Articles and Interviews
TAPPING THE POTENTIAL TV ZONE SPECIAL
All work and no play isn't good for anyone, including Stargate SG-1's Sam Carter. This season, Amanda Tapping hopes to see her character take more time to enjoy life.
It was over seven years ago that Major Samantha Carter was reassigned from the Pentagon and made second-in-command of the SG-1 team. She had no idea of the impact this would have on her future and that of the Human race. A brilliant scientist and highly-trained soldier, her skills have proven invaluable in the lab and on the battlefield. More than once, she has helped save Earth from being invaded by the Goa'uld or other hostile alien races. Stargate SG-1's eighth year will bring with it great challenges and further growth for the major. Amanda Tapping, who plays Carter, couldn't be more pleased.
"By the end of the season opener [New Order], Sam is promoted to a lieutenant colonel and Colonel O'Neill is made a general," says the actress."So my character is put in more of a leadership role on missions and it's interesting to see her deal with that. I'm happy to report handles herself quite well.
"One of the things I hope viewers will see in Sam this year is a sense of strength and of coming into her own a lot more. I think her relationship with Pete Shanahan [David DeLuise] has helped that in some ways. She has great confidence in herself and is a little less consumed by her job. Yes, Sam is still very much work-driven but she's opened herself up more to the outside world. Earlier today we were talking on-set what's going to happen with O'Neill and Sam and what Rick and I would like to see happen. I'm looking for some resolution one way or another with that relationship. There are some surprising twists and turns coming this season, which some fans aren't going to be too happy about.
"Team camaraderie is great and ever-present even though O'Neill is now in command of the SGC. The scenes with the four of us are just as much fun and the banter that the writers have given our characters has been wonderful. So far all the scripts continue to be tightly written. If I had to use one word to describe this season, it would be 'huge'. Like last year, we're filming two or three stories at the same time, which can be tough but it's something we've gotten used to. on top of that, Atlantis is shooting right next door. That really doesn't affect our work except that we're very much aware of this series that is eventually going to take over from us. It's a weird feeling but not in a bad way, you know?"
In New Order, Sam and Teal'c go in search of their Asgard friend Thor in the hope that he can help O'Neill, who was near death and placed in stasis at the end of the seventh season cliffhanger Lost City. However, their mission is interrupted when Sam is taken prisoner by Fifth and his fellow Human replicators. "That's a really emotional episode for my character," notes Tapping. "There's a scene where Fifth [Patrick Currie] takes her into a dream sequence. He taps into her subconscious and re-creates what Sam imagines to be her ideal life, one that includes Pete. I was intrigued by what our writers perceived that life to be and I liked what they came up with. As the unfolds, Sam is tortured by the Replicators and by the end she's half-naked.
"This was an interesting episode for me to film, in more ways than one," she chuckles. "As always, it was fun working with the Thor puppet, and I enjoyed the scenes with Teal'c and Sam. Of course, we get O'Neill back, but Sam doesn't find out until almost the end of the story. By that point it was, 'Hey, good to see ya', but so much has gone on that 'good to see ya' doesn't quite cover it. However, it seems the only appropriate thing to say given the situation. We don't get to interact that much in this story with Daniel because he's back at the base helping Dr Weir , who's now played by Torri Higginson. Torri is such a lovely person and a talented actress. I'm sure fans are really going to like her on Atlantis."
Having imagines spending time with Pete in the aforementioned dream sequence created by Fifth, Sam gets to actually see him for real in the episode Affinity. "We still have a few days of shooting left on this one," says Tapping. "I worked with David DeLuise on it for the first time yesterday and he's coming back to town next week so we can finish up our scenes together. He's fun to be around. There's such a nice dynamic between us as people as well as with our characters.
"In Affinity there's a scene that after first reading it I got on the phone to [executive producer] Rob Cooper and said,'My character would never say that'. As the actress playing Sam and as somebody who probably has the most invested in her personally, I had some real issues with this scene. Rob, however, came up with a very compelling argument in favour of the scene because it furthers Sam's relationship with Pete in a big way. We would up doing it as written and I told Rob, 'The fans are going to hate me'. He said, 'No they won't,' and I was like, 'Oh yes they will'. I'm praying they don't. In the end I understood what Rob meant. The scene is certainly going to stir up more conflict for Sam in future episodes."
Last September, Tapping made her directorial debut with the seventh season Stargate episode Resurrection. She hopes to step behind the camera again this year. "I loved directing," enthuses the actress. "I had a great time with the cast and crew. Everyone was so supportive and helped make it a very pleasant experience. Resurrection was the last story we shot for Season Seven, so after the final take I got to say, 'Cut! Print! Shut the gate. That's a wrap until Season Eight.' There's one more directing slot still open for this year that I'm hoping to snag. It could be hard to co-ordinate given our shooting schedule, but you never know.
MAJOR PLAYER TV ZONE FEBRUARY 2004
For Amanda Tapping's character, Major Samantha Carter, love is in the air, as she tells Steven Eramo...
This past summer proved to be a busy one for Stargate SG-1's Major Samantha Carter. When she wasn't marooned in Outer Space, she was trying to avoid being killed by a Jaffa super soldier. In the midst of everything, the major found time for a little romance with a sexy, good-looking police detective. All this was fun as well as tiring for her real-life alter ego Amanda Tapping. With series leading man Richard Dean Anderson having had a reduced schedule for the show's seventh year, she was given a more prominent role to play in several episodes. At the time of this interview (late August), the actress was working on the two-part season finale The Lost City.
"I feel a little bit discombobulated right now because we're shooting all over the place," says Tapping. "We filmed the end of Lost City this morning, and yesterday we went out on location and worked on the middle part. The shoot is spread out over the course of 15 or 16 days so we still have tons of bombs and things blowing up. There's also the introduction of a new character who could potentially take over the running of the SGC, and Bra'tac [Tony Amendola] and Kinsey [Ronny Cox]are back, too. It's always a treat to see Ronny Cox because we just love him but hate Kinsey," she jokes. "Funnily enough, this is the episode that could have wrapped up the show, but there are so many story lines left open. At the end you're like, 'Hey, wait a minute. What's going to happen to...?'
"So it's been a pretty amazing time. I think the second half of the season is very strong. I've actually done a fair amount of work in these latter episodes and I hope that it translates well on-screen. Things have just been insance since we returned to work after our mini-break in July. I've been working every day and I'm in the majority of the scenes. On top of all that I'm prepping for my first directing gig on the series, which begins in two days. I think when we wrap this season I'm going to collapse and sleep for a week," laughs the actress, "but I'm not complaining. All our spirits are up as are our senses of humour, and that's what counts at the end of the day."
When the Stargate cast and crew returned from their summer hiatus, they immediately began working on the Sam Carter-centric episode Grace. "That was a difficult one because my character is suffering from a head injury for 90% of the story and she's hallucinating," notes Tapping. "As an actress, it's my job to make that believable and yet not go over the top with it, so I chose to play my scenes very softly. There are some neat moments between Sam and her team-mates and also her dad Jacob [Carmen Argenziano]. Then, of course, there's this little girl named Grace. Who is Grace? There are varying beliefs on that. Some people think she's Sam's inner child. Others feel she's Sam's child if she had chosen family over career. That's the one I'm going with. The actual character of Grace is played by this gorgeous little girl, Sasha[Pieterse], who is so sweet.
"It's interesting because in this story the guys aren't their typical selves," continues the actress. "Daniel is somewhat different, Teal'c is more laid back, and there's the 'big' moment between Sam and O'Neill, who's not quite himself either. I think this has to do with the fact that this is my character's subconscious view of the guys. For example, this is the first time Teal'c calls her Samantha instead of Major Carter. I'm sure it's something she's always wanted him to do, so in her hallucination he does. Chris Judge and I had a blast with those scenes. We started out very low key and then ramped things way up to where he wasn't speaking at all like Teal'c but a regular dude. We were laughing so much we were in tears.
"A great deal of Grace was shot using the second unit, so it took over a month to finish betcause I was going back and forth between it, Death Knell and Chimera. Talk about a bit of a head-trip for yours truly. It was really funny because on Death Knell we shot two days where Sam is running from a super soldier and she's covered with blood and is just dirty and filthy. The very next day we did a scene from Chimera where I'm completely dolled up and wearing lipstick, and smart little dress and high-heeled shoes. It was like, 'Whoa, where am I today?' I didn't know whether or not I was coming or going," she chuckles.
The actress was especially pleased with the casting of David DeLuise as Sam Carter's new love interest Pete Shanahan in Chimera. "I was thrilled that the producers chose David because I wanted someone with good comedic chops for the lighter moments between Sam and Pete," explains Tapping. "David and I had instant on-screen chemistry. He's so savvy and smart and has a boyish charm about him. I thought he did a fantastic job in the episode.
"As for Sam, we get to expose viewers to a whole other side of her in Chimera. It's a very feminine, sexy and playful side that's not often revealed. It was fun to portray her as a 'real person'. David and I had this one scene where our characters are coming home and we're walking and talking about it and I thought, 'This is 'real people talk. How do I do this?' I also got to dance in the episode, so it was a treat for me all around."
Stargate has been renewed for an eighth year and Tapping will be back. When it comes to what audiences can expect next season, the actress is just as in the dark as they are. "Who knows where it will take us and what will happen to the team," she muses."For those who are pure fans of the four of us going through the gate every week that might change, I don't know. None of us do. We'll all just have to wait and see."
HEROES WORSHIP DREAM WATCH FEBRUARY 2004
Amanda Tapping discusses the pivotal seventh season Stargate SG-1 adventure Heroes - and the departure of a semi-regular character...
Amanda Tapping has no doubt that the mid-seventh season two-parter Heroes is set to be o¬ne of the series' most memorable adventures to date. "It's a great showcase for every single member of the cast," she explains. "It was directed by Andy Mikita, who did an amazing job, and it's got every element of Stargate in it. It's a huge drama, it's got a bit of comedy and it's also a great science fiction story.
"It's told from the perspective of a documentarian who come to do a documentary about the SGC," continues Tapping."You get to see all the character out of their element a little bit because they are being interviewed and they don't know how to deal with that! I think that's o¬ne of the highlights of the year."
Heroes signals the departure of o¬ne of the SGC's favourite characters, Doctor Janet Fraiser, played by Tapping's close friend Teryl Rothery. Originally, the producers decided to use the fact that season seven was 'definitely' the show's last year to inject some extra emotion and action by killing off a regular member of the SGC - something that hadn't occured in the show's entire run, barring Daniel Jackson's brief otherworldly hiatus. But ten, of course, it turned out that seven years wasn't the end for Stargate - and that Rothery could have spent another year o¬n the show. Tapping admits that Rothery's exit wasn't easy to accept.
"It was really weird when I found out," she reveals. "It didn't make sense to me. [Co-producer] Pete DeLuise actually called me into his office and said, 'I feel terrible. This was supposed to be the last season, and we're doing this to Teryl, and now I feel awful about it...' And we were all like, 'Well then, don't do it! Don't do it!' It creates for great drama, but it was also very sad for us, because we didn't believe it was going to happen until they actually did it.
"We all had our moments of sitting with Teryl and talking about it. She's very cool about it, but it's a very weird situation. It's very sad."
GET CARTER SCI FI MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2004
Step through the Stargate to go kayaking in Canada with series star Amanda Tapping
It's a gray, cool morning in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the city is returning to a normal level of sogginess after record rainfall overnight. Amanda Tapping sips a cup of coffee in busy West Vancouver cafe. This is her negihbourhood. She moved here from Toronto to play Maj. Samantha Carter inStargate SG-1, which is filmed near here.
"I love it here. It's the lifestyle," she says. "The kayaking, the hiking, having the mountains and water close by. And even when it gets cold, it's not Toronto cold."
It's the kayaking that brought me here. Tapping and I had planned to go out on the water today, to check out Tapping's new boat so I could interview the star of SCI FI's hit series. But it's raining again, and she reluctantly suggests that we chat over coffee instead.
Tapping looks comfortable in sweatpants, a baby-blue sweater and sneakers. She could be any hip Vancouverite out for a cup of coffee. Her hair and makeup are weekend casual. Still, it's impossible not to compare her with her character, Sam Carter. Carter is a tough, brilliant Air Force scientist, the brains and beauty on the SG-1 team. A typical day involves dealing with alien artifacts, strange weapons and life-threatening situations. The team's missions are top secret, and Maj. Carter often struggles with balancing her real life with Air Force priorities.
Tapping spends her free time camping, skiing, horseback riding - adventures that her character would also relish. Outdoorsy Vancouver is a perfect city for Tapping, not least because of its growing reputation as "Hollywood North." These days, TV and movie casts and crews mingle with ordinary British Columbians. Nobody blinks an eye when they see a star being interviewed in a cafe.
The weather has cleared up a bit, and there are scraps of blue showing through the clouds. Tapping's face lights up - it's all the encouragement she needs.
"Let's go," she says, leaving her unfinished coffee on the counter.
Tapping drives to a beach on Burrard Inlet, Vancouver's sheltered bay. She and her husband Allan (sic) keep their kayaks at a friend's waterfront house. Allan shows up with their dog, Abbie, a big, quiet Bouvier des Flandres. Abbie sniffs around the beach while Tapping and I haul the kayaks down to the water.
Tapping is tall, 5 feet 9 inches, with tousled blonde hair, and strong - she lifts one end of the kayak easily. She's letting me use her kayak, which she assures me is slightly more stable than Allan's speedy model. She helps me get into the boat without my having to ask. Speaking quietly and firmly, she shows me how to attach my spray skirt and use my safety equipment. When I'm settled in and she's checked over everything once more, she launches my kayak and gets her own boat ready.
When Tapping puts on her rainproof kayaking gear and zippered float vest, all topped off with a baseball cap, she suddenly looks like Sam Carter on R and R, ready at a moment's notice to hoist a big gun and kick alien butt. If there are any Goa'uld or other villains lurking around Vancouver, they are running scared now.
She steps into her kayak, adjust her spray skirt and pushes off the beach. once in the water, she maneuvers her kayak in front of mine to lead the way. Her paddle strokes are smooth and efficient. She checks to see if I'm keeping up and, seeing my rather clumsy efforts, kindly says, "We won't do a power paddle. We'll just go out to the third buoy and back."
Tapping points out our route the way a director might lay out a long camera shot, with an eye to what views of her city she can show from the water. She steers her boat out into the channel and falls silent, smiling as she picks up speed.
"Kayaking is so Zen... everything just goes away," Tapping says, gliding along easily. The sea is glassy and smooth, unruffled by wind. A huge freighter is anchored just offshore, and the view of Vancouver and its forested hillsides is breathtaking.
While talking, Tapping has to stop now and then and let me catch up. Even paddling slowly, we've reached the marker that looked so far away when we started. She warns me about a place just past the buoy where a couple of currents make steering tricky - she calls it "strange water" - and waits to make sure I get turned around before starting to paddle back.
Out here, the differences between Amanda Tapping and Sam Carter melt away. In real life, Amanda Tapping doesn't have problems of her onscreen character, the complicated Maj. Carter, who not only gets shot at by aliens most weeks, but also has a hard time keeping a boyfriend. Tapping has been married for 10 years and has balanced her professional life as an actor and director with her personal life. She laughs a lot, sounding a bit like Woody Woodpecker, and not like Carter, whose chuckles are more careful. But like Carter, Tapping speaks in a soft, confident tone and is an intent listener.
In her kayak, she sits up straight and makes decisive paddle strokes and perfectly smooth turns. She asks if I want to paddle past the beach and stay out a bit longer. It's not raining, and there's still no wind, so we start toward another buoy. She goes slowly, taking breaks to set her paddle down across the kayak and tell me stories about working on Stargate.
Tapping's kayak slides to a halt when she gets involved in talking about acting. She gestures with one hand, holding on to the paddle with the other. She's excited about new developments for her character. In an upcoming episode, titled Chimera, Carter gets some romance at last. "I had a blast with the romance. This is not the character I've been playing for so long," Tapping says."Carter is so guarded emotionally, so caged, and so aware of her limitations in that department. She's very awkward at the idea of being girly-girl, much as I am."
After so many years of combat boots and fatigues, how did Tapping handle a romantic episode, complete with bedroom scene?
"I've never played a sexy part, ever. I was walking around in that little black dress, thinking, if I had my P-90, I'd really be more comfortable. And this coming from someone who really hates guns," she grins.
We've been kayaking for an hour or so when Tapping gets a cell phone call from Allan. Startled out of her paddling reverie, she looks up at the clouds and suggests we head back in. As we glide along the shore, Tapping gets a big smile on her face. She's reminiscing about another big Stargate event - her directorial debut. A few days ago, she finished directing her first episode, entitled "Resurrection".
"It was amazing," she says. "All our directors stepping up on this, everyone wanted to give me advice, which was wonderful. Because what I didn't expect was the sheer volume of questions that I got, and the immediacy in which people wanted answers. The first day of directing was my birthday. The first time I said 'Action!' it was very exciting. It's not just that I'm an actor who's been on a series for seven years and wants to direct an episode. I want to be a director."
We approach the beach, where Allan and Abbie are waiting. Tapping deftly navigates the sand shoals, leading me into the shallow water and indicating with her paddle and a shout which part of the beach she's headed for. Although she's as comfortable acting as she's kayaking, her ambition to direct seems very similar to the type of single-minded drive Maj. Sam Carter has to succeed on the Stargate team. She wants to find a niche where she can use all her talents.
Tapping is pragmatic about her acting career. "As a woman in this industry, I know that I need to have other skills. Eventually, there comes a time when no matter how talented you are, no matter how valid you are, only a very small percentage of older women get work."
She doesn't seem worried about the trend of casting women who are younger than the age of their characters. She thinks it's getting better, and she credits people like Jerry Bruckheimer and the producers of the television show The Practice for their casting decisions.
"There is a generation out there that doesn't want to watch 20-something actresses in low-cut jeans and crop tops. They want to watch someone they can relate to in the 30s and 40s, and 50s, and 60s. There are really great roles being filled by really powerful women, like Marg Helgenberger on CSI. She's doing a great job. She's a sexy, vital, talented, strong woman."
Tapping directs me in to an easy landing spot and grabs the prow of my kayak, pulling it up onto the sand so I won't have to get my feet wet. We carry the gear up to the house. Tapping hoists the heavy kayaks with as much energy now as she did a couple of hours ago. This kind of endurance is useful for the 14-hour days she regularly puts in while filming Stargate. After we've stored the kayaks and she's changed back into her shore clothes, we sit on the beach a while, talking about the possible end of the show.
Fans will be very sad to see Stargate go, but Tapping says that day is coming soon. "We keep saying that each season is going to be our last. We said season six would be, and season seven. But season eight to going to be our last season, I think."
Whether Tapping's prediction will turn out to be correct, or whether the cast will keep jumping through the Stargate for years to come, one thing is undeniable as she looks out over the water, smiling.
"We're all really proud of this show."
AMANDA SPEAKS OUT GATEWORLD FEBRUARY 2004
GateWorld: This is David Read for GateWorld.net talking with SG-1's Sam Carter, a.k.a. Amanda Tapping!
Amanda Tapping: Woo-hoo!
GW: Thanks so much for taking the time to be with us.
AT: Oh, it's a pleasure. GateWorld.net's a great site.
GW: Thank you very much. With Season Seven shooting finished, how would you rate this year against the other six?
AT: I'd actually say Season Seven has everything in it. Season Seven is a culmination of the six seasons. A lot of storylines get brought to the foreground that we've been struggling with. You get to see full emotional arcs from each of the characters and how much they've developed over the last six years, so I think it's got everything. It's a great season.
GW: It has been a very good season. What's been your favorite Carter show from Season Seven?
AT: Woo! I guess probably Grace, just because it was such an intense experience. We shot a lot of it second unit. In fact I think we shot most of the show second unit, so it took us over a month to complete it. But it was just -- as an actor, it was just a real challenge.
GW: In what way?
AT: Just because you spend so much time alone, so much time inside your head. How to play the head injury without making it over the top, you know what I mean? And it was just an emotional struggle, and I think because we shot it second unit it was jumping back into that and jumping out of that and jumping back into it. It was a challenge, but it was fun.
GW: So while you were working o¬n other things you would go and shoot second unit?
GW: The episode never really specified: Did we ever find out who Grace actually was, or is that left open to the fan's interpretation?
AT: It's left open for interpretation -- it's left open for my own interpretation too. I mean, Grace could be Sam's child within. Grace could be Sam's hopes and dreams for having a child. Grace could be the child Sam left behind when she, you know, focused all her energy o¬n, you know, becoming Astrophysicist Woman and forgot how to be a kid, forgot how to enjoy life. So she's a bunch of different things. In my mind I chose to make her Sam's potential future. Is she giving up family -- which is what Grace deals with, what Sam struggles with -- is she giving up any chance for a family or a "normal life," because she focuses all her energy o¬n the S.G.C. and what she's missing out o¬n in life and if she were to have more of a life could she bring more to her work, you know what I mean?
GW: Mhmm. Did you contribute any to that story?
AT: Interestingly enough, I had sat down with Rob Cooper at the beginning of the season and said, "I think we need to do a show where Sam struggles with her demons and where she questions her life choices and questions what she's missing, you know, as a woman and as a contributing member of society. Has she focused too much energy o¬n work? You know, when she lays her head o¬n her pillow at night what does she think about?" And Rob said, "Well, interestingly enough, there is a show coming up that will deal with that." "Oh, OK!"
GW: Excellent, yes, it was very good. What's your favorite team show from Season Seven?
AT: I would have to say Heroes, just because it shows the team at their most vulnerable. It shows the team at their most dire, and I think emotionally for every single o¬ne of the actors it was a huge arc for all of us. I think it just shows what it means to be a part of this team and what it means to be a part of this organization, and how much you're willing to sacrifice, and what the emotional toll is when that happens.
GW: Everyone has been raving about Heroes as being some of the best two hours that SG-1, the series, has ever produced.
AT: I think so. I think so, and I think that all the actors felt that way. It's just a really special episode. It's a departure in a lot of ways, I mean especially the first part with the documentary crew and seeing each of the team members out of their element, you know, in front of the cameras and having to talk about what they've kept secret for so long. But then it's got great action and great drama coming up.
GW: What did you find appealing about the episode?
AT: To play that emotional arc. And also what I found appealing for me was Sam Carter o¬n the edge. You know, Sam Carter, first of all, in the first part being so nervous and so tentative in front of the cameras, and that's just kind of fun to play that sort of angst and that nervousness. And then, of course, in the second half it's just a highly charged emotion the whole time.
GW: Let's go back to Chimera. What's it like to have a boyfriend who hasn't yet met an untimely death?
AT: (Laughter) That remains to be seen! It's great. I think that it's an offshoot of what happened in
Grace. The writers were trying to, A) dispel the "black widow" curse that Carter has, and also to open her up for more experiences and to flesh her out just a little bit more as a human being. And so it's an interesting episode for me because I felt so out of my element doing these, you know, little cutesy-flirty scenes, and of course the kissy-kissy, and it's so not a side of Carter that we've ever seen. And so she really falls hard for this guy, and the fact that he hasn't died yet is a pretty good sign, but I think it's also freaking her out. "Oh, no, he didn't die! Now what do I do?" (Laughter) "Now I have to have a relationship! How does that work?"
GW: Tell us about David DeLuise, who plays Pete.
AT: Oh, he's wonderful. He's wonderful. We had instant chemistry. He's very much a DeLuise in that he's utterly charming, has a fantastic sense of humor, but he's a really wonderful actor and we spent a lot of time running scenes and going over different beats and trying to work stuff out. David and I would, you know, after work, go and sit in a coffee shop and run scenes. We went for walks where we were running scenes as if we were, you know, the characters. He's wonderful, and we will see some of him in Season Eight, so I'm looking forward to having him back.
GW: Well, good. The episode didn't address how Carter felt about him essentially stalking her behind her back.
AT: You know, and when I read that question I thought, "Interesting." I don't think Carter knew to what lengths he was going. She doesn't know that he phoned the FBI. She doesn't know that he ran a background trace o¬n her. She doesn't know that he was doing all these things. The o¬nly thing that she knows is at the end of the stake-out, he's there. So yes, he's been following her, but I think she hadn't at that point in the episode had time to assimilate the fact that he'd been following her. I mean, you know, yes he shows up, and yes he's been tailing her, but she doesn't know to what extent and to what great lengths he's gone to to try to get information o¬n her, so she's kind of oblivious at this point.
And I think the fact that the way the episode ended with the big explosion, and "Oh, my God, he's been hurt," and "Oh, my God, now he's OK," and I can actually -- you know, the classified information is no longer classified to this man because he's seen it, then I can actually tell him what I do for a living. I think that she sort of doesn't even think about the fact that he followed her and maybe that's something that'll be addressed later. "Wait a second, buddy! You followed me to that stake-out!" (Laughter) But I think at the end of the episode she's just so relieved that he isn't dead. And again, she doesn't know to what extent he was tracing her.
GW: So it may be addressed in other episodes.
AT: It may be addressed later, yeah. And it does seem, I guess, that he's stalking her. I think, o¬n the o¬ne hand because he's so interested in her, and he knows there's something that she's hiding. And she said as much: "I am hiding something from you, I can't tell you." And that's gotta be really frustrating when you're getting to know somebody and you're really, you know, really have feelings for them, but, again, I don't think she knows to what extent he went.
GW: Right, it wasn't an evil intent, per se.
AT: No, it wasn't, it wasn't.
GW: I read o¬nline that there were several fans who refused to watch that show because Sam was involved with someone other than who they wanted her to be involved with. What are your thoughts o¬n that?
AT: It's interesting, because I actually got some letters to that end saying, basically, that my character's integrity is completely out the window, and, "What the hell was I thinking." I think it's actually going to create some interesting tensions this year. But ultimately it's addressing "Grace." She harbors great depth of feeling for Colonel O'Neill, but because nothing can ever happen ... He's the o¬ne who let her go. He says, "I'm a safe bet. You know you can't have me so you're just protecting your heart by, you know, hanging your hat o¬n someone you can't have. So, let me go," is essentially what's said at the end of Grace.
And I think that that whole episode is her sort of rethinking her life and rethinking her choices, and I don't think that she's lost integrity. I don't think that her feelings for O'Neill are any less. I think she's just placed them in a different box, if you will. It was weird, I have to say, for her to hand her heart over to somebody else. But it's baby steps for her, and this is all new for her. And I think it's ultimately O'Neill who says, "You have to move o¬n." And it's her father, too, who says, you know, "Don't give up your chance of love. You know, I would live my whole life over again even knowing that your mother's gonna die, I would do all that again." So it's her opening up her heart as opposed to actually -- it's been closed this whole time because she's, you know, been protecting it with thoughts of O'Neill, who she knows she can't have, so it opens her up.
GateWorld: Let's talk about Resurrection. What was it like to direct a Stargate episode?
Amanda Tapping: Oh, it's fantastic. It was such a phenomonal experience. The crew was behind me a hundred percent. The cast was behind me a hundred percent. The hardest part about directing is making sure that you're prepared. And because I didn't have a lot of prep time, because we were actually shooting our two-parter season finale while I was prepping, it was a lot of homework o¬n the weekends. But ultimately for me it was sitting down, coming up with an interesting shot list. Because it's a very talky show, and it's sort of three different episodes in o¬ne, and so for me it was a matter of trying to assimilate the storylines and trying to give the show movement. And so I chose to make it kind of stylized and was really hoping that that would work, that there would be a lot of movement, so ultimately it was a phenomonal experience. I would love to do it again.
GW: Is there anything you want the fans to be looking for in that episode?
AT: The opening crane shot is something I'm particularly proud of. It's a huge crane shot where I have the steady-cam operator up o¬n a crane, the crane comes down, the steady-cam operator actually steps off the crane and then pulls back again and steps back o¬n it, and then the crane goes in through a big doorway into another room -- and things like that, like I had some really big shots in the show. What fans should look for? Just a sense of movement. The sense that the cameras are always moving. And because we shot it -- none of it takes place in the S.G.C.
GW: None of it?
AT: All o¬n-location and it's a location we've never shot in before. So I was trying to find really interesting ways to shoot this really phenomenal location. But it was huge, you know. Where I set up the interrogation room was my choice, and everyone tried to talk me out of it, and I stuck to my guns and I'm really glad I did because it's a really interesting space. I don't know. Look for it with warmth in your heart, and know it's my first time, and knowing that I was trying to make it really stylized. And I think it worked.
GW: I think we all look forward to watching it and hope you get to do another directing job in Season Eight. Who was your favorite guest star this year?
AT: Oh, my gosh. You know, I looked at this question and I thought, "How the hell do I answer that?" (Laughter) We have had some -- I can't pick a favorite, I'm going to tell you that right off the bat. I can't. We've had some phenomenal guest stars. I mean, I had a great time with David DeLuise, for example, for me personally. Robert Picardo is in this season and he's -- what a treat he is to work with. I mean, I could go in almost every show where we've had a guest star. Brad Greenquist, who's in Resurrection, who I got to direct and work with ... amazing. I could go o¬n and o-n, almost every show.
We luck out o¬n this show in terms of guest stars. And I know I'm forgetting some, probably big names, but (laughter) we've been really, really lucky. Saul Rubinek brought something to Heroes that nobody expected and it was just amazing. And then, of course, we have a lot of local talent that are in smaller parts that, you know, tend to become recurring. Even our background performers are recurring. So it's always a treat to walk o¬n set and see familiar faces from the local acting pool.
GW: What's it been like working around Rick's reduced schedule?
AT: It's been a challenge, I'm not gonna lie. Ultimately it's meant that we've had to shoot a lot of episodes doubled-up. Grace was a prime example of shooting a lot of second-unit because Rick wasn't really in it that much, so the main unit would, you know, when he was there they were shooting shows with him. It happened with Chimera, it happened with Death Knell. It happened with a lot of shows where we were doing a ton of second-unit. Heroes it happened with. Heroes took us months to shoot. When he's there he's there and it's great, but it's -- I don't have to do the schedule, thank God. But I imagine it's a scheduling nightmare.
GW: How many days of the week is he there in any given week?
AT: Three, yeah. Three, three and a half, depending, and he usually gets o¬ne week off a month. What it's done though, I mean -- and I'm looking at your next question, which is: "Do you think the dynamics of the team have suffered?" I think that we knew going into Season Seven that it would be a great opportunity for myself and Christopher and Michael to flesh out our characters a bit more and to have a bit more forefront screen time. And that's what the writers have done for us this year.
I don't think the dynamics of the team have suffered. I don't think the chemistry of the team has suffered. But certainly there's shows where you're aware that Rick's not around as much -- scenes where there might have been the four of us discussing something, it's just the three of us. But for Michael and Christopher and I it's been wonderful because, you know, we've had a lot more work.
GW: During Chimera, when you and Rick are in the elevator, whose idea was it for you to hum the Stargate theme?
AT: OK, well, that was mine. Actually, because I was saying to the director and the producers o¬n set I was like, "Well, what do you want me to hum?" I mean, you know, and so I started jokingly humming the Stargate theme song, and they said "That's brilliant!" And so I said, "OK, well it's just a ditty that she's got in her head. I mean, it's not like she watches Stargate (Laughter) ... she's on it! But I was talking with Michael because I said, "Wouldn't it be funny if I sang the MacGyver theme song?" And so I went running up to Michael Shanks and I was like, "How does the MacGyver theme song go? How does the MacGyver theme song go?" And we couldn't -- like there was, you know, maybe two minutes to try to learn it. So I said, "Ah, forget it. I'll just do Stargate." It would've, I think, would've been really great if I hummed the MacGyver theme song, but I didn't know it, so ...
GW: For Season Eight, what are your hopes, what do you hope to see next year? Are there any predictions? Have you seen anything yet?
AT: Every year I say "I'd like," you know, "a lot of team-driven shows." It's going to be an interesting year this year. I would like to see -- in terms of wrapping up any lose ends -- I'd like to see what happened with the Asgard, where they're at in terms of their fight with the Replicators. I'd like to see what happens with the Ancients, and I'd like to see what really happened with Anubis. Asgard, Ancients and Anubis, there you have it! And, yeah, I don't know. There are a lot of loose ends that we need to tie up. I want to see what's happened with the Tok'ra, because that relationship has been pretty fractured. And that comes out in "Death Knell" -- that there is a lot of mistrust amongst the Tok'ra themselves. So what happens there. And we have such a huge tapestry, such a rich tapestry to draw o¬n with this show, and there's so many interconnecting lines that it would be hard to pick just o¬ne.
GW: Why doesn't Carter get to be in the series premiere of Atlantis?
AT: Why doesn't Carter?
AT: Carter and Teal'c are not going to be in the season premiere of Atlantis, and that I think has to do with legalities of the fact that our characters were created specifically for Stargate SG-1, and to carry us over into Atlantis would mean, I think, would mean bank-rolling o¬ne of the creators, you know, because our characters would help establish Atlantis. Rick and Michael, however -- their characters were already in the movie. So, from what I understand, Chris and I will be in Atlantis later o¬n, but we can't be in the show that actually launches it. Which is OK, because it gives us both a couple more weeks off.
GW: Go o¬n vacation, you know. (Laughter) In the entire history of the show, what moments would you say best fully captures, do you perceive, Sam to be?
AT: You know, I read that question and I thought, "How do I answer that?" There are obviously defining moments for each of our characters. You know, I think very early o¬n in the season in Singularity, with the elevator and the little girl -- is she gonna go to get Cassie, or she going to go back up in the elevator. That was a turning-point, I think, for the character. But I think that ultimately what it's been is seven years of development and seven years of growth and, I think probably you will see a lot of what our characters ultimately are in Heroes -- what makes who these people ultimately are, I think is going to happen in Heroes.
GW: Stargate as a show -- it's great for the entertainment of the day, and hopefully there'll be a booming series of ... series for years, but it's still just a television show. And years and years from now when the viewers have grown older, what is the o¬ne thing you would like to have us look back o¬n SG-1 and remember fondly of?
AT: That you enjoyed spending an hour of your day watching. That it was worthwhile. You know what I mean? I'm just -- I'm so proud of this show. I'm so proud of the Stargate family, and I would hope that years from now we can all look back o¬n it and go, "That was a great adventure. What a nice ride that was." And that the fans will look back and go, "Yeah, that was a fun show to watch."
GW: It certainly is. Where can your fans write to you?
AT: The best bet is probably at The Bridge Studios, where we shoot the show. And I don't have the address o¬n me -- 2400 Boundary Road, but I'm sure it's o¬n the Net somewhere. Sadly I don't know the postal code.
GW: Amanda, thanks so much for taking time to stop and chat, and we look forward to talking with you again.
AT: Oh, absolutely. Thank you!
(With gratitude to GateWorld.Net for their permission to reproduce the article at AmandaTapping.Com)
STRENGTH OF CHARACTER TV ZONE FEBRUARY 2004
t's all go for Stargate's Amanda Tapping and she takes Steven Eramo along for the ride...
When the cast and crew of Stargate SG-1 venture out on location, it's usually to a forest, gravel pit or sand dune. Every so often, they'll go to a town or other more public setting. On this August afternoon, shooting is being done on a residential street in North Vancouver for the scenes set at Jack O'Neill's house in Lost City. Amanda Tapping is among those involved in the day's shoot. When she hasn't been in the front of the cameras, the actress has been in prep to direct her first Stargate episode, Resurrection.
"I feel pretty good about the directing gig," smiles Tapping, taking a well-earned break in between scenes. "I've been doing plenty of homework, especially on the weekends. The only downfall, which probably won't be much of a downfall, is that I'm in Resurrection quite a bit and I'll have to direct myself. Unfortunately, Rick isn't in it. Michael Shanks wrote the script, which is neat, and we're shooting it all on-location, so it should be an interesting story.
"It's a big episode, too, with quite a bit going on. There are three different storylines running simultaneously. I spent all day yesterday coming up with my entire shot list for the scenes. Of course, I look at it today and said, 'Boy, that's a dumb way of doing that. What was I thinking of?' So I'm second-guessing myself now. Basically what I did was take the art department's drawing of the set, make Xerox copies, and then for each scene draw in where the actors should be, how I'd like the cameras placed, etc. I've been given an amazing opportunity and I'm loving every minute of it. The crew has been great and all my meetings have gone well. Everyone seems to think I'm really prepared, so we'll see."
Along with her directorial debut, Tapping's many admirers can look forward to seeing more of her work as Major Samantha Carter in the latter half of Stargate's seventh season. "In the episode Grace it's all Carter, all the time, stuck alone on the Prometheus," notes the actress. "After that we shot Chimera, which is a big departure for us. In it, my character gets a boyfriend named Pete [David DeLuise] and Osiris [Anna-Louise Plowman] pays a return visit to Daniel. The actual story is much more TV drama than Sci-Fi and viewers will either love it or hate it. I thought it was fun to shoot, though, and nice to show a different side of Sam.
It was July 1997 that Stargate fans watched as the-then Captain Carter and her SG-1 team-mates went on their first off-world mission. For Tapping, that time has passed quickly. "I can't believe it's been that long," she says. "I'll look back at Rick, Michael, Chris and myself in those early seasons and think, 'We were all so young? What happened?'" jokes the actress. "In other ways, though, I don't feel any older. I feel a bit wiser as well as stronger and yet more humble.. I'm in a very privileged position and I know it. I knew I was lucky when I got the job and to be still doing something seven years later that I love and with people I truly cherish is a joy."
AMANDA FOR ALL SEASONS DREAMWATCH FEBRUARY 2004
Love! Death! Three-inch heels! Stargate SG-1's leading lady AMANDA TAPPING otherwise known as Major Samantha Carter, discusses the highlights of the show's seventh season and tells Sharon Gosling why she's looking forward to an eighth year of adventures withSG-1...
After seven years of playing scientist/soldier Samantha Carter on the hit sci-fi show Stargate SG-1, you could be forgiven for thinking that Amanda Tapping might be ready to hang up her rifle and lab coat. But the actress couldn't be more excited about the prospect of rejoining fellow SG-1 stars Richard Dean Anderson (Colonel Jack O'Neill), Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson) and Christopher Judge (Teal'c) for an eighth season of intergalactic escapades.
"I'm really happy about it," says Tapping, who recently signed up for season eight along with the rest of Stargate SG-1's principal castmembers. "I just think we need to finish up. There are stories that have been left hanging that we need to conclude, so I think another season was necessary in order for us to do that. The way the last season ended was just so up in the air that we just have to go back!"
Although Stargate SG-1's eights - and, possibly, final - season isn't scheduled to begin shooting until mid-February, Tapping already has plenty of ideas about what the season needs to cover. "I think we really need to find out more about the Ancients," she notes, referring to the mysterious builders of the Stargate system. "I think they're going to be a pretty huge thing throughout the new season, although we don't know anything about that for sure - I don't even think the writers know yet!
"And what will happen now that other nations know about the SGC?" she asks, hinting at events in season seven's two-part finale, The Lost City. "It's become a global issue. I can't really tell you what happens at the end of season seven, but it's a pretty huge and ambiguous ending. It's opened up a can of worms and we have to go back and tie that up!"
Stargate SG-1's seventh season was a particularly challenging year for the show's makers, who were forced to deal with Richard Dean Anderson's decision to reduce his involvement in the series. Although some viewers have complained that the season has been O'Neill-light, Tapping is quick to dismiss such suggestions.
"You know, there's a lot of talk about Rick not being in it very much, but he really is," she insists. "He doesn't shoot a lot of days, but we work the schedule in such a way that he is very much present in the season. Richard Dean is still very present in the show. We ended up shooting three episodes at a time, so that he was in all of them.
"I don't think it has impacted negatively on the show at all. It's just a natural progression on the one hand, and it's also great to delve into everyone else's lives. What it has done for the rest of us is give us a lot more to do. It's given the other members of the cast the opportunity to shine. We get to see a lot more of Teal'c this season and we get to see more of Sam. We get to see a lot more of the personal aspects of their lives. So as an actor it's great to play - it's been a very interesting year for all of us.
"The second half of the season is really very strong," she promises. "There's a lot of great drama."
Another important aspect of the current season was the return of Michael Shanks as the much loved Dr Daniel Jackson. While Tapping is full of praise for temporary Stargate SG-1 star Corin Nemec (Jonas Quinn), she makes no secret of the fact that Shanks' return added an extra shine to the year.
"Corin did an admirable job coming in," notes Tapping. "It created a very different dynamic on the set and I think it was actually very good for all of us. But having Michael back seems to have brought us all full circle. It's just comfortable; it's the way we started out. We've got the team back together again. For all of us, it was great.
"I felt bad for Corin," she admits, "but it was good for the dynamic and what was happening on the show, and bringing Michael back was also very natural. From a personal perspective, it's been wonderful."
Whereas fellow castmembers Michael Shanks and Christopher Judge both used season seven as an opportunity to exercise their writing skills, Tapping felt that her own creativity wasn't best served in that direction. "When we started doing the show I was very interested in writing," she explains, "but now I'm leaving it to the experts! I found that when I tried to write a Stargate episode, I was almost too close to the characters. I had a hard time doing it, I could come up with really great stories, but I couldn't come up with the dialogue. So I think if I were to write anything, it would have to be something that wasn't Stargate."
Instead, season seven saw Tapping make her directorial debut with Resurrection. Written by Michael Shanks, Resurrection focuses on a covert project to create a Goa'uld/human hybrid and was actually the last episode of the season to be shot.
"It was highly stressful but really fun," says Tapping of her experience behind the camera. "It was difficult in that I was shooting beforehand. Normally a director gets days of prep before shooting an episode, but because I was acting in the previous episode I didn't have as much prep time.
"But I absolutely loved doing it. Michael Greenburg, our on set executive producer, was there every step of the way for me. If I wanted to talk through any of my ideas for a shot, I knew he was there. He was phenomenal. Michael Shanks and Christopher Judge were so supportive, as were the guest stars and the crew. Everyone was great. And being so comfortable with the crew and knowing how talented our camera department is, I was able to come up with some really crazy shots and I knew that they would be able to pull them off."
Tapping labels her directing stint as one of her highlights of season seven. She also particularly enjoyed working on the episodeChimera, in which the perpetually single Major Carter gets a love interest.
"The episode is mostly about Daniel and Osiris, and then you have this storyline where Carter gets a boyfriend,"elaborates Tapping. "It's very funny because when we finished that episode I turned to Michael and said, 'This is so not a Stargate episode!' In Chimera I'm in a very sexy dress with three-inch heels!"
Yet while Tapping enjoyed playing romantic scenes on Stargate, she doesn't want that to become the norm for her character. "I had a chance to show that other side of her - the sexy, flirtatious and fun Carter - but I don't want her to be the 'girly girl' all the time."
Another of Tapping's highlights of the season was the episode Grace. "Grace is very Carter-centric," she notes. "Carter suffers a head injury and she's stuck alone on a ship and she starts to hallucinate. Through her hallucinations, different members of the team come to visit Carter. That forces her to confront her demons - she asks some pretty tough questions of herself, like 'What am I doing with my life?' So that's a good one!"
Having invested more than seven years of her life into portraying Major Samantha Carter, it's hardly surprising that Tapping relishes the idea of playing new characters in different projects one day. "You know, I'd love to do a classical play, or a period piece on film - something really different," muses Tapping thoughtfully. "I would like to do something just a little bit more feminine, something with a bit more sex appeal. Typically, though, I can see myself playing the role of a lawyer or something. My career has always been directed towards really very strong and smart women. I've been lucky - I don't play bimbo well!"
Despite her understandable enthusiasm to take on new acting challenges, Tapping reports that she wasn't ever really tempted not to sign up for an eighth season of Stargate. "There was a part of me creatively that said, 'OK, how much further can I take this character? How much further can we go?" she admits. "But we were all of the mind that we wanted to finish what we had started, and that leaving - especially with the way season seven ended - wouldn't have been right. It wouldn't have done the characters justice. It didn't feel right to walk away from it.
"Michael, Christopher and I all did want to come back. If we hadn't come back, I would be down in LA right now trying to find a job!"
Now that we know for sure that Carter will be back next season, what does Amanda Tapping want for her character in Stargate SG-1's eighth year?
"It's funny, I talked to [head writer / executive producer] Rob Cooper the other day and he said, 'If you can think of something you would like to have happen with Carter next year, let us know.' And I was like, 'Oh, wow, that's hard to think about!' I don't know really , as long as I'm still being challenged. I'd like them to bring back her boyfriend! I think we've opened up an entrance into her personal life and I'd like to see that explored more.
"Teal'c and Carter have had some great moments over the years and I hope that continues to grow. And I'd like to see the dynamic between the team keep growing.
"I love the character, and I think she's come a long way," she declares. "It's so refereshing to play someone that strong, and she doesn't make any apologies for it. She's strong without being bitchy. It's going to be hard to hang up those boots!"
WHO’S THE BOSS SCI FI MAGAZINE AUGUST 2004
"SEASON EIGHT OF STARGATE SG-1. WHO KNEW?" says Amanda Tapping.
Who knew indeed? As at the end of season five, season six and season seven, the announcement that a further year would be forthcoming was made well after the show had actually wrapped and the cast were thinking of moving on to new pastures.
But amid much excitement, a flurry of frantic activity and a shooting schedule that would a movie director weep, Stargate SG-1 is back for an eighth season. There'll be new baddies, new weapons and a new way of shooting the show - it's gone digital. Executive producer Robert C. Cooper at the helm, the writers have been joined by a couple of new proteges, and the team are determined to make this the best season ever. Cooper states, "We're all very excited about this year. We're basing a lot more stories around the SGC[Stargate Command Center] partly because of the economics and also because SG-1 has become less of an exploratory unit and more of a defense. We're looking forward to the challenge of keeping our stories exciting and appealing and as interesting as they always have been from this new perspective."
The executive producer also reveals that there are some huge changes ahead for the SG-1 team members. "The big thing is that people have been promoted, so that's provided a basis for a different kind of dynamic. Gen. Hammond (Don S. David) has been put in charge of all things pertaining to Stargates. We don't lose his presence entirely because the new 'boss' at the SGC is sure to be on the phone once, if not several, times a day."
After seven years of putting his life on the line, Col. O'Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) gets a bump up the military ladder. Anderson is delighted with the turn of events. "See my stars twinkling all in a row on my uniform?" He points to the decoration on his flight suit. "I'm the man now. Brigadier general." Giving his trademark wry smile, the actor reveals, "The credibility of the cicrumstances is a little iffy, but apparently the Air Force is OK with the way the changes have been made. Robert Cooper and Brad Wright and I have spoken about the parameters of behavior that might be expected from me, and the whole concept is a lot of fun. There are the obvious notions of O'Neill being life a fish out of water to begin with. His desk is a mess, with all sorts of top-secret things lying all over the place. At times, he's just kind of bored just sitting behind the desk, but that was attractive to me."
"Being the man in charge is not going to make much difference," he suggests. Having spent most of his military career metaphorically fighting those in authority, Anderson can confidently predict that Gen. O'Neill's attitude is unlikely to change. "I got away with virtual murder playing a colonel, and was irreverent at that rank, so essentially I'm a higher-ranking officer with my same sensibilities and relative insanity. I think the personnel who know O'Neill won't expect anything else, and I'm sure those who don't know him will learn to live with it. Do I think that Carter [Amanda Tapping], Teal'c [Christopher Judge] and Daniel [Michael Shanks] will treat O'Neill differently? Maybe a little teasing, but - on the whole - no. Sure, there are big changes ahead in all of their lives, but the camaraderie and the friendship and that closeness is still there. The first thing I do is to promote one of my own. Sam Carter is promoted to colonel, and a damn one she'll make."
Amanda Tapping couldn't agree more. "You'd think I'd deserve it after putting up with crazy Goa'uld and even more crazy humans all this time. I'm very happy that Carter gets to have a slightly more responsible job to do this year, and I'm really looking forward to it."Tapping doesn't think the promotion will alter the way Carter does her job too much at all."Carter has never had a problem with competent authority, so her take is that nothing is going to change that much. I don't foresee any major (pardon the pun) changes in terms of how she handles herself. I think that maybe that will come up when Carter has to lead a mission. But I want her to lead the mission well. I don't want her to be a bitch about it, and I don't want her to be uber-superwoman. I like her. I like that she's fallible, and I like that we're exploring the weak spots in our characters. I think that's what makes her interesting, and I'm not ashamed of her weaknesses, because I think it only shows her strengths sometimes."
The poor woman is going to need all her strength to deal with the disclosure that - shock,horror! - Carter is going to upset most of the male population by carrying on with the very sexy policeman Pete in season eight. Looking very serious, Tapping reveals, "I've actually upset most of the female population by having my character have an affair with this very delectable young man, because I've betrayed my one true love, and lost complete integrity of the character as a human being. At least according to the letters I've been getting."
"There's a very interesting, very big section of fandom called 'Shippers, and they find the whole relationship with Pete quite distasteful. And yet I say to the 'Shippers, Carter has had no relationship experience in the truest sense for over seven years. I mean, the last relationship she really had was with her ex-fiance, who turned out to be a megalomaniacal freak."
Raising a finger and her voice, she says, "You might recall the episode in season one when she went back and he had taken over a planet, as one's ex-boyfriend does. I don't think that outcome did much for her confidence, and I think the relationship with Pete does." Speeding up her speech and saying the whole sentence in one very quick breat, she shouts, "I think it's rounding her out as a person, and I think that any experience she gets in the love department, in terms of how to foster and keep a relationship, and how to open herself up and open her heart up, will only serve her for the future when she does eventually get together with O'Neill."
Noting the shocked silence from her interviewer, who fears that Tapping has just let loose with a spoiler, she quickly adds, "No. I don't really mean that. I mean, for sure, Carter loves O'Neill. She adores him, and she's allowed herself the knowledge that she cannot keep pining for this man that she can never have. Plus, as a professional and as a woman, it's bordering pathetic if she hangs on. It doesn't mean that she has any less feelings for O'Neill or that she's not attracted to him. She still has deep feelings of love for him, as is evidenced even after she meets Pete. She still shows it to O'Neill, and that's never going to go away, but I think what she's learned to do is to be a pragmatist about it and say, 'OK! I can't have this guy, and he's pretty fantastic, but this guy over here is not so bad either.'
"I think it's really smart that she thinks like that. I know some fans aren't pleased. I know that they call him Stalker Pete because he did a background check on Carter, and again I say, she didn't know. She is not aware of what he did. She knows he followed her to the stakeout, but that's his cop instinct. It's just human nature to be inquisitive, and if you add to the fact that the person is a cop, and knows that the person you love is going to be in danger, his actions are completely excusable. I would do the same thing, so I don't think any less of him for that... Plus, he's cute and he's charming and is a great kisser."
She may be getting hot and heavy with the man, but we won't be seeing Carter naked with Pete in the near future. However, certain parts of her anatomy will appear sans clothes fairly early in the season. "There's a whole nekkid thing going on, 'cause I have to crawl out of this tube with no clothes." She smirks. "You don't see everything. You don't see my bum or my boobilage. No front bits. No back bits. But you do get to see middle bits." It's not a fit of modesty that dictates this course of action. It's simply that the actor thinks "it's a lot more sexy and tantalizing if you don't see the whole naked form, and it's a very subtle way of confirming women's power."
The fact that there so many positive changes happening this year has put an added spark into proceedings for all concerned.
"I'm glad we're doing another year," says Tapping. "I thought that at the end of seven, I'd be happy that we'd had a great seven-year run and we'd be calling it a day. But when we'd actually negotiated our contracts, I went to bed the night that it was finally finalized, and I woke up in the middle of the night and felt relief, and the first day back was like the first day of school, meeting all your old friends again and getting the lowdown. It was great, because most of the Stargate family is back, so it's all good. It is going to be a different year, and I hope the fans like the direction the show will be taking. It's a natural progression, and I think it will be well received."
Richard Dean Anderson is equally happy to be back, as evidenced by the way he's been kidding around, making the cast and crew laugh, teasing the life out of journalists and Brigitte, the new publicist. It all makes for a pleasantly relaxed start to what is going to be an extremely busy season. Finished joking for the moment, Anderson settles down next to us and explains why he's decided to continue for another year, "I'm here in great part because of several conversations with [executive producer] Brad Wright. We felt that while 'Lost City' was a tremendous season finale, there wasn't a real transitionout of season seven and into the next one. We also had to take into consideration that fact that the idea Brad Wright had worked on for a feature had now become the script for Stargate Atlantis, and we wanted to make sure there was some natural continuity there.
"Saying that, I also have to mention that there's nothing altruistic about my decision to sign on for a further year. I just like to work, and I think that my presence to some degree is helping the transition both in taking Stargate further and bringing Atlantis forward. We always knew that Stargate had all the right elements upon which to base a franchise, and now seemed the right time to branch out."
Anderson had no reservations that the dynamic between the members of SG-1 will remain intact. "I'm taking a lighter role this year in order to free some time to devote to other facets of my life, but no matter what happens with regard to our physical locations or what happens in the stories this year, SG-1 will remain a team. We always have been and always will be."
TEAM SPIRIT STARGATE SG1 ATLANTIS
OFFICIAL MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2004
OFFICIAL MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2004
For the first time ever, SG-1 are gating to new worlds without Jack O?Neill. So how are the remaining three team members coping with the situation?
It's all happening for Lt. Colonel Carter this year and so far we haven't seen the half of it! The actress walks us through what's up next for her character.
Season eight of Stargate SG-1 has presented the biggest acting challenge of the show so far for Amanda Tapping. Besides the fact that Carter has become a Colonel and has taken responsibility of leading SG-1 through the gate, the soldier also has to deal with a Replicated version of herself, first seen in the season opener, New Order.
"It's actually for me probably the hardest episode I've ever shot in eight years, doing this two-character arc," admits Tapping, talking during the shooting of Gemini, the first episode in which the SGC discovers the existence of the mechanical Sam. "Playing the two of them, trying to find enough differences so that you could see the difference but [also] making them alike enough that you could believe Fifth created her from the same consciousness as Carter, was a challenge. I was flipping back and forth - on any given day [I would have to] jump in and out of Replicator Carter four or five times, and Carter four or five times."
For the actress, it was important to maximize the differences between the Replicated Sam and the character she has been busy building for eight years. "There are subtle nuances [between them] and that was important to me, because though she has Sam's memories and supposedly Sam's consciousness, she doesn't have Sam's heart. And she comes to Earth with an agenda.
Since Tapping is playing both the part of Sam's double and the real Carter, visual effects were called in to realize the shots. "They're in a ton of scenes together. So we'd shoot one side of the scene and then the other side," she explains. "We've done a lot of very cool effects with a motion control camera. I'd start out as Carter and then we'd bleed over the scene with a motion control as Replicator Carter. You see the two of them interacting quite physically. It looks phenomenal."
Playing the Replicator Sam also meant Tapping got to do things Colonel Carter doesn't. "I beat up a lot of men, which is always fun," she says, laughing. "I've done a lot of my own stunts on this one so I'm throwing all our beautiful stunt boys around the studio, which is fantastic fun. They love it!"
And this isn't the last time her stoic character will have to face her double, though for the actress her return visit in The Reckoningwon't be quite as strenuous. "Actually, when she comes back I don't think the two of them are in any scenes together, so that's good! And the differences between them will be even more pronounced because Replicator Carter has gone off and followed her own path."
Season eight of Stargate SG-1 has already offered up a variety of challenges for the newly appointed Lt. Colonel Sam Carter. Besides surviving abduction and torture by the Replicator, Fifth, she's also had to adjust to her role as the leader of the three-person SG-1. "I think it's important to note that although she's ostensibly 'in charge' of SG-1, she really isn't the boss," Tapping points out."She can't boss Daniel or Teal'c around, because they have their specialties and they're not military. Out of respect they will follow the mission plan. She's not the boss of the boys, and I never wanted to play her that way. I just wanted her to rise to the challenge."
Standing where she is now, at the mid-point of Stargate SG-1's eighth season, Tapping reports that she's as happy with her character as she has ever been. Over the course of the show's phenomenal run, she's seen Sam Carter's career progress through the ranks of Captain to Colonel, and over the last couple of seasons the actress has also enjoyed exploring Carter's personal life, which has this season culminated in an engagement to Pete Shanahan [David Deluise]. "I'm really happy with how they've written her over the course of this whole run of the show," says Tapping. "I think it's been a great season.
"There have been some good stories that have highlighted us individually and some great team shows," Tapping continues. "I still think there's things we need to clear up, and we're starting to do that. Which is making us all nervous because we're like 'Oh well, if we're clearing up that issue does that really mean it's the end?' but of course it never does - we thought we'd cleared things up in season seven!"
Tne matter that has so far been left lying at a loose end is the arc of the Tok'ra and Jacob Carter. Tapping is delighted to report that season eight means she gets to work with Carmen Argenziano. "Carmen doesn't come back until The Reckoning - we haven't started shooting that yet," she explains, clearly looking forward to working with the respected actor again. "It is a treat to have that man on the set." He and I have a very father-daughter relationship in real life, as well as being friends. "He's always giving me advice, which is so wonderful. I love him, I miss him, I wish he were on our show all the time."
Tapping is also happy that she will get to portray Carter's convoluted relationship with her father on screen once again. "I think the fact that they have the relationship that they have now is due in large part to the fact that he was given a second lease on life by the Tok'ra," she says, "and so even though they are separated there is an established closeness between them that they wouldn't have had if he had succumbed to the cancer. So I think she's just grateful for every extra day, even if they are apart. They've had this shared experience that nothing could ever replace."
Something that Tapping can't revisit this season is her role as director. Though the actress stepped behind the camera for the seventh season episode Resurrection, the new structure of SG-1 means that this year a return was impossible. "Sadly no, I will not be directing this year," she confirms.
"It's a scheduling nightmare. We're all so heavily in the episodes and it would be nearly impossible for the producers to pull me out of an episode long enough to prep, or to pull me out of two episodes, which is the ideal situation. I bugged Rob [Cooper, executive producer] for a very long time and he kept a great sense of humour about it up until a point where he said, "You what honey? I don't think we can do this." And he made absolute sense. As disappointed as I was, if I'm going to direct I don't want to do it just for the sake of saying that I can direct. I want to do a great job and I want to bring a strong vision, and if I'm going to be as busy in front of the camera as I am [behind it], then no. It makes sense.
AMANDA VISITS EARTHSEA STARGATE SG1
OFFICIAL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2004
OFFICIAL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2004
Fans of Stargate SG-1 have known for years that actress Amanda Tapping is something of a sci-fi goddess, so it should come as no surprise that the star plays just that role in the upcoming US Sci-Fi Channel mini-series Earthsea.Based on the popular series of books by legendary science fiction novelist Ursula LeGuin, Tapping will feature in a small role as a goddess in the fantasy epic.
"It was a very tiny cameo, almost negligible!" Tapping says modestly. "It was fun, on greenscreen with a beautiful wardrobe."
As willing as she was to offer herself for the cameo, Tapping reports that it wasn't easy fitting the production, which was also filmed in Vancouver, into her busy schedule on Stargate SG-1. "It was one of those, 'Hey, what about Amanda Tapping? That'd be great!' ideas" she laughs, "and then just trying to work out the dates."
Earthsea also stars The X-Men's Shawn Ashmore, Smallville's Kristen Kreuk,The Roya/Tennenbaum's Danny Glover and Merlin's Isabella Rossellini in a story about a young man (Ashmore) who discovers that he possesses magical powers, only to unwittingly unleash a dark power that threatens the world