This Friday, the almost ten year wait is over as Vin Diesel returns to theaters everywhere as the titular anti-hero Riddick in the sequel which is appropriately known simply by the character's last name. During a recent press day, co-star Katee Sackhoff discussed her unorthodox approach in preparing for her role as the badass mercenary Dahl, her thoughts on collaborating with Vin Diesel, how she handled herself alongside a cast made up entirely of men and much more.

Check out the highlights from Sackhoff's press conference interview below and look for more on Riddick tomorrow from filmmaker David Twohy.

Question: How did the guys you were working on Riddick with approach their physical moments with you while filming?

Katee Sackhoff: You know, it's a rare moment that you get where another actor ever hurts you; it's just not normal. If anything, it's sometimes a case of the actor accidentally punching the stunt double which is okay (laughs). In this movie, I was really lucky in that I didn't really get roughed up by any of the guys.

The moment I realized how small I really was, though, was when Dave Bautista picked me up; he had me up and I still wasn't even at his pec yet. I was like, "Oh my god, this guy is massive (laughs)." I think the one thing that is a blessing when you're working on a movie like this and you are the only girl is that the guys really treated me like their little sister. Especially Matt Nable- Matt and I developed a very tight friendship and I think he gave everyone a 'talking to' on day one.

Question: Now that you're part of this franchise, why do you think it is that the fans love the character of Riddick so much?

Katee Sackhoff: I think there's a darkness to Riddick that allows the fans to want him to do bad things, because you know Riddick is going to do some very, very bad things. But I think that at his core, who he is and what he's fighting for, is something that everyone can identify with. He's truly the last of his kind and he's just trying to get home while staying true to who he is and people just keep coming after him.

I think what it is also is that David Twohy has done such a phenomenal job at creating a world that we don't really see a lot. I mean, there are pieces of the original Total Recall in here and there are so many different tonal references throughout Pitch Black to Chronicles of Riddick to this last one that really does take you on this journey where you really are following Riddick as he's trying to accomplish different things. It's all just a fun ride.

I also think people are going to be pleasantly surprised by what David Twohy has done in Riddick too; I believe what he's done is that he's been able to take three separate movies and really seamlessly join them together so you have pieces of Pitch Black, you have pieces of Chronicles of Riddick and then new things you haven't seen before for Riddick.

Question: Were there other female action heroes that inspired your performance in Riddick?

Katee Sackhoff: Well, I grew up watching science fiction with my dad and it was kind of like a little secret that we bonded over; it was our father-daughter time and he was showing me movies that he shouldn't have been showing me (laughs). Like, I think I saw Predator when I was six so I knew from a very young age that I loved science fiction. I mean, we watched so much Star Trek that it was coming out my ears by age 10.

So I grew up idolizing these men- Arnold Schwarzenegger, I love Sly (Stallone), I love Bruce Willis- and these guys who embodied everything that action was in the 80's and 90's. Then, one day I told my dad that I wanted to be one of these guys and that's when he thought we should watch Alien but I couldn't tell my mother (laughs). I probably was eight and it was in that moment of watching Alien that I realized I didn’t have to be a dude, I could just be Sigourney Weaver and that was amazing. Then Linda Hamilton came along and then Xena was on my television on a weekly basis and then Sarah Michelle Gellar- they just kept coming.

So I was always inspired by Sigourney because I think she's always been able to have such a beautiful diversity in her career and I think that's a really impressive thing.

Question: Can you talk about your experience working with Vin Diesel?

Katee Sackhoff: Vin was amazing; I realized very quickly that from the moment you meet Vin, he has the ability to make you feel like you've known him for his entire life and you've known him forever. There is this responsibility that you can feel that he has towards this series of movies and that he lets you know that he feels it too. When you show up on set on day one, they want you to be prepared.

David Twohy told me in the very beginning that the main thing he wanted me to focus on was that he wanted me to look like I could beat up these guys; every single one of them, even Dave (Bautista). So I told Vin that I had wanted to put some weight on even though I know it's the opposite of women in this business or supposed to say; but I wanted to put on 10 to 15 pounds of muscle for this role. Vin told me to do whatever I wanted to do as long as I owned this character; he said that by the time I got to Montreal that I would know her better than anyone.

I remember getting there and getting to the hotel; he saw my arms and was like, "Jesus Christ, you did it- your arms are massive!" So yeah, Vin gives you a trust and freedom but also a responsibility to the character as well because he was also our boss. So I made a lot of this stuff up- she wasn't Boss Johns' number two in the script. Matt (Nable) and I made that up one day. Another day I was shooting the gun and I thought that maybe the rifle should be part of her character; David Twohy said, "Okay, if you want her to be the sniper then she's always going to be the sniper so you're married to that gun" and I was okay with that. So I loved working with David and Vin because there was a lot of freedom to create on Riddick.

Question:  Was there a scene in Riddick that you felt was particularly challenging to shoot and how was it training yourself with the guns for this movie as well?

Katee Sackhoff: I did do a lot of gun training because David (Twohy) said that I would be married to this gun so I had to look like I knew what I was doing. She had to be able to do whatever she needed to do to that gun- grabbing ammo or making adjustments- without ever taking her eye off the target so it took me about a week to get the entire routine down without me taking my eyes off my target.

And the hardest thing for me was, because of that damn sniper rifle, I had to then carry the case which weighed about 50 pounds and it was long; it was probably as long as this table even. It was so heavy it was even hurting down in my rib cage from the day that we shot with me holding the case. But, it looks cool (laughs).


“The infamous Riddick has been left for dead on a sun-scorched planet that appears to be lifeless. Soon, however, he finds himself fighting for survival against alien predators more lethal than any human he’s encountered. The only way off is for Riddick to activate an emergency beacon and alert mercenaries who rapidly descend to the planet in search of their bounty.

The first ship to arrive carries a new breed of merc, more lethal and violent, while the second is captained by a man whose pursuit of Riddick is more personal. With time running out and a storm on the horizon that no one could survive, his hunters won’t leave the planet without Riddick’s head as their trophy.”

Universal is releasing Riddick in theaters on September 6th, including IMAX screens. Vin Diesel stars with Karl Urban, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff, Bokeem Woodbine, Dave Bautista, Conrad Pla, Raoul Trujillo, Nolan Funk, and Keri Hilson. To read our recent press conference article that features Vin Diesel, visit:

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.