2005 Articles and Interviews

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Actress celebrates news of pregnancy

Amanda Tapping has revealed that she and her husband Alan Kovacs are expecting their first child. In a personal announcement on her official website, Tapping explained that the baby is due in March, also adding that she would therefore be pulling out of her convention engagements until then to guard against further stress.**

Speaking exclusively to Stargate SG-1 The Official Magazine, Tapping revealed how excited she was about the prospect of being a mother and her determination to slow down her hectic work pattern during the final months of her pregnancy.

"That's my hiatus," she laughed, "Just enjoying being pregnant, relaxing, working out, swimming and doing all the good things."

With the future of Stargate SG-1 hanging in the balance as this edition went to press, Tapping also commented on the fact that the arrival of her new baby would coincide with the start of filming on the show's ninth season.

"My focus is shifting, obviously, and I'm due when we would start filming. I want to come back," she reassured fans. "If this show goes on, I want to be a part of it. But I don't know how it's going to work. It's going to be very interesting because [Stargate SG-1] is such a huge time commitment and I couldn't do it with a newborn. But I would like to be involved in some capacity.
Over the years that Stargate SG-1 has been on the air, Tapping's male co-stars - Richard Dean Anderson, Christopher Judge and most recently Michael Shanks, have all become parents. Coping with a leading actress's pregnancy, however, is necessarily different, and the actress is unsure how Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper will deal with her own motherhood.

"The guys had babies, and they come into work two days later and it's,'Hey, congratulations' - it's all good. Their bodies haven't gone through this massive change and they don't look any different," Tapping said, laughing again. "It's going to be interesting to see how the Stargate SG-1 producers, having been through so many pregnancies on this show with the guys' partners, are going to deal with mine. It's going to be a whole different can of worms! They've been very supporting so far. They've been great."

** Message from Amanda on website 13/10/04

Hello Everyone !!!! I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve sent you all a message. It’s been a fantastic and very busy season for me. I’ve just wrapped Season 8 of Stargate SG-1. It was very strange this year as we don’t know whether or not we’re coming back for another season. So we were all in denial about saying goodbye. I am also the host of a new show for Sci Fi called Proof Positive: Evidence of the Paranormal. It explores real paranormal phenomenon and puts the evidence to forensic testing. Very interesting. Also, Proof Positive is a very different kind of show for me to do.

I’ve never done the T.V. hosting thing before. It was a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it. The really big news for me is something I have wanted for a long time. Alan and I are expecting a baby!! We are so excited! I am due on March 15th!! That’s the really great news. The sad news is that I will have to cancel my convention dates for this fall and winter. Since I will be so close to my due date, I will not be allowed to travel during February, so regrettably can’t do the GABIT event. The girls at GABIT have been extremely understanding and supportive but I am, of course, feeling terrible about having to postpone the event. I also have to cancel Level 3, France, and Germany in November and December. My doctor does not want me to be so far away and for that long. I have to say that I agree.

I have been going full tilt this year and really feel that I need to look after myself and the baby. The truth is, I have had two miscarriages in the past 14 months and simply can’t take any chances with this pregnancy. I was very much looking forward to all these events and to seeing everyone. I always enjoy seeing my old friends and meeting new ones. And I sincerely apologize for disappointing anyone or messing up your travel plans. I know how much planning goes into to deciding to come to an event, purchasing tickets and taking the time off. But, I am sure you will all understand why I can’t attend. I hope you know how much I appreciate the fan support and the love I have received over the years .

I look forward to coming overseas and seeing you as soon as I can. All my love and best wishes to each of you.

Amanda xx


After eight years of adventures, and at least three years when everyone, from cast and crew on down, thought the show was over,Stargate SG-1 is still going strong. A solid, even growing, fan base has driven the show to its highest ratings ever on the Sci-Fi Channel, have been supporting regular DVD releases, conventions and now even a dedicated magazine.

Now the show has pulled off a final trick and won a ninth season, putting it on a par with The X-Files for longevity, a rare feat in the world of SF TV. As the renewal decision on both Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis loomed, Dreamwatch talked to Amanda Tapping (Stargate's Sam Carter) about her life on and off screen, asking just how would she cope with a ninth season of Stargateadventures with a new baby in her life...?

Dreamwatch: How would you rate the first half of season eight in the overall run of Stargate SG-1?

I think it's been a great season so far. I honestly did have some concerns at the beginning about how it was going to work with Rick's limited schedule and how we were going to work around that. But it's actually a great season. It's all worked out really well. I thought that getting the promotion [Samantha Carter is now a Lieutenant Colonel] in the opening New Order two-parter was pretty huge. Affinity was a pretty important episode. Pete proposed to Sam and that was interesting because you had Peter DeLuise directing [his brother] David. But when I read it I actually went,'Nooooo!' The great thing about Rob is sometimes I just need to call him and bounce stuff off him and he'll talk me down, off the ledge. He made a very compelling argument as to why she would say yes. The only issue I had withAffinity was that I didn't tihnk she'd kiss him in the work environment. I fought that tooth and nail, but then, of course, ultimately, I'm an actor on a show and it's my job to do what's written in the script. I didn't think she'd say yes to his proposal and then kiss him in that environment. I thought it was so unprofessional of her. After everything this woman has been through and everything she has done it was so inappropriate and so not something that she would feel comfortable doing. Her work is her work, and that's what's always driven this woman. For her to suddenly say yes to a proposal of marriage from her boyfriend at the end of this stakeout situation, with Special Forces guys and the victims still there, I just didn't think that she would say yes and I didn't think that she'd neck with him. In the end I sort of went, 'OK, well, I guess I've just got to do what I'm told.' That's not to say I was miserable or anything like that. I got to kiss David DeLuise, so I can't complain too much.

After that, I loved doing Covenant because Charles Shaughnessy was so great. I had so much fun with him. That was really a different show for us. It was conspiracy theory-driven. We've dealt with cover-ups and these kinds of issues before, but that was the first time it really came to a head, to a point where a civilian said, 'I have enough information to sink you guys.' I thought Charles did a wonderful job of it, plus he's just a really fun guy to hand with.

How would you say the promotion has changed Carter, her responsibilities and her relationships with O'Neill, Teal'c and Daniel?

I don't think it's changed her relationships with the other guys at all. I think what it's done is given her a new level of responsibility. She's already got such trust in Daniel and Teal'c that the real responsibility comes in the mission planning and in coordinating other teams, but not at all in how she has to deal with Teal'c and Daniel. They're such a cohesive team. They know each other so well and they know each other's strengths and weaknesses so well that she's not about to turn around and give either one of them an order that's inappropriate. I think there's a symbiotic relationship between the three of them, and they cab sort of feed off each other's energy and experience. What it does most is change how she interacts with other teams. She's in a leadership role now. So when SG-2 or SG-12 comes with us, she's got to take charge of those guys. What I'd love to have seen and what I'd like to see when we come back for a ninth season is how she plans missions and how she delegates that kind of responsibility.

Episode 10, Endgame, is the show that closed out the first half of season eight. In what ways did that set up the second half of the season?

The Stargate was stolen and the Trust was planning to wipe out the Jaffa. So that sets up some really cool things that are going to happen with the Jaffa nation. I think the writers thought this was going to be the last season and it very well could be, so there is going to be a lot of tying up of loose ends. What is going to happen with the Trust? What do we do with Kinsey (Ronny Cox)? What's happening with the Jaffa? What's happening with the Tok'Ra? What's going on with Carter and O'Neill? So there's a whole lot of set-up that we're now going to follow through on.

Give us a preview of what's on the way episode-wise in the next couple of months.

Gemini stands out because I got to play two versions of Carter. I played the Replicator version of Carter and the real Carter. We have a lot of scenes together. It was probably the hardest episode of Stargate I've ever done, both from a technical standpoint and from an acting standpoint. These are two very different characters and I was doing scenes with them together. So we were doing one side of the scene, then the other side of the scene. Just the memorizing alone was huge, a huge amount of homework. Then I had to do it on the set. I had to make sure I got all the nuances of the characters so that you could see the subtle and not so subtle differences between them. It was a challenge to keep them both real.

Reckoning I and II are big shows. We've done a lot of very big shows this season. Then there's Threads, an interesting episode because, as the title suggests, it ties up a lot of the loose threads. I can't give anything away, but we do get deeper into the Carter-O'Neill situation. It's a big decision for Carter. She has to figure out what she really wants in life, whether she's moving too quickly with certain things or whether she's wasted time. It's a big decision time for Carter. Her dad (Carmen Argenziano as Jacob Carter) is back in the episode and a lot of things happen there. It's a very emotional episode for her. Everyone is assuming that her dad dies in the episode and they can assume whatever they want! They'll have to watch the episode!

Our last two episodes, Moebius I and II, are going to be quite funny. You see a bunch of different versions of us. There are alternate reality versions of Daniel and Carter. I had so much fun playing that.

Aside from that technical challenge you spoke of regarding Replicator Sam, how much fun is it to play a variation on a character you've portrayed for so many years?

She is one tough cookie [the Replicator duplicate Carter]. She's a wily, wily girl. She duped us all. What I've liked about playing her is she's a sexier version of Carter. She's tougher. She had this little outfit on. She was a tough nut, a lot of fun to play. This year, really, I've played three different versions of Carter: Sam, the Sam we all know and love; Replicator Sam, this cold, harsh character; and later this season you'll see me playing an alternate reality Carter who never went into the military and she's a bit of a science geek and kind of dorky. It was quite fun, a very comedic character.

The conversation for the past several years has been about whether or not Rick would return for the next season of Stargate. Now, since your announcement that you're pregnant and due in March 2005 - and congratulations, by the way - the question becomes, "Now there's a ninth season, will you be back full time, part-time or not at all?"

Oh, I will be back in some capacity, most definitely. I've never been a mom before, so I'm really unsure as to how I'll feel when the time comes. What I've told the producers is that I definitely want to come back, but I don't think I can work five days a week, 14 or 15 hours a day with a newborn. I'd be bringing the baby to work with me. We worked with Rick on a really, really limited schedule and we were able to work around it. My schedule would certainly not be as limited as Rick's was.

You're due in March. If production on the show starts in March, as it did for this season, you'd have to miss a few episodes, right?

We started March 8 this year. So, potentially, I might miss only the first four episodes. It depends when they'd choose to start this season.

How excited are you about becoming a mother?

I am very excited. There are moments where I go, "Oh my God, what was I thinking?" But this is something I've wanted for a long time. I'm having really cool dreams about it, too. For the longest time I wasn't sure that I wanted to be a mother. My career was very important. I'm very much Sam Carter in that way. Then I stepped back and thought, "In the long run, when I look back on my life, what am I going to be most proud of? What am I going to want to feel like I've accomplished?" I have such an amazing relationship with both of my parents, and especially my mom, and I thought, "God, I would love to have that with a child." But the timing wasn't right. I kept putting it off. "Oh, we're going back for another season." At the end of last season I was pregnant and I lost the baby. I'd thought that season seven would be our last season. Nobody knew I was pregnant at that point. I was about 10 weeks pregnant when we wrapped season seven, and then I lost the baby. Then we came back for season eight, so I thought, "Well, everything happens for a reason." That's how I got through that, because the show came back. This year it was like, "Season eight is it. There's no way we're going nine. That's ridiculous. It's unheard of. It never happens."

In addition to acting on Stargate you're hosting the Sci-Fi Channel program Proof Positive. How likely is a second season of that?

I don't know. My whole career is in limbo right now. I didn't know ifStargate was coming back. I don't know what's happening yet withProof Positive. If they ask me to do it, absolutely, - I would do it. It's done by the production company that did Unsolved Mysteries. They're a nice group of people. I'm blessed in that sense. The people who makeProof Positive are really great and my Stargate family is just that, a family. The writers, producers, crew and cast are like my family, and I found that same thing on Proof Positive. It's a very cool show. What I love about it is all the stories are up for debate.

How did your appearance in the Earthsea mini-series come about?

That was just a matter of, "Hey, what about Amanda Tapping for Lady Elfarran?" I said, "Oh, OK, let's see if we can work out the dates." So it worked out. That was green screen, just a couple of days. I got to wear beautiful, beautiful costumes and I floated in front of a a green screen. We did something interesting that I'd never done before. To film me they used this imaging process where they went around me with this double camera. They went all the way around my body, from top to bottom, shooting from all these different angles so that when they do the special effects onto the greeen screen the camera can actually come from behind me and around to the front in order to create a really cool shot.

What was your instinct? Was Stargate building toward a season finale or a series finale?

I think that we've all learned that our instincts are crap. We've all said in the past, "That's it, we're done," and we keep coming back. This year we said the same thing: "That's it. We're done." We might really have been done this time. I think we were all in denial. I remember talking to Michael Shanks on our last day together on set. I was a bit teary-eyed and he said, "Oh, don't get me started. Don't get me started." I said, "Well, I'm just in denial. I'm not even going to say goodbye to the crew because I'm in denial about this actually being the end." It's a weird thing. We had no idea if we were coming back.

If Stargate doesn't come back after the ninth season, do you think that would really be the end of the line for the show, or for Carter?

I hope that Stargate continues in some form. Whether we come back in the form of two-hour movies of the week or a mini-series or a feature film or another 20 episodes or who knows what, I think it would be great to stick around beyond season nine. I would hate for it to be the very end!

Life takes some serious turns this season for Sam Carter. Amanda Tapping talks about that and more, including an upcoming special event in her own life.

If there's one thing that Stargate SG-1's Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter can say about her job it's that it's never boring. Being shot at, possessed, replicated, kidnapped and having her mind probed are just a few of the dangers that go along with protecting Earth and, on occasion, the galaxy from alien incursions. Needless to say, the colonel isn't quite the same person who first stepped through the Stargate eight years ago, and neither is the actress who plays her, Amanda Tapping.

"We've all grown up with this series," muses Tapping. "Everyone in the cast has experienced major life changes and that, in turn, has changed our characters. Sam Carter has come into her own. She's a better woman and person as well as more comfortable with herself than she ever was, and so am I, Amanda. I'm far stronger than I used to be, and I think I owe a lot of that to playing this character and working in such a supportive environment.

"I just realized that if we do another year of Stargate, I'll have worked on this show for almost a decade. That's a big chunk of a person's life, and a major growth spurt. I'll look at Sam in those early episodes and think, 'God, she was so naive and young. Look at that youthful face and those rosy cheeks,'" chuckles the actress.

While trying to save the life of General O'Neill at the start of Stargate's eighth season, the newly-promoted Colonel Carter is kidnapped by one of the Human-looking Replicators, Fifth (Patrick Currie). She eventually persuades Fifth to release her, but before doing so, and unbeknownst to her, he creates a Replicator Carter. The real Carter comes face to face with her mechanical counterpart in the episode Gemini, which required Tapping to play both versions of her character.

"One of the biggest challenges was trying to create subtle differences between the two Carters," explains the actress. "They have the same consciousness, memories and emotional base but, in my opinion, a different heart, which is how I chose to play it. Repli-Carter was created by Fifth and spent most of her time with him, so she's a bit harder and quite duplicitous. I actually think my face looked slightly different as Repli-Carter because of the set of my jaw and other little things that I intentionally did.

"Another challenge was doing long wordy scenes 'opposite myself,' and I'm so hard to work with. I mean, what a pain in the ass," laughs Tapping."I had fun but it was a tough shoot. Gemini is probably the hardest episode I've done in these eight years. It was physically and emotionally demanding and required a great deal of homework. That said, I think the pay-off was worth it. It turned out to be a neat episode."

During part of her imprisonment with by Fifth, Carter was tricked into thinking that she was living an idyllic life with her new boyfriend, Pete Shanahan (David DeLuise). The couple's relationship is touched upon in much more real sense later on this season in Affinity andThreads. "I like this fact that Sam has an adult, fully functioning relationship with a man who's not someone she works with," says Tapping. "As a whole it helps round out her character and makes her better at what she does because her focus is more diffused. Sam's thought pattern isn't so linear. She's become more open-minded and that can only benefit her.

"All those are aspects of the Sam/Pete relationship that I like. I'm not sure, though, if they're meant for each other. Yes, Pete is a wonderful man for her to grow with but as far as being Mr Right, I don't know. I don't want to keep hanging a lantern on, 'Oh, what about O'Neill,' but that's still there. If Sam's to be completely honest with this man who she's falling in love with, she needs to be just as up front with herself. Everything ends up coming to a head and Sam must make a big decision. However, is she ready to make that decision? It gets kind of intense, so be sure to stay tuned to see what happens."

Tapping promises additional twists and turns with Carter's story as Stargate's eighth season continues to unfold. "There are some big goings-on in the two-part episode Reckoning as well as Threads, all three of which blend into each other in many ways," notes the actress. "I had the opportunity to work again with Carmen Argenziano, who plays Sam's father, Jacob Carter. Honestly, I can't say enough good things about Carmen. He's such a nice man. The two of us did some very challenging and moving scenes together involving his character.

"Lots of things happen in our season finale, Moebius, in which I play an alternate version of Sam from a different timeline. It's a terrific concept and well-written but at times was a little confusing to shoot. All I know is that when I wore the other Sam's costume I had to be slightly dorkier," chuckles the actress.

In between her work this past year on Stargate, Tapping served as host for 10 episodes of the new Sci-Fi Channel series Proof Positive. Prior to that, she shot a cameo as Lady Elfarren in Sci-Fi's recently aired mini-series Legend of Earthsea. "I wore the most phenomenal costume and did all my work against a green screen," she says. "My participation in it was tiny but I was still proud to be a part of it because it was a really amazing project."

Although the actress is looking forward to a ninth season of Stargate, her initial work on the show is likely to be less than in previous years. "I'm pregnant," enthuses Tapping. "God willing and everything goes well, I'll give birth on March 15th. We usually start filming the new season around the end of February/beginning of March, so I don't know exactly how we'll handle things. I'll keep you posted," she says with a smile.


Amanda Tapping and David Hewlett talk astrophysics over antipasto as new Stargate episodes begin.

Step in to the cozy Amacord Restorante Italiano in the Yaletown district of Vancouver and pull up a chair, because you're about to have lunch with Amanda Tapping, who plays Lt. Col. Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1, and David Hewlett, who plays Dr. Rodney McKay in the successful spinoff, Stargate Atlantis.

Their astrophysicist characters originally crossed paths in the SG-1 episode "48 Hours," where they immediately locked horns and shared some palpable sexual tension before saving the day. Depsite their mutual attraction, these crazy kids have never gotten together on the show, so SCI FI invited the actors to connect for lunch to relax and chat about their shared experiences as actors andfriends working in the Stargate universe. (At the time of their meal, a new season of SG-1 had not yet been confirmed, but now it has been.) Decidedly less fraught with danger than in most of their meetings on screen, Tapping and Hewlett only had to face the perils of the abundant northern-Italian-inspired menu and their own saucy tongues over the course of the highly entertaining afternoon. Seated in a quiet corner of the restaurant, the duo wasted no time in dishing.


David Hewlett: So neither of us has a clue what we're going to eat.
Amanda Tapping: I just have no idea.
DH: Plus, we've got nothing to say to each other! We work on two different shows, for God's sake! [Laughs.]
AT: We don't even like each other.
DH: Your gate is made out of plastic.
AT: Hey ho, let's not start the comparisons so early, shall we? Besides, our gate actually spins.
DH: I know, and I always liked the spinning.
AT: Yours just had little lighty-lights.
DH: Yeah, ours is like a bingo game.

DH: You know what I watched the other day? I watched the pilot of SG-1.
AT: Oh, no way! Oh my God, didn't we all look young and innocent?
DH: No, you guys don't look that different, and that's kind of the weird thing. I know if I were to go eight years, I'd look a lot different. I wouldn't be fitting through the gate. [Laughs.]
AT: See, I feel like I've aged tremendously.
DH: Although there is a Polaroid that I was shown by the director of the pilot... and you look like you're 12 years old! It's the cutest photo I've ever seen. It's you and Richard Dean Anderson, and you just have this look like, 'Woo-hoo! I'm in a movie! Somebody paid me to wear this funny hat!
The waiter enters to take their order.
AT: I might go pasta, because it's lunch and I can. I've got to feed the baby.
DH: Oh, right. You're eating for two.l [Tapping and her husband, Alan Kovacs, are five months pregnant with their first child.]
AT: [Chuckles.] I'm eating for two. Of course, the one person that I'm eating for is only eight ounces right now...
DH: And you're going to eat a steak...
AT: ... that is larger than my baby!
DH: "A 10-ounce steak please, for my 8-ounce child."

With steaming plates full of Italian cuisine, the pair dive into their food and the nitty-gritty about their shows.
AT: David, who is smarter, Sam or Rodney?
DH: I don't want to answer that. I don't want to make you look bad.
AT: Because I'm smarter.
DH: I think the problem with that question is, if the truth were ever known, it would crush Rodney either way.
AT: Yes. [Laughs.] Is he still sexually attracted to Sam?
DH: Oh, of course! Come on!
AT: OK, good, good, good.
DH: Are you still pining?
AT: I'm pining terribly, but you know, when we sent you off to Russia that was a little "ha-ha," but at least I knew you would come back at some point. Then we sent you off to the place of no return and, sadly, I think I was supposed to be part of your season opener next year.

DH: So, having seen the pilot of SG-1 and watching a number of episodes, I wonder, how are you still keeping it fresh and positive? I mean, it's been eight years!
AT: It's something that we are really lucky to have. Right away [snapping her fingers], we had this instanty chemistry, and that carries us through when things get really stupid or we get bored or tired or ask what the hell are we still doing here? Then we remember we're having so much fun. I think the hard one was year five, because I was trying to find a new way to make my character interesting, to find a new way into her physicality and keep it interesting, but then the writers sort of do that job for you by introducing new relationships, new characters, and changing the dynamics of things. In season seven, we lost Dr. Fraiser [Teryl Rothery], and that shook things up. Plus, introducing a love interest for my character.
DH: Yeah, all of your relationships are doomed, but that's the nature of the show, too. It's the unrequited that's the interesting thing to people.

AT: OK, what do you most admire about Stargate SG-1?
DH: Well, obviously, you most admire me in Atlantis, and I most admire you in SG-1.
AT: Yeah, that pretty much seals that one. [Chuckles.]
DH: Well, what do you like the most about SG-1?
AT: The cast chemistry and the mythology. We've been going at this for years, creating the rich tapestry that is our show. I can't even read the lexicon now - it's huge! What do you most admire about Atlantis?
DH: The sense of humor. Without the sense of humor, I think straight sci-fi can be very alienating to people who aren't into science fiction, and I think what's nice about SG-1 and Atlantis is the humor.

AT: Do you do your own stunts?
DH: I would love to say I did, but no, we've got a great bunch of stunt guys who do anything that could be contrued as dangerous. I got to do a couple of falls the other day.
AT: I actually do a lot of my own stunts, just so you know.
DH: Do you? Shut up!
AT: Yeah! And then we always questions whether I should do it again.
DH: [Clears throat.] Of course I do my own stunts!
AT: Ha-ha, you lie like a rug.
DH: I can't walk down the stairs without me hurting myself. [Laughs.]
AT: See, this is the amazing thing about me. I'm a complete spaz! Our stunt coordinator, Dan Shea, often has me do my own stunts, and then I always get hurt. And then we always question whether I should do it again. And then he says,'Well, it's not that hard, do you want to do that one?' And I always want to.
DH: Oh, that's nice. [He smiles.]

AT: I never did sports a lot either as a kid, I did loner sports.
DH: Really? The loneliness of the long-distance runner.
AT: The loneliness of the long-distance runner.
DH: Do you run?
AT: I did. I was actually, before I got pregnant, talking to my trainer about training for the New York Marathon.
DH: Really?
AT: And then I got pregnant, and it was brilliant. 'Cause I said, you know what, I really can't do the New York City Marathon.

AT: What was the biggest surprise for you working on the shows?
DH: I would say the biggest surprise was the fact they actually invited me back after that first episode!
AT: Um, for me it was killing Martouf [JR Bourne]. I was totally shocked by that.
DH: Did they ever hide anything from you in the script? Did they ever go, "Nope, can't tell you!"
AT: No.
DH: Well, why won't they tell me what's going on?
AT: 'Cause they don't trust you. [She smiles evilly.]

DH: This is what I wanted to ask you, actually. How much of Amanda is Samantha?
AT: We're a hugely symbiotic relationship now. It used to be a lot more Samantha in Samantha, and now there's a lot moer of Amanda in Samantha. She's warmer. She's got a better sense of humor. She's a little lighter, and I think that's because of me. But I also think there's a lot of Samantha in me. I'm a little bit stronger now and a little bit more able-to-stand-up-for-myself-ish, because that's a terrible thing. I'm terrible about that...
DH: But when you normally act... I know that when I act, I look for things in me that I could bring to other things. Do you do the same thing?
AT: Absolutely. You draw on what you know, and you use parts of yourself.
DH: There's some times where it's just hard to be sad. When someone's just fallen off a ladder and you're laughing at them, and they're being taken away in a stretcher and you're laughing, now suppose you have to do a crying scene--
AT: Well, that's 'cause you're cruel. You cruel, cruel, vicious man.[Laughs.] How much of David is in Rodney?
DH: I like to think I'm a slightly nicer person than Rodney. I definitely find myself being a lot more snarky, a lot more, a lot more sarcastic and grumpy than I used to be. It's so much fun, like, just having an excuse to be in a bad mood all the time. Which I kind of like, you know, 'cause I think crotchety is where I'm going to go with my old age.
AT: You're beginning to become crotchety?
DH: I've made a commitment to crotchety. Yeah!

AT: I think if we don't come back [for renewal], it'll be like when you've graduated high school and September rolls around, and you feel like you should be somewhere.
DH: Right. It's the time you're supposed to be going back to school and you're not, and then very rapidly you forget that. They've talked about other things, right?
AT: Yeah, we've talked about films for years now. There's talk of miniseries, there's talk of movies of the week, there's talk of features. I think, like, the Stargate miniseries idea, it's a great idea.
DH: Well, it's the best of both worlds, isn't it, in a way? You know, you've got work and you've also got time for kids. How long have you wanted kids?
AT: Well, the timing is pretty perfect, because I was just starting to show at the end of the season, so it sort of worked out great.
DH: I started showing the end of the season, too, but it was more about craft services than anything else. [They laugh.] OK, now tell me what you're doing when you're not shooting SG-1.

DH: What about these conventions?
AT: I've done a few...
DH: So you're a media whore, I guess is what I'm saying [snickers].
AT: I'm not a media whore, thank you... you bastard.
DH: And that's when the lunch turns. [He smiles.]
AT:[Laughing] Honestly, that when the lunch turned nasty pasta flying everywhere! [She jokes.] You crossed a line, McKay! See! I'm continuing to think you're Rodney...
DH: I know! I was caught the other day, and I still don't believe I did it, but apparently I snapped and pointed at my girlfriend to do something.
AT: Like Rodney?
DH: I did that [snaps his fingers], and fortunately she just said, "I'm going to forgive you because you're half an hour after set, so you have an hour to get rid of him." [Laughs.] You must find that, too?
AT: Yes, I'm giving orders now...
DH: But I cut you off with my media whore comment. Continue...
AT: Well, I honestly think [conventions], and this is going to sound hokey as hell, but truthfully, they are a great way to say thank you.

DH: You directed an episode. You've got to want to do some more of that.
AT: I absolutely want to. It was fantastic.
DH: So you want to direct now. What about features and stuff like that?
AT: Oh yeah! What about you? Do you want to direct?
DH: I do, yeah, yeah, yeah. I definitely need to, but I've got a lot of homework to do before I do it, I think.
AT: It took seven seasons for them to say yes to me.
DH: So I'm hoping to get some photos of some of the higher-ups in compromising positions, which you're welcome to help me with...
AT: [Laughs.] I'll do whatever I can! I have to say it was really fun to have you on our show again. And that episode was fun, and you touched my bum.
DH: Yep, but I asked first.
AT: You did. "Is it OK if I do this?" you said, while grabbing my bum.
DH: Well, the last time you grabbed mine without asking I was very put off.
AT: Did I? That was so rude of me! [Chuckles.]
DH: Oh I think it might have been a dream. Yeah, sometimes I can't distinguish...

DH: I'm having the lemon sorbet.
AT: Lemon sor--- you're having lemon sorbet? But you're allergic to citrus.
DH: But this is the thing. I've actually gone from a guy who doesn't like lemon to, like, lemon meringue pie being like my favourite food. Let me ask you a question--
AT: No, you! You keep doing this, you keep asking me questions, and you won't answer any.
DH: Yes, I'm a mystery wrapped in a lemon wrapped in a--
AT: Wrapped in a lemon shell.
DH: --in a light pastry--
AT: A light puff pastry with some cream on top and Belgian chocolate drizzled, and some crumbled biscuits.
DH: You make me sound so decadent.
AT: You are decadent, darling.
DH: Like a lovely dessert.
AT: Like a lovely dessert. Num, num, num.
After two hours of revelations and Amanda's frozen lemon being thoroughly vanquished, the lunch comes to a close. The pair depart back to their respective Gates, probably not much wiser, but certainly more stuffed and fonder of one another than ever. What further adventures does the future hold for Carter and McKay? Only their producers know, but they and the viewers can only hope another bum grab is written in the stars. Stargate SG-1 airs at 9p.m. Friday and Stargate Atlantis airs at 10pm on SCI FI.


Having been absent earlier this season, Sam Carter is once again back in the SG-1 fold. However, as actress Amanda Tapping explains, both she and her character have undergone a bit of change.
Amanda Tapping's trailer at Bridge Studios looks decidedly different from previous years. Maybe it's the box of disposable nappies on the counter, or the red and white check baby cot sitting off to one side of the room. There's a simple reason for these and certain other additions; this season, the actress is sharing her work digs with her and husband Alan's new baby girl, Olivia. It takes just one look at mother and child to see that they're both pleased with this arrangement.

"Being a mom is fantastic," smiles Tapping, holding a sleeping Olivia in her arms. "It's a huge adjustment and in some ways not as scary as I thought it would be. However, in other ways, I'll look at my baby and think,'Wow, I'm responsible for everything that happens to you.' In that sense it can be a bit overwhelming, but I loved being pregnant. I was four months pregnant at the end of last season, which was somewhat difficult from the standpoint of I didn't tell anyone until I was three months along. It was a hard secret to keep only because I was always so tired. I didn't have any morning sickness, though, and the labour and delivery went well. She was nine pounds, four ounces, a big healthy girl, and I did it without any drugs and felt great about that.

"I'm lucky in that everything happened very easily and naturally for me. I was pretty laid back about it all, and consequently Olivia is the same. Honestly, the toughest thing for me has been returning to work. Normally, I'd go back to my trailer in between set-ups and memorize lines or look over the next script, but not any more. Now I'll come back to feed her, play with her and make sure she's OK. By the time we get home and I put her to bed at 9 o'clock, I'm wiped out. It's non-stop, so I'll often get up super early in the morning just to study my lines and do a few other little things before I wake her up. It can be crazy at times, but I love it."

Tapping took the first five episodes of SG-1's ninth season off to spend time with her newborn daughter, and only returned to the set at the end of April to start work on the episode Beachhead. Although she was back in familiar surroundings, it still took her a bit of time to reacclimatize. "Obviously, Sam had been away as well, and during that time a whole new dynamic had built up among Daniel, Vala, Teal'c and Mitchell and with the actors who play them," says the actress. "For the first couple of days I felt like the captain of the school chess club seeing that my twin brother was one," she chuckles.

"So it felt rather awkward because I was sort of questioning if as a new mom I should have come back to work. It was really weird. Truthfully, I thought, 'Oh, no, I don't know where I fit into this 'new' show.' Happily, that feeling only lasted a couple of days and then everything fell back into place. I realized that I enjoy playing with these guys and it's still fun. Ben Browder has this amazing energy, as does Beau Bridges. When I first heard he was joining the show I was like, 'The Beau Bridges,' and it was the same when I found our about Lou Gossett Jr. I remember walking into the make-up trailer my first day back, seeing the two of them and thinking, 'What movie am I doing? Wait, this is Stargate and here are Beau Bridges and Lou Gossett. Holy cow.' Again, it's a whole new vibe, but it feels good. I hope the fans embrance it because it's not the SG-1 they knew. It's a very different entity.

While Sam Carter may not have given birth, Tapping is interested to see how her new role as a parent will affect how she plays her character. "Sam has to be slightly different because I'm quite a bit different," muses the actress. "Last year we focused a great deal on her soul and the woman who is Carter, and I'm pleased that this season we're somewhat suppressing that and taking her back to her roots, those being the scientists and the soldier and what makes her strong.

"However, having done so much exploration into her heart and soul, she has a softness to her now. We'll see what happens, though, the next time she's in battle. By that I mean with me, Amanda, there's the mother lion in me now. I've realized that for the first time in my life I'm actually capable of killing," notes Tapping, pausing for a moment, "and that makes me cry. If anyone tried to lay a finger on my child, I'd kill them, and that's quite a revelation. I relate that to work insofar as there's a new level of fierceness to Carter that we'll see. I always knew that as a soldier she could kill, and she has, but now there's an entirely new drive behind it, because as an actress I can bring that to the table."

At that moment there's a knock at Tapping's trailer door. The actress is needed back on set to shoot her final scene of the day for Ex Deus Machina. "In this story we address the question of SG-1 getting back together," she says. "At the moment, Carter is just helping out, and so are Daniel and Teal'c. They're not a team yet, and Mitchell says something rather sweet and handles the situation in a very clever way. We filmed that scene yesterday and it turned out nice. I think the fans are really going to enjoy it."


Executive producer and co-creator of Stargate: Atlantis Brad Wright has revealed exclusively to Stargate SG-1 The Official Magazinethat Stargate SG-1 star Amanda Tapping may be the first of the original show's cast to guest-star o¬n the spin-off thisseason.

Though at the time of press the arrangement had yet to be finalized, Wright is hopeful that the actress will appear in Stargate:Atlantis' second year. Tapping previously appeared in a cameo role in season o¬ne episode Letters from Pegasus.

The tumultuous events at the conclusion of season one mean that the inhabitants of Atlantis now have a path open to travel between Atlantis and Earth, though the journey is not a particularly swift o¬ne.

If a deal between the actress and Stargate: Atlantis is successful, Amanda Tapping will be the third Stargate SG-1 series regular to guest star o¬n the hit show. Both Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks appeared in the opening episode of Stargate: Atlantis'two¬part pilot Rising. For legal reasons involving the terms of the original Stargate movie, neither Tapping nor co-star Chris Judge could appear at that time. Now though, with the phenomenal success of Stargate: Atlantis leading to a second season of adventures, both actors are contractually free to create 'cross-overs' between the two shows.

Amanda Tapping returns to Stargate SG-1 in the season's fifth episode, having taken six weeks off at the opening of the year's filming following the birth of her daughter, Olivia.

"After Janet died, Carter took responsibility for Cassie," Tapping explains. "Cassie has had some problems, so Carter went to spend time with her. That's how I'm playing Carter's decision to leave the SGC."


Interviewer: I don't even know what a theoretical astrophysicist is, can you shed some light on it please?

Amanda: In a nutshell, Space (laughing, doing a funky accent)

Interviewer: That's all I need (laughing)
Amanda: Actually my character is the foremost expert on the science of the Stargate but I'm also the leading expert on everything space?.look up and I know all about it?

Interviewer: Look up at that star, you know about that star, in fact you've been to that star.

Amanda: I've been there, done that!

Interviewer: So, did you take a crash course on astrophysics when you started
this role?

Amanda: Really, what I did was I bought Steven Hawking's Brief History of Time, the illustrated version (because I'm no fool) and that's my reference?

Interviewer: Do you get the script and think, what the hell, this isn't the Days of Our Lives, what's this about?

Amanda: No ,actually, I don't, I actually do understand it?which is sad (Interviewer: It's not sad, that's cool) it is cool, I've actually gone and corrected the writers and said"you know, a star doesn't actually do that"?.

Clip of Covenant is shown.

Interviewer: So were you interested in science before you joined?

Amanda: I won the drama and science award in school but as far as TV I was a Little House on the Prairie girl.
(Interviewer: Gotta love Little House on the Prairie). So no, I wasn't a big Sci Fi fan.

Interviewer: So I'm guessing Stargate is every Sci Fi fans favourite as it's been running for 8 years our time and 9 years your time, it's a paradox.

Amanda: Ohhh, very clever?.

Interviewer: Check this out though, it's the longest running Sci Fi show ever (everyone claps).

Amanda: Thank you very much (with a Scottish accent)...

Interviewer: So did you and all the cast and crew go out and get completely wormholed when you got that news (laughing from the crew)?

Amanda: Well, actually we will when we shoot it, we start series 10 in February. and I think we shoot the 200th show around then?

Interviewer: I can't believe it's longer than Star Trek, X-Files, it's beat them all.

Amanda: (laughing) Well and truly wormholed.

Interviewer: What do you think is the secret?

Amanda: I think it's cause we don't take ourselves seriously, that we have a sense of humour, that we're accessible, fallible human beings who make mistakes.

Interviewer: You're ahead of us and you (turns to fellow interviewer) told me not to ask this but I'm going to anyway and I may spoil it for myself? what happens with Carter and O'Neill, do they get it on?

Amanda: Oh, well let's just say they go fishing (roles her eyes in a huge innuendo)

Interviewer: He uses his pole? (Amanda laughs)

Amanda: He gets me hook line and sinker.
Interviewer: That brings a whole new meaning to the word wormholed. (By now they are all laughing)

Interviewer: You have a lot of admirers and they take this all very seriously, they have a Amanda Tapping club which you know about (Amanda nods her head), they have an annual AT contest where the fans send in stories, poems songs etc. We've looked through all of this and our favourite was a song admitted by Laura entitled Amanda.

Laura's song with clips of Sam in the background plays, a small screen appeared with Amanda in the corner and she looks all "oh this is cute".

Amanda: Wow, oh (jokes). A bit of warning next time guys.

The interviewers talk about how Laura says thank you for going to the conventions and Amanda smiles?

For fans of Lt. Col. Sam Carter, the absence of their favorite gun-toting scientificboffin/female lead is a difficult pill to swallow. Missing from the first five episodes of season nine while Amanda Tapping was on maternity leave, Carter returns in episode six, Beachhead, only to discover that, worse yet, she's no longer a member of SG-1 - at least, not for now.

Stargate SG-1 The Official Magazine caught up with Amanda Tapping between filming scenes of a technically challenging episode for season nine. With her new baby, Olivia, perched on her lap, Tapping talked about motherhood, the changes in the show and the development of her character following a tumultuous season eight. "Right now we're working on an episode called Ripple Effect, which is where a bunch of parallel universes converge on the SGC, so there are multiple members of SG-1," she says. If that sounds complicated, it is. "It's a bit nutty. We're actually doing a lot of really cool stuff like motion-control camera work which allows there to be three or four of us each in the scene, but it's a bit hairy to shoot it." Not only do they have to shoot each scene three or four times, but it also involves a costume change for each shot. "We were wearing our blacks, our greens, our desert storms - it's quite funny." The fact that Tapping took time off to have a baby can't be written into the show, for obvious reasons, so the writers came up with a parallel cover story which involved Carter taking time off following the death of Dr. Janet Fraser to look after Cassie, Janet's adopted daughter. Nonetheless, the cover story developed by the writers to explain Carter's absence dovetailed perfectly with the actress' own experience. "It fits in so well with my personal life," says Tapping. "Carter left to take care of Cassie. She has taken on a more nurturing role, as did Amanda. She has taken time off to look after this girl, and here I am taking time out for family and looking after my girl. So, it's actually been paralleled quite wonderfully." So how is she adapting to motherhood? "It's fantastic," she says. "I absolutely love it. Right now, I'm doing this interview and she's sitting on my lap chewing on the phone cord."She laughs. "So, if we're suddenly disconnected..."

Although she has to balance a demanding job as the lead actress on a hit TV show with being a full-time mother, Tapping seems to take it in her stride. "The challenge is in the timing, getting enough chance to breast feed her, and then get to set and then jump off set and breast feed her and make sure she's changed and happy, and then jump back onto set. And not to hold up set and not leave her wanting." And meanwhile there's a little thing called sleep! "I had such a great pregnancy that I thought, gosh, I can go back to work, no problem at all. And then, of course, the reality sets in.

You give birth to this wonderful creature and you realise that it's 24/7 and you lose tremendous amounts of sleep. And you're still supposed to function as a fully functional adult in a high stress job - with a baby on hand." If it sounds like Tapping is complaining, she hastens to add that she is not, and considers herself to be "incredibly blessed" to be able to work and have her baby on hand at the same time.As if having a baby weren't enough to turn your life upside-down, the TV show that Tapping has worked on for the better part of eight years has undergone some exciting changes, sparked off by the departure of Stargate SG-1's leading man, Richard Dean Anderson (aka General Jack O'Neill.) Of course, as well as the departure of O'Neill, the show has also recently lost General George Hammond and Dr. Janet Fraser.

Three new regular characters and several recurring ones have been introduced to fill the gaps, and a new and even more deadly foe has been introduced following the demise of the Goa'uld. Has the tone of the show changed with the departure of Richard Dean Anderson and his trademark sense of humor? Tapping feels that the humor lives on. "I think the beauty of SG-1, and what's always made it work is that the show itself has a sense of humor. We don't take ourselves too seriously, and yes, Richard Dean Anderson was definitely a huge part of that. He was Jack O'Neill; Jack O'Neill was Rick. It was that silly, snarky sense of humor, but I think that's continued on. It will be a slightly different tone, but what it's allowed is - the other characters, kind of, get to be funny now, too." Taking on the role vacated by O'Neill is Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell (played by former Farscape actor, Ben Browder.) However, when it's suggested to Tapping that Browder's character is the new leader of SG-1, it quickly becomes apparent that this is the source of some good-natured rivalry on set. "You know, I have an interesting thing,"she says with a laugh, "about him being the leader of SG-1, because Ben [Browder] and I have this constant thing - hey, we're both of equal rank, but I've been on SG-1 much longer. How come you get to lead? I actually went up to Rob Cooper (executive producer) after this one episode that I had just read and said, you know, Carter kind of takes control of this mission and does all the intel on it - how come Mitchell comes in and ends up calling in the troops and leading them? That seems terribly unfair, you know, when they're both the same rank. And Rob said, no, no, you're right - you'll be leading that mission."

Apart from reasserting her position on the show, and ensuring she's not eclipsed by the newcomers, what is the dynamic with the new characters? "The interesting thing about SG-1 right now is that, yes, you do need a leader in the militaristic, strategic sense, but each character has very definite strengths and the beauty of the show and the beauty of the team is that it really is a true ensemble: Teal'c has his strengths, Daniel has his strengths, Carter has hers and Mitchell has his. And he [Mitchell] has a very different way of leading than I do. So we each play on our own strengths, and that's I think what makes the team as cohesive as it is."So, Carter and Mitchell, in effect, share command of SG-1? "Definitely. And I think that we were doing that last year when Carter was ostensibly the leader of SG-1. She always deferred to Daniel and Teal'c out of necessity and pure respect. You know, you can't know everything. And I hope that's the way the show is going." The relationship between Carter and the new base commander, General Hank Landry, is an interesting one, as well, says Tapping. "Beau [Bridges - Gen. Landry] and I have talked at great lengths about this, and we do want to create some interesting dynamic between the two characters, because Carter had a very special relationship with General Hammond. He was very much a father figure to her. Because she was an Air Force brat, our presumption is that she knew Landry growing up because her father was a general, and you know, definitely, their paths have crossed," she says. The development of the relationship between Carter and Landry is something that fans can look forward to in episodes to come."We've asked the writers to create a little bit of conflict if they can at times. Not in a nasty way, and not because we think that they need to dislike each other, but because she doesn't know him as well and he's come in and taken over. He's wonderful! But he actually has a very different way of commanding the base than Hammond did." What's it like working with the new guys? Beau Bridges is "fantastic," she says, as is Ben Browder. "I cannot even begin to say enough good things about Beau - or Ben for that matter - an absolute class act. And it's not easy to walk onto this - I mean, I think our show is an easy show to walk onto because we're all very friendly and we all have a great time, but there's a definite dynamic that's deeply entrenched in this show, and in us as people and actors, and I think it would be hard to walk onto that, as an actor. It could be kind of intimidating. But they're both really incredibly classy gentlemen, and they're handling it really well."

Will we see it in the onscreen chemistry between the characters? "Yeah, because I think that's part of what has made the show as successful as it's been. one of many things is the chemistry between the actors which has translated onto screen."Will it cause any changes in Carter's relationship with Dr. Daniel Jackson and Teal'c? Tapping doesn't think it will. "It's like when Corin Nemec came onto our show. It sort of brought the other three characters a bit closer together because you had had this strong dynamic and this strong team atmosphere for so long, and then, you know, this new character comes in and you all sort of band together and go, hey, let's check this guy out and make sure he's okay," she says. However, she also adds:"I think it's been, a really easy transition. I can't speak to it fully because I wasn't really there for the first five episodes so they established a dynamic among the three of them, with Claudia [Black], and then I came into their team dynamic, in a lot of ways." In some ways, because of her absence for the first six weeks, she felt like the outsider coming back to the show. "It was like, oh, yeah - you guys have been playing together for, for two months now, and here I am. They'd been playing together for a month before I had the baby, and I would come on set every now and again - very pregnant - and say, hey guys, how's it going? Don't forget me!" she says with a laugh. With all the changes made to the show, some people have been describing it as a spin-off of Stargate SG-1, albeit with the same name. Michael Shanks described it in another interview as 'Stargate: The Next Generation,' an allusion to another popular sci-fi franchise. Given that, can we look forward to five more years of Sam Carter? "The show is doing good numbers, I'm still having a great time making it. There's part of me as an actor, and I said this before where it's like, oh, gosh, I've just got to go and do something else - I can't keep playing this same character. But there's another part of me as an actor that says - and as a human being, not even just an actor - how lucky am I to have this job for as long as I have had it and to still really enjoy it and love the people I work with," she says.

And what can we look forward to in terms of the development of Carter's character? Tapping sees season nine as an opportunity to take Carter, "back to her roots," to the less emotionally complicated character that we saw in the early seasons of Stargate SG-1."It's less about her personal life which last year very much focused on. Which was good - it showed that this Carter has depth, that she has soul and is capable of great feeling. But now we've explored all that with Pete, and with her father dying, and with O'Neill. Now it's going back to what makes her such a great character which is her incredible dedication to her work, her smarts and her savvy." Nonetheless, she adds, all of those experiences have left their mark on her character, adding greater depth. "In that she's explored her personal life, I think it might allow her to take more of a human stance on some of the moral issues that they come up against, instead of always siding with the military, whether she agrees with them or not. Perhaps it will make her a bit more, indignant about the injustices that she sees, instead of toeing the military party-line," she says. So she might side with Daniel more often? Tapping concurs wholeheartedly:"I would definitely like to see that. I don't know that that will happen," she says, "she is a Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force, so you have to be true to that. But I would like to see a bit more of that."

So what's coming up next story-wise? At the time of talking, Tapping had received scripts for two upcoming episodes, one being aStargate SG-1 script entitled Stronghold with strong storylines for Mitchell and Teal'c. Does that mean fewer scenes for Carter and a bit of a break from long days on the set for Tapping? "Funnily enough, I am on set quite a lot in this one, and I'm not quite sure how that worked out." She laughs. As if that wasn't enough, at the same time as shooting Stronghold, she will be filming a crossover episode of Stargate: Atlantis."It feeds back to the Carter episode Grace [season seven] where she hurts herself and is alone on the Prometheus. And she has all these hallucinations. A similar thing happens to McKay [Dr. Rodney McKay played by David Hewlett] in a puddle jumper and Carter appears to him. As a hallucination." Being Stargate: Atlantis, she adds, there has to be water involved, so they'll spend a couple of days shooting in a swimming pool at the University of British Columbia. Having returned to the show, baby in tow, Amanda Tapping has settled quickly into her new life as both mother and lead actress. If she had the time, she says she would like to try her hand at directing again (she directed the season seven episodeResurrection written by Michael Shanks.) "I'd cut off my right arm to direct again," she says. "I really would. I loved it so much. Right now, however, my priorities are very much getting back on the show and being present in a very honest way, and raising this new baby. Maybe if we come back for another season, I might try to push for that."

One would have thought, given the success of the current season and the excitement around the new cast and characters, that another season would be a shooting? "Every year we say, no, no, this is it - the show's not coming back and every year it does, so I'm kind of afraid to say we'll be coming back because I might jinx it. So we're always going to say, no, no, we can't possibly go on anymore."