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Stargate SG-1 Cast Interviews: Amanda Tapping

Amanda Tapping at Multiverse Convention: Transcript
Melbourne, 16 November 2002

Transcribed by Mon

Copyright notice: This transcript has been provided for sole use by the Stargate SG-1 Solutions website and may not be copied in whole or in part to any other website, email list, message board/whatever (no matter how many dots, spaces or lines you may add to make it look different! <g> ) except with the express permission of the transcriber and / or the owners of the original recording - Multiverse. With grateful thanks to Multiverse for bringing Amanda to Melbourne, for the copy of the tape, and permission to transcribe in full for the Stargate SG-1 Solutions website.

Transcript of the talk:

Note: There may be some blanks - this is going off a rough cut of the tape made during Amanda's talk. While Amanda had a mike, audience members did not, so questions are hard to discern (though the answers give some indication in most places).

Setting the scene:

As said previously, the convention was held in the Ella Latham Theatre of the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. Response for the day was excellent, to the point that unfortunately due to limited seating in the recently refurbished theatre (we belatedly found out such refurbishment, while increasing comfort and butt room for visitors <g>, decreased the number of available seats!), some people had to be turned away. (Note for future Multiverse attendees - 'tis better to purchase your tickets in advance!)

Before Amanda's appearance, master of ceremonies and one of the key people behind Multiverse, the ever-busy "I can't live without my cel phone" Derek Screen welcomed the attendees. Given the restricted seating availability, Derek apologised for the cramped quarters, especially to those who paid at the door.

Derek: Who paid at the door? Hands up.

A few hands go up.

Derek: Hands up those who are going to pay in advance next time? (he asks with cheeky grin)

One hand goes up.

Derek: There's one we'll let in at the next convention. (laughter ensues) It does help...

On seeing another hand raised, Derek dismisses the person:

Derek: No, no, no, no, we don't want you at the next one.

Amanda: Oh, thanks.

Derek: Yeah.

Amanda: I was just going to say, I'll pay in advance.

Derek: I want you to put your hands together, and give a warm Australian welcome to Amanda Tapping.

The lady herself descends the stairs to the stage. Much applause and camera flashing ensues.

Amanda: Hi everyone!

Audience: Hi! (and various other hellos etc)

Amanda: (with a bit of a Brit accent) Welcome to my class on Stargate SG-1. Please open your texts to page 45.

Much laughter.

Amanda: Oh, wow! Thank you so much for having me.  I was saying in Sydney I was trying to learn how to do an Australian accent, but the only, er, knowledge I have is Crocodile Dundee, the Crocodile Hunter...

Many moans and groans from the audience.

Amanda: ... and of course the Meryl Streep school of Australian accents.

Laughter again. (I sense a theme ;-) )

Amanda: And I thought, if I say one more time 'a dingo ate my baby daughter' (said with an attempted Aus/Streep accent) one more time, I was going to get my ass kicked.

Laughs again.

Amanda: G'day! And I've learned also if things are good I should say 'cool bananas'.

Laughter and applause.

Amanda: Derek told me that yesterday, and the woman driving the car sort of rolled her eyes, and I went "I shouldn't say cool bananas? What should I say?" So I'm slowly learning, so if you have any tips, or little things or little snippets you want me to learn to take back with me...

Audience member: Crikey

Audience pretty much disagrees with that one. (thankfully!)

Amanda: Crikey? Crikey's pretty much something I say anyway, being born.. I don't even know if I want to tell you...  you know, I was born in England, so....

How about 'mum', is that right?

Audience member: How 'bout 'stone the crows'?

Laughter, a few groans.

Amanda: We used to say 'stone the flaming crows' when my dad was mad. <pause> Alright. So.. I'm sure there's a ton of questions you want to ask and I just find that letting you ask questions sorta segues into some interesting stories, so I'm going to open it up to you. I just want to say I'm having a fabulous time in Melbourne so far. Tomorrow I go on a Harley Davidson tour (with fist clenched in a 'yes!' kinda way!) of the city - which both Amanda *and* Sam are happy about... very cool, I'm really excited about that - then I'm going to go see the Penguins [Phillip Island], and, ah, and I've just been wandering about. I've wandered down Brunswick Street, and Bourke, and we took the tram around the city... and, it's very cool, it's a beautiful place.

Audience member:  (barely heard, but sounds like:) You've got to watch a football match.

Amanda: I've got to watch a football match. (laughs)

Mixed reaction from the crowd.

Amanda: (laughing) There's dissension among the ranks!

Audience member: You can always watch the Poms lose the cricket, though.

Audience agrees and laughs.

Amanda: (nodding) Thanks a lot. (as in not <g>) Okay.

Audience laughs.

Amanda: Alright, so I'm going to open it up to any questions you might have, and hopefully I can shed some light on the wacky world that is Stargate, or the wacky world that is Amanda.

Audience member: Hi Amanda. How much is Amanda Tapping is in Sam Carter? (sic)

Amanda: A lot more than she was in the beginning. You may have noticed Sam was a *little* rigid. <g> Bless her heart. Ah... But Sam... I'm, a goof. I'm a self-professed goof, and a clutz. And, ah,  I think I have a much better sense of humour than she does. But what... I.. so I think I've warmed her up a little bit, so she's come a bit more like me, but if anything I've become more like her, in some ways, which has been kind of an interesting transformation. I'm a little stronger than I was when I started the show, and I'm able to stand up for myself a bit more. A *bit* (with finger a thumb raised to show a little *bit*). I work with very tall men, so you sort of learn (fist raised, looking up) 'grrr' (or however you write a grunting 'don't give me shit' sorta sound <g>). That's about as far as I get. Next year, *full* connection. (mimes a right hook)


Amanda: And I guess... as you all know, we're coming back for a seventh season.

Audience applauds and yells loudly in jubilation.

Amanda: And, ah, and I guess it's been announced, Michael will be returning to the show.

More applause and yells of happiness. Amanda nodding in agreement.

Amanda: So that's good.

Audience member: Just don't make it a dream.

Amanda:  Yeah, that's what I thought. I don't want to wake up at the end of it (miming waking and stretching) "Oh, what a weird year that was...what a strange dream that was. I dreamt that Daniel died."

Derek then interrupts momentarily to remind members that flash photography is not allowed. (I guess for those who didn't see the big-ass sign at the beginning of the talk!)

Audience member: And no spoilers.

The crowd disagrees.

Amanda: What season are you guys in?

Mixed response, I guess because some are doing the download thing!

Amanda: So, ssshh!

Audience member: Is it hard... (question was hard to hear, but the gist is something about how hard it is for Amanda to speak the techno-speak Sam Carter rattles off)

Amanda: I call it scientific flatulence.


Amanda: I made the terrible mistake... (at this point it's hard to hear, as for some reason, the microphone wasn't working) I made the mistake in the pilot... of reeling off a whole chunk of technobabble in one take, and so the producers went "Ah *ha*!


Amanda: Found a talking girl!  So now I am technobabble... science flatulence lady. I'm an Ah... I enjoy it. I enjoy researching it. And on the day that we're shooting, I actually do completely understand what I am talking about. That being said, I don't think at *this* stage in the game I could save us all from a black hole. But!... I could certainly give it an effort.


Amanda: Somebody at a convention in England asked me what a naked singularity was. And they were all, "so you think you know what you're talking about, what's a naked singularity?" (pulling a 'thinking hard about it' face) Black hole... singularity... um... okay... it's Sam Carter on a Saturday night!

Laughter and applause.

Amanda: (and back with a working microphone) Um, and that's my answer, and I'm sticking to it.


Amanda: Let's talk about the black widow syndrome for *just* a second. Because I have a really hard time.. *Sam*, has a really hard time keeping her boyfriends around and more importantly alive. If she's not killing them herself, as in Martouf,  she's, you know,  helping their planet blow up or, throwing them off... jumping off a harvester and leaving them up there, and all manner of problematic things that Sam does to her men. So if anything's were to happen in season seven, I would like her to at least have some semblance of a normal relationship, just to prove that she can.


Amanda goes forward to receive a question from a very young girl in the audience.

Audience member: Do you actually understand all the things that you say in the show?

Amanda: I do.


Amanda: I do a lot of homework. So, note to self (pointing to young girl). I study really hard. So, I do a lot of homework. Um.. but like I said, I don't know that I know enough to save the planet personally. But I do understand what I'm talking about. What I tend to do is take the really technical speeches, break it down into layman's terms, draw *pictures* for myself, and as soon as I understand the cartoons that I've drawn, then I'm comfortable enough to say... the big words. Multi-syllabic words. I like 'em!

Audience member: A lot of actors, from what I've seen, that go into science fiction, quite often, a lot of them... some people have a negative stigma (?) towards science fiction. What were your feelings towards science fiction before you'd done Stargate, and how do you feel about it now? And also a second question.... (which can't hear due to laughter)

Amanda: Okay... To answer the first question... I was a big fan of Star Trek: Next Generation.

Applause from some of the crowd.

Amanda: While my brothers were watching Battlestar Galactica, I was watching Little House on the Prairie, so my segue into science fiction was a little later in life. But.. um..  I've always appreciated it. I...I don't see any difference between science fiction and modern dramas. Science fiction I think is our generation's way of telling stories. And so much of what was science fiction is now science fact. So I didn't put a stigma on it. When I got Stargate I didn't think of it as sci-fi show, per se. Little did I know that it actually is. But... I just thought of it as a great adventure drama. Ah... so I had no stigma. I appreciate the genre, I can tell you, 100% more than I did when I started, because I realise the depth of it, and how far-reaching it is. And not... to be completely honest, how fantastic the fans are. I don't think any other genre has fans like sci-fi fans. So in that sense I love it even more.

Um... as for how did we get our irreverent sense of humour on the show... three words. Richard, Dean and Anderson.


Amanda: Richard made a vow - and I'm sure many of you have seen him say this in interviews - when he got the part, or when they were speaking to him about the part he said "I will not play him the way Kurt Russell played him in the movie. I want... He has to have a sense of humour."  And Richard is a man who *lives* with a sense of humour. You know, if it's not fun, don't bother. So he embues this sense of humour which has just  *ballooned* into this crazy sarcasm with almost everything that comes out of his mouth. And.. because he refuses to say, you know, more than two finger-widths long of dialogue at any given time, he's the one-line man. So... and it plays off, because we all have really good senses of humour, so it's just sort of progressed and I think... partly because the cast gets along so well, and we know each other so well...  sometimes it's just a look and there's an ad lib thrown in, you don't even know it's happening, it's so natural. But the humour extends primarily from Richard.

Audience member: Amanda, thank you for coming all this way.

Amanda: Thank *you* for having me.

Audience member: How do you cope with all the weapons and things on the show? And why when you shoot the replicators do you have to wear glasses?


Amanda: Because they break into tiny pieces! (holding finger and thumb up to her eye!)


Amanda: No.. ah.. .the weapons... I'll tell you a funny story. We were shooting the pilot, and none of us had ever fired a gun before. I personally had a bit of an issue with guns, and I still do in that I don't believe any single human being should have that much power. But having said that I have a certain zen with my weapon now, that I'm very comfortable with my gun. (looks to the audience at her left) Yeah!


Amanda: But, anyway, we're shooting the pilot, and the armourer came over and he said "okay, we're going to test fire the weapons", and in the first couple of seasons we were using MP5's. And so Richard and Michael and Christopher walked up, and they grabbed their machine guns and test fired a full load... (mimes shooting and makes a rapid-fire machine gun sound.. followed by some macho posturing as as if the boys were doing a 'how good am I' pose <g>). Then they all pulled out cigars (mimes putting a cigar in her mouth)


Amanda: - honest to God true - and they all stood around, just testosterone pumping like crazy, and I thought right then, "I can do this!" ... "Just because my reproductive organs are..."

Laughter and clapping.

Amanda: So I fired, and it's an amazing, I mean... there's so much power, it's frightening, I fired (mimes firing a machine gun as if barely controlling, a little sporadic with aim), and I thought, "oh my God, I'm going to be sick". And I don't know if it was the cigar smoke wafting...

Laughter again!

Amanda: I looked over at the boys and they were like "Cool, huh Amanda?" (She nods,  finger to lips, mimes holding her stomach, raises thumb as if saying 'yes', then moves off to the left as if heading to be sick)

I didn't actually throw up, but I felt like I would, so I, ah.... that was my first... first encounter with an MP5. I've since then become very comfortable.

As for the glasses...that's a... you know, it's sort of... now we're using P90s, and they're a lot more powerful, and we use (can't discern the word) and we use a whole manner of bigger weapons, and the kick-back and the sparks are actually so dangerous that our armourer, who does a lot of work under cover and has worked black ops and special forces, said we should always be wearing glasses when we fire these particular weapons, and that they do in the field, they'll run along, pull their glasses out, and start firing. We didn't realise that until later on, so, it's sort of I guess, the glasses came in with the replicators.  When you're firing P90s by ourselves it's not an issue. But when you're firing in the tunnels, and they do break into tiny lego bits, it's an issue, and it's a safety issue. So not only do we have to wear them for safety, but it's actually technically correct that we do.

Audience member: So why did they change to...

Amanda: The P90s? The MP5s - I can't believe I know all this stuff -


Amanda: ... have a bottom-loading clip, and the shells eject up and out.  So, if you're shooting two people firing at the same time, you have to stagger them so that...  you can't have them side by side cos you get hit in the head, which being the magnet for accidents that I am happened to me on occasion, with burn marks in my head. So, ah, the P90s came out and we were the only civilians to have them, it was a fairly new weapon for the military. But the shells eject straight down, so it's a lot safer on the set. So... and they're more powerful. It's a top-loading clip... 50 rounds of teflon-coated-armour (said in a bit of a macho "I know what I'm talking about" fashion <g> )

Laughter and applause.

Amanda: They're teflon coated, armour-pierceing, far more powerful weapon, and they're much safer to use. So... I know more about guns than anybody should! (said with humour)


Audience member: (difficult to hear but sounds like...) How do you make that [goa'uld] voice?

Amanda: Ah! They do that with a computer. It's called a flange. And, ah, so... actors who have to do both... like the Tok'ra, for example, who have to do both the goa'uld voice and the host voice, will talk a little slower and will be a little bit more articulate, but then otherwise the computer comes in and flanges their voice and gives it the... I don't know how to do it... (deeper voice) "I am Apophis".


Amanda:  So it's all done through the computer after we film.

Audience member: (again, hard to hear - no mike) One... what character developments do you see in Sam's future? And two, I read something that your brother .. (can't hear the rest)

Amanda: First question.. developments for Sam? I have no idea. I actually found out while I was in Sydney that the show had been picked up for a seventh season. So... woo hoo! What's happening? I don't know! I haven't had a chance to call anyone, Brad, or anyone about what would happen. And I actually had dinner with Richard in L.A. prior to finding out we were picked up, and we sort of ... we didn't even try and speculate what would happen character-wise. What I hope happens for the show, is... and this is why I'm really glad we're coming back for a seventh season, I think they're so many dangling threads that need to be answered, and there are so many stories that need to be wrapped up, and I hope that that's what this season is about, is paying homage and justice to the stories we've all sort of left dangling in this universe. (last bit a little hard to read so could be wrong.)

What was the second question?

Audience member: (again hard to hear)

Amanda:  Oh, my brother.  I have a twin brother. His name is Christopher and... ah...  quick aside - see, this is how questions form stories, it's all good! - when I was born, my father wanted me to be called Samantha. So, for my entire life - and stop me if you've heard this a million times - for my entire life he's called me Sam. So then I get this part where I play Sam. So... my brothers are Richard, Christopher and Stephen, but I have a step-brother named Michael.


Amanda:  And I work with Richard, Christopher and Michael, and I'm named Sam, and I *really am* a theoretical astrophysicist and a Major in the Air Force, and thought 'oh perfect' (I think - again hard to hear - Amanda spoke very fast here) Just seemed karma to be the line up, cosmically.

Anyway, my twin brother has a *wicked*, wicked sense of humour and many years ago he took modern-day songs and wrote..  I don't know, he's just a bit of a goof, and we missed each other, we were living across the country, and he'd send these crazy emails... and he wrote Stargate The Musical, based on the Pilot. So there's things like Bohemian Rhapsody, with um... the, you know 'let me go, let him go, we will not let him go' with Carter begging to go through the Stargate.

Much laughter.

Amanda:  Ah... And then... and I can never get this right and I just hope I do this justice. To Supercalifragilisticexpialidocius (or however you spell it!), he did a song about General Hammond. So it's like G.E.N.E.R.A.L. H.A.M.M.O.N.D, and then, how'd it go...(in sing-song voice) "plump just a little and balding, oh my, plump just a little and balding, oh my".

Much much laughter.

Amanda:  And stuff like that. I wish I had actually brought it, cos it's quite clever. But I don't think it'll ever see the light of day. Except amongst us friends (indicating the group - and I think that's what she said - kinda fast, and a lot of laughter)  So... but I'll try and think of more.

Audience member:  What was Richard's response to the MacGyver quote in the Pilot?

Amanda:  He was actually... what you saw on the screen was his response. They actually filmed it, and I... I think we were just starting to get comfortable enough with Rick, cos we were all pretty damned intimidated when we walked in. But we were just starting to get comfortable enough, and I saw the word Jerry-rig in the script and hadn't even thought about it until the day, and went Jerry-rig?.  MacGyver! (Looks sideways as if looking at RDA)


Amanda:  So we did this take where I  said "I think we can MacGyver a system..."  and Rick's reaction - he's deadpan, this guy - so he did this sort of (mimes RDA looking without any real expression except to look sideways, then back) and he kept it in.

Now, another thing I did... I think you may have seen a bad quality version of it because I took a bad quality tape of this to a morning show that I did in Vancouver and snuck it in without permission. It showed a gag that I had done on Rick once on set where I said MacGyver, McGadget, McGimmick - have you seen that?

Off to the side, vid man extraordinaire Alex tells Amanda he has it and says to keep talking while he hunts it up.

Amanda:  So I did this thing... we were shooting the episode Solitudes. And we're stuck in this glacier, and it's freezing... and literally they froze the set, and Richard's like "I'm from Minnesota, this isn't cold", but we're freezing, and he's just being macho. So, we do this scene we're I'm digging out the DHD, and I'm chipping away at it and... he comes crawling up. (Amanda starts laughing) Oh, bless his heart. And he had to crawl up this ice...  there was ice all over the set, so it was slippery as hell, and he has to crawl, and he's using his knife, his leg's supposed to be broken, and he's crawling up the DHD, and I'm watching him and... the crew was freezing, everyone was miserable and - in as much as the crew gets miserable - but, um, the director had said to me earlier in the day "If you have the chance to have fun at all, do it."

So as Rick - and I have this wicked sense of humour - as Rick was crawling up to the DHD, and he says this line (in deep voice) "Can you dig it out", and my line was supposed to be something to the effect "well, if we can't we can use the chipped ice for drinking water" (Amanda puts an 'L' with finger and thumb to her forehead while saying this!) Real loser.

Laughter. (And Alex is almost ready to show the clip)

Amanda: So... like I said, it's bad quality because I pirated the tape. I ah... has the timefoot at the bottom... and anyway, you'll see what I did. And he did exactly the same thing he did in the Pilot. (mimes RDA not reacting much at all)

Clip from Gabereau shown... much applause and laughter follows.

Amanda:  It was so great, cos the crew just lost it, and everyone had a good laugh and didn't feel so cold anymore (or something like that).  Rick was really good about it. He ignored me for about 5 minutes, and then we went for lunch and I ran up to him in the lunch line (mimes running up and being timid) and said "Are we okay?" And he said "Honey, we're all right". (Runs back across the stage and repeats "McGadget, McUseless" in cheeky kinda of voice) He has a great sense of humour.

Audience member:  What got you into acting? As opposed to some other career?

Amanda: You know I've thought about this question a lot and I'm not entirely sure. I used to read a lot when I was a little girl, and I would read like the Enid Blyton books and things like that, and then instead of just reading the book, I would picture the characters doing something else outside of the book, like 'what if they didn't go down that road, what if they went down this road instead?' And I'd put the book down and 'then they'd go down this road and woah, they'd run into this!' And so I would play out all these little... from books, continue on with the characters so I guess that's where it started. My mom that says I always wanted to be an actor. I don't remember a specific moment saying "That's what I want to do with my life". But we use to go to the English pantomimes and I just always wanted to be up there, I wanted to be one of the people up there. So I guess it just grew. Me and the cast from Neighbours!

So it's something that I've always wanted to do... when I graduated from high school - I'm sure it's been put out on the net - I won the environmental science award, and the drama award. And my family were like "science, science". So my dad, in order to quell me of my desire to become an actress, found about this professional play that was being put on and they were holding open auditions, and so he rung up and got me an audition time, thinking that I would get rejected and then I would learn about how horrible that is, and never want to do that again, at the tender age of 18. So he took me, my dad, who I just adore, to this audition. We got there early, we sat in a little donut shop having a cup of tea and he ran lines with me - he was Henry II - and - just bless his heart - to this day I'll always remember this moment, and he looked at his watch and said "right then, I think it's time for you to go in". I said, "right dad, thanks for your help", grabbed my little script, in I went, did my little audition, out I went, dad drove me home. Dad said, "it's all right love, it's all right". I said  "no dad, I think it went really well". He said "no, it's all right honey, it's all right." I think it was a day or 2 later, I get the phone call, and I'd gotten the part. And I went "Dad, Dad!! I got the part". And he literally went (Mimes head down in defeat.  Someone in the crowd says "what the..." and Amanda indicates in the affirmative)  And he's like "That's great". (miming a 'damn, didn't work' motion)

So... I blame him, mostly.

Audience member (young): Why is Samantha Carter always ... ( hard to hear the question)

Amanda:  It's a sad truth, my little one. I'm a woman.

Laughter and applause.

Amanda:  She just studies really hard, and ah... she's very  dedicated to what she does. And really she has no life outside of Stargate. So the fact that she's incredibly boring in her day to day life is probably why she's so good at her job. But she really loves what she does. And I think that's the most important thing. She *loves* science, and she loves physics, and she loves the team, she loves being in the military even though sometimes it drives her crazy. And she loves her job and that's what makes it fun, and that's why she's good at it. And I think also, aside from the character, I was one of the few people who can say all that stuff. So she'll do all the talking.

Audience member: (question hard to hear, but has something to do with motorcycle riding)

Amanda:  Wouldn't that be fabulous? It so funny, they have this insurance policy, so...  at the beginning of every year, you go for your cast medical, and you have to sign off saying you won't ride motorcycles, you won't, ah, jump out of planes - and it's very funny because the first year I had jumped out of a plane, and so I saw that and went, "okay, I guess I won't be doing that anymore" - and you have to say if you're gonna ski, you have to say...  it's just insane cos they have to insure you right, cos if you break something or, God forbid, even worse the insurance policy goes through the roof, so they're really strict.

So when I got the Indian motorcycle for that one scene with the classic bike - and they originally had me digging in my garden... they said 'we need to see Sam doing something (a bit hard to understand) that's her own thing so we thought we'd have you digging in your garden.  I said 'this woman spends half her time off-world, she doesn't have garden. She has, like, one dead basil plant in her kitchen window, and that's it. So I said 'can't she do something cool like fix a bike?' And they were like 'oh, okay'. And I said 'a classic bike'. And the props guys were like 'well, oh, I don't know'.  And I said 'a classic Harley or Indian, that would be cool!'  And they found this 1940 classic Indian motorcycle, so that's where it started. But I wasn't allowed to sit on it.

Much laughter.

Amanda:  So I don't know that we'll ever see her take... yeah... but maybe Amanda will, on the last day. (makes motorcycle rev noise )

Audience member:  How did you get the part in Stargate?

Amanda:  Actually, I don't mean to sound trite, but it was relatively simple. I auditioned in Toronto, for a casting director in Toronto, put myself on tape, and left the audition, for one of the first times in my life, left the audition and went: 'Pfft, I'm never going to get it. They're going to cast a big-name American, or they're going to cast Barbie'... I don't know. But I loved the character, and I thought 'this is a great character'. So then I found out I was short-listed, much to my surprise, cos they'd obviously been in L.A. and Chicago and ... anyway...all over the place...  so I sent them my demo tape. I knew that Brad Wright and Jonathan Glasner were fans of my work from stuff that they had seen me do in Canada.

And then I was short-listed again to 3 people, flown down to Los Angeles and to be honest with you I think I got the part was, um, they would take us and sit us in a room, all the actors auditioning for all the parts. So there were 3 Daniel Jacksons, 2 Teal'cs, a couple of General Hammonds, and 3 Carters. And it was just the most bizarre was the MGM waiting room, actors for the job of the lifetime all sitting there waiting...  and a quick aside: Christopher Judge, Michael Shanks and I started talking, and the three of us kind of hung out through the whole day of auditions, because we dug each other. And at the end of the day we were like 'wouldn't it be cool if the 3 of us got the parts?' - so that's kind of cool.

Uh... anyway, I went in the first time, and I was dreadfully nervous, and it was not dissimilar to this except the people were down below and I had to come up on a stage, pitch black, and you can hear...   studio executives have this interesting way of breathing... and you could hear them. And it was like looking through a deep jungle and hearing animals (makes heavy breathing Darth Vader noise <g> ), and *I* was petrified. But thankfully I had done a lot stage work, so the stage thing didn't scare me so much, it was just the breathing.

Anyway, so I walked out on the stage and Richard was sitting where this gentleman here is (points to slightly to her left), he was sitting and he said 'Where would you like me?', cos he was going to read opposite us, which I thought was really cool that he was at the auditions. And I said 'well, a little closer if you wouldn't mind'. So he stood at the end of the stage, but it would have meant I would have done my whole audition looking down. So I said 'Could you come up on stage, and get a little closer?' - real ballsy, cos I was damned scared. So he got up on stage and I went 'Okay, right, um... just stay there, don't block my light, and let's go!'

Much laughter.

Amanda:  I've never said anything like that in my life!! (hits her forehead with hand) You have like that, nanosecond to pull yourself together, cos you can hear that... (heavy breathing again and indicating the executives sitting in front of her during audition). So, I turn to the first scene, we did the second scene, and in between I was joking around about... you know, I was just being goofy... and finished, everything was great, shook his hand. (walks across the stage shaking her right hand and whispering "it's Richard Dean Anderson!") But you have to be cool, right, because you want them to think you're a big, strong character. (mimes a cool 'Thank you so much' and nonchalant wave) And... then, ah... got outside, all the actors went through. They said, 'okay, we're going to call your name, if we call your name, you're free to go for the day. If we don't, please stay.'

So you have a *room* full of actors going 'please don't say my name, please don't say my name'. And they didn't say my name. And they didn't say Michael's name, and they didn't say Christopher's name. And there was another actress up for the part of Sam... and I think another Daniel. Yeah, there were 2 Daniels, 2 Sams.. General Hammond were done I think at that point. And, uh, we all sat there going 'you're sure they didn't say our names, right?' Cos wouldn't be awful if the casting director came out and said (pointing forward) 'no, no, I actually did say your name'.


Amanda:  Anyway, went back in, did the same scenes again... oh, prior to going back in - this is an important part of the story: um, Brad Wright and Jonathan Glasner came out and Brad sort of pulled me aside  'we love you, we're huge fans of your work, and what you did in between the actual scenes was great.' And I said, 'so how were the actual scenes?' He said, 'No, no, they were great, but we like the comedic twist you've given her' - because she's not funny, the pilot Sam is not funny. So he said 'put more of that into the scene, put more of Amanda's goofiness into the scene'. So, okay, fair... good. Went back in, I was the last person to go in...  went back in, we did the scenes and then the exec.... oh, in the meantime, Showtime executives had shown up, so we have MGM and Showtime so there's more (heavy breathing), but louder and scarier, and so Rick comes up and they said 'okay, let's just see the two of you standing beside each other', so Rick comes up and he's standing right beside me, so I went like this (puts her left arm around the waist of the absent RDA standing to her left), he put his arm around my shoulder. I don't know what I was thinking, but I knew they were just seeing how we looked together, So I said  'is this like the swimsuit part of the competition?'

Much laughter.

Amanda:  And Rick laughed, thank God, and... and that was it, thank you very much, goodbye, and I went outside, and Michael had actually waited for me, and we took a cab back to the hotel and stood in the lobby and said 'well, we did the best job we could do'.

Went home, got a call... I took a night flight back to Toronto, got a call at 8 o'clock in the morning from my agent saying 'where are you?' I said 'well you just called my house in Toronto'. Said 'they want you back in L.A.'  'But I'm in Toronto.'  She said, 'Okay, don't worry about it.  I'm sure it won't affect whether you get the part.'

So for like 2 weeks I was 'I *should* have stayed in L.A!!!'  Didn't hear, didn't hear. And went through the gammit, you know, 'forget it I don't want that *stupid* part... MacGyver'... and then it was like 'I want this part so badly, I want to play this woman, she's so great, and there's nobody like her... then, screw them, I thought'. My poor husband thought I was psychotic , which some times I actually was.  And then I get a phone call, 2 weeks before the pilot starts shooting. 'Okay Amanda, pack your bags, you're moving to Vancouver', and I was like 'what?'  'You got the part, you got the part'.  'Oh, okay, well, we're talk about the details later. Okay.' (mimes hanging up a phone) I went upstairs and said 'Alan, I got the part'. And I was numb... honest to God it was the strangest feeling, and Alan was like woo hoo! babe, all right! and he's jumping about. And I was like... (mimes just standing there, hand to head, thinking). 'It's like, we're moving across the country in 2 weeks, okay? All right.'

Anyway that's a long-winded answer to your question, but that's how I got it... quite an experience.

Audience member:  (Can't hear the question, but something about puff and ruffle)

Amanda:  Ah, the puff and ruffle. You'd like me to describe the puff and ruffle? Does anybody not know what the puff and ruffle is? Oh good! So puff and ruffle is, ah, actually what my stand in and I coined whenever a pretty girl walks on our set, or any girl for that matter, cos we're all beautiful - and it's true - walks on to our set, and it's usually some, in our pilot especially scantily clad extras seemed to be the (course?) for the day, or Brief Candle with all the ... (does a shimmy)... the boys do this, stick out their chest (stands with shoulders back), ruffle their tail feathers (shakes her ass)... they all have different ways of flirting. And so, my stand in, Tracy and I used to rate them. So every time a girl would walk on we'd go 'Here comes the puff and ruffle. Oh Rick, 9.6 on the approach.'

So now all the women, Teryl's involved in it, and all the women on set, and every time without fail, a girl walks on our set, the guys ... So Rick is... subtle... in his way... what he thinks is subtle, but we know better. His approach will be very (mimes walking forward, shaking somebody's hand) 'Hi, I'm Richard Dean Anderson, welcome to the show. If there's anything you need, you just let me know. You comfortable? Do you need water? you okay? Good. Okay, great. Welcome to the show. Yeah. Okay.'

Of course these women are like... (mimes swooning).


Amanda:  Michael Shanks walks up and just flashes his baby blues and just (mimes greeting somebody again, very laid back) 'Hey, I'm Michael, welcome to the show.  <pause, with hand on hip> What's your name? (hand extended again to shake) Sorry, I didn't catch it.'

Laughter again.

Amanda:  Christopher... Christopher makes no bones about it. "Yo, how you doin'? Welcome to the show. Do you need anything?'  - They're all polite! - 'Do you need anything? Are you warm enough?' We were filming in the pouring rain, I had been out in the rain for hours. This woman walks on, she's got an umbrella, she's got a blanket, 'Are you warm enough? Are you okay?' And I'm standing there like a wet dishrag (? - hard to hear over the laughter) (Holds her thumb up like 'yeah')

And then there's Don Davis, who has zero subtlety. Don *literally* walks up and says (in Don-like voice) 'My God, you're a beautiful woman!

Much laughter.

Amanda:  'Like an angel fell from heaven. Look at her fellas, she's prettier than a sunset. Hi, I'm Don S Davis, welcome to the show. Do you need anything?' And then Don forgets, right, like, there's this beautiful girl, and he's done his whole, 'Oh my God' and he walks away and he's like 'okay, what are we doing? (looking up as if talking to someone) Oh, okay. Yeah' (mimes turning around and seeing the girl again). Then he gets caught off guard again, oh, there she is. He's just hillarious.

But he does it with Teryl and me, too which is just so sweet. He'll come in to the make up trailer and tell us we're beautiful, and prettier than a sunrise, or some... (flips her hand as if to dismiss the compliments)

So that's the puff and ruffle, and we rate them. Now Michael Shanks claimed in England that the girls have their version which is called the 'wounded lamb', which is apparently what we look like when the guys puff and ruffle because we're so *jealous*. Which is so *not* true. It's like a sporting event, it's like football... we've score cards, we've got everything... we're all over it. But that's the puff and ruffle... thank you for asking

Audience member:  What was it like working with Marina Sirtis?

Amanda:  Oh, she's awesome!! Marina Sirtis was awesome. Her and I got along like a house on fire. She hung out in my trailer everyday, and she told me great stories about being on a sci-fi series for such a long time, and the transformation she had gone through, and ultimately how in the very end she so appreciated the experience and realised that... she said 'At one point it really got to my head. I'm on Star Trek: Next Generation, I'm huge. And then, you know, reality checks... cos she is a *really* down-to-earth lady, and sort of went 'wait, I'm just really lucky'.  She was very cool, she has a great sense of humour, too.

And we've had Armin Shimmerman on our show. He was the one who said 'You have to go to conventions, they're so much fun!!'


Audience member:  And what was it like working with Reną© Aubojunois?

Amanda:  Oh... he's just... that man exudes class. And he's such a good actor. That he walks on to the set, and he's just got this stature about him. And he was so sweet, and he played this very unlikeable character... but he was, he was a gentleman. A really nice guy. (pause) Everyone's going 'which one was he?'

Audience member: Hi. Welcome to Melbourne.

Amanda:  Thank you!

Audience member:  And I wanted to ask you about your theatre work. You did some comedy, and you wrote as well, didn't you? Will you be working on that again, recently?

Amanda:  No... ah... I started a comedy troupe in Toronto, co-founded a comedy troupe with two other women called Random Acts, and we did sketch comedy, based on feminist issues, but really tongue-in-cheek. And we performed all over Toronto doing that, and then one of our members moved to Vancouver, and so, two of us continued doing small comedy festivals, and then I moved to Vancouver to do Stargate, the other girl moved to Paris, and we started... the troupe ended. We recently got back together two summers ago to film a documentary based on the small town where one of the girls grew up, which we were originally intending to present a comedy piece, but we thought 'hey, lets shoot a documentary about instead'  and we're still editing that, but now we're at three... all corners of the globe, right now, so...  We'll get back to it, cos it's something that I love. It's something... the immediacy of it... I really enjoy it.

Audience member:  Hard to hear, but seems to asking questions for somebody else (a 3 year old?)...

Amanda:  Good for her! (Brings fist down - in response to something hard to hear)

Audience member:  (Goes further to ask a couple of questions, one of which what Amanda's favourite colour is, and given Amanda's answer, something about Carter and O'Neill (which makes the group laugh)

Amanda:  And she's three! My favourite colour has been forever, and before it became really popular, is orange - cos it's such a happy colour - it's so dorky, my answer ... it's a really happy colour and I love it (said in silly voice)- but it's the truth. So tell her 'orange'... off the top of my head.

And Colonel O'Neill does still like me. And I still like him. But we understand, that by virtue of the situation that we work in, it's impossible for us to get together. So in season six, which some of you might not see for quite some time, you'll see moments where we actually play out these a little longer than normal, you know, we hold the look a bit more, a little smile. And it's not getting in the way of what we're doing, it's just an acknowledgment that after all this time, there still a strong connection. But above and beyond the attraction is the loyalty and the friendship.  So if they were ever going to get together after Stargate... and go fishing!...


Amanda:  ... I think that would be great. But it's not going to happen on the show. But he does still like me, and tell her thank you for her concern.

Audience member: (can't hear it, but given the answer something about fave eps)

Amanda:  You know, I can't remember the names of *any* of them. (Amanda pauses to think). Solitudes - the glacier one still ranks as one of my favourites, cos it was such an adventure to film it. (somebody in the crowd mentions something) Yeah, the time loop was fun. That worm... 1969 was fun. The ah... Singularity - because that was the first time that I got to play really emotional beats (?) when little Cassandra was... the bomb...ah!...  and that will always stick out for me because it was the first time we saw Sam really break down. Um... Point Of View,  which I think you're going to see today - I apologise, cos you're going to see a lot of really weird stuff that I've done that I'm not necessarily so proud of - but Point of View I am, cos that was fun just cos it was *two mes!* And I'll tell you something, if you stay and watch the episode, in scenes where we're walking down the hallway together, they had initially brought in a girl to walk beside me and say, you know, say Samantha's lines and I was being the Major, and then I would have to run and change and, whatever, but she couldn't get any of my lines right, this poor girl, and so she would be in the middle of a technical speech and go  (makes a babbling noise) 'whatever!'


Amanda: So, like, 'this isn't working!'. So.. ah.. we filmed... we put the camera in still mode, we filmed one side of the scene with me coming down the hallway, or me in the bed, or however it worked, and I then would run to hair and make-up, either rip off the wig, or put on the wig, change my clothes, change my make-up slightly, change my walk, come in and do the other side, and sound would have taped my first side of the scene. So I'd have this little tape recorder off-camera, giving me the other lines. So it was really bizarre, it was a weird way to film it. But it was the most efficient with what we had to deal with. So, Point of View. So back to the questions... yeah, there was a question in all that!

Um, in this season... in season six, look for The Changeling... and it's not an episode I figure big in at all, it's a very Teal'c centered episode, and Christopher wrote it with the help of Brad Wright, and it's just a great episode... and I think... when I look back on Torment of Tantalus, and episodes where it may not be necessarily so much about me, but they're just really solid episodes, and Changeling I think you guys will just love. It's a cool episode.

Way in the back... oh, blue shirt man!

Audience member:  Hi Amanda, welcome to Australia, hope you're enjoying your stay.

Amanda: I am, thank you.

Audience member:  I come from Adelaide, it's a fair way. My question for you, is, how did you find John De Lancie to work with?

Amanda:  Oh, John De Lancie is actually a lot of fun. He's a sarcastic son of a gun. The first... and he, does this thing, cos he's so deadpan, when he's telling you a story, you don't know if he's kidding or not... cos he just stares at you to see what your response is going to be. So initially when I first met him I was like 'what a jerk!' And then I realised, that's just his sense of humour! And so as I got to know him... ah.. I enjoy him... I enjoy it when he comes on the show and he just plays such a slime-ball. It's always fun when we have those kind of characters cos it not only unifies us a bit more, but we get to play that against... you know... and to have someone like him on it, which is great. And I was always a fan of Q, so I was like  (in a funny voice) 'John De Lancie's coming on our show!' (I think - hard to hear it clearly)

Audience member:  (Again, hard to hear, but something like) Did you initially think that the Stargate SG-1 series would be so big? (Second question hard to hear)

Amanda:  We are?  Cool! I had no idea when we signed on.. I signed a 5 year contract, which we all did, but we thought for sure 2 years. We were guaranteed 44 episodes off the get-go. At the end of season 1 they said 'okay, we're doing 4 seasons', so we thought 'oh, this is pretty cool' . And then we heard about the 5th, and halfway through season 5 we heard about the 6th, and of course just now we've heard about the 7th. It's just sort of snowballed.

But I think, I thought the show would be big the very first time I saw the actual Stargate.... and, ah... the set wasn't even finished yet, and they were taking us on a tour during pre-production and Michael Shanks and I walked up to it and... it's huge, the Stargate is really big. And we were just like, 'Oh my God, this is... this is a big show. They're putting a lot of money into it. Wow. Cool'. And then... ah... I guess all the Internet sites that came up even before we aired, sort of made it... gave everyone an inkling. But I had no idea, how big it was. And I still, to this day, am overwhelmed and surprised and amazed and hugely flattered by the response that we get to the show. So... I don't know that I've answered your question. I'm still learning how big it is... but it's an awesome ride. It's been a lot of fun.

Audience member:  What was it like working with Malcolm McDowell in The Void?

Amanda:  Oh! See, I love it... I just love actors. But ah, Malcolm McDowell is so funny and, .. ah... forgive me for The Void, because I don't think it was as good as it could have been... but... Malcolm McDowell has a *wicked* sense of humour, and he tells great stories. And the man has *worked*, so he was telling us some really funny stories about working on Caligula - most of which I can't repeat cos there *are* children in the audience!  He's... right after I finished working with him on The Void, a friend of mine worked with him in a movie called The Barber, so he... he's *consistently* a great guy, he's consistently generous, he's funny, and he tries to mess with you while you're shooting. Shooting scenes in The  Void in the computer room, and they'd be on my close-up, and Malcolm would be right beside the camera and he'd go (pulls a funny face, tongue out, eyes crossed)... and I'd be 'Malcolm McDowell trying to... Malcolm McDowell's trying to make me laugh!'

But the very, very first scene I shot with him, and I hadn't met him yet - and we'd been shooting The Void for a couple of weeks - and it's the scene where Adrian Paul and I are tied to the chair and he comes in for the very first time... and so this was my very first time meeting *Malcolm McDowell*, and I was nervous but I was tied to this chair, so made it even worse. And he walked in and we had just started the rehearsal, cos we were running behind and they wanted to get the scene before the end of the day. And so he talked to the director and I was tied to this chair so I couldn't meet him, and he walked in and started the scene and he said ' well, Eva, you've been very busy and a very naughty girl' And I burst out laughing and said, 'Oh my God, Malcolm McDowell just called me naughty!' And he turned in my direction with these blue, blue eyes and just went (makes click noise, and nodding and pointing) 'We're gonna have some fun with you', and I went (nodding and grinning).

He was fabulous.

Audience member:  Alex says something like 'while you're on The Void, the love scene with Adrian Paul...

Amanda:  Not my real boobs!

Audience member:  ... can you tell us about that?

Amanda:  What can I tell you about the love scene?  It was my first, sort of non-network love scene. I did a love scene in X-Files, if you will, but it was for the network so nothing was showing. In this, they wanted full top nudity, and a shot of my bum, and I said absolutely not. Ask somebody else. I just don't think this is the type of movie where I need to show my boobies. So, ah, I had a no nudity clause in my contract, which I felt very strongly about and, um, so they said, 'okay, no problem, we'll just get a body double for the scenes where we actually see your boobies and your bum'.

So, ah, they were running out of options I guess... so the casting director drove to my house - this is so bizarre, this is the film industry - and on the hood of her car, made up all these polaroids of topless women, so I could choose the boobs...

Much laughter.

Amanda:  ... and I just felt so awful! It was like... 'well, those are nice. They're way better than mine'. You know, like all the things that women hate about... how subjected we are to this kind of crap... there I was having to choose a pair of boobs. And I thought 'will it be the same boobs that go with the bum, or will I have to get a different bum?' So we chose this girl, and she was very sweet, and I went up to her and gave her a huge hug and said 'thank you' and she said 'hey, I have no problem with my body', and I'm like 'all right, good for you!'.

The love scenes with Adrian...  cos Adrian Paul has done about a million love scenes, so he knew exactly how to position everything so it was totally comfortable. But *I* was a freakin' mess. And there's a shot on my back, where we were face to face, and it is my real naked back. And the crew was so great, but at what point the camera's coming around and starts on my back, and slowly pans around, and I... I think I had my arm up and I was like (mimes moving around away from a camera, keeping her arm down to conceal her upper body) The director came over and said 'Chill out Amanda, nothing will be seen', and I was like 'okay, yeah, sure'. So we do another take, and the camera's coming, and we're kissing and (makes moves like kissing somebody), and I feel the camera coming round, and I'm like (moves away from camera again).

So Adrian, bless his heart... (indicates to Alex and pulls him on stage)  I need you to help me demonstrate... (much applause of course!) So I kept doing this (right arm close against her body)... pretend you're me... so Adrian, as the camera came around, wrapped his arm around me and protected me from it.

Collective 'awwww' from the audience.

Amanda:  And he was very sweet about it. A long-winded answer to a short question, but there you have it.

Audience member:  What do you think about Stargate, the actual movie? And secondly, how does Christopher Judge do his voice without totally cracking up? How does he sound?

Amanda:  Christopher? Loud. No,  I'll tell you about Christopher in a second. I loved the movie, Stargate. I thought it was fantastic. I think that it lends itself so beautifully to a television series, which is why I like our pilot cos I thought it was a pretty good segue. And I know there is the Stargate movie purests, and the Stargate series purests, but it's based on the same concept, and I think that the idea works, and I think that our writers did a good segue from it. But I actually really enjoyed it.

Christopher Judge! What can I tell you about Christopher Judge? We should call him! I wonder if he'd be home. I don't know if my cel phone's here. We should call him. Alan? Are you watching? (audience member offers to go find Alan) Maybe we can find my husband and he can throw down my cel phone and we could give Chris a call, see if he's home.

Crowd laughs.

Amanda:  But he's... he's a hilarious. Christopher... everything about him is just... over the top. So his voice is loud. His laugh is loud. His hugs are big. He's huge.... he's... and... he's just a wonderful friend... so I adore him. But I.... there are moments in the early seasons where he had to do that eyebrow thing, that even he would have a hard time doing it. So what we did, at the end of the first season was the entire crew... cos we always used to make fun of that, the twitchy eyebrow thing...  we... he had a little tattoo, like a rubber tattoo that he could stick on to his forehead, and so the entire crew, they went around and polaroid the entire crew with a tattoo on their forehead doing this (pulls Teal'c 'one eyebrow, stern look'), and there's this huge poster in the production office of the Teal'c look from season one. And it's very funny. Like art directors (pulls the face again), and the little women in the make-up (pulls face again). He has a great sense of humour about it, though.

Audience member: (Hard to hear the question, but something about Alan's reaction to stuff)

Amanda:  I have a very, very wonderful husband. Um... JR and Alan are actually really good friends, so... and have become friends through the course of our time together on Stargate and stuff... and JR's like a brother to me, so Alan's just totally cool about it. If I was to start getting weird, like thinking about JR all the time, then I'm sure it would be an issue for him, but he knows that we're just really good friends. And he's very cool, and I'm very lucky, cos I have a guy who does *not* work in the industry, and, so, consequently things are kinda goofy at times, which is great cos he keeps my feet on the ground. But he has a wonderful ... ah, wonderful sense of balance about it, he doesn't get (hard to discern as somebody mentions they have Amanda's cel phone)

Amanda:  Okay, let's try phoning Chris.

Amanda says she's going to dial his cel phone. Much noise from the crowd, a few people asking whether he'd be there.

Amanda:  What's the time there?

Audience member:  7.30pm

Amanda: Oh, easy peasy.

Derek asks from the audience whether Chris could sign virtual autographs.

Much laughter.

Amanda:  I was going to ask you guys to remember this number, but that's not such a good idea!

Derek:  We'll all remember one number in a sequence for you!

Amanda commences dialing the number (which is a long number from Aus!) Eventually she puts the phone to her ear. Eventually appears to get Chris's mailbox.

Amanda:  Hi Christopher, I'm on stage in Melbourne and (something.... holds the phone up the crowd) (Amanda isn't using the microphone at this stage)

Audience:  HI!

Amanda then signs off. (Applause from the crowd, while she dials again)

Audience member: Try Rick now.

Amanda:  Rick might not have such a good sense of humour about that! (smiling)

Amanda has dialled another number, and listening.

Amanda:  Oh, I got a machine again!!  Damn. We'll try again later.

Derek: You didn't mean damn, you meant to say 'bugger'.

Amanda:  Not cool bananas! Sorry about that, we'll try again.

Audience member:  (Hard to hear, but something about Sam being a strong character, and what would she say to other women, any advice)

Amanda:  Don't apologise for being a woman. This, in as much as we don't want to think that it is, and that we've progressed and evolved, it's still a male-dominated world and that's not necessarily something that should hold us back. I work in an industry that is *so* male-dominated that women are... are... I better watch what I say. But anyway. But don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. Believe in what... don't let people change your mind. If you have a strong belief, believe in it and stick to it. I spent so much of my time, apologising for what I thought, and apologising for having a different opinion, and different opinions are a beautiful thing. Don't focus on the fact that you're a woman, focus on the fact that you're a human being, and that you have something to say. And I think that, if you approach people as an equal and not as... and people will treat us as subservient. But if you approach them as an equal in your mind, if they don't get it then that's their loss. But, stick to what you have to say, and believe in yourself. And it's not always easy.

And you'll come up against a lot of - as we all have, men and women, and have come up against... based on religion, based on gender, based on the colour of our skin, based on our accents, based on what countries.. .it's ridiculous. But the fact that still to this day, all over the world have had to fight the gender war is... grrr (fist raised in frustration) curses. It's a huge shame. The only thing I can say is - and this is something that Sam has taught me - is not to be so afraid of what I have to say, and not to be afraid of it sounding stupid, because it's how you feel, so nothing you feel can be stupid. People may put you down, but at least you've stuck to your guns.

And ultimately, too, at the end of the day, my thing is, I don't have to be a bitch to get what I want. I think you can... I think be nice, life's too short, above all else. But don't let people put you down. Be proud of yourself. It takes awhile to get there. I'm not there. But... as I'm coming into my own as a woman, and as a lot of us have, you sort of reach a stage where it's like this is who I am, and if you don't like it, that's okay'. (in fun voice) I like me! Well, I'm learning to like me.


Audience member:  (Not clear, but sorta...) Sorry to play the psychologist here a bit here, but I realised a few weeks ago that all of the characters in Stargate all of their family backgrounds are shattered and fractured in some way, all have some very traumatic loss of a primary figure.... (mentions ep where Samantha's loss of mother is featured)... The characters are trying to process this loss. What I'm wondering is whether you feel, I'm asking about the characters, in the long term, all of these trips they make in to other worlds actually help them (handle with?) these unspeakable, horrible losses, and their shutting off from their feelings, or whether you feel it sort of helps them to stay in that world away from that, because they seem to approach these painful issues and then move away from them. As someone said before, science-fiction can be a way of really shutting down feelings (unclear bit), but I think also does somehow try to repair some of them.

Amanda:  I have to say, that's a fantastic question. And... I went to the producers when they were offering me an opportunity to write an episode, and came up with something similar to what you're talking about, which was... and I went to Brad Wright and I said, 'what happens to our conscience, what happens in a soldier's conscience and the fact that?... and I mentioned the fact that we'd all had losses, and then we go out and kill, and we look at loss, and we see people dealing with loss, and we don't ever deal with our own. But there's got to be a moment when you lay your head on your pillow at night and say 'I have to process all this. I have to process not only the fact that I have suffered, but that I'm killing people, and I am creating change in worlds that I can't possibly imagine the ripple effect, ten, twenty, a hundred years down the road. And, can't we study the psychology of these characters, the consciousness of these characters?' and he said 'that's really interesting Amanda, but I think it's a little to esoteric for this show.' I don't think it is, cos I think there's a way to tell it that can still be very exciting action-wise but...  I think that we're all... all of the characters, with the exception maybe of Daniel because he wears his heart on his sleeve a little more in terms of his loss...  we all put up our walls. And I think those walls you'll see are slowly coming down. O'Neill is not so afraid to cry openly about Charlie. Teal'c often deals with his family and the fact that, you know,  they're still there, and he can't be with them and... and Sam's probably the worse off in terms of being closed off to that emotionally. Maybe that's why she has such a hard time keeping a fella! (in fun voice!)

But, ah, it's a great question. I don't know. I think sci-fi is a great escape, and so therefore our stories, and our characters going on these great adventures is great way of shutting down, because you're just too damn busy. Ah.... but I think that there has to be a moment where that hits, and... that's a great question, cos it's something I talked to Brad about. So.... good question. I'm not sure that I answered that properly. But... okay, thank you.

Audience member:  I'm wondering what they do for the replicators.

Amanda:  They're, um, computer generated... it's aabout a five step process. They have a model, and then they film what they call tracking points... I think there's actually going to be on one of the DVDs, they'll show how (a few audience members say it is)... Is it? Yeah. They'll film the tracking points with us in the scene, and then they cgi in like a graph image, and then they'll embellish it and embellish it and embellish it until they get the full-blown replicators. We shoot the scene, and the tracking points are in the scene, and then we leave scene, and they shoot just a blank stage with all the tracking points, and then they start computering it in. So.. it's quite a process... it takes a long time.

Way up the back!

Audience member:  I was wondering, did you any other drama while in school?

Amanda: Yeah... like in theatre?

Audience member:  I meant like training.

Amanda:  I went to theatre school for four years. I went to the School of Dramatic Art in Windsor, and got my Bachelor in Fine Arts and Acting. I'm not sure that that means anything, but it appeased my parents and now I have a piece of paper. Woo hoo! But it was a great training ground. I think that anyone who's going to get into acting needs to train and needs to study. There are a lot of people who don't and are very successful, but I think to really have your feet firmly planted in what you're doing, training is ultimately important. Not that you have to go away to theatre school for four years, but take classes, do community theatre, get up on stage test your limits that way, and then, you know... .that...  In my humble opinion what makes a better actor, someone who trains. So I did, I studied for four years. Not that that's made me a better actor... that sounded a little arrogant. Training... yeah, four years.

And I still take classes, by the way. I still take acting classes when I can, I still go to film acting classes just to do things that don't require army boots and guns. A chance of pace.

Audience member:  (same person) And also, um... don't judge us all from Steve Irwin, cos we're not all like that.... I just thought I'd add that in.

Amanda: What's that?

Audience member:  Don't judge us all from Steve Irwin.

Amanda: Steve Irwin? Oh, oh. Oh, no, I won't, then, thank you. I think you're all crazy people running around looking for the world's deadliest snakes... well not true then?  All right.

Bit of laughter.

Amanda:  I saw this guy on tv last night, trying to get a picture of a cobra. Did anybody see this? And he's kinda dorky and he's (jumping back and forward).. come on, come on, and there's this thing... and oh, it bit me, and he runs, and you see the camera running. It's funny, and he had to go to hospital and like 'I'm too old for this'... and two hours later he's out there grabbing this snake again - what an idiot!

Audience member:  So how do you like using the zat gun?

Amanda:  Yeah! (pointing to the girl) I will remember your face! I got asked this in Sydney, much to my embarrassment. Hopefully I'll handle it a little better. Um... it's, ah, it's a crazy weapon, I don't know who designed it. It's very phallic, and.... (audience member says it's kind of like a cobra?).... it's kind of like a co... yeah, sure... it is actually. It's...  the working zats - in the sense that they actually move - when you press a little button, they use compressed air in them, a little compressed air chamber, and when you press a  certain button they pop up. And you press another button and the little... head (moves her hand back and forward)... for lack of a better word...goes pfft, pfft. (air noise, hand moves forward and back quickly). But, the air runs out very quickly, so they're often... limp.

Much laughter.

Amanda:  Which is why you will never see Richard Dean Anderson carrying a zat gun. He hates them. So... and it happens a lot, where, you know, you're filming a scene, everything's great, you're running along, you're zats been fired up, (mimes pulling out a zat gun ready to fire, up dipping it as if... well, limp!) So, I, yeah, I'm not a fan of the zat gun to be honest, but, you know, they're fun. Yeah, thanks so much for the ... heinous question. (in fun voice)

Audience member:  Did you like school?

Amanda:  Did I like school? I did actually. Um... except for high school. I loved public school, and high school I just found really... cos I wasn't... the high school I went to, and I'm sure it's the same everywhere the world over was very you had the...I don't know if you call it cliques here or clicks...   You have the jocks. Then you have the artsy-fartsies, then you had the brainiacs, and then you had the dope smokers. And I didn't fit in anywhere. I wasn't, like a cheerleader, and I wasn't one of the popular jocky kids. I ran track and I tried out for cheerleading and didn't get in... and argh... anyway, I'm so glad I didn't. But... So I never fit in. I was like one of the misfits. So there was a little group of us that called ourselves "the group"... we had a really smart guy, and we had a stoner, we had like every demographic in the high school covered, so we could sort of travel between all the groups, and it was such an effort. And people were so... I went to a high school... I went out of district to go to a different high school, so the high school I went to, people were very wealthy... so I had to take a bus to get to school, public transport to get to school and all the kids drove. It was like, you know, Beverly Hills 90210 when the kids from Van Nuys taking the bus, only not as rich. But so I didn't like high school too much. (something, then:) I enrolled in theatre I started to love it.  But I enjoyed learning, if that makes any sense... I actually enjoyed my classes. I just didn't enjoy the social . ('L' to forehead) Loser!

Audience member: (Difficult to hear, but something about Michael mentioning on his visit here about the spinoff series, or potential film)

Amanda:  Um... that's still up in the air. At the end of this season we weren't sure whether we were going to do a seventh season, or do a movie, or they were just going to segue straight off into the spinoff series. The ideal case scenario for our producers and for MGM is seventh season, SG-1 movie, and that will segue straight off into the spinoff series, which... I don't know who would be involved in that. But that's the best case scenario... so, ah, check the Internet. That's how I find out about most of what's happening on that show. (laughing)

Audience member:  What was it like to work on Kung-Fu and Due South?

Amanda:  Ah... Kung-Fu.... Kung-Fu was actually a lot of fun, because David Carradine was just an insane man. And... he used to wander off set in the middle of filming, and they couldn't find him in China town in Toronto.... he was just wandering around China town. So you'd have all these AD's running around, trucking after him, trying to find David Carradine, and they always would eventually, but it made for a very strange experience.

But Due South was... I'm a huge fan of Paul Gross, cos he's a hunk! But ah... and we have the same agent. I had a huge amount of fun on that. And the guy who played, ah... I can't think of the character's name now...  who gave me the engagement ring in the episode that I did, was hysterically funny, and a good friend, so I had a lot of fun actually on those shows. I did two episodes of Kung-Fu. And the second one I liked more, where I owned the hockey team. That was fun.

(pointing to somebody) Hello man behind the camera!

Audience member:  What has Peter De Luise brought to the show...I mean... ?

Amanda:   Insanity!

Audience member:  I mean, I guess, ah, with being on 21 Jump Street, and now he's basically the brains behind Stargate.

Amanda:  He's ah... we have two major directors who work with us: Peter DeLuise and Martin Wood.  When Peter first came on board he... he's got an insane sense of humour, this guy, he's very, very funny. And so he brought with him a real creative urge to do something completely different, and because he brought into the comedy aspect, and because he had been an actor on a television series, he was really great, and he's great with actors. But he brings like... it's the yin and the yang  watching Martin and Peter direct. They're two completely different ways of doing things. Peter is more organic (?), more fly by the seat of your pants, 'that looks great! let's do that!' , you know, and he gets really excited and he yells 'arrgh! woah!!' and he gets all crazy. And then of course his dad came and did Urgo. I've never laughed so hard, in the space of a week. We laughed and laughed, and Peter would do things like, just before a scene he'd go 'Okay, dad? At the end of the scene, do something to crack them up! Okay, and action!' And we'd be halfway through the scene, and Dom would just, like, suddenly do something completely different, and we'd all be in fits of laughter.

Peter's very polite around his dad, he's very... he's like a little boy. Suddenly that dynamic came in, father son...  so he was very young around his dad. It was very sweet. He's brought a level of comedy to the show that wasn't there before.

Audience member: (Can't hear the question, but something about comedy eps and sixth season)

Amanda:  That's a good question, and I'm just trying to think what we've done this season.

Audience member mentions 'The Other Guys'

Amanda:  Oh, The Other Guys. Thank you very much. Yes, there is one, it's called The Other Guys. It's about these two scientists who are huge fans of SG-1, and they're... crazy, goofy guys and they end up on a mission with us, and I'm not going to give away any spoilers for those of you who are cringing right now.

Alex advises it's showing today for those who will be hanging around.

Amanda:  Oh, okay. It's very funny, and that's sort of tongue-in-cheek episode I really like. Because it's an outsiders view of SG-1. It's quite funny.

Unfortunately a change-over in tape here, so missed the question. (The final version of tape will may have this as there were two cameras running)

Audience member:  Who's the practical joker on the set?

Amanda:  Ah, we all are.

Audience member:  And what's the biggest joke pulled on you.

Amanda:  On me? Christopher Judge taped me into a chair with electrician tape just before a scene. It wasn't actually electrician's tape, it was the tape that they put our marks down with, so he tied me up with orange - which is my mark colour, cos it's my favourite colour - um, he taped me up like that. I'm trying to think. Oh... I've said this before so it's no great secret. Our show is very flatulence heavy, and the boys have contests sometimes...  but Christopher had to take a scene in a hazmat suit, where he's completely covered (?) by the suit, and I don't know if it was on purpose, but the caterers served beans at lunch...

Much laughter.

Amanda:  I think if anything that was like the best, just to watch...  and he couldn't get it off, because we had to tape him in, we had to (something) just to get these things on, so he's just stuck in there with himself.

Audience member:  (Can't hear it unfortunately, but seems to be something about action figures or something)

Amanda:  Good question. We've asked that since season one. Cos there was talk of action figures, so we were like "woo, cool!" Didn't happen. So I have no idea, when they're going to do it. Because it behooves them to do it, because I think this show has so many great things that... some toys and props that could be made out of it. I mean, look at all the toys we use on set. Certainly I've felt like I have... (indicates her phone) it's very Star Trek looking, isn't it? Beam my up, Scotty!

I don't know the answer to that question, I'm sorry.

Audience member: (Something along the lines of whether Amanda could imagine merging Stargate with another show, any other show.)

Amanda:  Stargate merging with another show. Ah... Red Dwarf.

Lots of applause and laughter.

Amanda:  That would just be wild, wouldn't it? Yeah, that's my answer, Red Dwarf. That would be cool.

Audience member: If you had the chance to do any other role other than sci-fi, what would it be?

Amanda:  I actually got asked this in Sydney, and my answer is, when I'm in my 60's I want to play Eleanor of Aquitaine from a play called the Lion in Winter. She's just a great character. She's strong, acerbic and slightly diabolical, too, which I like. Yeah, that's one of my lifetime goals and has been for quite some time.

Audience member: We'll look forward to it.

Amanda:  Thank you, I do, too. Fingers crossed, everybody!!

Audience member:  Now that season seven's been confirmed, are you going to write your own episode?

Amanda:  Ah, I hope to, but I'm definitely going to direct one. We made that part of my contract negotiations, so I know I'll be directing an episode this year, which I'm very excited... and I'll be the first woman to direct an episode of Stargate, too.

Much cheering and applause.

Amanda:  I'm just looking forward to telling Rick what to do. (laughing) 'Action, Rick! Cut! I didn't like it! See what else you've got'.


Amanda:  See what happens?

Audience member:  (can't hear it, but seems like asking whether Amanda prefer Melbourne or Sydney.  Note: there has long been a friendly rivalry between the two cities.)

Amanda: I can't answer that because I've only been in Melbourne a couple of days. Ah, I'm doing the Harley tour, and the Penguins and... I'll tell you after. They're very different, it's really interesting because Sydney seems to be very much a beach town vibe, and Melbourne feels very European to me, in terms of the architecture and the streets and alleyways. It just has a completely different feel to it, so I don't know that I can say either one, cos they're so different. I just love Australia, how's that?!

Applause, as expected. <g>

Audience member:  Any chance of having a Stargate done in Australia

Amanda:  Of shooting it here? Wouldn't that be cool? Oh... (pulls out her cel phone) Let's call somebody. Ah, that would be awesome. But, no.

Actually, I got off... ah, I was getting on the plane from... from Sydney to here, and the guy at the Qantas desk recognised me, and he said 'don't you wish you had a Stargate, wouldn't that make coming here a lot easier?'

Much laughter.

Amanda:  (pulls her fist down in the univeral 'yes!') Yes, that would be cool.

Audience member: (asks about Amanda's husband being supportive, and what his reaction to her telling them they were going to a convention)

Amanda:  He.. he went to his first one in England... and ah, so, you know the English... just kidding. My dad is English, I can say that, it's okay. Um... He... we were both overwhelmed, cos we went to the first one together, so he was completely overwhelmed by it, and he wasn't sure what to expect, nor... nor was I. So.. but he just hangs out, he has a great time. He meets everybody and chats with everyone, and comes back and tells all these great stories about the people he's had a chance to talk to. So he's... he's really cool about it. It's a great chance to travel and to meet people that you would never get a chance to meet. I like doing them. For me it's a way to say thank you and to meet you guys face to face.... I know,  I've heard of Australia and I know you guys have TVs and you watch, and you chase snakes and crocs and stuff... and you have this thing against dingoes, I don't know...

Much laughter of course.

Amanda:  So when I said there was this Australian deal we can do, he was thrilled, as was I - he's very cool about it.

Audience member: In 2001, when Sam falls out of a harvester and down (something)... why didn't someone come and help her when she stacked (or something).....landing on the ramp or something.

Amanda:  Thank you!! Thank you. Good question. And I did actually hurt myself, and I'm lying against this metal rack, you know, there's a metal step in the middle in middle of my... and I looked up at these three guys, and they all just stood there, and I'm  'Guys? Yoohoo!', And so they made a kind of a joke, amongst the three of them, that they all just stood around, and at the very end they said 'you all right?' They thought it was hysterically funny. But that was like Rick, Chris and Michael thinking it was hysterically funny... *not* O'Neill, Teal'c and Daniel. And I said to them, 'Guys, your characters would care.'

A lot of laughter.

Amanda:  'Come on!' But... they just didn't want to play. They were like 'yeah'. And the director said, 'One of you should try and help her up at least'. And of course their reaction was like 'No, no, she might have broken something, we don't want to make it worse! We should wait for the medical team to come in. We don't want to hurt her.' (pulls a face, like 'yeah, right') So, good question. I don't know the answer. If you run into them, ask them.

Audience member:  (Something about a bracelet and whether she still has it.)

Amanda:  (holds her wrist up, nodding)

Audience member: (something about O'Neill and Teal'c catching a fish and bringing it back)

Amanda:  No, and I think O'Neill would be scared if he did actually catch one. I know Rick would be. No, they've never brought back a fish. And I'm pretty sure we won't see Teal'c going on any fishing expeditions.  He was rather bored senseless by the whole thing.

As for the bracelet, yes, I still have it. It's been almost a year, I guess, December when I got it. It's kind of a... it's just there now, and it's just stuck to me, and I don't take it off, so I don't even really notice it. Every once in a while I'll look down and go, 'oh yeah, well that (can't hear the rest)' But I do still wear it. And I'm still trying to get in touch... I've got in touch with the consulate, and still trying to get in touch with this unit that gave me this. Cos I know they were sent back home, but many of them are back out again, going on tours of duties, so many of them are back out there again.

Somebody asks what it's about.

Amanda: Oh, I'm sorry. I did a USO tour in the Middle East last year shortly after 9/11, just before Christmas actually, and we went to these army bases. And it was really kind of cool. I went, I met with people, they told me their stories, men and women, it was very cool to meet women serving in the Middle East, women who planned missions, women who did... (in soft voice) things I can't tell you about or I'll have to kill you. But it was just a phenomenal experience for me. Then standing in this compound with this group of very large men, walked up to me and they were special forces and combat unit, and the guy presented me with this bracelet and he said 'Ms Tapping, we would like to give you a combat bracelet. We make it for each other at the beginning every mission, the unit' - and there's like eight guys in this unit - 'and we each wear it until the mission is done, and we are hoping you would wear it till our mission is done.' And so I was so honoured, and so touched by the stories I heard from these men and women, that I gratefully and humbly accepted the bracelet, and have worn it ever since, and to my discredit I don't know where these men are. But I've been in touch with the consulate in Qatar, and so hopefully I'll have some information on that... but that's what the bracelet is all about.

And I got it just before season six. So, came in for season six and my wardrobe lady is like 'oh!'. So when I explained it, it was all cool, so I wear it. And you'll notice in season six Rick has this bracelet on, and it's Tibetan prayer beads, which I think is so fantastic that he wears them, but if they're concerned about my combat bracelet, being that we are a military show,  I'm wondering what they're thinking about the Tibetan prayer beads.


Amanda:  So, anyway, that's the story of the bracelet. And I... and I was very proud of the men that presented it to me, and the way that they did it. In as much as I had great trepidation going over there, I'm really glad I went. It changed the face of war for me, and I think we have just one... you know, the CNN view of war, and it's not necessarily what's going on. I have to say, the guys the pick up the garbage on the base, are just as proud of what they do as the men who fly the F16s, so you have to give them credit for that choice that they've made. Anyway, getting silence...

Audience member:  (something about Full Circle being the last episode of season six)

Amanda:  Yes. Yes.

Audience member: (something about emotional eps for Sam in season six and seven)

Amanda:  Ah... not so much. This was an interesting year for Sam, in that she didn't have any huge storylines in season six. Ah... but... she carried the mission in Nightwalkers, she had a lot to do, but there wasn't any really heavy emotional shows for her this year. And the producers actually came up to me at the end of the season and said 'we're really sorry, I mean, we know you worked really hard', and Rick was taking extra time off, and they threw a bunch of stuff at me but I never really got any really deep, emotional character beats to play, so hopefully I'll have them in season seven.

Audience member:  That's probably why there's a season seven.

Amanda:  Yeah, so they could give me those. Yeah. Would that were true.

Audience member:  (question is something about the resolution/wrap up at the end of eps - lack of resolution)

Audience member: Or do they just cut it for Australia?

Amanda:  They cut it for Australia. You should *see* how our shows end! We do this dance, and everything's fine.


Amanda:  Um.. I think that it's a facet of shooting episode television. It's an hour long show,  which really translates to 44-45 minutes once you have the (something) commercials it's a 45 page script. If scenes take longer than - say you're going a minute per page - if scenes take longer, then things are cut out. I think that was Entity, right? Ah... I didn't like the ending of that episode, I have to be honest with you. I'm not sure I liked the episode. But, um... I think the idea was my consciousness was transferred back into my body by the computer, but there was  no... but we end on the team pondering, but no, what did they think.... I don't know how to explain that. Let's call one of the writers.  I don't have their number. I wonder why I don't have their number. Let's try Chris again!

Amanda starts dialing again.

Amanda:  It's ringing! (pause while she listens, then Amanda mouths 'got his machine'). We'll try his cel phone number.

Dials again, and indicates to do a question while waiting.

Audience member:  (asks about the influence of the US Air Force on the show, and how much the look of Cheyenne Mountain is influenced.)

Amanda:  Hair. And it is actually the outside footage Cheyenne Mountain. There's actually scenes with blast doors closing that is really inside Cheyenne Mountain. Um... the Air Force has influence in that they have to approve all our scripts before we shoot them, so there are certain things they have not allowed to happen, some things that we've fought for... um, and when I... Chris and I talk about the beginning of season 4 as our bad hair episodes... he had the little caterpillar, and I had the Buffy bouf, I don't know what I had on my head... but ah, the Air Force came down pretty hard on that. But they're very much about the regulations and the uniforms and... the proper protocol... they're very involved in that.

Audience member:  (asks about an example or something)

Amanda:  One example that comes to mind is in Solitudes, when O'Neill is dying, and he... it's towards the very end, and I curl up in the blankets with him, and he calls me 'Sarah', which is the name of his ex-wife, and I call him 'Jack'... I don't know if they kept that in or not... did they keep it in? (audience says yes)... okay... the argument that we had... the Air Force said 'she could not call him 'Jack', he is her commanding officer', she cannot call him 'Jack'. My argument was 'I'm playing into the delusions of a dying man, at least give him a modicum of comfort at the end of his life. So that even if he thinks I'm his ex-wife, who cares? As least he has some closure, some comfort'. So we argued and argued and argued and argued, and I guess it worked. I should watch this show, I think it's pretty good.


Dialing Chris again.

Amanda:  Wouldn't it be funny if we got him?

Somebody says something about Michael

Amanda:  I don't know if Michael.... Christopher!! (pause) What's up?  You tried to call me in England when you were at a convention, so I'm on stage at a convention in Melbourne, Australia... (in kinda Southern accent) I'm on stage calling you from a cellular telephone. Okay, wait, let me see if I can do this... Okay, speak.

Amanda holds the microphone up to the phone. Doesn't work - can't hear anything. Amanda then indicates to the crowd to say hi, holds the phone up, and everyone yells 'hi'.

Amanda then listens to Chris

Amanda:   Oh, I don't think I'm going to tell them *that*. In case you guys were wondering what Christopher was just doing! Why didn't you answer your phone?

Alex hands Amanda a different microphone.

Amanda:  Hang on one second, baby, try talking now.

Holds the microphone to the phone.

Christopher:  Can you hear me? (I think... or are you there?)

Audience:  Yes!!

Amanda:  Say something again, baby.

Christopher:  How you doin', Melbourne?

Crowd goes wild.

Amanda: Ah, thousands! Hundreds. Tens. (pause while listening) A fabulous time. Australia is awesome. Come to Melbourne. (pause) Are you coming back next year? All right. To the show, I mean. To Stargate. For season seven. Yeah, are you? (pause)Sah... weeeet! Thanks, babe. Love you. Say goodbye.

Christopher: Goodbye!

Audience yells out goodbye.

Lots of applause and cheers as Amanda ends the call.

Amanda:  He said he was coming back to the show, so it's all good. He was like, 'You and Michael are coming back, and I'm not coming back? Forget it!'

Derek wraps it up at this point, asking the crowd to put their hands together for Amanda.

And the crowd goes wild.

Amanda:  I'm sorry I didn't get to all of your questions, but thank you for making me feel so welcome, you guys are awesome, and I'm having a fabulous time, so look forward to meeting you all in the line (autograph session Derek has mentioned).

End transcript.

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