As SyFy’s Caprica came back to us with season 1.5 this week, we can see the Tauron Ha’La’Tha becoming involved in the Cylon story. One of the most intriguing aspects of this Battlestar Galactica prequel series is not only exploring the history of the Cylons and but also revealing the dynamics behind the people who contributed to the creation of a sentient robot race.
I had the great opportunity to speak to actor Sasha Roiz who plays Sam Adama, a formidable enforcer for the Tauron mafia and uncle to William Adama, in a SyFy Q&A recently. We talked about his role in Caprica’s sci-fi mafia and the Adama family. Check out our conversation below:
[Above: Esai Morales and Sasha Roiz as Joseph and Sam Adama respectively]
SciFi Mafia: Hey Sasha. How are you?
Sasha Roiz: SciFi Mafia, how perfect. I’m great. How’re you doing?
SciFi Mafia: I’m good! Well actually along those same lines, the portrayal of the Taurons seem to have a very heavy ethnic and Mafia-like slant.
Sasha Roiz: Yes.
SciFi Mafia: Why do you think the writers chose this for the background of the Adama family? And what did you do to prepare for the role of Sam Adama?
Sasha Roiz: I can’t speak for the writers. I think, just based on my own intuition, it’s probably lends itself really well to you have such a noble character like William Adama and then coming from such a background, I think it’s a very interesting journey for that family and this particular character and his storyline.
How did he go from such a dark and criminal past to becoming who he did and who he became lather. And so I think that’s probably very interesting to watch, as opposed to somebody who was born into that.
[And to prepare for the role,] you know what? I read a few books actually on a lot of the different ethnic mobs back in the early part of the 20th century from the Jewish mob to the Irish mob and the Italian mob and it was very interesting. And, it was very enlightening because you just see these people who – they didn’t come over to enact violence, they were left no choice because they were just simply not being accepted in the society.
And so, with no hope and no options, they just created their own laws and their own systems of laws. I kind of look towards that as my inspiration for the background to this family. That was very helpful.
[Above: Sasha Roiz, Sina Najafi, and Esai Morales as Sam, William, and Joseph Adama respectively]
SciFi Mafia: Well, good! And so in Caprica where now it’s showing how closely the Adama family is to the Cylon story, do you think their background is what gives the Adamas the strength to deal with what they’re faced with? And also how does your character influence the boy that grows up to be Admiral Adama?
Sasha Roiz: You know what? I don’t really generally know how to answer that the – how does he influence it. Well no, because the thing is I think it’s more interesting for audiences to tie the knots and see the connections because I can only imagine so many different people and so many different experiences will influence him.
And, there’ll be so much more life for him to live until we sort of discover him later on, and so many things and catastrophes that will befall this world and all the, you know, all the things that he will undergo. So I don’t know how personally but I think that’s – generally I leave it to the fans to kind of connect those dots.
But – and you asked about the family, how we’re able to cope with the whole Cylon…
SciFi Mafia: Yes, through the generations, how Sam and Joseph Adama are dealing with that versus how William will deal with it later.
Sasha Roiz: Right. Well I think we’re all we’re seeing right now is sort of just the outset of this whole Cylon creation and the effect that it’s going to have in our world. So right now, Joseph and I have no idea what it’s capable of. I mean we’re really quite naïve. Only Daniel Graystone really knows the capabilities. And even he will be left, you know, surprised by some of the things that happened.
But – so, I mean Sam specifically is completely old school. I mean you can see it in the car he drives and the way he lives, like he’s very like technologically inept. So a Cylon to him is far more than he can understand. But he certainly can understand how to use these things to benefit him or benefit the things he believes in. And so that’s the thing. That’s where the tug of war [between the Ha’La’Tha and Daniel Graystone over the technology] comes in [and] is like how can I use this to benefit what I believe in and that’s where his relationship to the Cylon begins and ends.
SciFi Mafia: The reason why I ask about the family background is because it seems like the Taurons are very, very family-oriented people. How does the tight knit family background give Bill Adama his strength later to battle the Cylons?
Sasha Roiz: Oh yes, yes. Absolutely. No. I think without a doubt I mean the one thing that you see certainly for Bill is like no matter how odd this family might seem or how fractured at times or even the tragedy that they went through in the first half with the loss of the wife and daughter (Shannon and Tamara Adama), it’s a very strong family unit. I mean family comes first. His family’s there for him.
And that’s certainly not the case with the other characters we’ve seen, the other young characters we’ve seen, you know, where their families are completely fractured. And so there is that one element in his life that in spite of everything that might be going on, I think he has a sense of family. His family will be there no matter what. And I think that’s certainly – certainly is a place of strength for him.
SciFi Mafia: Excellent. Thank you so much, Sasha! We can’t wait for the new episodes of Season 1.5.
Sasha Roiz: Thank you so much, appreciate it.
Watch Caprica on SyFy, Tuesdays at 10/9C.