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‘Battlestar’ actor anticipates HawaiiCon’s fan interaction

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    When actor Aaron Douglas is not working, he enjoys gardening at home in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Don’t misinterpret actor Aaron Douglas when he laments the workload of a guest at pop-culture conventions. It’s the price of being a TV star. The days are long but the fans are fun, the conversation interesting and the beer is free.

Douglas, best known for his role as “The Chief” Galen Tyrol in the Emmy Award-winning “Battlestar Galactica,” is a favorite among fans because he’ll talk to them even when the convention is over. He’ll invite them to join him at the bar, too.

“I like hanging out and finding out where people are from and what they do for a living,” Douglas said in a phone call from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia. “Fans like that, the accessibility. You remove the veil of celebrity and fan, and we are all people who do interesting things.”

That’s the Douglas conventiongoers can expect this weekend at HawaiiCon, which will be held at the Hapuna Beach Prince Resort on the Kohala Coast. The four-day convention won over Douglas during its inaugural run last year, when he spoke about his career and went snorkeling with fans. (This year he’s going to join them on a zip line.)

“There is something so relaxed and peaceful about that convention,” he said. “Normally, we are stuck in a convention center in the middle of a downtown area or somewhere noisy, but here you are staring at the ocean and I thought: I could do this all day.”

The 44-year-old Canadian took up acting in his late 20s. When he got the part for “Battlestar” in 2004, he had not done much, dividing his time between short acting gigs and working as a waiter.

“Battlestar,” the saga of a war between humans and a race of robots they created, was his big break. The role, over four seasons on the SciFi Channel (now SyFy), gave Douglas a character he is still proud of. Later he would star in the police drama “The Bridge,” which aired in Canada and briefly on CBS, and had recurring roles in “Hemlock Grove” on Netflix, “The Killing” on AMC and “The Returned” on A&E.

The Chief is the big draw at the conventions he attends. This year he will be at eight or nine of them. He’s in Atlanta this weekend, Hawaii next weekend and Houston after that.

He doesn’t feel typecast, though.

“I’m fine with it being all ‘Battlestar,’” he said. “It is the best show I have done to date. I would be very lucky and surprised if I did something else that was as important to the science-fiction genre or television as that.”

When he’s not working, Douglas leads a quiet life gardening and writing. He produced a farmers market worth of vegetables this summer: four different kinds of tomatoes, five kinds of lettuce, spinach, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, leeks, onions, peppers and Brussels sprouts. He grew tomatillos for the first time and turned to fans on Twitter for recipes.

He is also the family chef, cooking for his wife, a government worker. He specializes in seafood: halibut, prawns, mussels.

“I like harvesting stuff and building a soup or a stew or just using them fresh in a salad,” he said. “I really enjoy it.”

Two weeks ago Douglas shot an episode of the “The X-Files” revival on Fox, and he had a fan moment himself. When he was in acting school, the original version of the series was being shot in Vancouver. He wanted to be on it, but it had moved to Los Angeles by the time he graduated.

When he heard about the revival, he immediately called his agent. He wound up in a scene with his favorite characters, Mulder and Scully, aka actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

“This was a show I watched years ago that I loved, and now I am standing with them,” Douglas said. “It was a very cool experience. It was sort of surreal.”

For more information about HawaiiCon, go to

And that’s a wrap …

Mike Gordon is the Star-Advertiser’s film and television writer. Read his Outtakes Online blog at Reach him at 529-4803 or email


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