Articles and Interviews
AT THE END CBS JANUARY 12 2002
Host: First, the current occupant of Stornoway, interim Leader of the Official Opposition, Canadian Alliance MP John Reynolds. From the series Stargate SG-1, where she plays Major Samantha Carter, Amanda Tapping. The man named best male stand-up at the Canadian Comedy Awards, Brent Butt. And the founder and past president of Media Watch, Shari Graydon. Coming up: Our troops in Afghanistan. Are they ready to stand in harms way? At the end of your week, this is @ the end.
Host: Welcome back to Vancouver, it's great to be here. This is ;@ the end. And it's time to meet tonight's guests. First, a master of space and time, as the star of the syndicated series Stargate SG-1, she plays Major Samantha Carter. She was also in the film Booty Call but we're not gonna mention that!
Amanda, jokingly: It was just nasty.
Host: Amanda Tapping. You know something, Booty Call actually got some decent reviews.
Amanda: I never saw it.
John Reynolds: But you're in it. You'll have to see it.
Amanda, laughing: That was enough.
Host: Next, a writer and producer who founded the organization Media Watch, so tonight the hunter becomes the hunted. Shari Graydon.
SG: Actually, I wasn't a founder, you just added 10 years on to my life.
Host: Is that right? I was told that you were like the big cheese.
SG: Long time president...
Brent Butt: He was told that by me. I told him you invented the airplane also.
Host: Please disregard the rest of Brent Butt's opinions for the rest of the show. Now, our next guest recently tossed Stockwell Day's furniture into the Ottawa snow and moved into Stornoway, the official residence of the Leader of the Opposition. once the Canadian Alliance elect a new leader, the new leader's first job will be trying to dynamite this guy out of the house. Interim opposition leader MP John Reynolds.
JR: Great to be here. Good luck to that leader.
Host: Finally, in this corner the reigning champion voted best male stand-up at the most recent Canadian Comedy Awards, of course it's all politics with that stuff, isn't it?
BB: Yeah. And it's soon over because it's only for 2001. I officially have to stop being funny now, so--
Host: And in 2001 you did what?
BB: I told a couple of jokes, couple of knock-knock jokes.
Host: Brent Butt is his name. We're pleased that all of you could make it. Thanks for coming. Now, this week it was announced 750 Canadian troops would be going to Afghanistan not to direct traffic, not to hand out care packages, but potentially, we're talking about the real deal here, and that is hunting Al-Kaida forces in Kandahar, and what was your reaction when you heard about that, folks?
SG: I'm behind the times. You know, I'm still stuck on questioning whether or not the US should've invaded Afghanistan in the first place. I think of myself as one of the silenced majority.
Host: Yeah, those Taliban are gonna be tough, aren't they?
Amanda: Yeah, I have to speak to that because I just got back from the USO tour in the Middle East in Quatar, not even close to Afghanistan, but dealing with US troops. And I went over as a Canadian pacifist and literally wanted to do a documentary 'What's a Canadian pacifist doing on a USO tour', and came back with a completely different view of the face of the military and what's going on over there, and understanding now that something had to be done, although I'm not by nature or belief a retaliatory person.
Host: Yeah, she's packing right now.
Amanda, laughing: I'm packing! So easy! Don't piss me off!
JR: I'm excited that you went there to see it because I agree. I don't think you're a silent majority in thinking we shouldn't be there. I think the majority of Canadians and the majority of North Americans believe we should be there. Majority of people in the free world believe we should be there. This was a terrible regime. I've talked to constituents of mine that went over to work in that part of the world, and come back with horror stories about how people were treated, how women were just eliminated because they might look the wrong way at a man. It's a terrible situation--
Amanda: I'm not sure that that's necessarily the issue with the Taliban regime.
SG: No, it's not the issue.
Amanda: It's what happened on 9/11.
JR: That's right. No question about that. But it's all a part of it. It's part of what they've taught the people, part of what they were doing in that country to try and spread it around and certainly with what they did... was more than enough to make the United States want to go there.
Host: So... okay, but now they're largely gone. So luckily we don't have to worry about them too much except for the fact that they still to represent a threat to our forces. But let me ask you this: how do you folks feel about the fact that Canadian soldiers are gonna be fighting and dying perhaps, we hope not dying, but potentially, they're in danger, fighting under an American flag?
BB: I think when it comes to war, you gotta kinda... when it comes to anything you look at who is
the tall dog. I mean, the Americans, they've got it down. If there's a war thing, they have it down pat. So if we're going to side with somebody and maybe be under the command of somebody, I'd say, you know, the Armeicans are pretty good at...
JR: If I was a Canadian soldier, looking at some of the other forces, I'd want to be beside the Americans. They're the best-trained, the most equipped...
BB: The Americans, they're our allies. They're our neighbours.
Host: Yeah, but when we were over there as peacekeepers we were over there as our own men... Lloyd Axworthy, you know Lloyd Axworthy says that we could be compromising our sovereignty.
Amanda: I'd totally disagree with that. I think it's totally overstating, and I think that when he says that, what's there other opportunity, if to go under peacekeepers under a British and Turkish rule. The British are there for three months and then we go under Turkey. We still have no sovereignty.
SG: To me all that's irrelevant anyway. I mean, what's really important at this point is there are a bunch of devastated Afghanis and whether or not we respond to Tony Blair's call or George Bush's call, the point is if, given that we're not engaged Canadian peacekeepers or Canadian troops can make a difference to those people. The rest is, you know, bizarre machismo rhetoric.
Host: Hold on, wait a minute. So, Shari, you don't think that there is worth in sending Canadians over there to hunt Al-Kaida forces or to hunt the remaining Taliban. Do you think they should be left alone?
SG: Well, no, I'm not suggesting that. I'm just calling into question... I mean, now that we are engaged... and the US has been invading Afghanistan and we're where we are, Canadian troops have a role to play and I support that. I guess I just still am stunned by the degree and scope of what happened and the lack of dialogue that there was back in September and October when all this first happened.
JR: I think what also is really important we've got to look at the fact that we're there to solve a problem from a military point of view, but also we can't leave after that's done. You know, after the Second World War our enemies became our friends, we put money into their countries, helped them rebuild. And we've got to go into Afghanistan and this time [and] make sure that they have the money and the resources to rebuild that country.
BB: And nobody was asking at the time of World War II, you know, are our soldiers to go over there and fight? Because those people went over there and fought so bravely in World War II much less prepared, much less trained than the people we're sending over there now. I mean, our special trained military that's going over there. It was just, you know, farmboys from Saskatchewan who'd been killing squirrels going to Europe.
Host: I gotta ask one thing, though, and this does sort of bother you. You bring up World War II. This bothers me a little because there was no doubt about it than in World War II every soldier was needed from every country to fight Nazism, but here we're talking about the fact that Ottawa says, "Oh, the Americans asked us". But other people are saying, 'No, we asked to be invited.' Because, in fact, if they didn't use 750 Canadians to do this job, it's not like they didn't 750 Americans to do the job. Isn't it true that Canadians are gonna be over there and potentially possibly incurring fatalities because of the fact that we wanted to fly the flag and show ourselves up to be bigshots?
Amanda: I don't think that it's about being bigshots. I think that it's about being part of the global community that is trying to fight this.
BB: And none of the fellows or women were drafted into this.
BB: You don't join the military going, 'Gee, you know, I don't expect I'll ever have to fight ever in my life, this just going to be a job, I wanna learn how to use a ham radio.' Nobody gets that. People get into the military because they are the type of people who when push comes to shove and I know most of them don't want war, but they are the type of people who are ready.
JR: People over there are well-trained, they've got good equipment. We've got problems that go on a long time. Because there's a shortage of funds in our military, and the Auditor General said this,it's not a political statement, 1.25 billion dollars needed to bring them up to par. This 750 I'm convinced are well-equipped, well-trained, and are doing a good job, and a needed job for Canadians and for all...
Amanda: And we've had Canadian Special Forces there for a long time now. I met some of them when I was in Quatar, and their role is not inconsequential and it's not... they don't feel in any way that their sovereignty is in question.
Host: Right. Well, here's the deal now we have played a role, Canadians... It's been said of us that we almost invented modern peacekeeping, and there is going to be a peacekeeping force. Why aren't we participating in that? It seems that it's as much of politics as everything else, because the British put together a force that has a lot of European representation and we were miffed because there wasn't going to be a large enough role for Canada, so we decided, 'Well, let's take this better offer and be fighters instead.'
Amanda: I'm not sure that it's column A column B.
SG: Let's get over that, you know.
Amanda: Yeah. We really do. It was a slap in the face the Canadian peacekeepers weren't asked being that we are basically the world leader in that.
Amanda: But we gotta move on. And the fact that this force is now put together--
JR: I agree. I could say that, but I'm a politician. I wanna say it, I'm glad you said it. Let's move on. We've got people there, we should be just supporting them with everything we've got.
Amanda: And focus our resources and our--
JR: Yeah, with resources, with our help and in any way we can. Because they've got a tough job. Nobody likes to be at war. I don't care how well you're prepared. It's like a policeman. They've got a job, they drive up and down the street, but, man, if somebody comes up with gun and starts robbing a bank. That's something you don't expect in life.
Host: once Canadians have been... I mean, we've got our image, international image, as peacekeepers. Is it possible for us to go back to that after we've taken this other role? Because I mean if you lose your neutrality, it's like your virginity, you can't get it back. I mean, now who's gonna trust us as peacekeepers in the future now that we've been combatants?
JR: We're still in Bosnia. We were supposed to be there six months and we've been there ten years. We're well respected there, and we'll be respected anywhere in the world. We'll be respected right in that country if we solve the problem, get rid of the Al-Kaida, we find the people we need to round them up, we can still stay there as peacekeepers for a while. We've got well-trained forces, we need more money for them in this country, and we certainly need it as quickly as we can get it, too.
Amanda: And I don't think the respect of our peacekeepers will ever be... fall into question. Plus, look where we live. I mean, it's the largest undefended border in the world and these are our neighbours. If Canada sat back and did nothing, that would be far worse, I think.
BB: If they wanted to take our sovereignty, I think they'd have it.
JR: 300,000 million to 30 million, that's pretty obvious.
Host: And on that optimistic note, let me just say that we would also like to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts. Our e-mail address is email@example.com. Now, coming up, will Canada take you in sickness and in health? A new case raises the question of who gets into this country, so please stay with us.
Host: Welcome back to Vancouver. This is @ the End. I'm Steve Burgess, bloodied but unbowed and ready to take them all on again.
BB: You really got roughed up.
Host: Oh man. I took a few.
SG: We'll switch targets.
Host: Luckily, after the first few concussions, you just don't notice anymore.
Amanda: Going back to pacifism.
Host: This weekend a German woman revealed in federal court that she's being refused Canadian citizenship even though she's married to a Canadian, has two Master's degrees, and the problem is Angela Chesters suffers from Multilple Sclerosis. Now, immigration officials say that she would be a drain on our health resources. What do you think about that? Should she be in the country or not?
JR: She should be here. You know, we've got a minister who will let a Mr. Ressam come into Canada, get ordered deported, and 7 years later he's still here making bombs to try and go down into the United States, been arrested twice with us here for committing crimes, stealing cars in Montreal to support his terrorism habit. And he's around all those years costing... The refugee claimants that are rejected in this country cost us $50,000 a year each. That's an Auditor General figure, not mine. Now, 30,000 a year coming in. Doesn't take a lot to figure how many billions of dollars are involved in this. Now, we're talking about a poor woman, whose husband lives here, brilliant lady, with the disease she has won't live a long long time. And where's the compassion?
Host: Let's not be...
BB: Remap the human genome. Anything's possible. In five years from now she might be cured.
JR: Well, yeah, but it doesn't matter. You know, people... she's married to a Canadian. And we have to have compassion as people. They can come and live here. Now, I get cases every week in my office of people who trying to get their mothers and fathers, and they sign forms that they'll look after them, and most of them do, some of them don't, but you know...
Host: Hey, hey, hey, John, pardon me, but I believe I've heard a few Canadian Alliance people saying, 'Slam the damn doors!', you know, I mean, we're being overwhelmed by immigrants.
JR: We've said that on refugees. We've said there's 30,000 refugees being admitted to this country every year just by using the word refugee at the border. 60% of those come from safe havens like the United States. We let them in. That's nonsense, we shouldn't let them in.
Host: So why are you so fond of this woman, then?
JR: Because I do this all the time in my office. We help people, get people into this country, their family members...
Amanda: So who decides? Who ultimately makes all those decisions? on a case by case basis?
JR: Somebody makes the decisions in the lower end, but in this case the Minister or her Office can reverse those decisions, and a lot of members of Parliament take these cases to the Minister's Office and fight for people like that.
Amanda: Okay, but those are individual cases, I mean, we're dealing with hundreds of thousands of people potentially who wanna come in to this country or...
JR: We are dealing with about 250,000 a year that come in to this country in a normal manner, that go through health checks and all the other procedures and most Canadians agree that we can afford that kind of immigration, there's some that don't. But they go through all the system. The refugees that are coming in are let out on the street. You can come to airport right now in Vancouver, arrive off an airplane, say I've lost my passport, I'm a refugee. You're out in the street the same day, they don't know who you are, they don't know whether you have a health problem - you're here.
Host: That's how Brent got into the BC.
JR: 30% of those people disappear, they actually disappear. We've got about 60-70,000 people in this country that they've never found, they just don't know where they are the minister will say, 'Well, maybe they left.' But we don't know.
SG: Well, those people can be checks on the system, but that I don't think justifies closing the door to refugees, legitimate refugees.
JR: No, I totally agree with you. A legitimate refugee. But if you're coming from another safe
haven and you ripped up your passport... you know, just stay in that safe haven. Why should we have to take on that problem? If they're already in the United States, what's the big problem there? Let them stay there. There's no problem in the United States. The ones that come from Malaysia. Malaysia is a democratic country. England's a democratic country. You know, sure, you get in here from China somehow, some country where there's a terrible living, let's have a look at it, let's see if they should be here. But we should be the ones deciding. There's refugees camps all over the world. About 7,000 of those people that we allow in, we do that ourselves. Why don't we take 30,000 from refugee camps? Tell people you're not getting into Canada, when you walk out of an airplane, when you've paid 10,000 bucks for your airfare. Saying, 'I'm a refugee and I've lost my passport,' which means you've flushed it down the toilet. That's nonsense.
Host: Let me get back to the specific case. This specific case, and let me tell you the part of the Immigration Act that is being used to keep this particular woman out, who is not a refugee, of course, and seems eminently qualified, but in the Immigration Act it says that a person whose admission would cause or might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demands on health or social services will be kept out.
SG: That's indefensible. I think that's an abuse of human rights. And we've known for ten years that in fact that's indefensible. A Parliamentiary Committee ten years ago said, 'Throw it out.' And the fact that we have continued to try and enforce that clause is... you know, it's like so Homer Simpson.
Host: I'm sure... you probably own a television set and you've probably seen a few stories lately about the fact that our health care system is in big trouble. So if we get the reputation as the place where 'bring us your sick, your tired and, you know, hook them up to the respirator right there at the airport,' is our health system gonna crash and burn?
Amanda: I don't think that you can... you can't put the struggle that our health care system is under right now and also put disabled and handicapped immigrants into that same pot. It's a completely separate issue. But it's a completely separate issue, our health care system was struggling long before.
SG: No, people smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. Many, millions of Canadians smoke, and that has clearly a debilitating effect on their health, they end up being a drain on the medical system. We don't revoke their citizenship for that.
BB: I'm only 60. Where's the burden?
JR: If we just took 2/3rds of these what I call illegal refugees trying to get into this country, said, 'you're not coming here from a safe haven, we'd have a few billion dollars to put into the health care system look after the odd person that has to come in like this woman and Canadians themselves. The system's a mess.
SG: I don't know how you know this, that two thirds of the number are illegal.
JR: We know that because we have the figures. The Auditor General's put that right in her report, that sixty percent of these people are coming from safe havens and the United Nations says we do not have to take refugees from another safe haven.
BB: If you're coming from a safe haven... I mean, you need more of a reason to come here than just, you know, "our country doesn't have a Tim Hortons, so we gotta get to Canada. You have to have legitimate reason.
Amanda: It's a good enough reason, isn't it?
Host: You know, the one thing about that, one interesting thing that's hasn't often come to light about this, in the case of this woman who wants to... whose husband wants to bring her into the country, the German woman, is that in fact she could come here... this isn't the case where the husband and wife are being separated cruelly by the government. She could come here some kind of Minister's permit, but the husband wants her to come as...
Amanda: No, but with the Minister's permit she is not allowed to work, she's not even allowed to study. I mean, it is an insult.
SG: The government has turned her into a drain on the system.
SG: Ironically, that offer would have turned her into a drain on the system.
Amanda: And in the particular case, what are we saying to Canadians who have disabilities? And I speak from a personal level of having friends who have MS, two of whom at varying different stages, but who are vital and contributing members to this society who are paying taxes and raising children. What does this say? What does this say that our government thinks of them?
SG: It essentially defines the human beings in terms of disability...
SG: ...as opposed to in terms of ability.
Host: Okay, but here's the deal. When you can't pass a law, you can't make law based on individual cases. You make a law and then all of a sudden [that] law is applied to everyone. Isn't there some justification in saying, 'Look, we can't open the doors to every invalid in the world.'
SG: No, the law is unconstitutional, it's an abuse of human rights to define people by virtue of their disability.
JR: We have a couple who live right here in British Columbia who murdered their daughter-in-law, they're still living in this country on a Ministerial permit. Right in my riding Now, you tell me, what kind of Minister...?
SG: You should do something about that.
Host: How do you something about it?
JR: I've been trying to do something. It's absolute nonsense! But that's what's so frustrating about this whole thing. You've got a minister who stands up and just lies in the House of Commons every day about who can't get in, who can get in and what's really happening. The Auditor General has laid the figures out pretty boldly as to where it is and where the waste is, and yet here we are discussing this poor woman who should be here. No question about that. Her husband can work, she can work. And nobody is tougher on illegal immigrants than I am. But immigration itself, if it's handled properly, I believe we can handle immigrants from refugee things all around the world. There's refugee camps all around the world. We can choose. We were doing a great job with the Vietnamese when they came here. People were hungry when they came here. They're great Canadians now.
Host: Let me ask you, John, let me ask you. Have you not said in the past, though, that if we let people in, who have disabilities, in the country, then they have to pay their own way?
JR: They can, yes.
Host: Is that your position?
Amanda: Can or should?
Host: So this woman, when she comes from Germany, should she pay her own way?
JR: She's willing to pay. She's willing to work.
Host: But that means paying her own way for her own medical costs so that she's not a burden on the health care system.
JR: While she's here, she can join the health care system and get paid like everybody else. I don't have a problem with that. We're talking very small numbers of people.
Host: So you're not saying that she should be responsible for her own medical bills when she gets here?
JR: No, if that's the condition, I don't have a real problem with that. Because I have dealt with people in my own area where they brought parents in and said, 'We'll look after the health care, we'll put them in a home, we'll pay all the expenses,' and that's fine. If that's the cost of bringing the parent in when they live in another country that's fine with me.
Host: So is that what you would like to see? Because then they're kind of like second-class citizens. Then they don't get the benefit of the health care system, you know.
Amanda: And who defines where you draw the line what...
TAPPING TALKS NEW SG1 SCIFI WIRE JAN 15TH 2002
Amanda Tapping, who plays Maj. Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1, told SCI FI Wire that she's eager to begin shooting the show's sixth season when production starts up next month. The show will move to the SCI FI Channel, beginning in June, from its current home on Showtime.
"I have no idea what's going to happen in season six," Tapping said in a telephone interview from her home in Vancouver, B.C. "It's always frustrating."one thing is certain: series regular Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson) will leave the show at the end of season five. "I kind of saw it coming," Tapping said. "But nonetheless, when it happened--when it actually came down to it--it was very sad. ... It's going to be very strange. I mean, the dynamic is so solidly in place, and now it's changing. I know that for Michael and Christopher[Judge (Teal'c)] and me on the last day, we just hung out together all day, and we couldn't stop crying. We could barely get through a scene without bawling our eyes out. I really have no idea what season six is going to be like without him."
As for Shanks' character, Tapping revealed what may become of him. "There is a possibility that he could come and visit every now and again," she said."He's ascended basically to a higher plane of existence, but I'm sure that that's not aired yet, so I'm not sure if I can actually say that. ... Any scenes where there's crying involved, it was real."
Will Shanks be replaced? "Certainly the door's been open for another character to come in, but I'm not sure whether or not they're going to use this character or not, and I keep trying to find out, and I keep getting 'We don't know yet, we haven't decided yet,'"Tapping said. "So, it's very frustrating going back into season six with no idea who's going to be on SG-1, or whether it's just going to be the three of us and guest stars, or whether we're going to have a permanent member. We have no idea."
For her part, Tapping said she is continually finding new ways to keep her character fresh. "It would be so easy to lapse into autopilot," she said. "I actually issued myself a challenge at the beginning of season five, because I knew the character had developed so much over the four years, and I didn't know what was going to happen to her in season five. And so I sort of issued myself a challenge of finding a new way into the character. Which meant everything from the way she walks to rediscovering her whole physicality to rediscovering her love of certain things and what makes her tick. ... It helped me to reinvent her in my own mind, which made it interesting then to play her."
ON SAT INTERVIEW APRIL 30TH 2002
Q: With the new season, what can fans expect from Stargate SG-1?
Fans know that we lost the character Daniel Jackson at the end of last season-one of the main members. So, part of the season is will we or won't we get a new member-which, of course, we do! That's the major change-having to deal with the loss of one character and introducing a new one. We're on episode eight right now. We've flown new technology, that we've just come up with-this X302 Super Stealth Glider. We've been to the Antarctic. We've been in a ship that's sunk in the ocean and we've been flooded out of it and nearly drowned! We've been running all over Earth. At one point we were doing an episode that took place in Oregon. We've been all over the map. So far, it's been a very exciting season! We've been traveling a lot-a little busy!
Q: Stargate SG-1 was on Showtime and now it will have first runs on SCI-FI. Do you expect there to be a whole lot of changes there or has it pretty much been smooth sailing so far?
It's been smooth sailing. The transition has been remarkably easy, but we shoot the show in Vancouver and we're sort of our own little microcosm up here. We don't really know what goes on in the rest of the world! In terms of the people working on the show day to day, nothing has changed. It's just that the big guys that are holding the purse strings are slightly different. We don't have to deal with that, so for us, it's been quite a smooth transition.
Q: You star as Airforce Major and astrophysicist Samantha Carter. What sort of preparation did you have to do for that role?
I take a lot of pride in the fact that I've done a lot of research for this character. If ever there's a situation that I don't understand what I'm talking about, I research the hell out of it-break it down into layman's terms so I can explain it to my family members in real English and then I go back to the script and say all the big, multisyllabic words! But I take great pride in the fact that I do understand, at least on the day, what I'm talking about! (laughs) I may not be able to save the world from a black hole but in principle, I understand how it works. And the military aspect, too, I did a lot of research-met with Air Force people, men and women, met with an ex-Navy Seal, did a lot of physical training. It would be easy to fake at least the techno-babble part of it, but it didn't seem right to me as an actor. So, it's been a good challenge.
Q: This is your sixth season with the series, correct?
Yes, ma'am! Six years!
Q: How has your character developed and what would you still like to do with her?
What I would like to do with her is sort of what's happening now in season six. She's lightening up; she's getting more of a sense of humor. She's changed so drastically since the beginning. I didn't particularly like my character in the beginning. I didn't dislike her-I thought she was really strong and really smart, but she had this very didactic, feminist message. She was up on her soapbox espousing equality, and I really wanted to temper that with let's stop making a big issue out of the fact that I'm a woman on an all-male team, and let's just make her a member of the team. That transition happened really quickly. The writers and producers on this show have always been so incredible in terms of listening to what any of us have to suggest. Now she really is-they changed her really quickly-and now she's more of an integral part of the team. And then when I said that I think we need to warm her up, give her some relationships, they brought that in. And she really could stand to have a better sense of humor and they brought that in. They're phenomenal. So she's now a really well-rounded person. And she's a single woman and she's very driven-almost too driven. That's one area I'd like to see her lighten up with. It's one of the things I like about her, too, but she has no life outside of Stargate. She's not searching for Mr. Right. She's not looking for the ultimate relationship and I kind of dig that. I like the fact that she doesn't need it. Unlike a lot of single females on television, it's not about completing myself by being with a man. I'm going to complete myself by being a human being first, and then if a relationship happens, that's great. Certainly, I would love to see Sam have a boyfriend who doesn't die! And who isn't an alien! That would be awesome. If that doesn't look like it's going to happen, then I have to be content with the fact that she's just a great lady. She's really solid with where she's at and I like that... although, I would like a living boyfriend! (laugh) It would be nice; it's just a little thing!
Q: What's been your favorite aspect of doing the series, if you could narrow it down to one thing?
The family atmosphere on our show. Absolutely. Bar-none. The relationships, the friendships and the sense of family. I sound so hokey, and it's sick to even say this, and maybe more so in season six than I have in the past, but I love coming to work. I have no problem with getting up at 5 o'clock in the morning or 4:30 in the morning and coming to work because of relationships and because of camaraderie on this show, not just between the cast-which is phenomenal-but with the crew. And because it's a so routine now, but also because every day is an adventure. Every day we laugh; every day something silly happens. I don't know that a lot of people can say that about their jobs. I love what I do for a living, but I'm fortunate enough to make a good living at it and to do it in an environment that is so supportive and familial. And it starts at the very top of our show, from the executive producers on down. I sound gushy, but in all sincerity, that's how I feel.
Q: Science fiction series like The X-Files and Star Trek have their own breed of fans. Do you find with Stargate SG-1 you have your own group of fans?
We do-gaters. We had fans before the show even aired. There were Internet sites devoted to what the show might be, knowing thatStargate was coming on. We have an amazing fan base, more so in Europe than we do in North America. We have a huge European fan base, but I'm realizing more and more that we have quite a number in the States. They're a different breed. These are people that have an encyclopedic knowledge of your show, of every relationship...it's crazy! Having gone to a couple of conventions-I'm not a huge convention goer-it was my way of saying thank you to the fans. I was blown away by how intelligent and supportive and fanatical in some ways our fans are, but in a good way. They know everything! They know all the relationships. They'll say, `Remember that episode when such and such-' And I'll say, `I don't remember. What happened in it-' ...They're amazing and they are a different breed. They're phenomenal. I have often gone to the fans. I asked them a question about an episode. Amazing!
Q: You've also worked in film, most recently in Life or Something Like It with Angelina Jolie.
Tell me a bit about that experience.
I was shooting Stargate when this happened. I got offered the part, which is really nice. It was a cameo role; it was a couple of days of shooting. It's a very tiny part. I walked on the set. I was standing around; I think we just started rehearsal, and I felt this little tap on my shoulder and I turned around and Angelina Jolie was there. She said, `Hi, I'm Angelina. I just really wanted to meet you.' I thought, `Man, that's a class act.' She certainly has the career; she could carry so much more ego than she does, not that she should-I think that's all bogus. She was just so genuine. She was an absolute sweetheart. Really nice lady, intelligent, beautiful. I couldn't believe how tiny she was. It was great, very comedic, a lot of improv. They were doing every time she wakes up in the morning with the morning show and I'm host of the morning show. The director said, `OK, just improv.' So it was great.
Q: And you've had plenty of experience with improv with your female comedy troupe, Random Acts.
Yes, it was great.
Q: When do you breathe?
It's really funny because this weekend coming up is the first weekend that I haven't had an obligation. My husband is like, `It's my weekend! It's my weekend!' It's been crazy. I finished an independent film shooting on weekends while shooting Stargate. I just spoke for the Women in Film Flash Forward conference last weekend. So this weekend, I don't know what I'm going to do. I'll either collapse or go crazy! But my house needs renovating so it's all good! There's always something!
Q: Growing up you wanted to be an actor. From whom did you draw your inspiration?
I have to say growing up, Carol Burnett. I love her. I watched her as someone who could do comedy so well, so physically, so beautifully and still have so much pathos in it. Not that I think I understood the word pathos as the time, but there is like a tragic comedy to her work. You could see the pain behind the humor. She's phenomenal. She makes me laugh my a** off, but I'm still thinking. Maggie Smith-The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) is one of my all-time favorite movies. I just think she's phenomenal. As I got older, it was a lot of stage people, British stage actors. But I remember watching Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice (1982), and thinking to myself, `If I could even be one tenth or one one-hundredth that luminous on screen, I might have a chance of having a career.' I found her awe-inspiring. Jodie Foster has been for quite some time a strong role model for me just because she's doing it all. She's got her own production company, she's directing, she's raising her kids, and she's still a phenomenal actor and person. I don't know how she does it, but she never fails.
Q: You also enjoy writing. Are you working on something now?
I'm actually supposed to be writing a script for Stargate. I'm trying to-it may or may not happen; it depends on whether the pitch works with what we've got going for the last season. So we'll see what happens with that. I think once Stargate is over I'll go back to writing, mostly comedy.
Q: Do you want to add anything about this season of Stargate or anything else that you have going on?
I hope that the fans love it because we are having fun doing it....I don't know if you know that some of us went on a USO tour this past Christmas. We went to-I don't even know if I'm allowed to say where we went-we went to a couple of bases in the Middle East. The beauty of it was that it was a handshake tour. We weren't up on stage; there was no publicity. It was beautiful. We walked through these two bases, shaking hands, meeting people, signing autographs, talking to people about why they were there, how they felt, especially after 9/11. It was just like, `Oh, my God.' The stories that people had to tell us. It was a phenomenal experience.
LYCOS CHAT MAY 22 2002
Amanda and Richard Dean Anderson talk with fans at a Lycos.com chat.
Events_Moderator: Okay everyone! It's time to get started! Let's welcome our guests to the chat! We'll be chatting with Amanda first! So let's get this going! Hi Amanda, welcome to Lycos Live Events! What's up?
Amanda: Not much, in the middle of shooting an episode right now, but really happy to be here!
eunkaruns: Amanda, do you actually learn about physics when you memorize the script?
Amanda: Yeah, I do, I actually do a lot of research so that what I'm saying makes sense not only to me, but it's believable that I understand it.
Events_Moderator: This question was taken from the Stargate SG-1 Club: Kerbox asks.Amanda - I remember a behind the scene clip where you said you always make sure you understood what you were talking about before the scene. So I was wondering, what is your definition of an event horizon? Just curious;)
Richard - A well-oiled machine :)
Amanda: Oh, geez! [laughs] Why don't I give that one to Rick! I got asked once in a chat what a naked singularity was, and I said "Sam Carter on a Saturday night!"
darthmaul555: Hello Amanda. I would know if you come on the Gate Convention in November to us to Germany? That would be very cool.
Amanda: I would love to come, it's all contingent on whether I'm working or not. I've never been to Germany, so. :)
kimmysco: Amanda being Canadian and living in Canada most of your life have you ever visited a small island off Vancouver called Hornby Island?
Amanda: I've never been to Hornby, but I've always wanted to go, in fact, honestly, my husband and I were just talking about it this weekend!
newbie_005: Window of Opportunity is my favourite episode. I was wondering if you woke to find yourself reliving the same day, and you could take actions with no consequences what sort of things would you do? and why?
Amanda: As Sam Carter? I'd go fishing with Jack. Over and over and over again!!
Events_Moderator: I really doubt you'll be disappointed, if Michael could do it, Amanda definitely can! Amanda, Thank you for who you are:) STAY GOLD!!
Amanda: That's very sweet, thanks for your support! It's not going to happen this year, but I'm learning as much as I can so, maybe another series!
mj_sammie: If you could meet Sam and give her 3 advices, what would you ask her? Love you so much!!! Thank you for everything.
Amanda: That is so nice! Lighten up! That's the advice I would give. Try to enjoy life more, and get a boyfriend who doesn't die.
major_ly: Do you have the time to read and maybe reply all the fan mails you get?
Amanda: I do personally take the time to at least send a picture, but I can't take the time to answer back in letter form to all the letters I get. I do read everything, but it takes me a long time to get back to people.
gizmo_goddard: What part of your character would you like to explore more?
Amanda: Oh man.her sense of humor. And her sensual side. [laughs]
joanie_j: Hi Amanda! I'd like to know how you feel about season 6 being the last season and if you're going to be involved with Stargate after that?
Amanda: It's very sad to come to the end of it, its quite a daunting prospect. Its been a great ride, its good to look back to see how much fun you had with it. But as far as being involved with it beyond that, I have no idea what's going to happen.
Events_Moderator: This question was taken from the Stargate SG-1 Club: ximajorscarterix asks. Amanda I want to tell you that you are a good person. My question is, what do you noth think about having fans? Fans all over the world?? Especially Germany??
Amanda: Completely humbling. Yeah, I don't know what to say beyond that, its totally overwhelming, I'm humbled by it. And very appreciative.
kingbubba2002: Amanda, first I would like to say great job developing your character over the last several seasons. You bring a great presence to the show. My question is, what kind of episode would be your favorite? A comedic episode, action, adventure, mythological, what kind of episode do you like the most to do?
Amanda: The comedics ar the most fun, from a day to day shooting point of view. Shooting is so much fun, and everyone on our show has such a sense of humor. But I love doing action, that being said.
Events_Moderator: This question was taken from the Stargate SG-1 Club: samjan2 asks. Hi! We first want to say that we are two 40-something year old professional women who live vicariously through Sam and Jack's relationship (What there is of it) and enjoyed season 4 the most (please don't tell us to get a life!) Please tell us that there will be some (any!) Sam/Jack moments somewhere in season 6. Will they finally declare their love for each other by the end of the series? Will they be together and, if so, how do they work it out?
Amanda: Wow, I would never say "get a life" I think its great that you enjoy the aspect of it. I have no idea what is going to happen between Sam and Jack, but we sure have fun when we get to be together! I think they'll retire after it's all over, go to a cabin and make babies, and fish! [laughs]
gatefan: What's on your horizons Amanda? Anything we shoud look for?
Amanda: I just did an independent films called Stuck, with J.R. Bourne, who plays Martous on
Stargate. Which is a very different character than Sam, and quite a departure. And that's it for now - keep your fingers crossed!
algorhythms: Amanda, do you think that as sci-fi fans, we expect more contact with actors/directors/etc than other fandoms - show genres, like Drama?
Amanda: I have no idea, because I've never been on another show like that. All I know is that our fans are really stalwart in their support of the show, and very gracious and intelligent when we get to meet them.
Events_Moderator: Amanda, thanks for chatting with us!
Amanda: Thank you so much, I had a great time and hope we can do this again soon!
Events_Moderator: Hey folks! Let's welcome RDA to the chat! Hi Richard, welcome to Lycos Live Events! What's up?
Richard: Oh.just, you know, a day in the life, everybody is up at 5:30 in the morning, and we continue to shoot as we speak. I have a bit of a cold, but that doesn't slow me down, and doesn't keep me from causing trouble whereever I go. And I want to personally thank those of you who have been waiting for three hours, you guys are amazing!
mousie_grr: Rick I just want to say that your fab and you are lucky to be loved so much that people like myself (13) would wait all day until one am just to say hi.
Richard: Again - being from Minnesota I have a hard time really comprehending that kind of patience, but thank you, thank you. Guten Morgen, get some sleep!
Events_Moderator: Hey Rick! What are y'all shooting now?
Richard: We're shooting an episode called "Cure". Where we discover the Queen Tokra - which is a big globual, a big slimy, snakey globlue, which is delicious if seared lightly;)
rkw25526: Rick, When will the documentaries you have been working on be aired?
Richard: It'll be some time. The process will take longer for me with my involvement, because of my commitment to Stargate. The scheduling to gt me off to go do it has been a bit of a chore for all involved. The trips to the various rivers, creating a library of footage and documentation of the cultures and the people and such - it'll be some time.
Events_Moderator: This question was taken from the Stargate SG-1 Club: wendal7 asks. one of the things I like most about the show is your sense of humor. Richard, are you as much of a smart-a$$ off screen as you are on?
Richard: Its nice that people are aware of that though, thanks for asking and keeping it alive. In a word. Yes:) It's my job to be, as you succinctly put it, the smartass, it's in my contract - actor, producer, smartass! Thanks for asking! [laughs]
kirstie_luvs_sg1: hey Rick!! We all luv ya! Do you check out any of the fan websites / fan fictions?
Richard: You know, I haven't - I'm apprised of it, but part of my problem is that I'm not real computer savvy. So I have a real hard time tracking those things down, but my assistant Ivan has put my in touch with http://www.rdanderson.com, the website that was put together on my behalf, I haven't really explored it, much to my discredit. I have to learn how to turn on my couputer first.
Events_Moderator: This question was taken from the Stargate SG-1 Club: itsme_dd asks. Rick, after so many years of filming, is there anything which still surprises you?
Richard: Not really - other than the fact that I'm still vertical! What I've been exposed to through the experience of Stargate is the new technology through the industry, working with the finest technicians and artist in the new generation and such, what surprises me is that we're in for new surprises. Its just a massive, incomprehensible world. What I've been able to learn to that end is that there are virtually no limits to what can be done.
hotmom01: Hi Richard, I heard that you hurt your knee, how is it coming along?
Richard: [laughs] Its much better now - it was my third knee surgery. The irony of it was that it did not happen skiing. I was carrying my daughter into her ballet class, caught my toe on a nail, snapped my foot backwards, and tore my knee to shreds. But the rehab has been as accelerated as possible to accommodate my trips to the river last March and my work on Stargate. Plus being a father to a three year old. What's curious to me is how mixed reviews - how we can get mixed reviews on something that hasn't aired yet. And to that end, I don't know what the reference is too, because we're still a strong, creative franchise. We've had a change in personnel, but that's just part of a natural evolution of a series. People sometimes chose to move on, and its our job to accommodate our needs. The show is still great!
Events_Moderator: I heard there will be a Stargate SG-1 movie. When do you start filming it? Any big changes or surprises we should expect?
Richard: Its still a question mark for all of us. Brad Wright is in the process of writing the feature
of MGM. And we have to wait for MGM's decision whether to move forward with production. Until we get the go-ahead, we can only leave it to Brad to write the best script imaginable. Everybody is on board, and we'd love to make a feature with the added time and budgetary concerns and magnitude, we think we can put together a wonderful show on a slightly larger scale.
Events_Moderator: I hate to say it, but we have to wrap this up in a few minutes. Our time with our guests is almost up! We'll take a few more questions & comments.
hw_chaos: Hi Rick, how goes the environmental projects that you are involved in?
Richard: That kind of refers back to the documentary projects I'm involved with. I've added to my list of involvement now, I'm on the board of directors of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and the River Keeper Alliance. My hands on involvement is somewhat limited until Stargate is over. Again, what we're calling the River Project, the documentary series that we're putting together is an issue oriented environment, also a cultural study of river people and such. It's a little frustrating to be not more hands-on involved, but again I spend 9 months in Vancouver, and can only spring out sporadicallly, and actually get on the river on in the ocean.
triciaveneman: Rick, do you mind that a lot of people still see you as MacGyver after all you've done since?
Richard: Not at all. I will always take it as the ultimate compliment to a successful venture. Thank you!
extintor811: Hi Richard! Greetings from Barcelona. I would like to know how much time it takes you to memorise the script. Thank you.
Richard: I have a hard time memorizing the script. I memorize the ideas of the script, of scenes, and try to make - well, not long at all, let's put it that way. Amanda has the hard job, she has lots of science thingies, I get to look dumbfounded.
Manolis_Varnas2: richard, hi, I wanna say you are a wonderful actor. I enjoy the show, i'ts one of the best on tv. I'd like to ask you what you think is the secret of success of this show.
Richard: Well, by this time it should be no secret that we have an incredible franchise born of a quirky concept of a movie. Anytime you have an ongoing premise that allows you to walk through a wall of wather and end up in some other part of the universe for another adventure, you have unlimited creative possibilities. That's unique in the business. We also have an ensemble cast that as individuals that are interesting and unique and extremely talented. And a bevy of writers who are tireless in their efforts to be creative.
kgw2002: How do you get through those long days? I heard that they are like 16 hours long!
Richard: They can drag on, but its part o fthe job! You grow to expect that. They are made less grueling, through the
efforts of everyone, but in particular John Smith, one of our producers who orchestrates the scheduling and makes it as easy as possible. But it's the job.
tessamac: Hi Rick! AtGatecon last year, Amanda described the way you smelled in 22 words of less. Could you do that for her too, please? :-)
Richard: She described how I smell???? (To Amanda) You described how I smell??? Come over here, Amanda, let me smell you - I'm smelling Amanda now! Mmm, she smells like hairspray. She smells like the very essence of life itself. It means she should shower. Soon. She's smelling me now. I'd put her on the phone, but her nose is between my toes. Come on get up!
johnson-sg3: Hey Rick, is Amanda watching what you're typing, just to see what you say about her?
Richard: Amanda is sitting right next to me, we're on the floor of the motor home, lounging, with cocktails and small poodles. And one large poodle. We have geishas, cabana boys, and for Amanda we have, well, there's a lot of traffic in there, but we're obliivious to the outside world.
gatetraveler: This question is for RDA and: Hi, I've been a Stargate fan since the begginning and there has been many changes to your character during the past 5 years. I was wondering what kind of character changes can we expect to see in season 6?
Richard: Not much [laughs] Not really, natural evolution of the creative process. That's actually a Brad Wright question anyway, he's in charge of us all.
cheo2205: Rick, we know you are crazy about dogs..what's your opinion of cats?
Richard: I love dogs. I'm not saying that I don't like cats..but I'm more dog than anything else, more dog than human, and my cat-like qualities never really developed along with other parts of my body, and personality. I'm not saying I don't like cats. I'm just saying... I prefer snakes. Snake dogs.
Events_Moderator: Can you tell us what your favorite episode of Season 6 has been so far and why?
Richard: Oh, possibly Abyss, Mike Shanks came back and I was trapped in a jail cell with him. It was good to see and work with him, we battled it out on screen, it was great.
stargatetraveler: Hiya Rick! Love your character and all the hard work you put into things, just one quick question, do all of the cast share good friendships as they do on the show?
Richard: Yeah, I'm a bit of a... I have a... I'm not the social being that everyone I'm sure thinks I am! [laughs] We've developed into quite dear friends actually, all of us. I haven't been able to personally socialize a lot, because I get on an airplane and go be with my daughter, so I lose the weekends here. Apparently the party goes on without me, which comes as a great shock to me, a blow to my ego.
jacksonforever: I have a question for Amanda: What is it like being a strong female character in a basically male dominated series?
Amanda: Extremely difficult. No, its fabulous, I like that this character is equal to her male counterparts without having to apologize for being a woman - Rick just said she's superior. It's great, it's a great character to play, would like that life were like this! I think that playing a character like this has given me more strength in life - with "da fellas". :)
paugio: Amanda How difficult has been to learn the scientific stuff for your role?
Amanda No, not at all. I love doing research, and I find most of what I read intriguing. I won the science award in HS, as well as the drama award, so I was tailor made for this role. That being said, I'm anxious to play a character that doesn't feel the need to explain everything, ad nauseum, in a verbose manner.
samandjanetfan: Question for Amanda -- What's up with all the blue Jello?
Amanda: I've actually been sent blue jello, and it makes your tounge blue, and its kind of fun. Rick likes it!
rebecca_1: Hi Amanda! Have you ever done anything on set completely out of the blue?
Events_Moderator: Other than Jello that is.
Amanda: Besides our usual fooling around and mentioning MacGyver that made it into the pilot, that was an ad-lib that made it to the screen. We've learned from out master, Maharishi Rick. Out of the blue one, Rick said a line that had been previously written. Shocked us all!
erishian42: Amanda, you're back. Would you ever like to play Michael Shanks love interest in another movie or tv show?
Amanda: Hell yeah, he's cute!
johnson-sg3: Amanda, have you ever been tempted to do an episode where Carter has an Essex accent?!
Amanda: Yes, I do Essex accents all the time, on set. Unfortunately, it never makes it on screen - but I think it behooves the producers to let me do the Essex, let me wear white stilletos at least once. Rick gets to wear white stilletos all the time! I want to reinterate how great it is, like Rick said that all these people waited so long to talk to us.
Events_Moderator: The Following is a question from the Stargate SG-1 Club: hw_chaos asks. What storylines do you hope to see wrapped in this season since it is your last and where do you imagine Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter to be 5 years down the line from now?
Amanda: I would like to see what happens with the Tok'ra. There's actuallly quite a few gangland threats that we need some closure too, too many to get into right now. What ever happened to Joe, Sam's first husband, when we went back to 2001 and we left him on this Harverster. But now Rick and I are discussing where Jack and Sam will be in 5 years. We think we'll open a deli right outside Area 1. (to Rick) Weekends at your cabin fishing? He doesn't want to fish anymore - he might catch a fish one day, that would scare him:) We'll both retire, and I'll finally be able to call him Jack!
flashpointe68: Is Rick as great a kisser as he seems he would be??
Amanda: Rick is a phenomenal kisser - wait, let me double check that, I'm going to kiss him right now. That was a short one but he is in fact, as phenomenal a kisser as one might imagine. That was a great question, because I got to kiss Rick - any more like that and I'm all over - Rick fainted, though. [laughs] Thank you thank you thank you, this is so great!
Events_Moderator: Thanks SO much for taking the time to chat with us tonight, Amanda!
Amanda: I have to say, I said it before, but I'm touched and overwhelmed by how much support we get from the fans, and please don't think it goes unnoticed.
Events_Moderator: Rick, thanks so much to you too! This has been a great deal of fun!
Richard: Complete echo of our most articulate of cast members. I'm still awed by the presence of my website, let alone the flourishing nature of them. I live a fairly reclusive life, you'd think I'd be more in touch with them, I'll have to make a point to get in touch.
Events_Moderator: Wow! They were able to spend a HUGE chunk of time with us! They probably would have stayed even longer had they not been called back to the set:-)
THE CARTER COMMAND XPOSE OCTOBER 2002
As the Colonel goes part-time, Major Carter is taking charge of Stargate SG-1, as Amanda Tapping tells Thomasina Gibson
With five seasons down and one to go, Amanda Tapping is seriously relaxed and enjoying her last tour of duty as Stargate SG-1's Major Samantha Carter. Asked to describe the overall feeling on set, given that they are at the halfway mark and counting down to the finale, Tapping throws her arms wide and sighs, "It's all gone to Hell in a handcart - the whole show,"before bursting into fits of laughter. "Honestly," she smiles, "It is so much fun. This is probably the most fun we've had in the shoe since Season one. Not to say that the others haven't been great. I mean every season had its own personality and it's always been fun but this year... maybe because we know it's our last... we're just digging it. We're loving each other, we're laughing our asses off. We're having a great time. As you've seen."
She's right. I have. Tapping and crew are currently filming an episode called The Other Guys, a fun-filled frolic involving two great comedic actors, Patrick McKenna and John Billingsly, who have managed to keep the SG-1 cast in hysterics. "Our guest stars are very, very funny." Confirms Tapping. "They play two dim-witted, bumbling, Keystone Kop-like scientists who are huge fans of SG-1. We get captured by a Goa'uld and though they are supposed to return home, they decide to stay and rescue us. Of course, all is not as it appears, for reasons that will become clear in the episode, so the madness ensues." As the episode wouldn't be shown for a few weeks, the actress is reluctant to reveal more, even when I comment that I'll have to torture the info out of director Martin Wood. "Well, you won't have to torture him very long. Seconds should do it." she comments.
Tapping decides instead to reveal a little more of what's in store for Major Carter this year. "It's been a good season actually. There's a lot more humor in Carter this year.
She's cracking a lot of jokes, or at least she's attempting to and we get to see a lot more humor in Teal'c too. Part of it is that we've got this new team member in Jonas Quinn and we're all still a little wary of him. He, maybe, in some ways has bonded the three of us together more. It's kind of like 'Watch out for this guy!' because, you know, he makes mistakes based on his naivete and we're all rolling our eyes."
Well pleased with the way the production has been unfolding this year, Tapping is particularly happy about her character's development. "For Carter it's been a cool season. For example, Richard [Dean Anderson] and I got sunk underwater in one episode. Actually," she shudders,"we nearly drowned in this set that goes underwater. The set was meant to go underwater but it flooded. However, aside from the near drowning experience, the episode had a major cool factor for us." Tapping also reveals her character had some excitement several miles above, rather than below, sea level. "I got to fly in the X303, which is our new ship. We shot out at Vancouver Airport on a truck and had to pretend to fly the craft, so we got to hang out with all these pilots from the States." Shrugging innocently she sighs, "It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it!"
Carter also got to play 'boss' this year. "Richard had an episode off whilst he went down to Chile so Carter led a mission. It took place on Earth so Teal'c, Jonas and Carter got to wear real clothes and, I swear, we were like the Men in Black. We got to wear these long, black coats just like MiBs and that was very cool. We have all these little aliens on Earth and was such fun to do. It was one of those episodes where Christopher and I are finding ways to make the relationship between Teal'c and Carter lighter. Especially with Jonas in Nightwalkers, you'll see a lot of looks between us that just sort of show how solid the relationships are."
"Then, of course, my dad [Carmen Argenziano as Jacob Carter] has been back and is coming back again - which is a huge treat - and we've been to the Antarctic! So yeah! All in all it's been a really cool season so far."
From the amount of enthusiasm and warmth projected by the actress throughout our conversation it's clear that everyone involved with this final season of Stargate SG-1 is relaxed and going for gold. "It's kind of like being in your very last semester at school," Tapping suggests. "It's like everyone has grown up and now we're like - wow - we can just sit back and enjoy. Plus the episodes seem bigger. The scope of that seems bigger. The sets are bigger and we've been on lots of locations. I can't stress how great it's been so far because when all is said and done, all things come full circle and we're back to how we were in Season one which is - 'This is it! Let's just have blast and enjoy each other.' one thing that's always made working on Stargate SG-1 such a pleasure is that we really are a family. It's the one thing that I so appreciate about our show. I adore the way that not only does this apply on set, but in the way that our producers and our writers foster that. For instance, Brad Wright and Robert Cooper and Michael Greenburg are never too busy to listen. Our producer John Smith is on set first thing every morning and he's the last face you see here at night. It's full on for him. I get my hug in the morning, then he's around for the remained of the day and like the rest of us, he really does enjoy what he's doing."
Given the amount of controversy that blew up over Michael Shanks' departure, Tapping is relieved that season six has been going so well for all concerned. "I have to tell you that I just didn't know what to expect this year," she begins. "Before production started again at the beginning of the year, I was feeling really anxious. I was wondering how the dynamic of SG-1 would be without Michael and I was wondering what the show was going to be like - it being the last season, I was concerned about how the relationships were going to work. But, truly, it has just been awesome."
According to Tapping, relationships on and off set have been just as cordial. "Christopher and I saw each other quite a bit over the hiatus. We went to the Middle East together, which was a blast and I spent Thanksgiving with him and his family. Then I was with Michael Shanks in England and that was great." Having met up with Ms Tapping during her trip to the UK capital I'm amazed she can recall the trip with such affection when she was a very poorly lady at the time. "Yes, I was really ill and had to come back to Vancouver a few days early but you know what? I had so much given to me by the fans that it just kept me going. I arrived at the SG-4 convention and thought, 'I don't know if I can even stand up.' But when I opened the door to the main room and stepped out onto the stage I was immediately enveloped with energy and love and support and didn't feel ill the whole time I was up on that stage." Laughing about the fact that she came off stage and promptly collapsed, Tapping shrugs, "Pity I couldn't have carried all those fans with me when I left the room."
One of the guests at SG-4 was none other than JR Bourne [sic], who plays the Tok'Ra Martouf, a man very dear to Major Carter's heart. They may not have had that much time together in London, but firm friends in real life, Bourne and Tapping made up for lost time by getting up and close and very personal in a short film [sic] entitled Stuck. Ever the tease, especially with gullible journalists, Tapping nods her head in an unctuously smug manner and smiles, "I got to give him a snog!" before going to admit, "Actually, it was a lot more than that. We got to have sex in an elevator." Believing I'm shocked to the core by this startling revelation, Tapping hastily explains, "JR plays my boyfriend. My characer is a heroin addict and JR plays her enabling boyfriend who doesn't do drugs but helps her shoot up."Reverting to serious mode, she goes on, "The role was a total change for me and spiritually, emotionally and physically was totally regenerating. It's an extremely low budget production and I have no idea how it's going to turn out but actually, I don't care. It was wonderful just to be a part of it."
The sight of Tapping rolling around the floor with JR Bourne might set Stargate SG-1 fans' tongues wagging, but rest assured - it's only acting folks. Says Tapping,"JR was so sweet and kept going up to the crew saying, 'Have you met Amanda's husband? He's really huge. He could crush me like a bug!' Of course they were totally unsympathetic going, 'Oh yeah! Do you get along with Amanda's husband?' Thankfully they get along famously but poor JR was like, 'OK! I can do this. I can kiss this man's wife.' "
Sadly, there's unlikely to be any kisses for Carter throughout the remained of Stargate SG-1 - but who knows? The gang is set to go out with a bang rather than a whimper, so to speak, so watch this space.
AMANDA FOR ALL SEASONS CULT TIMES OCTOBER 2002
Over the last few years, it's been one of the perks of my job to interview Stargate SG-1's Amanda Tapping. Warm, friendly and welcoming, I've interviewed her more than anyone else, but it's always been on my home turf. This time, I'm on the set of her show, and Ms Tapping seems happy to see me. Well, she hugs me, so I decide to take this as a good sign, even if it does take me a little by surprise. Retiring to a quiet corner of the studio while the crew sets up the next shot, Tapping immediaely starts messing around, saying "Hello" in a strange voice into my dictaphone and asking if it's working properly. I assure her it's fine assuming the batteries don't give out and tell her I'll just sit back while she talks, knowing how good she is at it. Laughing, she relates her feeling on Stargate's imminent conclusion.
"It's a real mixed bag. Interestingly enough, two days ago on camera, a camera assistant, Jimmy Garrison, had put a piece of tape with '100' on it. And I was looking at it and I said, 'Jimmy, what is that?' and he said, 'That's how many days we have left shooting,' and I went, 'Oh my God. A hundred? Oh my God.' And it struck me as really sad suddenly, that hundred days of shooting - it'll go over a number of months - is, wow, like, the finality of it. And it's very sad. And this season has been so much fun, I think in part because we know it's the last season so we're just giving it and having a great time, but yeah, it's gonna be strange. This is my family. I spend more time here than I do anywhere else. I love the people I work with, I love the crew, it's gonna be really hard."
So she's trying to force retakes now so she can make it last longer? "Yes, exactly. We'll have an extra day out of it!" she laughs."No, it's just... I mean, there's still talk of doing a movie afterwards, and that would be great." That would be a very different animal, though. "I think it depends on who we get to direct it and the DOP. I imagine we'll have a lot of the same crew - I hope - but it really depends on whether MGM film division wants to use one of our director or whether they bring in someone new."
As the actress does at least have the luxury of knowing well in advance that her show is ending, has she got anything line up yet? "I don't at the moment. I've just finished shooting an independent film that will probably be done by the time this is over, and I've shot that on weekends while I was doingStargate. The insanity of it all..." Don't do it, kids. "Yeah, don't try this at home, don't work seven days a week. But I don't know. I don't know. I've got a manager in LA looking for stuff, there's a couple of scripts that have come my way, but they start in September. So it's really hard that far in advance to sort of figure out what you could be doing."
Perhaps it's a chance to simply sit back and chill out for a while. "No, you know, I'm not good at that. And I think that my husband would love it if I said'I'm gonna take a year off and chill out,' but he also is pragmatic enough to know that I'm incapable of chilling out, as it were."
The first time we ever spoke, we discussed the possibility of Tapping having a family; perhaps now is the time? "Yes. Yeah, thank you!" she says, mock-annoyed. "Like I need your pressure, Paul! Yeah, I just don't know. I'd certainly consider it. But I love what I do for a living and I'm very motivated to continue doing it. And there's always that fear that if you slink out of the mix for too long that you lose momentum, which is silly really, because what is more important? Life or... oh, rehearsal. Okay, we'll get back to you." I think she's managed to shoot her point in the foot there, as she rushes off back to the set, promising to return shortly.
She does, sitting back down, clearing her throat in as comedic a way as possible and giving a tiny chuckle that cracks us both up. I ask why, when Richard Dean Anderson has headed off for the day (the remaining shots are close-ups for the guest actors), Tapping is still about. "Oh, I always do that," she explains. "It's my mantra. I mean, I understand why Rick left, and wasn't there for off-camera because he had a plane to catch, but I have a really hard time leaving any of our guests talking to someone other than me, so I'll say to do my off-camera. That's my job." Complimenting her on her dedication, I ask if there are any stories Tapping would like to do in this final year. "There's a lot of things I want, yeah. In a perfect world, I'd like to know what happened to Joe when we left him up on the Harvester with the Aschen in 2001; I'd like to know what happens with the Tok'Ra and whether they are able to make their race stronger; there's a bunch of dangling threads that we've left throughout the course of this six-year run I'd like to see tied up."
And what things will she and won't she miss when it's all over? I add in the proviso she's not allowed to say 'the cast' because that's cheating. "Dammit," she smiles, then cheats anyway: "I'm gonna miss everything." I sigh, but resign myself to my fate and let her continue. "I'm gonna miss getting up at five o'clock in the morning and having somewhere to go that I love. Seriously. It's sick but it's true. I'm gonna miss this crew. I'm gonna miss the camaraderie. I'm gonna miss feeling like a part of this family. Such a tight-knit group, I'm gonna miss that. I'm not gonna miss army boots. I'm not gonna miss technobabble." She laughs, then admits, "Maybe a little bit."
Has she got a favourite bit of technical nonsense? "Oh God, so much stuck in my head!" she cries. "I'm not gonna miss the stupid things, but basically everything else I'm gonna miss. It's been an incredible ride. It's not even over yet, and you're making me all maudlin, Paul!" I apologize. "You're mean!" I apologize once more and Tapping bursts out laughing again. Perhaps, I suggest, I should come back again near the end of the season, once I've got some more cash together. Unfortunately it comes out as, 'When I've worked out where my money is' and Amanda is confused. "What do you mean 'where your money is'?"I explain that I had enough for this trip... "But not the next one. I've got you. I thought you'd left the money somewhere. That's how tired I am." No, that would be stupid. "I didn't wanna say it!" she laughs.
As usual, Tapping has completely put me off and all questions have disappeared from my mind. "I'm trying to think if there's anything else I can tell you," she tries to help. "Oh, it's notStargate-related, but the independent film I did, I did with JR Bourne [Stargate's Martouf], who plays my boyfriend. And we have sex. So the fans might like that." Was there body doubling? "No body doubling." What about naughty bits? "No, not really. But we kissed quite a lot. I have a wonderful husband, I can't stress that enough. I have a really wonderful husband." What, but he's not as good a kisser? "My husband's the best kisser,' Tapping responds with confidence. "Which is why it's easier to kiss anyone else. It's like, no worries. He actually jokes around, because he knows JR pretty well, but he's cool. It's my job." To kiss lots of people? "Absolutely," she says, barely keeping a straight face. "It's par for the course." So let me get this straight, the reason Amanda Tapping was put on Earth "is to kiss a lot of people. on camera," she quickly qualifies, before laughing and adding, "No, not at all what I'm saying!"
There is, of course, one question has to be asked: does Tapping miss Michael Shanks?
"Yeah," she replies, unsurprisingly. "It's just different. It's like I knew he was going, I knew he wanted to leave; you resign yourself to that and you move on. We still talk now and again, but you have to just move on if you still enjoy it. He wasn't happy here, and he left and so in a way it's almost even better, because he wasn't happy. Sure it's tough, but he moved on and we have to too."
I've already met his replacement, Corin Nemec, who I point out seems a nice, friendly, happy castmate. "He's a very cheerful guy, but to be honest with you, interestingly, by the eighth episode of Season one, Christopher [Judge], Michael and me knew everything about each other, because we had the luxury of spending six weeks living in a hotel doing the pilot together and eating all our meals together. We were literally forced to form friendships, in a way. It wasn't difficult by any stretch of the imagination, but we had a much easier road to really establish relationships. It's like being the new kid in school; we're still trying to make [Corin] comfortable, but it's not the same. And we're so established in our routine, we're patterned with each other. I don't envy him, I really don't."
And with that I thank Amanda for sticking around for a chat and let her head home for the weekend.
AMANDA’S Q & A WITH FANS AMANDATAPPING.COM OCTOBER 30 2002
Question #1 - from Sally Murphy / Morjana Coffman: In the episode In the Line of Duty when Sam/Jolinar was in a cell and pleading with Colonel O'Neill to not leave her: was it Sam or Jolinar that was doing the talking at that moment? If you weren't told exactly by the writer and/or director which one it was, who did 'you' have doing the talking? Just curious 'cause I love this ep and it's been driving me nuts-which is a short drive for me.
Amanda: I can relate to the short drive! In that episode it was Sam pleading. I think it was important to hint at the fact that this wasn't a regular goa'uld we were dealing with. Jolinar, as all Tok'ra, allows a symbiotic relationship, but it was early in the blending so I think Sam had to really struggle to be heard. That entire episode was one of discovery for me, in fact for all of us, because we were introducing this new race. But, in answer to your question, Sam was definitely struggling to be heard and was able to break through, ever so briefly.
Question #2 - from Rene Laurings [South Africa]: Hi, Amanda,
Just wondering what the reception was (yours and the other cast members) of the idea of SG1 possibly going on to a seventh season, and what you, personally, would like to see happen for Sam in season 7?
Amanda: We're all cautiously optimisitic about a seventh season. It's a double edged sword in terms of feeling the need to move on creatively and loving the family and security of Stargate. But, the show is still great fun and the character is still interesting to play so I guess we wait and see what happens. If there were a seventh season I would like Sam to expand her emotional base. She is much warmer and nurturing than she was in the beginning but there is always room to grow. I would like more stories that show us as a team in real peril.
Question #3 - from Maureen: I get the feeling you've done a lot of stage work (I've been a prop manager for over 20 years so I can usually recognize an actor who's done theatre - there is always something very special about their performances and you certainly touch my heart, when I watch you), so have you done stage work?
Amanda: Thank you. Yes, I have done stage work. Stage is where I got my training and it is still my great love. I studied Theatre for four years at University (Acting School) and we were never taught anything about film or television or even about the "business". In fact, upon graduating from Theatre School I vowed I would never do television. "I wouldn't prostitute myself for my art". Grand words for one so young! Thankfully, I changed my tune and have discovered a whole new way of working and I am loving it!
Question #4 - from Nicky: What do you do to keep in shape? Especially with the long working hours you have it must be kind of difficult to keep up a fitness regimen.
Amanda: I work out with a personal trainer on weekends and during the week if I get a late call or if I get off work early. I also have a rowing machine and a treadmill at my house. It is exceedingly difficult to keep at it as the season wears on because we get so tired. I think I could be in a lot better shape, but sometimes sleep wins out over the treadmill!
Question #5 - from mingo [Alberta, Canada]: Amanda, you do a wonderful job at making Sam Carter's technobabble seem natural and believable... you have said before that you like to know what you are talking about when studying these more challenging and generally long string of lines ... is there one theory or aspect of our universe and how we interact with it that just blew, you - Amanda, away with its new found understanding?
Amanda: I'm fascinated by all aspects of science relating to our great universe! I think the fact that the ancient Simoans were able to chart our solar system long before "modern" man came and did it all over again, blows me away. Where did they get this incredible knowledge? (My thought is the Goa'uld were here!) Stephen Hawking is always coming up with up interesting theories and I read anything he's written. It's hard to pinpoint one particular theory but, like Sam, I'm fascinated by wormhole physics. Really.
Question #6 - from Pam: How are you enjoying Season Six so far? Any anecdotes?
Amanda: Season six has been so much fun! It was so weird starting out without Michael, but we all just decided to enjoy ourselves as much as possible. It has gone by so fast. Anecdotes......hmmm....in Frozen the walls of the medical lab were lined with bubble wrap! We had a lot of fun flinging ourselves against the wall to make the bubbles pop!
Question #7 - from Michelle: I read somewhere that you were going to write a story for season six, but ran out of time. What kind of story would it have been?
Amanda: I don't know! All my ideas were too esoteric for the show. If we get Season Seven maybe I'll come up with something! This year was seriously so busy for me that I didn't get a chance to write anything and I wish I had. But, crossed fingers, maybe next year!
Message #8 - from Julia: Hello Amanda. In The Void (in which your fantastic acting stood out, by the way) you played a physicist. Although similar in her scientific brilliance to Sam Carter, Eva was a very different type of person and this came over straight away, not only because she had a visible best friend, a home life and a pet but because she handled and reacted to things very differently. Did you enjoy the fact that you got a chance to be a character who didn't have all the answers at your fingertips and was scared and emotional, and not physically able to overcome everybody and everything?
PS We all agree that your acting was really outstanding in the film, so it's not just me saying it! :)
Amanda: Thank you, you're very kind. The Void was a huge amount of fun for me. I wish the finished product was better than it was. I think the initial edit was far more interesting, but that being said, I had a blast! Yes, I got to play someone with a life! Someone vulnerable! Which was actually difficult at first...the director said I had a bit of a Stargate hangover at first and kept coaching me to be more vulnerable. once he said that, I felt vulnerable! I thought I couldn't act anymore and I was petrified. It fed me in terms of letting go of my control. I then relished the thought of a character who was so different emotionally. Still smart and still ballsy, but more open emotionally. I really enjoyed it.
Question #9 from Nicky: Dear Amanda,
Hope you liked the Stargate/Simpsons print I sent you.
We have seen Carter evolve from a fairly one-dimensional feminist in early season one to an amazing strong, multi-faceted female role model by season six. If Stargate goes into a seventh season how would you like Sam to be portrayed? Is there any areas of her character you would like to be further explored?
Amanda: Thank you!!! I love the print!!!!! Awesome!!!!
Sam in season seven, I think I kind of answered it in question 2. More open emotionally. More willing to laugh and show her sense of humour. (I think she'd be a great pratical joker!)
Question #10 from Vicky Humphrey [Ontario, Canada] & Jackie Madden: Hi Amanda,
I wanted to know what your plans were for after this season of SG1. (I know there might be a movie but after all SG1 is done.) I read you once had a comedy act; Is that something you are going to try again?
Vicky Humphrey & Jackie Madden
Amanda: Hello ontario! I bet the fall colours are beautiful! I miss that. I think after Stargate is done I would like to explore comedy again. I would love to do a sitcom. The comedy troupe is something I am definitely interested in, but we are all over the map globally right now. I also love the world of independent films. At the end of the day though, I am an actor and will take on any project that interests me. Even another series, if it's a great character and story. I think actors have to keep themselves open to all possibilities and experiences. I just don't know what around the next corner for me. It's exciting and terrifying at the same time.
Question #11 from Samantha Fox: Of all the guys that you have kissed on the show who do you think was the best kisser and which scene was the best if you kissed them more than once?
Happy birthday for the 28th. (Two days before mine) and good luck with your acting in the future. You really are an inspiration.
Amanda: Happy birthday! (late) Richard ranks as one of all time great kissers in my life. (not as good as my husband, though!) He really is good. I think the scene at the end of Point of View, in which we had to do a number of takes....yeah tough job I've got, I know.
Question #12 from Marina [Alberta, Canada]: Hi, Amanda!
What is your favorite Disney character, and why?
Mine is Eeyore, because somehow his gloominess always makes me feel better :)
Amanda: I love Eeyore!! As for a favourite, that's tough. Probably Peter Pan. Always youthful,
always curious, always believing in possibility.
Question #13 from Lucy Maria Elmer: Hi Amanda,
Thanks for doing this again. My questions are what have you learnt about your craft through doing Stargate? and what kinda lessons will you take with you when you go? Also did you enjoy SG4 apart from the being ill thing? hehe. It was so lovely to meet you and I still feel really bad about crying on you when I saw you, it was cos I was so happy!!! also wanted to tell you I took your advice from the last Q&A and had my pictures taken. They were natural like you said rather than glamourous and I've started sending them off already. Thanks for inpsiring me always,
All my best,
Lucy Maria Elmer xxxx
Amanda: Lucy!! You superstar. It was lovely to meet you as well. I was rather ill at that convention...I spent the nights on the bathroom floor of my hotel room, but honestly, whenever I got around the fans I was supported and I felt so inspired and lucky that it was easy to get through the convention. You guys were amazing!! And I knew how lucky I was to be there and that the flu was nothing compared to what a lot of people I met were dealing with on a daily basis. I wanted to clear that up because I didn't want people to think I was whining about being sick. I asked Bryan not to mention it to anyone and then he announced it to the whole auditorium!!! Anyway, what have learned about my craft? Doing a televison series and having the opportunity of working everyday is a wonderful gift. I have learned a lot about the technical aspects of film and about working in that medium. It's a lot different from the stage. You learn to make your work smaller in some ways and more focused to what you convey through your face. It's still acting and it's still coming from the same place but it is more technical and more focused. I've also learned about how to pace myself physically and emotionally.
Question #14 from Win Mickleson: How has the advent of the new Jonas Quinn character altered the team dynamic for you as an actress?
Amanda: Hi Win! Definitely, the dynamic has changed. Not so much for me as an actress but definitely for us a team. I think it's brought us even closer together and made us more aware of how important we are to each other. We've played more beats this year that show our friendships and how much we mean to each other. We have also been able to play up the "What's with the new guy?" kind of humour. It has changed the team dynamic for the better in many ways. We don't take each other for granted anymore.
Question #15 from Vicki: I understand you do most of your stunts...at least in the first 2 seasons. Do you still do most of them and more specifically, inCrystal Skull, when you collapse and fall over RDA's shoulder and he had to run and carry you out, was that really you up there as RDA was running with you?
Amanda: I still do most of my own stunts! Actually for the first time this year I got Stunt Pay! I was really proud of that. In Crystal Skull, I think it was a dummy over Rick's stunt double's shoulders.
Question #16 from Leslie Harris from Texas: Hi Amanda! What is your middle name?
Amanda: I don't have an official middle name. That is to say that it doesn't appear on my birth certificate. Unofficially, Jane. Whenever I got into trouble I was called Amanda Jane. Usually by my father in a loud, deep, bellow. We also used to sing a song together about a little girl called Amanda Jane. To this day I don't know if he made it up. It was very cute.
Question #17 from Aline: First, Amanda, I want to thanx for giving us this great opportunity. As always you're here for your fans and that shows how nice you are ! Thanx for all :) Kisses from France.
So here is my question : What was for you the funniest episode to make and why ??
Amanda: Thank you! Urgo still ranks as the funniest episode. Dom DeLuise had us in fits of laughter the entire time. Peter directed the episode and we had a lot of fun watching the father/son dynamic. They are wonderful together. Really, I don't know how the editors put that show together because we were laughing so much in every take.
Question #18 from Sue: Amanda, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. My question is about some of the 'hokey actor stuff' you talk about on the Red Sky DVD commentary. What exactly is an actor's second guessing voice and how do you use that to help you in your work on Stargate?
Amanda: An actor's second guessing voice is actually a hindrance. It's that little voice that pops in your head, while you're working, and basically second guesses the choice you've made. once you hear the voice you know you are out of the scene and not in character. I think in Red Sky it was more a question of what was working in the scene and the episode. Listen to the voice when you're doing your homework, ask yourself the questions that need to be asked beforehand and then tell the voice to shut up!! Heehee, actors are really crazy people aren't they?
Question #19 from Cam [Alberta, Canada]: Hi, Amanda!
My favorite part of your character is that she has a big honkin` motorcycle, that is so cool! Do you ride a motorcycle in real life?
If not, how did that aspect of Sam's character get written into SG-1?
Amanda: I am actually not allowed to ride a motorcycle in real life because of the show's insurance policy. I used to ride with my cousin when I was younger. It got written in because of an episode where we were staying on Earth for some downtime. The writers originally had Sam working in her garden. I thought that she should be doing something more mechanical and suggested that she work on a motorcycle, preferrably a vintage bike. The Props guys found this beautiful 1940's Indian motorcyle and we were able to use it!
Question #20 from Wendy: If it was up to you, would you keep SG-1 for another season, or would you leave it and wrap it up with the film? Because I think one more season would be enough but I don't want to ruin what you have so far by making too many seasons?
Amanda: Good question. If we could wrap up everything in a film that would be great! But there are so many things we need to wrap up that I think we can still make an interesting sesaon. I think one more season and then a film! That would be perfect.
Question #21 from Lynne: Dear Amanda, do you still wear the combat bracelet? If so has it been brought into any of the stories of season 6?
My very best wishes to you and I look forward to season 6 starting in the U.K. very soon.
Amanda: Thank you. I still wear the bracelet. Everyday, everynight. It's so much a part of me now I forget that I'm wearing it. It hasn't been brought into any episodes but it is definitely visible.
Question #22 from Vanessa: What were your favourite moments from season 1-6?
Amanda: Wow, huge question!!! I wil give you just a couple or else we'd be here for years. Riding in a helicopter for the filming of Solitudes and shooting on the glacier. Sunrise up in the mountains when we shoot on location. Watching the special effects guys set up the big explosions....and then watching the big explosions. Getting a morning hug from Jan Newman in the make up trailer. Getting a morning kiss from Chris Judge. Morning hugs all around are a great way to start the day. Shooting Urgo. Cracking up in the middle of a take (any episode) especially when we all do it together. Making Don Davis laugh...very easy. As you can see, it is hard to pinpoint specific moments. The general feel of the show is so special that I will always cherish the atmosphere on our set and the sense of family and of play.
Question #23 from Erin: In the episode The Other Guys, was the entire episode the tech guys' fantasy or just the ending?
Amanda: The entire episode was his fantasy....at least that's how I saw it. Until we brought back one of the guard characters and I realised that what happened in The Other Guys must have really happened. So , in truth, just the ending.......I think. Seriously, it seems open to interpretation.
Question #24 from Tracy Whitehouse [Birmigham, UK]: Did you ever think Stargate would get to 6 seasons and in what way(ways) do you think Sam has grown from the 1st season?
Amanda: We had no idea it would go this long! Wow. Sam is more well rounded, more open, more feminine, more accesible, more compassionate. She has come into her own as a woman and as a human being. She doesn't feel the need to prove herself in a man's world. She has a better sense of humour. I think her interactions with the other characters have shaped and developed her. Some of Jack's sarcasm has rubbed off on her. She doesn't take herself too seriously anymore. She is a better person, a better scientist, and a better soldier than she was in the beginning. She has grown up in a lot of ways.
Question #25 from Adele: Amanda,
First of all I want to CONGRATULATE you on winning the Leo Award, it was truly desevered, I'm so happy for you. How does it feel to own it and what was your initial reaction on winning the award? By the way, you'd better get use to it, Amanda. :)
Amanda: Thank you Adele! The Leo was a huge shock! I truly did not expect to win. I was sitting at the Stargate table and Andy Mikita asked me if I had prepared a speech and I just laughed and said "Oh. Andy, I'm not going to win. I don't expect to win. I haven't prepared anything." When my name was called I looked at the producers and Andy and Martin Wood and they were all jumping up and down and applauding. And I couldn't believe that my name had been called. All the way up to the stage I kept thinking..."Oh no what am I going to say!!!" I spoke from the heart. I don't remember what I said. But I was really far more excited than I thought I'd be. My husband was out of town, so JR Bourne was my date for the night. He was very sweet and it made the evening more special to share it with him.
Question #26 from Nadine [Wedel, Germany], Mathias & Elonka: In November (1.-3.) there is the first SG-Con in Germany (Ludwigshafen). I'll be there and it would be great if you came too! I know lots of people who would love to meet you!
So, my question is: Are you planing to come to the Gatedays? It would be so great!!!
Thanks for answering,
Amanda: I am already committed to a series of appearances in Australia in November. So, I will miss England, Paris and Germany. I hope to make it there in January/February. But that is still up in the air. I would love to come.
Question #27 from Philip Huff [Machester, UK]: Dear Amanda,
My question is: If the Stargate program exsisted in reality and the world was about to explode, and you could only dial out once, which world would you dial to and why?
Amanda: Wow, that's hard. I guess the obvious answer would be the Alpha site. Earth's next home if something were to happen. But, if I could choose....maybe the nice beach planet from Brief Candle....I just have to find a way to get Kynthia out of the picture!
Question #28 from Heather: If you could choose another occuaption what would you do?
Amanda: I'd own a pottery studio in a artists community or on an island. I'd live like a hippie. I think however, I might get bored. So I would probably make documenatries and travel the world in search of stories.
Question #29 from Jackie: Hi Amanda
Congratulations on the Leo award! I hope it's the first of many.
Do you plan to stay in touch with the rest of the cast after Stargate finishes?
Amanda: Absolutely! We stay in touch with each other through hiatus and we spend a lot of time socializing during the year. These people are family.
Question #30 from Mesh: What aspects of your character do you feel were not explored at all? A number of Star Trek actors, like Armin Shimerman and Andrew Robinson had the chance to write about their characters in novels. If you had the opportunity, would you like to outline a novel or a script about Sam Carter, and write or co-write it?
Amanda: I think Sam's fairly well rounded except for her astounding lack of luck with relationships. I'd like to see her in a serious relationship and see how she handles it. I'd also like to explore her nurturing side. I think she'd be an interesting mother. I don't think I'd want to write or co-write a novel about her...but maybe a script. Maybe a story on where she's at five years down the road.
Question #31 from Melissa: Amanda, what do you think the future is for Sam and Jack in season six.? Is there a possibility of them getting together?
Amanda: Alas, no. There is not a chance of a fully realized relationship in season six. But, Rick and I have chosen to show moments between the characters. Sometimes it's just a look or a certain physicality that shows their feelings without saying anything and without it getting in the way of the team or their mission. They are too professional and committed to what they're doing to let a romance mess things up. But, you'll definitely see "shippy" moments.
Question #32 from Katie McCloy: This sounds like a stupid question, but, what color are your eyes? In some show closeups they look grey to me, but other fans always seem to assume they're blue. Which is it? Or does it depend on the clothes, the day, the lighting, etc?
Amanda: Blue/grey. But depending on what I'm wearing they can look green, blue or grey.
Question #33 from Michelle: Hi,
I'm a mother of two little girls. I want to preface my comment by saying that I thoroughly enjoy your portrayal of a strong intelligent woman who is not afraid to be one of the guys. My question is: When you think about how to portray Sam Carter in a given scene do you ever feel a sense of obligation to young women? Because Sam is so bright are you afraid that she will appear one dimensional and thereby unappealing? Guess that's a two parter! LOL Thanks again for doing such a wonderful job!
Michelle: A Northeastern US admirer
Amanda: I am hugely aware of how Sam comes across to young women. I get so many amazing letters from young women. That being said, I don't write the episodes and the writers have managed to develop this great female character. Sometimes I have to fight for certain things to be put into scripts or taken out. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don't. But, everyone seems to be aware of the need to keep Sam real and honest and believable and strong. There is a sense of obligation, but not in a negative way. I'm really proud to play Sam and really heartened by the letters I get. As for her being one dimensional, there is definitely fear of falling into that trap. Thankfully, she is fallible, she is human and she is more than a smart woman. I sincerely hope she isn't unappealing. But, you can't please everyone. I think she is infinitely more likable now than she was in the beginning. Tell your girls to always be proud of who they are and to be proud of their great mom!
Question #34 from Mary: Who's your hero? Your childhood heroes?
Amanda: My childhood heroes were and still are my Mum and my grandmother. My grandmother is 101 and strong and opinionated and funny. My mum is strong, smart and really kind. I think the older I get the more I admire these women and what they struggled through to be the women they are.
Question #35 from Fasola: Amanda, you joked about Richard Dean Anderson's MacGyver days when you were shooting Solitudes. Can you give any other examples of this kind of thing? And do other members of the cast also do this?
Amanda: We keep the MacGyver jokes to a minimum. We just make fun of Richard now. He has a great sense of humour and is the first to laugh at himself. We usually walk away from him when he launches into some story about his past and now he's taken to chasing us down and saying "Hey, where are you going??? I wasn't finished!"In season one we hung off his every word. But we've learned a thing or two since then!
Question #36 from Richard: Could I ask why you are so embarrassed about your laugh? It is the most adorable laugh I have ever heard and I can't imagine why you'd like to hide it.
Amanda: Thank you. I think I sound like a chipmunk with a machine gun. When I was in high school, my friends used to dive under their desks or tables whenever I laughed. They said I sounded like a machine gun. So I stopped making noise when I laughed. I finally started making noise again and I still sound funny. I've learned to live with it now. I think we should all laugh long and loud and often!
Question #37 from Lisa: If you were asked to appear in Coronation Street, would you say 'yes' and what sort of character would you like to play?
Amanda: Yes!! I would say yes! I'd like to work at the Rover's so I could see all the goings on. But, I'd settle for going into the Rovers and ordering a pint of Lager and Lime and one of Betty's hotpots and then fading into the background.
Question #38 from Rebecca: If you could go back in time, is there a role you took in a film or on TV that you wouldn't have chosen if you had another chance?
Amanda: I think there roles I'm not proud of necessarily but I can't regret anything. Every role has given me a chance to grow or learn or meet new people. Everything happens for a reason. That being said, there are performances that I would change now, but like I said I can't regret anything.
Question #39 from Mandy: Do you feel pride that you have changed so many people's lives by the way you portrayed the character of Sam? You have changed my 10 year old's life in a huge way. I can never thank you enough for it.
Amanda: Gosh, thank you. Yes, I feel immensely proud, but more importantly I feel blessed and committed to making myself worthy of the praise I get from people like you. I can't thank YOU enough.
Question #40 from Peter: Assuming Stargate SG-1 finishes its run at the end of Season 6, would you prefer to work on another long running series, or do you think a variety of projects would appeal to you more?
Amanda: Hard to say at this point. I would consider another series if it was a good character and a good story. But not right away. Maybe some smaller projects right now. Stretch my acting muscles a bit.
Thank you everyone for your questions and for your incredible support. I'm sorry it took me so long to respond!
Also, if you sent a letter in the last year I am responding to those right now. Again, forgive my delay. I endeavour
to get back to everyone and it takes some time. Thanks again!!!!
SHOOTING STAR TV GUIDE NOVEMBER 8TH 2002
Stargate SG-1 is not about to die without a fight. The sixth season was supposed to be the last but now there's talk of more explosive sci-fi adventures, SG-1's Amanda Tapping tells Jenny Wake.
As Major Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1, Amanda Tapping has spent years coolly fighting aliens, black holes and other cataclysmic threats to Earth. Now that she's on holiday, she has a serious case of the jitters.
Production wrapped this October on the sci-fi show's sixth season, initially expected to be its last. But ratings have been so strong in the US that there's talk of a seventh season and a movie.
"We're all on tenterhooks waiting for some of the bigger wigs to make decisions," Amanda tells TV Guide. "I wish I knew what was going to happen for the next little while in my life so I could plan."
Stargate SG-1 screens in dozens of countries. Like fans of the Star Trek franchise, Stargate SG-1 enthusiasts flock to SG-1 conventions, chat daily in hundreds of Stargate-related internet forums, and pre-order Stargate SG-1 DVDs, CDs, books and trading cards months before their release dates.
"All this stuff goes on around us and we have no concept of how big the show is," says Amanda. "We just go to work every day and do our jobs and every once in a while you'll hear, ‘Hey, our ratings are really high. And there's this show, Stargate Infinity ...'
Stargate Infinity is an animated series for kids, recently launched in the US. And Stargate SG-1 producers are negotiating with MGM to make a feature film which could set up the premise for another spin-off series, Stargate: Atlantis.
Executive Producer Brad Wright has written a script for the movie but Amanda and her co-stars haven't yet been allowed to read it."We watched (executive producer) Michael Greenburg reading it," she laughs. "We were trying to lean over his shoulder. He said, ‘Don't worry, you guys are in it.'"
Amanda doesn't want to play Carter forever. "I know this character so well. I step into her shoes and I'm her. I need a challenge again - to jump off a bridge, to take that risk as an actor."
She hopes to someday resurrect her sketch comedy troupe Random Acts, and to finish a documentary she's producing about "a beauty pageant in a small town in Northern Canada where life is about hockey and mining."
Earlier this year Amanda played a heroin addict in an independent film called Stuck. "I rehearsed every weekend for two months and then shot it over two weekends while we were in the middle of filming Stargate. I'm so Sam Carter right now, and playing her Monday to Friday then slipping into this other character on weekends was a bit of a head trip. But that's the joy of being an actor - trying on different shoes."
To fit Carter's shoes (typically combat boots) Amanda had to master skills such as how to fight and fire a weapon. "As opposed as I am to guns in general - I just don't think any single human being should have that much power - there's something about finding that Zen moment with your P90 - oh yeah, I know how to handle this."
Amanda reckons she's more like Carter than she used to be. "That's bound to happen when you play a character for such a long time. There's a symbiosis that goes on. She's mellowed a bit because of me and I've gotten stronger because of her."
It's been an adventure, filming Stargate SG-1. For one shot of Carter alone in a vast ice wilderness, Amanda was dropped by helicopter onto a glacier. "I got to crawl into a crevasse and hear the ice moan and avalanches going off. I was absolutely petrified but thrilled beyond words... woo hoo! My job is so cool!"
If MGM green-lights more Stargate SG-1, Amanda says she'll sign on: "Even though, creatively, I need to do something else, why leave a gig that you love, with characters that you love and people that you love? It's crazy to leave a job that's this much fun."