Jamie Bamber is a frequent guest at conventions worldwide thanks to his role as Lee Adama on the fan-favourite Battlestar Galactica. Like other great science-fiction, the series used its story-telling to symbolically address relevant sociopolitical issues, from the rigging of an election, artificial intelligence, among others.
“What great science fiction has always done is remove itself from the immediate social, human, political context enough for it to be universally applied and that was what Battlestar did. It took a humanity that was very near to us, was inspired by the world that we were living in at the time but removed it and put it into a different corner of the galaxy. Just that step of doing that means that it’s always going to be relevant. If the writing’s good, and the acting’s good, and the sets aren’t bad and the visual effects don’t look too dodge, then I think it will always feel immediate hopefully, because it’s really about what it is to be a human being in a big, scary, empty galaxy and to wonder what we’re here for.”
Bamber also teased about upcoming roles on ITV’s Fearless playing an ex-soldier that becomes a politician, a French film that roughly translates to “Spoiled for Choice”, and a television-film in Bulgaria called Crystal Inferno which is a take on the Towering Inferno. Bamber says that the acting industries are relatively similar when comparing working in these different countries, though acting in French poses its own challenges.
“There’s arguably a sense of pretence already trying to be a French speaker although I speak French pretty well. It’s just another layer of obstacle you have to get through to connect with some sort of inner truth but when you’re using a language that’s not necessarily your way of expressing yourself it’s an extra challenge. But the character I was playing is a Scot. I had a Scottish accent and then speaking French so there’s lots of layers!”
As Bamber’s role on Battlestar had an American accent, he was encouraged by some to maintain the accent between takes but he preferred a different approach.
“I don’t do that. I’ve tried it and I find it reduces the confidence I have in the accent because I’m less committed to it between the takes and then I find the accent slips between the takes and then I just feel like I’m in No Man’s Land. I’d much rather be 100 per cent me and then have a switch-off moment where I go a 100 per cent the other way. Otherwise I find I’m sort of 85 per cent or 60 and I don’t really know where I am. I don’t like doing that. When I audition sometimes I’m told by casting people, ‘Can you just go in that room and be American all the way?’ I really hate doing that. It’s something I can do but I feel I’m doing neither one thing or another.”
Above is the Jamie Bamber press panel from MCM London Comic Con and below is the MyM BUZZ stage interview, in which he reveals something about the BBC’s Outcasts that we never knew before – he was originally offered a different role as a regular.