The A-List Interview: Katee Sackhoff

Proven by her butch roles in Battlestar Galactica, returning series Longmire, and the upcoming film Riddick, Katee Sackhoff is one tough act to follow. So why is she jealous of Katherine Heigl?



A queer geek icon thanks to her role as cocky fighter pilot Starbuck on the cult Syfy series Battlestar Galactica, Katee Sackhoff is still kicking ass, now as Vic, a Wyoming deputy, on the A&E western Longmire, which returns May 27 for a second season. Back to deep space this fall in the action flick Riddick, the 33-year-old motorcyclist opens up about her dream to do rom-coms and dress like a hooker.

The Advocate: You’re shooting Longmire on location in New Mexico. How’s the gay scene down there?
Katee Sackhoff: I haven’t been, but there must be an amazing gay bar somewhere. There are definitely a lot of lesbians here.

If you ever feel blue and need attention, you should just find a lesbian bar.
I know! That’s my joke about science-fiction conventions too.

When did you first become aware of your queer following?
It was my 25th birthday, Battlestar had been on for two years, and one my guy friends said, “We’re going to Hamburger Mary’s!” I was like, “Awesome.” So we went, and they comped the entire meal because they were big fans of the show. I was like, “When did this happen? This is amazing!” After that, my gay following just kept getting bigger and louder. The more I went to conventions and talked to fans, the more I realized that, you know, it was all about me and Lucy Lawless.

What does that support mean to you?
I’ve thought about this a lot, because my answer to that question has changed as I’ve gotten older. There’s a calmness to your career when you have such vocal support from a community, but it also gives you a purpose beyond your career to be an advocate for that community. You’re affecting and touching peoples’ lives, and it does something to the pit of your belly that just makes you feel proud. When I was younger, it was like, “Yay, lesbians love me!” I didn’t know there was a responsibility that came with it.

You’ve played tough, butch gals in Battlestar, Bionic Woman, 24, Longmire, and the upcoming Riddick. Is America not ready to see you all dolled up in a rom-com?
I joke all the time that I needed to secure an audience first before going in a completely different direction. Playing tough characters just comes easy for me. It’s not who I am in real life, so I love going to work and pretending to be something I’m not. I love all the action and confidence. But when I finally go do a rom-com, I hope my fans will support me.

Do you get jealous when you watch Katherine Heigl movies?
I do! It’s crazy. My fiancé actually did a movie with Katherine, and every night he came home from work I’d be like, “I’m dying to do a romantic comedy!” I read YA novels constantly, so I really want to be in a young adult rom-com, but I worry that I’m aging into the parent role, which is a little scary.

You worked with Ryan Murphy on Nip/Tuck. You should call and ask him to cast you as a singing parent or teacher on Glee.
What’s funny, though, is that if I called Ryan Murphy I’d ask to be in American Horror Story. While I would love to belt out some showtunes, I’m more drawn to darker, crazier projects.