If you’ve never heard of Kandyse McClure, you may want to talk to your friends who watch(ed) the 2004 sci-fi series “Battlestar Galactica.” The actress played the ever-optimistic Officer Anastasia “Dee” Dualla, who irked the ladies when she married the handsome fighter pilot Lee “Apollo” Adama (she stole him from Starbuck) and shocked fans with her heartbreaking, sudden suicide (gun shot to the head).
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But make no mistake, McClure isn’t Dualla. The South African-born, Vancouver-bred actress, 32, who has relocated to Toronto, has a new role in the Netflix original series, “Hemlock Grove.” Produced by horror king Eli Roth (“Hostel,” “Inglorious Basterds”), McClure plays Dr. Clementine Chasseur, an animal behaviourist (or “fancy dog catcher” as McClure describes her) with a history of self-destruction.
“Hemlock Grove,” based on a novel by Brian McGreevy, revolves around the murder of a young girl in a Pennsylvania steel town. But this isn’t a “Who Killed Rosie Larsen?” scenario (see “The Killing”); one of the murder suspects, a 17-year-old Gypsy kid, is rumoured to be a werewolf. “It’s a story of the monsters inside all of us,” explains McMclure.
The series, which premieres all 13 episodes at once on April 19, also stars Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott, Lili Taylor and Bill Skarsgard.
McClure took the time to call Yahoo! Canada from Jamaica to talk about her new role, whether she would ever put on her Viper uniform again and what she doesn’t like about horror movies.
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Yahoo! Canada: Tell us about your character, Dr. Chasseur, on “Hemlock Grove.”
Kandyse McClure: I don’t often get to play bad ass girls but [Dr. Chasseur] is very intelligent, has a lot of tactics in her tool belt. She comes into town as a fancy dog catcher, unravels dark secrets and gets in a lot of trouble. The animal that kills is more than what the town expected.
Yahoo! Canada: What drew you to this story?
Kandyse McClure: My character made bad choices and bad situations drove her to work more, to control what was troubling her in her life. As an actor I can really dig into that part. I’m a closet nerd. I researched survival tactics. I know how to make a fire now!
Yahoo! Canada: I saw you at Toronto Comic Con a couple of years ago and you talked about how it was a struggle to be an actor and make ends meet. Do you still feel that way?
Kandyse McClure: Nobody wants to be sorry for an actor because it’s the stereotype “greatest job in the world”. Acting is great for the soul and hell on the nerves. My career, not to sound New Age, is a spiritual journey, pays the bills. I learned a lot about myself.
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Yahoo! Canada: Would you encourage people to go into acting?
Kandyse McClure: Often young women come up and ask how to become an actor. I never dissuade them. I do think it’s a vital job but it’s not easy. You can’t just pick up and do it. So I’ve been lucky but it’s a lot of hard work.
Yahoo! Canada: What was it like working with Eli Roth and do you have a favourite scary movie?
Kandyse McClure: I didn’t get to work with him but I got to hang out with him at the lunch room. He tweeted at me. I’m not a huge horror movie fan because I can picture myself in it and I would curl up in a ball if I was in that situation.
Yahoo! Canada: “Hemlock Grove” reunites you with your “Battlestar Galactica” colleague, Aaron Douglas. What was it like getting to work with him again?
Kandyse McClure: We had a good laugh about working together again. On [“Battlestar Galactica”] we had one scene together in the entire series but in “Hemlock” we had a lot of lines together. Aaron has an effortless approach to work. I’ve always wanted to work with him. It’s hard not to crack ‘that’s what she said’ jokes on set.
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Yahoo! Canada: How have your feelings changed about your “Battlestar” character’s death now that it’s been a few years since the show ended? [McClure’s character, Dualla, committed suicide.]
Kandyse McClure: I understand Dee’s death more. She was the eternal optimist; someone to lean on and for her to reach breaking point is significant. [Suicide] is a natural reaction and people make that decision all the time. It’s great that [“Battlestar” producer] Ron Moore put it on TV but a lot of people struggle with [suicide] and people come talk to me at conventions about it. It’s a beautiful thing that’s come out of the show.
Yahoo! Canada: Director Bryan Singer is reportedly working on a “Battlestar Galactica” movie. Would you ever reprise your role as Dualla again?
Kandyse McClure: Absomotherfuckinglutely!
I would love to revisit Dualla. If she never met her end, I imagine different scenarios for her; what if she ran away and became a revolutionary or sided with the president?
Yahoo! Canada: Final question: Where are the best places to eat in Toronto and Vancouver?
Kandyse McClure: I cook at home quite a bit but in Toronto recently I went to Salt [Wine Bar] on Ossington, delicious, wild boar tacos, yes please.
People are going to hate me for giving away the secret but the best sushi in Vancouver is Toshi Sushi. Go early, wait in line, don’t go across the street, and eat quickly.