Katee Sackhoff Shared The Story Of A Fan Encounter That Changed Her Life

Katee Sackhoff had an encounter with a fan early in her career, changing the actress's views on fame. She has come to see things differently

By Dylan Balde | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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An unfortunate run-in with a conceited, self-important fan made a young Katee Sackhoff believe she had relinquished all right to privacy when she became an actress. But that was twenty years ago and time’s done its thing: the Mandalorian star no longer stands by the same self-deprecating, egregiously deferential maxim and has the appropriate tattoo change to prove it.

When Katee Sackhoff, the woman who would later inherit the Darksaber from Sabine Wren, was a wee twenty-one years of age, she met a stranger at a restaurant where she and her family were dining. The woman presumably demanded favors and quickly overstayed her welcome; uncomfortable, Sackhoff politely asked her to leave so she could eat with her loved ones in peace. The self-confessed fan reportedly took offense at even the mere suggestion and reminded the then-nascent young talent she was public property by virtue of her profession. It doesn’t make sense for celebrities to expect privacy, or so the woman probably said. Barely of legal age and deeply impressionable, Sackhoff’s initial takeaway was the stranger was right, and this — as she would later admit — “served her well for twenty years.” She details it on an Instagram post published on Monday. Check it out here:

To commemorate the realization, Katee Sackhoff had the Latin translation for public property etched on her arm, as a grim reminder of what she had to give up to achieve her dreams. “Bona fiscalia,” it said. But now, in the less tenebrous age of social media, she understands there was nothing to give up in the first place. Privacy, though rare, is a basic human right afforded to every single individual regardless of work options. In fact, those who have to contend with constantly being dressed down deserve it more; when the nature of one’s job requires you to shed certain liberties, the urgency to reclaim that power whenever possible becomes all the more significant.

Politicians are required by law to divulge details of their personal and professional lives for their constituents to judge and pore over, but has it ever been acceptable to stalk them in public places and expect them to take it in stride? No, strangers attempting so would be escorted away by security in handcuffs, so why should the same thing be different for celebrities? If approaching a public official out in the open feels wrong, why shouldn’t it be for working actors like Katee Sackhoff, who simply want to eat their dinner in peace? Unlike presidents and senators, celebrities typically do not come with a fully-loaded security brigade. They wear heavy-set sunglasses, woolly sweaters, and puffy hats to hide their features, but does that make them any less deserving of privacy? Of course not.

katee sackhoff

Katee Sackhoff ends her twenty-year debacle with a happy ending: to commemorate her change of heart, she decided to ink over her old mantra with the one thing helping her keep her center: her fiancé Robin Gadsby, symbolized by the image of a red-breasted black robin perching on a branch. The artwork is tattooed in place of “public property” in the shape of a heart, as a reminder of where her interests best lie. It took twelve hours, two “hysterical sessions,” and an appointment with living Inkmaster Sarah Miller, but it finally happened. “The thing I’m most protective of,” she writes. “The thing that fills my heart with joy. The person who validated my newly discovered self-worth when we met. My best friend and partner. My compass. My family.”

Katee Sackhoff, now forty-one years of age, is currently playing Amunet Black/Blacksmith in the Arrowverse and Bo-Katan Kryze in every Star Wars iteration of the character. She made her mark starring as Captain Kara “Starbucks” Thrace in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, sheriff’s deputy Vic Moretti in Longmire, and Dana Walsh in 24. She is presently voicing Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two.