Jamie Bamber gave an interview for a French gay magazine during the Comic Con Saison 1 last year in Paris. The magazine is only out now. My lovely friend jamie_girl5 bought the magazine and would like to share the interview with us. She sent me the scans and the English translation.
A very big THANK YOU to jamie_girl5 and pinkylilie for her time and her efforts to translate the article for us.
The beginning in the pink box ...
"A 36 years old american-british actor, Jamie Bamber, who we first noticed in the british TV serie "Ultimate Force" before to play sexy Lee Adama from 2003 to 2008. In Battlestar Galactica's story, there's a family : Lee is the son of Admiral William Adama (Edward James Olmos), who's in command of the ship. His relationship with his dad are complicated and fragile because he made his dad responsible for the death of his brother Zak. He ended up marrying Anastasia "Dee" Dualla (Kandyse McClure). Lee is ambitious, pride and vigorous, but he's above all looking for his own identity. He's stuck between his dad who command the military and his fonctions of commander of the Pegasus while he only wanna do something : fights the cylons in his viper. He won't stop looking for his own path in this civilization which always re invente itself. Since 2009, Jamie plays a Detective Sergent in the british TV serie : Law & Order UK. Totally bilingual, it's in French that Jamie talked to us about his statut of "american gay fantasm" which he 100% assume"
Did you know the original series from 1978 ?
Yes, I watched it on TV when I was 5. I like science fiction and movie like “Star Wars”. Everything about space I was interesting in. I spend a few years in Paris and I remember a cartoon called “Goldorak”. Then, I moved away from that when I was a teenager and when I red the scenario of the series, that remind me of my childhood and I realized that there were a lot of difference with the original series. For example, my character is not “Apollo” but Lee Adama. “Apollo” is my call sign. I immediately forgot the original series when I met Richard Hatch, who was Apollo in the original series and who was playing Tom Zarek in our show, a prisoner who becomes vice president. We talked about our experiences. He taught me a lot. For me, it was interesting to compare the two “Apollo”.
In the series, you talked about actual themes, such as geopolitics and ecology. In the end, reality catch up with science fiction ?
I think that American people realize that the world is dangerous, our generation is on the 1st line and we all have to make efforts to solve worldwide problems. We have to live a simple life. The main theme in Battlestar Galactica is to compare The Human to an animal, of course, it’s a metaphor. The Human have to think about how to live and survive. The technology, which was first made to make easier the life, rebel against it creator and destroyed the world. Everything that we cared about doesn’t exist anymore. It’s a moralist message. Confront to problems, the series show us the abilities that we have deep down to survive, it’s quite positive because from chaos we got hope. For our future, to see our children grow older, we make sacrifices. The Human always be that way, History say that we’re right. Sacrify is the heart of the history in Battlestar Galactica.
Do you think that it was easier for writers to talk about homosexuality, thought robots, a lesbian cylon couple, rather than humans ?
It’s much more complex. In the world of Battlestar Galactica, sexuality is not an issue : men and women are egal. Bathrooms are mixte, everybody say “sir”. It’s an unisex vision and there are no sexual inhibitions and complex unlike in our society. It’s not a futuristic vision, but we are more like in a real equal society men-women, straight-gay. That’s why we don’t talk about homosexuality in our show. Sexuality is for everyone, there’s no distinction between gay and straight. For gays, there’s nothing to claim because they’re equal to other people. In “Razor” we see a lesbian couple, well, more interracial because Gina Inviere is a clone of Number 6, a cylon. It’s not a problem. Gays like this different way and that’s why they liked the series a lot.
This egalitarian society would be perfect ?
(big laugh) No, say that a society would be perfect because there’s an equality gays-straights would be simplistic! Sexuality only has a small place in our society. On board of the “Battlestar Galactica”, we’re in a military society while in our world, usually, militaries are homophobe. In our show, sexuality isn’t a taboo.
At the beginning, you were the handsome guy to seduce girls but at the end, you became a gay icon when you made the front cover of the magazine “Out”. How did you deal with this reversal of situation?
I’m an open mind person so I don’t have any problem with it ! I’ve noticed that during conventions, at the Comic Con in San Diego, during meet and greet with fans, on the internet, on several blogs, my character was very appreciated by gays… I’m an actor and I play what I’m ask to play, I never thought that gays were going to like my character and even more than like him ! As long as I feel good the way I am, it’s alright. I was the one who wanted to make the front cover of the magazine “Out” and I’m proud of it ! Personally, I’m a shy guy and when someone think that I’m a good looking guy, no matter if it’s a boy or a girl, that surprised me ! Personally, I don’t find myself a good looking guy. I sometimes read in magazines nice things about me, it’s very nice, but I have issues with it.
In the eight episode of the 2nd season (“Final Cut”), you are naked in a room fill with testosterone. Are you aware that these photos were everywhere on gays websites ?
(big laugh). I know that (Kandyse McClure laugh out lot) It was a scene when testosterone and estrogen were in the room, there were half naked people everywhere. I was completely ok with it and I assume it. Then, photos were everywhere on the internet and even the magazine People named me “the sexiest guy of the year”. When I’ll be 80 years old, I’ll tell to my grandchild that, a long tome ago, I was the “sexiest guy of the year” ! (laughs). It’s flattering, but it’s not the reality, my reality, my wife or friends reality. The image is not the reality !
How do you deal everyday with gays fans that might seduce you ?
You’re asking me if I’ve already kissed another guy ?
No, how do you deal with guys that make a move on you / try to seduce you ?
Oh, it often happens and I don’t have a problem with that. But sometimes, it’s not that funny because they insist a lot. It’s like in every relationships. It already happened that, when I was in a restaurant, some guys make me propositions, it’s a bit annoying and inappropriate!(laugh)
You were playing Lee Adama for 5 years. When the show stopped, it must have been very hard for you ?
Yes, because we were like a big family in this project of “Battlestar Galactica”. The last days, we felt like we were in college just before summer holidays and the star of University. We could really feel the palpable emotion when we were shooting the last scenes because they were really real. It was really hard to put an end at it.
Did you know about the intrigue in the finale season ?
Yes, because Ron Moore, the producer have the idea for the end of the show, in his head for a while. He wanted to put our ship in the real world and confront them. I won’t say more about it for those who hadn’t seen the finale scene. I knew what he wanted to show and that he wanted to show us the actual situation of the Earth which has to deal with it biggest challenge which is the environment. 2 years ago, I remember like it was the day before, we were having a dinner with Ron Moore and Edward James Olmos and we discussed about the finale scene of the series. We said our point of views about how it should be ending. I found in a book of Hawkins that during this short period, about 50 000 years ago, the Human started to paint on the wall of the caverns, discovered fire, learn to talk….The Human made a big step in this short period. So I thought that we could make a link with the series and that the Galactica could arrived on the Earth at the same time. We could have shared what we learn during this year on space with people. When I talked about it, I realized that Ron was actually in my mind. Our characters came to an end in their journey, they’re zen, they have time to think, to think about what they’ve learned, to know if all what happened to them can make them wiser…I think that it allow them to know their true identity, their true nature revealed to themselves.
The series take position about ecology, environment…Are you an engaged citizen ?
“Battlestar Galactica” allow us to be more aware of that, for us who were playing in the series but also for the audience. That’s what I like in my job : we create stories, we try to entertain people, but also to make them react and think. Personally, it made me think about my place in this world. I think that nowadays, I’m more implicated in politic and socially. I start to be committed in ecologic causes (he showed us his hairy chest for the PETA campaign to protect bears) : the responsibility that we have, we are more than 6 billiards of people on Earth and we have to think about our common future. If we were that smart, we should be able to imagine our future and be prepare for that !