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September 19, 2014

Katee Sackhoff Talks '24,' 'Battlestar' and Strong Heroines

by Daniel Frankel, posted Jan 14th 2010 8:00PM
Katee SackhoffIt was the week before Christmas, and '24' actress Katee Sackhoff was at her parents' home in rural Oregon, taking care of two sick dogs and doing press interviews. About to turn 30 in April, she didn't come off at all as someone whose career was undergoing a high-profile transition.

In mid-January, she was to return to the set of Fox's clock-ticking drama to finish out her first season as CTU computer analyst Dana Walsh. Last spring, her role as tough-broad fighter pilot Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on Syfy's landmark 'Battlestar Galactica' had come to an end.Katee SackhoffIt was the week before Christmas, and '24' actress Katee Sackhoff was at her parents' home in rural Oregon, taking care of two sick dogs and doing press interviews. About to turn 30 in April, she didn't come off at all as someone whose career was undergoing a high-profile transition.

In mid-January, she was to return to the set of Fox's clock-ticking drama to finish out her first season as CTU computer analyst Dana Walsh. Last spring, her role as tough-broad fighter pilot Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on Syfy's landmark 'Battlestar Galactica' had come to an end.

An acclaimed performer in a critically-beloved series, Sackhoff could write her own ticket as to what role she wanted next. In fact, if guest appearances were any gauge of heat, Sackhoff tested off the charts a couple of months ago when the hottest comedy on television, CBS' 'The Big Bang Theory,' managed to spike its ratings even further by putting her in a bathtub scene.

Earlier, however, while searching for her next big gig, she found herself in an audition room with Brad Turner, a former 'Battlestar' helmer who has also directed more than 40 episodes of '24.' She knew what she wanted to do, even if her handlers at the time thought she should hold out for something better.

Sounds like you had your pick of projects. Why '24'?
When '24' presented itself, it was too good an idea to turn down. It's along the lines of where I wanted my career to go. It's perfect.

Do you miss doing 'Battlestar'?
I was pretty burned out after 'Battlestar.' Some of the other actors could have done another season. But it was something I was ready to move on from.

How did that 'Big Bang Theory' gig come up?
That was something [creator] Chuck Lorre and I had been bouncing around for several years. Playing yourself can be tricky.

Tell us about Dana Walsh.
I play Chloe's boss at the new CTU in New York. Chloe comes back to a CTU that's faster, cleaner, younger and has no paper trail. Things move faster. My character is engaged to Cole (Freddie Prinze Jr.), and she's got a past. Dana Walsh isn't who she says she is.

Starbuck was pretty tough. Does Dana Walsh beat people up, too?

A couple of weeks ago, I was wearing a dress, and I had to change my dress options when I realized I had bruises all over my arms. Lets just say that Dana doesn't get those from sitting at a desk.

So you don't mind being pigeon-holed into strong female roles.
Not at all. There's something about strong heroines who women want to be and men want to screw (laughs).

So you stopped lifting weights after 'Battlestar.'

It always felt like Starbuck was bigger than me. I do a lot of running now.

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