Mark Sheppard answers your questions

From Romo Lampkin in Battlestar Galactica to The Middleman and Firefly - Mark Sheppard has been in so many of our favourite TV shows that we've lost count. We interviewed him earlier in the year but then he kindly offered to take questions from readers as well. You sent in your queries and Mark Sheppard took time out of his busy schedule (his recent roles include Leverage, Dollhouse and Warehouse 13) to share his thoughts...

After the Battlestar Galactica finale, I have to ask: what would you do if you became president of humanity in real life?
Adam Wolcott via email

Sheppard: Taco Fridays!

Do you provide the voice for the Geiko Gekko in the Geico commercials? Also, will you be in more Leverage in season two? Love the series!
Morjana on the SFX website

Sheppard: Yes. Also subbed for Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins" and was the secret third member of "Right Said Fred"... Jim Sterling WILL be back!

How much did you know in advance where and how and what you character was going to end up doing in BSG when you got the part? How about in Dollhouse, how well in secret writers keep the story arc from actors in the show?
Hastur on the forum

Sheppard: Michael Angeli created Romo for me. Ron Moore had wanted to put me on the show the previous year, but it hadn't worked out. I was in Ron's kitchen and said, "Oh, I have something for you. Three episodes of Battlestar." So no idea, really! Dollhouse? everyone is on a "need to know" basis in Joss' world!

Who was your favourite character to play - Badger or Romo Lampkin?
smoth on the SFX website

Sheppard: I think they're both great, but Romo is a little more "formed".

You played in Cock & Bull Story with the late Trevor Goddard for which you won the 1992 LA Drama Critics Circle Lead Performance award. Could you tell us which other plays you acted in, and what is your favourite stage memory?
Mahauthuolong via email

Sheppard: That was it, unfortunately. I never really found anything else I wanted to do. I choked him out cold in the middle of a performance once. Good man. I miss him.

You've mentioned that you'd like to work with Russell T Davies on Doctor Who or Torchwood. Are there any other British shows that you'd like to work on? (And: if Ron Moore had offered you the role of a Viper pilot on BSG, what would you have liked your call sign to have been!)
Chris Slinn via email

Sheppard: I don't think there is anyone who doesn't want to work with him! In The Name Of The Father is the only work I've ever done in the UK, so I'm itching to do something back home... there are so many good shows! The people from Kudos have made some great television - I'd love to work with Jamie Bamber on "Law & Order".

When attending conventions, which show and/or character of yours seems to be the most popular when talking to your fans?
Kyle Harker on the SFX website

Sheppard: Romo and Badger are the most popular so far.

Tell us about your experiences on The Middleman!
Narin on the SFX website

Sheppard: Javier and I are great friends. There isn't much I wouldn't do for him! Sadly, we never got to do the final episode - where I get to be David Warner in "Time Bandits". If you get the chance, watch the Middleman table read-throughs... hilarious!

Those last scenes of Battlestar Galactica, where you all land on the new Earth, are beautiful. Where was it shot?
Grace Farber via email

Sheppard: Kamloops, BC, Canada . Definitely one of the prettiest places in North America. We shot on a vast private ranch complete with bears!

How far in advance did you know what the ending of Battlestar would be?
R Corey via email

Sheppard: As soon as Ron finished the script.

Saw you on Medium and thought the character was creepy, clever and fun to watch – would you go back to play that character again?
Tony from Manchester via email

Sheppard: As Glen Gordon Caron says, "We can't kill you, you're already dead!"

What's the most extreme thing you've had to do for a role?
Hels on the SFX website

Sheppard: Standing in for that Donkey was pretty extreme...

What are your memories of the wonderful X-Files episode, "Fire", 15 years ago, where you gave a chilling (no pun intended) performance?
Gaspar Garção from Portugal on the forum

Sheppard: They weren't even guaranteed a full season at that point, so it was very fresh and exciting, the energy was incredible.

Would you have voted for your character to become President in Battlestar Galactica if he was up for election in less disturbing/horrifying circumstances?
Sam on the SFX website

Sheppard: Of course. The last sane man in the universe.

Is there a show on air right now that you'd really like to do a guest spot on? (Also, what makes you laugh and where are you ticklish?)
Josephine on the SFX website

Sheppard: There are so many left to do... and mind your own business!

Do you remember when you used the little mechanical hand wound apple peeler prop on Firefly? Did you think is was the coolest thing ever and did you, even for a minute, consider pocketing it?
Kudos on the SFX website

Sheppard: 'Twas a little large to fit in a pocket! Actually, you can still buy them at hardware stores.

During your youth when you were playing in bands you seem to have gone by the nickname "Empire". So why "Empire"?
Sandra ("IguanaMom" aka "Romocentric") on the SFX website

Sheppard: The "Empire State Human" was a Human League single in the early '80s about a boy that grew very fast. Personally, I went from 5'3" to 5'10" in my late teens... it just stuck.

I have heard from other fans of BSG how they believe some characters such as Adama, Roslin, Lee, etc. represented a different aspect of human nature. What did Romo Lampkin represent to you?
MalteseCrichton/Meghan on the SFX website

Sheppard: Like Daffy Duck, I think Romo represents our realisations.

A big thank you to Mark Sheppard for taking the time out to answer some of your questions here on the website.

Look out for other opportunities to quiz other actors and authors, either in the pages of the magazine, online, or live at the SFX Weekender event next year.

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