The Expanse has brought a rich political world set against a colonized solar system to Syfy’s lineup this winter, and a big part of the show’s success are characters like Naomi Nagata, played by Dominique Tipper. We spoke with Tipper, who plays the confident but secretive engineer from the asteroid belt, about her role and her experience on the ambitious space-based science fiction show, which has become the flagship series for Syfy.
With regard to her character’s increasingly mysterious past, Tipper agreed that “there’s always the idea or the essence that Naomi is hiding something. Everyone seems to be wondering what side she’s on, …but I can’t give you a clue as to what side she actually is on.” Hints of a connection to the supposed terrorist organization of the OPA have appeared as well as a strange request recently made of Fred Johnson for help in tracking someone down have added to Naomi’s intrigue.
As the only female on the remaining crew of the Canterbury, Naomi adds an interesting dynamic to the storyline involving the survivors. “The more emotional side of someone is normally connected with their more feminine side, and I think what’s interesting about Naomi and Holden is that he is emotional. He acts off impulses… and she’s very logical. And so I kind of love the dynamic between them where you have the female being the more logical person.”
Tipper is relatively new to television, but she has an extensive background in music and dance, which has perhaps helped her with coordinating the wire work necessary for the amazing zero-g or variable gravity scenes in The Expanse. “It massively helps,” Tipper admitted of the physicality of her experience. “We’re hanging by our privates in the air on a wire and it’s not that much fun. But we still have to make it look like we’re floating and make it look elegant.”
Check out the elegant Naomi Nagata in The Expanse each Tuesday at 10pm ET on Syfy. And for more of our interview with Dominique Tipper, listen to our inaugural episode of Sci Fi Fidelity, which explores two shows each month along with an interview. You can skip to our interview if you like at the 47:54 mark.