'Every Second Counts' for 'Kyle XY' star Apanowicz

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For an actor in Vancouver, it would be unusual not to do lots of science-fiction roles, since many such shows shoot in and around the Canadian city.

In this way, 22-year-old Magda Apanowicz is a typical Vancouver actor. She's had brief roles in "John Doe," "Jeremiah" and "Bionic Woman," a regular role in ABC Family's "Kyle XY," and now a part in the Sci Fi Channel TV-movie/backdoor pilot "Caprica," the "Battlestar Galactica" prequel.

"'Kyle' films a half an hour from my house," she says. "'Caprica' films in Burnaby. The farthest I've ever gone is Regina, Saskatchewan, and Hedley and Kamloops, British Columbia. I'm like, 'Really? That's where I get to travel? Not Australia?'"

Even though her latest project also kept her close to home, Apanowicz did break into a new genre with the Hallmark Channel Original Movie "Every Second Counts," premiering Saturday, July 12.

She plays Brooke Preston, the 17-year-old daughter of former team-penning champion Joe Preston (Stephen Collins, "7th Heaven"), who retired after an injury.

Brooke shows every sign of being as good as her father at the sport – in which a team of riders works together to separate a herd of cattle into specific pens within a time limit – but her ambitions for a college scholarship conflict with his dream for her to compete.

"Oh, my gosh," Apanowicz says, "Stephen's an incredible man. I love working with him. He's my dream dad. He's so talented."

She admits to having been fan of "7th Heaven," the long-running series that cast Collins as the preacher patriarch of a large brood.

"It was one of my guilty pleasures," she says. "I spent many nights crying with that show. I don't know if I had a favorite character, it was more the drama of it all. I can relate!"

Apanowicz had experience in the equestrian sport of vaulting – essentially doing gymnastics moves on the back of a cantering horse – but that doesn't mean she could ride.

"I thought I was confident I could do it," she says, "then I did the audition with the horses, and I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, I suck.' They even told me I sucked. They said, 'But the good thing is, you have horse sense, and we can work off that.'

"So for three weeks, they worked my butt off from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., riding, doing obstacles, going fast, slow, galloping, trotting, no feet no hands, everything you can do under the moon to get you ready."

Apparently not all of the cattle were cooperative.

"There were some cows that were psychotic," Apanowicz says. "We had these ones that were called Brahmas. They were cows on drugs. They were so thin and wiry, just completely twitchy and, 'Oh my gosh, what's that? Oh, my gosh, what are you doing?'

"It was so freaky and funny at the same time, because you'd charge at them, and they'd charge right back. You're like, 'No, you're supposed to listen to me and go in the freaking metal pen.'

"Brahmas will stare you down."

After the Brahmas, there were the longhorns.

"That was scary," Apanowicz says, "because, dude, the sound of their horns clinking together was not a fun sound. It was like what your bones would sound like if they were being crushed."

Even with some bovine challenges, Apanowicz says, "I fell in love with the sport. I could see why people would do this for their lives. I'm like, 'I wish I grew up in a rodeo family, and I got to do this,' because it was an incredible feeling, and an incredible sense of accomplishment."

The next season of "Kyle XY" isn't due until early 2009. Eager "Battlestar Galactica" fans are also waiting for "Caprica," which has been talked about since 2006.

Set on the colony planet Caprica about 50 years before the time of the cataclysmic Cylon attack that launched "Battlestar," the pilot tracks how Dr. Daniel Graystone creates a technological marvel that changes the future.

"It's a complicated script," Apanowicz says. "There's Dr. Graystone, he's the through-line of the story. His daughter is my best friend. I don't know how much I'm allowed to give away.

"I have a lot of scenes with Dr. Graystone, and I have a lot of scenes with my best friend and her boyfriend.

"I wish I could tell more of the story, because it's so incredibly awesome, but I can't."

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