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Stargate SG-1 Cast Interviews: Richard Dean Anderson

Richard Dean Anderson Interviewed by Vicki Gabereau
Vicki Gabereau" show, taped in Vancouver, 05 October 2002

Transcript and commentary by PhoenixE.

VG does her intro and ends it with the comment:  Anderson can't behave.

Roll credits.

Life in the Circus
Six Seasons
Season Seven?
Ready for Retirement?
Broken Bits
Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge, and the Set
Personal Interests
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Great Rivers of the World
Other Filming Projects


VG:  For more than twenty years he's been on television and for most of those he's been terribly badly behaved.  He is an ardent environmentalist.  Please welcome from Stargate (to him) don't read the prompter -  SG-1 Richard Dean Anderson.

RDA:  (grinning and giving a little wave at the camera which VG then - copies)  Hello.

VG:  Yes?

RDA:  I have one thing to say.

VG:  What's that?

(Then suddenly the theme from 'Under the big top' starts playing, rather loudly, while RDA is doing his  - 'who me?' innocent boy look.  It's the tone from his cell phone, which he is holding in his hand.)

RDA:  It's my theme song, folks.

VG:  Yes, it's very nice.  Under the big top.

RDA:  I've been driving people crazy at Stargate for the last six years.

VG:  Can you turn it off now?

RDA:  Should I?

VG:  What if somebody phones?

RDA:  (laughs) somebody actually did as I was walking in.

VG:  Somebody was on this show once, who was it, an actor, of course, quelle surprise, and the phone rang and they took the call.

RDA:  (grinning) That's the rudest thing I've ever heard.

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Life in the Circus

VG:  Well it was quite funny as it turns out, almost as funny as that act, so were you ever in the circus?

RDA:  Um. I did circus like stuff, but I worked at a -  I juggled, I did mime on the streets, worked a renaissance fair once summer, a sixteenth century cabaret, un, dinner theatre for awhile, being a mime, (Oh God from VG) a speaking mime which is just SACRILEDGE -

VG:  It is. Did you do this sort of thing, and everything (doing the hands walking up the wall mime schtick)?

RDA:  Yes, and I'm not going to!

VG:  You're not?

RDA:  It's so embarrassing (as he starts miming pulling on a rope).

(I also might add he's being quite the 'lad'.  Bright eyed and grinning and acting up and flirting outrageously with VG and she is TOTALLY eating it up.  A very different 'performance' from his interview with Regis and whassername)

VG:  I know, you can't stop, though, you see, once you know how to do that sort of thing.

RDA:  I know. Bad mime is, you know a redundant statement, but -

VG (laughs) you know how to juggle.  I'd love to learn how to juggle.  I tried to learn it but it just wasn't working for me.

RDA:  You forced me to juggle on your show one time, I think.

VG:  You've been on so many times I forget.

RDA:  Either eggs..

VG:  Eggs.

RDA:  Eggs or something.

VG:  No, I don't think...  Oranges.  Oranges at the very least.  Isn't that what you learn with?

RDA:  Oranges, maybe.

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Six Seasons

VG: Okay so you have done, now, six seasons of this show?

RDA:  Just finished up the sixth season of Stargate SG-1 on Sci Fi Channel.  There, I said it.

(Big smile at the camera, a whoop from the audience and then thunderous applause.

RDA:  I've done my job

VG:  (they're joking with each other) You've done your thing, you're okay, you can go now.

RDA:  We can relax.  (they both heave and exaggerated 'whew' sigh of relief)  Thank you.

VG:  Um - how's it been?  A scream the whole time? Pretty good?

(RDA seems pretty sincere about this next bit.  He's quite passioned and animated while he's talking.)

RDA:  It's been spectacular.  It's been  - unique - and you know, it sounds somewhat vacuous and rote, you know,  to say that it's been a wonderful, the best experience of my life but  this truly has been, um, this run of Stargate, well this run in Vancouver for me has been uniquely spectacular.  I work with a group of people that are just - um,
again, please believe this, they're the best in the business.  It's a complilation of talent from around Vancouver that is just, uh, we've got such a well oiled machine that my job is just kinda come in -

VG:  Just kinda walk in -

RDA:  - just kinda walk in and it's all done.  And uh...

VG:  Like the god like figure you are.

(Obvious she's teasing him, more flirting and waving going on here.)

RDA:  Yeahhhh.

VG:  Yeah.  Do you wear a cape?

RDA: Hardly.  Hardly.  You heard my phone, right?

VG:  Yeah, that's pretty sad.

RDA:   That's very godlike.

VG:  In the grocery store.

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Season Seven?

RDA:  But we're sitting kinda of on a bubble right now, there's an awkwardness about whether there's going to be a seventh season or not.

VG:  Where does that come from?  You?

RDA:  Ummm..... I'll try and dodge the politics of it when I start invoking names like the studio and the network, but, umm, (to the camera, with a smile) fill in the blanks, folks,  but it's uh, somewhat it's a matter of timing, and  also some personal decisions I have to make about my future and

VG:  Right.  Whether or not you can be a captain all your, you know, forever.

RDA:  (Giving her a disgusted look)  I was a COLONEL, thank you.

VG:  Oh.

(He turns back to the audience and starts working them, shrugging and gesturing towards VG with a 'how can she not know this' look) while they of course are laughing and eating it up.)

VG:  (rolling her eyes) A lot I know.  Started with a 'c'.

RDA:  (as he takes a drink, hiding a grin, they're obviously teasing each other.)  Yeah, watched the show religiously, right?

VG:  ( lightly indignant). I watch it!  You'd be surprised how much I watch it!  I actually watch it quite a bit!

RDA:  (obviously doesn't believe her either.)  I'd be shocked, actually, I think.

VG:  WHY????  I don't always watch the whole thing sometimes, 'cause you're usually out in the field being attacked by things with things sticking out of their heads but other than that it's compelling.

RDA:  (looking at her like SHE'S got things coming out of her head) That pretty much tells the story.

VG:  Sums 'er up, yeah.

RDA:  (laughing) Yeah, that's our show.

(Everybody yucks it up for a bit)

RDA:  You watch.

VG:  Yeah, I do watch, no, I'm telling you.  So I was reading this transcript, you went to the US and did an interview with Kelly and Regis and, um, you  started, do you remember that, didn't you  just do that?

RDA:  I barely remember yesterday. What, uh?

VG:  Really?

RDA:  No, no, no.

VG:  That's not a good sign.

RDA:  No, it's...

VG:  But you, ah, but the only point I'm making is that you suggested that you might retire and the other thing was I noticed was that they were all one word questions and one sentence answers.

RDA:  (leaning toward her confidentially)  It was awkward, wasn't it?

VG:  Well, I don't know, I didn't see it.

RDA:  Did you - oh, you didn't see it.

VG:  It's a bit strange to read a transcript of an interview.

RDA:  It's (then pausing to think about his answer) well, I  don't want to get into that part of it but yeah,  no, I bantered around the word 'retirement' but I don't know what, that's kind of relative to whatever my sense of retirement will be, I - I dunno -

VG:  And what day it is.

RDA:  (grinning, he knows she knows he's shitting her) and what time of day it is, actually.  I honestly don't know.  I have some decisions to make about what I am going to do if  I - if there is NOT  a seventh year - if there is not a seventh season I will very  conscientiously devote it to taking a year off and reestablishing my, my, my - what - my relationship with my daughter, more than anything.

VG:  Yeah.  How old is she now?

RDA:  She's four years old   And thus exploding with personality and then she's just in total development so I just uh, I want to be there.

VG:  You don't want to miss it.

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Ready for Retirement?

RDA:  Yeah, the commute has been a little rough. uh, (points to his face with both index fingers) I'm wearing it, as you can all probably all tell.

VG:  (blatent sucking up)  Oh, you're holding up well for sixty-three.

RDA:  (leaning back in his chair and puffing out his chest as the audience starts to react to what she's just said.)   Thank you, Thank you.

VG:  (slapping down the groundlings)  He's NOT!

RDA:  (whispering and grinning)  Sixty-two.

VG:  (still not aware she's still off by a decade).  Sixty-two.

RDA:  Yeah.

VG:  Do you mind saying how old you are?

RDA:  No.  I'm fifty-two.

RDA:  I've got a decade on you, girl.

VG:  No you don't because I'm nine years and I get the pension.  That's how I look at it.

RDA:  (huge grin.  He is being so BAD the way he is flirting with her here).  That's how you hide you - actually saying your age?

VG:  I'm fifty-six.

RDA:  You are NOT.

VG:  Yeah, I am. So, I was born in 1946. When were you born?

RDA:  1950.

VG:  See?

RDA:  January 23rd.

VG:  Right.

RDA:  Send no presents, please.

VG:  Is that a - (reaction to his last remark, audience laughs and so does she)  What is January the  23rd, what happens on January the  23rd  - who famous was born on that day?  Do you know?

(RDA's answer totally cracked me up)

RDA:  Rutger Hauer (and then he cracks up too).  Shrugs his shoulders at her - how the hell should I know?

VG:  Rutger Hauer...

RDA:  Yeah, and also I think Socrates, maybe.

(This cracks up VG because her next guest in the lineup is some guy who's schtick is pretending to be Socrates.  He shows up on the show after the second station break wearing a bedsheet and so she interviews 'Socrates'.)

RDA:  I believe so.

VG:  Well, you know what I might be able to find that out later on.

RDA:  Well ask, there's your sidebar right there.

VG:  Now,  you know you wouldn't believe who was born on my birthday.  Clint Eastwood.  I just happened to know this.

RDA:  Really?

VG:  Brook Shields.  Of course you can see - identical, separated at birth.  And Menachem Golem.

RDA:  That - that's -

VG:  Do you remember him?

RDA:  Sure! That's a pretty heady group.

VG:  That's what I think.

RDA:  Yes.

VG:  I think you should know more than Rugter Hauer, for heavens sakes.

RDA:  Oh, there are others.

VG:  So, if you don't do seventh you'll move from Vancouver you won't live - be  here any more.

RDA:  I'm actually like yesterday and today and possibly part of tomorrow I'm, um, I'm packing up the house that I've been living in for six years because if I do come up for a seventh season it will be on an abbreviated basis, I won't need the big house I've been living in so, um, it'll be back to hotel living for me, if it comes to pass.

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Broken Bits

(As we come back from the break the camera gradually pans towards the interview desk and we can see RDA sitting there clapping madly.  He's got a grin on his face, he looks like he's about five years old.)

VG:  (shaking her head)  I dunno.  Will you just STOP that?

RDA:  I'm kind of enjoying myself, here.

VG:  He's an odd little chappie but he does quite well on the TV, Richard Dean Anderson and what did you do to your - you broke some bits or - or something.  You hurt your knee?

(tact is NOT this woman's middle name!!)

RDA:  (clearly astonished at what she's just said.)  I broke my 'bits'?

VG:  You broke your - hurt your back.  You broke something.

RDA:  You want the laundry list?

VG:  No, but you hurt yourself.

RDA:  (very matter of fact)  Oh, rec -  most recently I had my third knee surgery. I don't know when it was, in  March or so, so yeah, I'm better now.

VG:  When did - how did you do that?

RDA:  Ummm, oddly and ironically I'd been - it was last winter I was - I had had one of the most aggressive years of skiing - seasons of skiing I'd been to Banff, I'd been Heli-skiing, I'd been racing, big crashes, the whole nine yards,  a really nice season. (VG and the audience gives a little titter of amusement)  Not ONE injury,  Not - nuthin.  Ah, except ego.  And that mended nicely.  I was carrying my daughter into her ballet class -

VG:  Carrying her?

RDA:  Well, it was off a parking lot so I carried her across - we were, you know,  got into this hallway and  caught my foot on a nail that was sticking out - it snapped my foot back - let me get real graphic, all right (VG is already looking a bit squeamish)

VG:  Yeah.

RDA:  (really rapid delivery, working it while VG is grimacing and not looking at him)  Snapped my foot back, dislocated my knee, my knee, my foot is pointing backwards so I swing it and pop it back in, it POPS back back in (he's looking right at the camera now) What time does this air?

(Laugh from audience.)

VG:  It's okay, it's good.

RDA:  Two days later I had surgery to piece it back together and it shredded the (medial meniscus? - that's what it sounds like) so it's um, the third one so I'm you know, I'm just getting bored with the process now.

VG:  Yeah, well, you're practically the bionic guy now.

RDA:  (again, very matter of fact)  Yeah, back surgery, two broken arms, to  three knees, feet -

VG:  Do you hurt all the time?

RDA:  Well, that's kind of personal, but -

VG:   Well, do you hurt all the time?

RDA:  (dissmissive, like it's no big deal, a little cross, almost) Yes, yes, yes.

(I can't believe she asked him this question.)

VG:  So, you're in pain all the time.  Do you take anything?

RDA:  (very quickly)  Yeah, No, not any more.

VG:  You don't, eh?

RDA:  No.  Well, an anti-inflamatory if I NEED - really - my neck -

VG:  If you're going crazy.

RDA:  My neck locked up a couple of weeks ago in work.  And I was literally - and there's an episode, if you can all find it, where I'm turning like this (and he demonstrates turning his entire upper body as one unit to look around rather than just turning his head), when the bad guys are coming.  Again, saving the universe with a stiff neck.  But
that's -

(this gets a big laugh)

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Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge, and the Set

VG:  You couldn't write that in, could you?  Aren't you the Executive Producer or something?

RDA:  Ummmm, yeah, I'm sorta on the coat tails of the REAL guys, but no, we make do and they're all very accommodating.  Again, it goes back to how spectacular the people are that I've been working with, they just accomodate what, you know - whatever comes -

VG:  But it's interesting that this, the group of actors has stayed so cohesive.

RDA: (Reacts a bit to this, as if he's surprised by the comment) Fairly cohesive.

VG:  Well - (it sounds like VG is trying to talk about AT, she starts to say Amanda, but RDA cuts her right off)

RDA:  Well, we lost Michael Shanks last year.

VG:  I know, but, yeah, was it last year?

RDA:  Hmmmmm.

VG:  Yeah, Michael Shanks, but, I mean (gestures toward her forehead, no doubt indicating his jaffa tattoo)  Christopher -

RDA:  yeah.

VG:  'Ronk' (tapping herself on the forhead)  on his head.

RDA:  (smiles)  It's gone. It's -  by the way.

VG:  What happened?  I missed that episode.

RDA:  I dunno, the glue didn't - I don't know.  (everyone laughs)

VG:  Surgically removed?

RDA:  I think so.  No, he actually, Chris had written an episode and it dealt with kinda the beginning of the transition of him losing his sym-bi-ote.  Can you believe I actually talk like this in conversation? Um, so...

VG:  If you were a Dickens scholar you might speak Dickensien kind of English.

RDA:  Truly, truly.

VG:  So, I mean it is, it is a form, it is an art form, it has merit.

RDA:  Well, I mean -

VG:  You don't think so?

RDA:  Well, the reason I - sure!  It's entertainment!

VG:  Yeah!

RDA:  And that's part of what, my dictum of, my credo about the workplace is - that it's gotta be fun or it's not worth it.  Because the bottom line is what we are doing is creating a form of entertainment.  We're not - saving lives, you know and no -

VG:  And maybe you are, though.

RDA:  World peace is not in jeapordy because of our actions or lack of actions.

VG: That, yes.

RDA:  Um.  So, yeah, it's,  that's -  you know, the prevailing feeling around the set - there's some levity there. The job gets done and quite well, but we keep it nice and simple and easy.

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Personal Interests

VG:  You remember the last time you were here?  The last shot of you in this show is you rolling around on the floor with a blind cheetah.

RDA:  (perks right up)  Oh!  I have a picture of that on  my uh  - (they start showing a clip of RDA fondling the cheetah)

VG:  - you do?

RDA:  - down in the States.

VG:  We sent you a picture?  Awwwww, look at you, there you are!

RDA:  Yeah. Somebody did (obviously seeing the cheetah in the monitor - putting on the kind of voice one talks to a baby with, an oochie coochie voice)  Noooo, little baby! 

(and then he tries to do a cat growl.  It's an interesting noise.  Sort of like an anemic version of the yowl he does in Broca Divide.  The audience seems to like it.  We can't see what he's doing because we're seeing the clip of him and the cheetah, but whatever it is it's making VG and the audience a laugh)

VG:  That was very good, now this cheetah has an um, unfortuante condition in the eye (and we're back to the studio and the shots of RDA and VG) that is, I can't remember, exactly.

RDA:  It was like cataracts, basically.

VG:  And it couldn't see you, and yet you were practically putting your head in that animal's face.

RDA:  I love coming to your show because you always have animals - it's like a zoo out there.

VG:  You're telling me.

RDA:  Everytime... you've got dogs out there now and I've been rolling around with them for a half an hour.

VG:  Aren't they great- looking?

RDA:  Oh, my God!

VG:  Do you have a dog?

RDA:  Pointers. Yeah.  An Australian Shephard named Zoe.

VG:  That's nice.

RDA:  Yeah.

VG:  Australian Shepherds  are really nice.

RDA:  Spectacular breed.

VG:  Didn't you used to work a MarineLand?

RDA:  Marineland of the Pacific, yeah.

VG:  What did you do there?

RDA:  Well I started out as, I was hired as an actor to be a part of the entertainment that 20th Century Fox had taken over the park and they were trying to save it by bringing in Hollywood writers and actors and stuff to connect to the existing shows -

VG:  You weren't any of those things, though, you weren't a Hollywood - you were unemployed, weren't ya, otherwise you wouldn't have been working at Marineland!!

RDA:  Well, yeah, this was, this was in the seventies.

VG:  Yeah, well that's fair.

RDA:  Um, so I eventually through attrition became one of three people that were, held at, stayed at the park and I became the entertainement director.  So I wrote the shows for the Great American High Diving Team, the Killer Whale show Orky and Corky, and I wrote myself into it so I got to hold a mackerel.

VG:  Dorky.

RDA:  In my teeth (laughs) Yes.  Where were you when I needed my copy?

VG:  Yeah, Yeah.

RDA:  But ah, So yeah, that was, you know, the launch of my career.  I'm a midwest boy, I'd never been around -

VG:  Really seen a fish.

RDA:  Marine mammals, basically.  Yeah.  Fish STICKS is what I'd seen.

VG:  I thought there was - you did a routine with a killer whale, did you not?  With like a fish in your mouth, or something?

RDA:  Yeah!  Well, what I had written, I'd made sure that I wrote myself into the story, whatever the scenario was going to be because it's all, the animals all, the whales all have their behaviours, 'tricks' to those of you uninformed, but these behaviours that they had to do in a certain order, so I wrote a story that would kind of help - I came back as an old sea salt to the town and I think I put it somewhere in Nova Scotia for all I know - but I come back to town and here are these killer whales that have been out hunting um, and throughout the course of the show I'm shown how gentle they are and  what they get educated so  it was really fairly well written if I might add  -

VG:  If I do say so.

RDA:  And throughout the course of the show, at one point I would,  I had to stand on a ladder about twenty feet over the pool and hold a mackeral in my teeth and this - this miraculous animal would jump out and snatch it out of my mouth.  And I was told 'don't move'

VG:  I'll BET you were told don't move!

RDA:  Don't flinch, don't move, 'cause the whale comes up sideways like this, sees with an eye and then gauges it, so if you do that, it'll adjust.  And sure enough the first time - the first and only time I flinched - and of course they'd given me a fish that was that big (holds his index fingers only a few inches apart) instead of - so I flinched a little bit and sure enough it adjusted, 'Orky' adjusted and just nailed me right in the forhead with his snout - it was like a boxing glove.

VG:  No kidding  Richard Dean Anderson has a serious side to him and we'll find out what it is.

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The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

VG:  Still here, Richard Dean Anderson, the thing that wouldn't leave.

RDA:  (grins) Annoyingly

VG:  (holding up a sheet of yellow paper).  I just wanted you to see, he has notes, here.  Hello.  These are his notes (laughs.  There is stuff written on the page, big letters, I can see some dates, Oct 25th and Oct 26th on the left, but can't make out what's on the right hand side of the page) and they're SO big because he CAN'T SEE ANYTHING any more.

RDA:  (kind of whining)  I can't read.

VG:  Where are your good old granny-cheaters?

RDA:  Gahhh, I left them in the green room.

VG:  I think.

RDA:  Which, by the way, IS green.

VG:  Is green, is very green.

RDA:  It's the first time.

VG:  Now, you have notes on there because I know that there are things you want to talk about so I promise I will.

RDA:  Okay.

VG:  Sea Shepherd Society. (she makes a big deal out of slowly enunciating this and RDA echoes her, like he's helping her along to get it out right.)

RDA:  Okay, we're gonna talk about this now?

VG:  Yeah. (doesn't sound overly enthused)   Why don't we then?

RDA:  Good.  (Big grin).  Nice.

VG:  Sea Shepherd Society is hard to say.

RDA:  It's actually the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

VG:  The Sea Shepherd Conservation - that's helpful.

RDA:  Yeah.

VG:  That's better.

RDA:  (not fooling around now, very serious and sincere) It's - all Canadians should be extremely proud of the work of Captain Paul Watson. (stating this matter of factly, not bragging)   And, ah,  I've recently been asked to and accepted, um, to be on the board of directors of the company.  And he's a pirate.

VG:  Yes, he is.

RDA:  Which you should be proud of.

VG:  A har, me hearties.

RDA:  Be proud - of his work, though, that he -

VG:  He's relentless.

RDA:  Yeah.

VG:  Tireless.

RDA:  And he's uh -  he continues - he's going to be in Vancouver Oct 25th, um, speaking at the  Aboriginal Law Conference. And on the 26th he's he'll in Victoria, going - 

VG:  He's invited to come here.

RDA:  Yes, you MUST have him on, he's one of the most -

VG:  (placating)  I will do it.

RDA:  He's one of the most eloquent speakers,

VG:  Yes, I will.

RDA:  passionate and COMpassionate - human beings on the face of the planet. And he started - actually he co-founded Greenpeace.

VG:  Yes.

RDA:  Had a falling out with them, and um, started the Sea Shepherd and he's been in existence for some years now.  And he's trying to save the planet, basically - basically started with the marine mammals and has expanded to virtually all marine life and um, um, well, virtually all animals - animal life, so he's - uh -

VG:  Right  And you've taken to this,  I mean this is..

RDA:  I was drawn - I met Paul about five years ago in Alaska in an event raising funds for him and, um, and after hearing him speak, um, I was hooked.  And didn't hook up with him actually again until, about actuallly three years ago. I was in the -  Ecuador, in the Galapagos and there was a ship coming down that he was donating to the marine park to help patrol, um  the Galapogos Islands. The arcipelago there, from illegal fisheries, fisher - um,   commercial fisherman and globals(?) Anyway, he's a - he's an amazing man.

VG:  Um hum, well,  he is coming.

RDA:  Yeah.

VG:  I think Oct 24th or something like around there.

RDA:  Okay, good.  Get him on (pleased by this, rocking in his seat).

VG:  So. Don't worry, I'll be telling everyone about it about a thousand million times before he actually appears.

RDA:  Please, please.

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Great Rivers of the World

VG:  Are you going to Chile?

RDA:  Ummm,  I have an opportunity in about - I guess the end of - I've been down there, ah, um, a few times now, but uh, it's all part of this River project which is kind of loosely structured right now and we're garnering a large library of footage of these great rivers of the world.  I've been to Chile, three times now, I think.  I've an opportunity to go down there for a first descent, um, of a section of river that was discovered recently.

VG:  A RIVER just discovered?  Hard to believe, eh?

RDA:  Well - yeah. I mean - you -  first descents are becoming increasingly difficult to find and um, so, the opportunity is there I'm going to try and work that out it will be about eleven days in the wilds of Patagonia, actually almost the southernmost part of Chile.

VG:  Yeah.

VG:  Yeah.  Chilly, down there - in Chile.

RDA:  Not - not in November.

VG:  And in Patagonia.  No? Oh, it's because it's spring - or -

RDA:  Yeah, it's like, it'll be -

VG:  Yeah, yeah -

RDA:  Summery, kinda, nice time to go.

VG:  Ah, you were in Tibet.

RDA:  I was in Tibet.

VG:  When?

(He's wearing a bunch of bracelets on his right wrist.  They look like leather thongs or something.  He raises his right hand. looks at them and - taps - them.  Not sure if it means anything or not, I just found it an interesting gesture at this particular time, is all)

RDA:  Ummm, I think, a year and a half ago?

VG:  Oh, that - while ago.

RDA:  I think, yeah, in fact the last time I was on we showed,  I think we showed some pictures I'd taken there.

VG:  You're here so much.

RDA:  (grinning, humorously)  How SOON they forget.

(Switch to the monitor and they're showing some of this footage he's referring to.  Some rags on a rope waving over some stone walls.  And then a bunch of monks in brownish/ maroon  robes.)

VG:  I never forget you, oh, there you are.  Well, it's not you, actually.

RDA:  oh - that's

VG:  You shot that yourself..  I do remember.  It's not like I live in a complete fog, you know.

RDA:  This is all.

VG:  Look at that darling face (we're looking at a closeup of a young person with his/her hands over her face getting right up close and personal with the camera, peering shyly at us.)

RDA:  This is some of the footage that we - this is all part of a montage, compilation, some footage that we took along the river.  The Yantze.  The Upper Yantze River (not sure of this spelling).  And we're doing a - basically a study of -

(and we're back to the studio)

VG:  Those little monks?

RDA:  Tibetan, yeah, their monastary, towards the end of, uh,  the first run of our, uh,  section of the river on the Yantze.

VG:  Does that - uh (stumbles a bit over how to phrase the question) compel you in any way, that kind of life, that spiritual life, (more stumbling) have you ever thought about it, even for five minutes, ten minutes, whether or not you could live that kind of life?

RDA:  Well I'll tell you - I -  when I got back, I was -  the most commonly asked question was, uh, was it everything you imagined it to be.

VG:  uh huh

RDA:  And, you - uh - I have no - there -  there's no context, I have nothing to gauge it, I - I  couldn't have IMAGINED, uh,  that lifestyle and that commitment and that level of commitment and spirituality and um (very self deprecating, and sincere, here) midwest boy, you know, from Minnesota and um, it - it- it's an awesome  commitment, and I don't know that, uh, if I thought in terms of  - of that I - I don't know that at this point in my life, certainly spiritually I'm a little - a little...frayed, right at this point in time, but I look at uh, uh, some of the footage and working on the, on the project itself, I'm reminded of certain tenets of it or certain aspects of it that are centering, um, but uh, it's - it's an amazing culture,  it's an amazing land and remote, and it's HARD.  Then there - there's a hardness to it but it's all - it's populated by the most gentle human beings I've - on the face of the planet  And Tibet -

VG:  Who face their own trials -

RDA:  (shaking finger to emphasise his point) Yes,  Tibet should be protected, by the way.  Just as a little political plug.  (smiles)

VG:  The first among many.  No, well, no, I think you should speak your mind.  Ahhh, You buy paintings sometimes.

RDA:  (Visibly reacts to question, pulls back a bit)  Where'd this come from?

VG:  Do you collect art, art, art art.  You like art.

RDA:  (still a little perplexed by the current direction of the conversation)  Yes, I do.

VG:  Do you paint?

RDA:  (Starting to get animated again as he talks about his daughter)  Ahhh, No. No.  My daughter's - showing some signs of GREAT creativity, uh, by drawing and some painting.  She's four years old and I mean, really, colour combinations and structures on paper that are just - amazing and I - I - she's musical and all - but - but no, I don't have a...flair (mimes wielding a brush).

VG:  No.

RDA:  It's kinda like, I know what I like, one of those things, but I'm a great appreciator of it, you know -

VG:  I was just wondering if you got anything in Tibet you bring home and hang on the wall.

RDA:  I was uh, the, um, I was made, uh, uh a gift of uh,  trinkets and some jewellry and stuff, some beads and stuff but uh, no, I didn't try to take anything out.

VG:  Yeah.

RDA:  It's actually to some degree frowned upon.

VG:  Discouraged.

RDA:  Yeah, because so many of the temples, uh, monastaries have been raided over the years, and pillaged, and, um, so if you get into any of the larger cities guys'll take you into the back alleys and say 'you know, you want to buy this' -

VG:  Oh, I'll bet, yeah.

RDA:  So, we were discouraged.

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Other Filming Projects

VG:  The McGyver Movie?  You have two seconds to um, to reply to this. Are you - is it happening?

RDA:  (shrugging)   I'm - you know it's -

VG:  Well don't get -  I don't know! I'm just asking!

RDA:  Well, I - I don't know either (they're both talking over each other for a bit with the I don't know, I don't know, schtick)

VG:  I hear these things.

RDA:  I read about it in the trades.

RDA:  Me too.  (audience laughs)  That's why I asked.  And then my agent called me and said 'who have you been talking to?'  And I said 'nobody, I live in Canada I'm just blessedly away from all of that stuff'.  But no, it had been announced and I think some deal has been struck by the creator of the series and he's written or is going to write, I don't know, I haven't been approached.

VG:  Fine.  Are we going to make our hockey movie one day?

RDA: (being polite)  Sure, oh, speaking of that (to camera)  Ron MacLean, come on you guys, get it together.

(Applause from audience.)

VG:  This is another network.

RDA:  I don't care.  I know, I know, it's your competition.  (Audience is still clapping)

VG:  Goodbye.

RDA: Don't wrap it up now!

VG: No, it's too late.

RDA:  Ron deserves everything (VG has leaned across the desk and has her hand over his mouth - RDA, somewhat muffled) He's an INSTITUTION!

VG:  Richard Dean Anderson.

RDA:  I LOVE you, Ron.

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8th October 2002

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