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I ROBOT

Kate Vernon Plays Kiss and Tell...Finally

By Chad Collins

Kate Vernon We all know that secrets don't make friends. But in Kate Vernon's case, she might not have had many friends left had she leaked the one she was keeping.

Vernon, star of the hit Sci Fi Channel series "Battlestar Galactica," now in its climactic season, had a major cross to bear, a series-altering revelation that she was forced to sit on...for two years!

Vernon's 'Ellen Tigh,' a space-aged Lady MacBeth and fan-dubbed "cosmic cougar," was recently revealed to be the fifth and final Cylon prototype hidden amongst humans, sentient robots driven to destroy what remains of mankind, their creators and former masters. Two years may not seem like a long time to the Hollywood outsider, but consider this: Vernon had to navigate the curiosity-infested waters of a horde of speculative, rabid fans, journalists, friends, family, and even fellow cast members trying to pry the dirty details out of her. Her formerly classified revelation on the "Battlestar Galactica" season 4.5 premiere in January was more than a sigh of relief; by then, it was a godsend.

Here Vernon , who starred in such memorable films and series as MALCOLM X, PRETTY IN PINK, "LA Law," and "Who's the Boss," talks to IN LA Magazine about carrying such a burden, reflects on playing such a "delicious" role, and the never-ending joy that is "frak."

You've used the following words to describe your character 'Ellen:' sexy; naughty; strong; powerful; childish; selfish; and forceful. Anything you left out?! What was it like for you to play such a layered part?

Kate Vernon Intelligent! 'Ellen' is also very intelligent and knows just how to get what she wants. Many fans of the show tended to write her off as a b****, but to that I just argued she's misunderstood - she had so much more ambition than her second-in-command hubby ('Saul Tigh'), and it drove her crazy! So she learned to use her sexuality as a weapon to manipulate people. She might have seemed like a villain, but everything she did was out of a volatile love for 'Saul.'

It was a dream to play this role, the best of my career so far. I'll say this for one thing: 'Ellen' is a lot bolder than I'll ever be!

The big secret...what was that like, keeping a tight lid for two years?

I told my manager. I told my agent. I told my publicist. I mean, I was so afraid for this secret to get out and potentially spoil such an anticipated moment! It wasn't easy, and everyone kept guessing, especially the fans - they're so into it, developing their own theories constantly, it's what makes them so great!

Ok, lastly, what is up with 'frak?!'

Frak is the "Battlestar Galactica" equivalent of a very popular, four-letter expletive. You can do the math from there. It's pretty much a part of my own personal language right now!

Kate Vernon

Photos by: Randee St. Nicholas / SCI FI Channel


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