elcome to Mary McDonnell Vault, your online resource dedicated to actress Mary McDonnell. You better know Mary for her role as Captain Sharon Raydor for the TNT crime series The Closer & Major Crimes. But she also did others like Battlestar Galactica, Independence Day, Donnie Darko, Dances with Wolves, Sneakers and many others. Site is comprehensive of a big photogallery with events, photoshoots, magazines, stills, an extensive press library to collect all the articles and interviews on her and a video gallery section for recorded interviews, sneak peeks and trailers of her projects. We claim no rights to know her personally and it's absolutely respectful of her privacy and paparazzi-free!!!
Mar 2016

Hello everyone. First of all lemme thank you all because so many of you during this weekend have been sharing with me impressions and comments and all so positive and beautiful of Edward and Mary, that made me feel like I was there with you all enjoy this amazing experience. I thought, since for many of us couldn’t be possible to be there taking part to the panel, to make a report and recap of what happened as I was lucky enough to be able to see it live from a link provided by C2E2. It won’t be a Question/Answer but just summarizing them both for you to have an idea of what was told. Enjoy it and hopefully we will have a link to enjoy watching this over and over.

As the presenter introduced Mary and Eddie the crowd went crazy and, from words of a friend who was there, it was very loud and very long. At first Ed asked to please turn on lights on the audience cause from their point of view they couldn’t see and Mary totally fangirled because her brother Jack was present there. Two couches behind them, they both sit down and like a ‘therapy session’ asked how it was the week. For Eddie was a bit “disappointing” that the green river, was no longer green and Mary had a traumatic experience with a political banner jumping to her sight from the window of her hotel room. As going on from the jokes Eddie let people know there was no moderator so they were going to pick people to ask questions and the fans were going to ask them from their own voices.

The first guy, really was brave, asked who’d make a better president for US if Mr. Trump or Gaius Baltar. This totally called the Roslin into Mary to come out, and under a funny threat of airlock him, she joked on never asking that question to her anymore. But the guy gained a hug from her for the teasing.

The second question was posed to both Eddie and Mary, to Eddie was about where he found the motivation to express the dicotomy of being father of the fleet and his relationship to his own son, to Mary she was asked how it was to shoot all the emotional scenes in the series like changing the number of the white board, and Billie and all the others.
Mary went first focusing on the meaning of that white board for Roslin’s personal intimate feelings, as she was also dying and took responsibility for the whole race who was also dying, making a parallel between the two things, being conscious that it meant not only running out of time but also out of people and making a reaction in Roslin’s feelings for any decision taken.
To reply his question Eddie gave the credits for his work and motivation to the writing, because they learnt things week by week and lived all episodes intensively as much as the viewers did, because of the good writing of every particula detail.

The third question was not Battlestar Galactica related but on a more personal level from a librarian who was curious about what both Mary and Eddie were currently reading.
As we all know of Mary’s involvement with Sinte Gleska University, she said to be trying to read a biography on Red Cloud. Eddie is reading a book of John Trudell and Hitler’s Pope, this second because he’s doing a film on the subject.

The fourth question posed regarding how remarkable the acting was on the show and so made it so great, expressed two personal theories of how it developed to act as a group of so many people and such variety with so many young actors and, how Mary defined themselves, veterans. First theory was that coming into the room where Eddie and Mary was saying their lines, kind of directed the level of acting it was gonna take. Second theory is that they grew up all together like a theatre group in a room in Canada.
The word went to Mary who explained that both are actually very valid and kind of what happened because they found in a group of very young and talented actors who didn’t have as much experience as the two of them had so in some way they did act as model for the start, and Mary gives credits for the setting the level of acting to Eddie who, since the very first scene which will be told later to be the famous “So Say We All”, rewrote it entirely to show how the world was seeing and how Adama was and pushing the others into figuring their reactions to this as to be part of that energy or opposing to it. Eddie explores more how it was to shoot that scene and the opportunity it was given to him to be committed to it, and he agrees to the person that but also points that if it wasn’t for the great writing they could not make it possible as such high standards. But moving a bit more into the subject Eddie recalls the good late Gary Hutzel, who passed 11 days ago, and was the Visual Effects Supervisor of the series. In words from Eddie and Mary he was an extraordinary person, committed to the show as much as to his family, and always nice and sweet and dedicated to his job. That same day of the panel there was his memorial to which Eddie and Mary couldn’t take part because being in Chicago, and it was a nice moment to take and honor such a great man.

Fifth question was about what were the most emotional scenes or character interaction that made them feel the tension as actors. And after joking around on how easy it was to act together Eddie mentioned that the most emotional scenes for him were the love scenes with Mary and she recalls her vivid memory of the scene that for her was much emotional from season 2 (episode 12 Resurrection part 2), when Roslin promotes Adama as Admiral and the reaction of his kiss to her (which wasn’t scripted if not as a kiss on her forehead) created a positive tension that made the scene perfect and remarkable as standing in front of a great presence. For Eddie the most emotional love scene with Mary was the closure when Adama places his ring on Laura’s finger, a scene that was particularly hard on many level for the both of them as represting Mary’s last scene, loss of the person you love, end of a tv-show and it was so much intense that Mary tells the story about it that when he actually places that finger and his tears fall on her hand she started to cry as well and had to shoot the scene two more times before to arrive to the right point where Roslin is sadly gone and she can’t move or react.

The next question was about if they were able and took one thing from the set when wrapping for the finale, something that was dear and this generates a lot of fun and laughs because Eddie mentions they were not allowed to grab anything since all merchandise was actually put for auctions and so they had to “steal anything they wanted”. Mary shares a memory about the Armani dress Laura wears that she wanted and that few time later some fans gave to her at another con and was a wonderful beautiful surprise and gesture dear to her heart.

Question following was a very tough one about how they developed and got inspired to play a cancer patient and her caregiver which made Mary share her thoughts about the one person who was closed to her and sadly passed because of cancer: her mother. I am not going to go in details describing this because it’s a very emotional and strong feeling and I think it was wonderful and so deep from her to share, but know that the point of this for her is that what she witnessed in her mother battle and path with the sickness, she brought with her in her mind to play Laura as the body gets weaker but the soul gets stronger about the final mission she was committed to.

Other question was if they could chose their opponent between Star Wars and Star Trek what would be and Mary totally leave the answer to Ed who said Star Wars.

And following to that was a lovely question about us, as fans, loving to see them and what they do so what do they see when they look on the other side, to us. And Eddie very fast in reply said LOVE. And then he explained it’s all because they see and love how much we as fans appreciate what they’ve given us with acting and amazing characters. Mary, herself, describes how amazing is for her to do Cons because she sees the love and passion and commitment of her fans and recalls a funny story at Dragon Con with Michael Hogan (who played Colonel Saul Tigh).

At this point there was a moment of stop when Eddie and Mary called on stage the amazing little Savannah, who is battleting with Mitochondrial Disease and she with her family was there at the Con, so they called her and her sister up on stage and I encourage you as well to please visit her mother’s blog.

After this intense moment, questions started again and the next one was about where they found the inspiration. Ed quickly mentioned it was from his mother but passed fast on Mary to go on replying and she describes how inspirational it was for her growing in a beautiful family with wonderful people. And starting from that it goes on for everything else, can it be a news you hear, a situation you witness, another actor’s work or performance.

And then the question we all wanted to know: when on New Caprica, there’s a gap we missed and wanted to know what it was. And the teasing answer is: intimate moments! Maybe be real intimacy, drugs… fun!

Another question came from a survivor to a terminal illness and we make our biggest congratulations to that, and she wanted to know what both of them learnt from their characters.
Mary took first word congratulating to her for the fight and saying that she learnt from Laura, and this needs to be quoted fully, “we vastly understimate what we are capable of […] and she taught me that there’s far more in us that we are capable as women that we even knew”. Eddie instead learnt to raise by himself when hitting the bottom, which was a journey he did through with Adama has it wasn’t scripted to go that down to the bottom but built episode by episode.

And allow me some happy fangirling here, was very interesting question that all fans wanted to know and came from my friend and our partner in crime Julia from MaryFreakinMcDonnell, and she asked them, considering all this reboots on old series, if they’d consider coming back to Battlestar Galactica if there was a chance, also for Mary knowing the destiny of her character because in Sci-Fi anything can happen. And their answer was short but very clear: Of course we would. Very much!.

Even if was said to be last they took a few more so one was which decision taken from their character determined the biggest consequence on the fleet also in a political matter. Mary’s reply is about abortion. Because as Mary she would never think on putting someone into that decision, but because Laura was responsible for humanity and held a different kind of power she had to figure out how to manage and how to approach to the decision.

Next question was directed to Eddie for his role on The West Wing, which he was very thankful for because it’s one role and one job he did really love to cover and made him proud to be part of it and gives once again credits to the great writing for covering his character in emotional and powerful way.

Another question came for Eddie about when he thinks Adama fell in love to Roslin. For Eddie is not easy to place a specific moment because there actually was many where he would show appreciation and developing respect and something more for the woman standing in front of him, so it was really not easy to define, might even been when she accused him of being a cylon. According to Mary instead he started to look her differently after putting her into jail, teasing? Joking? Who knows.

And then the last, that concluded and ended the panel, was more a request than a question to Eddie to put a closure with a wonderful So Say We All. But before to close it Mary wanted to say few words, and those I’ll report as she said it.

This is about the 4th time that he and I do have done a Con together, we haven’t done that many. But one of the reasons I come back is to… for this moment right here with Eddie and you guys, because life is very short and when you meet a collaborator that you trust entirely, you don’t wanna ever let go of that person and you don’t wanna ever let go of the potential collaboration and so I just wanna thank you guys because you allow me to come experience this relationship again at least once a year and it’s phenomenally important how I continue as an artist. So thank you for that!

Can I say to all of you that is an honor and a priviledge to be the Admiral of the Galactica and may you all understand your lives at the hightest… so say we all! So say we all! So say we all!

The perfect conclusion to an amazing panel. For the Mary Q&A we sadly didn’t have any live link so MajorCrimesTV.Net will post a video of it next week. Be sure to check!