Gigi Edgley at Starfury Defiant Convention 2002
Ladies and Gentlemen - GIGI EDGLEY! (cue music, thunderous applause)
Oh, my gosh. Thank you so much for having me here, you've no idea how. If you could dive into my presence right now and feel this little heart .. aaaaaaahhhh (sighs). Thank you so much.
I was having a chat with Luke the other night when I was watching people dancing and enjoying it (laughter from crowd); you guys!; and say, so hi to mum and dad, and I swear they're not gonna think I was working over here at all.
Ehm, I did a convention in Kings Cross, Sydney. At this point I was living with my parents 'cause I'd actually come back from Mexico, hanging with Claudia Black and we were extremely broke (laughs). So I had to move home for a while in the last hiatus. Went down to work on a convention in the Cross and they said 'What ya doin'?' so I said 'Going down to work on a convention' he said 'In the Cross, yeah sure. What kind of work is it?' So what I did was call him up when I was on stage to let the fans speak to him; like 'Hi Mr.Edgley' and I rang him up and said 'Dad!' and he says 'Hang On!' and he put me on hold. So he thought I just came back from a big weekend in The Cross. So, what I did was yesterday morning (was it yesterday morning?), yes, I wrote him a letter and I thought maybe I'd read a bit to you guys to understand what this trips been like from the land of Gigi. So are you interested?
(Guess the response!)
Now all I've got to do is (cringes) reeeeeaaaad! (Picks up her diary) Maybe should have learned my lines. Dum-dum-da . Da-Da-Da Da (theme to Superman hummed (just in case you didn't get it from that)). OK,Dear Ma and Pa and Sash and Cap and Jake and Mark and Lollipop and Teddy Bear (That's all my family. Lollipops my grandma and Teddy Bears my uncle) and all my freaking fairie friends. It's six am London time and I feel great . And punch drunk, and giggly as you do! And I want to let you know that I'm well and I'm safe and I love you all more than life itself. But I'm not coming home because this place ROCKS!
(laughter and cheers from audience)
Not that I've seen much more than the hotel and the buffet breakfast; which I must say is really lush! And I'm laughing out loudly at a table for one at a buffet breakfast somewhere in London. Last night the posse that organised Starfury took me to White Child (or is that Child of White?), apparently it's Lenny Kravitz's favourite hangout. Not that I noticed because I was too busy keeping awake. I've worked out some of Dads moods; it's called Lag of the Jet. Or, as other people like to properly refer to it, Jetlag extravaganza and it kinda goes like (makes hand sweep) under the bridge.
I just got a call sheet from work and they want to pick me straight up from the airport and take me straight to work to do a couple of scenes and some dubbing over which I think is really mean. And I think they're in for a rude shock because I can barely get words out at this! The plane trip was long and scary and blue and giggly and I've realised that some people don't like to laugh that much - especially in Business Class!
(laughter from audience)
I'll have some fries with a cheeseburger! Saw the sunset as we flew over Vagas, the sky was the colour of blue green like the colour of a little girls eyes in a fairytale. A beautiful blue, aqua, turquoise, green. The lady sitting next to me was hassling the airhostess because they didn't have the kind of champagne that she liked and the man across the aisle was quite disturbed about the fact that the complementary socks they had were blue and not black. I quietly giggled at the sunset and realised at this point that I was imaginary and we must be make believe. I got to the hotel after a 24-hour flight and for some reason my credit card doesn't want to work - I'd be good at that too. I've yet to figure what I'm going to do about that one but I figure if I've got my legs to cut the rug and I've got my heart to falls madly in love with passing sunsets that somehow I'll get by.
(Audience gives a massive awwwwww!)
Wow! I saw a beautiful statue that made me feel warm and tingly and I want to go into town later to see the things that please this little wanderer. I love you guys with all my heart and, with every beat of my heart, make you proud. Wish you were here . And can you please call me because I don't have any money!!!!! (giggles)
(Audience laughs, cheers, etc.)
OK, LET'S PLAY!!!!!! You got any questions?
(At this point it's worth pointing out that there are two stewards roaming the auditorium with microphones)
I'm sure everybody wants to know about this holiday in Mexico .
Let's just say I can't remember much, so it must have been grrrreat! That's all I'm saying or I'll get whipped by Claudia Black - which isn't a bad thing. We had a really fantastic time. We got spotted, Claud got spotted a few times, so I tell her that I can't hang out with her anymore because she's a dead giveaway. We had a really nice time because we got to climatise before we got to the States but I came back smiling .. and very broke. Next question please ..
How did you feel as a young actress taking on a very, can I say amoral part . kind of a grey, in every sense of the word, character?
I'm not like that at all at all (gives many shifty glances to audience). Not at all (giggles). It's fantastic because I think Chiana is a lot more courageous than I am. On the set at work, if you can imagine, I'm a lot more cheeky and it's very challenging working on the set with people that have been working in the industry for a lot longer than you have been there for and are masters of the art. The chemistry on set and the ambience of play on set is fantastic and you get a lot of artistic license to fool around. And that you do! (giggles) After a long day, and after you've been in make-up for a while and you have to do a very intimate scene with an extra that doesn't know the show or with somebody who's just come on to do a guest part or Alex Demitrianus (swoons) . It is very challenging but it's . you've got to remind yourself that you're there to tell a story and look at the bigger picture and that is to surrender to the story because ultimately the be all and end all, what we do is for the people out there. Yeah?
Hey up! Chiana in Season 4. Are we going to see some more?
Yes you are!
(cheers from audience)
Boyz, where do I start? She's, I've been going, as Sean said yesterday it's been really challenging to get me, I've been going back and forwards as Chiana and Gigi and trying to convince producers, dressed as an alien, that I need to go to the UK. (giggles) And Chiana, I refer to her as she, because, at the end of the day, I see myself more as Chiana than me so it sometimes does get very bleary eyed and you're constantly looking at yourself in the mirror as an alien because you wake up at 4 o'clock in the morning, you drive into work, every morning I make a wish on a star and thank my lucky soul for the blessings I've been treated with. Go in and the make-ups now been cut down to 2 and a half hours every day so it's a LOT easier than when it was 3, 3 and a half hours that it's been for the past 2, 3 years and, ehm, this series she's, there's some really nice, NICE juicy character choices that they've allowed me to have and Mr.Browder's written another script and we get to play big on that which has been fantastic. We've just finished shooting that and I've still got some bits to finish on that so that's the first thing I'll be going back to do when I . (turns to stewards and shrugs) Tomorrow? Yes, tomorrow night I'll be going back. So, now I'm thinking about going on set as Chiana thinking I'm meant to be on stage speaking to you guys! (giggles)
So, yes, we've got given some fantastic when we were on a break, David came over and said 'OK, This is what I want' I went in and resurfaced the more dangerous side of Chiana and the more curious side and it seems like I really want to break down the characters again. But you get very, you'll be shooting all day, sometimes you can get into other things and you forget to embrace every single situation in every single scene. So, sitting on set the other day and we had to go into starburst and I remember when starburst was like (staggers all over the stage) now, we starburst and go (jigs shoulders and head) (laughter from audience). So, most of the time you'll see D'Argo, Crichton and Aeryn and they'll be starbursting like this (jig) and Chiana'll be in the background (stagger) (more laughter). I'm constantly trying to remind myself running on so little sleep to take the little blessings that are given throughout the day so if I'm a bit teary or a bit emotional or a bit angry or I go a bit too far, I say 'Gigi, what are you doing?' then I reach out to the universe and realise that I've invited this situation into my life and maybe try to use it in Chiana, so, back to the question .
Yes, you'll be seeing a lot more of Chiana and yes, she's getting a lot more .. I'm trying to endow her with a lot more alien characteristics and being truthful to that. Because you forget sometimes it's a Henson show and I grew up watching 'Dark Crystal' and 'Labyrinth' and acting out the characters and now I get paid to do them! Fantastic!
I must say that you are an exceptionally good looking part of the show (Gigi butts in with an 'Ooooh, isn't that cool!) What's Ben Browder like on set and would you mind me swapping places with you?
The American chunk of hunk!
It's fantastic. He did an interview with Dreamwatch and it's phenomenal the way it is these days on set, just fantastic. At first he was quiet, seemed like he was intimidated by us Aussies can't imagine why? He's fantastic to work with and I had my first scene when I was doing the audition process down around seven, and he came in, and we had a scene and I was acting out a scene and half way through the scene Ben changes it. I was like 'What are you doing?!' and they really wanted to know if I could go there and reach the character. In the end, I really wanted the part, so, bless him. Every actor on that show is is phenomenal, really is and you learn to pretty much push each others buttons and you will go into a scene and even though it doesn't seem like it you will play, you will push each other until you get there. Sometimes the outcomes are quite shocking and it's nice because it's very easy to fall into a stereotype of an alien (whatever that is!(giggles)) or the more acting side of it as in making it real because at one of the conventions in the States I was saying 'You're on three hours sleep, then you stare in with a smile and say 'I'm an alien', and by next week I might not be working anymore, I know that! And I'm like 'What the Hell am I doing here?'' But it's fantastic and if you can put all the things in your life to relate slightly to that to tell the story and pursue the truth of the same and your intention is fantastic. That said (giggles), I'm very lucky at this stage of my life, my career to be in a show this satisfying. And thank you so much because I wouldn't be here unless it was for you guys; thank you!
(rapturous applause from audience)
Hey! Do we ever get to see Chiana butt naked (should point out, this question came from a girl (NOT us guys!))?
(in little girl's voice) It's just Gigi, if only I was in makeup . Ammmmmm . Stay tuned is all I'll say to that one. Next!
Hi! You're up for a Saturn prize and you mentioned 'Labyrinth' which starred Jennifer Connelly. Are you going to try to conquer Hollywood and how do you like the sound of Gigi Edgley, Best Supporting Actress?
Gigi Edgley, who's that?
Oh, it's me! This is going to sound incredibly corny, but feel that if I'm loving life and I'm learning then wherever I am is good, no matter what. Because what are we if people are stuck to a locker in the middle of nowhere and they think they're stuck to that? But as soon as we start aiming too high, of course you've got to have your dreams in life and yes, I have many, you focus on a destination too much. Reminds me of the cliff-hanger - we shot for two days without a script because everyone was trying to make it the best cliff-hanger ever - and we forgot about the journey. That's what makes it the best part when you blow smoke over it as opposed to when you're looking at the bigger picture but to focus too much on a goal and getting there.
I was trying to lie back on the journey here, going (do-do-do-do-do (go up an note on each)), but instead I was just trying to enjoy (stop laughing!) every moment along the way because when you actually get here it's phenomenal, let me tell ya! So, who knows what's to come, who knows? See how we go . (shrieks!)
Aaagh! I tried to stay up to watch the Oscars but I didn't even make it to the Best Animation, I was like too tired. I woke up the other night and we were having a talk on set about the chairs, y'know, the chairs that actors sit in because it's easier for touching with all the prosthetics and costumes and we were ordering stuff and it was fun because it was a rollover day that you have in your head when it comes up in dreams and so, that night, I woke up and I was sitting on my lounge going (English accent) 'this is a nice chair' (laughter). I'm a bad sleepwalker and a sleeptalker and I started off when I moved to Sydney living in a three bedroom house with five kids, including me, it was actors and musicians all and I would talk to them more in my sleep when I started Farscape than when I was awake because they never saw me. I'd wander in and they'd go 'Hi Gigi!' (trance like stare) (laughter) 'Cooking again are you Gigi?' (trance). So .. next.
Hi! I was wondering, Chiana's posture, is that totally your own creation or one that the studio wanted?
Look what's happened to me! (adopts Chiana posture) I was in this clothes shop the other day and I was trying on clothes and I was gasping for air. I went into my first day on set and, stop me if any of you guys have heard this story before because I get confused with everyone and jetlag and everything on top, but first day on set, woke up at 3 o'clock in the morning, did my voice warm ups, la,la,la,la,la (as before) - then we got evicted two weeks later because of all the suspicious sounds coming from my room, and my roommates weren't very happy at all - and, um, got picked up and make-up at that stage was five and a half hours (ooohs! From audience) - nice - so by the time I got out of make-up I had no voice whatsoever, so much for the voice warm up. Went to wait at the side of the set to check it out and feel the vibe because I'm so scared and, um, then they had lunch because the set was pushed back. Then after lunch, the agent came out and said 'Well, thank you very much, Miss Edgley, we're finished with you' and what am I gonna tell my dad, I've been fired on my first day!(laughter) What happened was they'd blown up part of the set - welcome to the Uncharted Territories - so I stayed in make-up all day, said 'do you mind if I go back to my room, have a break?'. I had no idea to the extent of what the make-up was going to be like and the first couple of make-up tests . First time I was taken on set and I met Virginia and Claud and most of the directors and a couple of the producers, this was after a five hour make-up test and they'd put ink blue all over contact lenses just to see what it would look like. It looked like a haze of blue, everything was blue, so dark blue, so I'm walking onto set (staggers forward with arms outstretched), ow like that! Trying to find the producers hand, and you can imagine what THAT was like! (laughter from audience) They were thinking, 'where have you got this girl from?'. So, when I realised the extent of the make-up and how much you're blessed with which, when you walk on set, it's all there for you and sometimes I think a lot as I'm learning and as I go with the lessons more you learn that the stillness is your friend.
(Suddenly switches to cartoon voice) Whaddya mean?
So, the moves and the framework all came from in here somewhere and all pretty much from that first day. It was a very simple thing, I'd done a few moves a day when I was a student of dance but that was a good seven years ago. Then I went through Uni and used to watch one of my favourite dance companies and you've got such a license to play. A few days on set and Ben said 'Oh, I think David wants to speak to you' and I'm like (child voice again) 'Who's that' he says 'That's the producer' and I'm 'Is he important?'. I walked upstairs and it was a conference call, dressed up in all this make-up, all you want to do is itch, but you can't. Like 'Gigi! Sorry!. Now they give me a powder puff on set so when I want to itch I use the powder puff.
And he said (American accent) 'Y'know, I don't know what yer doin' but we luv it and keep it up and y'know, y'just might stick around!' So, here we are today - shriek!
Got a frivolous question now. OK, most of the time you've been on as Chiana, we've seen her in grey and black, grey and black. Have you ever thought about asking for a costume change? Different colours maybe?
Tell me about it! I went to work on Beastmaster and I had six costumes - SIX!!!! I've been working on Farscape for three years (points finger in air) one costume. Actually, I'll defend it, there's this very, very interesting costume change - it's very bizarre, it's very tricky because every single costume you come into contact with, the make-up runs off. Doing stunt moves and stuff like that, it's really quite tricky because you do three and a half hours in make-up, do one rehearsal and half of it has rubbed off. When you just want to focus on the scene or talk to the actor or the director about the scene or your emotional motivation or anything to do with the days work and you've got ten or so people, not ten, let's say three, people flumping around up your nose and in your ear and something in and something out. It gets by the end of the day that I don't know what colour I am, sort of coming left, right and centre (shrieks!).
Now it's great being able to walk around and not have anybody following you, just me and my powder puff. So, when we did the latest costume change, yeah, it was crazy and we had to do a 20 minute touch up after every single take and the producers were just going nuts because on Farscape you're trying to shoot a feature in a regular TV show so schedules get quite challenging. It's scary when it starts affecting your work and you really just want to be there, getting your lines out and be truthful to the story. At the moment we're shooting 3 different episodes at the same time and doing AVR for two different ones and the coverage is 'So, I've just kissed you and now we're fighting huh?' So, what on Earth's going on? It is fantastic, I wouldn't give it up for anything. You do find a totally different way of working just to maintain . We work in warehouses rather than sound stages so about 90% of it is dubbed over which is fantastic because you get a half-day off and you can get some beauty sleep or paint the house or wash your clothes or whatever. Hopefully there will be lots more cozzie changes but let's hope they lay up on the make-up (giggles)!
Gigi is quite an unusual name. Is there any French in your background or ancestry?
(French accent) Ah oui oui, monsieur!
I wish! My names cultural but I'm not! When I was born, mum and dad were expecting a boy, so I was Bruce for six months. And I don't know where they got Gigi from out of Bruce. So, not as of yet . like a bit of French in me, um . Next!
Hi Gigi! As part of one of the UK message boards, I've had to put up with three years of the women there drooling over Ben Browder all the time and because the ladies here today can't turn around and take the hump, I'd just like to say on behalf of myself and, I'm sure, many men here, just how beautiful you are. (massive cheers from (the male) audience). Basically my question is: one of my favourite episodes is 'Taking The Stone'. I was just wondering, the hairstyle. How did it come about and how long did it take you to get it back to normal?
That's me before make-up in the morning! I pushed for dreadies because the make-up's so long and the touch ups on the hair, it seems really silly but, the look of Chiana's got a lot more back to Durka Returns is. Which is a lot more spunky, a bit more feral and a bit more ratbagette. So one day, we changed her slightly and we ended up with a kinda stylised alien move like this (strikes pose) and the hair (static) where nothing actually moved! So, now I . Have forgotten the question .
(Laughter from audience)
Something about hair?
The dreadlocks came from my hair dressed in mud so by the end of the day there were bits snapping off (giggles). But it was fantastic and low maintenance and it was really fun to play with and it was done around my birthday time too. It was nice to have a big juicy act to channel into. Tony Haig, the guy who played (looks quizzical and can't remember character name) . is a close great mate of mine as well so it was a real treat to play with him and when you get a part that will read as alien as well, it's great and you get to kip in the sandbox and you get to teach him how the lines work. Suddenly, I don't feel like the new kid so much, I know it sounds silly but I still feel as if I'm the kid in the class, really young. However, eee ahy ohd rye (Gigi looses herself somewhat) am I in Australia, UK, Vegas ? (giggles) That plane (one had just passed overhead), it just took me back (giggles)
I was on set with Ben the other day, and during his episode there's a 35-piece sword fight. He'll do it and we'll set a clock and I got woken up about four, and picked up from work it's a very tricky thing as well when you're working on set and you haven't had very much sleep and you're dropping lines and stuff like that. And you've got these people who are amazing at their job and (voice shifts up octave in sarcasm) if I had an audience I'd be SO much better! (giggles) So, everyday I come up with some new and improved ways to really commit to each one and really play with her and to have people as guests who come on set and it's really fun because we're taking about the kids or the shopping and then suddenly it's 'Action!' and (strikes Chiana pose) that's me in the corner (does stagger from starburst). (laughter from audience). Having to play that sort of set is just fantastic as well.
Hi Gigi! (GIGI: Hello.) We've seen some of your circus skills before on the wirework. Are we going to see more of them?
I hope so. It's fantastic to try and bring some of my other things to her but a lot of the time we're getting the scripts a day before we have to shoot them at the moment which is REALLY hard. I was speaking to David Kemper and he told me that at the start of the last series Chiana would start to have visions and one of these visions would be a near death experience so all through Season 3 she's looking a bit angsty, that's what's going on in her head, and then all of a sudden we get the cliff-hanger and I'm like (looks bemused) 'Hey David, yeah . what about that near death thing?' and he's 'Nah, we decided that was scrapped' Oh my God! So that was the whole series gone! So, we'll see how we go I hope so
There was the episode where Chiana and Jools seem to be getting pretty close. There's rumours that something might be developing there .
(all innocent) I have no idea what you mean . (cheers, laughter and applause from audience)
She's an alien, she can go anywhere. I once did some work in Aus as a lesbian doctor so I had a bit of (throws head back in mock ecstasy) - Uh!! (suddenly consumed with pretend (I reckon) irritation) Anyway, next question!
From the crew of Moya, as Chiana of course, who's the best kisser. Which one smelled the nicest and tasted the nicest?
Oooooooh . wish I was back in make-up now. Tell you what, I can't tell you who, but I can tell you about a few incidents. Kissing with D'Argo it's weird. You get in there with tentacles and eyebrows and it's not particularly romantic. And prosthetics taste odd, really odd and with the tentacles (did I say that right, better watch myself ) (huge laughter from audience) ehm ehm (all embarrassed). I'll tell you what else is funny, in 'Taking The Stone' what we were meant to do in this episode was come in for a kiss and then she was meant to pull back, slap him, he would blink and then she was supposed to go in on him again. Once again it was at the end of the day, it was all about time and I really wasn't feeling sexy and raunchy. They covered me in gold and red and a lot of white and black and a lot of people who come onto the show forget that there's make-up and you have to watch out for it and stuff because any kind of intimacy and it all comes off and it's like half your face is suddenly on the other guy (giggles) and it's like half your head's fallen off (laughter from audience). Suddenly make-up's 'Leave it, leave it! I'm here, I'm here!' and then we can't do the take. So, he comes in for the kiss, then pulls back and he's covered in white and I've got black and green and we're going really sensual . you should really see the rushes, it's very, very surreal and very, very funny. It's always exciting and challenging on the day. We haven't had pictures and things for a while so maybe that's why? But not everybody on Moya's a great kisser, I'm not going to incriminate myself by saying why!
Chiana's got a killer high kick. Where did that come from?
Hey, what! Comes from me really, all that dancing training. Most of it's a wireact now but it gets some mojo on set so I'm happy about that (giggles).
As a member of the UK Sandbox, what's happened to the Gigi Edgley website and is it going to come back?
What HAS happened to the Gigi Edgley website? It's all about to change, it's nice to have a website, though it's all happening inside out but we're getting there. We've been trying to bring it back but what's happens is everyone wants to go free reign on it and I couldn't keep up with it and I've got too much on to work on it at the moment. Stay tuned, we're getting there any good ideas . It's very, very tricky just to try to get through the day with the episodes as well and I'm required to answer my fanmail but I don't mind that because you guys are what I'm here for. So, I don't want to upset you guys, but a quiet moment is what I have to be impulsive about a quiet moment and to be really positive but . some people were getting really upset and I want to be able to treat everyone equally and get to everyone as well so, we're getting there
If it was all going to end tomorrow, what would you see in the future?
I'd teach and I'd travel, I'd grow my wings no matter what. I would really like to get back into theatre, because this is where I always expected I'd be where it's really spontaneous in situations like this, where the crowds do the hard work and you've got to live for the moment. You can't just go 'No! No! That's not it. Let's do another take!' That's where I fell in love with acting and playing and its pain. With my dad, in the shadows at the side of the set, watching the Tall Mondeans or the Bolshoi Ballet and look up to Marcel Merceau seeing these people able to portray and manifest what is in peoples hearts and what is in peoples minds and what is in peoples brains is a great and beautiful blessing. If I can get back into theatre then that's what I would do if it was all to end tomorrow. (voice shifts up again) IS IT????!!!! Is that what you believe????!!!! (giggles) No matter what, I want to be happy, I want to be learning and I want to stay truthful to this story of mine and . and ..
(Sean Harry walks onto stage)
(audience responds with chorus of jeers for mine host)
~ Transcription feat acheived by Stuart ~