about performing in theatre?
Ryan Robbins: I love it. I mean that
was my first sort of, what I started doing when I
was really quite young. It's been a while and I think
if I were to do it again, it would be quite terrifying,
but there’s nothing like, you know there’s
an energy in the theatre that’s really, really
exciting, I mean its live right there ...
Linda Craddock: Yes,
you and the audience.
Ryan Robbins: Yeah, but it's nerve
racking and intense because you can’t really
mess up cause it's live and if you do, you got to
cover cause it's live, but to me it's immediate gratification,
you know, I mean we all, as performers, I don’t
care what anybody says, there’s something about
the gratification of pleasing an audience that we
all feed off of and theatre, you know, it's right
there. Hopefully they’re gratified, otherwise
(laughter) you’re running backstage.
Linda Craddock: What
are some of the things in life you enjoy outside of
Ryan Robbins: Music, I used to be
involved in music professionally before the whole
acting thing took off. Really love music and my family,
my daughter. Try to be a good dad and be here as much
as I can, be around my daughter. She’ll be 3
in February and she’s my life. I am very fortunate
to have a very supportive wife and family unit so
you know, I don’t want to miss anything when
it comes to her so that’s definitely a priority
and just, I like adventure. You know, I want to look
back on my life and just go “yeah man, I
did some crazy stuff”. A lot of things,
I want to travel, I want to do something new and exciting
as often as possible. I think that life is for the
living and I want to make sure I live my life to the
Linda Craddock: Well,
Ryan I don’t want to take up anymore of your
time. I just want to say to you that I am so grateful
that you took the time to do this interview.
Ryan Robbins: Oh, my pleasure. Thank
you so much and thank you for being interested in
doing an interview. I appreciate it and I’m
flattered, you know, anytime and hey I don’t
know if anybody else cares about this but I just realized
I also have, I maybe the one of the only actors, one
of the few actors I know that has a trading card for
“Battlestar Galactica” and “Stargate
Atlantis”. (laughter) I just thought about that
when you were talking about conventions. But my “Battlestar”
trading card is from the mini series. It’s just
a picture of the old man, so maybe hopefully I’ll
get another one for “Charlie Connor”.
Linda Craddock: Oh,
Ryan Robbins: Hey you can find it,
I even autographed like 700 of those things at some
point. I think you can find them around and when you
see the Armistice Officer, it’s a picture of
me as the old man. I have another dubious distinction
with trading cards from sci-fi shows and I tell you
what, if I get invited out to a convention, I’ll
send you an email.
Linda Craddock: Please
do, that would be perfect!
Ryan Robbins: I will. I was glad
to meet you. Thank you!
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