Tricia Janine Helfer is a Canadian model and actress. She is best known for playing the humanoid Cylon Number Six in Ronald D. Moore's re-imagined Battlestar Galactica television series and for voicing Sarah Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, in the Starcraft 2 trilogy.
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Hey, Reddit. I'm Tricia Helfer, actor and Cylon. And soon to be BSG episode analysis podcaster with Marc Bernardin. I've partnered with SYFY so we could chat any and everything science fiction. I'm here to answer your questions, so strap in and fire away! I'll begin answering questions around 1 PM EST/ 10 AM PST.
Why did Six kill that baby? :(
It was a mercy killing. Six was fascinated with seeing the innocence of the baby (holding one for the first time) and knew that the bombs were going to go off soon, so chose to end the baby's life quickly and painlessly rather than having it suffer during the bombing.
Hi Tricia, I just wanted to say that the Carla arc was my favorite in Burn Notice.
You also did an amazing job as Black Cat in Spectacular Spider-man. If given the opportunity would you be interested in voicing the character again?
Thanks, I had fun with her. Would have loved to get a little more inside look into Carla though. Was just starting to see a crack in her when Fiona shot her.
Absolutely would be interested in voicing black cat again.
Awesome work on Rick & Morty (and all those other roles we have loved seeing/hearing you do).
Did you and James record your Rick & Morty dialogue together or separately?
How often do you see other BSG cast members in real life?
James and I recorded separately, which is normal in voice work.
I see other BSG cast all the time. Not as much the Vancouver based actors obviously, but the LA ones. Katee, Trucco, James I see a lot. Eddie often, and Mary occasionally. Used to see Jamie quite a bit but his family moved to France about two years ago.
What convinced you to take the role of 6?
I loved the script. Plus it had emmy/oscar nominated headliners (Eddie and Mary). And...I was a brand new actor with almost no credits. With a script that good, it was a no brainer.
well, new actor or not, you did a fantastic job. Especially being the person who first set the tone in the mini-series.
Hi Tricia! I have had 6 heart surgeries and the result is I now require an ICD. My coworkers who are avid BSG fans refer to me as a toaster. Would Caprica 6 have any advice on living life on a battery and a computer?
Wow, that's amazing to have had that many. Sorry you've had to go through all that. Keep staying strong, as you clearly are.
Caprica Six might have some advice, but seeing I'm not actually a robot, nor a doctor (and a total tech idiot), I don't have any advice.
Hi Tricia, Thanks for doing this ama!
How was working on Command and Conquer 3, did you feel it was really different working on a video game vs. working on tv/movies?
Command and Conquer was my first video game, I think, if I'm remembering correctly. It was live action though, not just voice, so it wasn't that much different than working on tv/movies. Less plot, of course, and more game play type one liners, but fairly similar than when you are just doing voice.
Hi Tricia! How did you get into the mindset of Six? Would you have chosen a different ending for her and Gaius?
It depending on which Six I was playing. Their previous interactions with humans helped me define what their mindset would be.
I'm happy that Gaius and Caprica ended up together. Not sure I would change anything of Ron Moore's vision.
Hi Tricia, got to meet you at DragonCon this year, you were awesome. You really should bring the red dress to those photoshoots, they would sell out for days!
So, now that you have played a key role in God's plan, and been Lucifer's mother; when are you playing the role of THE ONE? :-)
Love the work with Acting Outlaws, your work with Denden and lastly can I possibly get a "Happy Birthday" shout out since the big 50 is days away?
Well, happy birthday! And Yes, I'll have to make a point to do a photoshoot sometime at a convention with the dress : )
I don't know what "The One" is.
If you could choose any of your fellow BSG alumni to work together with again, who would it be?
Follow up: Do you have any other things that you'd like to work on? Ie: Directing/writing or are you more comfortable in front of the camera?
I'd work with them all! I've actually worked with Micheal Trucco since. He played my brother on Killer Women. Was great because since he's one of my good friends, we already had that vibe and didn't have to "act" it really. I do want to do a reboot of Cagney and Lacey with Katee Sackhoff : )
I could see directing at some point, but not yet. Definitely producing is in my future though. Have a project right now that I'm currently in deal stages on.
Hey Tricia! What's your favorite brand of toaster?
Also, I read one of your articles in a dog magazine at a vet office last year. What's the craziest thing your pets have done?
No favorites of anything.
When my first two cats were little, they were chasing each other at 4:30am and knocked over a side table. It had wrought iron legs with curls at the bottom. Bella ran through it, knocked it over and got her head stuck - like a kid with a stairwell bannister or something - and we couldn't get her back out. Tried to pry it open a bit with a large pliers (I was holding her body with one hand and her head with the other while my boyfriend tried to pry it open. The pliers broke and sliced through my wrist down to the tendon. Wrapped up my wrist and called the doorman who had the janitor come in from Brooklyn to open the supply closet (now 5:30am) and he came up with a metal saw and hand sawed through 1" thick wrought iron (with Bella's little neck still inside). Took 45min but finally got her out. She seemed traumatized but fine so I took off to emergency to get stitched up. Then took her to the vet. She was fine, but 6month later I ended up having surgery on the tendon to remove scar tissue (it had cut into the sheath surrounding the tendon) so I could move my wrist properly again.
Just got through watching Ascension, any word on the possibility of it being picked up again?!?! I would love to see more of Christa's story.
No, it's done. The sets were massive and would have to be rebuilt.
Hi Tricia! What was your absolute favorite tv or movie role to play and why?
I actually don't have favorites of anything. Never have. No favorite food, book, etc. I've certainly had roles I've liked more than others, but favorite, no. They are all different experiences on screen and behind the scenes. I loved BSG, of course. Really enjoying Lucifer right now, and I loved playing Molly Parker in Killer Women. The project wasn't the strongest overall, but the character was so much fun.
Hello! I've only recently started watching Battlestar Galactica. Was it annoying having to act so overly-seductive all the time? My husband laughs when I protrude my chin out and go "Gaiussss."
It got a little tiresome by the end of season one/beginning of season two because it was only Head Six in the story at that point. But with my other characters that weren't overly seductive, it balanced out for me.
Hi Tricia! I just want to say that I am honored that you follow me on Instagram. Raven and Woodhouse say hi! We were actually watching Lucifer on Hulu when I saw you commented on one of my posts. I started jumping up and down like a crazy person haha. I love all the work you do with animals. You truly are a beautiful person, inside and out.
What all can we expect from Charlotte's character in the future now that she is no longer "Mom"? If you are able to answer that...
Awe, thank you. Love seeing your posts about those two crazy lovebird friends.
Charlotte is having an identity crisis for sure. She doesn't remember the last four months at all (since we was technically dead), but she's hearing about all the things she supposedly did. For a strong women, the thought of her having a nervous breakdown or a mental break is embarrassing for her and she's trying to hide the fact that she doesn't remember anything. Plus, she's having horrible nightmares of something she can't understand. The beginning of her story really is about her trying to figure herself out, and what happened to her.
"The One" being God that is.
Thanks for the shout out, it made my day!
Oh, haha. Don't see myself playing that : )
Thanks for doing this. Loved BSG. What has been your most awkward starstruck moment? Not a fan meeting you,but you meeting someone you're a fan of?
When I presented at the Hockey awards. They pulled me backstage to go on soon, and I walked into the greenroom full of hockey greats. I think I stuck myself up against a wall, behind a big barrel of gatorade bottles, and just sort of stared.
hi! you were hilarious and awesome in lucifer.
What was it like working on conman? what was your favorite parts?
ConMan was fun. Alan is great to work off of, and it was just fun to play a character totally different than I usually play. I liked the intro scene in the hotel lobby maybe the best.
Thanks for the answer and doing the iama!!
Thank you for participating too!
Hi Tricia! Would you go to space if you had the chance? What are some of your fears?
I'd love to say yes, so I probably would, but I'd be worried.
Fears...I suppose all the normal ones like accident, etc. Nothing sticks out besides that. No phobias that I can think of.
Do you have any funny or crazy stories from working on BSG?
Also, was working on the miniseries any different from working on the show that followed it?
Lots of fun stories. The main difference between the mini and the rest of the series was a few different key crew that didn't want the time commitment of a series (DP, costumes) and changing from film to high definition video.
When you started working on BSG did they test any other red dresses before choosing the signature 6 dress in the show?
And off topic do you still ride often? Any places on your bucket list you'd love to ride some day?
The costume designer for the miniseries (was different for the rest of the series) designed everything from scratch. She drew the dress and had it made to my measurements. If I'm remembering correctly, it's pretty much exactly as she drew it.
Yes, I still ride. Picking up a new bike tomorrow morning actually. Haven't had the chance to do any long rides recently. I would love to ride across Canada.
Question re: Lucifer.
Will Charlotte be as significant to story line this season?
Charlotte is not in the first few episodes, but then comes back with an interesting story line. "Welcome Back Charlotte Richards" was really fun for me to play. Overall though, no, I don't think she'll have as significant of a role as Mom, since she's no longer the mother of Lucifer.
Hey Tricia! Still to this day, i'm showing more and more people Battlestar Galactica, and every single one are citing Caprica Six as one of their favorite characters. Almost 8 years later and people still love every part of this show, so thank you for helping make it a reality :)
My question is: Given your involvement with a lot of different mediums of Science Fiction, what was it like going from a character like Six to a different kind of AI character like EDI of Mass Effect 2 and 3?
Thanks again for all you've done, and i can't wait to see what the future holds. So say we all!
Voicing EDI was way different than portraying Six. With Mass Effect, there was no script so I had no idea what was going on. I would show up at the studio, head into the booth, put on the headphones and a line would appear on the computer screen and the record button would come on. I'd read it a few times and then another line would appear. Literally the first time I would see a line, and read it, it was being recorded. I really still have no idea what the story is.
Hey Tricia! I’m a big fan and you were one of my celebrity crushes in high school and currently in my adult life. Thank you for taking the time to do this AMA today!
My question is: if you bumped into someone who knew about BSG but only seen the miniseries, what are the 5 essential episodes to recommend for that person to watch?
Oh gosh, I don't really remember episode names. I'm about to start doing a podcast with Marc Bernardin doing a rewatch of the entire series and a podcast for each episode. We are taping the first few before the end of the month and it will launch sometime in October, so watch out for it! I'd be better to answer after that as it'll all be refreshed in my mind. Definitely the first one though, 33. Other ones that stick out to me are probably my heavier episodes, haha. Downloaded. The two part Pegusus ones. The one where Adama loses it in his cabin drunk.
Hello from a fellow Canadian! Tricia, I absolutely loved you (and Katee, too) in BSG! My question is: If traveling to work was not an issue (ie, we had transporter technology), which place on Earth would be your favourite place to make your home?
Well, if traveling was no problem, I'd have a place in Italy, one in California (luckily I do), one on an island somewhere like Maldives, or maybe the Australian Gold Coast. Of course, I'd need a lot of money...so likely I'd just be right where I am in California.
I got to meet you and a lot of the BSG cast at various comic cons over the years. I heard you tell a story about one of the sex scenes between Six and Baltar being rather impromptu and taking place on one of the few occasions when your husband was observing.
Were they just having a go at you to see how that would play out with him on set?
Also, do you still remember most of the BSG story? During the Q&A panel with Katee and Jamie a few years ago, it seemed like neither of them had seen the show before.
No, it wasn't planned cause he was visiting, it was just coincidence. My husband almost never came to set. Lots of people visit sets, but I generally don't have visitors. It was an episode that Eddie was directing and he had just decided that it was something he wanted to add to the scene. Just mentioned it that morning to James and I, with no knowledge that Jonathan had been up that weekend and was coming with me to set for a few hours before heading to the airport to fly back home to LA.
I remember the story, yes, but some elements are hazy. You certainly forget some things. The story is all wrapped up in memories of not only the story but also the filming and things that happen on set and such, so it's different than just watching it. It can get muddled more.
Hey! I was one of your drivers @Dragoncon (for the past 4 years).
I've heard stories of different stars and their attitudes toward the "Con" environment. What keeps you coming back?
I always have tiny unexpected moments with guests (I got to sing "the Monster Mash" with Peter Mayhew last year) that stick in my head as special and priceless. Do you have any particular stories about crazy happenstances that happened outside of the 'walk of fame' or a panel?
No stories that come to mind right now. Dragon Con is insane though! I actually stayed really quite this year. Two years ago when I was there and a lot of BSG cast was, we went out every night and I got really sick afterwards. This year I was heading back to film Lucifer so I wanted to make sure I was rested. I was very quiet this year.
Basically I enjoy meeting the fans and hearing their stories. Without fans, we wouldn't have jobs : )
Not counting your own... What TV series finale episode have you loved the most and which one disappointed you the most. Why?
Ack, hard to answer as I really don't watch that much. Grew up without a television also so can't go back to that time period for any ideas. Last I binged was Bloodline and Handmaids Tale (I think that's what it's called...blanking right now). Regardless, it was amazing. Sorry, that's not really answering your question though.
Peanut butter or almond butter?
What is your dream role?
Gretchen Lowell in Heartsick. Trying to get that produced right now but can't be guaranteed I'll get to play her even if I'm a producer on it.
Are there any actors out there you have yet to work with on your bucket list?
Don't have a bucket list, but yes, plenty of actors I'd love to work with. I mean, Meryl Streep, Cate Blancett, Michael Fassbender just to name a few.
Hey Tricia! I was at the Battlestar panel at Dragon Con a few weeks ago, and I remember you and James Callis mentioning that they didn't tell you what the characters you two played on Rick and Morty would look like. What did they tell you about the characters in advance?
They gave me the script, so I had that. Didn't have the graphics yet.
What is the most interesting thing a fan has ever given you at a con?
One gal in London recently gave me hand knitted toys for my cats. Half filled with catnip and half filled with bells. They've been a big hit.
I know you are also a cat lover. Tell us about your cats. What are their names, breeds/colors? Any funny cat stories? Basically, just talk about cats because...cats. :)
My cats are my loves. I've got Fiona crawling up my back right now. They are all rescues so all different types of breeds and colors and mixes. One funny thing is one of my cats insists on bring my pilates reformer foot straps to me. He insists that they belong upstairs instead of in my gym downstairs. I keep carrying them back down and almost immediately he starts hauling them back up.
Their names (some have passed) are: Mr. Nix, Bella, Delilah, Frankie, Bug, Cesar, Lily, Rigby, Fiona, Lebron, Prissie, Max, Summer, Sam, Buster.
Hi There :)
What is the most rewarding kitten (or else) rescue you've ever done or the one that felt most rewarding, at least?
They are all rescues so have all been rewarding. I think two that we adopted as seniors were both amazing and I like putting out there that adopting seniors can be super, super rewarding. They've had a hard life usually and just so happy and thankful to have a loving home.
Hi Tricia! I'm curious about your role in Lucifer... do you think your character arch was done, could've kept going for another season, or might come back again after a break, and why?
I am back. Haven't been secretive about that, so you've missed a bit :)
Did you play Mass Effect? :D
I didn't play. Haven't played any video games actually. Love voicing them though!
Signing off guys. Thanks so much for participating!
Do you keep in touch with the BSG cast? Who were you most close with and how do you guys feel about the show now?
Answered this earlier so scroll down to see : )
Were you as disappointed with the BSG ending as we were? If so would you say so in public?
No I was not. I believed in Ron's vision. I'd say about half the people I meet liked it and half didn't.