Stargate — SG-1 :: Atlantis :: Universe — Solutions
Solutions Banners

Creation Entertainment Stargate Convention

July 10-11, 2004, Burbank, California

by Michelle

Please don't re-use the images or text in public lists or websites without permission.

I had the pleasure of attending the first Creation 'Official' Stargate convention, in Burbank, on July 10-11, 2004. It was a great con, very well organized and run. Things were pretty much on time, no one spent too much time in lines, all of the guests were there and wonderful, the sound system was great, the signage was professional, the banners that adorned the stage and convention area were big and beautiful. The con organizers asked for feedback several times and tried to accommodate everyone. They went to the trouble of getting permission from MGM to show the season premiere, from DVD onto a big screen, at the end of the con. Of course, this was a practically a necessity since the hotel didn't carry SciFi Channel (!), and many people were traveling Friday night, but still it was nice of them to do. Creation doesn't run a cheap con, but I found it worth the money.

It must have been a happy weekend for the organizers and MGM — by my rough count there were over 800 people there during the main actor talks — standing room only! I never expected to see such a crowd at a Stargate-only con in the U.S.; it was a wonder to behold. The down side to that was that the interaction moments with all of the actors were very rushed, from the ice cream social to the autograph line. But the actors gave their all on stage, so I can't really complain. Much.

Following are notes and pictures from each of the actors who appeared, plus Jonathan Glassner because he was cool. I didn't have much to write about the other guests (Director David Winning, et al); no offense intended.

Saturday Appearances

Carmen Argenziano
Tony Amendola
Peter Williams
Don S. Davis

Sunday Appearances

Sunday Brunch
Jonathan Glassner
Christopher Judge
Michael Shanks
Amanda Tapping

Image Gallery

Selected Images

Carmen Argenziano

Carmen Argenziano lives nearby and was happy to report he'd had breakfast with his kids before coming to the con. He was warm and funny and clearly loves being on Stargate. He's scheduled to go up and shoot an episode in August, which was welcome news.

Carmen started a running joke for the con when he gazed up at the huge banner with Sam front and center in her desert-colored tank top. The one that has her frontal area front and center and, well, large. He said something like, 'wow, what a beautiful woman. Some things about her have changed…' to much laughter. Other guests and Amanda herself got laughs out of Sam's 'enhanced stance' in that image.

He talked about what a well-oiled, well-organized machine the Stargate production is, only shooting for 12 hours per day, which is considered very civilized in TV production.

A fan asked what Jacob's reaction would be to Sam dating a cop. Sadly, her mention of Pete was the first of many times a vocal contingent seated behind me in the front rows of the hall chose to start booing any mention of Pete, whom I assume is contrary to their desired Jack/Sam pairing. Fortunately Carmen did not appear at all intimidated by the boos, saying only he'd like to get to know Pete. He talked about 7.13 "Grace" and how amazing Amanda/Sam was in that episode. He said he (meaning Jacob) wants her to find love, and that he would encourage that. And that 'she's getting a little old now, too,' to surprised chuckles.

A very moving moment came when a woman in a wheelchair complimented Carmen on the depth of his portrayal of Jacob, especially in the conflicted nature of his relationship with Sam. After thanking her, the woman told Carmen that she sits in her chair and watches him every day, that he is her favorite, and that he was the reason she was at the con. Carmen was very touched by this and walked over to hug her. Then he started laughing and told us, 'she said that's what happened with Wayne Newton too!'. Carmen took the comparison pretty well.

One of his favorite scenes was the one with Sam in the corridor just before Jacob goes to take Selmak from his current host. He tells Sam that he wants her to know he'll always be proud of her. As they were filming, Carmen surprised Amanda by touching her cheeks, and her reaction was very spontaneous and real. He said such moments are rare in acting and so are treasured.

Carmen was born and raised in Eastern Pennsylvania and went to New York at age 18 to pursue acting. He received formal training and slowly made his way through the ranks. He is preparing to do a play at the Geffen Theater in Westwood called 'Last Man Out' which recently played on Broadway and won a Tony. It's a dark comedy about baseball, and he'll be playing the skipper of the team. He invited everyone to come watch him in the play, which will run for two months, starting in late September.

Carmen recalled the time he was in Paris for a convention, and he, Don Davis, Chris Judge, and Teryl Rothery went out to get something to eat at 4 am on the Champs Elysées. They were amazed to find themselves recognized, with people shouting 'Teal'c!' with, of course, French accents. They shouted Jacob, too, and he found it a surreal, funny moment.

A woman asked whether, if Sam doesn't get together with 'Pete the Stalker', would Jacob want her to get together with Jack. He said 'I don't trust Jack. It will never happen'.

Return to top

Tony Amendola

Tony Amendola is a very approachable, sweet man who clearly loves the art of acting. When asked to describe how he gets into character, he managed to make it relatable to the audience by giving analogies about how we all act in real life at times. He talked about working on Seinfeld and how in television it's the writer and producer who are king, not the director. He told a great story about meeting Larry David on Seinfeld; the man was flossing teeth while everyone around him showed total deference.

His favorite episode is 5.02 "Threshold", because it gives a lot of back story to Teal'c and Bra'tac and because it was written by Brad Wright, whose writing he admires, and directed by Peter DeLuise, whom he loves to work with because he's an actor's director. He told the story about convincing Chris that only he should be bare-chested in the snow scenes, rather than both of them, and how he smiled at Chris about two hours later, when Chris was freezing and Tony was nice and warm. He also liked the fight scene since he got a chance to put some creativity into it. He likes being able to try different things for just one take, so the director has it even if he decides not to use it.

He admitted that members of the cast are very bad influences on him in terms of going out to drink a bit; he wouldn't name them, but did say they were very large, and bald headed.

Tony came up with the 'Hammond of Texas' gesture where he rubs his own head; it was unconscious the first time, but he has continued it because it worked well.

He admitted that the skull cap Bra'tac wears gets very hot and uncomfortable, but every couple of hours Jan Newman comes and washes it in ice water for him, and he's very grateful for such nice treatment.

As to why Bra'tac rebelled against Apophis, Tony said he avoids analyzing that on an intellectual level, but imagines it as a distaste, that Bra'tac knew instinctually that something was wrong, that something troubled him. As an actor he thinks it's better to imagine Apophis as a food he dislikes, a physical feeling to play against.

As to Atlantis, he would love to be on it, but doesn't expect to be on the first season, since they need to make room for the audience to accept the current cast, and of course the show is taking place in another galaxy.

As far as taking on the role of Bra'tac, he knew things would work with Chris right away, after looking him in the eye and spending five minutes with him. Richard Dean Anderson, he was a bit worried about because he didn't know how much comedy was in the show, and he wasn't sure how their first scene was going to work. Playing the scene, he was truly puzzled by Richard, as an actor, but it worked great because he let Bra'tac be thrown off just as he was. He said an actor being surprised is 'gold' on screen, and there was a bit of that in that scene. He mentioned also that he bit Daniel's hand spontaneously.

Acting is an art, between the audience and the actor, so it's very hard to talk about artistic progression in a scientific way. Building a role is a very individual thing that doesn't always go logically from the ground up. You have to be patient and sometimes it can be years after a class before you suddenly feel you understand what you learned there, and you can feel that over and over.

Tony grew up in New Haven, CT, and went to school in Philadelphia. Out of acting school, his first job was in a film archives, where he got an invaluable education and experience watching great movies. He went out to California from New York in 1978, planning for it to be temporary, and has been there ever since. He worked in the Berkeley Repertory Theater, and in general worked in theater for many years, still doing so even now as well as taking classes. He pointed out that science fiction has the most classically trained actors of any genre — the dialog requires it. Sadly, being classically trained in theater is still sort of frowned upon in Hollywood, with actors being called too theatrical by TV and film producers, and this fact mystifies him.

So far this year, he's done one episode of Stargate. He's going up in August to do two more, and hopes to do one more after that. He said he believes fans' reaction to his character has contributed to Bra'tac being a recurring character year after year, and producer Michael Greenburg has told him how often he hears how much Bra'tac is liked.

He did a spontaneous Shakespeare scene with a woman who asked what his favorite play was, to much joy from the audience. It was from 'Taming of the Shrew', the speech with all of the 'Kates'. It was great to see him jump right into a role like that.

He works in a small L.A.-area theater company called Antaeus.

When asked about RDA, he said Richard has an odd sense of humor and is very different from a typical executive producer in that he doesn't seem to worry about wasting time or money. As RDA said in a recent interview, he feels like his job is to come on set and be certain that while everyone is working hard, they should be having as good a time as they can possibly have. And he lives up to that, and all his irreverence comes from that, and yet it adds a whole different element to the character of Jack that is wonderful.

Tony finished his talk with a resounding 'Jaffa, kree!' after being asked to do it by someone earlier. It was wonderful.

Return to top

Peter Williams

Peter Williams is very charming and quick-witted. I must admit I love his lilting Jamaican accent, his beautiful skin and perfect teeth. Plus, he's charming and quick-witted ;-)

The one thing Peter knows about the Season 8 opener is that Apophis is not in it.

His first audition for Stargate was for the part of Teal'c, and while he did well, once he saw who they cast, he understood. But then he read for Apophis and perhaps due to his resemblance to Jaye Davison, who played Ra in the Movie, he got the part. Little did he know he was going to have to wear gold lipstick and a skirt.

Being Apophis has given him the opportunity to go around the world to conventions and introduced him to the whole world of scifi and conventions, which he still doesn't fully understand. But his passport has lots of exotic stamps as a result.

He clearly loved working on Stargate and regretted his continually declining presence year to year. He said with a smile that part of him is still Apophis. He used the example of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy doing Expedia [well, actually it's Priceline] commercials now so many years later as a predictor that he has not played Apophis for the last time.

He disliked the skull cap he had to wear due to the sweat that built up under the plastic. The moveable helmet was a great challenge with its pneumatic hoses operated by someone crouching right behind him. He had to make sure to move his nose out of the way as it opened and closed.

His favorite other System Lord was Sokar. He was a good baddie, and the actor is a friend. He also appreciated Hathor's 'features'.

Peter was in an episode of MacGyver and was remarked on the well-known loyalty of Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Greenburg, who remembered him when he came to audition for Stargate.

He's had the best year of his career. He is in 'Chronicles of Riddick', for which he got paid very well, and will be in 'Catwoman'. He'll also be in two or three episodes of 'Dead Like Me' on Showtime.

He finds RDA hilarious and has great respect for a man who can carry a series for years, episode after episode, and then do it again for another series. He finds RDA glib, flippant, funny, kind and respectful, but is also one to keep his own distance.

He has a degree in geography, but found it wasn't worth much in Canada, so he pursued acting, and then got formal training. He also acts as a DJ in clubs and on the radio, presumably for Jamaican style music which he'd mentioned earlier he likes and follows.

So ended Peter's talk to much applause and happy acknowledgement that Apophis is truly missed, especially in light of all of the faceless villains we've had since.

Return to top

Don S. Davis

You've heard about how nice Don S. Davis is, and that's no lie. He's a sweet, emotional man who's a gifted if long-winded storyteller. He's also a shadow of his former self, having lost over 45 lbs recently with the encouragement of his lovely wife. His talk was a real pleasure from beginning to end and really got the audience fired up.

He said, 'I have never worked on a show that I will miss like I miss Stargate. It's been an unbelievable experience, with the best people…' and at this point he had to apologize for being an emotional guy, all choked up. He says he misses them very much but life has to go on, and he's very fortunate because he has the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife, Ruby. Ruby was in the audience and got a nice round of applause.

His new phase of life is to focus on his art work. He has moved to the Los Angeles area, leasing a house, and wants to pursue both painting and sculpture.

He did shoot an episode of Stargate a couple of weeks ago (presumably "Prometheus Unbound" which we've heard about). He thinks they have the best quality adventures, week after week, on television. He's also filmed an episode of Atlantis, where he plays General Hammond.

He talked about the movie he and Michael want to make (called 'The Maggie Rose') about a fishing village from the 1950's. He said 'I think Michael has a career in film' and talked about how in a film you have enough time to really nail the portrayal, to give a sense of the character very quickly. He talked more about the plot and how it is really a story of a village against a cannery company, so it's sort of a David and Goliath story. He compared it to 'Hometown Hero' and 'Waking Ned Devine'. He let slip that in the end the good guy wins.

He talked about his time as a Captain in the Army in Korea, but during the Viet Nam era. He defended today's troops, reminding the audience that it's the politicians who send the soldiers to war, and that the soldiers shouldn't be blamed for doing their jobs.

Has was requested to and gladly gave a big 'Yeee-Haaawww' of the type he yelled in 3.01 "Into the Fire Part 2". General Hammond pronounces Goa'uld Goold because he's from Texas. He has molasses on his tongue, and if he pronounced it correctly they'd have to cut the scene short because it takes him a long time to get a word out. He figures back at the beginning the producers, rather than correct him, said 'let's don't confuse him — he's not very bright'.

When asked which of his co-stars had progressed the most as actors, he said he loves all three co-stars like family and that they've all progressed, as a natural thing. One reason is, the longer you play a character, the better you know him. And you can be more subtle playing a character you know like your own skin. So you go beyond acting to reacting, which is what television and film are all about. What you learn as a theater actor is not to fake strong emotions but to find a switch you can turn on to make yourself feel them, for example imagining a loved one who has died. At this point he got choked up again and noted how he's so used to these switches, it's hard to turn them off. Then you learn to try to stop, and if the camera sees you trying not to cry, that's ten times as powerful as seeing you make a fool of yourself. Same for anger — let yourself get angry then try to dial it back. And that's what his co-stars have done with Daniel, Sam, and Teal'c. They've learned to become the characters when the time comes. And Rick of course is an old war horse, and he's playing himself, a man with a great sense of humor who can tap into the heroic aspects.

In reference to whether Hammond or the SGC would ever take down Kinsey, Don said the Air Force watches the show closely and likes it, so they can't go too far from reality. They couldn't show the SGC becoming renegades, in other words. It's important that they always act like the good guys, not the bad guys.

His favorite episode, for laughs, was 5.12 "Wormhole X-Treme". Because he has a son, he loved the one where Teal'c tried to keep his son from becoming a Jaffa (1.12 "Bloodlines"). Poor Don got choked up again, thinking of that one.

He told the story about how he got the job as Dana Elcar's double on MacGyver, which greatly helped him get cast on Stargate. He mentioned that he was teaching theater-related topics at the University of British Columbia, and that he has a Ph.D. and had been teaching for 16 years when the MacGyver opportunity came along. Basically, it was his ability to get physical and handle weapons that led him to be a stunt man and then a stunt double for Dana Elcar. This was a long but very enjoyable story that perhaps you'll get to read elsewhere.

Asked about Heroes, he said actually it is, hands down, the best episode they've done. He enjoyed his own work the best of any episode and thought the eulogy was remarkable.

His art work isn't yet for sale but he would like to find someone to market some of it. He is a landscape painter and loves working in oils, though for speed reasons he uses acrylics. He would like to do only one or two acting jobs a year, but spend most of his time doing the art work. He would teach again, though his love is art. Even when he was a child, he said his dream was to paint a great picture, carve a great sculpture and write a great poem, and his family told him to go for it. Acting helped him get through college, and his ability to lift a tall actress over his head helped him get his first role.

Don is a class act and must be such a great person to call a friend.

Return to top

Sunday Charity Auction Brunch

Michael, Amanda, and Chris arrived from their hotel to the brunch a tad late, apparently because 'they couldn't find Michael.' Still they strode in full of energy and humor and cheered up the whole room. They visited each table to chat briefly and let folks take photos. The highlight of the brunch was the arrival of Chris Judge's family, a surprise visit started by Chris' mom saying on the microphone, 'Christopher Judge, Christopher Judge, why don't you return your phone calls?' It turned out there was a family reunion in the area over the weekend, and since Chris couldn't attend, his mom, two aunts and two cousins brought the party to him. He was very surprised and had a great time embracing all of them, and by way of vindication he made his mother play back the voice mail he had left her, thus proving that he had indeed returned her phone call.

Jonathan Glassner

Jonathan Glassner, with Brad Wright, created the SG-1 series, and worked on it for the first three seasons, seasons that are still my favorites for the storylines, characterizations, and warm interaction.

Unfortunately due to the length of the brunch and location of my table as the 'last stop' for the actors, I missed the first part of Jonathan Glassner's talk. I heard that he told the story of how the series came into being. He talked about how the creators of the Stargate movie hated the series from the beginning because they felt it ended any chance of a sequel movie. Glassner said that was not the case, that MGM never intended to make a sequel. When asked which character he most identified with, he said there were parts of him in each character but that he most identified with Daniel for his passion for exploration.

He talked about how Amanda Tapping ad libbed the 'MacGyver' line in the pilot, that it was the fifth take so she took a chance but didn't think they'd use the line. But it was hilarious so of course they used it. Producing for Showtime gave them a lot of latitude to do this sort of thing, since, unlike a major network, Showtime wouldn't censor something like that because 'MacGyver' had been on a different network or similar reasons. They ordered so many episodes, 44 during the first year, that the producers could develop story arcs and have the characters evolve over many episodes instead of only the six episodes a typical network allows.

As to why everyone speaks English on the various worlds…they couldn't think of a good science fiction reason for it, and they knew they would lose the audience if they used subtitles through much of the episodes, so they decided to just leap over it and not really address it. It has been a subject of criticism, but there wasn't a believable solution to it.

He noted how popular the show is around the world, and that he's done many more press interviews in the U.K. than in the US.

Glassner seems like a very nice, smart, laid back kind of guy. He's genuinely touched by the popularity of the show. I thought it was very sweet that he sat in the audience while Chris, Michael, and Amanda did their appearances. I glanced over at him several times, and he was always smiling up at them, perhaps proud that those young actors he helped to cast in the show are now such beloved figures and skilled convention performers as well. The actors seem to like him too, each noting his presence fondly during their talks.

Return to top

Christopher Judge

I hadn't seen Christopher Judge in person before but I'd heard about what an energetic, (some would say) crazy person he is, especially on stage, and I wasn't disappointed. I got the feeling many in the audience were really surprised that Chris is so not Teal'c. And Chris loves to play off of that. He also greatly played upon the fact that his mom and other female relatives were in the audience, so that he couldn't talk about what he would usually talk about, such as belching and flatulence, but of course he did anyway. He also had a lot of fun with the audience, insisting everyone introduce themselves at the mike and dragging speechless questioners onto the stage with him. The content of this write-up is a bit short for Chris only because he spent so much of his 45 minutes on wordless antics that are too hard to describe!

He started by explaining in detail how his mom had called him and left a message to call him back, and he did, but she said he didn't.

Asked what his favorite episodes are for the other actors, he said he likes filming the action episodes but loves watching the character-focused episodes. His favorite episode for Rick is 1.05 "The Broca Divide", because up until that time he knew Rick as MacGyver and didn't really think he could act [said with much humor]. So he was watching them film the scenes in the cell, and thought 'Dang, MacGyver can act'. One of his favorite episodes for Michael is 3.20 "Maternal Instinct". He loves the whole thing 'where the black dude came and had sex with his woman and she's having his baby now'. ;-) He likes the human episodes. His favorite episode with Amanda… well given that his mom was in the audience, he thinks it's the one they just shot before going on hiatus, in which Sam faces… and then to avoid giving any spoilers he said, 'let's just say Amanda is a fine actress, and if there were two of her it would be even better!'

Asked what he'd like to see Teal'c do for the future, he said this season Teal'c gets to do a lot of what he wants, because Chris wrote it. He then made a big show of displaying his new 'do. Also, this year Teal'c has become like a super hero. And, pardoning his mamma, but Teal'c gets laid in three episodes! This to much laughter and applause, except perhaps on the part of parents with kids in attendance. :-)

Asked about 6.19 "Changeling" and who thought of the transitions for the different scenes and realities, he gave all credit to Martin Wood, who he said took the whole episode to a higher level than he had ever imagined.

He told the story of appearing in an episode of MacGyver, where in that first scene, Rick tried to make him laugh by inflicting his flatulence upon him.

During the time loops of 4.06 "Window of Opportunity", he thinks Teal'c visited Janet Fraiser's quarters many, many times. Oh, and during the golf scene, he hit his ball through the Stargate on the first try. If you play the scene on DVD, you can see that Rick's ball, on the other hand, is CGI. But we didn't hear it from Chris, okay?

One pattern I noted: if given a compliment by a female questioner, his first response was to accuse her of 'having the hots for him'. He probably wasn't far wrong.

To play Teal'c with all of his constraints, he just quit wearing underwear. But really, it's just called acting. What he loves most about his character is that there is only right and wrong. There's no equivocating, and Teal'c is willing to kill those who are wrong and to die for his wrongs.

On how his life has changed from before Stargate to now: his ex-wife is so rich… Really, he's just become happy; a lot older, and happy with his kids and girlfriend, happy to be at home rather than being out all of the time like he was in his youth.

He gave a good 'Jaffa, kree!' to the little girl whom he'd taken from the audience and given his sun glasses.

At the end, a questioner asked what his family thought of him and his antics, and his two cousins, two aunties, and mom stepped up to a microphone provided by Chris and all said how proud they are of him. His mom said he's been this way since he was two years old, and she never knows what he's going to say or do next, but she's proud and loves him very much. And how could you not!

Return to top

Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks is a hottie and a funny, smart, nice guy, in case you didn't already know.

Michael got a standing ovation on his entrance, which was great to see and I'm sure did nothing but put more pressure on him! In fact his first words were 'Hello, I'm paralyzed with fear'. He took a show of hands and it turned out maybe half the audience were 'convention virgins' as he termed it. So I'm sure they all got an education that weekend.

When a lady with Down's Syndrome was unable to ask a question, he very sweetly asked for a hug, and the lady told him he is a muscle man, which Michael found very sweet but didn't want Judge to hear.

When asked if Daniel will ever settle down and get married, he reviewed Daniel's history of things not working out too well; even after he saved Sarah he never heard from her again. He said, 'you'd think that taking a Goa'uld out of a chick would actually endear her to you, but she like dumps you for a football player. Subtext. Fan fiction — get on it!' So who's going to write it?

Asked about practical jokes, he went immediately to Chris Judge and flatulence. Then he went on to tell the tale of General O'Neill's entrance at the end of 8.02 "New Order Part 2", when Jack comes in through the gateroom door. RDA's entrance was accompanied by a sound that could only be one thing from him. If you watch the episode you'll note that Jack gives Teal'c a long look as he strolls by, and Michael said that was RDA's insider acknowledgement of the expulsion he had just accomplished. Later when a bunch of we con goers watched the episode on the big screen in the convention hall, everyone laughed like crazy at that look, which we might otherwise have barely noticed, or noticed but wondered about.

While Chris Judge has promised a major practical joke for this year, he hasn't played it yet. Get on the ball, Chris!

Asked about why he was gone in the sixth season of the show, he riffed for a while on what dirt the questioner wanted dug up, along with rest of the audience. He gave his usual diplomatic answer about the plot lines changing such that Daniel was wallpapered, that then things were adjusted and he decided to come back.

His thought patterns were revealed when a questioner asked what other work he'd done and said, 'you were never on MacGyver, were you?' To which he replied, 'what do you mean by "on MacGyver"?' to much laughter, from the slashers especially, of course. Listing his other work, someone from the audience yelled out 'Sumuru' and he said imperiously, 'have them killed.' He said 'Door to Door' is the only movie he's done where he tells people to go watch it rather than barely admitting he was in it.

As far as his favorite episodes for the others, for Chris he said 6.19 "Changeling" where Chris did a great job in spite of having trouble acting like a normal human being. For Rick, he's so good it's a tough one. But he had the most fun working with him on 6.06 "Abyss" where they were forced to act in a box with no props. He said Rick is so self-effacing but such a good dramatic actor when he chooses to be. For Amanda, he thinks the recently shot "Gemini" will be great (the same one Chris had mentioned). And that 3.06 "Point of View" and 7.13 "Grace" were also wonderful.

He was asked how an archaeologist like Daniel got such nice, buff arms? And what was Daniel doing while he was ascended? Did he get the arms from going out with hot ascended chicks? His answer: yes, hot ascended chicks.

He's not writing this year, but they filmed a wonderful episode called 8.12 "Prometheus Unbound" which guest starred Claudia Black (of Farscape), and it was such a great experience working with her that the two of them are plotting ways to get her back. So he might contribute to a story idea for her return, but he hasn't talked to the writers about it yet.

A questioner wondered if anyone had told him about the Conan O'Brien show Recliner of Rage [in which Pierre dissed Daniel], and Michael said, 'oh yes, they did'. The questioner, a young male film student, offered to do anything Michael wanted him to do about it, and Michael said, 'kick his ass', and the questioner said he'd be on a plane next week. Good guy! He then asked about the collaboration process with Amanda on 7.20 "Resurrection" and Michael explained that he let it all go once he handed the story over. So there was no tension, and he just sat back and enjoyed it.

He was a bit taken aback when a woman said she only started watching because she was a Richard Dean Anderson fan, but she went on to say she found she didn't want to watch any more once Daniel left, because he's the heart and soul of SG-1. She asked what Michael thinks is the core of Daniel. He said that Daniel is always looking for the ideal, for the solution that is the best for everyone, and that he seeks out the pure goodness in people.

He said he did the guide track for all of the Asgard in 8.01 "New Order" and he made one sound like Don Davis, and one sound like Stewy from Family Guy. He did great imitations of both. He's not sure if his voice was used for anyone but Thor, but he thinks probably not.

His favorite episode is… here's where Chris started agitating from back stage, eventually coming out at Michael's invitation to 'get your ass out here'. Amanda joined them too and it was very funny to see them all together. So, his favorite episode is 7.17 "Heroes" though he knows not everyone likes what happened in it.

Asked what his favorite alien weapon is, Chris made rude gestures with his microphone, then Michael got on Jonathan Glassner's case over the Zat and how it looks like a penis, especially the way it's used on set, with a floppy, rubbery air compression head on it. Chris accused Glassner of making up the full name just so he couldn't pronounce it, since, as Michael pointed out, Chris has enunciation problems.

The teenaged boy who asked the question reminded Michael to answer it, and Michael went into a James T. Kirk impression of indecision, to great laughter. The boy insisted rather strongly for him to 'just answer his question', and Michael called for security, joking of course. Then he said his favorite is the new replicator-killing gun from 8.01 "New Order".

When asked, he admitted he ripped off everything from Spader's Daniel Jackson at the beginning, then he stopped.

A pre-teen boy tried to ask a question but couldn't really get it out, something about how nice Daniel is and how nice Michael is and how does he play such a nice guy? But Michael was very sweet and when he saw the boy start to choke up in embarrassment, Michael stepped off the stage and hugged him — twice.

At the two-minute warning, Michael vowed to answer all remaining questions from people lined up and went into speed answer mode, running back and forth across the stage to each questioner. Daniel's favorite girl? His wife. Short hair or long? Short. How has Stargate changed your life? He feels so old. Secret question? He didn't know Daniel had a ship named after him. All-time favorite show other than Stargate? Old show: The Simpsons; new show: Family Guy.

While I was sorry Michael didn't get any questions about character development for Daniel this season, maybe that would have been too serious for the mood anyway, and it was a great appearance. I get the impression Michael isn't all that comfortable on stage playing himself, so he gets my great respect for doing it anyway. Thanks, Michael!

Return to top

Amanda Tapping

Amanda Tapping also arrived to a standing ovation and gave her sincere thanks to fans for their generosity and love and support of the show. Amanda was composed and energetic throughout, and bore up under the frequent Sam relationship questions with good humor.

She was then 'confronted' by the image of herself from the right-hand banner, the one that others had noted for the prominence of her chest area. She said, 'Uh, Hello. Stargate Barbie, hello. New from Matel, accessories, including the breasts, not included.' It seemed like she wanted to give more explanation, but she decided to move on instead. Good for her for making light of the obvious emphasis of the image!

Asked how many takes it usually requires for her to nail the long, complicated technical speeches Sam makes, she said she usually gets it in one or two, unless Chris is behind the camera making faces, then it takes 12. If RDA is off-camera, eyes glazed or falling asleep, six or seven. But she prides herself on doing them in one or two takes.

They've become a lot better at acting against green screens than they were in the beginning. For example, during 2.11, 2.12 "The Tok'ra", her reaction to the tunnels being created was much stronger than the boys', so it looked sort of funny once the effect was added. Now they often get pictures from the special effects people and are just more used to giving the right reaction.

As far as seeing Sam un-clothed, the only action you'll see from Sam is with Pete, for now. To the isolated boos, she said, 'I know, I know' and acknowledged that some people love Pete and some don't.

The writers do the scientific research, consulting when necessary, but she prides herself on checking their work, even running through equations when things don't seem right to her. One time when she did that her answer was only a bit different from what was in the script, though she proudly showed everyone, even the first aid guy, who said to her, 'Blink, blink. I'm pretty!'.

She agreed that toward the end of Season 7 there was a lot of Sam angst, and the order that the episodes were aired put them all in a row. But she really enjoyed filming those episodes. While filming 7.15 "Death Knell" she was covered in blood and dirt and she loved that. The next day they filmed the red dress scene from 7.15 "Chimera" (which she acted out on stage very funnily) and she didn't enjoy that as much as the blood and dirt. She is okay with them putting emphasis on Sam's personal life but she won't let them 'sexualize' her, because Amanda is very proud of the fact that Sam is this strong, smart, capable woman. And it's never been about her being sexy. But now that she's got this relationship in her life, the fact that she's more comfortable with her sexuality is okay.

Asked how she stays looking so young and healthy, she said she has a personal trainer whom she works out with on weekends, and she works out in the morning on her treadmill. But beyond that, even if it sounds hokey, she's 'really freaking happy' with her life. And she embraces that.

She told the familiar story about how she asked the writers to scale back on the feminist aspects of Sam after the pilot, suggesting they write for her as a character like Daniel, not as a woman.

Her favorite recent episode is 7.13 "Grace", but her favorite overall episode is 7.17, 7.18 "Heroes 1 and 2", because it showcased everyone, and as sad as it was, it was very real in a lot of ways.

She thinks that Pete is, at this point in the show, a good thing for Sam. If anything, it's preparing her for what an adult relationship could be like. She's so much more than just the woman who pines after her commanding officer. There's an obvious love and attraction between Carter and O'Neill, and that's not going anywhere. But for obvious reasons they can't act on it at this stage and in this environment. So it's very healthy for Sam to have a real relationship as opposed to the one where she went home and lay on her pillow going, 'Oh Jack'. Now she has a tangible relationship and it's helping her grow as a human being instead of being only focused on work.

She had a long talk with David DeLuise (Pete) because he got this letter and he called her, crushed, saying about the fan, 'she hates me!'. Amanda has gotten strongly negative mail too, though she just doesn't agree that Sam has lost her integrity but having a boyfriend, as some fans claim. But she loves that people give their opinions, that they feel passionately enough about the show that they're willing to write in and say how they feel. So she's happy to get both positive and negative feedback.

Her favorite person to work with is Carmen Argenziano; of course it's a given that she loves working with her co-stars, but she loves it when Carmen arrives on the set.

In 7.13 "Grace", originally they filmed two endings, one with a real kiss and one without, and they ended up blending the two and making the kiss in Sam's head.

A guy started asking all sorts of questions about her contract and how she gets paid, and her raises, etc. It was quite rude. She finally told him he was scaring her with his questions. It might have been well motivated, but it sure was inappropriate.

Her favorite scenes are when the four of them are together, because it means the four actors are hanging out together. She also really loves the running and shooting scenes, and it scares her that she likes them so much. She really missed her P-90 while filming 7.15 "Chimera".

She talked about how Peter DeLuise called her into his office, so sorry that he'd killed off Janet in "Heroes". They really did think it was the last season, and it was the right thing to do because such losses do happen in real life. But filming the scenes, similar to filming 5.21 "Meridian" knowing Michael was leaving, was very real, and the emotions were very real. But at the time they didn't know about Season 8.

If she could change anything in the show… Amanda wants to know, because Sam is often the one who confesses her feelings for Jack, she wants someone to confront Jack point blank and ask him what his feelings are, and what he's going to do about it, or not. It will never happen, but Amanda would like to see that.

Amanda was a lot of fun to watch and handled herself very well. I wonder how sick she is of answering all of the Jack/Pete questions, but she does so with great patience and diplomacy.

Return to top
Send feedback to Michelle
Return to Features
Return to Interviews
62111 hits since July 21, 2004

About Solutions

Since 2002, an independent Stargate site by fans, for fans. Contact us. Read our copyright statement.

Follow Us

Twitter LiveJournal