Katee Sackhoff is all dolled up, and it’s not how you might be used to seeing her. As Starbuck on the cult hit Battlestar Galactica, Sackhoff was the tough, ass-kicking natural beauty that appealed to both men and women. At the Cable TCA day in January, Sackhoff is wearing her blonde hair long and curled with more make-up than she seems to ever wear on screen. But once she talks, her demeanor exposes that same kind of Starbuck-esque straightforwardness Sackhoff carries in real life. Even in a frilly top, she seems like she could throw down with any person in the room, not that anyone would dare challenge her.
“Somebody at one point in my life told me I’m very androgynous,” Sackhoff told me. “And I never saw that in myself. I think what it was I lived in a small town and my dad always said ‘Play with the boys until you get hurt.’ And so I was bound and determined to keep up with the boys. I think he was speaking mostly in the context of soccer, but I took it in this life sort of way because I was hanging out with the boys and jumping over barbed wire fences and kind of had this desire to keep up with boys physically.”
Sackhoff said she embraced her own masculinity, but enjoys her femininity just as much. “I also love wearing a pair of Louboutins and looking like a piece of ass and walking in and having every man in the room want to f–k me,” she said. “Let’s be honest! I know that’s straightforward. I love to have to play both sides of the coin. And I love to have both of those attributes in my characters as well because I think that’s real and I think every woman has that, it’s just what side you lean more toward and I think I’m just more down the middle.”
The actress’ mass appeal was part of what made BSG such a hit. It was even the focus of a recent Portlandia sketch, in which the characters become so obsessed with Battlestar that they have to marathon it until they lose their jobs and stop paying their bills and refuse to believe it’s over once they’ve finished. Then they take it upon themselves to track down the show’s creator Ronald D. Moore (or at least the first Ronald Moore they can find in Portland) and demand he write more. Two of Sackhoff’s former male castmates showed up in the sketch, and Sackhoff, who is actually from Portland, said she can’t believe they didn’t call her to join in.
“Do they know I’m from Portland at all? Now I’m actually offended. Now I’ll never watch the show. I was too busy anyway,” she joked.
In reality, she just might have been. Sackhoff is starring on the new A&E series Longmire, which is adapted from a series of mystery novels by Craig Allen Johnson. Sackhoff plays Vic, a deputy in a small Wyoming town working with Sheriff Longmire, who is grieving over the death of his wife. The show picks up a year after she’s passed and Vic needs Longmire’s help in tracking down a murderer and a missing girl.
Vic is just as androgynous as Starbuck and she’s the show’s sole female star. When it comes to what we’ll see for her character, Sackhoff jokes we can just read the books, although things might be changed a bit on screen.