Katee Sackhoff to screen episode in Seattle and ride motorcycles for charity

Katee Sackhoff has battled cylons on “Battlestar Galatica,” fought Vin Diesel in “Riddick,” and solved murders in her current role on the A&E Western detective series “Longmire.”

Though Sackhoff, 34, has made a name for herself portraying tough female characters, she will be the first to admit it might be a case of compensation.

“I’m quite opposite from the roles that I play,” she said. “At home I am a woman. I am a lot more sensitive. Dare I say weak? And I like to be treated as a woman. I am scared of so many things. I guess I play these tough roles because I wish I was stronger.”

It’s her iconic role in “Battlestar” that’s bringing her to Puget Sound this weekend. With co-star Tricia Helfer, they’ll be screening an episode of the TV series at Seattle’s Cinerama on Saturday. It’s a fundraiser for the Seattle Humane Society. A Q and A and signing will follow the screening.

The pair also make up Acting Outlaws, a charity that raises money via motorcycle riding. They’ll be participating in the Tulip Ride on Sunday, April 27 (tulipride.org), which begins in Redmond and heads through Skagit Valley.

In between “Battlestar,” “Riddick” and “Longmire,” Sackhoff squared off against a demonic mirror in horror flick “Oculus,” which opened April 11 and is still playing in theaters.

Sackhoff has the looks that have made her the fantasy of many a fan boy — which she self-parodied in an episode of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.” But she has no qualms about getting downright ugly when the part calls for it. Her character in “Oculus” becomes so horrific it might make the strongest stomach queasy.

Sackhoff’s disregard for “dumb blonde girl roles,” as she calls them, came from some motherly advice soon after she left her Portland home for Hollywood at age 18.

“My mom said, ‘You need to create longevity. You need to understand after your face falls … you’ve got to have a job,’” Sackhoff said. She took the advice to heart.

Sackhoff prefers film over TV because she can immerse herself in a project that has an end date. “I like to live a character for four months and then leave it,” she said. But, she added, character development is easier on TV because she has multiple seasons to work with.

“Battlestar Galatica,” a reimagining of the 1970s science-fiction TV series, ran for four seasons in the 2000s. Sackhoff played Lt. Starbuck in the new story line, a character played by Dirk Benedict in the earlier version.

The show spawned a fervent fan base, parodied in an episode of “Portlandia” guest-starring Sackhoff’s co-stars Edward James Olmos and James Callis.

Sackhoff said she’s been able to escape the trap that so many actors in iconic roles fall into. “They really have a hard time moving on,” she said. “That’s a frustration that, thankfully, I don’t know by the grace of God. I’ve been able to move on and play other roles and bring other characters to life.”

But Sackhoff looks back on her “Battlestar” period with fondness. “I don’t care if people associate me with Starbuck for the rest of my life. As long as I continue to work.”

After “Battlestar,” a turn on “24,” and losing the lead role in “Once Upon a Time” to Jennifer Morrison, Sackhoff thought she was done with TV. And then “Longmire” came along.

The show follows a small sheriff’s department in a Wyoming county populated by modern-day cowboys and Native Americans. The sheriff, played by Robert Taylor, solves crimes with the help of his deputies, one of them played by Sackhoff, and Native American allies.

Part of the appeal of “Longmire” for Sackhoff is that she gets to come home every weekend from its filming locations around Santa Fe, N.M. Previous shows she’s worked on were all-consuming.

“This is a job, not my life. I didn’t want to have something take over my life like ‘Battlestar’ did,” Sackhoff said.

‘So Say We All Frak’n Day’

When: 1-5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Seattle Cinerama, 2100 Fourth Ave., Seattle

Tickets: $20

Information: cinerama.com, subspacecomics.com/bsgevent

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541 craig.sailor@thenewstribune.com