Claudia Black on Filming and Motherhood

Claudia Black as Vala (SciFi 3)Claudia Black was recently interviewed by Steve Eramo for TV Zone Magazine, Issue 226 (available for purchase here). Among many things, she speaks about her experiences filming Stargate SG-1’s Season 10 as a new mom, and filming the movies while pregnant with her second son. From the interview,

“On the personal side, I thought I could do what Amanda Tapping had done the prior season and have a baby,” she says. “Nurse the baby on set, which production was willing to accommodate (amazingly rare in the workplace) and do a decent job. I was wrong and I failed. While everyone else was celebrating 200 episodes — a milestone in Science Fiction television — I was experiencing in stark contrast, a personal and professional low. We had relocated from Australia to Vancouver with a newborn who was ill and no family or friends around to help. My hours were hell, the workload more than sizeable, and when my poor husband got pneumonia and I got postnatal hyperthyroidism, our family and household crashed.

“When I finally admitted defeat — personal, first, then professional — and went to Rob Cooper,” Stargate SG-1’s executive producer, “to ask for help, there was little he could do. I was used to the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants production that was Farscape, where the scripts were delivered on the day if you were lucky and production got used to being very flexible. These guys in Vancouver, however, are extremely organized; the scripts had been written well in advance and were wall-to-wall Va-la-la! So Rob asked me if I could hold off having a ‘breakdown’ until the upcoming hiatus, and I obliged to the best of my ability.”

Regarding filming the movies, she said, “Vala was low-ish maintenance in Continuum,”… “I was on strict doctor’s orders to work limited hours with Continuum due to a miscarriage scare during the first movie, so that put a lot of pressure on production to get me out every day on time… On both movies I struggled monumentally with shocking morning sickness. If anyone mentioned food I started to cry, and then dug my knuckles into my palms until they were close to drawing blood… Cliff [Simon] was incredibly sweet and careful about what he consumed around me, but one day I caught a whiff of something and gagged through my lines ’til I heard Martin Wood yell, ‘Cut!’ and then raced to a trashcan just next to set. I hope Cliff didn’t take it personally.”

To read more of this interesting interview, purchase Issue 226 of TV Zone!