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Stargate SG-1 Cast Interviews: Claudia Black

Claudia Black on Shanks, Vala & S9
Thomasina Gibson, Cult Times #113, February 2005

Claudia Black
Asked how much fun it was to slap Michael Shanks around on the set of "Prometheus Unbound," Claudia Black hoots with laughter and says, "You know what? He [Michael Shanks] was such a good sport. He really was and he came out with a lot of those original little beats and ad libs that made the whole thing such fun. Michael went in and blocked a lot of those scenes to his character’s detriment and he really was so generous with the scenes. He was really trying to find the best way to interpret each scene and we both trying to make the most of the scrupt because they wrote such a beautiful script and such a wonderful character for me. So Michael put in his own inclination to be playful. He was such a great sport about it [playing it for the gag]. It was fantastic."

"One of the nicest things is that Vala just has a lot of potential. She is just a very interesting material character. I’ve never played anyone that unpredictable before. Vala is very like Chiana from Farscape in that she is amoral, and that is a really interesting arena in which to play."

And what was her experience of filming? "They are an extremely happy crew on Stargate, so a lot of that first day tension recedes immediately when you’re welcomed by everyone as I was by them. I had had a very quick chat with Andy Mikita on the phone beforehand and loved him straight away. It was the same with Michael."

Claudia Black has been invited back to fulfil a five-episode arc in Stargate's staggering ninth season. Even better news if the fact that Ben Browder will also be joining the team. "I'm delighted for him," announces his friend. "Delighted. I really don't think they realise what a gem they have with him. He's amazing. I am so delighted that they appreciate him enough to invite him on to the show because he gives his all."

Is Black going to be working with her former Farscape co-star? "I think it would be too much of a delicious opportunity to ignore. I haven't spoken to the producers about it since Ben officially came on board, althought I did see something online where Robert Cooper said something about if there was an opportunity to put us both together on screen they would take it. I would love it if it happened."

"I think I'm only coming in for a short time and I really want to work with all the other directors because you learn so much working with different people but I really want to work with Andy again because he was just so gorgeous." Black is looking forward to working with all the Stargate stalwarts, including Peter DeLuise - she's a huge fan of 21 Jump Street - and that noted sweetheart Christopher Judge, whom she socialises with.

"Sadly," says Black, "Although I have met Amanda Tapping, I don't think I'm going to work with her because I think my function is to be there whilst she is attending to a very significant event in her life." Tapping's baby is due just as Season 9 goes into production.

You can buy Cult Times #113 online and read much, much more of this fantastic interview!
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