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Tahmoh Penikett Gets Up Close and Personal with Daily Dragon Online

12 September 2011 Leave a comment

Up Close and Personal with Tahmoh Penikett

By Maggie Caracappa | September 4

Tahmoh Penikett has had guest roles on shows such as Smallville, Stargate SG-1, and most recently, The Killing, among others. He is perhaps best known as Paul Ballard on Dollhouse and as Karl ‘Helo’ Agathon on Battlestar Galactica. He took a couple minutes to talk with the Daily Dragon.

Daily Dragon (DD): You have some pretty intense fight scenes both on Dollhouse and on Battlestar Galactica. How long does it take to choreograph that versus how long it takes to film?

Tahmoh Penikett (TP): It can take awhile. Joss [Whedon] was really efficient with our opening scene in the first episode of Dollhouse with my muay thai scene. They had a really well-respected fight choreographer on set that day, and our key stuntman, Mike Massa, brought him in because he’s really good with karate stuff. But he’s more karate and I’m more muay thai. So we had this fight scene sort of worked out and…we worked together and we came up with a way better scene. I wanted some dropping knees, some elbows in there. You got to understand, though, that there’s not a lot of time to do it. They don’t understand, they just want to shoot. So they just give you blocking and in between that you’re just trying to work it out. It’s always on the fly and unfortunately, on most shows, the fight scenes are what’s sacrificed. When they’re cut down, every single time, they get shortened. So, we went in there, we shot it, and I think that scene, we shot in the morning. We were done by lunch.

DD: I know that you have a martial arts and a boxing background. I assume that level of physical control is really important when you’re trying to film these scenes and not actually hit someone.

TP: It’s everything. It’s all about that. To be honest with you, I’ve been scared more than a couple times doing fight scenes with guys who don’t know what they’re doing. I’ve seen it, doing a fight scene where they’re throwing a punch to my face very closely and I know they don’t know how to pull their punch and they don’t know the range. Even with people who know what they’re doing, people still get hurt. We accidentally hit each other. I had a situation where I was shooting this thing and this guy, every time he threw a punch, it was coming within centimeters of my nose. And I was even moving out of the way within the shot. Finally I just had to approach the head stuntman and say, “Hey, you’ve got to get him to pull that punch more. Use the camera for the angle. He’s coming way too close because if he breaks my nose, I’m going to have to knock him out.”

DD: What did you think of the switch for your character from Dollhouse adversary to Dollhouse insider?

TP: Huge switch, but you understand his motivations. He’s trying to save the girl, right? He’s very torn, very conflicted when he has to make that switch. He’s wondering how he can work within the company to further his cause and still at the same time appear as though he’s taking care of his job, getting the girl out safely, and then also possibly taking it down. He’s got so much going on in there. And he also knows that the heads of the Dollhouse are fully aware of that fact. So they’re both kind of working together while working against each other. It’s a very interesting dynamic. But it was good to play. When you’re working with actors like Olivia Williams, it makes life so much easier. I love sharing scenes with her because she’s just awesome.

DD: Is Joss Whedon an evil genius?

TP: Yes.

DD: What’s it like for you when you see someone costuming as one of your characters?

TP: It’s awesome. I love it. It’s so flattering. I’ll never forget coming to my first Dragon*Con and seeing a Boomer and a Helo before anyone was officially making the costumes and you could buy [them]. They had just done it themselves. You could just see how much work they had put into these costumes. They looked awesome! I just thought it was the coolest thing.

DD: What’s your favorite part of Dragon*Con?

TP: Honestly, the people. It’s very carefree, it’s got its own spirit, this whole thing. Sometimes you go to cons–especially new, bigger ones–they’re kind of soulless. They’re really lacking something, and they’re not personal. It’s missing the history of Dragon*Con, the parties, the spirit of it. There’s something that’s unique about it, and everyone is having a kick-ass time. I’ve always had a great time here.

DD: Thank you so much for your time.

TP: You’re very welcome.


By day, Maggie Caracappa is a humble medical editor at a communications company in Trenton, NJ. The rest of the time, Maggie sees to the needs of her kitty overlords; polices the grammar on all kinds of published material including signage, menus, and food packaging; and multitasks online, frequently chatting with multiple people while writing fan fiction and watching her favorite shows (Supernatural, Firefly, Star Trek, and Warehouse 13 among them). This is her fourth Dragon*Con, and she is really far too excited to have it be her first working for the Daily Dragon.

Original Interview at Daily Dragon Online

Dragon*Con 2011

31 August 2011 Leave a comment

Who: Dragon*Con

What: A 4 day convention for fans of fantasy, sci-fi, gaming and more with features including special guests, dealers, workshops and a film festival.

Where: Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta Marriot Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel

When: 2 – 5 September 2011

How: Online Booking

Price: Various packages from $30 to $120

Whedonverse Guests

Clare Kramer

James Marsters

Nicholas Brendon

Tahmoh Penikett

Felicia Day

Adam Baldwin

Julie Benz

Mercedes McNab

Eliza Dushku

Nerdist Podcast Interview Eliza Dushku and Tahmoh Penikett

19 July 2011 Leave a comment

Nerdist Podcast #105: ELIZA DUSHKU/TAHMOH PENIKETT

by CHRIS HARDWICK on JULY 8, 2011

Eliza Dushku/Tahmoh Penikett

This sorta kinda Dollhouse panel with Eliza and Tahmoh was recorded at the nerdtastical C2E2 in Chicago. They’re both so friggin cool that I wanted to spend the entire panel just hugging both of them, but organizers requested that we have a conversation instead. PILES of thanks to ReedPop for allowing us to record and share this with the masses!!!

Listen to the panel at Nerdist

SciFi Diner Interview Tahmoh Penikett

27 April 2011 Leave a comment

SciFi Diner have an interview with Tahmoh Penikett on episode 97 of their podcast. You can listen to it at scifidinerpodcast.com. Tahmoh’s section starts at around 36 minutes in.

Supanova: Melbourne 2011: Guest Update

24 March 2011 Leave a comment

Supanova

Who: Supanova

What: A three day pop culture expo for fans of all media with special guests, Q&A’s, autograph and photo sessions and much, much more.

Where: Royal Showgrounds, Epsom Road, Ascot Vale, Victoria 3032, Australia

When: 9-10 April 2011

How: Online Booking

Price: Day Pass: $23.80 adv. $25.00 door | SUPA Fan Pass $39.50 adv. $50.00 door | SUPA-STAR VIP Ticket: $800.00 | THE WHEDONVERSE EXPERIENCE: $400.00

Whedonverse Guests:

Tahmoh PenikettPaul Ballard in Dollhouse
Charisma CarpenterCordelia Chase in Buffy and Angel
Clare KramerGlory in Buffy

Update: 24 March 2011 – Julie Benz cancelled due to filming her new pilot – Charisma Carpenter announced as replacement.

Supanova Brisbane 2011: Guest Update

24 March 2011 Leave a comment

SupanovaSupanova Brisbane

Who: Supanova

What: A three day pop culture expo for fans of all media with special guests, Q&A’s, autograph and photo sessions and much, much more.

Where: RNA Showgrounds, Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills, Brisbane, Australia.

When: 1-3 April 2011

How: Online Booking

Price: Day Pass: $23.80 adv. $25.00 door (Friday $18.80 adv. $20.00 door) | SUPA Fan Pass $39.50 adv. $50.00 door | SUPA-STAR VIP Ticket: $800.00 | THE WHEDONVERSE EXPERIENCE: $400.00

Whedonverse Guests:

Tahmoh PenikettPaul Ballard in Dollhouse
Charisma CarpenterCordelia Chase in Buffy and Angel
Clare KramerGlory in Buffy

Update: 24 March 2011 – Julie Benz cancelled due to filming her new pilot – Charisma Carpenter announced as replacement.

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