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THE SUNDAY CONVERSATION

'The Cleaner' version

July 20, 2008|Choire Sicha | Special to The Times

Grace PARK appears in "The Cleaner," starring Benjamin Bratt, a new series that airs on A&E on Tuesdays. She is fresh off "Battlestar Galactica," in which she played Sharon Valerii/Sharon Agathon/Cylon No. 8. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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One second you're on a squeaky-clean Canadian soap, the next moment you're in high heels and panties in a Maxim shoot.

I wasn't like 18, where it was sending off sparks and it was taboo, you know how the American public likes to do that. The show's publicist one day called and said, "Would you be interested in doing Maxim?" And I said, "Do I get the cover?" And she said no. And I said, "Hell yeah!" So she broke it down and I was really happy with it. And that helped me get "Cleaner." Not that I was dressing like that -- but it put a different image in people's heads.

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When we know you as someone in an armor bodysuit, it does change the perspective on you.

Just look at media, and how they like to do headlines. You want to catch people's attention. Eh, I dunno! It happened to work. Some people will go further than others.

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Are there points where you've sat down with your professionals and said, "OK, what do I do? How do I get to where I want to be?"

Not really! At that point I only had one, if you want to say "people," I only had an agent. I didn't have anyone in L.A. -- I had an agent in Vancouver. And meanwhile I know people in the States collect a dozen people. Talking to my castmates, they say, "Oh, my financial manager, publicist, manager, agent" -- there are so many. . . . I think I actually follow my gut a little bit more. If there was a Jim Carrey movie? For sure I'd want to be in it. We have our lists. I just haven't hit too many of those.

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And your husband is very much not in the industry.

He's not. When he was young he wanted to be a director. He's got enough of an appreciation for it. But the extent is he took one acting class and maybe film in university. He was a restaurateur and now he's a real estate developer.

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Sounds relaxing.

It is really cool. That's his demeanor as well -- he could be a highly stressed individual and he's not. He's like, "You've got to go to these events and get all dressed up in heels" -- and I'm like, "Buddy, no. I hear you and that's cool, but no." I don't want to spend thousands of dollars to walk down a red carpet. . . . It'd just be too fake for me. I'm not that heels and lipstick girl.

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How spiritual are you?

I think I've grown more spiritual in the last few years. A lot of people seem to be either open to it or carving their own spirituality lately or taking a big mix of whatever's out there. And I don't think I'm necessarily doing that. But I'm certainly open to like, our creator, and it's cool 'cause there's different names for him. But going to the source -- straight to God. I sort of have the direct line to him. And it's certainly fun. I've met people who really, really believe. They're like, "How can you not believe the Bible? That's God's love letter!" And I'm like, "Well I just talk to him!"

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You would think we were, on the coasts, a nation of hedonist atheists. You know, all those godless gays and Jews in Hollywood.

There's a lot of Jewish people in L.A. and I didn't know that! I was like, "Jewfro? What's a Jewfro?" And half the people were laughing. I was like, "What are you guys in on?" What's matzo ball soup? What's actually in it? Everybody just knows, right? I was like, "Is it meat? Is it flour?" I just had my first a few months ago.

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What can I ask you about "Battlestar" that's sneaky enough to give something away? Is there a child actor on the set?

Yeah, there is! We did have a child actor on set -- who keeps getting changed out! The thing is, we never did the twins thing. Getting half-Asian is already difficult enough. . . . I honestly feel we should have a little fund or something -- the first girl was just too young, she didn't understand what's going on. We should just fund her college, she can find us one day! But yes! There is a little girl on set. How long she's going to be there? Couldn't tell you that. I will tell you we find out the identity of the final Cylon. . . . There's one episode where everything is explained and I had to read it three times. . . . Then we had to sit down -- like, how does this guy know anything? And where was this thing orbiting? And who died? We don't want to lay it out in the script so much, because if you laid it out that way, it'd be dead boring. There's a spider on my wall I'm going to nab right now! He's a fast one -- I don't want to kill it, I'm just going to grab it. Eek! He's on the ground. I had to kill it. I'm sorry.

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