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Stargate SG-1 Cast and Crew Interviews

The Cast and Crew of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis Answer Fans' Questions
SciFi Channel Magazine, February 2006

SciFi Channel solicited questions from fans for any of the cast or crew of Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica. The questions were posted to the forums, and SciFi chose many for the cast and crew to answer. Some were printed in the February 2006 issue of the magazine while others were only published on the web site. Here are all of the questions that were answered for Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis, arranged by show and then actor or producer. We've included some scanned images from the article as well.

Your intrepid Solutions reporter is proud to report that six of the questions below were submitted by her :-)


Stargate: SG-1
Ben Browder
Michael Shanks
Amanda Tapping
Chris Judge
Beau Bridges
Lexa Doig
Robert C. Cooper

Stargate: Atlantis
Joe Flanigan
Torri Higginson
David Hewlett
Rachel Luttrell
Jason Momoa
Paul McGillion
Brad Wright

Stargate: SG-1 Q&A

Ben Browder
Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell
Ben Airborne

Q: What was your first thought when you heard you were cast on Stargate SG-1? How do you see Mitchell's relationship with the various members of SG-1?

Browder: My first thought, five seconds in, was, "Oh, thank God… work!" I've been an actor long enough to have seen long spates of unemployment. My second thought, 10 seconds later, was, "Oh crap! Please don't let me screw this up." SG-1 is such a successful and long-running series, I was a wee bit concerned perhaps I wouldn't fit in. I could just see myself as the poster boy for the death of Stargate. An hour later, somewhere around the fourth or fifth thought, I actually got around to considering the real job… the new guy on a long-running show. If nothing else, I knew it was an exciting challenge.

Now for the second part of your question, which is complicated. The three other members of SG-1 (assuming we're talking SG-1, not SGC)… Mitchell interacts with them on an individual basis, and differently according to the situation. Summing it up would be hard for me without launching into a dissertation. Let's just see how it plays out in the course of the series… rather than biasing the audience with my ramblings. I'm rather restrained about openly expressing my "inner thoughts" about the characters I play until the audience has already had a chance to experience him. We're only halfway through Mitchell's first tour of duty. …Let's see how he plays out and talk about him after.

Q: Where do you think your character is going over the next few years? And what will your character be doing when he/she retires?

Browder: What Mitchell does for the next few years, assuming and hoping there are more years, is in the hands of the writers. Robert C. Cooper and his merry band of scribes will hopefully be finding new and devious ways to torture and tease Lt. Col. Shaft Mitchell for some time to come. For myself, I like Mitchell as an off-world kind of guy; retirement should be in him disappearing through the gate, never to be seen again, with only vague hints that he's still out there. It would be shiny if Mitchell's legacy consists of a single phrase uttered at the SGC; "Mitchell would go!"

Q: How are the new and old cast/characters getting along on the show? What's the most interesting thing about the interactions?

Browder: The cast here gets on famously well. Boring answer, but true. Most interesting is watching the "odd couple" at work… that would be Michael and Chris. Those two are masters of the quip and spend most of the day getting at each other and anyone else who falls into the line of fire. It requires several cups of coffee to just half keep up with those guys in the morning. They really should go ahead and marry each other. extra questions and answers

Q: How are you and your family liking Vancouver, and what have you found to do there for fun? Can you get American cable [TV] up there?

Browder: Vancouver is a lovely place. For fun, however, I go to work. Unfortunately, most tourists to Vancouver don't have the opportunity to go through the 'gate on a daily basis. So, barring that opportunity, I can recommend a bike ride around the sea wall as a fantastic day out. Haven't even tried to get American cable up here … wouldn't even occur to me. I prefer to live locally, not try to take the USA with me. Makes for a fuller experience of different nations and cultures.

Q: When will you move on to new projects, and do you worry about spending too much of your career on a cable TV show?

Browder: Other projects … home improvement, cleaning my sock drawer, or big Hollywood blockbuster films will be slotted in when the opportunity arises. Doing Stargate is a fairly full-time gig. My other full-time gig is husband and father. Between those gigs, very little time is left. Cable TV is a blessing. It feeds the family, allows me to perform in my favorite genre, gives me a very cool workday playing "action guy." Where's the worry? Seems good to me.

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Michael Shanks
Dr. Daniel Jackson
Having a Laugh

Q: How do you feel about the changes in Daniel's character over the last few years? Do you feel he has become jaded? Is he still the moral driving force, or has he taken on more of a military point of view?

Shanks: No, first of all, I don't think that the character has become jaded at all, but I think what Daniel has done is he's had to adapt himself to different relationships, interactions, and situations, and I think, given his experiences, that the evolution of the character is consistent with the development of any human who would be put into these types of situations. So I feel that the character still remains the moral compass of the show, but in his own defense he's become a much more rounded individual as a result of his experiences — as someone who has drawn from his experiences as opposed to his idealistic point of view.

Q: Do you think Mitchell and Daniel ever will (or should) achieve a level of friendship comparable to that of Jack and Daniel?

Shanks: The only way to answer that question is to say that no relationship that Daniel ever cultivates will ever be similar to that of Jack and Daniel's relationship, based on the fact that all characters are unique. I mean, there may be colors and flavors as time goes by of interactions, but hopefully the two actors involved, and the two characters involved, will have differences and different experiences that both individually and together will be able to find a unique dynamic. So I don't worry that there will be similar echoes and I hope not, to a large degree, because that would be a mistake to attempt to go to that place, and it would also be a very difficult proposition to try to echo, that relationship — that Jack and Daniel relationship. So I don't worry or hope that that relationship will ever be repeated.

Q: What do you think is Daniel's greatest strength as a character? His greatest weakness?

Shanks: Daniel's stubbornness is his greatest strength of character, and it's also his weakness… persistence, if you put it in a positive light, stubbornness if you put it in a negative light. extra questions and answers

Q: How has it been for you this season working with Ben Browder and Beau Bridges? Do you enjoy this new change?

Shanks: I've found it the most difficult to continue to use my "B" sounds. I have water on the set all the time! Saying "Ben Browder" and "Beau Bridges" consistently throughout the day can take a toll on a person's vocabulary, especially when it comes to talking about your "baby boy" or your "brown boots." You can exhaust that consonant, so I've found it very difficult to maintain my other consonants working with the two of them … especially when they're working on the same day!

Q: Have you been working toward a goal to become more military in your looks and actions for the show?

Shanks: Have I tried to make my character more military? I would say no; I don't think a person's haircut should dictate a characterization specific to two-dimensional clichés. So, no, I haven't been attempting to make my character more "military."

Q: Will your wife be staying on as a regular to the show?

Shanks: That's up to her and the producers, as far as I know.

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Amanda Tapping
Lt. Col. Samantha Carter

Q: What has surprised you most about your character's personal growth since you started on the show?

Tapping: I am most thrilled by how they've opened her up. She started out very linear and one-dimensional. Very didactic. Then she settled into her role on the team and didn't have to prove herself as a woman or soldier or scientist. She is a real person, a real woman. She was never over-sexualized or stereotyped. She could have been the "strong Bitch" or the "space sex kitten" or any number of stereotypes. But instead she is real. I am proud of that and proud of the writers for keeping it real and honest.

Q: What can we expect for the future role of Sam?

Tapping: This season has been about returning to our roots in many ways. Sam is back to being very focused on work and the team and her research. We have not dealt at all with her personal life. We spent a lot of time last year on the personal aspects of Sam's life, and we got a lot deeper into this woman's soul. So it's nice to step back from that with a renewed sense of what she's about and what makes her tick and see her doing what she does best. There are no major changes for her… more a renewal of what she's really about.

Q: If you could bring in any other actor to work with on an episode, who would it be and why?

Tapping: Wow… hard question. So many actors, so little time! Johnny Depp. Because he's so talented and makes such amazing choices, and he's real sweet eye candy! There, that's my schoolgirl crush out of the way. extra questions and answers

Q: How has it been for you this season working with Ben Browder and Beau Bridges? Do you enjoy this new change? What is the new dynamic on the set now that much of the cast has changed? Are things really different, in a good or bad way?

Tapping: It's been amazing. They both bring such a fresh energy to the set. Beau is Hollywood royalty. He brings such class and a great sense of fun to the show. Ben is very keen and easy to work with. The show feels like a different show in some ways. There is a new dynamic to play with. We are still getting to know each other as characters and how each of us fit into this new team. I think it's really good and fresh.

Q: What's it like being a new mom and working on the show? Is it stressful or are you handling it all just fine?

Tapping: It has been a lot more difficult than I thought. I am handling it well … I hope. But no one prepares you for the sleep deprivation. I find myself up at three in the morning breast-feeding and then running lines and then trying to pump more breast milk and then getting into the shower and then going to work. It's been a bit insane. Once there, I am unstrapping my gun and rushing to feed the baby between scenes. It's all a bit wacky. But the bottom line is that I love it. I walk off set and there's Olivia waiting in my trailer. It's been a real gift to be able to spend everyday with her and still be able to work.

Q: What's your funniest memory of something happening while taping the show?

Tapping: I've said it before and I'll say it again: Every day we laugh about something. It is so hard to pinpoint one particular moment. It usually comes at the spur of the moment and it is usually while the cameras are rolling and we are caught on film trying not to laugh or else giving over to it and laughing and giggling like school kids. That's what makes this show fun … little moments.

Q: What was your favorite episode to shoot?

Tapping: Again, a very difficult question! How do you choose from nine seasons? I have such fond memories of early shows like "1969" and "Urgo." We had so much fun, and it was still so fresh. I think the pilot was so special in so many ways, and I'll always look back on that time with fondness.

As for one particular episode … can't do it … sorry. Like I said, it's too hard to choose!

Q: Do you ever visit the SCIFI.COM bulletin boards? If so, what was your opinion of them? Furthermore, have you ever posted on them (without revealing who you are)?

Tapping: I don't make it onto the Internet very often. New baby… very busy. I have been on the SCIFI.COM boards a few times but I've never posted there. I don't even know how! I know, pathetic! Now that we are wrapped for the season, I may have more time to check them out. I would like to know what people think of the new season.

Q: If and when the show [Stargate SG-1] comes to an end, would you consider it if they [the producers] asked you to play a continuing role on Stargate Atlantis, or is Stargate [SG-1] your final appearance [as Samantha Carter]?

Tapping: I recently did an episode of Atlantis and had a great time. All my scenes were with David Hewlett. It was fantastic. So, if asked, I wouldn't say no to appearing on Atlantis again.

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Christopher Judge
Michael Shanks and Chris Judge

Q: How are you liking the new cast and characters?

Judge: Claudia was the one who had come back from the previous season, so we had already gotten to meet Claudia, and kind of got to know her rhythms, got to know her as a person, so when she came back we already knew each other. We already knew she was great and we loved her. And the thing with Ben is, you know, Shanks and I are both alpha males, so it was kind of a lot of sniffing around each other. Ben and I, we kind of have similar personalities where we're both very loud and talkative and we finally learned to — and not that it was ever bad — but it was just a feeling process, and by the end of the season we're as thick as thieves. We're great friends, and we get along really well and have a great time on set. And Beau is just the gentleman of the crew; he's just a lovely lovely man and it's just a pleasure to work with him.

Q: Now that the Jaffa are finally free, what do you see as Teal'c's ongoing story arc on SG-1, and what would you like to see Teal'c do in the future of the show?

Judge: Well, I think that Teal'c sees that freedom is the first step in the journey he's going through. That's the thing that's always most difficult is when you strive for something or when you have the dream of something and you achieve it, well, what then? I think that Teal'c is seeing that being free is not as easy as it sounds. What do I see for him in the future? Well, now that there's kind of a new threat to this galaxy, the Ori, I think that his place on Earth is kind of cemented for the time being, because he really wants to see that the Ori are neutralized and because they definitely threaten not only Earth but also all the Jaffa free worlds and all the other worlds in the galaxy.

Q: If you could be any character on Stargate: Atlantis, which one would it be and why?

Judge: I would love to be Rachel's costume. And why? I think that's obvious.

Q: Did you ever expect SG-1 to go nine years?

Judge: Oh, God, not in my wildest dreams. I thought we had a pretty good shot to go five years, especially 'cause after the pilot we knew we had four years guaranteed. But nine years, I mean, that's ridiculous.

You know, people ask me, "Aren't you tired of playing the same character?" But I'm not, because the show changes every couple of years. So now I'm trying to find out where Teal'c fits in with the new group of people. It's actually very challenging, and now going to 10 years and maybe 11… I don't think anyone could ever foresee that type of success for any show, no matter what, how great it looks on paper. To actually have it come to fruition and be this successful, it's just, it's unbelievable. extra questions and answers

Q: If one regular character could be brought back that's no longer with the show, who would you like it to be?

Judge: Uh … either… . That's a tough one. I would say either Dr. Fraiser, Martouf or Gen. Hammond.

Q: They're asking for a why.

Judge: Why? Because I enjoy them as people, and we miss them on set every day. I think that's probably the main reason why.

Q: What three episodes would you choose to exemplify the quality and charm of Stargate SG-1 to a new viewer?

Judge: I think I would choose the pilot ["Children of the Gods"], and, what was that one … ? You know, the first one that Vala was in? "Prometheus Unbound" and "Heroes".

Q: I think you've actually answered the next question, too, which was, How has it been for you this season working with Ben Browder and Beau Bridges?

Judge: To have these people on the show and they are so interested and so excited and so gung-ho and so, uh… their work ethic is just fantastic, and they care, and they want the show to be great, and they want to be there every day, and they want to work it, just… uh, it's really great, and it's given a brand-new enthusiasm, a brand-new spark to the show. And it's really is, uh, like, we kind of re-branded the show and, uh, it could go on forever, you know… as long as SCI FI comes up with the money. (Laughs)

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Beau Bridges
Gen. Hank Landry
Beau Bridges and Chris Judge

Q: What was your first thought when you were cast in the role of Gen. Hank Landry?

Bridges: I was excited to join a show that had been so successful eight years before. They sent me episodes to watch, and I enjoyed the cast and the writing, so I was very pleased to be a part of it.

Q: Both Michael Shanks and Don S. Davis have cited what a devoted family man you are. Do you use any of that aspect to create Landry's interaction with the people under his command?

Bridges: Yes, my family is the center of my life experience, and I think for Gen. Landry, he looks upon the Stargate Command team as his family, so I can relate to that.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge in making Gen. Landry stand out as a good military leader who is dealing with situations outside of his normal range of experience?

Bridges: The biggest challenge for me to fill the shoes of Gen. Landry is to try to capture the essence of an Air Force general with a very strategic command. I did a lot of research on generals, from Washington's time to the present. extra questions and answers

Q: We hear about all the joking around that happens on the set. Were you surprised by any of the shenanigans, and how do you like the atmosphere during filming?

Bridges: I felt that because the SG-1 actors had been together for eight years that there would be a definite camaraderie between them, and I found that was just the case. While there is joking around on the set, the production team has Stargate SG-1 running like a well-oiled machine.

Q: What is the funniest escapade that has happened in filming with the team? The jokes and tricks that have been pulled on each other?

Bridges: Probably the most fun I had was a day when we had three babies on the set — Michael Shanks' baby, Amanda Tapping's baby and Chris Judge's baby. It was a fun baby day.

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Lexa Doig
Dr. Carolyn Lam

Q: How are you finding it working on SG-1 this season? How do you see Lam's relationship with Landry, and how have you chosen to play it?

Doig: I quite enjoyed working on SG-1. There were quite a few crew members from Andromeda that also worked on SG-1, so it was a very comfortable environment for me. I see Lam's relationship with Landry as very strained — obviously.

I've chosen to play Lam as someone whose social skills are a little lacking, someone who is a little bit immature socially. Very good at her job, but the sacrifice she made to be that good at that age was some social grace.

I was very flattered, and a little nervous about working with Beau Bridges. I've admired and respected his work for some time, so it was a little intimidating for me to know that I'd be working with an actor of his caliber, but I was excited at the prospect.

Q: What major story arc would you like to see for her in season 10?

Doig: I wouldn't mind seeing how the relationship with her dad progresses. These things take time, though, and as there are more important things going on in the Stargate universe (i.e., global epidemics, galactic annihilation, Teal'c's ongoing hairstyle changes), I think the writers have a few more pressing storylines to put to paper. So, in short, although some quality daddy-daughter time would be nice, I have absolutely no attachment to any particular storyline.

Although a torrid love affair with a Nox would be kind of funny.

Q: What is it like working with your husband, Michael Shanks?

Doig: He's a righteous pain in the ass. Just kidding. It's great, it's comfortable, but honestly, I didn't work with him that much. The majority of my scenes were with Beau, the guests and, occasionally, Ben.

Q: Which actor do you think is the funniest? Most annoying? Hardest to work with? Easiest to work with? Shyest? Loudest? Most serious?

Doig: In this order: Michael, Michael, Michael, Beau, Ben, Christopher, Michael. I'd like to add cutest, best butt and best hair: Michael, Michael (Claudia is a very close second), Claudia. extra questions and answers

Q: What is the most interesting thing you've found about playing the character of Dr. Carolyn Lam? The hardest thing about playing the character?

Doig: The most interesting thing (and, incidentally, the most disturbing thing) about playing Lam is discovering that she and I are a lot alike in many ways. The hardest thing about that is I find her choices in regards to her relationships to be a bit immature. I wouldn't make those choices, so it's hard for me to find the justifications for them.

But then again, my relationships with my loved ones always take precedence over work. I think, for Carolyn, that the importance she places on her career is a defense mechanism because she doesn't know how to handle her personal baggage.

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Robert Cooper
Executive producer

Q: Will there ever be a bloopers DVD made of the show?

Cooper: There are none. Our actors are perfect. Seriously, all kidding aside, there are maybe a handful of funny bloopers that I can think of over nine years. They really don't happen nearly as often as the fans seem to think. And the truth is the actors really want you to think they are perfect.

Q: Do you think you will do another spin-off once SG-1 has ended?

Cooper: There has been some talk of another arm of the franchise. But SG-1 seems to be far from over at the moment, and right now 40 hours of TV a year is a lot. Enough, in fact.

Q: Will we ever meet the Furlings?

Cooper: Who says we haven't? extra questions and answers

Q: A number of folks from the production staff are on the Internet with various blogs and Q&A threads. The fans love having that information and interaction, but sometimes controversy gets stirred up. Do you have any misgivings about those Internet activities?

Cooper: Rarely, if ever, is there controversy from our point of view. In a couple of cases, people have said things or revealed things they shouldn't have. Some fans do seem to get quite stirred up at the things that are said, but we take that as the reaction of people who care a lot about the show. I think it's great that fans care enough to want to learn more about how the show is made and why certain decisions are made behind the scenes. Often the creative side of the show is shaped by various production issues and not by the lack of imagination or evil manipulations of hack writers bent on torturing fans as some seem convinced is the case. At least, that's not our intention. Most of all I think it gives fans a chance to see that there are a lot of people who work hard to make the show they, thankfully, love, and that we're all mostly just regular folks who care about Stargate as much as they do.

Q: Do the fans' opinions and ideas ever influence your plots, storylines, or character development? And, if so, in what way, instance, or episode(s)?

Cooper: Basically, I'm sorry to say, no. We make the show we want to watch. And often we have planned far ahead of what fans are seeing in terms of plot and character. It is interesting to see people try to predict what's going to happen. Some have been bang-on and I'm sure took credit for their clairvoyance with big smiles. There have been a few exceptions, but not many. What we do pay attention to are bigger overall issues that seem to make people like and dislike the franchise.

What makes the show successful? People like the team interaction. The sense of humor. The action and adventure aspects. We listened to what people liked about SG-1 and tried to make sure we incorporated those elements into Atlantis when we were creating it.

Q: What has been your biggest regret concerning the shows?

Cooper: I don't have any. Fans tend to see the show differently than we do. Sure, some episodes have turned out better than others, but at the time there was a good reason for proceeding the way we did. Our lives have changed along with the characters' over the nine years of making the show. Our interests have changed, and we have to try new things or risk becoming stagnant.

Creative endeavors like making a television show are like science experiments. Sometimes things go as planned, sometimes they blow up in your face, sometimes they surprise you in good and bad ways. But as we stand now, we have made over 200 hours of television that have entertained people all over the world and hopefully will continue to do so for years to come. I regret nothing about that. Sure, there have been ups and downs, but, on the whole, the final product has been very good, and the process has been tremendously gratifying.

Q: Will we see more crossing over of characters from Atlantis to SG-1 and vice versa? It would be very interesting to see Daniel Jackson go to Atlantis (finally) and for SG-1 to, say, go on a mission with Sheppard or McKay. The interaction of SG-1's and Atlantis' characters might be real winner.

Cooper: We try to incorporate as much crossover as we can, and, yes, there are plans for more — maybe a lot more.

Q: Are there any unfinished plot lines that you'd like to revisit?

Cooper: Honestly, if we think of them, we write the story. Forty episodes a year.

Please note, the following two questions/answers were attributed to Atlantis Executive Producer Brad Wright in the printed magazine edition, but to Robert Cooper in the on-line extras. The Grace question was likely addressed to Cooper, and the "most difficult actor" answer sounds more like Cooper's style, so they are printed here with attribution to Cooper.

Q: What race owned the mysterious ship that appeared in "Grace"?

Cooper: If I told you, it would no longer be mysterious, would it? Okay, if you must know, they are called the Shippers. They forced Sam into a situation where she would imagine herself kissing Jack.

Q: Who do you think is the hardest cast member to work with? The easiest?

Cooper: Come on. Seriously, this would fall into the category of things we would love to answer honestly but can't, for obvious reasons. I'll give you a clue though: Whoever gets the most lines is our favorite. (Just kidding, ha-ha. Stop counting lines.) Actually, the truth is, as producers, we don't have a very high tolerance for people who are unpleasant to work with. I have heard many horror stories about other actors on other shows. As the saying goes, "life is too short." The casts of both shows are great people and very professional. Many of us on the show are friends outside of work and choose to hang out together on a regular basis.

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Stargate: Atlantis Q&A

Joe Flanigan
Lt. Col. John Sheppard
SGA Cast Laughing

Q: Will there be an episode where Sheppard plays a song on the guitar and McKay sings? If so, what song would you both want to play and sing together?

Flanigan: There most likely would be an episode where Sheppard sets himself on fire and sings "Kumbaya'" before he and McKay did something like this. I could, however, picture us as a bad Bob Hope/Bing Crosby duo, a la road show, attempting to sing and dance our way out of trouble. More importantly, David is really good at "jazz-hands".

Hewlett: I so truly hope not, for the sake of the show. Though if we were going to sing something, maybe the Pogues, "Fairytale of New York", and make it a duet. I'll sing the man's part, of course!

Q: What's with the wristband you and Sheppard wear?

Flanigan: Nice try. Some things cannot be revealed.

Q: Is there anything that you would personally like your character to do?

Flanigan: I would like to see Sheppard experience the obligatory evil twin brother episode. Seems like a rite of passage.

Q: Are we ever going to find out anything about Sheppard's personal life, like his family or his past?

Flanigan: This is the most-asked question I get. Obviously, we are going to have to address this, and it should make for some good episodes.

Q: Why do you think people, especially the female audience, have an urge to nibble of your ears, or comb your hair?

Flanigan: Despite the rumors, I am not a Keebler Elf. I am not a Keebler Elf… I am… not… a… Keebler… Elf.

Q: Where would you like to see your character go personally and professionally wise?

Flanigan: I would like to see him get sucked into the dark side.

Q: Do you feel special now that you have upgraded to lieutenant?

Flanigan: Enormously. First lieutenant colonel, next, the WORLD! extra questions and answers

Q: I read somewhere that Jason Momoa has a skateboard. Do you guys have races in the studio parking lot?

Flanigan: My brethren on wheels. He's a little old-school, but he keeps up.

Q: What is your favorite part of being on the set of Stargate?

Flanigan: Great crew. Great cast.

Q: From what we've seen in previous episodes, John Sheppard is the kind of guy who relies a little on his charm and good looks to get by. How do you think his transformation in "Conversion" affected him personally?

Flanigan: I thought he was a pretty charming and good-looking bug, personally.

Q: What do you think is your most attractive feature and why?

Flanigan: The horn that grows out of my forehead.

Q: What is the most weirdest or funniest thing a fan has asked you?

Flanigan: When a fan asked me for help with his grammar. I'm available.

Q: Do you do your own stunt work?

Flanigan: I don't have much stunt work. Most of the stuff is easy, rolling-around, Starsky and Hutch-type stuff. But if I need to fall or be thrown great distances, I take great pleasure is delegating to the underpaid, nimble-bodied stunt-doubles that our stunt coordinator James Bamford offers up for sacrifice.

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Torri Higginson
Dr. Elizabeth Weir

Q: Are there any behind-the-stage nicknames or quirks that the actors have?

Higginson: Let's see… Diva, Grumpy, Sleepy, Doc… oh, maybe I'm thinking of another show.

Q: What are your thoughts about the development of your character in season two?

Higginson: She gets a bit darker, not the shirt. Well that too, which is fun and she gets to shoot a P90… kinda cool.

Q: Is Weir using Sheppard to make Caldwell jealous?

Higginson: I think Caldwell is toying with Weir to make Shep jealous.

Q: Is Elizabeth ever going to go off-world again? Ever?

Higginson: Well, she did end up in handcuffs and blindfolded the first time… so if it's up to her… yes.

Q: Doesn't Weir know that red is not a good color in sci-fi?

Higginson: Weir sadly is color-blind, a little-known fact.

Q: Does Weir speak jive?

Higginson: She not only speaks it, you should see her on a dance floor. extra questions and answers

Q: Now that Elizabeth is no longer dating Simon, do you think she has her eyes on any of the guys on Atlantis? (Since there are so many to choose from?)

Higginson: I think, since her intent and manifesto, before leaving Earth (and discovering the real galaxies beyond), was all about exploring other cultures … that however sexy a man in a uniform is (are pantsuits and scientist-grey considered uniforms…?) she is secretly hoping for them to discover a planet overpopulated with hungry and eager strapping men (hungry for knowledge, that is … ahem … yeah, that's what she's thinking — knowledge) but if push comes to shove, the 'gate-dialer in episode 218 is pretty damn cute.

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David Hewlett
Dr. Rodney McKay
Paul McGillion and David Hewlett

Q: Some ladies on the Internet have coined the term "adorkable" to describe your charms. What do you think of that?

Hewlett: Genius! Let me clarify; that is astrophysical genius! I am flattered and I think its adorkable of them to have come up with it! The other one that I like to throw around is "snarcastic". Keep them coming!

Q: McKay has been portrayed from bumbling comic relief to brilliant-if-reluctant hero this season. What do you think of this range of characterizations?

Hewlett: Bumbling comic relief!? McKay was hero and nothing but hero, nothing but brilliant and nothing reluctant about it! Are we watching the same show?! I have the best job on Atlantis. The range of things I get to do and say are what makes it such a pleasure to get up every morning. Though not enough to make me a pleasure to be around at those early hours.

Q: What was your weirdest moment on the SGA set and why?

Hewlett: The first day back after a three-week holiday, and we're standing in this sweltering hot field in the middle of nowhere, acting opposite a 7-foot man in a skin tight, Pepto-Bismol-pink suit and a sabre-toothed tiger head. Why? I'm not sure.

Q: What percentage of your character's scientific language/accomplishments do you understand personally?

Hewlett: When I get the scripts, far too little. By the time we're shooting them, far too much! Luckily for me, I actually find this stuff interesting. Still, I wouldn't know what I would do without the Internet!

Q: What would you most like to see McKay do on the show (that he hasn't done yet)? What do you think McKay wants in life?

Hewlett: I am dying to meet McKay's sister. I've heard rumblings about my real sister, Kate, coming up to do an episode, and that would be a treat. She is the funniest woman I have ever met, and the most evil! Not to mention a talented actress. In life McKay just wants to be right, about everything.

Q: Does it impact on you personally — that the world seems to revolve around your character in almost every episode?

Hewlett: Well it does make for a lot of long nights and lost weekends learning lines! That said, it's an actors dream! McKay is just the kind of person that has to be involved in everything going on everywhere; he can't help himself. I think it's safe to say that he believes the world — well I should say the universe (so many worlds, so little time!) — does revolve around him.

Q: What was more fun to shoot, season one or two?

Hewlett: There's always a wonderful freedom to shooting the first season of a show, because nobody knows how it's going to be received. That said, given the response to season one, season two was more fun to shoot! By season two, I found it easier to learn the lines and get my head around the concepts. And I think that I had a better sense of how McKay would react to situations.

Q: Will Rodney be getting together with Elizabeth any time soon?

Hewlett:I think there's too much history there for romance, but I've been wrong before!

Q: Your fan base is huge! Why do you think it is so big, and what are your feelings on this?

Hewlett: McKay gets to say all the brilliant, outrageous, snarky and sarcastic things that you and I can't or are too polite to say. I think that it's more Rodney who has the fans than David. Heck, I love the guy! extra questions and answers

Q: Which was your favorite episode to work on so far?

Hewlett: I sound like such a suck when I say I really don't have a favorite episode. Off the top of my head, in no particular order: "Duet," "Grace Under Pressure," "Runner," "The Long Goodbye." There are some that are my favorite action shows, and others that are my favorite acting shows, and then there are some that just ended up being my favorite episodes to shoot.

Weirdly, one of my favorite shooting days was one where there really wasn't that much for me to say or do. It was Mitch and Paul and Chuck, up in the control room for a relentless day of "we're all going to die" high-stress acting. I have never laughed so hard or screwed up so many takes trying not to laugh in my life. I imagine they'll never put us all in the same room again!

Q: Do you watch Outer Limits in real life?

Hewlett: On many occasions. I love that kind of thing.

Q: What's your favorite sci-fi movie?

Hewlett: I think I'd have to go with either Blade Runner or Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Both of them still give me shivers.

Q: Are we ever going to see anything about McKay's sister Jeannie? Also, are we ever going to see anything of his background, as well?

Hewlett: Hey, you read my mind! I just talked about that in the "what I want to see on the show." I imagine when she makes an appearance there'll be way too much background for McKay's liking!

Q: What was the one personal item that McKay brought to Atlantis in Season One?

Hewlett: Every ribbon, trophy and diploma he's ever won.

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Rachel Luttrell
Teyla Emmagan

Q: What do you think the primary motivation(s) of Teyla are for being part of the Atlantis team?

Luttrell: Atlantis offers a greater chance of defending Teyla's people and the world she knows against the threat of the Wraith. Never in her life has she been offered such an opportunity! Atlantis and its team may even develop the capability to defeat the Wraith once and for all, something Teyla wouldn't miss.

Q: What do you like to do on your days off work? Do you have any hidden talents that your fans would be shocked to know?

Luttrell: Fly fishing, hang-gliding and motorcycle racing are some of my faves …just kidding! Although I am interested in learning how to fly a plane, and this winter I am going to start snowboarding. Yippy!

Q: If you could be any character on SG-1, which one would you be and why?

Luttrell: I love playing Teyla. But to answer your question, I would be a combination of Vala for her playful wildness, Teal'c for his strength and Carter for her unpretentious intelligence.

Q: What form of martial arts is used in the show's stick fighting? It appears to be kali.

Luttrell: Yes, certainly when we use staffs, or two sticks, kali is the inspiration. But our stunt choreographer/stunt coordinator, James Bamford, takes inspiration from many different forms of martial arts and fighting techniques to form the basis of the overall look of the fights on Atlantis. extra questions and answers

Q: Will we get to see more Athosian culture?

Luttrell: Yes!

Q: Can Teyla juggle better than Teal'c?

Luttrell: Hmmm? Nope. Teal'c has Teyla beat on the juggling thing.

Q: What was one of your best moments on set?

Luttrell: Well, the good news is, I have had so many great moments on set that it is hard to pick just one; the bad news is, it's hard to pick just one. Silliness and laughter are, thankfully, very common for us. The boys like to tease me without mercy, but their good-natured ribbing has become part of the fun of going to work.

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Jason Momoa
Ronon Dex

Q: If you could bring in any other actor to work with on an episode, who would it be and why?

Momoa: Simmone Jade Mackinnon, my fiancée. We worked together on Baywatch Hawaii, and I'd love to work with her again because she is such a great actress. Maybe she can be my long-lost love on Stargate Atlantis.

Q: What new direction, if any, would you like to see your character go in?

Momoa: I would like to see Ronon search his past… look for any family or friends that were on his mother planet.

Q: What is your favorite sport?

Momoa: That's an easy one… rock climbing.

Q: What do you personally think Ronon's motivation('s) for staying on Atlantis are?

Momoa: I think he stays on Atlantis because he has a sense of belonging there, and they're the closest thing to a family that he has. Also, ultimately he'd there because his motivation is to defeat the Wraith.

Q: What do you do when you're not on camera but still on the set? How do you pass the time?

Momoa: We hang out… I watch movies with Paul and Joe, talk to fellow cast members, read over my scripts or ride my skateboard. There's not really a lot of time between takes. extra questions and answers

Q: What do you think the future holds for your character?

Momoa: I have no idea… the writers know, but I wouldn't want to predict what they have in store.

Q: What form of martial arts is used in the show's stick fighting? It appears to be Kali.

Momoa: I believe Teyla does a form of Kali, but Ronon trains with a bokken.

Q: How have you settled in to the cast of Atlantis?

Momoa: It's been no problem settling in here — the cast and crew are all great.

Q: Are you a science-fiction fan?

Momoa: Personally, I'm not really a TV fan. I don't own a TV set except the one that's in my trailer. I would rather read and write, but I do love science-fiction movies.

Q: What was your favorite episode to shoot?

Momoa: "Runner."

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Paul McGillion
Dr. Carson Beckett
McKay and Beckett Kissing

Q: What was the most difficult scene you've had to shoot so far for Stargate Atlantis? The easiest? The most fun?

McGillion: The most difficult — the scene where David Hewlett kisses me in "Duet". Why? David Hewlett kissing me! The easiest and the most fun — the chair scene in "Rising". Why? One of the first days of production on SGA and it was thrilling and a great vibe on set!

Q: Can you comment on your favorite character traits of Carson Beckett? How about his most interesting character flaws?

McGillion: Carson wears his heart on his sleeve and he's very compassionate about his work. And of course the ladies! Character flaws: that he wears his heart on his sleeve.

Q: Now that Atlantis is back in contact with Earth, do you think the feeling of the show has changed any? If so, do you think this is a bad or a good thing?

McGillion: There is certainly the isolation factor, which is no longer a major issue. I think it's a good thing, because the addition of Caldwell and the Daedelus do add an element of safety and open up a wide array of crossover storylines. extra questions and answers

Q: What's your favorite episode of SGA?

McGillion: The pilot episode, "Rising." Just to be a part of the beginnings was very special for me.

Q: What three episodes would you choose to exemplify the quality and charm of Stargate Atlantis to a new viewer?

McGillion: "Rising," "Duet" and "Conversion."

Q: Is there one question you always wish someone would ask you, but never has? If so, what is it, and what is its answer?

McGillion: Actually, to tell you the truth, I believe I've been asked every question I could possibly think of! And then some! But, that being said, keep 'em coming — I do love the fans!

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Brad Wright
Executive Producer

Please note, the two questions/answers in the printed magazine edition that were attributed to Brad Wright were instead attribed to Robert Cooper in the on-line extras. See the RCC section above for those. extra questions and answers

Q: Will we see more crossing over of characters from Atlantis to SG-1 and vice versa? It would be very interesting to see Daniel Jackson go to Atlantis (finally) and for SG-1 to, say, go on a mission with Sheppard or McKay. The interaction of SG-1's and Atlantis' characters might be real winner.

Wright: Yes, it's possible, and in fact we often talk about it, but I'm afraid the reasons it doesn't happen are mostly logistical and financial. We shoot both shows at the same time, so it's very difficult for our performers to be two places at the same time. (It's also rather difficult to pay them twice.)

Q: Can't we make Hermiod a regular?

Wright: Hermiod is what we call a "recurring" character. You should know that he's a rather expensive actor. It takes a handful of puppeteers to operate him, and then we have to use visual effects to remove the puppeteers from the shot. (That's when the real alien actor is not available.)

Q: Teyla and Ronon seem to have great natural chemistry on screen (and I don't mean necessarily romantically). Is this something you looked for when casting Jason Momoa, or [was it] just serendipity? Are you now writing to take advantage of it? It sure seemed so in "Aurora" and "The Lost Boys," and I think it works very well.

Wright: We agree. When casting a regular, you're trying to create a chemistry between all of the characters. Teyla and Ronon have a natural affinity.

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