Sex in space not as glamorous as you think, 'Defying Gravity' star says
Ty Olsson takes his research very seriously.
To prepare for his new role as Rollie Crane on "Defying Gravity," the actor spent two weeks in space.
"Just to check things out and see what it was like. It's trickier than you think and expensive. I need at least six seasons to make up what it cost me to go to space for two weeks," he says with a laugh.
Olsson is kidding, of course, but says he has taken more of an interest in space travel, which includes the recent Endeavour mission with fellow Canadian Julie Payette, since landing the role on the new dramatic series.
In "Defying Gravity," Olsson's character Rollie was initially sent on the spaceship Antaras, along with seven other astronauts on a six-year mission to explore the planets, but a mysterious heart murmur sent him back to Earth to be stationed at mission control.
"I was concerned at first that maybe it wouldn't be (as much fun to play a character on the ground) but it's turning out to be great. I'm really pleased with the storyline that my character Rollie goes through."
Olsson is glad his character still got to travel to space in the premiere episode and experience some of what life without gravity has to offer.
One scene, in particular, had Rollie and his wife Jen (played by Canadian actress Christina Cox) sharing an intimate moment after removing their libido-suppressing HALOS. "Sex in space" was definitely an interesting experience, says Olsson.
"I actually have a real life wife so I have to be careful when I talk about (that)," he says with a laugh. "It's a lot of trickery of course ... we're about to make love and as we drop off our suits we lose gravity and we're supposed to float up," says Olsson, who adds the scene wasn't quite as romantic to film.
"Everyone wants to imagine that we've been shackled up to these harnesses and lifted by a gigantic crane against a humongous green screen and the truth is for that particular shot I was sitting on the end of a camera dolly."
Relationships are at the heart of "Defying Gravity" and Olsson says "'Grey's Anatomy' in Space," as it has been coined by series creator James Parriott, is a pretty fitting description.
Olsson says it will be interesting to see how things unfold with Rollie and Jen, who has to continue on the mission without him. Olsson says it's like being in the "ultimate long-distance relationship."
"It adds for a lot of tension, a lot of drama and a lot of places to go with the storyline."
Olsson thinks "Defying Gravity" will not only appeal to sci-fi fans, but also to anyone who is interested in seeing what the not too distant future may hold.
"There's certainly more than enough sci-fi to attract the sci-fi aficionados, given some curious storylines and mysteries and stuff that are going on with the Antares, but also the fact that it takes place in space doesn't change the fact that it's a very human drama."
A native of Ottawa, Olsson, who has appeared in everything from TV's "Men in Trees" and "Battlestar Galactica" to "X-Men 2," is thrilled he is able to shoot "Defying Gravity" in Vancouver, where he currently resides.
"I'm having the time of my life. This is easily one of the most fun shows I've worked on ... I've got high hopes this one will have a home for a few seasons."Watch Episodes Now ►