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19 September 2006

Steve Bacic Biography

- Made in Canada - playing worldwide!

Written by Steve Eramo

Whether you love to watch TV or prefer going to the movies, chances are you’ve seen Steve Bacic. For fourteen years, this versatile and talented actor has done everything from tickle people’s funny bones to send chills up their spines with his performances on the small and big screens. Currently, he can be seen as Telemachus Rhade, a hard-drinking, wheeler-dealer Nietzschean and ex-High Guard officer on the hit Sci-Fi Channel TV series Andromeda. Given his good looks and natural affinity with the camera, becoming an actor seemed the natural choice for Bacic. That said, he took the long road to such a career path.

“Having grown up in a small blue-collar town, acting wasn’t my first career choice,” says Bacic. “When I was younger I was hired to do some local modelling, but never became involved in theatre at school. I love sports, and after graduating high school I went on to university where I earned an honours degree in kinesiology. My goal was to get into professional sports and become either a coach or physical therapist.”

“However, I got sidetracked not once but twice. By the time I was 25 I had my own auto refurbishing business, two houses, and a brand new car. I was a bit of an entrepreneur but it just didn’t feel right. One day I began thinking, ‘Is this it? What’s next?’ I knew then that I wanted to do something more with my life.”

Not long after, Bacic went on a road trip with some friends. They headed west to Vancouver, which at that time was already a bustling center for feature film and TV production. Although intrigued with the business, he wasn’t certain it was right for him.

Bacic eventually returned home, but a year later, decided to relocate to Vancouver and began taking acting classes. In order to support himself, he worked as a waiter. That’s when he met such rising stars as Ethan Hawke and Stephen Dorff, both of whom offered him extra work in their movies that were being shot in town. More extra gigs followed, and then actual auditions, which led to Bacic’s first TV guest-star role on 21 Jump Street.

“I’d never said a line on-screen before and here I was with pages and pages of dialogue,” recalls the actor. “Needless to say, I was prepared. I must have read the script 50 times. Believe me, I knew every little comma on those pages. I was just so paranoid because I didn’t want to screw up.”

After 21 Jump Street, the actor went on to do other guest spots on such series as Street Justice, The Commish, Highlander, Call of the Wild, Stargate: SG-1 and several episodes of The X-Files.

“One of my most challenging jobs to date was on The X-Files,” notes Bacic. “In one particular episode, my character was being influenced by another person’s thoughts to set himself on fire. He’s pleading with the people around him to shoot him because he doesn’t want to be burnt alive. I still remember that day. We were outside in the cold and it had been raining. They’d soaked me down with water – which in the story was gasoline – and I was standing there shivering in my SWAT gear. That, along with the burnt skin make-up that the visual effects crew had shown me, helped put me in the right frame of mind to shoot that scene. Oddly enough, people tend to remember my performance in that episode probably more than anything else I’ve done.”

In addition to his TV work, Bacic has appeared in such films as The 6th Day, X2: X-Men United and Stakeout 2, his first big movie. “I had a scene with Rosie O’Donnell and Richard Dreyfuss, and I felt like I didn’t belong there because of my lack of experience,” he says. “I seemed to hold my own, though, with these two very funny, talented people. Not only was that a confidence builder for me, but it also showed other people that I could handle comedic as well as dramatic roles.”

Bacic’s association with Andromeda began way back in 2000. He guest-starred as Gaheris Rhade in the show’s first episode and, although his character was killed, he was “resurrected” for a number of episodes. In the show’s second year, Telemachus Rhade, a descendent of Gaheris, was introduced, and in year four he became a regular character on the program.

“At the end of season four, Telemachus lost his chance to once again find true love,” explains Bacic. “That broke him, and led to his excessive drinking and self-destructive behavior now in year five. However, halfway through this season, he starts to arc back to the Telemachus we once knew, but he’ll never be that same soldier again. He’s great fun for me to play.”

In early 2004, Bacic worked on the made-for-TV movie The Colt, in which he plays Civil War army Sgt. Longacre. “My character was very abrupt as well as edgy and there were physical elements to the role as well that made it quite a challenge,” notes the actor. “The script was one of the best I’ve ever read and I wanted to do it justice. To top it off, I got to ride a horse and shoot a gun, both of which really got my adrenaline pumping.”

The actor recently finished editing Teacher, an independent feature that he wrote, produced and also starred in. “It’s about a man who becomes aware of his true nature which, unlike the façade we initially see, is evil,” says Bacic. “Working on this film was one of the most positive things I’ve ever done in this business as I gained a greater appreciation for what everyone behind the camera does. It was a tremendous learning experience and I’m hoping to do it again next year.”

© Steve Eramo - used with permission.

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Journalist Steve Eramo has interviewed Steve Bacic on several occasions and written about him in Cult Times and TV Zone Magazine. He also writes for Starburst and Xpose Magazine.

Among his interviewees: Michael Shanks, Richard Dean Anderson, Julian MacMahon, Dwight Schultz, James Morrison and such directors as Martin Wood and Peter DeLuise as well as producer/writers Brad Kern (Charmed) and Manny Coto (Star Trek Enterprise).

A freelance writer and frequent traveler to the U.K., Steven Eramo lives in Stoneham, Massachusetts. Besides a monthly column about British television for PBS program guides, he also has written more than 1,000 feature articles for such monthly periodicals as On-Air Magazine, U.K. Magazine, Fillipinas Magazine and British Heritage Magazine.

He conducts most of his interviews over the phone - however, for most of the Vancouver/Toronto shows he covers, he does set visits to Canada three or four times a year.

He's been a science fiction fan since he was a kid, and gravitated naturally towards that in his writing - however, he is also an Anglophile, and has written about British history, food, travel and British celebrities.

"What's it like being up close and personal with all these celebrities: At first I was a little bit 'star struck' but when it comes down to it, and I know this is a cliche, but they're just like you and me. I've been extremely fortunate to have had 99.9% positive experiences with everyone I've had the pleasure of interviewing, which isn't bad at all!"

"My favorite TV series: Tough choice - some of them are The Avengers, Doctor Who, Space: 1999, Stargate, Andromeda, Dead Like Me, The Dead Zone, Inspector Morse, Fawlty Towers, Upstairs, Downstairs and Charmed."

Read more by Steven Eramo:
John Hug - Space:1999 - actor

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