MUCH TABOO IN BABYLON
The beautiful Claudia Christian was born in Glendale, just outside of Hollywood. Though her family moved to Connecticut a few years later, the acting bug was already a genetic certainty. Claudia began her acting career at the tender age of five, and has not stopped working since. Perhaps this is a result of being a middle child between three older brothers and two younger sisters. Two brothers are genetic engineers, the third a veterinarian, while her grandfather was a surgeon.
Not that Claudia suffers from any shortage in the talent stakes; she speaks three languages, plays piano and guitar, and has already released four albums. (She wrote the music and lyrics on her first album, Taboo.) Claudia has also directed episodes of Heartbreak Cafe, yet she still finds time to act: a mere forty films and a couple of hundred hours of TV are testimony to her strong work ethic. In a little more than two decades, Claudia has starred opposite an amazing array of acting talent ranging from recent films opposite Steven Berkoff, Mark Ducascos and Ruta Lee, to classic Hollywood legends like Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Faye Dunaway. When you add contemporary stars like George Clooney, Nic Cage and Sharon Stone to the mix, you begin to realise the depth and range of Claudia’s work since her 1984 debut in Dallas.
Claudia’s screen-time alone has garnered numerous accolades including twice nominated for the prestigious Saturn Awards, in recognition of her career-defining role as Captain Ivanova on Babylon 5. Claudia’s work recording audio books also led to her being a part of the ensemble cast who won the Golden Headset Award for the final installment of the Ann Manx Series. In fact, Claudia’s VO work is now extends to her role as the fairy godmother on Shrek 2 to radio and TV adverts for Jaguar automobiles. Oh, and along the way Claudia just happened to be voted the sexiest woman in sci fi by SFX Magazine in 1998. The latter before doing a sensuous and highly popular spread for Playboy Magazine in 1999.
A move to Britain in 2005 saw Claudia’s already successful career take some fresh twists and turns making her British stage debut at the Edinburgh Festival where she was nominated for a best actress award. Further south in London, Claudia had already turned her hand to comedy in the John Morton’s six-part satire, Broken News.
Nor has Claudia left the past behind. Soon we will be able to read a new novel, Baptism of Fire, based on the hit series Babylon 5. A book written between movies Claudia has filmed in places as diverse as Golden Oaks Ranch, California, Bucharest and Serbia (can you confirm whether Claudia filmed in Serbia, please Holly? Or any other exotic locations of late?)
In the last few years, Claudia has created two official websites, one for the fans and ones for her company Zard productions. Both sites possess great info, numerous photos, music, video and links for her many fans. I caught up with Claudia recently and put a few questions to her about her career, which she has graciously answered below...
David: Do you recall when it was that you signed your first autograph and how you felt at the time?
Claudia: I signed my first autograph at the age of five, after a thrilling performance in the school's Thanksgiving play... :)
David: What has been one of your funniest or most unusual moments working on a film or TV set?
Claudia: There were a lot of funny moments on the set of Babylon 5, getting stuck in a Starfury during an earthquake was perversely humorous...
David: During your career, which actors have you enjoyed working with the most?
Claudia: My favourite actors have been the cast of Babylon 5.
David: Did you ever turn down a movie you wish you had made, or perhaps missed making a particular film for reasons beyond your control?
Claudia: I never turn down work unless it is illegal or illicit.... And I never miss work for anything, I LOVE to work!
David: Which of your movie or TV roles remains your personal favourite, and which one do you think represents your best work? Which role do your fans ask you about the most?
Claudia: I like Hexed the best, I think I am at my best in True Rights and people ask me about B5 the most
David: Do you collect movie memorabilia or autographs, and if so what are some of your favourite treasures?
Claudia: No, I've never been a collector.
David: If any person in history could sign a photo for you, which person would you ask and what would you like them to say in their dedication to you?
Claudia: Bach, and I would like him to sign it "Hey baby! Thanks for letting me provide the soundtrack to your life!"
David: Which autograph/sci fi convention is your favourite and do you have any funny stories relating to a fan’s request?
Claudia: Any convention in an exotic location is always fun… Israel was fun, Australia... and, of course, Dragon Con is always a hoot. A fan shot me, is that funny?
David: Could you share with us some of your favourite films, books, musos and actors?
Claudia: I read a lot, so that's like asking a mom who their favorite child is. I love historical fiction, history, plain fiction and big epic historically based films. I don't like many actors on TV, probably out of jealousy, I'm sure... :) I am convinced that I am a better actress than the majority.... Must be my ego, my mom was very nice to me....
David: When you’re not making films, what hobbies or pastimes bring you the most joy?
Claudia: I enjoy reading, listening to music, making music, cooking and hiking in the great outdoors... I live in LA and London, so I have some beautiful places to choose from…
David: Do you enjoy acting, directing, writing or singing most of all? And will you ever find a way to incorporate all of these skills into a single project?
Claudia: I enjoy acting the most. I just do the rest of that stuff out of frustration and boredom, whilst waiting for the powers that be, to hire me for what I was meant to do!
David: Is there a particular story from your life or your career, which you believe best sums up the person you are today?
Claudia: I technically died in a car accident when I was 18 and I recall thinking "Wait a minute, I haven't done everything yet!" That kind of sums up my life...I always think I'm behind in the grand check off list!
(c) David Priol 2007