lot of people were surprised when Battlestar Galactica turned out to be very excellent. What was also surprising was the fact that ex-model Tricia Helfer has turned in such a consistently great performance as a multitude of variations on her sexy Cylon character, Six (no relation to Blossom). While her good looks let you know that she was once a model, her acting chops make her a real actress, not just a pretty face moonlighting.

Helfer came to New York Comic Con last week along with James Callis, who plays Gaius Baltar, the human traitor who sometimes hallucinates conversations – and sex acts – with her (join the club). The two gave a small press conference before becoming available for individual one on ones – you can read my interview with Callis right here.

Battlestar Galactica is on Sundays at 10 on the SciFi Channel – for the next four weeks, as it’s entering the home stretch for the third season.

You talked before about how when you’re doing a heavy scene, like Gina on the Pegasus, you can’t just be kidding around between takes – do you take that home with you as well? This is such an unusually heavy show for television, and week after week you’re all going to pretty dark places.

I think that in terms of the Gina character, I did take it home to begin with. I was researching it prior for quite a few days, so I was watching prison and torture scenes from older films, and researching on the web. Even though you’re not rehearsing lying on the floor, you’re imagining the whole time how this relates to my character. After the day of filming, coming home I was spent. I was completely exhausted and I couldn’t do anything. I was happy I was home alone and didn’t have to come home to a bunch of people, because I needed alone time, to be quiet. So that’s taking it home with me, but you have to be able to snap out of it. But when it’s finally done, you do a shedding of it.

Since you and James do so many scenes together you have a bond. What’s your relationship with the rest of the cast? You’re rarely in scenes with them, and if you are, you’re not actually interacting with them.

It’s great. We really have a lucky situation where everybody gets along, and everybody respects each other and supports each other. We all have a great relationship; while you’re not necessarily talking about the script as much because you’re not dealing in scenes together, but it’s so fun working with other people too. I have a scene with Colonel Tigh coming up in one of the finale episodes, and it was funny because here’s the end of the third season and we’ve never actually talked to each other! It was fun in that respect.

Without spoiling what happens in the remaining episodes of the season, is there a future for the Six that has come to the Galactica? We’ve seen that Boomer has gone to the human side –!

Athena. We’ve seen that she has come to the human side… can Caprica Six do the same? Does she want to do the same?

I don’t really know. I think that’s what Caprica is hoping. I think it was sort of a rash decision when Boomer was threatening the baby – Caprica’s always had a thing about babies. The Six characters have always had a thing about babies. It was a rash decision to protect the baby. Baltar and Deanna had just left for the planet and she kind of felt she had been hurt by Baltar, and didn’t know why he was going down. She knew something was up, but didn’t know why he was going down, so she felt slighted by him. Then there was this opportunity, this rash decision, and I think she went there with a small hope they would accept her. She feels stuck between a rock and a hard place – she’s done something the Cylons won’t be happy with at all, and maybe the humans will accept her. She’s spent a lot of time, in the mini-series, with the humans, with Baltar, and I think she likes that side of it. I just think she doesn’t know what right now.

For you as an actress, can these Cylon characters be redeemed? I mean, redemption a weird word to use, because they’re coming from their own point of view and think they’ve done what they needed to do, but is there a humanity to these Cylons?

I think that’s maybe something we’re going to explore more in the fourth season. I don’t really know. I’d like to think there is, coming from the position of somebody playing that, but I don’t really know, and I hate making a claim because then if it doesn’t turn out to be true, I feel ‘Ohhh!’ I feel protective of the Sixes, especially of Caprica, because at the end of the third season she’s just stuck. She’s like a lost child – a strong lost child, but still lost.

We’re sort of over the hump as far as the show is concerned – we’re closer to the end than to the beginning. Where would you like to see Caprica end up?

I think I’d like to see her finally have that sense of real love either reciprocated, or something to do with a child. I see her as connected to a child, and I don’t know if that’s having one herself or what that is, but I definitely feel Caprica has given, given, given, and I’d like to see her get something in return.

I feel like she’s going to have a bad end. Look at the show she’s on!

You know, you’re right. She probably will, because I like her! I liked Gina and she got killed.