Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Interview with 'Battlestar Galactica' legend Richard Hatch

Interview with Richard Hatch

By Lauren Honeycutt

1. How did you get involved in Acting?

It was a long process because I didn’t set out to be an actor, I was going to be an architect, I studied classical piano. I loved the arts but never thought I could have a career in acting. I was going to school waiting to take more specific electives. I was wandering like so many people, taking anything, trying to find out what I was going to do. I was dating a girl and got to meet a lot of the people in the business through her. I started learning more about show business. I had never done theatre in high school. I got to know a man who had a radio show, who was a press secretary for Yoko Ono. He would always give me insights into things I should look into; he is the one who said I should go to an acting class. I was shocked! Me? Are you kidding? I had never thought about it. I went to the class dealing with the method; it focused on progressed method and refinery. I learned acting techniques but more than that I watched the actors in the class learning to deal with their own stuff, it is really all about connecting with yourself in a deeper way. I thought this would be something that could help me, whether I wanted to be an actor or not, it would help me as a person. After a year I came to understand that I could be an actor when my teacher brought me aside and said if I really wanted too I could be an actor. I started hanging out with production groups, delivering scripts to Sally Field’s house. I played an extra on a soap opera, getting my foot in the door. I was living in my car, sleeping on people’s couches, and it slowly grew into something that I realized was a passion of mine. I love the art of the acting, the spiritual journey.

2. How long have you been an actor?

45 years

3. Are you working on any current projects?

Many things, I finished a bunch of films, the Pod, Dead by Friday, a pilot for Mind Bender, Dark Season, Little Matchmakers. I love writing. I’ve been working on developing a novel called Magellan, I am adapting it into a screenplay.

4. Which has been your favorite project you worked on?

Battlestar was the best experience of my life. Getting to play a complex multilevel character, I had an extraordinary time working on that show.

5. What are your strong points as an actor?

I have a combination of strength and sensitivity I am very empathetic, I feel very deeply into the characters, I connect in a profound way to the characters I play. My intuition, my instinctive part of which I am, I connect to who I am. I perceive things in a different way than many people. I can play scenes that require a lot of depth.

6. What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

I’ve learned that every director has very distinct differences; some are good with technical aspects, some are good with character, some are good at both. You need to listen to their feedback; they have something valid to say you need to take the criticism. They can bring a stronger performance forward, I have learned to listen and take it in, and bring that into my performance. At the end of the day you have to trust your own gut, if something isn’t working for you and you have tried to do it differently sometimes you have to trust your gut and it doesn’t feel right to you you’re the one who’s up on the screen. You’re the one that is going to take responsibility for the performance. Take what the director says learn from that, but if you can’t do what they want after multiple tries go with your gut. You have to follow your instinct and the director can help you reach the place you have never been. I don’t want a director to leave me alone, I want a director to inspire me to give me feed back, I look for direction. At the end of the day your talent gives you the truth of that and you have to honor that.

7. What are your educational qualifications?

First of all I don’t think you need educational degrees. A degree doesn’t make you a great actor. It is an award of accomplishment but you can learn all the same things and more than the person who has the degree. I have studied in multiple classes all over the nation. I did it all independently in various places.

8. What kind of roles do you prefer?

I like character roles the most, the leading man, the romantic thing. I like the more complex characters. Deep profound characters, rich back-story, something to grab onto. I love doing comedy but I love doing comedy with a heart. Art to me should move you, should touch you and leave you with hope at the end of the day.

9. What are your weak points?

I was very insecure about my looks, I never felt like the more charming good-looking lead. That has gotten easier for me over the years but when I was younger I never thought I was good looking or sexy.

10. How do you work to improve your acting skills?

Acting is an extension of life. Every single day I begin to embrace who I am. I stop trying to be perfect, I embrace who I am with all my flaws and my self-love quotient grows. As fear diminishes you get far more bold and courageous and you become freer, your not so worried about what people think. I find that everyday I work on myself, loving and forgiving myself, allows me to have so much more confidence in myself as an actor. So as I grow as Richard Hatch I grow as an actor. I know all the acting techniques but you have to work on you. That’s the heart of the creative experience.

You can find more info about Richard Hatch on his imdb:

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