Interview: Blackrat (Teresu Lief)

Tell us a little about your character.

Lief is the pilot of the group, and also perhaps the comedian. He's cocky as all hell, but funny with it - so hopefully he's not a total pain in the ass. [He laughs.] When the heat's on, though, he's absolutely reliable - he'll do anything to keep his friends safe.

What intially attracted you to this role?

Katee Sackhoff? [He laughs again.] No, but seriously, I think it's the confidence with which he holds himself the whole time. A lot of the roles I've played have been characters who perhaps don't push themselves into the action too much, and Lief is very different. He'll voice his opinion and he'll act on it right away unless people are pretty darn quick to persuade him otherwise.

What other characters would you say have influenced your portrayal of this character?

Well, Starbuck is an absolute definite. I just think her attitude is really refreshing - she does things her own way, and won't take [****] from anyone - but when things get serious then so does she, and she won't let you down. That's exactly how Lief is, too.

That said, he also takes some inspiration from Wash, of Firefly. Lief is nicer than Starbuck, more friendly, in just the way that Wash is. He's good at defusing a tense situation with a bit of wisecracking, and he's a bit of a smartass too. A lot, actually. [More laughter.]

How would you describe your characters outlook on the world? Or his reaction to the situation he's found himself in?

Lief's outlook is pretty self-centred, it's gotta be said. The world should work his way, and if you don't get that when he tells you so, then he'll make it happen anyway. I think this is pretty much because he's never really been outside his comfort zone, or faced with a situation he just doesn't understand.

Now I don't want to give anything away, but in this series things are pretty regularly going to not make sense to him - and it'll be interesting to see how he reacts to that.

How would you like to see your character develop over the course of the season?

You know, I'm not really sure. I guess Lief needs to start thinking about the world from perspectives other than his own. He's gonna meet a lot of strange situations out there, and he needs to step back and remember that he doesn't always know the answer.

But I don't think I'm in a rush for him to learn that lesson - I'd like to see him just kicking some ass for a while first. [He laughs. Fade out.]