MAY 15, 2002 - - A CONVERSATION WITH AVALON THOMPSON
As the summer of 2002 began TITAN NEWS spent a few minutes in lively conversation with AVALON THOMPSON, the actress who brought the Crime Lord HELLMAN to deliciously evil life in the second season of SPACE ODDITY. It turns out that's not all she's done...
AVALON THOMPSON: Because I've never left. [Laughs]
TITAN NEWS: Seriously.
AVALON THOMPSON: I am serious.
TITAN NEWS: But your character [the Crime Lord HELLMAN] was killed off at the end of the second season, so what are you doing back?
AVALON THOMPSON: I say I haven't left because really I haven't.
TITAN NEWS: OK, then what have you been doing that we've never noticed you before?
AVALON THOMPSON: I get to play aliens, anything with tonnes of make-up, prothetics and the like, I hate getting them on but they're so much fun to play with once they're there.
TITAN NEWS: Anything we'd remember?
AVALON THOMPSON: Sure, there's PIRATE SECOND, she was on the pirate crew during the whole Buccaneer Bill arc and before that I was Engineer Oklahoma in FIRST STRIKE.
TITAN NEWS: OK.
AVALON THOMPSON: And under a pseudonym I play SEMAGE K'RICK.
TITAN NEWS: You're Jean Simoneau?
AVALON THOMPSON: Guilty [Laughs] and I'm in a boatload of trouble now.
TITAN NEWS: You look so different, are you putting us on.
AVALON THOMPSON: No! They tweaked me for HELLMAN one way and of course I had to speak real throaty, sultry because that was the character and then they tweak me another way for K'rick and I speak crisper, clipped, military like.
TITAN NEWS: Amazing, we would never have guessed.
AVALON THOMPSON: And I'm cropping up all the time on the TELEVID, L.A.Bracken loves my "in the box" shots.
TITAN NEWS: That could be taken many ways.
AVALON THOMPSON: [Laughs heartily] Behave. "In the box" is what we call the stuff we produce that plays on the TV's in the show. Not just SPACE ODDITY too, we do "in the box" stuff for DERVISH or any other TITAN product that needs something to play on their TV.
TITAN NEWS: Like news and commercials.
AVALON THOMPSON: Yeah, they're fun. Very creative stuff, you get to be so many people and usually we're writing, producing, directing and acting in our own stuff.
TITAN NEWS: They're keeping you busy.
AVALON THOMPSON: You know, the way Gary prefers to do the series, everyone is brought in with long range goals and he likes to hedge his bets on the multi-tasking we all do. So when I'm not doing a play or another show or commercials well… it's a cheque and its fun.
TITAN NEWS: What sort of plays.
AVALON THOMPSON: This is terrible, I think I'm going to sound so one-note but I just finished a run as IRENE in the stage adaptation of "KING HORSE".
TITAN NEWS: That's the part you played in the film, right?
AVALON THOMPSON: No silly, I was Venus in the film, now I'm the object of affection rather than the icon [laughs].
TITAN NEWS: Venus and Hellman have something in common.
AVALON THOMPSON: Hardly.
TITAN NEWS: There were scenes in both the film version of "KING HORSE" and your episodes of SPACE ODDITY where you were nude.
AVALON THOMPSON: No darling. I was never nude. I was naked. There's a difference [Laughs]. Actually on SPACE ODDITY it was only the appearance of nude. I was never actually naked there.
TITAN NEWS: Body double?
AVALON THOMPSON: Bite your face!
TITAN NEWS: You feel that strongly about it.
AVALON THOMPSON: No. Gary wouldn't allow that. [imitating Gary] The "I don't do nudity" thinking is a cop-out that any serious actor should be ashamed of using. "I don't do gratuitous nudity" is my motto. VENUS is nude, at least in the classical sense and that's how we played her.
TITAN NEWS: And HELLMAN?
AVALON THOMPSON: HELLMAN IS sex but we only had the suggestion of nudity, not the application.
TITAN NEWS: That's not how we remember it.
AVALON THOMPSON: That's seduction in its purest form. You go back and look at that episode, even the European version and you won't see a single nipple or anything else. Even when she raped Robert [Space Oddity main character ROBERT MacMANUS] she had clothes on, that woman was in control, always and that's very sexy.
TITAN NEWS: OK. So what's next?
AVALON THOMPSON: I play a sex-starved accidental colonist this season.
TITAN NEWS: An alien?
AVALON THOMPSON: Nope, just Castaway-ish. From what I've read it's a pretty hard hitting episode. Supposedly it was the last one written for the season.
TITAN NEWS: It's the last episode?
AVALON THOMPSON: No, it's like episode ten or something. Apparently Gary's wasn't completely satisfied with it, until this year. It's been slated for each season and it just kept getting delayed but now we're going to do it so he must finally be happy about it.
TITAN NEWS: Wow.
AVALON THOMPSON: I'm on DERVISH too. Two episodes! I play an efficiency expert whom one of the characters gets obsessive about. That's going to be fun too, we satirize a lot of stuff in that. I like parts like that, that require me to play a wide variety of faucets in a character, that's what was great about HELLMAN.
TITAN NEWS: Do you ever think you'll find another roll like HELLMAN?
AVALON THOMPSON: Apparently I'm going to be playing HELLMAN again.
TITAN NEWS: How are they going to do that, HELLMAN's dead?
AVALON THOMPSON: HELLMAN's from the future. Maybe the first time we saw her wasn't the first time she saw ROBERT and his crew?
TITAN NEWS: We've got a head-ache now.
AVALON THOMPSON: I know. [Laughs] When Gary first explained the character to me it was so bizarre. I needed a nap right afterwards. You see, ROBERT and the rest haven't learned yet why she was so good at getting under his skin and it's because she'd fought them before. Her before is their later so the next time they're going to be more even or possibly it'll be the first time she meets them but they're going to go on the attack right away because of what they know about her.
TITAN NEWS: She'll be younger.
AVALON THOMPSON: Yeah, they took that into consideration when they filmed the second season. Look at me now and compare now to the pictures of me from two years ago, I look younger now because of the aging they did then.
TITAN NEWS: The advantages of having so much written before you film.
AVALON THOMPSON: I guess. Anyway, at some point in the future I'm set to return as HELLMAN the younger. That's why I've never left.
TITAN NEWS: Amazing.
AVALON THOMPSON: And I guess they must like me or something.
TITAN NEWS: Well, I know we do. You've been very forthcoming and we thank you very much Ms. Thompson. We're sure our fan base has enjoyed it also.
AVALON THOMPSON: It has been a pleasure.
TITAN NEWS: We were a little surprised to see you back on the lot, tell us why we shouldn't be?