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Na'Tiel's B5 con pages

Bruce | Claudia | jms | Jason | Josh | Marjean | Michael O'H | Mira| Tim

Jerry Doyle

Well, here is my report on Jerry Doyle's talks plus my side bits and opinions. Warning! If you are offended by dirty jokes/boy talk, don't read this report. If you do, don't come whinging at me - Jerry said it and I typed it. If Jerry was on the net, he would be flame-baiting /trolling on every chatline and newsgroup he could reach. I've not put everything in - hell, that would be boring and anyway, my note taking isn't that fast. I've also tried to collate stuff on the same/similar subjects.

Jerry on acting: What a great joke! He stuffed up, he got a second chance. He was doing a job, not curing cancer. It's TV! He learned his lines at home at night, came in the next day, fooled around, shot some scenes, went home and banked his cheques. You stuffed up, you got a second, third, umpteenth chance - such a great thing! Not really work. Obviously no talent needed - "I don't have any!" What a life!

Jerry won't do something on screen that he wouldn't do in real life. (Makes me think of some interesting scenarios....) He was supposed to hit a woman in one second season script and he refused to do it. In contrast, in doing an episode of Sliders, he was given two guns and managed to capture the Universal Studio's shooting record - he used 300 rounds in a day of shooting. He likes guns a little too much. (So does this mean that he would shoot a woman, but wouldn't hit her?)

Jerry got into acting after working on Wall Street. He left that work after getting a visit from the 60 Minutes team. The firm he worked for "kinda got indicted a lot." And the Dance Theatre of Harlem on his resume? A joke, put in there to see if people would pick it up.

Jerry on Garibaldi and B5: If you like Garibaldi, you probably won't like Jerry. Jerry reckons that he could not have played any other character in B5 - not "G'Kar or Londo or Bruce's character". Garibaldi suited him from the moment he walked into the audition ("That's *Mister* Garibaldi"). He only had one audition cos he had all the attitude required, though he knew nothing about acting(even reading the "beat" and "then" in the script). Garibaldi was easy to play - there were so many ways the character could go, so many aspects to characterise.

Garibaldi managed to survive all the way through B5 cos Jerry "slept his way to the middle" ;-). For some unknown reason, jms revealed some of the plan to Jerry and allowed him to make the choice about what happened to Garibaldi - did Jerry want him to live or die? Jerry would play Garibaldi again (with a query on the money - Jerry seems rather interested in money but I am not sure how genuine he was about his cynical comments).

He liked to keep his hands in his pockets when playing Garibaldi. Cops keep their hands in their pockets. Jerry's dad was a New York City cop. An advantage of keeping your hands in your pockets is that you don't have to remember what you did with your hands the last time you shot the scene (causes continuity problems within the scene). But jms hated it. Joe ordered that Garibaldi's pockets be sewn closed. So Jerry can't put his hands in his pockets. He has conniptions. He starts pulling the pockets open again - he's got threads dangling everywhere - and makes wardrobe unpick the sewing. jms sees him with his hands in his pockets and they have a bit of a barney. Guess who won?

Remember the bagna cauda? The dipping foods were chicken and prawns. Unfortunately, the prawns were a little elderly. Rick Biggs got to do his lines first and pigged all the chicken, leaving Jerry to eat the prawns.... Jerry reckoned the food sucked on set.

A few people seemed to like the idea of Garibaldi all wrapped up and apparently helpless in plastic. Jerry was naked under the ceram wrap (we call it glad wrap here) but he did have an escape route if need be. It was nice and warm in there, and he certainly wasn't going to come out from under the wrap when it was cold ("Woo! Where did it go????").

It was tough to walk away at the end of B5. He had done the show for so long. Every shooting year was eight and a half months. He and Peter J watched some early episodes. His comment: 'We sucked!" The show has come a long way.

"The Gathering" cost US$3.3 million to make. At this point, after all the screenings and merchandise and stuff, it is US$9 million down in revenue. The series is currently $88 million in the red. "Hey, nobody watches it, nobody buys merchandise - it's obvious!" he says, looking at 300 fans, half of whom are wearing B5 tshirts imported from the US. He reckons there is something very wrong with the accounting....

Jerry sees no harm in B5 fanatics being exactly that. B5 is our drug of choice. It's not hurting anyone, so he's OK with it. The fans kept the show on the air.

He reckons that the characters are much more approachable than those in ST - they have flaws, etc. If you like it, watch B5. If you like it, watch Star Trek ("Don't know why you would."). SF is the step-child of TV - noone wants to really acknowledge that it is there.

Jerry on Bruce Boxleitner: Bruce is a God and family type of guy (hmm, sounds very American - truth, justice and the Merkan way). Much of show's success is due to Bruce and the effort he has put into the show. Jerry believes Bruce's performance in the last episode (SiL?) is some of the best acting you would ever see. The chemistry between Garibaldi and Sinclair and G and Sheridan on screen is exactly the opposite to what it was on set - Jerry and Bruce got on very well.

When Jerry and Bruce were invited out to the Edwards Airforce Base to do speeches for the graduating fighter pilot classs, both got to fly in F16s (I'm sure many of you will have heard this). Well, not long before this, two pilots had been killed - one flying an F16 the other an F18 if my memory serves me correctly.

Bruce was getting a little worried about going up in these planes, especially when they were being trained in the ejector seat procedures and what to do and what not to do.The night before Bruce was praying for rain and really bad weather. The next morning Jerry bounces out of bed to the wonderful sight of bright blue skies - birds singing, sun shining, etc etc. Bruce was cursing. He wanted to wuss out, but couldn't. Jerry had a full breakfast whilst Bruce had a bit of dry toast. So they got kitted up - they each had to wear a pressure suit (something to do with the G forces whilst flying) and a helmet and get strapped in with half a dozen harnesses. Jerry's sitting in the plane in this tiny little space and the hatch comes down and his head's jammed against the roof and he's getting pretty claustrophobic.... he had to ask the pilot how he could get more room - "Put the seat down!" Oh, yeah, right. Adjust the seat height! What a great idea! (Guess Jerry was getting pretty nervous as well by this point.) As a side comment, at one point, Jerry asked if anyone had done "it" in a plane? Someone asked him if he had in one of the fighter jets. He laughed - "You can't even do it with yourself in an F16!"

So they are all strapped in and fly off into the wide blue yonder. The pilots pull a few manoeuvers (Jerry only once mentioned that they had pilots and weren't flying the planes themselves) and there's poor Bruce, face buried in a barf bag. He's puking his guts up. After they landed, Bruce wobbles out, all weak legged. He's leaning against the landing gear. It feels pretty warm against his back. The ground crew come racing up to the fighter with a water hose - they have "to cool down the jet" don't-you-know finger-to-nose. Bruce thinks that the plane is on fire! He feels as if his pants are on fire! Poor Bruce - Jerry is laughing himself stupid. Jerry didn't mention if he got fooled too...

At the talk given to the graduating pilots, Jerry gave Bruce a lovely gift - a bronzed puke bag on a plaque, commemorating the event. "Freakdaddy" Bruce now calls Jerry "Puffdaddy". Still, Brucie baby is backing up again this month - he and Jerry were going to do some aircraft carrier landings and "be shot off" the carrier. Sounds exciting.

Jerry on the other actors: He thought it was "so cool" to work with people he has seen on the tv. He is still star struck, but you "gotta be cool".

Andreas has stone floors in his house (and he is the "sweetest, most lyrical guy"). That sums up Andreas. He loved the mask (G'Kar make-up - hell, I've just destroyed the illusion for some of you....) and would sit in the makeup chair all day.

Peter J was a happy, carefree kind of guy. Put Andreas of the stone floors and Peter of the carefree nature together and you've created magic. G'Kar and Londo incredible - the work they did together.

Claudia was like Ivanova but more jokey - she was there to have fun - a great actor and person.

Zathras was called "Dog Boy" and noone knew who he was.

Mira got picked on a bit - every time Delenn started "A thousand years ago..." the other actors would all start looking for a seat. Any speech starting with "A thousand years ago..." was sure to be a long one.

Bester - what a little shit! Walter is a lovely person, but he plays a great little shit.

Harlan Ellison's acting efforts in WHtMG didn't impress Jerry. I get the feeling Jerry doesn't particularly like Harlan (a not uncommon feeling towards Harlan). He is "A short little man." And to emphasise what Jerry meant by short little man, "Opinionated." Never go out to dinner with Harlan if you want to go back to that restaurant. Harlan is "an interesting little troll."

Whilst we are hanging it on various people, Martin Sheen is "drippy" - maybe it was trippy, but it certainly sounded like drippy (which in Oz slang = stupid, vapid, a pillock. I guess we again have a communications breakdown).

jms is a "strange bird. He's a trip."

The crew received none of the recognition they deserve. There were 125 people who contributed to getting B5 on the screen, not just those we saw on the tv screen.

Jerry on space and NASA: Space stuff is "cool". Jerry wants to ride on the shuttle in 3 years time. He has been in the space shuttle simulator and landed almost perfectly - 2 parameters in caution out of about 64, the rest were all green. He wants to ride that great big rocket. Only problem is he gets a little claustrophobic and he'd be in a little space with 6 other people. (A side note - we all know that stuff floats around when you get into space. Well, sometimes, one of the astronauts leaves a little "message" for the next person to visit the toilet.....8-)

Out at NASA, people wanted his autograph and he's refusing cos he's an actor - who is he compared to John Glenn or any other astronaut? He doesn't feel worthy to sign stuff that people like Buzz Aldrin have signed. He's an actor - he isn't out there doing amazing stuff! He wants their signatures!

He loves space and all the work that is being done. He sees those at NASA as true visionaries. They are intelligent people who are called geeky or nerd(ish) but Jerry doesn't think that they are - "why are you a nerd if you have a brain" was the implication? The stuff they are doing is so cool! People just don't get it!

Newpaper headline: "ACTRESS DIES IN HORRIFIC NASA ACCIDENT." One time, Melissa (ooh, don't you hate it when a name falls out of your head?), Melissa whatsherface, Bruce's wife, Melissa Gilbert was out at NASA and she's been put in one of the space suits. "Now if you find that the neck piece is restricting your breathing, let us know real quick!" So the helmet goes on and gets locked down and she can only talk via the headset inside the helmet. Jerry has the other headset and if Melissa is in difficulties, he has to speak up quick. Well, Melissa's quite happy in there - no problems with breathing or anything. But Jerry (surprise!!!!) decides to pull a prank - She can't breathe in there! We gotta problem! So the techs rip the helmet off as quickly as they can, and there's Melissa absolutely spitting chips. She is going to kill Jerry - he's just ruined everything! The techs are also ready to kill Jerry for giving them a heart attack. Jerry didn't seem particularly worried about the threats....

An accident on set: I am sure that many of you know that Jerry really did break his arm on the set whilst filming "Severed Dreams". When asked how did he manage - "Cos I'm a stud!" Here's the full story. Garibaldi and Zack are punching their way through the fight scene, taking on 10 guys each, as heroes do. A stuntman is supposed to spin out, away from Jerry. He spins inwards, towards Jerry and takes his legs out from underneath him. Wham! Down goes Jerry and breaks his elbow on the floor. He's sweating and not feeling too good.

The director races up - "How are you feeling?" "Not good."

"What's wrong?"

"I broke my arm."

"How d'you know?"

"Cos I think I am going to sh*t in my pants, throw up or pass out. Or all three."

"Well, we have a problem, cos we didn't get it."

The scene had to be reshot. But Jerry couldn't throw punches. So he had his hand taped to the rifle and he rifle-butted all the guys out of the way. What a man!

Guess what happens? Stuntman spins inwards again and again knocks Jerry's legs from under him.


Broken wrist. But this time, they got the footage. Just as well too. Jerry was feeling pretty darn crook by this stage.

*Then* they need to shoot that last scene were Zack is helping Garibaldi. No acting required on Jerry's part (and one suspects from Jeff either). He looked bad, he felt bad. Watch that scene and watch Jerry's arm as the helmet slides out from under it. Watch how careful Jeff is with Jerry.

Jerry got driven to the hospital in his white Mercedes by Alfonso, one of the set guys. Alfonso is what Jerry calls a "gangbanger", which totally bemused us Aussies. A gangbanger, to us, is a person who engages in group sex (and there is a bit of implication of rape in there as well). So we're shuffling our feet a little, scratching our heads a bit more and trying not to snicker until we realise that Jerry meant a gang member, a hoodlum.

Alfonso, as you can guess from the name, is not a WASP, but is ethnic (Mexican?). They get to the hospital, and this is where Jerry really shows his Real Manly status. Hospitals in LA have police on duty to stop "gangbangers" finishing off any business left undone (ie killing those that they have wounded whilst the doctors are trying to treat them). For us Aussies, this is a revelation. We don't have gang warfare to anything like the extent that it seems to be prevalent in LA. So Jerry crawls out of the car, looking absolutely terrible, and he calls the police over. He points to Alfonso and says "This guy beat me up and took my car, but he was good enough to bring me to hospital." He is still pranking! The coppers surround Alfonso.

Fifteen minutes later, Alfonso finds Jerry in casualty. He walks up, sticks his finger under Jerry's nose - "Don't you ever do that again!" (I reckon it is a pretty rotten trick to pull on someone, especially in a joint like LA where they are paranoid about violence, only it isn't paranoia cos it is real/true.)

A few days later, they did the "gallery" (promotional) shots. Jerry was stoned out of his mind on pain killers. I guess it explains the look on his face in some of them.

Another accident on set: In WHtMG, Garibaldi is in the cell being pestered by the voice asking what happened, do you remember, etc. Jerry was supposed to try to pull the chair out of the ground - it is all bolted down. Well, he couldn't pull the chair out, but he did manage to pull the chair arm off.... Unfortunately, he hit himself in the nuts. He was furious! That hurt! So in his fury, he started hitting the lights with the chair handle. The set dressers were wailing "That's not in the script!" as they watched Jerry destroying their set, but the director, Kevin someone (an Oz/NZ director), loved it. "Wanna break some more lights?" So the set guys have to fix the set and Jerry gets to do it all over again.

Footnote: for those wondering, he missed his nuts the second time.

Jerry bits (so to speak): One thing that Jerry noticed was that the toilet water spins the other way when the loo is flushed. He wants to flush the toilet whilst crossing from the northern to the southern hemispheres and see what happens at the interface.

The fasten then zip conversation? That sort of stuff interests Jerry. Bizarre little things that people take for granted and don't actually see. He's a "fully functioning alcoholic" ;-) The way to detach himself from Garibaldi? Drink! He's screwed up enough without drugs.

Jerry philosophy: As an actor, Jerry's job is to sell advertising - that is all tv programmes are there for. It's entertainment and there are more important things in life. As long as you wake up, it's a good day. If you don't wake up, you're f*cked.

If you don't follow the rules, sometimes you get results.

"I'll be much happier if she is happy and I am unhappy than if she is unhappy and I am happy."

Three words for a long and happy marriage (taken from some other well-known person): I - was wrong.

Lynne's view: The interesting thing about Jerry was that whilst he is a *tad* cyncial and has a dirty sense of humour similar to my own, he didn't interest me as much as Jason and Tim (Dwight doesn't count here cos I am talking about recurrent B5 actors ;-). I think it all comes down to attitude.... As I said in the beginning of these emails, Jason was here to have fun, Tim had no idea what was going on and Jerry was here because he was being paid to be here. His attitude sucked, and it shows in the pics that I got with him. He obviously doesn't like smiling in "happy" snaps. Just compare me with Jason and me with Jerry (I'll scan these and get them up on my web page, along with the Tim and Claudia pics). I'm probably being harsh, but a week later, at Jason's day in Melbourne, I was talking to a couple of girls who were involved in a con a couple of years ago when Jerry came out to Melbourne. They said he was really annoying and was a very difficult guest to work with. They would never invite him to another con. Still, Jerry's talks were interesting and he is a good raconteur.

Natiel's B5 con pages/last modified 20th September 2001

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