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Stargate SG-1 Cast Interviews: Amanda Tapping

Sam 9 From Outer Space
Bryan Cairns, Dreamwatch Issue 12, October 2005
Amanda Tapping

It appears that Stargate SG-1 is the Energizer bunny of SF genre shows. It just keeps on going and going and going… Even as the series prepared to end on a high note last year by defeating the team's formidable adversaries and resolving the dangling plot threads, Stargate is storming through an unexpected ninth year on air.

One main castmember has been AWOL from the first episodes of season nine, however. After giving birth to her daughter Olivia in March 2005, Amanda Tapping […] admits she had mixed feelings about stepping through the glimmering portal once again.

"I sure did!" she says. "Big time, but I'm also a bit of a workaholic so this afforded me the best of both worlds. It is good that I've been on an established show for eight years. I have the luxury of coming to an environment that is safe and nurturing as opposed to an actress looking for a gig with a new baby."

Part of the solution was for Olivia to share quarters with her Mom and a flexible schedule for the actress. Indeed, those were small adjustments considering Tapping has always viewed Stargate as a family affair and that her return was about more than just job security. "I love my character and how they've evolved her over nine years," offers Tapping. "There has been a huge transformation in Carter which keeps it interesting."


Last season, the show balanced Carter's military duties by delving into her personal life. Her romantic relationship hit a new level when she said "Yes" to Denver police detective Pete Shanahan's marriage proposal. Alas, the two never made it down the aisle but Tapping was pleased they peeled back that layer of her character. "I really liked Pete and on a more selfish level, I liked the way it played out because I enjoyed hanging out with David DeLuise," explains Tapping. "But Pete was an important character because he was light, sexy, and fun. She just hadn't been dealing with any of that for a long time. It really opened her up. Now, she's coming back more focused with her work and more connected to herself."


Tapping acknowledges her late Stargate re-entry raised some momentary insecurities within her. "It did feel weird," she confesses. "'Should I be here? Does my character still belong?' That lasted two days and then we were back in our groove. I likened it to being the captain of the chess club trying to hang out with the football team. There was a well established energy with all these people and I walk in going 'Ahhh, hello?' I felt completely out of my element at first plus I was trying to juggle breast-feeding and the baby. It was a huge learning curve."


Richard Dean Anderson may have cut back on his Stargate screen time but there is stil the unresolved matter of O'Neill and Carter's relationship. The two have shared enough sexual heat to melt an iceberg so does Tapping imagine the lovebirds living happily ever after? "I've thought about that and I don't have an answer for you," she says. "Ultimately, there has been too much notice on these two and it is too much of a qualifier for this characgter. It would be amazing if something happened and they went 'Oh, we're better off as friends.' If they could get it on just once, have a great little time, and then go 'we got that out of our system. Now let's go fishing!' I just can't see Carter and O'Neill having a long term, functioning relationship, though."


In the meantime, Tapping has higher hopes for the ties between Stargate and sister show Atlantis. Although some of the original CSI cast have made their ill feelings towards spin-offs Miami and N.Y. crystal clear, with the prospect of the two Stargate franchises once again crossing over this year, Tapping scoffs at the notion of any similar in-house bickering. "We hate them," she cracks. "I'm kidding. People are looking for that but we hardly spend any time with the Atlantis folk. We shoot side by side and we never see them. Recently, we did this photo shoot and were thrilled to see each other. We all really dig one another."

[…Regarding a notional 15th season of SG-1.] "Michael Shanks and I were joking about that today," giggles Tapping. "Think about it. We'd be going through the Stargate in our wheelcharis, our walkers, and with our oxygen tanks. How funny would that be?"

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