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Stargate SG-1 Cast Interviews: Ben Browder

Hero In The Making
Steven Eramo, TV Zone Special #67, Dec 2005

"The real challenge with Mitchell lies in the hands of other people and I honestly believe that," says Browder.  "When I say other people I'm referring specifically to the show's writers.  They've been writing Stargate for a long time and this season they've been given the task of integrating into the story not only Mitchell but other new faces as well.  I think the writers have done a great job as far as that's concerned.  In my mind, characters are revealed in their actions and dialogue, and I live by the rule that if something doesn't work then it's the fault of the actor.  If, however, it does work, it's because everyone else – in this case Rob Cooper and Brad Wright [executive producers] and their writing team – have done their job."

"For me, it's simply been a case of showing up to work and finding out how Mitchell responds to various situations, and I take that on a story-by-story basis.  What's probably been most interesting, again, for me, is seeing how differently he interacts with each of the characters around him, and how he behaves on-base as opposed to off-world.  You see different  facets of Mitchell's personality depending on where he is and who he's with, which I think is perfectly appropriate.  He's definitely not a one-size-fits-all type of guy," smiles the actor.  "Yes, it might make the definition of the character a little less clear cut, but on the other hand it makes him a lot more fascinating and textured.  Being the end of the season and pondering where Mitchell is at now as compared to the start, I've just tried to hone more facets of the character and did my best not to lock into too many specifics early on."

While Colonel Mitchell's relationships with his SG-1 team mates are somewhat laid back, his rapport with his commanding officer General Hank Landry [Beau Bridges] is much more by the book.  "Mitchell maintains a certain level of decorum around Landry that he doesn't with his team," says Browder.  "With SG-1 you have three people who have saved the world over and over again, and then there's their leader, Mitchell.  So his leadership style has to be different from Jack O'Neill's.  You play to the strengths of your team and in that sense you don't necessarily see Mitchell ordering his people around."

"Ultimately, Mitchell answers to Landry and his job is to facilitate between the individual members of his team who are the real heroes, whereas my character is less of a hero, or, perhaps, a hero in the making," smiles the actor.

No one was more surprised than Colonel Mitchell when General Landry told him he was being assigned to lead SG-1.  When the season began, however, there really was no team to speak of.  The three members of SG-1 were intent on pursuing other agendas.  It was only through Mitchell's good-natured cajoling and determination that SG-1 came back together as a unit.  That pleases the colonel no end, not to mention the actor playing him.

"What I like about the latter half of this year is that there are more team-oriented stories," enthuses Browder.  "Our characters have been reunited and are working together, which I think is a good thing.  As far as how the season ends, we'll just have to wait until we see the final edit," teases the actor.

To read the full interview, order your back issue copy of the magazine from Visual Imagination.

Copyright © 2005, TV Zone

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