In "Battlestar Galactica," there is no other character that is more grizzled, more black-and-white straightforward (yet conflicted), more in-your-face (yes, even more than Starbuck) than Col. Saul Tigh (Michael Hogan).
The guy was pushed into an XO role that, though he was qualified for it, he was maybe not prepared for it. He battled alcoholism, though it won most of the time. He was tortured (apparently) by Cylons, killed his wife for colluding with them, then found out that he was one of them. A lot to go through in 3 1/2 short seasons.
We got the chance to have a quick talk with Michael Hogan about the role.
We like to hear how actors responded to hearing the news that they were Cylons. How did you take it, and did it change how you approached your character?
Yeah, I was surprised. Initially I was not happy about it. Over the time of shooting "Battlestar" I'd often thought, 'Am I ever glad I'm not a Cylon,' because it never really occurred to me while we were shooting it that we were shooting a sci fi. I guess on other Sci Fi shows like "Andromeda" or something, you're very aware that you're doing sci fi. It never entered in my research with "Battlestar." It's always been military or personal or something like that
When they said that they were making Tigh a Cylon, I initially just didn't think it was right. But then neither did I think it was right that Tigh would get sent down to the planet, which led to the occupation. When I voiced my concerns about that, they heard them, but then I went on down to the planet, and look what Tigh was given to do during the occupation.
So I voiced my concerns about being a Cylon, and that's what it was. It's not really like all of a sudden Tigh clicks over and says, 'Oh, I'm a Cylon.' ... Tigh's been through so much with his alcoholism and his war wounds and having to kill Ellen, after the occupation and what he'd been through there — now they call it post-traumatic stress ... so when he hears the music, it's like he hears music often. He doesn't really think about the music and then go, 'Oh, I'm a Cylon.' I treated it more as mental illness, almost like schizophrenia. Not just like, 'Oh, I'm a Cylon. What do I do?'