Aaron Douglas is a Canadian actor. He is best known for his role as Galen Tyrol on the Sci Fi Channel's television program Battlestar Galactica. He headlined on the CTV drama The Bridge, which was also picked up by CBS for broadcast in the United States.
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I've never done one of these before but Tricia (https://www.reddit.com/user/Tricia_Helfer) and Katee (https://www.reddit.com/user/Katee_Sackhoff) told me I HAD to and you never want to piss off those two...Loooooove you girls.....
A lot of you will know me from roles other than Chief, and I'm happy to talk about those too. Ask me anything!
Hey what was the trait of Chief’s personality that taught you the most about yourself?
My gods man!! It's 9 am... gotta ease a brother into this...
I love the passion of the Chief and understanding when and where to direct it. Chief and I are actually quite similar, other than the fictional part. The further I am from the show the more I realized what I learned from the writing, particularly the writing for Chief. It's like many of these writers knew me better that I did myself.
That and Chief allowed me to meet some very cool people. Friendships I cherish to this day.
Thanks Mr. Savage
Love you! Such a joy so see you in Dirk Gently. Do you ever get frustrated being so closely associated with just one character, no matter how awesome that character is? (I tend to yell “it’s Chief”, no matter what show you are in)
I will NEVER tire of people yelling Chief to me. I love it.
I connect to the character and the show but the fact that so many people out there do as well is incredibly humbling.
What was your thought when you realized, “Holy shit this is one of the best Sci Fi’s of all time?”
I still haven't realized that!
I thought they say NO Spoilers!!
I am so incredibly proud to be a small part of this amazing show.
One of my favorite moments from BSG was Tyrol's "Mario Savio" speech. https://archive.org/details/MarioSavioSpeechInBattlestarGalactica
How intentionally tied was your performance to Mario Savio's speech? How intentionally tied was the writing?
Completely. David Eick wrote that for me with that speech in mind. I watched the Mario speech 100's of times.
David wanted the tenor, tone and pitch to be close to Mario's.
I love that speech.
What's your all-time favorite BSG episode and why?
Apparently it aired on the Syfy marathon last night... or maybe tonight.
Flight of the Phoenix. We shot it in chronological order and the director, Michael Nankin, took me aside before the shoot and went through his thoughts about the ep, character, etc. It was an amazing experience. And then to finally have a scene with Mary......
What's your favorite thing that you stole from the set of BSG?
Everyone's chair backs
My Orange JumpSuit
Wait... is NBCUNI on this thread?
I took NOTHING!!
But Tahmoh did.... thief
Hey, you played my favourite character on BSG! As an actor, is there any role or project you would love to get involved with?
I would love to do a period war film. WWII or Vietnam or something like that.
If anyone is listening...... hint hint hint
Hi!!! Firstly I have to say that I’ve never felt so much sympathy for a fictional character as I felt for the Chief. Something about your acting tricked some part of my brain into believing he’s a real person I think, so well done!
Okay, questions: What did you think of the BSG storylines about the gods, prophecies, and long-lost temples? And if the Chief ever got lonely in prehistoric Scotland, do you think he’d have tried to form a meaningful friendship with the bears? Thank you!
I loved the way Ron merged the faiths, the myths, etc into the story. I believe it helped our audience identify a lot more with the story and the show.
Chief loves all animals but as many of you know...
In the wild only a Bear can truly love a Bear.....
Galactacon in Seattle the other year was a bust, but it was great to see you at the impromptu gathering at the bar in downtown Seattle. How was that experience?
There is NOTHING better than a #FindChief event.
We need more of them.
Is this when you leak there will be another BSG? I really hope it is!
I can neither confirm nor deny that there is another BSG experience in the works....
Are you also into bears and beets?
Bears Beets Battlestar Galactica
How was your experience as "the slowest man alive" on The Flash? Is getting lobotomized by Tom Cavanagh as fun as it seems?
Tom is the best. Great guy and he delighted in killing me....
I treasure BSG. Galen is such a perfect flawed character. I laughed and cried with your character at times. Where in the production were you told that you were one of the final five cylons?
Right before we started shooting that ep.
Also the full story is in many places online. I told it at the BSG reunion at SDCC this past year.
How did your BSG experience prepare you for other acting rolls you had after the series ended?
Be good to people.
Don't be grumpy on set.
And we're only getting shot with cameras...
There are people out there doing much more important things.
But honour the people who watch by giving them something amazing so they can escape the difficulties of life.
Hi Aaron, thanks for doing this AMA. I am opening a deli and would love to know what your favorite sandwich is?
I am a lacto ovo vegetarian but I LOVE a really great egg salad sandwich.
If my body would allow me to I would CRUSH a Reuben......
Or a Beef Dip
Pastrami on Rye
Corned Beef was my go to when I was a kid.
Hi Aaron! There are many evolutions of Chief through the series. Which stage of Chief did you resonate with most? Which did you enjoy the most and why?
When he finally found out about the Cylon thing. I really got to stretch my legs and twist his response into a 'the universe totally makes sense to me' now.
Why does IMDB say your trademark is "Deep Raspy Voice" as opposed to "Realistic Eye Movement Conveying Thought and Emotion?"
Unrelated: Do you ever feel typecast?
If yes, follow-up: Based on what characteristic?
you should tell IMDB!! HA
Living in Vancouver I typically get cop, lawyer, FBI.. etc.
I enjoy it when I get to do something else
Hi Aaron, first of all thank you for doing what you do: I love your work so much!
Chief Tyrol in Battlestar Galactica is probably one of the characters who goes through more stuff.
Is there a part of his life (like being chief and involved with Boomer, being head of the Union and of the Resistance on New Caprica, being one of the final five...)
that you found most fun to play or challenging to portray?
It was all pretty fun, emotional, trying and beautiful. The death scenes were gut punching.
What's your fondest memory growing up in New Westminster? I currently moved there for work.
Queens Park Arena
Comic book publisher, editor, and writer Joe Pruett from AfterShock Comics is currently on tour doing in-store signings. You are joining him tomorrow for a signing in Texas. How did this invitation come to be? And should we be reading anything into this? Are you interested in pursuing a side-job as a comic book writer?
Joe is signing Saturday evening at Space Cadets Collection Collection and I am joining him as a guest. Joe and I are working on a few projects and soon we will be able to tell the world.
I am really excited to get into the comic book world.
Did you ever get sick of the BSG writers screwing Chief over? Did you ever want to tell them "rain on someone else a while"?
For those unaware...
I mean... his girlfriend is the first undercover Cylon found, and she tries to kill Adama. Then she is killed, he is sad, yet everyone is happy she is dead (and despite her being a Cylon, he lost his lover in Boomer). Then Chief had to see his girlfriend's doppleganger join the crew and start screwing his friend Helo. Then he dates Cally, has a kid, has to lead the resistance and kill friends, make hard decisions. Then he finds out his son isn't even his son and Cally screwed Hotdog, then Cally is KILLED. Then he finds out he is actually a Cylon too, and that another Cylon is the one who killed Cally, throwing his entire life thus far into a mess (as well as all of his feelings about Boomer).
My favorite part about that entire thing was the ending: fuck this, I'm going to go found Scotland. The man embodies the flavor and reason of scotch, so I was glad he decided to just go die alone in a swamp haha. It was fitting for the fact that everyone, over and over, screwed him over.
No. The worst thing that can happen to an actor is when they just write you the fill in the blanks stuff. Exposition to explain something to the audience. Or everything is happy and easy.
I love the challenging stuff.
What's the most challenging role you had?
Are there any you're bummed you missed out on?
I'd say Chief was the most challenging. There was so much emotion both on and off screen for me, especially at that time in my life.
I've had a lot of roles I've missed out on that I wish I had gotten but then I wouldn't have the career I do now. If I don't get something I know it's because something else is meant for me.
Hi Aaron! Thanks for doing this AmA. Big BSG fan and loved your role there, I also loved your short role on Stargate SG-1. Can you tell us about the time you rescued Kari Byron (/u/realkaribyron) at Comic Con from being trampled, what happened? (source: https://twitter.com/KariByron/status/918648660484702208)
Man I love Kari....
I saw her across the room.
There was at least 17 Klingons, 37 Death Eaters, 127 Walking Dead, 318 Stormtroopers and a Tribble.
It was just me...
They were all pushing in towards her. I had to act fast and boy did I!!
It's on video somewhere.... I'm sure it is...
That's what happened right Kari?
welcome to Reddit! Thank you for doing this AMA!
I've seen pictures of your adorable dog on your Twitter feed, can you tell us about your cute furbaby?
His name is Archer, he's chocolate Lab and he's a year and a half.
He's my bestie and I love him.
I wanted a brother and sister so I could call them Archer and Lana but my wife said no... just one.
I wanted to yell LANAAAAAAA from the front door and make her come to me..... next time...
Seeing the set of BSG, with all the Vipers etc, what was your favourite part of that particular set, and what "souvenir" did you take home?
Walking in, seeing the life size ships for the first time will be a memory that never fades
Hey Aaron, Chief was such a solid character in BSG for almost the entire series until he found out he was a cylone (went to depressive mode). How did you feel about Chief's decline and the end of his story?
love it. love it all.
Screw you both I'm going to found Scotland!
Hi Aaron! If you had to live on one beer (or brewery) for the rest of your life, which would it be?
a very hoppy IPA
Welcome to Houston! There was some spooky level fog this morning. Were you worried that you woke up in the zombie appocalypse?
I haven't opened the curtains yet....
I think I will stay in today....
Which actor (including yourself) on BSG were most like their characters personality-wise, and vice versa?
Hogan and Tigh
Same exact guy!
Random question, I know, but did you ever watch the show Firefly or it's sequel movie Serenity? If so, what did you think of them?
I am going to get killed for this but I have not seen these...
Or Dr. Who...
Thanks Aaron for doing this! Met you a few times at DragonCon, and you've always been accessible, friendly, and genuinely seem to embrace us crazy fans. :)
Question: If you hadn't been cast as Chief, what other character would you have most enjoyed playing?
Not Gaeta, too much tech talk
Not Apollo, too much gym
Not Helo, too much rain running around
Baltar.... Definitely Baltar.
Hello Chief, I am a huge fan of BSG and wanted to know 2 things
Where you happy with the way your character evolved towards the end of battlestar?
Also you were a henchman in XMEN2, was that role bigger but cut in the final film, any stories from the set?
I love the storyline of the Chief and I love his ending.
That shooting scene, 11 seconds in the film, took 8 days to shoot.
Hugh Jackman is the nicest man you will ever meet.
Hi Aaron! Do you ever work with new filmmakers and if so, what should one do to catch your interest?
Call my agent.
I love working with new filmmakers... They're lest jaded HA
What inspired you to be an actor?
It's literally the only thing in which I have even the smallest ability.
If you could have one role in any upcoming movie, which role in which movie would that be?
Chief in the new BSG movie
Hi Arron. How is your modelling cave coming on?
It is stalled as I am busy with other things but I hope to get back to it soon.
I just need Tricia to come over and then it will truly be a modelling cave......
Are you a cat person, a dog person, or a frakkin toaster lover?
B and C
Cats are creepy
I guess comments have to be questions. Soooo, i love your work and the question is, now that Netflix is going to focus on Canadian content with a Netflix Canada org, what are the chances your already in discussions with them? :)
Not just yet but I have a few projects I'm hoping to pitch soon.
What is your favourite episode of Red Dwarf?
And have you watched any of the new series (12) yet?
The Rimmer song is still the best
How do you take your coffee? I adore you.
Love your work, you were my favourite character on BSG! I guess to turn this into a question: Do you approve that our two whippets are called Cally and Chief?
You're the one on the left looking nervous of getting a telling off.
What other things have Tricia and Katee told you to do?
Not Safe For Work
One more from my husband...when Chief had time off was he a metalhead? If Chief were in a band which instrument would he play? Would he be a Dave Murray or Adrian Smith fan?
This is the most difficult question anyone has asked.
He's a total metalhead.
He'd be a drummer.
But Dave Murray because Chief loves the gallop in the songs.
Are you going to paint more models with Adam? It was a good time watching you two shoot the shit for like an hour!
I sure hope so!
Love that man
Thx for doing AMA.
It's implied that Tyrol became the King of Scotland.
What's will be his first invention?.
Whiskey.... We cannot live without water
Dude! My girlfriend and I just realized it was you in Dirk Gently! Solid performance! Did you wind up with jaw problems having to talk like that for the show?
Ha... Not jaw but my back. That posture almost killed me.
Hi Aaron, I think you rocked in your role in Dirk Gentley. You barely even looked like you! What was it like to have to walk and move hunched up like that and to wear those huge glasses all the time? Did you get any back problems?
I love that they let me play, for the most part.
Those glasses kept falling apart and we only had the one pair
How do you know Adam Savage (https://www.reddit.com/user/mistersavage)?
Through BSG and then hanging out and being silly together.
Genuinely one of the finest humans I've ever known.
Hey Aaron! Thanks for doing an AMA.
I actually worked on Dirk Gently in lighting for a couple episodes but I was always too nervous to say hi.
Do you like it when fans approach you, including in the work setting? Or is it more of a on the street kind of thing?
Always come up and say hi. I love meeting people who were influenced by my work
Which superhero do you wish you could portray and why?
As a kid I loved Aquaman. I want to be able to talk to sharks
Hi there, here my question:
Did you have a dream where you were Gordon Rimmer or something about Dirk gently's holistic detective agency?
I am so proud of Rimmer
I still remember meeting you at ComicCon '06, when you wandered up to the autograph area, and were immediately swarmed by folks.
You were gracious enough to take the time to talk to everyone, which really impressed me.
With everything you've done since then, are you still able to just sort of wander into a crowd of nerds, or have you become too recognizable to get away with it?
Depends on where I am. But regardless, I'll always wade in. People are amazing
For the most part
BSG had so many great actors. I'm just going to ask about one of them: what was it like working with Edward James Olmos? How many Miami Vice jokes did he have to put up with?
None really but Eddie did have great stories from Vice.
Working with him is a master class in acting, being a pro and being good to people on set.
What has been your favourite convention experience?
I've had 100's. I love meeting fans, having a pint and talking the show, sports life, whatever
Yo! I remember seeing you appear as all these characters on all these shows and movies and always thought to myself that you were seriously underrated. Just throwing that out there. When you appeared as Chief is BSG it blew my mind. I thought to myself "Why such an insignificant role again!?" However after watching the show and seeing how important of a role you played I was super happy. So yeah, just saying I think you are awesome man.
I guess my real question is do you fight for roles and try to get the big ones? Or more of a "This character looks cool, I'll do that"?
I'll work whenever someone asks
Cally's death tore me up. Do you think that was one of the many reasons Galen ultimately settled far away from the others?
One on a VERY long list of people being poopy to Chief
Greetings from Europe. When and how did you find out that your BSG character was one of the final five? And what was your reaction?
That is a long story. But a good one. Google me and the Final 5 Story and you will see it recorded from a few dozen cons.
Do you watch Breaking Bad?
Love Better Call Saul. Amazing show.
I just wanted to say that Chief is one of my favourite characters in BSG. The leadership, humanity and toughness when it's required, you did an amazing job!
What did you think about the character when you first heard of the role?
Edit: removed extra word.
He wasn't then what he ultimately became.
Hi Mr. Douglas,
I am a big fan with a few questions
Why is Chad the worst?
Does Russ actually do anything?
What will Marian be for Halloween?
If you have to ask why Chad is the worst you don't know Chad.
He's a sharter for one.
Thinks he's Matt Damon.
Can't hold his booze.
Damn him and his handsome face!
Russ is completely useless.
Marian will cosplay as Wizard...Heavy emphasis on the pointy hat
I had to convince my wife to watch BSG, but she ended up loving it, and by the end she decided you are her celebrity cheat. So my question is, if I were going to make any of your female costars my celebrity cheat, who would you recommend?
Every show that films in Vancouver features obligatory scenes of actors running through a forest. As a Vancouver actor how many times have YOU been filmed running through a forest? Any tips for new actors running through a forest for the first time?
pick up your feet and watch out for bears
Hello. What is your opinion on the new TV series Star Trek: Discovery?
Haven't seen it yet but I am really excited to. My friend Ted works on that show and he's a great guy. I won't know what to say to him if his show stinks.... HA
Can we get some more videos with you and u/mistersavage just shooting the shit and building models? That video was super chill and fun.
YES YES YES YES
Hi Aaron. If you had a pontoon boat, what would you name her?
Hi Aaron, what I'd like to know is how you felt about the fate of your character in Hemlock Grove? It seemed like there was a lot more to learn about Sheriff Sworn.
I agree. Should've been more
Oh man! Hey Chief!! Fellow British Columbia native here.
What has been your favorite role in your career? (besides BSG?)
Do you have a favorite BSG episode?
Frank Leo in The Bridge
Flight of the Phoenix
Hi Aaron, love the Anthrax shirt. What are your thoughts on the John Bush-era Anthrax? I like Belladonna, but something about those John Bush albums always hooked me in.
I love all of Anthrax. Anthems of my youth
How soon into production did you know your character's true idenity? Were you as shocked as I was? I honestly did not even consider it until the four of you met in that little room after following the "All Along the Watchtower" sounds throughout the ship. That blew my mind, and cemented the show as my all-time favorite.
Day before we shot it
I gotta ask, did you get to keep anything from the show? Except your own likeness of course 😀
There's a list further up somewhere
What’s your favorite Anthrax song?
Star Wars or Star Trek?
But love Trek
How was the role of the Chief originally explained to you before you started and how did it differ from what the character eventually became?
Chief of the Deck.
Then they decided to keep me and it took off from there.
Are you a SciFi fan?
Have you seen the Expanse?
I consider it to be on par with BSG.
I have not seen the Expanse but I hear great things. I'd like to get on that show for sure.
I love scifi
So many to list
What song have you been listening to on repeat recently?
George Michael Kissing A Fool
Elvis Long Black Limo-True Love Travels a Gravel Road
Everything Maiden, Anthrax and Ozzy
Mozart to start my day
Have you played the Battlestar Galactica board game by Fantasy Flight? Did you play as Chief?
I have not but something I think I need to change
Hello Aaron! When were you told that your character in BSG was infact a !!SPOILER!! cylon !!SPOILER!!? Were you surprised when you found out?
check the BSG reunion panel
What trait or moment of the show would you say was pivotal in it being a great tv show?
Michael Rymer's directing.
All of the writers
My boy Mark Verheiden
one more from me:
What's your favorite thing to eat when you're in NYC?
Viper or Raptor?
You bring a lot of intensity to your characters. What role, no matter if it was a single episode, has been your favorite since BSG?
Aaron! What’s your favorite way to eat eggs?
Should the Canucks trade the Sedins?
Both, or just one? If one, which one?
No. Let them play out the year and give them something upstairs.