Amanda Tapping Recalls First Stargate Days

Amanda Tapping as Captain Samantha Carter in “Children of the Gods”

Stargate star Amanda Tapping talked with Moviehole during the Vancouver Creation Convention in April about her first days in costuming at Stargate SG-1, back when the show was being produced for airing on the pay channel Showtime. It’s a rather heartbreaking account, but at the same time, shows what these characters meant to the actors even at the beginning of filming.

“The very beginning, my very first wardrobe call, I was asked to put on a push up bra and a tiny little tank top as my very first wardrobe fitting and I panicked because I thought ‘oh my god, they cast the wrong person,'” she recalled. “I’m not that and this character isn’t that and if they wanted a blonde boobie bombshell they cast the wrong girl.

“I remember crying in Christina McQuarrie’s little wardrobe change room and saying ‘why are they asking for this?’ I was told I was going to go up to the executive producers and show them this little look and I said ‘no, I can’t do it, maybe they’ve made a huge mistake.’

“It turns out it wasn’t Brad [Wright] or Rob [Cooper]—or Brad and Jonathan [Glassner] at the time—it was networks and whatever; it was different people who were making that decision, but I freaked and I guess Christina went up to them and [said] ‘she’s uncomfortable and this is not what the character is to her and maybe you can come down and explain to her why you want this incredibly strong, feisty woman to be this,’ and so they said ‘Don’t worry about it.’

“In some ways it was very painful and especially as a young actress, it was my first huge gig and I didn’t want to blow it, but by the same token, I was bawling; I was sitting in the wardrobe room crying, saying ‘this is not what this character is. I don’t see this character as this and if we’re going to cartoon this character then cast somebody different.'”

Fortunately, Tapping’s standing up for her character allowed her to produce a strong female role model that even she hopes her own daughter can look up to. “I think Sam is a great role model in that she is incredibly smart and unapologetic about it and that she’s strong and she’s loyal beyond measure. So many things that I admire about her that I would love for my daughter to take on.”

Now, over 12 years later, Tapping’s always willing to return to the Stargate sets, even after her success as the lead actor, director, and executive producer of her new hit series Sanctuary. The third SG-1 movie has been green-lit and Martin Wood is slated to direct Wright’s and Carl Binder’s script. “I don’t know anything about the movie. Michael [Shanks] and I were just talking about it; as far as we know, it’s going to be filming in the Fall and Rick [Richard Dean Anderson] [is] going to be in it and Chris [Judge] and Michael and I don’t know anything else beyond that.”

In the meantime, SG-1 fans are being treated to a new “final cut” of the episode that introduced the beloved cast: Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods: Final Cut is being released on July 21 in Region 1 (North America), July 27 in Region 2 (Europe), and August 5 in Region 4 (Australia). This “final cut” was created by Wright by going back to the original dailies and recreating the pilot with new visual effects and a new soundtrack by Joel Goldsmith. Additionally, Wright removed the female nudity that he felt didn’t belong in Stargate originally, but was asked to include on Showtime.

To read the complete interview, which includes Tapping’s view of Carter after she gained command of Atlantis, visit Moviehole: Interview: Amanda Tapping.


3 thoughts on “Amanda Tapping Recalls First Stargate Days”

  1. I don’t think she had all that much power, Jenks. One only need look at “Broca Divide” to see that the execs got their way with the “little look”.

    The Mary Sue thing is a different issue, I think. Isn’t that still in the power of the writers/producers more than in the actors?

  2. Yes, though it’s not the first time she’s admitted that she always pushes for Carter to make the correct decisions and do the right thing because she wants her to be a role model, to the detriment of the character in my opinion.

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