Welcome 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, a media archive dedicated to all fans fanarts on Mary, 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!!!
Created by: Ronald D. Moore, Glen A. Larson
Directed by: Michael Rymer
Written by: Ronald D. Moore, Glen A. Larson
Produced by: Ronald D. Moore, David Eick,
Other cast: Edward James Olmos, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, Katee Sackhoff, Michael Hogan, Aaron DouglasTahmoh Penikett
Premiere date: January 15, 2005
Episodes: Appeared in all episodes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Running time: 44 min
When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protect a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony, Earth.
→ The fight to save humanity rages on.
→ Where will you stand?
→ Destiny is not what it seems.
→ The world is over. The fight has just begun.
♥ Though other actresses were considered, the role of Laura Roslin was written especially for Mary McDonnell.
♥ Critical regard for the show was so high that the United Nations held a special symposium (unprecedented for a television show) to discuss the themes of race, gender, sexuality, religion and terrorism on the show and how they related to the modern era. Ronald D. Moore, David Eick, Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos appeared on a special panel hosted by avowed fan Whoopi Goldberg for the presentation.
♥ McDonnell and Olmos have already appeared together in a movie, 12 Angry Men
♦ 1×08 – Flesh and Bone
Yes, I can, and I will. Lieutenant, look at me. You’ve lost perspective. During the time I’ve allowed him to remain alive and captive on this ship, he has caused our entire fleet to spread out defenseless. He puts insidious ideas in our minds, more lethal than any warhead. He creates fear, but you’re right. He’s a machine, and you don’t keep a deadly machine around when it kills your people and threatens your future. You get rid of it.
♦ 1×11 – Colonial Day
Though in war, you only get killed once. In politics it can happen over and over.
♦ 1×12 – Kobol’s Last Gleaming: Part 1
Reality is that the Cylon Raider has been successfully jump-tested. Reality is that Cylon technology obviously outstrips our own. And reality is there is a good chance the Raider can jump all the way back to Caprica and retrieve that arrow and find our way to Earth. The real Earth.
♦ 2×07 – Home: Part 2
Maybe your impulse the day the Cylons attacked was right. Maybe we should have stayed and fought for our homes. Maybe the President of the Colonies should have stayed and fought with her people.
♦ 2×09 – Flight of the Phoenix
After what we’ve been through… it would be very easy to give up, to lose hope ,but not here, not today. This is more than a ship Chief. This is an act of faith. It is proof… that despite all we’ve lost… we keep trying… and we will get through this, all of us, together. I promise
♦ 2×11 – Resurrection Ship: Part 1
Like she said, let’s cut through it. The two of you were willing to go to war today. Do you think she’s going to step down from that? She’s going to bide her time and hit you the first chance she gets. That’s a given. I hate to lay this on you, Bill, but she is dangerous and the only thing that you can do is to hit her before she hits you.
♦ 2×12 – Resurrection Ship: Part 2
Just goes to show you, Bill. Never give up hope.
♦ 3×05 – Collaborators
Thank you all for, once again, entrusting me with this higher office of civil service. Today is a new beginning for all of us. We share a unique destiny, but our future is ours to shape and our past cannot be forgotten. A new day requires new thinking, and while I had intended on using this occasion as an opportunity to announce the formation of a special prosecutor’s office charged with investigating acts of collaboration with the enemy; I have decided instead that a different gesture is called for on this, the first day of my next term as your president. We all feel the need for justice, and we all feel the need for vengeance, and telling the difference between the two can be difficult at times. We are all victims of the Cylons, and none of us can be impartial. I certainly can’t. So today I am forming a commission on truth and reconciliation to hear our stories and record them for posterity. There will be no prosecutions. I am issuing a general pardon for every human being in this fleet. This will not be a popular move today, but I truly believe that is the only way for us to move forward in strength in the spirit of healing and reconciliation. I thank you for your continued patience and courage. Good day.
♦ 3×09 – Unfinished Business
Is this really it, Bill? Is this how we’re gonna spend all the rest of our days? Hmm? I mean enjoy being here on this planet as long as it lasts. I mean, maybe the Cylons come back, maybe they don’t, but for now, right now… We’ve got a break.
♦ 3×15 – A Day in the Life
I’m glad you stopped by. I have something for you. This was given to me by one of the colonists down on New Caprica. And I forgot about it, but Tory found it in a pile old clothes. Don’t let the title fool you. It’s a pretty good mystery. I think you’ll like it. And it’s not a loan, it’s a gift.
♦ 3×20 – Crossroads: Part 2
I don’t want to face them. I don’t want to face any of them. I just want to stay in bed all day and sleep.
♦ 4×04 – Escape Velocity
Thing is it probably is the right thing, but… Sometimes the right thing is a luxury. And it can have profoundly dangerous consequences. And yet it’s almost as if he doesn’t want that to be true…
♦ 4×09 – The Hub
Adama: Missed you.
Roslin: Me too. (They embrace) …I love you.
Adama: (grinning) About time.
♦ 4×12 – A Disquiet follows my Soul
Take your hands off me Bill. (Laura takes his hands away.) I’ve played my role in this farce. A dying leader will guide the people to the blah, blah, blah, frakkin’, blah, blah. I’ve been there, done that, now what. Is there another role that I have to play for the rest of my life?. (Laura put a hand on Bill’s chest) Do you remember what we said on New Caprica?, how we talked about tryong to live for today. You better think about that because maybe tomorrow isn’t really coming. Maybe today is all we have left and maybe, just maybe I’ve earned the right to live a little before I die. Haven’t I?, what do you think?, haven’t I?
♦ 4×13 – The Oath
es he can, and so can you and I’m not getting involved. (Roslin gets up from the sofa) Lee can take care of himself and you can take care of youself and I’m not getting pulled back in.
Ah, the ledgendary Adama silence. I can see right through it. This passive agressive pretense that you’re ok if I don’t get involved.
(hugging Adama) I came her because I don’t want you to worry about me and I know what you have to do. (Roslin kisses Adama through his hair)
♦ 4×18 – Islanded In A Stream Of Stars
It must be tough, saying goodbye to both of your women at once. You must feel like we’re abandoning you. […] It’s amazing how much I still think about it. You know, sometimes I wonder…what home is. is it an actual place? or is it some kind of longing for something, some kind of connection? you know, I spent my whole life on Caprica. I was born in one house, and then I…I moved to another, and then, this. And then, now. I don’t think I’ve ever felt truly at home until these last few months, here, with you. I know you love this ship. you probably love her more than you love me. Bill, if you don’t get us off this ship, you may lose both of us at the same time. Why don’t you give us a chance?
♦ 4×23 – Daybreak
So much life.
I do not believe I exaggerate when I declare that Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos raise their performances to a summit out of reach for most actors by portraying these two mature, hurt, brave, flawed, and terribly beautiful characters. Both actors already knew what it felt like to be Oscar-nominated when they accepted these roles, but their performances as Laura Roslin and Bill Adama should have earned them every award in the industry. – María Traver Andújar
In Mary’s words…
♦ “It’s like a good wine, really. It’s not going away and people continue to discover it and need it and rewatch it and that’s gratifying. But again, you have to have the writer. You have to have the visionary. And if that person loves what they do and is willing to commit to that vision, it will last forever.” [from “Mary McDonnell on Battlestar Galactica popularity: ‘I’m not surprised’” by Justin Harp]
♦ “It’s not easy being Laura,” smiles Mary McDonnell […] “Even though there were these huge dramatic incidents that sort of piled up, I felt the writers did an excellent job of disciplining themselves with Laura,” notes McDonnell. […] “Admittedly it did get a little difficult trying to modulate the cancer. On the one hand you want to show the effects of the disease. It wouldn’t really be fair to the millions of people in real life who suffer from cancer not to reveal its pain through Laura. Conversely, you have to have a president who can function and who you can trust, otherwise it’s hard to back her on some of the tougher issues. That was a tricky balance to achieve and continues to be. As far as how we’re proceeding with her cancer, I’ve no idea what the producers have in mind. For the moment, Laura is happily taking her medication and is in a functioning place. So far this year we haven’t had a big interruption due to her illness, but that will come, I’m sure of it.” [from “Sci-Fi Blast From The Past – Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica)” by Steve Eramo]
♦ [Being asked her favorite episode]
Someone asked me that at the UN event too, and I really don’t. I do have favorite moments where we were all on the set, where the entire ensemble was collected, for example, when we landed on the first Earth… (laughs)… the disastrous Earth…we were all there that day, we were all working together, so this sort of collective consciousness of Battlestar Galactica was assembled on a beach on a cloudy day in Canada. There was something so remarkable about actually being in the presence of everyone who had worked on the show – even a lot of people from LA had come up for that particular event. I remember those moments more vividly than some of the others because I was always so respectfully in awe of the ensemble, and quite often didn’t get to work with a lot of the people who were on the show. As an actress you kind of relish those moments where everyone’s in the same place and you get to observe the ensemble at work. It was really quite exciting. I have many moments like that – I can’t really name one episode. [from ““The Heart of the Female Warrior” – A Sitrep Interview with Mary McDonnell” by Sam J. Miller]
♦ [Being asked her favorite moment]
I can tell you one favorite moment, and it’s sort of an actor’s favorite moment. Because when you’re acting … what you’re really aiming for is when you truly separate from some idea of what you should be doing and you end up living in the moment for a brief period of time. It’s the simplest form of anything you could have thought of. And you wish for those moments.
It’s the moment in which Laura Roslin gave Adama his admiral’s wings, and they’re sitting there and she’s just looking at him, smiling. And there was just something about the way Eddie and I behaved in that scene that when we were doing it felt like we had just slipped into golden times. Nothing had to be talked about, nothing had to be acted, nothing had to be anything. But I also felt like it was the first time I really understood the depth of their love. And it all happened in one moment. So, for me, it’s still a little treasure. I don’t know what it was about that moment, but it was just a treasure. It said everything from the beginning to the end in one moment. [from “A Conversation with Mary McDonnell” by Shannon Baldo]
♦ [Talking about her chemistry with Edward James Olmos]
Well, I take control. [Laughs] I think one of the things I enjoy about this chemistry is that Ed is powerful enough for me. But given the character I had to play, there had to be somebody opposite me who allowed me to be interested in them on every level in order to have this relationship and these power plays that go on. So I’m really deeply grateful that it’s Ed, because he’s a powerhouse. I would not be able to maximize this situation if I wasn’t playing opposite someone that powerful. For me, it’s been a real gift. [from “Event Horizon: ‘Battlestar Galactica’” by Sarah Kuhn]
♦ [On how she approached to Laura Roslin’s character]
That’s a good question. What informed me in the pilot…what I felt was her sense, her very deep sense of responsibility as a teacher; she just transferred it to the fleet. I just started with that, and every time there was a big question for her, I kind of measured it within the context of what would be good for the people. So it was constantly coming back…there were things that she had to make decisions about that she had no preparation for, so the question remained constantly about how to keep the human race alive. It became very simple. [from “Interview: Mary McDonnell [Battlestar Galactica]” by James Rundle]
♦ [On Laura losing her hair because of cancer]
As you can see, I come from really Irish genes and a sort of a big-hair family, and they’ve been important to me. I see it as part of the feminist situation, so it was hard for me to let go of it, much to the frustration of the casting people around me. So, I tried to approach that and sort of sympathize [that] basically Laura has my hair, so she would have a similar attachment. But what Laura taught me that I didn’t anticipate — she was far more deeply invested in an agenda in life, so she had so much less ego than I have and was able to completely free me up. [from “‘Battlestar Galactica’: Presenting the president, Mary McDonnell” by Jevon Phillips]
♦ [On whether she wants Laura to be a cylon or not]
I don’t think about it much. I prefer not to think about it. It’s being asked of me more and more, because now, of course, she does have cylon DNA in her and that’s going to probably be something that we have to deal with sooner or later in some way or another. Would I want her to become a cylon? No, I don’t think so. I think Laura’s function in the show, as far as I can see at the moment, is to hopefully find a way to grow beyond the prejudice towards the cylon, as well as maintain leadership. I think that’s her juggling act. I think that that’s our job on the planet right now, and so I love being positioned to struggle with that issue of being in a position of leadership and knowing you’re trying to survive and trying whenever possible to rise above survival instincts and take the higher road. Can Laura get to the point where she would be fearless enough to allow the cylon to not be the other, to me, that would be an unbelievably exciting growth. If she became a cylon, I cannot even imagine what that would be, so I just don’t think about it. [from “Battlestar Galactica 2k Cast Interviews“]
♦ [On what she learnt from the series]
I learned that I love the creativity of being at the edge of a character and collaborating on who she is and will become. This was my first hour drama, and I felt quite satisfied most of the time. Laura Roslin taught me a great deal about the trade-off that occurs, the constant negotiation between heart and mind that occurs in a woman when operating at the top of the male power structure.
Playing this female president gave me a deep curiosity and profound visceral experience of smart capable women who choose to step into the top job. My respect and admiration for Hillary Clinton, which was already high, grew exponentially (and continues to grow) during my exploration of Laura Roslin. [from “President Roslin Speaks — Q&A With ‘Battlestar Galactica’s’ Mary McDonnell” by Kate O’Hare]
♦ [On her favorite moment of the series finale]
I absolutely loved the idea that Earth was so much more than we thought it could be. And also the idea of dreams informing reality more than we’re willing to admit. You know, I think what the show ultimately was asking was for us all to be more mindful. [from “Mary McDonnell talks ‘Battlestar’ finale” by Jarett Wieselman]