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Stargate SG-1 Cast Interviews: April Amber Telek

April On Avalon
Alison Butler, Stargate SG-1 Solutions, April 2005

Stargate SG-1 Solutions chats exclusively with the accomplished genre actress April Amber Telek, who guest-stars in Stargate's pivotal 9th season...

To date in her career, Vancouver-born actress April Amber Telek has made appearances in genre shows as diverse as "The Sentinel," "Sliders," "Highlander," "Millennium," "The Outer Limits" and "Dead Like Me" as well as movies like "Immortal" and "White Noise." Now April is guest-starring in Stargate SG-1's Season 9 premiere story arc "Avalon Part 2," "Origin," and "The Order," playing the Ancient, Sallis.

Stargate SG-1 Solutions: Hello, April, and welcome to the wonderful if whimsical world of Stargate fans :)

April Amber Telek: Thank you for asking me to do this! I love it!


SSG1S: How did you come to be cast as a guest-star in the show? Can you take us through the casting process for Stargate SG-1?

AAT: Well basically, I just got a call from my agent with a request from the casting department to see me for the role. When I arrived at the audition, I saw all the "usual suspects" (the lovely ladies that I typically find myself at castings with, and I mean it, they are lovely...most are really good friends of mine). Inside the actual audition space was, a cameraman, Sean Cossey the casting director, Andy Mikita the episode director, and Robert Cooper, the writer/producer. I did the scene...only once to my surprise, and got a call a couple of hours later that I booked it! Yippee!


SSG1S: Which qualities in the character of "Sallis" attracted you to audition for the role?

AAT: The role of Sallis would give me the opportunity to play from a different actor's perspective. What I mean is, because she is basically used as a communication device by Claudia Black's character Vala, I would have to ultimately play Vala through the body of Sallis...does that make any sense at all?...I didn't think so. ;)

SSG1S: What special acting demands and opportunities did your role as "Sallis" present you with?

AAT: As mentioned before, I wouldn't get to make my own choices on what Sallis was like, as I would basically have to mirror what Claudia did. It was fun to figure out the "Moonlightingesque" relationship between Daniel and Vala, and to put my own spin on it.  Claudia and I wore the same exact outfits, right down to the little bows in the laces up our arms, the same for Michael and Steve. Michael and Claudia would do a scene, then Stephen and I would do the EXACT SAME MOVEMENTS, IN THE EXACT SAME TIMING as they did, and whether it was a villager's POV (point of view) or Vala seeing herself in the mirror (where she would see me), that would determine which one of us the viewer/audience would see at any given time.

It's very hard to make this clear...and actually, unfortunately, the way things sound, coming from the executives, it is VERY confusing to watch as well, so I believe that in the final cut of the episodes, Stephen and I will ultimately be almost completely cut out. Just glimpses of us from now to then. I must admit, we did get the feeling that this was probably going to happen while shooting, and Claudia, the sweet woman that she is, said that she felt it was "an enormous waste of talent"! She's referring of course to the fact that Steve and I basically just "copied" the other two, and we didn't get a chance to really show our chops.


SSG1S: What is it like to come in as a guest-star to a long-running show with such an established cast and characters, crew and series mythology? Is it intimidating – or a challenge you relish?

AAT:It could be intimidating to be sure, but the SG-1 cast and crew were absolutely FANTASTIC! Nobody treated us like anything other than family, and we felt accepted and comfortable from minute-one. Robert Cooper even took time from his busy day to come to my fitting to apologize for the changes in the character's role size, which was really nice of him to do.

SSG1S: Which members of the Stargate SG-1 cast did you have the chance to work with?

AAT: I got to work most closely with Michael Shanks and Claudia Black.

SSG1S: Can you share with us some of your experiences of filming on the Stargate set? We've been told that practical jokes are rife and the male cast members are very, very welcoming of their female guest-stars...

AAT: I had the best time! I've known Michael for years and years, so I was immune to his practical jokes, but I have to mention that Claudia Black is truly one of the most lovely actresses I've had the chance to work with. She is such a pro, but brings so much fun to everything she does...joking and telling stories and such. I adore her.

SSG1S: Please take us through a 'typical' day on set for a Stargate SG-1 guest-star.

AAT: A typical day would begin with arriving at "the circus" (the trucks and trailers) and being taken "through the works" (hair, makeup and wardrobe). Steve the fabulous 3rd AD would bring me coffee and breakfast if I wanted (what a God-send at 5:30am), and then the waiting would begin! I sat in my trailer for the most part, and played cribbage with the very talented Stephen Park (Harrid) for hours! We listened to music, (Jaime Cullum, the best), and ran lines for other auditions and gigs. There is A LOT of waiting around.

Ultimately, we would get called to set, and we'd watch every movement that "Daniel & Vala" made, so when it was "Harrid & Sallis'" turn to do the scene, we could be bang on with the movements of the other two.

SSG1S: What's the one memory you're going to take from working on "Stargate SG-1?"

AAT: How wonderful everyone treated us! From the production assistant on a day call, to Joseph Mallozzi the exec. producer, everyone was amazing!


SSG1S: What can you tell us about the story of your episode "Avalon?"

AAT: During this episode, Daniel and Vala find some rocks that when put into a device, transport them to another galaxy. They discover that they are in fact INSIDE of Harrid and Sallis, and begin to find a way out. It is quite complex and interesting, and I am by no means doing any justice to the storyline, so I'll leave it like that.

Watch the's very well written!

SSG1S: Arthurian legend remains hugely popular throughout the world in every form of creativity and entertainment. What stands out for you in Stargate SG-1's interpretation of this enduring myth in "Avalon"?

AAT: What stands out for me the most is the true commitment they had in being so precise with detail. Everything from the incredible sets, to the costumes on everyone from the leads to the background expense or detail was spared!

SSG1S: We've heard the sets for "Avalon" are truly amazing. Can you tell us more about this magical Arthurian world the Stargate crew have created?

AAT: Oh, it really is an amazing set! The detail on every level is brilliant! My words would never do it justice...

SSG1S: Did you film all of your scenes at Bridge Studios or did you get the chance to film out on location around Vancouver? Any specific locations?

AAT: Yes, all my scenes were shot at the Bridge Studios.


SSG1S: Just who is "Sallis" and how does she fit into the "Avalon" three-story arc and the Arthurian mythology?

AAT: Sallis is an "Ancient" and, her and her husband have a "modern" way of thinking. Ultimately, they are persecuted for being "heretics".

SSG1S: Is there a particular character "Sallis" interacts with?

AAT: Sallis and Vala are basically one, but I guess Sallis interacts most with her husband Harrid (played by Stephen Park).

SSG1S: What mark do you think "Sallis" has made on the Stargate universe and the SG-1 team?

AAT: Sallis was used as a communication device, but I really think she and Harrid were there to help the "Moonlighting-like" relationship between Daniel and Vala to progress.

SSG1S: Any chance we'll be seeing "Sallis" again in future episodes?

AAT: Who knows, that sure would be fantastic!

Six Degrees of Separation

SSG1S: Would you like to tell us about your training and aspirations as an actor?

AAT: Well, I started as a very young girl playing in theater at school and making my own plays in front yards throughout my neighborhood. At 10, I began modelling, then around the time I won Miss Canada, I put my focus toward acting.

I studied all through my teens, but I do believe that life has been my best training. I feel like I've lived a couple of lives already, and I've got plenty more to go!

SSG1S: You've worked on film and TV projects with other Stargate SG-1 luminaries: Teryl Rothery and Don S. Davis, Peter DeLuise, Colin Cunningham, Paul McGillion, Jason Schombing, Steve Bacic, Douglas Arthurs. Any memories or anecdotes you'd like to share?

AAT: Well, Teryl and I were fortunate enough to work as wife and mistress, respectively, to the late and very missed John Ritter. What a wonderful gift to have been blessed with! He was lovely beyond words, and touched my heart dearly.

As for some of the others, Colin, Paul and Steve are very good friends of mine. I have worked with Steve and Colin on countless occasions, and Colin and I both have family in Vegas so we've actually spent Christmastime together. Paul and I shared a house (platonically) in LA for a while. I'm so thrilled for his success on "Atlantis".

SSG1S: You've had a great variety of roles and acting experiences. Which role and/or production are you proudest of?

AAT: I've had some amazing opportunities! From the "Millennium" episodes that I did, to the "Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy", and everything in between. How fortunate I've been to have had the chance to work with "greats" like Tony Curtis, Henry Winkler (3 times), John Ritter, Rene Russo, Michael Keaton, Randy Quaid, and the list goes on!

I must say that I really loved working on "The Immortal". I have been blessed with more creative, and higher budgeted shows of course, but it was on that show that I really got to "sharpen my teeth". I loved every minute of every 16 hour day!

I must also say that I cherish the chances I've had to "give back". Having been involved with so many shows has given me an opportunity to get involved with charities on a larger scale, and I really love doing that.

SSG1S: A lot of your acting has been in genre roles. What is it that draws you to work in sci-fi?

AAT: I love Sci-Fi because there is so much room to play! I also really dig the special effects if done well, and you can't beat great prosthetics...I'd love to be some crazy looking alien one day!

Our Thanks

SSG1S: Thank you April, for sharing your time and insights with Stargate's fans.

AAT: Thank you Alison, for asking me to do this interview.

Web Links

© 2005 Alison Butler, Stargate SG-1 You may link to this interview from your website. If posting any snippets of news or spoilers from the interview, please credit Stargate SG-1 Solutions and provide a link back to this page. You may not post the interview in its entirety to any other website, forum or mailing list.

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