Joolushko Tunai Fenta Hovalis

June 2002 - Farscape: The Illustrated Season 3 Companion

                       Paul Simpson and Ruth Thomas

Jool

"Okay. I can do this. I can. I can do anything. That's what my father told me. That's what my mother told me, and I've never doubted them before."

"If I didn't have to play her, I would hate Jool!" Tammy MacIntosh admits. "But, not everyone in the world of Farscape is likeable, and that's just one of the things I loved about coming into this series."

The character of Joolushko Tunai Fenta Hovalis the Interion was deliberately introduced into the third season of Farscape to shake up the slightly cosy, domestic feel that the show might have started to exhibit without such a change. "I have a theory," explains MacIntosh, "that if actors stay and play too long in a television series, you start to get a situation where it's a bit too 'happy families'. You no longer have tension. Until, that is, you bring in new characters who can stir up the pot! New actors, who haven't had time to become too friendly with everyone, can really 'tear 'em to shreds' onscreen, without any personal upsets taking place off the set."

MacIntosh's audition process for Farscape took a long time, with the actress dedicating seven months to different tests, culminating in a final audition with Ben Browder - but at that stage she was not playing Jool "The character I was given in the audition was very Aeryn-like," MacIntosh reveals. "Very military, very self-composed and very disciplined. There was a lot of sexual tension that had to be looked at between Ben and myself, and whether that would work. We ended up having a huge laugh, and played together very well. That was the point of the audition, so I got the job."

It was only then that MacIntosh discovered whom she would be portraying. Up to that point, "there was no hint of prosthetics, no hint of colour, no hint of costume - I had no idea who she was." The character ended up being partly inspired by MacIntosh herself, which the actress feels is another of the series' strengths: "David Kemper and the writers use a lot of you. They let you play, and then pick what they find most attractive, and what gets across to the audience. They don't try to turn your talents into something that they aren't."

The creation of Jool's look was also collaborative. "Dave Elsey said that there was a huge discussion about whether she should have blonde hair or red hair," MacIntosh recalls, "so I said to Andrew Prowse (who I've known for years), 'Why can't we have both? Why don't we say that when she gets angry, or there's an emotional moment, her blonde hair changes to red?' He thought that was a great idea!"

After all the prosthetics had been designed, MacIntosh discovered a major problem. "I had never worked with prosthetics before, and I really had no idea how my skin would handle three hours in make-up, and eight layers or what I like to call 'house paint' - glues, chemicals and latex," she says. "It became quite apparent within the first three weeks that my skin was freaking out." Numerous tests followed to identify the particular chemical that was causing the reaction, after which MacIntosh's life became easier.

Playing the character also became easier as the season progressed. Initially, MacIntosh explains, "David Kemper had certain 'definites' about what he wanted to do with the character, but the rest he let me experiment with. He just told me to behave as if I'd been taken from the 'high life' and thrown into a shack in the outback of Western Australia, surrounded by cockroaches. All of a sudden, everything is just not right. She does not want to be there - it's not her world! I liked the fact that Jool was very hardcore, very bitchy and frankly, could be a real pain."

MacIntosh had the chance to paint further colours into the character in '...Different Destinations'. "They wrote this beautiful comedy stuff for me, and as soon as I hit that, it felt right," she recalls. 'Eat Me' allowed more development. "You got beyond the egotistical front that she'd put up," MacIntosh continues. "You actually got to encompass and feel her fear, and the child within her that is responsible for her behaviour."

With the discovery of an injured Crais, Jool stepped into Zhaan's shoes as the nearest thing that Moya has to a physician. "The only way she could survive on that ship was to find something to do," MacIntosh says. "It's like coming from being a highborn princess and ending up in a grotty prison for the rest of your life. What are you going to do about that situation except either top yourself, or find something useful to do? It was nice to finally have that, because you can't have a character continue being that painful for too long, someone was going to shoot her! By that stage of the season, I was starting to get a bit frustrated with Jool's lack of emotional and intellectual growth on the ship, so the chance to bring that aspect to her character arrived at the right time."

MacIntosh enjoyed showing Jool going out of control on the pleasure planet in 'Scratch 'n' Sniff'. For her, this was a brand new experience," she believes. "So I decided to play her like a child who has never done that sort of thing before, and see what happened. I think it made her fun for a change." The actress showed a more serious side of Jool in 'Revenging Angel'. "At that point she really needed a friend, because it was getting lonely, and everyone had just dissed her completely," she explains. "Jool revealed her heart and soul, to some extent, to D'Argo, and it gave her a moment where you wanted finally to care about her. There hadn't been much for an audience to care about before that." She also enjoyed Jool's moment of glory. "It was nice to be wanted and needed - it's awful not to have any friends and be called a bitch the entire time!"

Her confrontation with Crais, at the start of 'I-Yensch, You-Yensch' after Talyn has destroyed the medical ship, was the wake-up call that MacIntosh feels Jool needed. "I don't think she has really opened her eyes to many of the things going on behind the scenes on Moya," she says. "Jool never really clicked on the history of these people, so it was good that she had the opportunity to lash out at Crais."

At the end of the year, Jool and the mysterious Old Woman are all who remain with Pilot aboard the Leviathan as it disappears into the wormhole, and MacIntosh is looking forward to what the new season will bring. "You can have everyone tough and gorgeous, or in love with Crichton, but that isn't the real world!" she points out. "You still need outside influences rocking the boat, to make that happy family not so happy. Then there's friction, and chaos - and those are opportunities for growth."

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