Michael Shanks Interviewed In Latest Stargate Magazine

Michael Shanks is featured on the cover of Issue 29 (July/Aug 09) of Stargate magazine; the issue also includes an extensive interview with Michael. Here is an excerpt, reprinted with encouragement from the publisher, followed by info on how you can order your own copy:


Stargate Magazine: Since it’s been a while, how happy were you with how the two Stargate movies turned out?

Michael Shanks: I was quite content with the process of both. Continuum seems to be the favored one by the people involved. It benefited from the fact that we didn’t have to resolve any ongoing arc issues. The first one [The Ark of Truth] carried a lot of baggage in terms of resolving a two-year story arc. We built up this enemy to such a degree, there was so much story to tell, and they were such a fierce antagonist that to get rid of them over two hours was a bit of a conundrum. It seemed to be a bit of a quick convenient fix to have this device that you magically open and the bad guys go away. Continuum could stand on it’s own. It was a different story and there wasn’t so much exposition. Continuum also seemed to be a lot more fun. The visuals were quite fantastic, with filming in the Arctic and the use of the jet planes. The return of Richard Dean Anderson is always fun, as well.

Stargate Magazine: Both were so well received it must have felt rewarding that there was still that fascination with the Stargate characters.

Michael Shanks: Yeah, obviously that is the amazing thing about this show. The series has survived many cast departures (and returns!) and plotline shifts. It’s been a 12-year journey, and those characters are still around. The fact that the audience is still with us is very flattering.

Stargate Magazine: Next up, it’s been reported you’re guest starring in the Stargate Universe pilot.

Michael Shanks: I will say I got the script and there’s a good chance Daniel will be making a brief cameo along with some other people from the Stargate universe. That’s probably as much as I can say without getting my nuts chopped off. I’m literally in there for two seconds to provide some brief information. I’m not an integral part of it at all.

Stargate Magazine: In the end, what has kept Daniel Jackson so fresh over all this time?

Michael Shanks: I attribute it to the genre. Every time I’m on a different show and we talk about our careers and I mention the fact Stargate went on for 10 years, most actors’ jaws drop to the ground! When I was in London last year and was talking with Patrick Stewart, he was like “10 years! Wow!” And he was on a successful show for seven years [Star Trek: The Next Generation] and the movies as well, so he had some perspective. Ten years is quite a stint when you put the double digits on there playing the same character. If I was on CSI where you are doing the same thing with the real-life character, it might be a little boring. It’s kind of the same old, same old. I got to do so much more with Daniel over those seasons. You get to be different people: possessed, drugged up, schizophrenic, and multiple personalities downloaded into your head. It was always interesting and [there was] always something new to play. Because of the fantastical nature of the genre in terms of anything being possible, the stories were never dull to read or even participate in because there was always something extraordinary happening. We were always trying to push the envelope with visual effects. The best part of playing Daniel was having the chance to evolve the character, taking his experiences, banking them, and seeing what they would do to his psychology. Playing off people like Claudia Black, Richard [Dean Anderson], or Beau Bridges always brought you to a different level. We had great guest stars, too. There was a lot going on, so that made Daniel fun to play.

Read the full interview in issue 29 of The Official Stargate SG-1/Atlantis Magazine ­ On-Sale Now!

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