AfterElton.com: The standard question actors playing gay roles used to get asked was are you concerned about taking on a gay role, but it's 2010 and I think we're past that. Nobody ever asks actors what they think about playing a character as morally complicated as is Sam. So what was your approach to that as an actor?
Sasha Roiz: You know what's great is that I think it's a wonderful addition to the character that he's gay. But the thing is, on Caprica, there's no discrimination as far as the sexes or sexual orientation. The discrimination is more cultural. We're more discriminated against as Taurons as anything else. As a matter of fact, the word gay wouldn't even be used on Caprica because it's not an issue. It's a completely normal way of life. You love who you love.
AE: Jane Espenson [Caprica’s executive producer] and I were talking about that. Frankly, I love that approach. And I love that we have enough gay characters these days that we can have some complexity in them. So playing a character who has already killed in the pilot, and in the third episode is asked to kill somebody rather shocking, basically you're a mobster hit man. Does playing a killer mess with your head in any way shape or form?
SR: No, because I think when you play any character, unless you have issues as the character about killing, I don't think you ever question what the character's motives are. You just embrace it. The way I approach it is that he truly believes in the organization he works for. He truly believes in the cause and the tasks that are asked of him. He doesn't question things.
There are moments later on in the series where he does question things, very much so. He's conflicted about things he's been asked to do or been forced to do, and those are really fun to tackle, but when it comes to the organization, the mob that he works for, he truly believes in his cause.
He has a real disdain for Capricans. This is a man who believes he's being treated as a second class citizen and the only thing he can do to survive and thrive in this world is remain loyal to the culture he's from and the people who look after him. That's the only people he cares about.
AE: With what we've seen so far of your home life with your husband Larry, it seems very typical. How would you describe your relationship with him? What's their home life like?
SR: Well, I can't say it's a conventional relationship by our standards.
AE: Why not?
SR: Because I'm in the criminal underworld. That is the only part of the relationship that is strained. He would obviously take exception to certain things. He's accepted me for who I am, but it's more my career and the people that I fraternize with, the responsibilities and duties that I have that would jeopardize our relationship in any way.
Otherwise we're a very healthy, monogamous couple, and ironically, in the show, I think I'm one of the only people who has a stable relationship, and has a very concrete sense of what family is and should be. Everyone else's seems to be falling apart.
AE: Describe your relationship with your brother Joseph. What's the dynamic there?
SR: With Joseph, it's a fascinating relationship as we continue in the series. You're going to see some really great flashbacks and back stories to these two men. They flash back to our time in Tauron, and what's shaped us, the tragedy that bonded us, and shaped us, and brought us to Caprica.
We reveal a lot of that. It's going to be a really interesting insight into what Taurons are, who these two men are, and some of the dark secrets that they've held all these years. It also feeds into the decision making, why I'm in the mob, why I'm as zealous as I am about our cause.
AE: What was the casting of the show like?
SR: I came in really late. I actually auditioned for the role of Tomas Vergis. They'd already done their primary casting, and I was auditioning for Vergis, and in the end, they offered me the role of Sam. It was sort of last minute. The pilot was about to get underway. I read it and I thought it was fantastic, far more interesting for me than Vergis. I came in simply as a guest star with the potential to be a reoccurring character.
AE: Really? Just a guest star?
SR: Yeah, with chances of a reoccurring storyline. By the end of the pilot I had the sense that this character had so much potential it would be a waste if they didn't use him. After the series got picked up, they offered me a contract as a regular, and it's been fantastic. As the show progressed, at first I was sort of supporting Esai's story, and then eventually, I guess the character really resonated with the writers and they started to develop fantastic storylines for Sam. It's been a lot of fun.
AE: How surprised were you when Jane said, "Oh by the way, he's going to be a gay character?"
SR: I was very surprised. But then at the same time, I realized it was going to be a really interesting layer to the character. He could have been a very cookie-cutter sort of mobster that would have been far more boring. We get to investigate this other side of him, but again, there's only so much investigation that's needed because of the world we've created.
I think for viewers it's going to be far more interesting. I think in the second episode I'm walking down Little Tauron telling Willie how Joseph used to hit on the girls and I would hit on their brothers. It's just so normal and casual, and just a wonderful thing to explore.