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Stargate SG-1 Cast Interviews: Claudia Black

Claudia Black talks Stargate with the BBC
16 January 2005

Claudia Black
Claudia Black recently gave an interview to BBC Online for its Farscape website. In the interview, she was asked several questions about her experiences filming Stargate and her character, the feisty, manipulative alien Vala.

BBC:What was it like playing Vala on Stargate?

CB: I found it interesting. I only did my scenes with Michael Shanks, I didn’t really meet any of the other actors, but I found that he was, professionally, very similar to Ben.

They were very open-minded on the set about the banter between me and Michael and what we could improvise if required, but it was a very well-written episode.

BBC:And there’s a possibility you might reprise the character?

CB: It was funny because the crew said to me at the time, “Your character doesn’t die in this episode, so you might come back,” and they’re very consistent in Stargate, they do bring a lot of guest characters back.

So there’s definitely the scope for Vala, and I’ll be interested to see what they come up with. And I’ll be very interested to see Ben and Michael Shanks working together.

BBC:If both you and Ben end up working on Stargate, there’ll be a campaign to have you acting opposite each other within moments.

CB: Oh god! That’s a really frightening prospect.

Won’t 50 per cent of the shippers want the dynamic to be exactly what they know and love from Farscape? I don’t know, maybe 100% will be hoping it’s the same dymanic, and I don’t know how I feel about that. What an interesting propect!

I would work with Ben in an absolute heartbeat. What I would like to do is test my range and his range, which I know goes way beyond the scope of what we were doing. Farscape gave us a lot of scope and a lot of opportunity to try many different things - the blind episode, the crazy episode. But I’d love to test our respective ranges.

For me, as an actor, I really want to get into a realm where I’m taking huge risks, and I know that I can do that with no one more so than with Ben, so if the opportunity arose for me to go back, work on Stargate, and work closely with Ben, I’d really want to mix it up a bit and have a play.

BBC: Do you think science fiction is challenging for actors?

CB: I still think sci fi actors are underestimated by audiences who may not know what’s requried of them. They work even faster on Stargate than we did on Farscape, but Stargate often get their scripts on time. [giggles] There’s a reason why Patrick Stewart was hired to do the job that he did, even though he came from a Shakespearian background. You have to understand how to play the stakes for heightened drama, and you learn that or die in theatre. While it’s a little bit safer on television or on a film set to call cut and go again, you don’t have the time, so a disciplined actor is really going to save the producer time and money if they can be a one-take wonder.

So it takes someone with high intelligence and dedication and a lot of discipline.

Read the full interview with Claudia Black at the BBC Online website Return to Claudia Black interviews home
Return to Stargate SG-1 cast interviews home

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