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Paul Goddard - SciFi Channel US Chat
Conducted on 10th May 2001

From: SciFi US

This is a transcript of the chat from the US SciFi Channel with Paul Goddard, who plays Stark on the show. Paul was a great sport, and even stayed almost an hour longer than scheduled, and answered all our questions honestly. I was there, and even got to ask a question (under my BB name of shokoti). I also found out that Paul hails from the same town as me. Anyhow, enjoy the transcript.

Moderator: Hello, and welcome to tonight's Farscape chat featuring Paul "Stark" Goddard.
Moderator: Paul, how are things on the set these days?
Moderator: (to ask a question, send it to me as a private message)

Paul Goddard: Hi, everyone out there in Cyberworld!
Paul Goddard: Nice to see so many scapers logged in
Paul Goddard: I'm a virgin chatter so this is quite exciting for me
Paul Goddard: ....please be gentle

Moderator: OK, just this once.
Moderator: Are you ready for some questions?

Paul Goddard: oh yeah...hit me

Moderator: olincoln to Moderator: Question: Paul, Did you know that the character Stark would be a regular on the show or did this come as a surprise?
Paul Goddard: When I did the double ep. in Series 1, some of the cast were keen to see me come back and I got some good feedback from the writers and producers.
Paul Goddard: Shortly after that it became clear that they wanted to bring Stark back at some point.
Paul Goddard: But...he was not created as a character that would return initally.
Paul Goddard: I was very pleased that they considered him enough of a success to bring him back
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: shokoti to Moderator: And I have another question... Stark and Zhaan have great on-screen chemistry, and I loved their interactions. Did you and Virginia have good chemistry off-screen too?
Paul Goddard: I'm glad you asked me that shokoti.
Paul Goddard: I'm pleased that you think there was on screen chemistry. Sorry to say we weren't entwined romantically in real life.
Paul Goddard: We worked hard to develop a great working rapour and did spend a good deal of time rehersing the scenes together and trying to establish a bond and connection on screen
Paul Goddard: It was a great pleasure working with and off Virginia.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: dw-mckim to Moderator: One thing that impressed me with your debut was your chemistry with Ben (always a treat to see great male/male interaction) - will there be any more of that coming up this season?
Paul Goddard: Ben was one of the people agitating for my return.
Paul Goddard: Because we had a great time working together
Paul Goddard: Both of us bemoan the fact (we did only yesterday in fact) that since Stark's return Crichton & Stark have had very little interraction.
Paul Goddard: Stark had his Zhaan and Crichton had his Scorpy
Paul Goddard: But we'd love to get some story lines where Crichton and Stark have a bit of drama together
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: BigNoseBob to Moderator: Paul, I know firsthand how hard it is playing an unstable character. Do you do any warm ups...mental or physical in terms of acting?
Paul Goddard: I just take a lot of drugs....ha ha!
Paul Goddard: No...I do drink strong coffee if there is a scene where Stark is supposed to be extremely agitated. I'm not much of a coffee drinker you see.
Paul Goddard: For the initial preparation I looked at One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest of course. It was particularly the characters other than Jack Nicholson that were of use.
Paul Goddard: I found the whole film in retrospect a bit of a romanticisation of mental illness.
Paul Goddard: I also looked at Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys, I thought he was terrific.
Paul Goddard: It's tricky playing an alien who is mentally unstable because you are not operating under the same perameters as if you were a human. You don't know what an alien's idea of stable is. Perhaps what we consider as a bit of craziness in Stark is actually the norm in his culture.
Paul Goddard: I have wondered whether upon meeting more Banik slaves we might find they are all neurotic by our standards.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: (if you have a question for Paul, send it to me as a private message)

Moderator: RygelEstrogenBrigade to Moderator: Paul, you didn't have much chance to work with the puppets before "Liars, Guns, and Money". How did you find working with them as opposed to a live actor?
Paul Goddard: When I first came on the show and me Rygel I said to myself, "He is an actor, I would *love* to develop and onscreen relationship with....I don't mean that romantically.
Paul Goddard: When I was a kid I used to rush home, aged 14, to watch Seasame Street just for the Muppet moments.
Paul Goddard: I wanted to be a Muppet! Failing that to be a Muppetier.
Paul Goddard: So working on a Henson show was a dream come true
Paul Goddard: I have had more to do with Rygel of late, in particular an ep. coming up Rygel and I spend a great deal of time in a little power struggle.
Paul Goddard: It was fantastic doing this episode because in a way it was like a little road movie for me and Rygel.
Paul Goddard: He may appear rude and selfish on screen but off he's always a gentleman and a joy to work opposite.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: naturalredhead to Moderator: paul.. what do you wear under your "mask" if anything? and how long does makeup take for it?
Paul Goddard: A little bit of rouge and some eyeliner :)
Paul Goddard: but seriously..... I am the lukiest S.O.B. in the show with regard to make up - only half a face to be made up in the first place and very little hair.
Paul Goddard: I'm in the chair for 10 minutes while others are in there for hours.
Paul Goddard: Underneath the mask when we do the special light effect I sometimes wear a few dots, so that when I remove the mask the special effects team have a kind of grid to lock onto.
Paul Goddard: For the moments when you have seen my actual face without the lights they have used a big blue patch to blue screen in the nothingness.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: TimToon to Moderator: Here's an simple question: do you have any depth perception problems while wearing Stark's 'phantom of the opera'-type mask, or can you see out of it with the other eye?
Paul Goddard: Fabulous question TimToon!
Paul Goddard: Absolutely.
Paul Goddard: Your depth of field virtually disappears, hence running down stairs, that appear flat as a board while being chased by Peacekeepers etc. provides a significant challenge.
Paul Goddard: So I'm visually and aurally, because of the masking of the ear, impaired.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: More mask questions (we're on a roll):
Moderator: Summerhush to Moderator: Paul, this may sound stupid, but I've always wondered... Do you keep the eye under the mask open or closed?
Moderator: Tolfin to Moderator: does you face hurt after whering it for so long
Paul Goddard: Initially, we had trouble with it, every time my left eye blinked my right eye would follow suit and the eyelid/lash scraped itself against the chamois lining of the mask.
Paul Goddard: We then dug out the chamois around the eye and tried putting an eye patch over the eye to hold the lid down.
Paul Goddard: But now I am able to wear the mask and forget about such questions all together. Some how its taken care of itself. I can't tell you now whether my eye opens and closes naturally in tandem with other eye.
Paul Goddard: Tolfin, my face doesn't hurt, I remove it after every take. It's just strap on, strap off.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: more mask questions!
Moderator: Thinkum to Moderator: what is Stark's mask actually made of?
Moderator: Bart-Simpson-Delta to Moderator: How heavy is your mask? It looks like bronze.
Moderator: Crichton-32288 to Moderator: This is a dumb question, but... What do you do if you get in itch underneath the mask?
Paul Goddard: Regarding the itch question, I just strap off, itch then strap on.
Paul Goddard: The mask is quantamly engineered using a genetically unmodified froonium derivative that naturally takes the shape in a situation of zero gravity while I'm standing on my head obeying the natural law F = KQ1/R squared
Paul Goddard: It's pretty heavy but then Stark is a pretty heavy dude.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: speaking of itches...
Moderator: RoguePlanet1 to Moderator: Paul, we usually hold off on this question until near the end (it's sort of a 'Farscape Chat Tradition' but, tell us honestly: Boxers, or briefs?
Paul Goddard: I already been briefed that I may receive this question
Moderator: ...aren't you glad it wasn't another mask question? :)
Paul Goddard: And to be honest it is a question I ask myself every day.
Paul Goddard: Boxers...or Briefs...?? Boxers or Briefs??
Paul Goddard: It's a mood thing
Paul Goddard: Though it has become a health issue since seeing the ep. of Seinfield recently in which the dangers of brief wearing were carefully set out. I am inclining more frequently towards boxers and am increasing surprised with the sense claustophobia that I am experiencing when I return to a favoured pair of Calvins.
Paul Goddard: Boxers today.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: StaRMS-JennHi to Moderator: Hello, Paul! Jennhi of the Stark Raving Mad Society here (StaRMS.org). In almost every episode that has Stark, you have at least one scene where he just goes wild. We at StaRMS call it a "Stark Moment". It's fabulous! How much of that is scripted, and how much is improvised?
Paul Goddard: Well Jennhi (love the idea of a SRM Society), do you realise that Stark is of the Raving Mads. It is my belief that there is a long line of Raving Mads who have an illustrious and noble past.
Paul Goddard: The words are carefully scripted, I may add a few here and there as we do, but I guess what I do with them is where sense of play and improv comes in.
Paul Goddard: When Stark returned in the second season it was my concern that the feigned madness from the first series would go, leaving Stark with just his calm spiritual side.
Paul Goddard: What I thought was fantastic about the character was the polarity.
Paul Goddard: The writers were keen to keep both elements and for a while we played up the craziness.
Paul Goddard: But when the idea of Zhaan and Stark getting together was muted, Virginia said one day, when Stark was being particularly demented. Oh my God! Zhaan gets together with that! or something along those lines and I thought.. she's quite right.
Paul Goddard: I have to find the part of Stark that Zhaan would respond to positively and make him more that man when he is with her.
Paul Goddard: So Zhaan came to have a calming effect on him and he became someone who when, with her, was a more attractive mate.
Paul Goddard: When she died, I took that a cue for Stark through grief and through losing his "better half" to regress into a less stable state.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: TracicarT to Moderator: It seems most of the Farscape cast & crew have extensive theatre experience - can we add you to that list? I'm working on your bio for the atf FAQ - could you give us a few tibits of info, like birth date, favorite food, acting experience, phone number....evilgrin
Paul Goddard: Sure add me to the list of thespians.
Paul Goddard: Most of my career has been spent in theatre. Most of the work I've done has been with the Sydney Theatre Company, Australia's most prominent Theatre Company.
Paul Goddard: I'm about to do a play for them which will be performed at the Sydney Opera House
Paul Goddard: It's called School for Scandal and Judy Davis is Directing. I hope you all know who she is. A brilliant Australian Actress with an international profile and this is her second foray into Directing.
Paul Goddard: I think this will be the 22nd or 23rd production I've done for the Sydney Theatre Company.
Paul Goddard: I think a theatre background is of some use for a Farscape actor. After all Farscape is quite fantastical, it's not your kitchen sink drama, and often requires extensive characterisation.
Paul Goddard: A lot of the guest actors have extensive theatre backgrounds as well.
Paul Goddard: My favourite colour is Red, I love Thai food, love chocolate ice cream, but don't endulge often. At the moment I'm right into Apricot and Nuts porridge.
Paul Goddard: The films I've worked on are among others The Matrix, Agent Brown.
Paul Goddard: In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie I was in it for a moment as construction worker number two.
Paul Goddard: In Babe I was the tight arsed son in law.
Paul Goddard: ga
Moderator: (mighty morphin' construction worker number two?)

Moderator: She-Wolf to Moderator: Paul, you are fantastic! Off topic, but will you appear in the Matrix sequel(s)?
Paul Goddard: I can't give anything away in that regard its all top secret.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: RoguePlanet1 to Moderator: Paul, do you think the advent of so many American-produced science fiction productions in Australia (Farscape, Star Wars: Episode II, Pitch Black, The Matrix) has opened the doors to science fiction - as a genre - to Australian productions and performers?
Paul Goddard: Certainly to Australian performers but I'm not aware of any solely Australian SciFi productions. I guess the bottom line is Scifi costs a good deal of money not usually availabe to Aussie prods.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: Zakalwe to Moderator: Paul..I enjoyed your performance in the movie "Holy Smoke." How did you like working under Jane Campion?
Paul Goddard: It was a great thrill and so much to learn!
Paul Goddard: Kate Winslet was also terrific to work with, we discovered on the first day of rehersal that we hailed from the same town in England which fascilitated an immediate rapport and cemented the brother and sister onscreen relationship.
Paul Goddard: The town of course is, Reading, England
Paul Goddard: Holy Smoke is an extraordinary movie it really polarises people, my father loathhhhhhhhed it, whereas I know other people who found it profoundly moving.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: Muse0 to Moderator: Paul, were you a fan of SciFi before Matrix and Farscape?
Paul Goddard: I loved the Avengers, absolutely adored it.
Paul Goddard: It wasn't so much the Scifi elements as the rapport between Steed and Emma and later Tara King and Steed that attracted me. It was also *such* a glamorous and sophisticated world they moved in.
Paul Goddard: But the science fiction element of it also hooked me.
Paul Goddard: I loved Lost in Space as child.
Paul Goddard: Of course Dr Smith, was more an attraction than the scifi parts.
Paul Goddard: Love the Borg!!! Love the Borg!!! Especially in First Contract, loved the queen. Just heard she's back ST Ten.
Paul Goddard: Bond movies, had an absolute passion for them and it was the high tech elements particularly that hooked me.
Paul Goddard: I am more of a psychology fan than physics fan. Hence it is often the episodes of Farscape in which the core drama is interpersonal or psychological or philisophical that I find most galvanising.
Paul Goddard: I love Prokofiev, love Prokofiev.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: Prokofiev to Moderator: Word has it you're actually a friend of Justin Monjo. What dirt can you give us on the Monj?
Paul Goddard: Dirt?
Paul Goddard: let me see.....
Paul Goddard: the man is a Saint
Paul Goddard: what else can I say?
Paul Goddard: he's currently writing an episode with a good Stark story line.
Paul Goddard: the man is a Saint!
Paul Goddard: (I hope he reads thise)
Paul Goddard: oops -e
Paul Goddard: Justin was a year behind me in the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). He is a terrific actor and Stark a little bit based on him, I would say. He has a wonderful manic energy.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: good LORD, it's already 7 minutes past the hour. can you stick around a bit longer for a few more questions? we've got plenty...
Paul Goddard: Oh absolutely! This is a joyful deflowering. Doesn't time fly when you are having fun talking about yourself.

Moderator: Super!
Moderator: LittleLeviathan to Moderator: Hey, Paul, can you give us any indication (*cough* spoilers *cough*) as to the direction your character is headed?
Paul Goddard: Forward, sideways and frequently backwards.
Paul Goddard: As you know I *can not* simply _cannot_ divulge any spoilers
Paul Goddard: But.....
Paul Goddard: I guess I could say..
Paul Goddard: It's the Season of Death
Paul Goddard: But.....
Paul Goddard: as you know Stark has this very handy fascility for dying and coming back to life.

Moderator: (if you've just joined us, we've entered overtime in our chat with Paul Goddard...)

Paul Goddard: sorry about the delay, can't give away any more....
Paul Goddard: ...not that I've given away anything really.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: ShipperShan to Moderator: We have had a ton of dark episodes so far... at least one person has died in each one!! Are we gonna be getting any episodes like Crackers Don't Matter, or Beware of Dog anytime soon?
Paul Goddard: Yes.
Paul Goddard: There are zany times ahead
Paul Goddard: I just watched Crackers Don't Matter for the first time a couple of nights ago and loved it!
Paul Goddard: I was just talking to Ben yesterday about how much I loved his craziness in the show. He said that they really had a lot of fun playing around with that one.
Paul Goddard: It was Ben that showed me how far I could go initially with the madness of Stark.
Paul Goddard: Watching that episode gave me a little boost in terms of letting Stark's craziness rip a bit more in the episode we are shooting now.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: DaniRoyer to Moderator: Paul, love the character...love the character...love the character! The rest of the cast has had a bit of time to get use to us fans. What do you think about the fan reaction to your character and the show and did the rest of the cast and crew give you warning of us?
Paul Goddard: They did give me warning, but I am very timid when it comes to logging on and checking out feedback.
Paul Goddard: I guess I really should be braver and see what you guys have to say.
Paul Goddard: When I did log on I was fascinated by the speculation that goes on. You really go into it at a deep level. This inspires one to pay attention to every detail and nuance in the knowledge that somebody out there will pick it up.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: Xenajules2 to Moderator: Paul, do you ever read the SciFi bulliten board?
Paul Goddard: Yes I have, a couple of times. Only after series one aired. I was pleased to see that I was nominated for an award from the society of prevention of cruelty to crichton.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: dw-mckim to Moderator: So from one Henson fan to another...what's it like being the recipient of "Pilot puke"?
Paul Goddard: Fantastic
Paul Goddard: Delicious
Paul Goddard: That was a joy to do.
Paul Goddard: I love a bit of comedy.
Paul Goddard: Surprisingly its a lot tastier than it may look.
Paul Goddard: I really had to act disgust because well, it was, rather...moorish.

Moderator: Going back to the "letting Stark's craziness rip," which ep are you working on now, so that we can look forward to it?
Paul Goddard: Episode 12 Season 3

Moderator: Thanks.
Moderator: stargatetravler to Moderator: Hey Paul, which ep of the ones you have been in did you have the most fun doing, which one was the hardiest and which one was your favorite?
Paul Goddard: Episode 8 coming up has been my all time favourite. Green Eyed Monster.
Paul Goddard: You'll understand why when you see it.
Paul Goddard: Of the ones you have seen which was the hardest???
Paul Goddard: hrm....
Paul Goddard: I guess the ones that are hard are the ones where there is some degree of emotion other than anger or fear that has to be explored.
Paul Goddard: The early episodes of this Season where Stark is dealing with Zhaan's death were tricky in regards to emotional placement.
Paul Goddard: You don't want to get too sentimental in the playing of it, you want the audience to feel the emotion more than you displaying it as an actor.
Paul Goddard: I hope you understand what I mean.
Paul Goddard: There is nothing worse, for me, than watching an actor indulge in some emotional acting to the degree where they don't let you in.
Paul Goddard: So many times I've watched documentaries where people have talked about the most horrific and tragic things without turning into a blubbering mess. Yet you know, that underneath they are experiencing deep pain.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: dik-dik to Moderator: Greetings from the UK, Paul! Farscape has a wonderful history of startling its audience with its audacity and unpredictability. Are you jaded to that element of surprise now, or do the writers still find ways to shock you?
Paul Goddard: Every moment.
Paul Goddard: I am still shocked by the scripts.
Paul Goddard: I mean that in a good way.
Paul Goddard: I love it when you get a script and you realise that they have provided you with an opportunity to go left field.
Paul Goddard: On a day to day basis because of the culture of left fieldism on the Farscape set I am always trying to find new and slightly odd ways of dealing with moments. Sometimes you resort to the familiar but it is always a joy to discover a way that you think will be unexpected.
Paul Goddard: It's something I love about the show.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: (we've got time for a few more questions, so send your last questions to me now)

Moderator: Gmmas to Moderator: Paul: you did an excellent imitation of Zhaan in Different Destinations. Can we expect to see Stark mimicing any of the others on Moya?
Paul Goddard: I'd love too.
Paul Goddard: I always thought that Stark should have kept some of Zhaan's clothing
Paul Goddard: she had the best outfits.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: accapella to Moderator: Paul - great job on the show!!! Hope see you at ScaperCon2001 in Cincinnati, OH !!!!! My question: Can you shed a little insight on the moment in "Wait for the Wheel" when Stark looks at Aeryn and says "You are very pretty." - What's going on there???
Paul Goddard: We spent quite a bit of time on that moment trying to figure out how to play it and what it meant. I don't want to say that there is a definative meaning to it after all the construction of meaning is in the eye of the beholder and we wanted there to be some ambiguity.
Paul Goddard: We also wanted to give ourselves the option to go in a number of directions.
Paul Goddard: First I've heard of ScaperCon2001, I'm a convention virgin too. I'll have to get back to you on that.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: heliophobe to Moderator: Paul, will you be attending any conventions such as the San Diego Comic Con?
Moderator: Or making any appearances in the States at all?
Paul Goddard: No plans to visit the States at the moment but it sounds very attractive. I'd love to during the break between Seasons.

Moderator: Inity to Moderator: . Paul, I never thought I'd get a chance to say you that you were my _favorite_ actor in "the Matrix" and your character there was my favoritest! I made a gallery of your pics in "the Matrix" and I wanted to create a fan-site about you here, in Russia. How do I find more information about you, there's not much info about you on the Net, and may be you have an address where fans can write to contact you? Thank you a lot...

Moderator: Paul?

Paul Goddard: Fascinated to have a fan in Russia, thanks Inity
Paul Goddard: I'm just chasing up an address for you.
Paul Goddard: send mail care of Jim Henson Productions 1416 North La Brea Avenue Los Angeles CA 90028
Paul Goddard: I'm thrilled that you are interested in making a site around me. I'm trying to get something up and running myself so that there will be some information out there but that will be some months away.
Paul Goddard: When I get my bio information together and on the web I'll post the URL on the bboard.
Paul Goddard: ga

Moderator: Paul, we have so many questions we could do this all night...
Moderator: ...but I'm afraid we'll have to wrap this one up. Will you come back again sometime for a follow-up?

Paul Goddard: absolutely, this was only the foreplay.

Moderator: I hope we were sufficiently gentle. We'll save the rough stuff for next time. ;)
Moderator: Any final comments for the assembled throng?

Paul Goddard: Yeah Baby, yeah!
Paul Goddard: Thanks heaps for logging on, it's quite a thrill to know that there are so many of you taking such an interest in the show.
Paul Goddard: Caio for naio
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