2009 Articles and Interviews

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When actress Amanda Tapping began work on Stargate SG-1 back in early 1997, she wasn't even sure the series would even last beyond the initially-contracted two-season run on Showtime. So of course, the idea that the show would ultimately last more than 10 seasons and break
Neilsen ratings records was too far-fetched to even consider.

Now starring in her own series on the SyFy Channel, Sanctuary, Amanda Tapping shared her thoughts with us about projects past and present, the best and worst parts of her job now, and whether or not we'll ever see her again in the Stargate realm.

Amanda Tapping - Sanctuary

Given how seemingly every media outlet in the world drenches us with 24/7 celebrity updates, it's no wonder we envision the life of an actress to be oh-so-sweet. You know: Between shooting scenes, hang out on-set in a posh trailer. After “working” for a few hours, take a limo back to fancy Beverly Hills home, go out at night to party with Hollywood hotties and other celebs, head back home... and then do it all over again.

But for actress Amanda Tapping, such a lifestyle is truly the stuff of fiction. Apart from the fact that she lives and works in Vancouver, Canada -- some 1200 miles north of Hollywood -- you can forget the parties, the hotties, the limos and the leisure time. She's much too busy, and too goal-oriented, to bother with all that.

In fact, this “Queen of Sci-Fi” (so dubbed by the fans) has just two things on her agenda right now: family and work. And that short list consumes pretty much every moment of every day, whether or not she's actively shooting her show, because -- as you will find out -- Tapping has
thoroughly earned her new Executive Producer title. From Stargate to Sanctuary

After 10 years and 200 episodes of Stargate SG-1, Tapping served one more year on Stargate Atlantis as Major Samantha Carter before leaving that universe to create another.

Stargate fans who tuned into her new TV series, Sanctuary, were surprised to see “their” Sam with dark hair, speaking with a British accent and going about her new duties with a wise, almost matronly, manner. (Guys, you're in luck: The new gal knows her automatic weapons, too.)

Although Sanctuary airs on the Sci-Fi channel, it's set on Earth, primarily in the modern day, with nary a means of interstellar travel in sight. Still, the program offers viewers a healthy helping of science with its fiction.Leaving the world we know behind

In the new series, Tapping plays Dr Helen Magnus, a 157-year-old woman from England's Victorian era who hardly ages due to... well, let's just call it a little college drug experimentation. She runs the titular Sanctuary -- a home for creatures great and small, legendary and supposedly mythical, some dangerous... and all freaky. Amanda Tapping - Sanctuary cast(Seriously: The Loch Ness Monster and Harry Potter's house elf have nothin' on some of these beasties.)

These “abnormals” live among us regular humans, and are largely feared because they're misunderstood, à la Wicked. By housing the abnormals at the Sanctuary, Dr Magnus keeps them safe, stops them from harming the populace -- and, since they're there anyhow, carries out some
research and cataloging.

One thing that truly sets the show apart are the visuals, which are magnificent both in style and in scope. This small-budget venture is able to create elaborately-detailed scenes and sweeping views because it shot against a green screen. In post-production, the background is replaced with realistic digital renderings of almost anything the writers and producers could imagine: catacombs under Rome, the middle of the Bermuda triangle, a plane crash on a snowy mountaintop, and the gothic architecture of the vast sanctuary itself.

We had the chance to talk one-on-one with Ms Tapping, and found out how, over the course of a decade, her career has grown from chasing spaceships and System Lords to include babies and balance sheets.

SheKnows: So, beyond acting, how involved are you with Sanctuary? I know you have the executive producer credit, but this is really very much your project, isn’t it?

Amanda Tapping: Yes. Damian [Kindler] conceived of the show, and when he brought it to Martin [Wood] and me, the three of us just took it and ran with it. So on a day-to-day basis, from being involved with pre-production when we were mapping out the stories for the first season, and now we’re doing it again for the second season, white-boarding all the stories, putting together the crew and the cast and the financing.

That was a big part of my responsibilities -- getting that together. Because we don’t have the backing of a major studio, and we’re actually doing something quite unorthodox -- creating a high-end product which we’re then selling to a world marketplace, so that’s been a huge job. The
corporate end of it is the part of my responsibility, and that has been the least fun.

SheKnows: Is that something you‘ve had experience with in the past, or how did you end up with that?

Amanda Tapping: No, it’s sort of a trial by fire, but it’s been good. I have a good head for business, and I understand the nuance of business, and I’ve certainly been in the entertainment industry long enough to understand the minutiae of how all that works, so, that’s been an education. Just another day at the Sanctuary office Then beyond that, with the actual day-to-day
shooting -- not only being the lead actor on the show, but also I feel like my job on set was to make sure everyone was happy, and that the crew was taken care of and that everyone was respected and heard.

And then post-production: I’ve learned about color crafting shows and doing sound mixes and pulling back and all sorts of things I’ve never had the opportunity to do before -- editing. So I’m actually heavily involved, from start to finish, and it’s been amazing. I just feel like, as an actor it’s been a great education, but now as a woman. I’m in my 40s and I’m now looking beyond just being an actor, and this has been a great way to sort of branch out my career.

SheKnows: I was going to say it would really help your resume -- you could go into all kinds of things at this point.

Amanda Tapping: Absolutely, absolutely -- and you should get a feel for  how the whole machine works, and then pick your specialty, if you will. For me, I love seeing the whole process.

SheKnows: Is there any particular element, apart from acting, that just really appeals to you, that is fun, not tedious...

Amanda Tapping: I feel I would love to direct again -- I like the scope of a job like that. I like the scope of producing, too -- going into the office and sitting down with the guys and sort of looking at the overall picture. It’s like having a big wide angle lens on the entire show. I love that. The directing for me is very much the same: You get to take your vision and put it out into every single department, and then put all the pieces together. It’s like putting together a massive puzzle, and so I hope to get the opportunity to do that again.

SheKnows: So, you've been Samantha Carter on Stargate SG-1 for ten years, and then you had the year on Atlantis. Did you ever imagine actually playing your character there for that long? And do you think you could play Helen on Sanctuary for that long -- do you think there’s enough there?

Amanda Tapping: I didn’t -- I can’t. But you know what’s really funny is I couldn’t have imagined playing Sam Carter for that long, either. It’s amazing how quickly time flies when you’re having fun. Sanctuary set - green screenIt sounds like a lame little old adage, but it’s absolutely true.
Stargate was so joyful, and even for all our ups and downs, it was a great show to work on -- an amazing family -- and so the ten years didn’t feel like ten years. It honestly didn’t, and people go, “Oh my God, you were on that show for a decade!” and I’d say, “Yeah, but it went by really quickly!”

And season one of Sanctuary was probably the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life, in terms of wearing so many hats. It was exhausting, yet at the end of it I was. “Oh wow, that was great!” So you’re ultimately exhausted and revitalized by the amount of work. So can I imagine playing
Helen for ten years? No. It could possibly happen -- sure -- and would those ten years go by just as quickly? Sure, they probably would.

Amanda Tapping: You know I’m very lucky in that I’m working with two men, particularly Damian and Martin, whom are my best friends, but beyond that they completely respect and admire women, which is a unique position to be in when you’re in a very male-dominated industry.

They will defer to me, and say, “Well, okay, Amanda, what do you think?” As opposed to, “This is how it’s happening.” I love that! It’s very invigorating, and you must find that to be working in a creative environment with people you enjoy working with. There’s a symbiotic relationship, there
’s cohesion of ideas and it doesn’t feel like there’s any one-upmanship. We’ve all talked each other off the ledge, and we also know that at any given time that’s gonna happen, but we’re all there for each other.

It’s been almost three years we’ve been working on this, and it’s not only seeing what you build grow, but the joy of watching it start to blossom.

SheKnows: So what has made you so passionate about this project in particular?

Amanda Tapping: Partly the people I’m working with, because I don’t think our company will just be Sanctuary, there are other opportunities for it. Then Sanctuary itself I think is such a cool premise, and such an interesting show, and this is an interesting time to be making it. Because
of the technology that we’re using and because of the possibilities we have with the green screen and with the RED one camera (a digital video camera that captures images at more than twice the resolution of a high definition camera).

But at the heart of it, it’s an amazing story and a really, really, awesome character -- great women characters on this show. I love a show where the lead is a woman, and one of the other leads is an amazingly strong woman. The back story is amazing to me, the history between Magnus and Druitt, Sanctuary set - green screen the history that she’s lived. She’s an awesome character, I absolutely love her, and so I can get hyper-passionate just talking about Helen. She’s so cool -- she’s so not like me. The challenge as an actress is so cool.

SheKnows: Well there’s a hundred-odd years of history to deal…to go back and do that in the context of the show. It must be a lot of fun for you, too.

Amanda Tapping: It’s very fun, it’s very fun. We’re actually talking now about spending a bit more time going back and seeing the different things we’ve alluded to -- trying to do it without that hammering over the head. This is a woman who’s actually known a great number of presidents and
artists and writers and some of the great minds of her time, so there’s a cool back story there that we tap into.

She’s unapologetic and hugely compassionate, but also very reserved, and so I find the dichotomy of playing her -- this Victorian era woman living in modern times with a daughter that she works closely with -- who's also a woman who could be killed as a result of the work that they’re doing.
There’s all this nuance to her: “Wow, she brought this child into the world. Why would she do that?” There are so many choices she made that sort of question it and you go, “Oh, well, let’s dive into that.” Never dull.

SheKnows: Is it hard acting against nothingness and trying to reference things?

Amanda Tapping: I guess the best way to describe it -- and I’ve said this before in interviews -- is that it feels like you’re doing theater. You’ve got a very minimal set, so the focus then becomes the relationship between the characters and your relationship to the words that you’re saying, your connection emotionally and even physically to what you’re saying, what you’re doing at the time. Strips away all the beauty around it, and the beauty then just becomes the moment. Amanda Tapping - Sanctuary, Victorian timesIt forces you to play absolutely in the moment -- no distractions. So in a lot of ways, it’s actually more challenging because you don’t have all of the things around to work with. But in other ways, so much simpler, because it’s just about the words and the work and the connection between the characters.

SheKnows: ...and that ultimately comes out in the quality of the show.

Amanda Tapping: I think so. I think so -- I think there’s some really raw, beautiful connections that have been made, and they’ve been made because we’ve had nothing else but the work and each other, and so it’s kind of lovely. It’s kind of doing really minimalist theater. And then you add
this really beautiful backdrop months after the fact, and you go, “Oh my God, that’s great.”

SheKnows: So you're still excited the first time you see the end result?

Amanda Tapping: Oh God, yeah. Yeah -- in fact, it always looks better than I thought it would. You know the first time I actually saw the big pan down shot of the Sanctuary, I was like, “Are you kidding me?! That’s the scene? Oh my God!” The three of us get little “Whee!” moments when our effects house emails us the latest renderings. (laughs) We all pore over the computer and squeal like small children.

Now that Sanctuary has been renewed for a second season, we thought it was time to have another chat with Amanda Tapping. This time around we discuss season one, where production is on season two and what it was like shooting the final episode of Stargate Atlantis.

PCZ: First of all, congratulations on completing a great first season.

AT: Thank you so much. It was fun, it’s been a labor of love, but it’s been a lot of fun.

PCZ: I thought it was particularly interesting as the season progressed, much like drama, things started small and built. We discovered towards the end of the season how things fell into place. Was that always the plan or did things change as you went along, particularly from the webisodes to the TV season?

AT: Things definitely changed as we went along. We didn’t put the webisodes out there thinking that it would become a television show. We had a very pure vision of doing a full convergence of new media, interactive social networking site, gaming and the show all in one happy bundle on
the Internet. Which is a great idea and very different to monetize and very expensive. So, what happened is the webisodes became a calling card, if you will, around the world for interest in the television series. We kept getting calls saying “Are you guys going to do a series?” and there was a broadcaster in England interested and a broadcaster in the states, so it sort of funneled down that way. I think we always knew it had potential for a TV series, but it ended up coming down to it very quickly. Suddenly we found ourselves going, “Oh my god, we’ve got thirteen episodes!” Damian [Kindler] has an incredible vision. We mapped out the thirteen episodes to introduce the villains and the new characters, but every week was a revelation, every week something would come out like “What if we did this?” We didn’t have as strong an ongoing vision from the top. We will for season two, but season one was a bit more of a scramble to be honest.

PCZ: Having thirteen episodes as opposed to twenty or twenty-two, as is usual with most shows, does that give you more of a chance to focus on the story and where the characters were going with less “filler” episodes?

AT: You know what, it does. Thirteen for us is actually a really great number. Because our show is so post-production heavy and the post pipeline is thirty weeks to complete an episode, thirteen taps out all the departments pretty heavily. It forces you to focus, like you said, more on individual character stories. You’ve only got thirteen so they’d better be damn good. It doesn’t tap out your resources as much and gives you a bit more of a narrow focus, which is really good. Having said that, if the network turned around and said they wanted twenty, then “Woo-hoo” off
we’d go!

PCZ: The characters we see as the season progresses, specifically the rest of “The Five”, did you guys always have clear characterizations in mind or was a lot of that defined by the actors you chose? I only ask that because the actors that played them seem to really inhabit the roles.

AT: Totally! What’s interesting is Chris Heyerdahl is one of my favorite actors. He brings so much to the table and is such a perfect Druit. Chris actually recommended Jonathon Young, who plays Tesla. He’s awesome, he’s so wonderful. He has played Tesla in a one-man show for a number of years, so he understands the eccentricities of this character. He could have come in and played that version of Tesla, but he brought a whole new game to it. Because he was so good, so compelling and brought such great chemistry we had to bring him back. Then, Peter Wingfield I had worked with before [on Stargate SG-1] and when we were looking at Watsons I thought Peter was just the perfect choice. All of them have this air of aristocracy about them and this grandeur. They all have a classical training and a classical feel to them, so…I loved watching the three of them in a room together. Magnus needed those sort of men around her in that day and age to do what she was doing. It’s worked out perfectly. I don’t think we envisioned Tesla being the way he was, but Jonathon brought so much more to the table than we could have imagined. The actors elevated the characters even more so than they were on the page. We will see more of them, for sure because the actors brought so much game.

PCZ: I hope so. As a Peter Wingfield fan of many years, I’m upset with you for killing him off..”

AT: That doesn’t mean to say that we won’t be going back in time. I said the same thing, “You can’t kill him, you can’t kill him!” And they said. “

Amanda, you’re 157 years old, we’re going to go back and look at some things.” and I said, “Sweet! Let’s do it.” You’ll definitely be seeing Peter again. He’s wonderful, just wonderful.

PCZ: Watson seemed to be possibly the most frail of the group, but he also sort of directly and indirectly affected everyone in the group and the decisions they made towards the end of the season. Peter Wingfield just pulled that off tremendously.

AT: What I also loved was the interplay between him and Chris Heyerdahl. They just played with it, the two of them. On set the crew would just be riveted with what those guys were going to do next. It’s on the page, but like I said, they just brought so much more to the table.

PCZ: Last time we spoke we talked a little bit about whether or not the season was leading towards a cliffhanger. Was the ending the one that you always envisioned or was there a contingency plan in case you weren’t picked up for year two?

AT: We didn’t have a contingency plan. I think we sort of kept moving ahead as if we were going to be [picked up]. I think that’s the hope of any show. Had SCI FI, ITV and TMN in Canada said you’re done then, yeah, I’m sure we would have done things a little differently, but it would have
been an eleventh hour change. I’m not a huge fan of cliffhangers, having done them so much on Stargate. In this case, it needed it, the story was just too big. In order to do it justice it has to continue in some capacity. It’s just way too big a story to tell in two hours.

PCZ: When last we spoke you were talking about getting ready to break stories for season two, are you full-swing into that?

AT: We are. We’ve got scriptwriters on board and we’re all sitting here in the production office breaking stories. We’ve already figured out what we’d like the thirteen episodes to look like and what direction we want our characters to go. We are full-swing. We need to get money now! The only thing holding us back at the moment is some money, but otherwise we’re just writing for free at the moment.

PCZ: When do you start shooting?

AT: We’re still waiting on word, ideally the beginning of March so that we can deliver for early October. SCI FI wants us to air October 9th. We will run concurrently with Stargate Universe. I think they premiere with a two-hour episode and then the following week we will run together.
Anyway, that’s the plan. We’ll hopefully start shooting at the beginning of march at the latest.

PCZ: It may be a bit early to talk about this, but is everybody locked in for coming back?

AT: Yeah, it is a bit early to talk about that. We’re still working on it. What we’d like to see more of is Ryan Robbins, who plays Henry Foss. I think you’ll see a bit more of him this season. He just turned out to be such a lovely character and such great comic relief.

PCZ: And he’s a werewolf!

AT: Isn’t that awesome? This are the things where you think you know what’s going on and then we turn it on its ear. Tesla’s a vampire, what? I love it, I love that we do that.

PCZ: That’s what was great about Henry, people wonder why he’s sticking around. Does he owe Magnus for something? Then you find out he’s a werewolf. I think that’s one of the things you guys did really well in the first season. Taking things like vampires and Watson and Tesla and taking the things we think we know about them and turning that on its side.

AT: I love that and I love the fact that there is the hint of politicians and artists in history that make you go “What? Hoover was into what?”

PCZ: Is that something we can expect to continue into the second season?

AT: Oh, absolutely! Like I said, we’d also like to go back to Victorian times. We’re breaking a story right now with Watson back in the early days. I like the idea of that because there’s so much to draw from. There’s 157 years of recent history to pull from that we can look at and see what
shaped these people and see what they do.

PCZ: So, the other thing that aired recently was the final episode of Stargate Atlantis. What was it like going back and shooting that?

AT: It was really hard, I have to be honest with you. Stargate has been my home for such a long time that jumping out of that nest was such a big, scary leap to make. I’m glad I did it, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is creatively I feel revitalized. But to go back with that crew, that
wonderful crew and that cast – they were all their in the makeup trailer. It was weird and bittersweet because it was their last episode and it sort of didn’t make sense to me why it was ending. So, it was bit weird. I had gone off and done my own thing and now I was coming back and there was this sense of sadness about the place. It was hard. I mean, my car knows how to drive to Bridge Studios. I walked into Joe Mallozzi’s office and had such a lovely talk with him. Brad Wright and Rob Cooper came down before my last shot and gave me a hug. But it opens the door for movies and there’s a certainly a lot of talk about that. I would jump back into the army boots any day.

 “I remember we were at Don Davis’ memorial and I was standing in his kitchen with his wife, Ruby, and Joe Mallozzi said ‘We’re naming the ship the General Hammond.’ And we all just lost it. “

PCZ: My favorite part of the final episode was the little tribute to Don Davis and General Hammond. I think it speaks highly of the cast and crew that even in an episode where so much needs to get done, room is made to have a scene like that.

AT: Something had to be said that’s such a show of respect for an incredible man who…here come the tears…but something had to be said. “Of course you are, thank you.” It’s a subtle, simple tribute, which is exactly – Don was a simple, beautiful man so that’s how they did it, it was
lovely. You can’t overplay it, you’ve just got to say it. As an actor you wonder how you could possibly do justice to it. It one line and it’s so huge. So, it was just keeping it simple and lovely.

PCZ: Definitely a perfect moment at the right time. And it also takes Carter off in a new direction too. Hopefully we’ll get to explore that a little in the movies.

AT: I hope so!

PCZ: So, to finish up with Sanctuary, we get an Invisible Woman at the end of the season who seems to be a love interest for Will. Is that something that might continue as well?

AT: Yeah, we’re looking at how we’re going to pursue that too. There’s so many balls in the air right now, you want to explore all of them, but you want to do them all justice. You don’t want to do a cheap one-off. The beauty of the thirteen episodes is it sort of gives everyone a chance to
reveal. Characters have happened so organically and the relationships have happened so organically. We’re still trying to figure it all out. We’re literally sitting here breaking stories now. We come up with great ideas and then there are a whole bunch of other people who get to weigh in. So some ideas go, some stay and some are morphed. The interesting thing about this show has always been we don’t have a big studio backing us. We are our own studio essentially, so we have to go after private funding. That’s probably been by far the most difficult part of the whole process, trying to keep the show alive. We are a critical success and getting great numbers on the network and overseas so it’s “Yay, we got picked up for a second season! Yay, who’s going to pay for it?”

PCZ: Hopefully you get to stay out of all of that.

AT: No, sadly, I’m involved in all of that. There’s times when I go, “I just want to be an actor again! It was so much easier.” It was so much less complicated. I have a whole new respect for this side of things. I used to look at Sam Carter and her ten pages of techno-babble and think “My job is so hard.” Part of me looks back and says “You idiot, you don’t know how good you had it!”

PCZ: Congratulations again on the second season pick-up. Definitely looking forward to seeing how things get resolved and where things go from there.

AT: Yeah and hopefully we’ll be talking again part way through.

PCZ: Yes, I would love to do that, so we will be talking to you again down the road. And thank you for your time today.

AT: Great! Thank you so much.


Kamil Trzebiatowski: Hello, everyone! My name is Kamil, and I am the webmaster for AmandaTapping.Com.
Amanda Tapping: Yay!

KT: Hi! Hi Amanda, how are you doing?

AT: I am great, thank you.

KT: Uh, we haven't had an interview since last year. It's been a while.

AT: Wow. We talk on the phone, but we don't actually interview. You're right, you're right.

KT: Yeah, that's what I meant, of course. [Amanda laughs.] So, hopefully, it's over there today?

AT: It's very sunny and very cold here in Vancouver, but it's lovely.

KT: Ok, good. I'd tell you, but it's very dark around here. So - you right now are a Woman of Vision, because you were awarded Woman of Vision award from Women in Film & TV Vancouver.

AT: Yeah. I got awarded with that. The award ceremony is in March - March 7th. Yeah, I was totally surprised. I was nominated and some letters were written. I think I was nominated for Woman of the Year, but the jury awarded me a special prize, Woman of Vision, which is lovely. So I am very honoured by that. Women in Film is a great organisation that's really supportive of women of all aspects of film and television, but really honours young up-and-coming filmmakers and actresses, all manner of people involved in this industry, but it's just a great organisation and, you know, I am a champion for women, so it was a huge huge honour.

KT: That's fantastic. I understand that's about you taking the webcast version of Sanctuary to broadcast version - that's part of it, right?

AT: Yeah, that's part of it, and the mentoring that I do in the community and I guess the fact that I've gone from actress to director to executive producer and, you know, basically, all the levels of my newfound insanity are being honoured. [KT and AT laugh.]

KT: Yeah, we'll talk about that a little bit later, actually. Uh, yeah, so, I mean, actually along the same lines, how has that transition from being - I think you referred to it "just an actor", I think it was actually in our last interview--

AT: Just an actor; I was being just an actor!

KT: -- to producer and actor. How has that transition been for you and what kind of challenges are there for it and what rewards?

AT: The hardest thing is time management and all the different hats that I wear. I just find it very stressful to do honour to Helen Magnus, who's a great character, while I am running around looking at budgets and dealing with the network and dealing with, you know, our finances and whatever. There's just so much additional... crap, if you will, that you have to do. I like the executive producing part of it a lot. Once the show wrapped, it was all about post-production, going to sound mixes and colour correction. I loved that, and Damian and Martin and I were able to spend a lot of time together. It was a big learning curve for me, but I totally totally enjoyed that part of it and I still do, so the actual producing part of it I really love. It's corporate side of it that I don't love so much.

KT: The corporate side. Basically, the money part, yeah.

AT: But otherwise, yeah, it's been an amazing education and, you know, I went to a directors guild meeting the other night and I wasn't sure if I really had the right to be there, but they were talking about issues and one of the big directors in Canada had stood before the CRTC, which is our regulatory board, and talked about the Internet and had used Sanctuary as an example and then, you know, we were discussing that at this meeting and I thought, 'Wow, I've really... a lot has happened to me in the last few years - for me to be sitting in this room and talking with these directors about arts - you know, it's pretty amazing.

KT: Wow, congratulations!

AT: Thanks.

KT: When you said that it's an honour to do the Helen Magnus character, how to you does she in the television series compare to the character from the original Internet series - how do you see that? And is this - her development this year - what you had in mind when you were starting the series when it was distributed online?

AT: Right. Well, in the webisodes I think she was much darker, much more mysterious.

KT: I thought so as well, yeah.

AT: And I would like-- we're sort of going back towards that a little bit. She became, partly because of so many people weighing in on what they wanted to see this character become and how they wanted to see her develop in networks and all different people weighing in. I think we homogenised her too much. We made her-- We made her too accessible in some ways, if that makes sense.

KT: I see what you mean, yeah, I see what you mean.

AT: I still think she needs to relax a little bit and get a bit more humour about her, but I also think that the edgier side of Helen, the dark side of Helen, needs to come out more, and, you know, we sort of explored that in episodes like Requiem and we'll definitely be exploring it more in season 2. We've talked a lot more and I've sat down with network executives about how, you know, where I think she should go and part of that, the consensus is, yeah, we need go back a bit more to the webisode Helen, which is darker and more mysterious, and therefore, I think, in some ways more interesting, because it's like 'what is she all about? I don't get it.' I don't want her to be so accessible that people now understand her. I want people to still question what she's all about.

KT: Yeah, so they can keep thinking what is she about actually, what is she--

AT: Yeah, what is she gonna do next? You know, you never know what she's gonna do next.

KT: But speaking of Requiem, that was some amazing acting, I have to say.

AT: Thank you.

KT: You actually scared me.

AT: I scared myself, although my brothers--

KT: That was the idea, so--

AT: Yeah. My brothers watched it and said, 'Oh, it reminded us of you at 15, and I was like, 'Aaaarghh!'

KT: Aaaargh!

AT: But, it was a scary show, for Robin and for myself, and for Martin. Martin really put himself out there as a director, and really pushed his own envelope in a lot of ways and pushed us. And it was really the first time Martin and I really had a fight on set - that was doing Requiem. Because we were so much in our own heads about what we wanted, and it was such a difficult thing to sort of let loose and take all of restraints off myself as an actor, but take all of restraints off the character. And you know, not be afraid of looking ugly and hideous and showing all the dark sides of her - and it was scary. And Martin really kept pushing and pushing and we had our first fight. And we kinda laugh about it now, we totally can laugh, because we actually brought out the best in each other, which is kind of why the partnership works so well, but it was a really scary and fun show. By the end of it we were exhausted. Robin and I were like, 'Oh God, we're so tired!' But it was great.

KT: I personally thought that it was probably the scariest you've ever done.

AT: Absolutely.

KT: And also, maybe because the episode was in a way theatrical. There was just two of you really, there was nothing more to-- it was just you.

AT: Yeah. Very much so. It was-- it felt like a piece of theatre, like just doing a nice two-handed play; that's what it felt like.

KT: All it really based upon was the two of you and the acting and that's why it worked so well.

AT: Yeah. It was great. Great fun.

KT: Right, so - without obviously giving anything away and without spoiling anything for the future, what direction do you see Sanctuary going next year and hopefully, well, year after that or

AT: Years into the future!

KT: Years into the future! Well, if you are Helen Magnus, obviously you have loads to live.

AT: Yes, exactly! Many, many years. We are exploring a lot more of the backstory of the characters. We'll be going a bit more darkside like I said with Helen and her relationships. We're gonna go back in time a little bit in some episodes, in flashbacks, because there's such an amazingly rich history to draw on with these characters and with Helen in particular, and John Druitt. There's so much... like what were they like in the 20s, what happened to them in the 30s during the Depression, and what... you know, when this was going on in history, where was Helen and what was John doing. There's just so much opportunity to go back. I would really like to go back into Victorian era in England a bit more and explore the start of that relationship, so we've talked a lot about doing things like that. The interpersonal relationships, exploring Will's backstory a bit more and basically broadening up the mythology. We've got some really-- we've got four writers working right now and we're having a really good time playing around with what next, what can we do now? Let's try this, what happens next, you know.

KT: I was just thinking it would be really interesting to understand in a way what made them even go through such experiments as they were, because we don't really... what kind of mentality they actually had to start doing that, to even start thinking about doing that. That would be quite interesting.

AT: Yeah, absolutely.

KT: Having done Sanctuary for one year and now having been picked up for the next year, how in general do you feel about last year? Do you feel you've accomplished what you wanted to do fully or partially? And what has been difficult from the Sanctuary perspective and what turned out to be easier?

AT: Well, I have to say, I think that we literally pulled off the impossible last year. We had a very very very small amount of time when we finally got the green light and finances in place. We had an incredibly short amount of time to deliver the show. So the fact that we started shooting when we did in May and-- we were able to deliver the show we delivered is astounding to me. I think, you know, and everyone said, 'there's no way, there's no way you guys will be able to pull off a full show,' and we did! So I am really proud of that. We did it holding a business model that nobody had ever heard of and that was amazing and I think I am most proud of the fact that we actually put together 13 really good episodes of television in the time frame that we had. Like Damian put together Requiem in 4 days.

KT: Wow!

AT: Yeah.

KT: That's incredible. That almost sounds undoable!

AT: Yeah. He wrote it in four days. He prepped it in such a short period of time and shot it in 5 or 6. What I think I am the most proud of is the team effort, like the fact that we as a team were able to do this. I am really proud of my partners. I am really proud of Martin and Damian as human beings and as men and as creators. I can't imagine going through this journey without these two. And I'll get very maudlin and sort of emotional about it, but we have been through so much together in these last few years, and especially, even just now, you know trying to again get the finances together for a second season. We don't have a big studio backing us - it's scary scary thing we're trying to do. And I'm so proud of that. So, sure, what I would love to have done differently is: have more time. Have more time to prep, have more time to get the crew, you know... like we are now looking at a 3-week prep period, where we really should have 5. You know, not being under so much pressure than we seem to perform--

KT: Yes, I see. I understand. I see. That would've helped.

AT: And, you know, it'd be great to have a big studio and maybe have some more money behind us so we could, you know, do really huge huge shows. Like, we had to do some bottle shows, which ended up actually being really great shows for us. Kush and Requiem being, you know, being the two that we tried to save money on. And I think I am really proud of both those shows. But obviously I would love to have had more time.

KT: Yeah. Because that would allow for a bigger scope.

AT: Absolutely.

KT: Back in the time when Sanctuary was mostly Internet based, you and your team were promising a lot of online interactivity with your fans. The viewers might suggest or shape the future storylines. And now that Sanctuary is a television series, is that something you're still considering?

AT: I think that it's really hard to do that as a TV series, because we have so many obligations to networks whereby they get to weigh in on what we do. We still want to go back to an Internet model of some form, but we have been so busy making the series and-- Yeah, what happened with the Internet show, in a nutshell, is we ran out of money. We tried too much too soon. We spent a lot of money on the screen, we spent a lot of money trying to build the company, and we ran out of money. And if I think, if I could do it differently I would have been far more careful with what we spent money on and therefore had more time to build up the web, and build up the website and build up the interactivity. You know, we had great ideas and really really pure hearts when we set out to do it, we just didn't have the funds to continue it, so that's where that fell apart.

KT: I am also guessing that it's that much more difficult to do it online, by selling it online--

AT: Absolutely. There just isn't a viable business model, though there are a lot better coming out now. I think we were a few years ahead of our time. But there wasn't, when we did that, a viable business to make that happen, and I think you're gonna see that happening now. So eventually, I'd love to see more presence of Sanctuary on the web.

KT: All right! Well, fingers crossed!

AT: Yeah. Thank you.

KT: Fingers crossed - very tightly. [Amanda laughs.] You have received a number of awards and nominations for your work as an actor and now as an executive producer. There were Leo Awards, Gemini Awards, SyFy Genre Awards, and personally I hope you get recognised for Requiem. What do you think you 20 years ago would say to this and how would you react?

AT: I wouldn't have believed it. I think, you know-- This is gonna sound... and I always do this with you, Kamil, and I am sorry, this is gonna sound hokey. I'm so happy to do what I do for a living. Honestly, at the end of a day, I love what I do. I love the people I work with. The awards are wonderful, but it's like icing on a really really great cake. And I think I've said that to you before and it still holds true - like, the awards that mean the most to me are things like Women of Vision award from Women in Film, where I am being honoured by my peers for my work outside of just acting. You know, I was really stoked by the Canadian Comedy Award, because it was nice to be recognised for something outside of sci-fi. But, you know Leo Awards and then Gemini nominations and Saturns... It's sort of like, 'Wow, and this TOO?' I am too lucky! What I get to do, what I love to do for a living, make money doing it and I get awards, too? It just seems, you know, it's too much. It's... I just, I am really grateful. Gosh, I really am. You know. Well, we know each other well, so you know that I am very emotional.

KT: Yes, you are.

AT: But it's just...

KT: (Jokingly) That was probably a very nasty question, but--

AT: (Jokingly) Very nasty question, Kamil!

KT: I know, but just wanted to point out that it is well deserved.

AT: Thank you. I really appreciate that, my friend.

KT: Really congratulations.

AT: Thank you.

KT: Because I myself watch episodes like Requiem... you know, because we see the final product, and not the actual effort - just trying to imagine how it must work, how much effort goes into that and how much talent of yours goes into that - it is well deserved. That's why I hope that you're going to be extremely successful with Sanctuary, because it's a very special project.

AT: It is. You know, I was just putting together, I had to put together a 2-minute clip for the Women in Film spotlight gala awards and Jaclyn MacRae helped me put it all together and the two of were going together - and Martin, too - and we were going through all the footage, behind the scenes footage, because I decided instead of doing it like a 2-minute acting clip I would try to show how much fun the show was. It wasn't really about me, but about people that I work with and how much fun we have. And I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. Because a) I was making fun of myself, you know, and putting it out there to the world, but b) I was just like: our show is so much fun! It really is special - I am so blessed that, again, I get the opportunity, much like Stargate, to do something like this. You know, something that's close to my heart, with great people and - wow! How often do you get that opportunity? Twice in a lifetime for me - amazing.

KT: Wow. Again, fingers crossed. [Amanda laughs.] For many years to come.

AT: Thank you.

KT: And then recently you appeared in the last episode of Stargate Atlantis. I mean the series, of course.

AT: Yes.

KT: Can you share with us some of your best memories from shooting of Enemy at the Gate? And how was that different from when you were a regular member of the cast on the show? How was that similar? How was that different and how was that similar?

AT: It was similar in that Stargate, the franchise, has always put together a really amazing crew. AndStargate Atlantis is no exception. They have a phenomenal working crew on that show. So I was... I just loved them, as people, I was just so grateful to be able to go back and hang out with them. So it felt a lot like... it felt very comfortable. It was like being at home. What was different was I had gone off and shot Sanctuary. I was coming back, I had wear a wig. It was a weird thing for Carter and I felt sort of almost like I had betrayed the franchise by going off and doing something else, you know what I mean? Everyone was wonderful, I mean, I can't say enough. But it was the last day of shooting and I felt like maybe I didn't have a right to be there on the last day. Like, this was their show. And so it was really weird, it was very bittersweet. People were very sad and it was that, you know, it was the last day of the show and they knew the show had been cancelled, so it was kind of weird, it was a very odd day. Everyone was wonderful, you know, Brad and Rob, came over and talked to me, and Joe Malozzie and Paul Mullie. I had a great talk with Joe. You know, and I got to hang out with David and I got to hang out with Joe Flannigan. It was really... in so many way it was wonderful, but it was really really really bittersweet.

KT: Yeah, and then I think we can safely assume you're really looking forward to joining the Stargate SG-1 cast in the third movie.

AT: Yes! Yes, yes, yes!

KT: It's coming out - it's Project Terzo, right?

AT: Yeah, I don't know when it's gonna happen, but I am very very excited.

KT: Well, I can imagine! Fingers crossed that this works, too. I can imagine you're going to be really excited about it, coming back.

AT: Yeah. Definitely. I mean, the movie as far as I know has been greenlit. I just don't know when it will shoot. So depending on when it shoots will depend on how much I am able to participate in it. But I told Brad in no uncertain terms I want to be in the movie! And he said I am in the movie, so it's all good! Yeah.

KT: Sanctuary, Stargate SG-1, you're going to England for Collectormania to promote your show, and there's also a convention in November in London that you're going to.

AT: Yeah, my beloved Gabit convention!

KT: Yeah! And, of course, you're a mom. So - do you get any time to unwind?

AT: No.

KT: Right. So how would you like to relax?

AT: I have to find the time, this is something that I'm trying to do now. I go to the gym every morning for an hour, and I've started to actually-- I used to just go just three mornings a week, now I'm going every day, just so I can, even if it's just running. That's my time, I'm taking hot yoga, that's my time to myself, but otherwise, no. I mean, there's really-- there's only 24 hours in a day and they seem to be pretty full, and I love being a mom, so given the opportunity to give to the gym or hang out with Olivia, I'll stay in with Olivia.

KT: Obvious choice.

AT: You know, give me the opportunity to go shopping by myself or hang out with Olivia, I'm gonna hang out with Olivia. So I don't have a lot of time to myself, but I don't begrudge it at all.

KT: So - what is your absolutely top favourite way to relax, obviously after Olivia?

AT: Uh, painting.

KT: Painting.

AT: And I do it with Olivia. We have a little easel set up downstairs for her and mine and we paint together.

KT: What kind of things are you painting?

AT: I just it, like, I put on canvas, I put acryllic on canvas, and Olivia does acryllic on... everything else. The whole house. Yeah. And I love it. Sitting there and mixing colours with her and teaching her about colours. It's really fun. So that, I'm still plucking away at my guitar by myself, quietly. Yeah. Those are my favourite. But honestly, my favourite leisure activity, besides being outside in the woods, is painting with Olivia. And she's getting good!

KT: Oh cool! So, painting, music, acting, what else?

AT: Yeah, that's it. Painting, music, acting, yoga and hiking. I think my day is pretty full, Kamil, I've had enough! Enough!

KT: Yeah, I can imagine that! Right, I have just this one last question. That's actually has been asked at AmandaTapping.Com in emails. Questions from aspiring actresses.

AT: Oh, okay.

KT: Asking you for a piece of advice. I just thought you might want to be given a chance to simply say it. Looking back at your own life, knowing how much you must've changed and what strenghts you yourself have gained, what advice do you think you can pass on to--

AT: I hugely support taking classes all the time. I still take classes. Because as you grow, you change and the things that used to get you into your work when you were, you know 19, 20, don't work when 30, don't work when you're 40, like everything, you know, you have to keep checking in with yourself. It's like an instrument, you have to keep tuning it. So I always tell young actresses - keep taking classes. Keep taking classes, because different things work. The other thing that I wish that I had had when I started, so it's astounding to me that I've had the success that I've had, because I-- I lacked a lot of confidence. I didn't take risks that I wish sometimes-- you know when I look back at my early work I wish I had taken more risks with my work. But I didn't because I lacked the confidence to do it. And I think it's really important. So now what I am doing is I am scaring the crap out of myself all the time. As an artist and as a-- you know, now creating and developing this show, the fact that I am scaring the shit out of myself is important... I swore. Sorry.

KT: What you mean is: if you don't try, you don't get.

AT: Exactly. Exactly. And in trying you have to take risks. You know, not stupid risks or risks that are gonna compromise you but you have to take risks. You have to do work that scares you. And I also say to every actor that asks me: Get on stage. Community theatre, whatever. Whatever you can get your hands on, get on stage, because treading those boards is a completely different thing than being in front of the camera and it gives you a true, immediate appreciation of being in that moment. You know, it's easy on camera to sort of go, 'Oh sorry, I messed it up, let's go again.'

KT: Yeah, so you can repeat it.

AT: Yeah. I think it's important to test your medal onstage. And get a good support group. I had a really great support group in Toronto, really amazing women. You know, we supported each other and talked to each other about auditions and helped each other with clothes and did exchanges. That-- it's rare in this industry that that happens, but when it does, you know, if you can create that kind of environment, do it. It's so good.

KT: So get as much experience in between of you as possible.

AT: Yeah. And read, read, read plays. Read plays out loud.

KT: Thank you very much.

AT: Thank you!

KT: Thank you for the interview, for finding time to talk to us and answering all those, I think, thirteen questions.

AT: Oh my gosh. Well, can I say something to you, and maybe you can actually put this up on the website as well, Kamil?-- is I wanted to thank the fans for their support of my recent fundraiser. I am blown away that we raised as much money as we did for this school. The school is blown away. Most of their fundraising initiatives thus far have earned them 5,000CAD or 6,000CAD, so to get close to 24,000-25,000CAD is huge for this small school of 60 students.

KT: Absolutely, absolutely.

AT: So thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for their support. And, like you and I talked about before the interview, you know, there is-- we're gonna be launching something pretty exciting soon, so - stay posted. Keep-- Once you and I get our act together!

KT: Yeah.

AT: Okay.

KT: Definitely, definitely.

AT: Thank you.

The good folks at “Stargate Magazine” have sent over a sneak preview of an upcoming interview with Amanda Tapping. The interview is from the current issue (issue 27) and is available on newsstands and in bookstores now.

Amanda Tapping is a busy woman. Not only is she the lead actress an Executive Producer on the hit show Sanctuary, but she still finds time to occasionally don Sam Carter’s uniform. Despite Carter’s departure fro “Stargate: Atlantis” in the first episode of season five, she came back for
the series finale. Shooting Sam’s return during the show’s final week mus have been bittersweet.

“I was there for the last day!” exclaimed the actress when we spoke just after the show wrapped. “I wasn’t there for the last shot, I have to b honest, because it’s a hard shot to watch. I had just wrapped “Sanctuary”, s I came off my new show and back on to “Stargate: Atlantis”, and I started
feeling weird. It was sad. I was really shocked when it got canceled. The show was doing well, the episodes this season are really good, it was getting good ratings and everything was in place ­ it made sense to keep it going. They’re a great crew and I hope that they manage to keep a lot of
that crew on for ‘Universe’.”

The family atmosphere on the “Stargate” set is legendary, and these very pages often carry tales of the good times to be had in Vancouver. Are there any particular memories from her sojourn to the City of the Ancients that Tapping will take with her?

“I;d have to go back to season four. Doing the episode Trio with David Hewlett and Jewel Staite. I don’t know what the fans thought of the episode, and it¹s probably best that I don’t know, because it was just so much fun! I haven’t laughed so hard in such a long time ­ the whole cast of “Stargate: Atlantis” are really talented, really nice people. Being able to hang out just the three of us and go through those shared experiences was amazing; me conquering my fear of heights ­ not really, but trying to; being thrown around on a gimble, and writing “Stargate: Atlantis” ­ The Musical. Those kinds of memories are priceless. That for me was a huge highlight.”

As far as Amanda Tapping is concerned, that legion of fans deserve special mention:

“I’ve always said that the fans have always been paramount to me, and they’ve been amazing. I want to say thank you to the people who have supported, and continue to support me, no matter what I do. They went over and checked out ‘Sanctuary’ when it was on the web to be supportive of me, and I appreciate that. Whether they stick with the show or not is entirely up to them, but the fact that they gave it a try is hugely important. The fact that they gave me a chance going over to ‘Stargate: Atlantis’ is just as big.

You remember the bad things, but I really try to remember the good thing that people have said, and there have been so many.” With two possible movie appearances next year, whatever the future holds, Sam Carter’s place in the Stargate-verse will never be in doubt.

Given my position, I’ve always been uncomfortable referring to myself as a fan of a particular actor or actress.  Sure, there are performers whose work I admire and enjoy, but I would never go so far as to call myself “a fan”.  That said, I will say this: I am a fan of Amanda Tapping.  In fact, I’m a HUGE Amanda Tapping fan.  And I’m not the only one.  No, I’m not talking about all those Samantha Carter supporters out there.  I’m talking about pretty much anyone who has had the pleasure to work with Amanda over the years.  She’s immensely talented, ever-professional, and just plain delightful.

But enough of me talking about Amanda.  Let’s let Amanda talk about Amanda.  Here’s her Q&A.  At the risk of inundating her, I trimmed the initial 20+ pages of questions down to half that before sending them her way - so if you didn’t get your question answered, my apologies.

Over to Amanda…

Ngan writes: “1. What’s your take on Sam’s and Jack’s relationship? Dating, Engaged, Married?”

AT: Sleeping together…once he’s retired. Crazy, mad, passionate love. Way too much sexual tension for it not to pay off. Then, they’ll take it from there. Dating….Fishing….Dating…..

“2. Do you want to see an acknowledgement of their relationship in the next movie? If so, will there be one?”

AT: I’d like to see some pay off for all their years together. But, I don’t have any say in that.

“3. What are the chances you can get either RDA or Michael Shanks or Chris Judge to guest star in an upcoming Sanctuary episode?”

AT: I would welcome any and all of them. I do think it’s important that Sanctuary be seen as an entirely separate entity in its own right. But having said that I’d would work with any of the boys again in a heartbeat.

Laura writes: “Which was the hardest episode for you to film?”

AT: Of Stargate…..hmmmmm…. That’s so hard. Heroes because of the subject matter. Point of View. Any of the twining episodes. Of Sanctuary…Requiem.

“Did you ever watch any sci-fi TV shows/movies before you were cast in SG-1?”

AT: Battlestar. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Dr. Who. Blade Runner. Little House in the Prairie…The Space Years.

Tim Gaffney writes: “As an actress, what is the biggest difference/challenge between working on an actual set with buildings and objects you interact with and working on a virtual set where you essentially have to imagine them. It seems like it would take a lot longer to film on a virtual set because the actors would miss their marks more often than on the physical set. And could you answer the question as an executive producer as well.”

AT: Good question. As an actor it’s actually a lot like doing theatre. Very minimalist theatre. The words, the characters, the relationships, the moment all become heightened. There are no distractions. We have props and key set pieces, so that helps. But it is up to the DP, Camera, the Director and the actors to make the physicality work. It’s definitely a team effort. It doesn’t really take a lot longer to film once everyone has figured out where everything is!

Caitlyanna writes: “1. What are some of your favorite memories working on Stargate? Favorite episodes?”

AT: That is such a hard question to answer because working on the show  in general was so much fun. It was the afternoon giggles. The laughing until tears streamed down our faces. The general comfortable feeling of family and goofiness that the show fostered. It was so easy to be there. The cast, the crew, the producers, the writers, all were in on this lovely atmosphere. We prided ourselves on being the fun show that guest starts wanted to be on. I guess my favourite episode is Heroes, because it was everything that was great about our show. It showcased everyone well.
And it was so intense.

“2. How hard is it to work on an almost all green screen set on Sanctuary? (Love the show by the way.)”

AT: Thank You!!!!! It is actually quite fun and quite liberating to work on a green screen set. Once you get used to the intensity of the green, you live in the moment. Your job is to sell the reality of the situation and the space. And it becomes more about the words and the scene. I really appreciate it a lot more now.

“3. What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not acting?”

AT: Hanging out with Olivia. We paint and play music. She has an incredible imagination and I love going on adventures with her. We walk a lot in the woods looking for fairy castles. It’s precious time and it goes by so quickly. She’s reintroduced me to “wonder”.

Sheryl writes: “You are a wonderful role model for young female actors. What 1 piece of advice would you give them to watch out for when dealing with casting, producers and directors?”

AT: Be True to yourself. Don’t ever feel like you’re being compromised. Make strong choices and be prepared in auditions and on set. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but make sure they are important and relevant. It’s also important to understand where you fit on a set. They are busy and complicated places and we actors aren’t always the most important element. We need to have respect for the whole process. Spend time on set, sitting and watching what everyone does and how it all fits together.

Sandel’ writes: “There are a few interviews where you have mentioned Sanctuary’s Requiem and how you had to act like you’ve never acted before. How would you compare your experience in Requiem to the different instances in SG-1 where you portrayed all of the alternate Sam Carters?”

AT: Funny to get this question after answering Laura’s question. :) It’s cool that we think alike! Requiem was very much like the alternate Carter episodes in that I was playing a very different version of my character. It’s always fun to change things up and find the dark side. I just felt that with Requiem I stretched my wings even further. I think part of it is having more life experience under my belt. And part of it is feeling braver as a person. It just felt like a new level for me personally.

StellaByStargate writes: “The late Don S. Davis once said that to prepare for his character he liked to know everything about them…from their favorite color to their politics . When you prepare yourself to portray Sam, especially over the past few years, do you have a specific backstory in mind for the part of her life we don’t see, and if so, could you share some idea of what it is which helps you shape your performance?”

AT: I wrote some backstory at first, but so much was given to us in the first season. The writers also worked hard to develop our characters over the years. I did a lot of research into the military and into astrophysics. I wanted to feel comfortable as a soldier and as a scientist.

Suziesbluefeather writes: “You were super cute last Halloween on Ghost hunters. How scared where you really and did it effect your beliefs in the supernatural any?”

AT: Super cute!! Thank you! I was really scared a few times. The whole atmosphere on the island and in the fort was creepy. And we were so cut off from everything. We took a bus to the dock and then a ferry to the island and then a tram to the fort. So there was nowhere to run! Plus it was so cold and that made it even scarier somehow. The tunnels below the fort were, for me, the worst. I couldn’t help but imagine all those men held down there. How scared and cold and angry they must have been. It definitely had a very strange vibe. I couldn’t sleep when we got back to the hotel.

Bristow1941 writes: “ I was curious how much gender bias you find in your new role as a producer now that Sanctuary is off the ground as producers seem to have remained much more of a male-dominated role in television. What are the most successful strategies you have used to have new business associates understand the value you bring to the team (experience, female perspective, etc.)? Also how would you described your management strategy for the Sanctuary production? I’m always curious to learn from the experience of successful female executives and managers.”

AT: I am blessed in that I work with two incredibly evolved and sensitive men. I have never had to prove myself to Martin and Damian. We have known each other long enough to know what our individual strengths and weaknesses are. We have an amazing chemistry together and we are a
good team. I feel the need more as “the actor” on the show to prove my worth as an executive producer. That applies to men and women. I have to overcome the “vanity title” perception that some people have. That is dispelled once they see me work and the commitment and ethic I bring to the table. This is not to say that I haven’t encountered sexism in my career. I have. I have been referred to as “the chick” and have been spoken to as if I am stupid. I believe in grace and dignity and in humility. I’ve learned that there is more power in those virtues than there is in railing gainst injustice. I am learning, slowly, to be calmer and to take a breath before reacting. I hope I lead by example on set. I think my “style” is one of mutual respect and admiration. I believe at the end of the day, that it should be fun to be here. And I hope people understand that they are valued.

Katja writes: “What is your fondest memory regarding your fans at conventions/events and why does it stand out?

AT: I have had incredible convention experiences. Fans are always so willing to share with me. I am touched by the trust people put in me. The fact that they feel safe enough to share their life experiences and their hearts with me. I couldn’t give a single example without feeling like I was betraying someone’s trust, but suffice to say, I have been blown away by the amazing stories of courage. I am also touched by the families that I have met. Mothers and daughters, Fathers and daughters, different generations all bonding over the show. It’s incredible.

“You are known as one of the most down-to-earth actresses in the sci-fi world and very much loved, do you ever worry about disappointing your fans?”

AT: I always worry about disappointing the fans. I have a huge amount of respect for fandom. Always have, always will.

“I miss the show terribly, do you think that you would continue to participate in the movies for as long as possible?”

AT: I will be there for as long as they want me to.

Astrid writes: “I have a feeling that the writers/producers get help with the military stuff they need to create (like dialogue and what kind of outfits you should wear). Did You actors receive any special education about the military way of things? Were You educated on the different (Earth) weapons you were supposed to handle?”

AT: We were very well trained in the military aspect of the show. We had advisors and armourers. We covered everything from military protocol to the handling of various weapons.

MaggieMayDay writes: “For Amanda, what would be a “dream role” outside the realm of sci-fi?”

AT: Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter.

DasNdanger writes: “I admire Chris Heyerdahl’s work very much, especially as Todd, and now as ‘Foot and Druitt. He has a magnificent presence on the screen, and there is great chemistry between Druitt, and Helen. Will Druitt’s role become more prominent in the show, especially in relation to his family, and if you care to share, what is it like acting a scene with Chris?”

AT: Druitt will remain an important element on the show. He’s so important to Helen. Acting with Chris is wondfierously astoundazing. In other words, there are no words. He’s a dream. Instant connection, instant chemistry. He’s not afraid to try anything and as a result pushes his acting partners to do better work. I adore him.

AmmoMonkey writes: ““I was recently watching old episodes of the X-files and noticed you alongside Mitch Pileggi in the episode Avatar. How was it to work together again on Atlantis? Though of course with significantly more screen time!”

AT: When I saw Mitch on the Atlantis set, the first thing he said to me was (in a loud voice in front of the crew), “Hey last time I saw you, you were naked!!” :) He’s a character! I think he such a lovely actor and such a lovely man. No ego, no bullshit. He’s the real deal and therefore it’s a treat to spend time with him on and off screen.

Morjana writes: “1) Does Helen Magnus have any siblings?”

AT: No

“2) In “Unending,’ Sam Carter chose to learn how to play the cello. If you had the opportunity, what musical instrument would you like to learn how to play? And, do you already play one?”

AT: Piano. I would love to be able to play Piano. I play Guitar….ish.

“3) Thinking of your favorite movies, which one if it were to be remade would you like to be cast in? (PS, I totally see the cast of Stargate SG-1 in Casablanca…)”

AT: Haha. That would be cool!

“4) Do you have a portrait of yourself displayed in your attic?”

AT: Um….no. I don’t actually have an attic….or a portrait of myself. Great question….weird :) …..but great!

LibKat writes: “I remember that you directed an episode of SG1 back in season 7. Is that something you would like to pursue further? Do you think it would be more difficult to direct Sanctuary since so much is virtual?”

AT: I am slated to direct this season. It is more difficult with the green screen. Panning the camera takes on a whole new meaning. I directed a day for Martin last year and it was tough. There are so many variables to consider, like how to shoot virtual reflections for example. It’s going to be an interesting challenge.

J BlueCello writes: “1. In the Stargate SG-1 episode “Learning Curver” (written by Heather E. Ash) where Brittney Irvin played the 11-year-old reactor expert from Orban who works with Sam to help build a reactor using earth materials, Sam Carter tells “Merrin” that “Half the interesting things in my life didn’t happen till I turned 15.” Merrin asked what kinds of things, and Sam dissembles. What “interesting things” do you think Sam meant?”

AT: I think Sam in her awkward way was referring to boys. As soon as she said it she got embarrassed … and she wonders why she is still single! Sheesh.

“2. Many actors comment that playing the villain is more fun than playing the good guy. In Stargate SG-1, we had Black Ops Jack O’Neill who had done some “d**n distatesful things”, Teal’c who had killed many as Apophis’ first prime and many Goa’uld who tortured and killed countless victims, not to mention The NID/The Trust. Did you ever tire of playing Sam “Mary Poppins” Carter, and if so did the AU/RepliCarter Sam Carters help alleviate that? Did you enjoy Sanctuary’s “Requiem” more than the usual play of Helen for the same reason?”

AT: Absolutely. It’s always fun going dark side. It’s very liberating to unshackle yourself from social constraints with relative impunity.

“3. How on earth did you film the scene where Martouf joins all the various Sam Carters in the room in “Ripple Effect”???”

AT: It took along time. I ran back and forth changing outfits with the doubles. We had to position every Sam very carefully so they didn’t walk through each other. We used motion control and did the scene over and over. Peter DeLuise was very patient!

Kraut writes: “Dear Ms. Tapping, what are your plans for future projects, a) in terms of genre (Sci-Fi or something else?) and b) in terms of new challenges – specifically, will you be directing and producing more? And if so, what do you like best about working behind the camera, as opposed to in front of it?”

AT: Immediate plans are all about Sanctuary. We are just starting season two. Damian and Martin and I are developing other projects, but Sanctuary is our priority. I will be directing this year and continuing to executive produce. I like having a hand in the other creative aspects of the show.
Everything from breaking stories to casting to post production. I’m loving this journey!

Flygirl writes: “1. Since you wear both actor and Executive Producer hats for Sanctuary, how do you manage to juggle both roles, so effectively? Good planning? Good karma?”

AT: Sometimes I’m not so effective. I drop the balls. I have amazing partners at work and at home, who help me when I fall. It’s all about time management and prioritizing. I’m learning…..

“2. If you had the opportunity to produce and direct a movie about a key female figure in world history (living or dead), who would you pick as your central character?”

AT: Oh man, that’s hard. There are too many inspirational women to pick just one. Off the top of my head…Mother Theresa…selfless and committed and compassionate. It’s so hard to imagine her life, and yet she lived it with such grace.

Anne-Marie Sloan writes: “For you, what was the best part about working on Stargate???”

AT: The sense of family amongst the cast and crew. We really enjoyed the ride.

Tyler writes: “I was curious to know if, given your experience in Stargate and Sanctuary, you’ve developed a real-life interest in science and technology and what you think about having provided a positive image for young people who want to pursue a career in science (I actually 11 years old when SG-1 started and watched it all the way through an astronomy major in college).”

AT: 11 years old?!! Damn, I’m old! Congratulations on the astronomy major! I always had an interest in science. Stargate sparked a further curiosity. It’s amazing how much I retained from doing the show. I’m no expert obviously, but I can hold my own in a conversation. I love that the
show had such a positive impact on young people. It’s humbling.

MyNameIsNada writes: “If we had a chance to glimpse Carter’s life ten years into the future, where do you see her? Do you think it is more likely that Carter lives out a long, satisfying life at the SGC, or to go down as a fallen hero, along the lines shown in SGA’s “The Last Man”?”

AT: Carter would definitely go down with ship, so to speak. But if that didn’t happen, I could see Carter at the SGC. I could also see her teaching. She has such a healthy appetite for knowledge and I could see her trying to foster that in others.

NZNeep writes: “Hey Amanda, I love the idea of a true green set. The no paper cup thing is awesome. What other green initiatives do you have going on set?”

AT: No small plastic water bottles on our set. I’m giving the crew stainless steel water bottles as a start of season gift this year. We encourage the crew to bring their own plates and cutlery for lunch and their own coffee mugs. Its amazing how much of a daily environmental impact that has.
We have recycling stations on all our stages. We are trying to make it as convenient for people as possible. If you can do without a paper script and just get one electronically, we encourage that. We are trying to create less waste. We recycle and repurpose our sets. And of course we do a lot
of virtual sets, so we don’t use as much wood and building materials as most shows. That’s just for a start. We are constantly looking at ways to reduce our footprint, and the crew is so on board with it. We still have a ways to go, but we are proud of the effort everyone is making.

Tina writes: “What was the best prank ever pulled on the Stargate set?? “

AT: – Christopher Judge duct taping people to the chairs in the briefing room.

-Convincing Chris that there was a bear coming over the hill towards us on location. Michael was brilliant. The look on Chris’s face…priceless.

IggyMing writes: “1. I love your strong, intelligent portrayal of Sam Carter. I’ve read in interviews that you’ve described yourself as a feminist. Would you say that your feminist beliefs has had a strong impact on how you’ve portrayed Sam and Helen, and also the kind of roles that you accept? Thanks, by the way, for describing yourself as such, and not shying away from using the “f” word. As well, thanks so much for showing women as strong, intelligent, well-educated, sexy, kind, and compassionate individuals. I’ve always thought of Sam as being a strong role model for all women.”

AT: Wow. Thank you. I am not afraid of the word feminist. It’s been hard fought. The women of my grandmothers generation weren’t considered a “person under the law” when they were born. Astounding. We are well aware that women are still struggling around the world for equality and in some countries for their own safety. So it’s not a bad word to me. I’ve been lucky in my career that I’ve generally been cast as smart strong women. Sam and Helen have both been gifts for me as an actress. So much depth and courage. Sam is a great role model for many reasons. She helped make Amanda a stronger person.

“2. Joe mentioned the lack of recognition from the Canadian entertainment industry regarding science fiction shows, and SG1 in particular. As a Canadian actor and producer, do you feel that the Canadian industry as a whole has not embraced SG1 and Sanctuary as much as it could? Are you indifferent about this, or does it bother you?”

AT: It definitely bothers me. I don’t think Stargate was ever embraced by the Canadian industry. It was always seen as that American show even though it was filmed in Canada and the majority of people working on it were Canadian. We are finding the same thing with Sanctuary to an extent. Even though we are a 100% Canadian show. It may be a Sci-fi stigma, I don’t know. But it is something that we struggle with because amazing work is being done in this country by our writers, producers, crews and actors and our industry, to a large extent, does not validate it.

“3. As a Sam/Jack shipper, I would love to see some on-screen confirmation of their relationship. How do you feel about this… Do you think that they are already in a committed, romantic relationship? If so, do you think they’ve been together since the end of season 8? In movie 3, will you be portraying Sam as someone who is in a relationship with Jack (either subtly or not-so-subtly, depending on the script)? “

AT: Ah, it’s such an ongoing issue. Part of me wants to see it wrapped up and part of me loves the fact that it is still tantalizing. I would like to think that they, in the very least, found a really satisfying way to relieve some of that sexual tension. The script will definitely dictate how the relationship will be played.

Bailey writes: “Do you find yourself evaluating your own peformances differently, now that you are a producer?”

AT: I generally don’t watch my work. I find it too difficult because I am way too self-critical. In post production I try to look at the bigger picture and have sort of found a way not to criticize the way I look too much. It’s hard not to be constantly evaluating yourself, but it can be detrimental as an actor because you end up becoming too self aware and that kills the performance.

Artdogspot writes: “1. Aside from “Moebius”, is there an episode in SG1 that you can point to and say – “Thank God, Carter finally got to be funny!”?”

AT: Carter very rarely got be funny. What made her funny was the fact she was fairly dorky with humour. I think the later seasons showed her lightening up and becoming more comfortable in her own skin. She was a little funny with Pete.

“2. Congratulations on Sanctuary. It is great and I am so pleased you get to call the creative shots. Between the production responsibilities, on screen performances, and oh yeah, raising a family – how do you relax?”

AT: Relax???!!!!! Hahaha you’re so funny! Actually I find time with my family to be really relaxing. Walking in the woods has always been a great equalizer for me and I am practicing Yoga more. That is a huge stress reliever. It’s impossible to be too stressed around a four year old….she’s way too funny. So I’m lucky to have an amazing family for balance.

“3. How was it to work with Peter Wingfield and Jim Byrnes? I really enjoyed watching their scenes together on Highlander. Assuming that “no one really dies in Sci-fi”, I wondered if these two could be brought back together on the show somehow?”

AT: They are both amazing actors and people. And yes they will be back. The beauty of playing a character that is 157 years old is that we can go back into her history and show the people that were important in her life. We are working on a story to bring Peter back along those lines. Jim is too wonderful not to have back. We found a way to bring him back into Helen’s life and we ain’t letting him go! Will we be able to have them back together? We’ll see. I agree it would be wonderful.

Izzy writes: “In Enemy at the Gate, I was touched to see the homage to the late Don S. Davis. What were your thoughts when you read the script and saw that Sam would be the one to pay homage to him?”

AT: I cried. I can’t say enough about Don and what he means to all of us.

Fabienne writes: “Hi Amanda, you’ll be honoured with the ‘Woman of vision’ award from the Women in film and Television Vancouver in a few days (which is so awesome !!) how do you feel about that ? Do you still have time to mentor women with Sanctuary ? What did you learn from your participation in this program ?”

AT: I was so blown away by that honour. Arguably the most meaningful award I’ve ever received. Women in Film is such an incredible organization and our community here in Vancouver is so vibrant so passionate and so incredibly supportive. I still try to mentor when I can. Mostly now it is with people who work on the show. I’ve learned that there is always something to learn. I’ve also learned that I know more than I thought I did and that there is great joy in sharing my mistakes and my successes with people. I enjoy sharing my mistakes more because that’s where I’ve learned the hard lessons…and it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself. (Luckily I have a lot of material! :) )

Dani writes: “As a producer and business woman, and even as an actor, I am sure you had to do tasks that are outside your usual comfort zone or that you simply didn’t think you could accomplish. How do you go about dealing with such challenges and how do you get motivated to at least give it a try?”

AT: If the past three years have taught me anything at all, it is that life is an enormous leap of faith. I took bigger risks and took on more challenges than I thought possible, but I did it with Martin and Damian and that helped. We scared the crap out of ourselves and more than once felt like giving up, but we didn’t. I just realized that it was time in my career and in my life to take on a new goal.

“You mentioned your fear of heights you had to face for the filming of “Trio”. I too am deadly afraid of heights and was wondering if you could share how you managed to overcome it.“

AT: Uh…I didn’t really. I was so scared up there. It’s irrational and debilitating. Part of getting over it for filming was that people were waiting, the show had to go on. But at one point our rigger had to walk along the beam and take my hand and walk me back. Very embarrassing. I did feel like I was more comfortable at the end of filming that episode than I was at the beginning. But if I had to do it again today, I would be back at square one. I jumped out of a plane years ago, to try and overcome my fear of heights. I did an unassisted jump with an old army issue parachute. I survived and even felt really proud of myself…..until I had to climb up a ladder to the roof. Gulp.

Jann writes: “1) How did you, together with Martin and Damian came on the idea to make a tv-show(or internet show) like Sanctuary? And how did it progress from an idea to actually making this show?”

AT: Damian actually wrote it as a spec script back in 2000. He showed it to Martin in 2006, I think. Then they gave it to me. It grew from there through many stages. The Internet didn’t really pan out for a lot of reasons. I think we were trying too hard to do too many things at once. The TV show was a natural progression because of the interest from broadcasters. It has been a very difficult road. But we are really proud to be here.

“2) You also directed some episodes on Sanctuary and one in SG-1? Did you learn a lot of aspects for directing from Martin Wood?”

AT: I will be directing Sanctuary this year; I just filled in for Martin last year. When I first decided that it was something I wanted to do, I went to Martin and shadowed him. He is an amazing teacher and a great director. I think I’ve taken the most from watching him.

“3) Also some of us were wondering when Martin Woods birthday is? We can’t find this anywhere on the internet. Is it a state secret or are you allowed to tell it?”

AT: It is a state secret. Something to do with his past as an international super spy and gigolo.

“4) How is it to work on a project together with Martin and Damian? This is because you know both of them.”

AT: They are amazing. We compliment each other well. Plus they are both incredibly funny, well read, sensitive, caring……etc. etc. They are my best friends. The three of us have been though a lot to get this show to where it is and we have each talked each other off the ledge so many times. I have an enormous amount of love and respect for them both. I feel really lucky to be a part of this journey with them.

“5) Do you already know something more about the 3th SG1 movie?(more than that it is written)”

AT: Nothing. I heard it has been green lit. Which is great!

“6) If I recall correctly you said on AT3 that if Sam won the lottery she would buy acres and acres of land around a certain cabin in Minnesota, would Sam also go into that certain cabin? Together with a certain (retired) General(alone)?”

AT: Certainly! :)

IggyMing writes: “Will you be at the Genie Awards this year, taking placing in Ottawa? If so, is there an opportunity for the public to meet with you?”

AT: No I won’t be there. Sorry.

Jess writes: “We know that on SG-1 Sam Carter loves blue jello. How did that get started, and what are your thoughts on the treat?”

AT: I picked it out of the fridge onset on the day. I thought it looked fun. It was also kind of a weird choice for Sam. It made me laugh. It snowballed from there!

Catsmeow writes: “1. Two part question for you about parenthood: What do you like best about being a mom? What have you found to be the most difficult aspect?”

AT: I love it all. It’s grounding and heart opening and liberating and wondrous. I feel like I was meant for this. It’s so comfortable. The difficulty comes in being a working Mum and trying to find the balance. I always feel guilty.

“2. When you spend all day on the set being a particular character (whether it is Carter or Magnus or whoever) how long does it take you to shed that character once you go home? Do you find yourself still thinking and reacting as that character for while?”

AT: I shed her pretty quickly. I made a vow that the moment I walk in my front door I’m fully engaged with my family. So I have to let her go quickly.

“And along more fannish lines… 3. In the movie Continuum, after Carter, Mitchell and Daniel wind up in the altered timeline and are separated – do you really think the three of them obeyed the proscription against contact? Or do you think before they were separated they devised some clever & subtle ways to contact each other?”

AT: I think they are brilliant enough to have devised a way to stay in contact.

Carrie writes: “ I’m wondering (a) if you have any advice for the new cast of Stargate: Universe, especially regarding the technobabble. You pulled it off so effectively, and I’m wondering if there is a secret that should be passed on! Also, (b) does your daughter watch you on TV at all? If she does, what does she think?”

AT: Try to learn, at least in layman terms, what you are talking about. The secret…. Enjoy this incredible ride! The Stargate family is wonderful.

Danielfanforever writes: “Michael and Chris have both said that you’re like a sister to them. Could you please share you’re fondest memory that you guys had on the set of Stargate?”

AT: Again, I have to say it was the day to day aspect of being around them. They are good men and they are funny and smart. I loved the talks we would have. Usually when we were traveling together, after dinner and few drinks we would have these wonderful, intense talks. I miss that.

Meg writes: “What is the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?”

AT: When I doubt, keep your mouth shut.

Robin Dunne: That’s awesome music.

Coordinator: Welcome to The Sanctuary conference call. At the request of NBC this call is being recorded for instant replay purposes.

Robin Dunne: What?

Coordinator: A transcript of the call is being – also being made. With us on today’s call are Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne, also on the call is Maureen Granados of Syfy, you may begin.

Robin Dunne: Hi everyone.

Amanda Tapping: Hi.

Coordinator: Thank you, to ask a question press star, 1, you’ll be announced by name and affiliation, Jamie Ruby with Media Blvd.

Jamie Ruby: Hi, thanks for talking with us today.

Amanda Tapping: Oh thank you.


Robin Dunne: No problem.

Jamie Ruby: So first I guess I should say I saw the pilot and I really, really enjoyed it – or not the pilot the premier I guess I should say. Definitely different, things are changing and I’m curious how the dynamics are going to change between the characters and that and I don’t know if I should say what happened, I don’t know if everybody saw it, but how like things are going to be different this year with the characters relationships and everything?

Amanda Tapping: I think because it’s our second season you’re going to see a lot of changes in terms of the interpersonal relationships. I think Season 1 was very much about introducing everybody – introducing the Sanctuary itself, the creatures, what everyone does and where they come from.

And so now Season 2 is just – now we get to play within those parameters. And obviously we start our season with a massive – we ended Season 1 with a massive cliffhanger and start with this very highly intense two-part episode.

Jamie Ruby: Yes.

Amanda Tapping: And not to tease anything up but it, you know, it looks like things are changing at the Sanctuary. Season – Episode 3 will be very much about trying to rectify that situation and I don’t know how much we’re allowed to say.

Jamie Ruby: That’s why I said I didn’t know…


Amanda Tapping: Yeah, yeah…

Jamie Ruby: …exactly how to phrase it.

Amanda Tapping: There are changes and we are bringing in new characters. You’ll see a lot more of Henry this year than you did last year. We’re bringing in a wonderful new character named Kate Freelander. The relationship between and Druitt and Magnus changes and most importantly the relationship between Magnus and Will becomes, I think, so much deeper and so much more intense.

Robin Dunne: I think it’s because like, you know, everything is really falling apart around us. There’s going to be, you know, more of blunt relationship more of like a brutal honesty between all of the characters particularly Magnus and Will because really, you know, kind of our lives depend on it.

We can’t, like, we can’t afford to be anything but, you know, brutally honest with each other. And I think there’s going to be, you know, definite strains in the relationship over this season. But because of those strains, I think all the relationships will get stronger, you know, because of that.

Jamie Ruby: Thanks. So how do you guys feel about working – I know Amanda you’ve done it for awhile now but about working on the green screen and not really have a set. Does that affect a lot the way you act or?

Amanda Tapping: I think it – I actually think it makes the work a little more honest in a strange way. I think that you get so used to having stuff around you and things to play with and, you know, you hear the expression actor’
s chewing scenery, we actually can’t do that on our show.

Jamie Ruby: Yeah.

Amanda Tapping: This is initially frustrating but I think what ends up happening is it becomes –and Robin and I have talked about this — it becomes about the words and the moment and the actual true, honest interaction between these two characters. You can’t – there’s nothing else to play with so it really does become a little more honest in some ways.


Robin Dunne: Yeah, you’ve…


Amanda Tapping: A minimalist theater.

Robin Dunne: Yeah I was just going to say you’ve used the analogy of that it’s kind of like theater and it really is. I mean because there’s no set there most of time or a lot of the time anyway, you know, we do – we just have each other to rely on. But also, the benefits that we get, I mean, this show because of the amount of green screen we use, we can go anywhere, we can do anything and the possibilities are limitless. So to have that luxury, you know, any small difficulties is – we have working with the green screen are well worth it when you see the final product.

Jamie Ruby: Okay, well lastly can you – can both of you kind of tell us how you got the parts in the show to begin with?

Amanda Tapping: We both actually were handed these parts.

Jamie Ruby: That’s good.

Amanda Tapping: Yeah it was really sweet. I of course know Martin and Damian from Stargate. I’ve know Martin for 13, 14 years now and Damian for about 7 or 8 years. And Damian had written a script back in 2001 as a spec script and pulled it out, dusted it off and handed it to Martin and said “What do you think of this? Do you think would make a good series, or we should do something with this.”

And Martin said “You have to give this to Amanda.” And so, they drove it over to my house and I read the script and fell absolutely madly in love with it and with Helen and the three of us sat down. And when it came to casting the part of Will there was no choice, it – Martin talked about this wonderful young actor named Robin Dunne and how great he was as a person and how wonderful he was as an actor.

Robin and Martin worked together on a film, you can tell them about that Robin. And basically we looked him up on IMDB, he’s super cute is what I said. We must cast him.

Robin Dunne: Stop it, stop it.


Amanda Tapping: And he flew up and met with us and it was just like instant yes.

Robin Dunne: Yeah actually I…


Jamie Ruby: Oh sure.

Amanda Tapping: Go ahead Robin.

Robin Dunne: I’d worked with Martin about 10 years ago on a movie we shot in Romania that shall not be named. But, you know, I’d kept in touch with Marty over the years and he – yeah he just – same kind of thing. He called me up and said “Look we’re doing this thing, can I send you the script?” I read it and was blown away by it. And…


Amanda Tapping: And he said I promise you it’s not anything like Teenage Space Vampires.

Robin Dunne: Yes, or the movie that should not be named, as I said. So yeah I came over to Vancouver and I think the chemistry was instantaneous, I just felt immediately at home and, you know, meeting Amanda and meeting Damian Kindler and the whole crew it just felt like yeah this is – like this is the job that I want to do and the feeling has really sustained over the entire time. And it’s just been such a great job to have and a lot of fun and, you know, a challenge at the same time.

Jamie Ruby: Yeah, well you two are definitely great in it, so.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you.

Robin Dunne: Thank you.

Jamie Ruby: Thank you.

Coordinator: Julia Diddy, Fancast.com.

Julia Diddy: Hello Amanda and Robin and thanks so much for your time today.


Amanda Tapping: Oh, thank you.

Robin Dunne: No problem.

Julia Diddy: For each of you, what lessons or experiences from Season 1 particularly shaped how you approached Season 2?

Amanda Tapping: I think…


Robin Dunne: I think, I mean – sorry go ahead Amanda.

Amanda Tapping: No, no you go ahead.

Robin Dunne: I mean I think my approach to Will, I mean, you know, Season 1 for Will was a lot about sort of coming into this world and not really being sure about it and having one foot in his old life and one foot in his new life and not really sure which way he was going to go.

And I think definitely Season 2 for Will is he’s let go of his old life and he’s really resigned himself to the fact that he’s – he lives in this world and, you know, he just has to own it because this is where he lives. And I think, you know, definitely the approach to this job for myself was much the same.

I mean there was – I’d never had a job that’s this size before, being on a series like this, particularly this type of series with the green screen and everything that comes along with it. And I think certainly Season 1 it was a lot about me, you know, trying to get used to being in this world and working on this show.

And I think Season 2 from an acting standpoint was more about being comfortable with it and trying to take the character to a deeper place.

Julia Diddy: Okay.

Amanda Tapping: Yeah, I think for both of us there was a lot of confidence going into Season 2. Season 1 I mean for me Magnus is such an enigma, she’s such an eccentric, different character that I have.


Julia Diddy: Yes.

Amanda Tapping: She’s really like – I mean there’s so many things that she does that I go, “What?” And it’s like I have to wrap my head around her and go, okay, okay I can figure this out, it has to make sense to me. And Season 1 was a lot of trying to figure out what makes this woman tick. And also just the physicality of her, she’s a far more sexual character than I’ve ever played and going literally from Army boots to stilettos was a transition. There’s a lot of things about her that I have to get used to. And I
think that…


Robin Dunne: So you call those Friday nights?

Amanda Tapping: Exactly.

Robin Dunne: I’m sorry I shouldn’t be (unintelligible).

Amanda Tapping: Oh, we just have so little fun doing this show.

Julia Diddy: Yeah.

Robin Dunne: Yeah, we don’t have any fun.

Amanda Tapping: It’s a drag. But Season 2 I felt more confident. And I think I felt more confident. There was a really beautiful, organic relationship development between Will and Magnus and between Robin and I. And I’m so comfortable with him; and I think that that was part of, you know, you start with a new cast and it’s getting used to each other. And with Robin and I it happened so quickly and it just felt so natural and organic.

And I mean we’ve traveled around the world together and I think that that informed so much of what you’re seeing on screen in Season 2 is this level of comfort and this level of confidence with each other. I’m not afraid to try anything and I don’t think Robin is either and so Season 2, what I’ve learned is just it’s safe, it’s totally safe.

Robin Dunne: Yeah. I definitely think like, you know, every day we work that the environment gets safer, it feels safer and out of that, you know, you’re able to do your best work when you feel totally at ease with everybody around you and totally trusting in them and that’s certainly how I feel as well.

Amanda Tapping: Yeah, it’s a huge part of it.

Julia Diddy: Oh, excellent. And out of the batch of new, upcoming episodes for each of you which one has been your personal favorite so far?

Robin Dunne: Oh yeah there’s a couple.

Amanda Tapping: Next Tuesday is an episode that’s very, just all about Will and Magnus. It’s a Damian and Martin would figure out how to torture Robin and Amanda episode. It’s like Requiem was for Season 1.

Julia Diddy: Oh, wow.

Amanda Tapping: We end up in the bore well of an abandoned oil rig in a helicopter that’s crashed and that’s how it starts. So…

Julia Diddy: Wow.

Amanda Tapping: So that was five days in a wet suit in the water.

Robin Dunne: Yeah bobbing around in like, you know…


Amanda Tapping: Yeah.

Robin Dunne: …water for 15 hours a day.

Julia Diddy: Yeah.

Amanda Tapping: It was a play. I mean, you know, Martin shoots up stuff like that as a play. He shoots them in sequence and so from an acting perspective the challenge, it’s a physical challenge, but also the emotional challenge of doing 12 pages of a play every day. As hard as it is, it’s also one of the most rewarding. So I think next Tuesday’s stands out just as an amazing challenge.

Julia Diddy: Okay, excellent, Robin?

Robin Dunne: I think yeah, definitely next Tuesday but also we did an episode this season called “Pavor Nocturnus” which really, you know, you’re going to see the Sanctuary like you’ve never seen it before. It kind of has – it gives you a glimpse into the future or the possible future I guess you could say.

And, again it was a very – it was mostly Amanda and myself working in this episode and, you know, a very, very challenging episode to do, very tiring and a lot of work and…


Amanda Tapping: It’s very creepy, it’s a creepy episode.

Robin Dunne: Yeah.

Amanda Tapping: And I can just say that when Robin walks on the set as this messed up version of Will Zimmerman, I freaked out. I could not talk to him. I was like, you freak me out, (unintelligible) for one. But he’s…


Robin Dunne: Yeah, it was definitely like a very weird episode to shoot and just the way, you know, I’ve said this before but like the sanctuary really is our home and particularly Magnus’ office is really an anchor for us. Like a lot of our missions start there and that’s really, you know, a lot of the episodes, a lot of major scenes particularly between Magnus and Will take place in Magnus’ office.

So – and it’s such a nice setting. To walk on to the set and see what the set deck people were able to do is to make it look so messed up. It was very jarring and I think the entire crew and everybody just kind of felt off shooting that episode.


Amanda Tapping: Yes, yes.

Julia Diddy: Oh wow.

Amanda Tapping: Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

Julia Diddy: Oh cool.

Amanda Tapping: I actually think “Veritas”, which I’m not just saying this because I directed the episode but – and I’m not just saying this because Robin’s on the phone, although it will sound like Robin and Amanda

Robin Dunne: I can hold the phone away if you want, you want to hold the phone away?


Amanda Tapping: His work in this…

Robin Dunne: I’m not listening.

Amanda Tapping: …is so good, I was really proud of him in “Veritas” which is I think our seventh episode.


Julia Diddy: Oh, cool it sounds like there’s a lot to…


Julia Diddy: …a lot to look to look forward to, thanks so much.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you.

Robin Dunne: Thank you.

Amanda Tapping: We have to stop being so nice to each other Robin.


Robin Dunne: Yeah why don’t we do that.

Coordinator: (Joe Dilworth) with Pop Culture Zoo.

Joe Dilworth: Hi guys.

Amanda Tapping: Hi.

Robin Dunne: Hey.

Joe Dilworth: Thank you so much for talking to us today.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you.

Robin Dunne: Thanks for talking to us.

Joe Dilworth: I wanted to ask you coming back at the beginning of the second season, how was it to just like, I mean you jump right into it and not only take your characters to the breaking point but past that, both of them. How was it just to, you know, get into that meaty of a part for each of you coming back?

Amanda Tapping: It was scary. It felt like trial by fire in a lot of ways. We were I think – for all of us we were exhausted by the end of the third episode because it was this emotional, insane rollercoaster that we went on. But it was also…


Robin Dunne: It started instantly.


Amanda Tapping: …trouble because that’s that way to start a season right? Because you just start it full on.

Joe Dilworth: Right.

Amanda Tapping: There was no, it was a true test of how comfortable we all were, everyone. I mean Henry and Druitt, everyone, Ashley, how everyone had settled into their characters, it was a true test.

Robin Dunne: Yeah there was really no kind of ramp – like slow easing into it, it’s basically just, you know, push you off the cliff and away we go. But I – like there was also kind of a – it was weird there was a duality to it – I don’t know Amanda if you felt this way but it felt like shocking and a little guilting to be sort of into this intensity right away.

But at the same time it felt completely normal and like we never had a break between two seasons. It was like we were just, you know, we never left almost. You know, I can’t describe it except to say there was both feelings at the same time.

Joe Dilworth: Well I think it’s safe to say that on this show that things are dire when Druitt is being the reasonable one, so.

Robin Dunne: Yeah.


Amanda Tapping: …that’s the case.

Robin Dunne: Yeah.

Joe Dilworth: So is story line with the Cabal and the consequences of the premier – does that play out over the course of the next 11 episodes?

Amanda Tapping: No.

Joe Dilworth: Okay.

Amanda Tapping: We – it’s – we didn’t want it to become the Cabal versus Sanctuary show. They’re an interesting adversary and it’s not to say that they’ve gone away completely but because we didn’t want it to always be that dynamic. So we sort of take care of them.

Joe Dilworth: Okay.


Amanda Tapping: Or think we have, think we have.

Joe Dilworth: Is there a (dun dun dun) in there?

Robin Dunne: The lurk…

Amanda Tapping: There is.

Robin Dunne: …the lurking factor is definitely in there.

Joe Dilworth: And so how was it you guys did, you know, the first season all of you together and then this season you add a new character and a new full-time actress. What – how does that play into the dynamic of the, not only the cast but the characters as well?

Amanda Tapping: I think anytime you bring a new character into a show it shines a light on all the relationships. It forces the other characters to look at themselves and the relationships they have with each other in a different way because you’re looking at it from somebody else’s perspective. Somebody else, you know, this Kate Freelander character comes in and doesn’t mock us so much but she points a lot of things out to everyone.

It’s like – it starts off quite abrasive and I think that that’s always a cool dynamic to bring in because everyone to reevluate themselves and reevaluate how strongly they feel about what they’re doing.

Joe Dilworth: Right.


Amanda Tapping: Bringing in a new actress…


Joe Dilworth: Trying to take the…


Amanda Tapping: …was interesting but I have to say with Agam, she’s so sweet and she has such a wonderful energy about her that, you know, she just slid right into this cast. There was absolutely no ripple, she’s really lovely. And just to walk into the makeup trailer and have that kind of energy in the morning it’s really nice. I mean it makes a difference, it makes a huge difference.

Joe Dilworth: Oh.

Robin Dunne: Yeah, like we’re a pretty tight knit group and, you know…

Amanda Tapping: Right.

Robin Dunne: …it’s was not a huge group here and, you know, we’re all very, very close. And I think that’s, you know, one of the great things about the show is – one of the many great things about the show is that, you know, because we all get along so well, I think it makes the product that much better.

And when you have someone new come in who just is able to fit perfectly right into the mix and, you know, be one of us immediately was – it was really, really nice and really, again, a testament to Agam how, you know, talented she is and also what a nice person she is as well.

Joe Dilworth: I – an observation is I – even though the two hour premier – or two-part premier is very intense and a lot going on, I appreciated the little things you put in there like referencing one of the characters as Martin would. And then when you’re locking down the Sanctuary, the little
nod to the 60’s Batman TV series was pretty funny. But yeah, other than that thank you very much and looking forward to the rest of Season 2.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you.

Robin Dunne: Thank you, great talking to you thanks.

Coordinator: Michael Simpson with Cinema Spy.

Michael Simpson: Hi Amanda and Robin, thanks for taking the time to chat today.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you.

Robin Dunne: How’s it going?

Michael Simpson: Pretty good, how are you?

Robin Dunne: Really good.

Michael Simpson: Good. First of all I wanted to say congratulations to both of you on your Gemini nominations for Sanctuary up here in Canada, that’s fabulous and very well deserved.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you.

Robin Dunne: Oh, thank you.

Michael Simpson: So so much for my question, I watched the first few minutes of the new season last night and I must say it looks fabulous. And I’m very excited to see more of it. What particularly struck me was even in that brief period it shows how much the series has evolved and expanded from when it first began.

So when you were originally doing the original Webisodes, did you have a vision of how the story and your characters would evolve that stretched as far as the series has reached now; and if so, was it similar or different to the way things – the way that things have turned out?

Amanda Tapping: I don’t think we could’ve ever predicted that it would be this big in scope, if that makes sense? I mean we were doing the Webisodes and we were so blown away by how cool it was and look what you can do with green screen and look what you can do with, you know, look how far we can push these characters just in those eight Webisodes.

But I don’t think any of us had any idea the scope that the show would take on and how far we could take it. And, you know, working now with Anthem and being able to go literally anywhere around the world and seeing things that we weren’t even aware was possible to do virtually. And just in the last, you know, the last few seasons what’s happened to our characters.

I could never, I think that’s the beauty of doing series too. It’s like when I started Stargate I had no idea that it could go that far, you just don’t know. So it’s always a surprise.


Michael Simpson: Yep.

Robin Dunne: Particularly with Sanctuary too is, you know, it’s an anomaly in many ways and, you know, just to have been there as an actor from the grass roots very beginning where we were doing the Webisodes and then to see how it grew in scope from the Webisodes to Season 1 and then to have seen the same thing happen again from Season 1 to Season 2.

It’s really been a thrill to just see, you know, how far that this show can go and all the things we’re able to do. And, you know, I keep using this word limitless but it really is. The possibilities for Sanctuary are limitless and it’s just been amazing to see that progression through the, you know, through the Webisodes to Season 2.

Amanda Tapping: It sounds goofy as hell because it’s – we are so definitely excited by it. But, you know, Martin, Damian and I were in a sound mix for the first episode a couple of weeks ago and we were freaking out. Like we were like “Oh my god, it really does look amazing!” You know, to have that level of childlike excitement when you’re watching your own show and to be really blown away by what you already thought was pretty cool and then it’s even cooler than you thought. I know…


Michael Simpson: Yeah.

Amanda Tapping: …I’m a complete geek and I’m…

Robin Dunne: We’re total dorks. We are total dorks. There’s just no way around it; we can’t even pretend to be cool. We’re just not.

Amanda Tapping: Can’t even try to be cool. It doesn’t happen.

Robin Dunne: It doesn’t happen.

Michael Simpson: Yeah, that’s great, thank you.


Amanda Tapping: Yes…

Michael Simpson: Sorry I interrupted you.

Amanda Tapping: No, no go ahead.

Michael Simpson: So from an actor’s perspective then, I guess in way you kind of answered this question already, but slight variation on the question about your favorite episode. From an actor’s perspective can you pick out one or two instances from Sanctuary where you’ve looked that the script that you’ve been given and you’ve had a really strong sort of wow moment where you’ve thought this could be really cool and I just can’t wait to try this?

Amanda Tapping: Definitely with “Requiem.”

Robin Dunne: Yeah.

Amanda Tapping: This season for me definitely “Eulogy.” We’ve had some really good episodes this season. And next Tuesday we knew was going to be an insane trip for Robin and I. But I don’t know what about you Robin?


Robin Dunne: Oh yeah, I think, yeah definitely every script you pick and you go “Wow this is like its great stuff” in the entire show. But certainly there are some episodes that stand out. Like Amanda said, “Requiem” certainly was a lot of fun and, you know, something that it’s a style of shooting that I’d never done before, something in sequence with just two actors in it.

And I think certainly we repeat that this season, maybe even, you know, I’d say a couple of times. And the interesting thing about those episodes is that I think now that we’ve done two seasons there’s kind of a precedent like you know that there’s going to be one or two of those kind of two hander episodes coming so you’re kind of anticipating them the whole time.

And, you know, what Damian and the writing crew are able to do every time is just, you know, when you pick up that script it’s just leaves you really blown away.

Michael Simpson: Cool, thank you. Thank you it’s going to be an exciting season and I’m looking forward to it.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you we are too.

Michael Simpson: Cool thank you.


Robin Dunne: Thanks so much, thank you.

Coordinator: Troy Rogers with deadbolt.com.

Troy Rogers: Hi Amanda, hi Robin.

Amanda Tapping: Hi.

Troy Rogers: Robin I was wondering what new creatures or myths will we see this season.

Robin Dunne: I’m sorry?

Troy Rogers: What new creatures or myths will we see this season?

Robin Dunne: Hmm, creatures, yeah we kind of ran out. We – there’s no more creatures here.


Amanda Tapping: There’s no more creatures here.

Robin Dunne: No creatures, yeah. Kind of yeah, we kind of like just spent the creature bank. No I mean I think this season is going to be, you know, we’re going to have major fights between two creatures that, you know, Amanda and Magnus and Will will get in the middle of. I think we have a vampire squid this season.


Amanda Tapping: A giant mutated vampire squid.

Robin Dunne: Oh, a giant mutated vampire squid.

Amanda Tapping: And a sea scorpion.

Robin Dunne: We’re going to like, we’re going to get a glimpse into the not so happy future or possible future this season.

Troy Rogers: Cool.

Robin Dunne: We’re going to have, yeah I mean I think certainly…


Amanda Tapping: We have a super hero.

Robin Dunne: We have a – yes we have a super hero this season that is very funny and kind of cool. I think, you know, the great thing about this show is that this thinking inside the box is just not something that happens here. So every script you pick up, you know, you expect the rollercoaster ride to take you away. And I think certainly that’s what – that precedent continues in Season 2 maybe even more so than Season 1.

Amanda Tapping: Definitely.

Troy Rogers: Excellent.


Amanda Tapping: I think we have zombies too this season.

Robin Dunne: We have zombies.

Troy Rogers: Nice. So Amanda what can you tell me about directing the episode “Veritas?”

Amanda Tapping: I actually had a blast. I did not want to do it. In between the seasons we sat down with the network and it was – and we were talking about directors and my name came up. And they said “Oh yeah, yeah you’ve got to direct an episode.” And so I got all excited and said “Yeah that would be great!”

And then as we launched into this season it was intense for Magnus and so intense as a producer so many things were happening that I literally turned to Martin and Damian and said “I’m not doing it. I can’t, this is ridiculous.” I’m also a mother of a four year old. And I just – there’s just not enough time in the day. And both of them said “No, you’re directing.” And so it worked out that it was an episode that even though I’m in it, Magnus starts to go insane…


Troy Rogers: Okay.

Amanda Tapping: …because I was directing and very stressed out there was very little acting required for that which was good. So it was in some ways easier but it was a very much a Will story, it was a “who done it” essentially. Magnus is accused of murder and it’s Will’s job to try to prove her innocent. And so, it was – I had a great time.

It was me working with Robin and I’m really proud of it. I’m not – I don’t usually, you know, toot my own horn very loudly because I always can find fault but this episode looks really cool. There’s some great shots and the performances are wonderful and it’s a really interesting succinct little story. Alan McCullough wrote it and it’s a nice little bottle show. It’s a really great story.

Troy Rogers: Perfect.

Amanda Tapping: I rather enjoyed it, I’m rather proud of it.

Robin Dunne: And Amanda Tapping rocks as a director by the way, absolutely rocks it.

Troy Rogers: All right. Just one more quick thing, what were your thoughts when Christopher was cast in New Moon? And how do you think that will help the show?

Amanda Tapping: I think anything that has the twilight thing attached to it, it is an awesome thing. Chris is like one of those actors who works all the time. He’s always in demand. So for us it was “I’ve been asked to do New Moon, can we make it work? And figure out the schedule, and?” Yeah, okay, it’s great. I mean his profile is going to go up and that can only help the show. But I’d like to say that we had him first.

Robin Dunne: Yeah, he’s ours, he’s ours.


Amanda Tapping: He’s ours, we have first dibs.

Robin Dunne: They can have him on loan but he’s ours.

Amanda Tapping: Yeah it was very cool, very exciting when something that big sort of breaks for somebody.

Troy Rogers: Right on, thanks you guys and best of luck with Season 2.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you very much.

Robin Dunne: Thank you very much.

Coordinator: Sheldon Wiebe with EclipseMagazine.com.

Sheldon Wiebe: Hi guys, thanks for doing this.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you.

Robin Dunne: Hey.

Sheldon Wiebe: Okay, first question’s for Amanda. What are your duties as a producer and how does it work when you have to be producer, director and performer? How do the three facets play against each other or with each other?

Amanda Tapping: Well when I…


Robin Dunne: She beats us.

Amanda Tapping: Beats who?

Robin Dunne: She beats us.

Amanda Tapping: When I was wearing all three hats, my biggest concern beside — I mean it was interesting because as a producer now I’m concerned about budgets. As an actor on, you know, on other shows you don’t care about the budget because it’s not your job to care about the budget. But I care about the budget. So I, you know, bring in my own shoes and I’m like we have to finish early today because Martin Wood went over on his episode and we’re $200,000 over budget for the season so far.

And so I have to, you know, think about things like that and it’s quite comical because I finished early almost every day when I was directing. I kept going up to Martin and going, saved you another $20,000, saved you money. So it’s – I’ve become – it’s all about money. When you become a producer that’s all you care about, it’s sad, a sad little existence.

I don’t know how it – how I got into this position but I also find that I’m – I’ve always been the kind of person on a set who’s very aware of everyone else around me and making sure everyone’s okay. I do it with my own family. I’m sort of the peacekeeper kind of character. And so, I find that as a producer I’m even more aware of just checking in with the crew all the time, checking in with the cast, making sure everyone’s okay.

But my biggest responsibility besides obviously, you know, what we’re dealing with now in postproduction and prep and blah, blah, blah, the regular producer things is my job is to make sure everyone’s happy, like people skills. And when I realized that Martin, Damian and I have very different ways of doing what we do and we each have strengths and weaknesses.

And I think the three of us are actually a great combination. We each take on different facets of the show.

Sheldon Wiebe: Cool. Robin in the first…


Robin Dunne: And just on that subject as well, when Amanda says she’s wearing three hats, that’s not a metaphor she actually like – and it’s quite com – they’re big sombrero size hats and she wears all three of them and it’s, you know, we have to tell…


Amanda Tapping: Just so people know what I’m doing there.

Robin Dunne: …her to take them off. It’s distracting for the other actors – like she’s walking around with these – yeah it’s goofy.

Amanda Tapping: Yes, at least you know, you know where my heads at.

Robin Dunne: Yep, you know, oh there’s the big, okay.

Sheldon Wiebe: Got it. So Robin in the first season finale, Watson literally passed the torch to Will. And Will is now, I guess possessed of even more responsibility than he ever dreamed he would have. What does that mean for the character in Season 2? How will that be developed?

Robin Dunne: Well, you know, I think Season 1 was definitely about, you know, trepidation about coming into this world. And since that’s all gone in Season 2 and I think you’re going to see more of a weight, not physically, I don’t think – I don’t think I’ve put on weight, have I put on weight Amanda?

Amanda Tapping: Maybe a little bit.


Robin Dunne: Maybe a little bit yeah, a cookie here and there, Oreos now and again. But no, I think you’re going to see more of the responsibility of Will needing to step up to the plate. That’s going to wear on – you’re going to see that wearing on him a little bit I think. You’re going to see a darker side of Will this season. You’re going to see a more blunt side of Will particularly in relation to Magnus because I think, you know, everything’s heightened in Season 2.

And basically we’re depending on each other to be honest, brutally honest with each other in order for all of us to survive. And I think, so yeah, definitely you’re going to see Will is now resigned to the fact that he lives – this is the Sanctuary, it’s him home and he needs to be, you know, do his part to pro – do anything he can do to protect it even if that means, you know, saying something to Magnus that maybe she doesn’t want to hear but she needs to hear.

Yeah, definitely it’s a bit more of a rocky road for Will particularly early in Season 2. And you’re going to see it kind of, you know, wear on him a little bit.

Sheldon Wiebe: Would you say then that he is going to live up to Watson’s expectations although maybe not in the way someone might expect?

Robin Dunne: I think so yes. I mean I think he definitely he’s going to live up to those expectations but it’s not going to come easy and it’s – you’re going to see it’s going to cost him, it’s definitely going to cost him a little

Sheldon Wiebe: Great, thanks very much.

Robin Dunne: Thank you.

Coordinator: Beth Ann Henderson with NiceGirlsTV.com

Beth Ann Henderson: Hi, thanks for taking our calls today.


Amanda Tapping: Hi, thank you.

Beth Ann Henderson: I was curious as to


Beth Ann Henderson: …I mean with a show like Sanctuary obviously and what you’ve already said, pretty much just about do anything with it, go anywhere. But I’d like to know what if you could think about where your characters would like to go or what you’d like to deal with that you haven’t done already.


Amanda Tapping: I’d…

Robin Dunne: The circus.

Amanda Tapping: The circus.

Robin Dunne: You know, I want to be – I want Will to be in a trapeze maybe, you know, jumping through that like hoop of fire, you know?

Amanda Tapping: That can be arranged.


Robin Dunne: That’s not what I mean okay.

Beth Ann Henderson: In tights?

Amanda Tapping: In tights.

Robin Dunne: Awkward. In tights, yes, definitely tights, now that goes without saying.

Amanda Tapping: Well on a more serious note.

Robin Dunne: Well they’ll get over it.

Amanda Tapping: Get over it yes. No, I have always wanted to go back in time with Magnus a bit because she has such an incredible history. I’d like to see just, you know, pop into certain decades and see what informed her in the 30’s or the 40’s or the 50’s. You know, I think there’s – she’s met some of the most forward -thinking people in our history.

She’s seen the best of the human condition and the worst of the human condition. And she’s been around the – some of the greatest politicians and writers and artists and I would like to just explore that a bit more. I’d like to explore her early relationship with Druitt and Watson and the, you know, go back to the five and what made them tick at that time.

I mean I know that the show is not a historical show. But I think that there’s opportunity to sort of plug in even it’s just a scene here and there to inform how she got to where she is. How the Sanctuary developed to where it is.

Beth Ann Henderson: Well on that note, how many of characters in the first season can we expect to see in the second season?

Amanda Tapping: You definitely see Tesla. You see Clara Griffin; you don’t see Watson in the second season although we’re thinking of a story to bring him back. Who else do we see from the…


Robin Dunne: I think we see pretty every – pretty much…


Robin Dunne: …most of them except for Watson.


Amanda Tapping: I mean you see a lot more of Henry, you see a lot of Druitt, the Cabal obviously.

Beth Ann Henderson: Okay.

Robin Dunne: We also have a new character in Season 2.

Amanda Tapping: Yes of course with Kate Freelander, she’s a whole new character.

Beth Ann Henderson: Right.

Amanda Tapping: Yeah I think that’s it. We see a lot more of Tesla. We see Tesla at the beginning and Tesla towards the end of our season. We see Declan, our head of the UK Sanctuary.

Robin Dunne: Yes,

Amanda Tapping: And he figures pretty big in the Season. So yeah, there’s quite a few characters that come back.

Beth Ann Henderson: Awesome. Okay I’m looking forward to Season 2, thanks a lot.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you.

Robin Dunne: Great, thank you.

Coordinator: Jamie Ruby with Media Blvd.

Jamie Ruby: Hello again.

Amanda Tapping: Hi.

Robin Dunne: Hi.


Jamie Ruby: Hi, so some of these abnormals have some cool powers like invisibility and teleportation. So I’ve got to ask if you guys could, you know, chose some kind of special power what would it be?

Robin Dunne: Invisible.

Amanda Tapping: Yeah invisible would be fun.

Robin Dunne: Invisible would be cool.

Amanda Tapping: Yeah but you’d be creepy if you were invisible Robin, to be honest.

Robin Dunne: I would just do creepy weird things.

Amanda Tapping: He would do creepy weird things.

Robin Dunne: For you.

Amanda Tapping: I’d like to teleport, I think that would be fun. I’d like to be able without any of the bad, you know, physiological side effects. But I think it would be great to grab my family and just boom we’re in Fiji.

Jamie Ruby: Save on airfare.

Amanda Tapping: Yeah. Totally would, and time it would be great…


Jamie Ruby: I’m sure…

Amanda Tapping: …being as busy as we are to just teleport from the sets

Jamie Ruby: For sure.

Amanda Tapping: Without having to deal with traffic.

Robin Dunne: It’d be cool to be able to stop time too, you know. Like just stop time, take a rest, everyone else is frozen, you can move. You know, it’d be nice and quiet.

Amanda Tapping: Take a nap.

Robin Dunne: Take a nap, yeah.

Amanda Tapping: I’d like the abnormal ability of napping, that’d be good.

Jamie Ruby: Yep. So you touched on it a little bit before about watching the special effects that they use. Do you often watch, you know, yourself acting in the show? Do you watch the episodes when they’re done and is that hard for you to do?

Amanda Tapping: I’m so incredibly self critical that I – for me now as a producer on the show to have to watch episodes, like have to be in on it, and have to be there for the sound mixes and the color corrects and all the, you know, stuff that happens after you’ve actually filmed it.

Torturous for me, so now I found a – I think I found a balance in my head anyway where I can step back and ignore myself on camera and actually watch the show as opposed to being in it. Because I think what happens with a lot of actors and it’s a dangerous thing is you become self aware.

You know, that’s a bad angle for me or oh I didn’t like the way I did that. And then you start censoring yourself as you’re acting. And then the process becomes muddy because you’re more concerned with what you look like or how that’s coming across. And I think it’s a dangerous thing, you know.

I’ve never enjoyed watching myself of camera and I know that going into it. So now I just have to step back a producer, as a director and just okay, pretend it’s somebody else.

Jamie Ruby: Yeah.

Amanda Tapping: But he’s not nearly as good looking as I am. I’m just kidding.

Robin Dunne: Amanda again, you’ve put – you’ve said the loud part – the quiet part loud again.

Amanda Tapping: I don’t know who that woman on Sanctuary is but she’s not nearly as cute as me. I’m terrible.

Jamie Ruby: So what about you Robin?

Robin Dunne: I’m not much of a watcher either. I agree with Amanda if I see stuff that’s, you know, I focus on but I don’t like and then again, you do start to alter your performance because you’re, you know, you’re trying not to do something that you saw that you didn’t like. And again, that can be dangerous. I mean I see a lot of the show and I watch particularly when there’s big shots where, you know, Anthem, our visual effects team have put in some cool stuff in replacing the green screen.

I certainly love to see all that kind of stuff. But, you know, I am a bit strange about watching myself. I don’t like it. And so I don’t do it too much. I’m not – I mean I will see the finished product but I’m not one of those actors who’s watching dailies every day and really, you know, seeing every single frame of my performance.

Because I just find – I mean I admire actors who can do that and pick out stuff and use it to their benefit. But I find that it can be – it just gets – it’s just detrimental to me, I just get into my head too much. So I try not to do it very much.

Jamie Ruby: I can understand that. So lastly, is there like something that happened this season, some funny moment that maybe we’ll see on the blooper reel?

Amanda Tapping: Besides the…


Robin Dunne: Oh god. Yeah, you know…


Robin Dunne: …the thing about our blooper reels that is unfortunate and maybe I’m – I shouldn’t be saying these things. But it’s unfortunate because some – a lot of the stuff that happens that should be on the blooper reel we could never really put on because they’re – they might be a little bit too…

Amanda Tapping: Racy.

Robin Dunne: What’s the word? Racy that’s the word I’m looking for, racy.


Jamie Ruby: Just a little part?

Amanda Tapping: On other channels, yes. We’re a very polite cast…


Robin Dunne: Just a little bit.

Amanda Tapping: …but we’re also a very naughty cast.

Robin Dunne: Yes, there is a – I think definitely there needs to be a leak uncensored blooper reel that, you know, hits YouTube or something. But I think we still do manage to have a few of them. I mean all day long we’re laughing and having a great time and, you know…


Amanda Tapping: You try and not laugh on camera it’s ridiculous.

Robin Dunne: There is someone on the phone who’s not me who is a insane giggler, who like from morning to night. I’ll let you guess who that is. Her first name starts with Amanda.

Jamie Ruby: Yeah I kind of figured that.

Robin Dunne: Yes. So yeah, no we do have a great time. And I lot of that stuff, you know, hopefully ends up somewhere seeing – someone seeing it.


Jamie Ruby: Oh sure. But yes I remember the giggling from Gatecon very well.

Amanda Tapping: Yes, I can’t help myself; I’m bubbling below the surface all the time.

Jamie Ruby: Oh but it’s great.

Amanda Tapping: It’s probably a pretty good state of being.


Robin Dunne: It’s just so easy too. Like it’s just, you know, to make Amanda giggle is like I mean…


Amanda Tapping: You just crack me up.


Amanda Tapping: …which now becomes a blood sport on the show with the other cast. It’s like, you know, how quickly can we make Amanda lose it? Easy.

Robin Dunne: The answer is quickly.

Jamie Ruby: Well it sounds like a lot of fun.

Amanda Tapping: It is, it really is.

Jamie Ruby: Okay, well thank you very much.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you.

Robin Dunne: Nice talking to you, thank you.

Coordinator: Our final question is from Michael Simpson with Cinema Spy.

Michael Simpson: Hi there again.

Amanda Tapping: Hi Michael.


Robin Dunne: Hey.

Michael Simpson: I – this is a question for Amanda actually. I spoke to you a couple of weeks ago Robin and I asked this question so I’m interested to see what Amanda says. You know, one thing I’ve noticed from interviewing people involved with Sanctuary and Stargate. It – that they seem to be a very open, sort of down to earth and as you’ve said here way too serious all the time, rambunctious people.

Amanda Tapping: Yes.

Michael Simpson: I want to know if this is a result of the show being based in Vancouver which tends to be that kind of city. Or if this is – if you think this is a Canadian thing or if it’s just something associated with this particular group of people because they’ve worked together on one of the other series for so long?

Amanda Tapping: I think it’s a combination. It’s interesting I’m going to name drop for a nanosecond but I had lunch yesterday with Ming-Na from Stargate Universe – with all the women from Stargate Universe yesterday we did a ladies lunch. And Ming was saying the same thing, is it a Canadian thing that you just don’t get caught up in the sort of crap of the industry, you know, the – all the ancillary stuff that gets in the way of the actual work.

That, you know, we’re not up here going to premiers and we’re not – we all don’t have huge publicists and big machines behind us and it’s not about celebrity, it’s about the work. And is that what it is? And I think that that’s partly true, we have the luxury of working in this beautiful city that’s, you know, nobody cares what you do for a living and you just – it’s about the work.

And we’re all lucky to be in this industry doing what we love to do and we don’t have to worry about all the other stuff which tends to, you know, mess with your head as an actress. Like what you got invited to that movie premier and I didn’t? And oh, what are you wearing and whose shoes are you wearing. And all that crap.

We don’t necessarily deal with it so much up here, so I think that that’s part of it. But I think we had it on Stargate most definitely and Martin, Damian and I have vowed that Sanctuary would be the show that is not us and them but we. It’s a, you know, there’s not hierarchy, there’s no above the line, below the line mentality on our show.

Everyone across the board should feel like they are being treated with respect and being admired for what they’re doing regardless of what your position is and we are very conscious of fostering that. So when somebody, crew or cast or whomever comes onto the show and is not playing with the team they don’t last very long and we’re actually very proud of that.

We’re proud of the fact that we want to be known as the nice show, as the show that people want to come and work on. You know, we have a lot of fun but we make a great product that we’re really proud of. But at the end of the day it’s a nice group of people to hang out with.

Robin Dunne: It’s really nice to be out, you know, and be talking to other actors and have it coming – like hear it back that people are saying “Hey, you know, I did a guest spot on Sanctuary and what an amazing experience. And, you know, I had such a great time.” When I hear people saying that about our show I feel very proud because that’s definitely, you know, certainly and it starts with Amanda, Martin and Damian.

It always starts at the top these kinds of feelings. And, you know, only when you have that kind of environment do you feel, you know, secure enough to do your best work. And so it’s really nice to hear, you know, from other actors what a great time they had working on the show.

Michael Simpson: Cool. That’s great, thank you.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you.

Michael Simpson: If I have time for another question here. Going back to Sanctuary specifically, the show attracted a dedicated following even before the Webisodes debuted. Why do you think it struck such a cord with people even sort of way back then?

Amanda Tapping: I think it’s a lot of things. There definitely was a cool factor about it which was wow; they’re doing this green screen show. It’s going to virtual. It’s going to have a different look. It’s brewing with mythology and monsters and things that go bump in the night.

Like there was so many sort of cool factors about the show. I think part of it was the team that was bringing it together. Syfy fans, bless them, are so incredibly stalwart in their support. And, you know, if you have – a lot of Stargate fans came over. A lot of Sam Carter fans came over at least to check out Sanctuary. A lot of Martin Wood fans and Damian Kindler fans came over to check it out.

So we were very lucky that the fan base, you know, followed us and supported us off the top. And that, you know, you can’t say enough about how important that is. But I think initially it was the cool factor.

And then once people realized, once the show actually hit the Web and people realized that the stories themselves stood out and the characters were people you cared about, and all that cool factor was great, but it wasn’t the most important thing. But we sort of grabbed them with look what we’re about to do and then held them with, and you care about these people, hopefully.

Michael Simpson: I’m sure.

Amanda Tapping: Does that make sense?

Michael Simpson: Yes absolutely, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Amanda Tapping: Was my English good?

Michael Simpson: Yeah, no that was good. I mean and I guess too once it debuted then people got a real sense of the very high quality of product which was probably much higher than another Web series that preceded it. And so not only was it innovative and different, but the quality was also there and they were the characters that people could relate to.

Amanda Tapping: And I think now, I mean I look at the Webisodes and I go “Oh my gosh, we’ve come so far, technically.”


Michael Simpson: Yeah.

Amanda Tapping: We’re shooting it differently. We’re shooting it on a different camera. You know, this television series technically is so much better than the Webisodes and we were really proud of what we were able to pull together in the Webisodes considering the very little amount of time that we had to actually render the vis effects.

And now, you know, what we were rending in two weeks we’re now rendering in five months and we have more money and, you know. So I’m proud of the little engine that could and from where it started and where it’s come.

Michael Simpson: Sure, thank you.

Amanda Tapping: Thank you.

Robin Dunne: Thank you very much.

Maureen Granados: All right everyone it looks like we’re out of time for this call although I feel like it could go on forever. You guys have been great. Thank you Amanda and Robin…


Amanda Tapping: Oh thank you, it’s great being here.

Maureen Granados: …very much.

Robin Dunne: Thanks, it was very wonderful.

Amanda Tapping: Hi, Will, it’s Amanda!

Bullz-Eye: Hi, Amanda! It’s a pleasure to speak with you.

AT: Good to talk to you!

BE: How strange to hear you talk with an American accent…oh, sorry, I mean Canadian accent.

AT: (Laughs, then offers a Southern accent) How ya’ll doin’?

BE: Nice…and I’m in Virginia, so that sounds right at home to me. (Laughs) Well, I’ve been devouring the “Sanctuary: Season 1” box set…

AT: Oh, good! So are you enjoying it?

BE: I am! I was actually at the TCA panel for the show last year, but I didn’t get a chance to watch it when it was originally on, so you can now consider me on board with the series.

AT: Great!

BE: So I know that the TV series evolved out of the web series, but how did the web series come about in the first place, and how involved were you at that point?

"We made this kick-ass web series for a lot of money, and that was great, and we got a huge number of eyeballs watching it. 3 or 4 million people ended up watching the web series, I think, which created a huge amount of buzz. But we ultimately ran out of money, and we went, 'Uh-oh, this is cool, but what now?' But because of all the buzz we got, television networks started calling us, saying, 'You know, it may not work on the web, but what about doing it as a TV series?"

AT: Well, Damian (Kindler) actually wrote the web series as a spec script in 2000 when he was living in Los Angeles, and then he kind of shelved it. But he pulled it out about four or five years later and handed it to Martin Wood and said, “What do you think of this? Do you think this would make a good series?” And it sort of evolved from there. Martin said, “Yes, and you should send it to Amanda,” because the three of us already knew each other, obviously, from “Stargate.” At that point, there was a possibility of doing a cool game with it, but then we decided to do it solely on the web. We thought that, with the shifting paradigm and what was happening with television at the time, maybe it would be cool to launch a multi-platform site that had webisodes, games, and a social network. A lofty ambition, to be sure, and it made a lot of sense, but I don’t think we had the skill set at the time to execute it properly. So we made this kick-ass web series for a lot of money, and that was great, and we got a huge number of eyeballs watching it. 3 or 4 million people ended up watching the web series, I think, which created a huge amount of buzz. But we ultimately ran out of money, and we went, “Uh-oh, this is cool, but what now?” (Laughs) But because of all the buzz we got, television networks started calling us, saying, “You know, it may not work on the web, but what about doing it as a TV series?” Which was definitely in all of our comfort zones, since we all came from sci-fi television shows. So it sort of evolved into that. And then we got a 15-episode order from Sci-Fi, and we were off and running!

BE: So was it a conscious attempt on your part to step away from the “Stargate” universe?

AT: Yeah, at the point where we had to make the decision to…well, first of all, to create a character that looked completely different from Sam Carter was a very conscious decision. When we were shooting the webisodes, I wanted to completely break out. I didn’t want there to be any vestiges of Sam in the next character that I played, in part to honor Sam Carter, but also to challenge myself creatively. So Damian and I had a long talk about how Helen should look and how she should walk and what she should wear, so that was a conscious effort. And then when we were starting to get interested in the television series, I was still working on “Atlantis,” and I had been asked to do the fifth season. And I knew that if I said “yes” to Season 5 of “Atlantis,” I was essentially shutting “Sanctuary” down. Even though we didn’t have a television order yet, I had to sort of take this leap of faith. I just felt so strongly that “Sanctuary” was going to be something ,even though we didn’t have it for sure for sure, I turned to “Stargate” and I said, “I can’t do it. I have to stick with ‘Sanctuary.’” And they were great. They were very supportive. And shortly after making that decision, “Sanctuary” got picked up as a television series. So, phew! (Laughs)  It wa s abig relief, but it also felt like the right thing to do, ceratively. And the beauty of “Stargate” is that Sam Carter is still around, and I’m still getting opportunities to play her, so I haven’t totally left her.

BE: Yeah, I hear you’re gonna pop up in “Stargate Universe,” too.

AT: Yep!

BE: Well, Helen Magnus is kind of like the Jack Harkness of “Sanctuary,” to make a “Torchwood” reference: she’s long-lived and she’s got a past shrouded in mystery, but it’s one you want to unravel.

AT: Yes, exactly! For me, as an actress, she’s unlike any character I’ve ever had the opportunity to play, partly because of her age, but because she’s so eccentric. She’s one of those women who, especially given the time frame she came from, with the Victorian era England being such a specific period in our history where so much was changing, she was at the forefront of it. She was pushing the envelope scientifically and socially and medically. She’s just one of those characters that comes along once in a lifetime for an actress. I just so embrace her. I still don’t totally understand her… (Laughs) …but she’s cool.

BE: Talking about the era she came from, I really enjoy the concepts within the episode entitled “The Five.”

AT: Yeah! We were figuring out, “Hey, how exactly how is it that John Druitt is this way, and that is this way, and who else can we bring in?” I love the fact that Damian took characters from history and sort of turned them on their ear. The fact that Tesla is a vampire, the fact that James Watson is really the real Sherlock Holmes, that he was really the one with the deductive mind and not the sidekick., and that Nigel morphed into the Invisible Man, and how his family is getting those abilities passed down genetically. “The Five,” to me, was sort of the quintessential mythology episode of “Sanctuary.”

BE: It actually reminds me a bit of “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”

 AT: Exactly!

BE: The green screen technology you guys utilize on the show is remarkable. If you’d tried to launch a series with this kind of scope a few years ago, it would’ve come off looking like…I don’t know, maybe “Doctor Who” in the late ‘80s?

AT: (Laughs) You’re right!

BE: But one thing that I think is notable about “Sanctuary” is that it doesn’t look like a green screen show. There’s not a great deal of overreaching with the backgrounds.

AT: No, there’s not ,and what’s interesting is that there’s a constant effort…I mean, the effects are amazing in what they’re able to do, but what I think part of it is that we’re shooting on this Red Line Camera, which gives us 4K resolution, which is quite the resolution, and it gives us this huge playground. Our backgrounds, they look completely photo-real, and they’re seamless with what’s real. Sometimes we’ll transition from a real background to a green-screen one, and you can’t tell when it’s happened. And other times…well, for example, in the library, it seems photo-real, but it also has kind of a graphic novel feel to it. Like, you were bringing up “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and it has that kind of look. So we play with it, and sometimes it’s photo-real and sometimes it’s almost too rich for the real world, but other times you can’t tell. The visual effects constantly surprise me, because there are some that you just don’t even know. Like, looking out of Magnus’s office window, it’s a master visual effect. It’s hugely expensive… (Laughs) …and it looks phenomenal, but people don’t even really notice it, because you’re just looking out of a window. But it’s a visual effect. I’m blown away, honestly, by what the visual effects people are able to do. It’s not just the creatures that they come up with and that sort of thing, it’s even the things they come up with for the rooms. But you’re right: we wouldn’t have been able to do this even as recently as a few years ago.

"Season 2, honestly, is a hundred times better than Season 1. It’s a quintessential sophomore season for a series. Season 1 is 'introduce everyone, get everyone comfortable with who they are,' and Season 2 is, 'Now we know everyone, let’s build these relationships but put them in crazy situations, tear them down, and then build them back up again.'"

BE: How long did it take you and Emilie Ullerup to build your mother-daughter relationship on the show? Was it pretty quickly?

AT: Oh, yeah. I mean, you know, we’re both very easy going people. The hard thing about this mother-daughter relationship, though, is that it’s weird. I mean, Magnus has made this incredibly strange choice to bring a child into the world knowing that, in all likelihood, she will outlive this child. So right away, there’s this huge difference to their relationship, and I think that informs a lot of their relationship. Plus, there’s the fact that she’s brought her child into her work…which, of course, it would be impossible not to. Helen grew up with it with her father, so of course she’s going to bring her daughter into this crazy world. And it’s a dangerous world, and me being a mother, I’m, like, “I don’t know if I could do that.” But, again, you don’t have a choice. If you show your child the fantastic, you can’t expect them to go back to normal. Once they’ve seen the other side, if you will, how do you keep them down on the farm? (Laughs) So it’s an interesting dynamic, in that she’s brought her into this dangerous, crazy world, and she knows that she might lose her. So there’s a mutual respect between them, a playfulness, and a lot of love between the two of them. It’s an adversarial relationship between them at times, which is obviously part of the dynamic of mothers and daughters, anyway. But there’s also an equality, which you don’t often get between parents and children, but she’s very skilled at what she does. It’s been one of the hardest relationships that I’ve ever had to try and figure out intellectually as an actress. It’s been difficult to wrap my head around. It’s easy to play with Emilie, definitely, but it’s hard intellectually as far as trying to figure out a lot of the decisions that Helen makes.

BE: Obviously, you made the comment about pointedly stepping away from the “Stargate” universe, but at the same time, a lot of people have made the comparison between Will Zimmerman and Daniel Jackson.

AT: Yeah, I think that there’s…I mean, Daniel Jackson was kind of the everyman, right? He was the guy that people could relate to. He was the one who was not used to this world, who looks at the fantastic as fantastical, if you will. He comes in and goes, “Whoa! I came in from normal, and this is what I’m looking at!” And Will does the same thing. And the audience relates, because they go, “Wow, how do you wrap your head around it?” And I think every show sort of has an everyman, and ours is Will, if you will. If you will, Will. (Laughs) So, yeah, I think there were always going to be obvious comparisons right away. As soon as we cast Robin, we were, like, “Yeah, people are going to notice this.” But Will is still a very different character from Daniel.Amanda Tapping

BE: As I was going through Season 1, I couldn’t help but notice that “The Folding Man” had a definite “Usual Suspects” kind of feel to it, “Kush” was a lot like John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” and “Instinct” is straight from the “Cloverfield” playbook. Now, when the scripts are being pitched, are the writers making the conscious notation about their points of reference?

AT: At times, sure. Definitely with “Instinct,” where we were, like, “What if we tried to film one a la ‘Cloverfield’? What if we got real people involved in it, and what if we made it about the cameraman’s perspective? What if we tried to shoot an entire episode like that?” We had a lot of fun in Season 1 in that we had this new playground where we could try anything, really, and play within that realm. So, yeah, definitely, we knew when we were shooting “Instinct” that we were going to get “Cloverfield” comparisons, but we welcomed them. We were, like, “It’s a cool way to do it. It’s interesting,” so we decided to see what would happen if we tried it for a stand-alone episode. But, you know, it’s hard not to, because there’s so much to draw from television and books and graphic novels and comic books. There’s so much to draw from that it’s hard not to make crossovers, really. Like, we refer often to “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” in terms of the look and feel of this show, so we’re definitely aware of what we’re doing. It’s not trying to do a conscious rip-off. It’s trying to do an homage, if you will, but while still being original. We’re taking an idea and putting a twist on it.

BE: Now, when I watched the episode “Nubbins” (named after the furry little creatures which are the episode’s focus), my first thought was, “So did this entire episode evolve out of someone wanting to make a sci-fi double entendre for nipples?”

"I have to say that “Nubbins” is probably my least favorite ('Sanctuary') episode. They’re cute as hell, but...I just can’t imagine anyone watching it and not saying, 'This is ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’! They’re not even trying to cover this up!” And we weren’t!"

AT: (Laughs) Well, you know, I have to be honest with you: one of the network executives came and said, “I want a ‘Trouble with Tribbles’ episode.” And we went, “No. Really? Really?” And that’s what it was borne from. I mean, not so much creatively in Season 2, but in Season 1, there was a lot of, “Try giving us something like this.” “Um, okay.” I have to say that “Nubbins” is probably my least favorite episode. They’re cute as hell, but...I just can’t imagine anyone watching it and not saying, “This is ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’! They’re not even trying to cover this up!” And we weren’t! (Laughs) I think it’s actually a cute episode, and it’s definitely fun. It gives you an interesting dynamic on the characters, seeing them outside of their comfort zone and doing something kind of weird. I think that’s quite fun, especially seeing Will and Henry all uncomfortable. But it’s more of a comedic effort, though.

BE: Can you offer any tidbits about what we can expect from Season 2?

AT: (Hesitates) Ooooh…

BE: Any stuff that won’t get me shot and killed for revealing?

AT: And you live in Virginia, you say…? I’m triangulating your position right now. (Laughs) Season 2, honestly, is a hundred times better than Season 1. I think it’s in part because there’s so much more confidence in the show from every level: the directing, the producing, the writing, the characters, the actors, the way we execute it…it’s a quintessential sophomore season for a series. Season 1 is “introduce everyone, get everyone comfortable with who they are,” and Season 2 is, “Now we know everyone, let’s build these relationships but put them in crazy situations, tear them down, and then build them back up again.” It’s a lot more intense, Season 2, and it starts off…well, obviously, the end of Season 1 was a huge cliffhanger, with what’s happening with Ashley and what’s happening with the Sanctuary Network. Is the Cabal going to be an ongoing threat, and how do we deal with them? So it starts from that time, and it goes through the first three episodes…and I can tell you that, at the end of the first three episodes, we were all exhausted, because it was so emotional and so intense. There will be a lot more back story on Henry, a lot more back story on Bigfoot, there’s a very cool post-apocalyptic episode where you see Will as you’ve never seen him before. It freaked me out when Robin walked on set. I couldn’t talk to him. He was, like, “Amanda, it’s Robin,” but I just couldn’t talk to him. So I think that’ll be pretty cool for the audience to see. I directed an episode in Season 2 as well, a cool standalone episode where Magnus is accused of murder and Will has to prove her innocence but can’t do it. Season 2 is a psychological mind…uh, I don’t really want to use the word, but… (Drops voice) …it’s a mindfuck. (Giggles) It messes with you…and it messes with all of the characters. Season 2 is action-packed, basically, and we once again end on a pretty intense cliffhanger.

BE: And just to close with a pair of quick “Stargate” questions for you. First off, when the updated version of “Children of the Gods” came out recently, were you pleasantly surprised to see how well it played, given the new edit and the updated special effects?

Amanda TappingAT: Yeah, I mean, I have always been really amazed and proud of the production value of “Stargate.” I think even…God, I hate to say this, but back then… (Laughs) …because it was 1997, I was blown away by what they were able to accomplish. Obviously, we’ve come a lot further in twelve years with what we’ve been able to do with those effects, though, so, yeah, I was blown away. But, again, I have to say that I’ve always thought that “Stargate” had amazing production values. I don’t know what I was expecting to see, but to be honest with you, it was the first time that I was able to sit and watch the pilot and not criticize myself. I was so far removed from it that I was able to just watch and enjoy it, so that was a neat experience. Because, you know, actors are traditionally self-critical and have a hard time watching themselves… (Laughs) …but it was so far removed that it almost felt like I was watching a completely different person, so I really enjoyed it.

BE: And, lastly, how long do you forsee yourself continuing to participate in the “Stargate” universe? It certainly sounds like it’s for the long haul.

AT: As long as they’ll have me. Certainly, for Michael, Rick, and I, the fact that they’ve asked us to do little appearances in “Stargate: Universe” is a wonderful compliment. That, and the fact that they’re talking about doing a third “Stargate SG-1” movie. But, you know, it’s just so much fun making the show that, as long as they keep asking, I’ll keep doing it. It really is one of those dream gigs. It sounds hokey as hell, but it really is just so much fun. Samantha will be rolling through the Stargate in her wheelchair… (Laughs) …going, “Where’s my gun, dammit?”

BE: Well, Amanda, it’s been a pleasure talking to you. Given how much I’m enjoying Season 1, I’m definitely psyched for the kick-off of Season 2.

AT: Oh, thank you so much, Will, I really appreciate it. Take care!

Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary / Stargate SG1) has confirmed filming has wrapped on the second season of Sanctuary, stating that the new series is “intense” and will include a post-apocalyptic “what if” episode.

Additionally, she states the latest “rumor” is that the third Stargate SG1 movie will begin filming within 3-6 months and that there is talk of her appearing in a future Stargate Universe episode (in addition to her appearance in the pilot).

On Sanctuary season 2:

    Well, season one ends on a really intense cliffhanger. Season two picks up where we left off, which is “what the hell happened to Ashley, how do we get her back?” How do we defeat this nasty organization known as “The Cabal.” Everyone is on almost an individual journey but we all have the same goal. But everyone is doing something. Druitt is crazed with the idea of finding Ashley, as is Magnus. Will is going through a different journey and so are Tesla and Bigfoot and Henry, so it’s the fragmented organization desperate for the same goal.

    And I think we start off on this incredible vibration at the beginning of season two. The first three episodes are so intense that when we finished filming episode three the whole cast and crew were like “oh my god, we’re exhausted!” And so we gave ourselves and the audience a rest in the fourth episode which is, I think, quite hilarious and wonderful. And then we launch back into the darkside with this episode called “Pavor Nocturnus,” which is this sort of post-apocalyptic “what if?” scenario. You sill will Zimmerman like you’ve never seen him before. And in fact, we’ve really started to see Robin Dunne come on the set as this crazy, beaten haunted Will.

    Robin and I talked about it at the end of the season, what this crazy rollar coaster season two has been but I think it’s some of our best work from every department. And I love season one. Season one is exactly what a first season is supposed to be. It introduced you to everyone so beautifully, to the Sanctuary, to the characters, to this incredible fantastical world. And now in season two, we know everyone and we know what the relationships are and we get to play in this really amazing playground.

On the Stargate SG1 rumor:

    The only thing I know is that there’s a third SG-1 movie that’s been greenlit, as far I know. I don’t know when exactly it’s supposed to start shooting but the latest rumor, and it is a rumor, is late fall/early winter. And definintely, I’d like to be involved with that.

On Stargate Universe:

    There was talk of me doing another episode of Stargate: Universe. I don’t know whether we’ll be able to work that out timewise but I’d love to do it!

INTERVIEW - Jonja (October 16)

Jonja.net: Well first off, congratulations on the first successful season of   Sanctuary.

Tapping: Thank you. Yeah, we're really proud of it.

Jonja.net: It has done just fantastically well -- including gathering a few awards. It's certainly gathered plenty of awards up in Canada..... Including best lead female performer. Congratulations.

Tapping: Thank you very much. We have another awards ceremony coming up in November.

Jonja.net: Yeah, the Gemini Awards.

Tapping: And of course our VFX team have been nominated for an Emmy so we're really pretty stoked about that.

Jonja.net: Considering that Sanctuary is so much [about the] visual effects, I'm not sure how there could be really any competition.

Tapping: They do an amazing job making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.... I don't know how they do it. [I am] always blown away at the end when we get the final cut of the episodes. Yesterday for example, we were sitting in the final sound mix and we just kept going, "Oh my God, oh my God, it's so good! Oh my God!" because we were seeing the final VFX for our first episode. So yeah, so I'm constantly blown away, very cool.

Jonja.net: It's something I'd like to ask, because not all actors or actresses like to see themselves or see the shows that they do and I was curious if you do go back and watch it just so you know what it is that you're doing?

Tapping: Well I don't - it's interesting because I'm in this awkward position of, as a producer, having to watch edits of the show... and to be part of the post production pipeline in terms of color correcting and sound mixing and stuff like that. I still have a horrendous time watching myself. So if I just pretend it's not me up there. I mean, you'll see me often cringe through final cuts of shows.... But I think it's probably best that actors don't watch themselves too much because then you become to self aware.

Jonja.net: About your being the producer, you were pretty much at the very beginning of the Sanctuary series as far as getting it on the air, weren't you?

Tapping: Yeah, Martin Wood and Damian Kindler [are] ultimately responsible for the Sanctuary series....The three of us [formed a company]... We started out on the web and that had its own success to a certain degree but also was a monetary failure. The three of us stuck it out and then we ended up being the only people left standing on the ship. And we were guided into the safe harbors of television so -wow, that was an analogy that just came up....

Jonja.net: I was gonna let it slide but -

Tapping: Yeah. ...terrible analogy. Anyway, so yeah, the three of us were very much from the ground up - getting the show up and running.

Jonja.net: After being on Stargate for so long and then taking on Stargate Atlantis, what attracted you to this -- to actually go ahead and stick to another sci-fi/fantasy series?

Tapping: I just, I love the character, Christopher, I just loved her.... For an actress to come off a character as great as Sam Carter, you go, "I will never be handed that kind of gift again" and then to have Helen Magnus fall in your lap and go, "Oh, my gosh! She, she's perfect for, you know, where I am in my life right now, where I am in my career". You'd sort of be an idiot to turn something like that down. And it also gives me the opportunity to be involved creatively on a different level... to sort of push the envelope in terms of my career -- so so much fell into place with this. It was a no-brainer.

Jonja.net: So, as well as producing, is it true you're going to take on, or you did take on directing some of season two?

Tapping: I directed an episode in Season 2. We just wrapped Season 2 a month ago. I directed, I think, it's our seventh episode and it's called "Veritas". I'm loathe to say this usually about myself, but I'm really proud of this episode. It was written by Alan McCullough and it's a very cool, succinct story. It's sort of a bottle-show story.... Magnus has been accused of murder and she goes a bit kooky and will have to prove her innocence and it's near impossible... to do it. So it's a very cool sort of whodunit episode, unraveling all these mysteries.... It was a lot of fun. It was a huge challenge as a director -- as an actor also directing... and producing... I'm really glad I did it.

Jonja.net: This wasn't your first.... Didn't you direct an episode or two in Stargate?

Tapping: Yeah I did, I directed an episode of Stargate, so it wasn't the first time I'd done it. So certainly on some level technically I certainly understand. I spent seven years being behind the monitors on Stargate, listening to the directors and the DPs talk about lenses and angles and shadowing certain directors such as Martin Wood before I got the opportunity to direct on Stargate. So I felt like I really had an understanding of the process by the time I got to Stargate and now with Sanctuary because its my baby, you know.... I knew that nobody would let me fail.... I just felt a little more confidence this time. I came up with my shot list prior to shooting and sort of went to run it by Martin and he said, "No, no this is your show. Go for it."

Jonja.net: So you - like you said, you just wrapped up Season 2, it's airing here in October and I mean obviously you can't give too much away. I assume... Magnus is going to have to work hard in getting her daughter back after the season finale.

Tapping: Yeah, our season starts, I would say the first three episodes are just a constant intense vibration --if that makes sense. We come off this "what the..." [moment] and within the first three episodes, everyone in the show goes through a journey in these episodes. [Everyone is thinking...] How do we get her back? How do we deal with the fact she's missing. Druitt has a particular way of dealing with it. Magnus has a particular way. Tesla has a way. Will. Henry. Everyone is dealing with it in their own way. And it's so intense. We all felt exhausted....[So when] we got to Episode 4, it's quite a comedic episode and I think [it'll give] our cast and crew and maybe even our audience a little breather.

Jonja.net: I love it when a series really hits the ground running and draws you in and that's great for drawing in new viewers too, pulling [people] in if you've got a good, exciting story going. It's a great way to pull in new viewers and hang on to them because [they're thinking], "what happens next? What happens?"

Tapping: Definitely. What I like too, Christopher, [is that] Season 1 felt like [a] season 1 -- for all the right reasons. It was introducing this incredible new world and this incredible structure. It was introducing these crazy characters and the relationships and bringing Will into the fold and introducing the creatures. Now Season 2 feels like the sophomore season of the series. You know who everyone is and now we have this incredibly fertile playground

Jonja.net: You felt like you had little bit more free rein to explorer a little bit and not have to constantly explain why this person feels the way they do.

Tapping: You're exactly right. It gives you so much more freedom and I think also from a confidence level from all of us.... You know, everyone is a bit more confident in their roles, not only the characters, but the crew and the producers and the directors -- everyone. We know how we want the show to look so Season 2 kicks *ss.

ARTICLE - SciFiPulse - (November 2) 

Today marks the launch of a new charity, which comes to us from Amanda Tapping and the team behind the hit Syfy series Sanctuary.

In a recent interview, which will be broadcast on SFP Radio on Sunday, 8 November. Tapping revealed news of a new charity she’s set up which provides Sanctuary For Kids, which is a real grass roots initiative to help many of the smaller charities that are under threat in the current economic climate.

“It’s called Sanctuary For Kids. The idea behind is to essentially provide funding and help for children in crisis around the world. The reason the charity is born at this particular time is that so many charities are suffering because people are under such a financial crunch, but the smaller charities are being obliterated because people just don’t have as much to give. So they’re not giving, and when they do they give it to the bigger known charities.

“So the smaller ones are really suffering. So we figured it would be an idea to start a real grass roots initiative, and to help get it started Damian Kindler and I have donated to get all the start up costs, The Website, The Lawyers and Banking. We’re getting all that up and running so that every penny goes to the charities.

“Every year we want to pick a couple of important charities and maintain a relationship with them. We’d also like to create a social network idea on my website and the Sanctuary For Kids Website whereby smaller charities can connect with each other and share ideas.

“For example you have somebody in Brisbane Australia who collects used baby clothing and donates it to families in need and you find that there’s someone in Rhode island in New York or Birmingham, and they can connect and talk with each other about different ideas and things that they’re doing.

“It will also give fans a chance to discuss charities that are close to their hearts. Basically we launch on November 2, and our online charity launches on November 12 where we’ll be giving away Sanctuary set tours and a Skype chat with Martin Wood, Damian Kindler and I and some very cool props that we’re putting out, and all the money will go out to the two charities. And the two charities we’re supporting this year are Nepal Orphans Home, which is a home that provides Sanctuary essentially for young girls, and I’m really proud to announce that we’ve already raised
some money. So $5000.00 dollars went to Nepal Orphans Home and they’ve built one of their little houses. So it brought a house.

“We’re also supporting a local charity here in Vancouver, which helps homeless teens with children. So every year we want to maintain a relationship and build things very slowly and at grass roots. I’m really proud of this initiative its something I’m really excited about. “

If you’d like to learn more about Sanctuary For Kids and perhaps even donate you can do so by heading on over to: www.sanctuaryforkids.org

Jenna Busch
Writer of all things geek-related
Posted: November 12, 2009 05:00 PM
Amanda Tapping Launches Charity Website and Gives Sanctuary Spoilers

Just when you thought sci-fi legend Amanda Tapping couldn't get any cooler...for eleven years, she starred as Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter in Stargate SG-1.  Colonel Sam also appeared in twenty five episodes of Stargate Atlantis.  She's guest starred on Stargate Universe.  And she's currently starring in one of my favorites, Sanctuary.  If you're not watching it, and you should be, Tapping plays Dr. Helen Magnus, a hundred-and-fifty-seven-year-old English scientist who runs a sanctuary for non-human creatures (vampires, mermaids ... the kind you don't see in zoos).  The show is largely filmed in front of a green screen and was the first North American show to use the RED camera exclusively. 

Tapping has just started a charity called "Sanctuary for Kids,” which will raise money for smaller charities, the ones that have suffered the most during this economic mess we find ourselves in.  They'll be auctioning off a Sanctuary set visit, props from the show and a Skype chat with Tapping and the show's creator Damian Kindler.  Tapping tells us that she knows how generous sci-fi fans can be, and that she knows they'll be willing to help out.  Tapping also gave us some great info on what's coming up on the show, whether or not she'll be appearing on another episode of Ghost Hunters and reuniting with SG-1 costar Michael Shanks during his guest appearance on her show.

I watch the show and love it.  I've been watching it from the beginning.  But for people who haven't seen it yet, what do you think makes it so compelling?

I think, oh wow.  I think a lot of things.  Its look and its feel.  It doesn't look like anything else on television right now.  I think what we tried to go for was a real graphic novel take on things.  And I think that's given us so much to explore.  We're dealing with ... we do have vampires and that seems to be the hit thing.  But we had them before anyone else did.  [laughs]  But I think the fact that we're taking modern day mythology and turning it on its ear.  And the fact that we have these really cool characters.  I mean, I'm 157 years old.  I'm the oldest woman on television right now.  [laughs]  It's kind of cool.  A little depressing, but kind of cool.  There's a lot of shows out there exploring the paranormal and exploring mythology and exploring thinking outside the box, and I just think that we do it well.  I'm very proud of this show.  I'm proud of the way it looks and I'm especially proud of this season. 

There have been a lot of changes this season.  Will is really a part of the team now and Ashley (Emilie Ullerup) ... well, Ashley isn't with us anymore.  Tell us a little about the changes.

Well, I think for one thing, everyone is a little more comfortable in their own skin.  The first season was about introducing you to everybody.  And introducing you to the place and the characters and the mythology.  And now we just have this massive playground we can play in.  You see Will (Robin Dunne) really come forward this season.  He knows how he fits into the Sanctuary.  He sort of pushes back at Helen and he's more poised to take over.  He feels like much more of a leader this season.  Henry (Ryan Robbins) is much more in the forefront.  We're doing a lot more stories with Henry.  We bring in this new character, Kate (Agam Darshi).  Ashley is [laughs] not dead, necessarily, because no one really dies in sci-fi ... I'm actually trying to pitch a story for season 3 which would have her come back for a bit, so yeah.  A lot of big changes, I think, interpersonally, everyone has suffered this incredible blow since the beginning of the season, with trying to find Ashley, and potentially losing her, and how we're all coping with it.  This season is a lot darker in some ways.  But then we just did an episode last week that was hilarious.

That cracked me up.  I loved that episode!  “The Adjustor”!

Wasn't Chris Gauthier terrific?

He was amazing!  I watch Eureka and Smallville, and I love him.

He could read a phone book and have you on the floor laughing.  He's just one of those comedians who ... just his regular talking voice makes you laugh your ass off. 

I actually wanted to ask you about your upcoming guest stars.  I just spoke with Michael Shanks
and he talked a little about his role on Sanctuary.  He didn't really give me any details though.  Can you tell me about his episode?

Oh, it was awesome to have him.  And there is actually a really cool scene where Helen and Jimmy, the character that Michael plays, see each other for the first time in the episode, and it's so genuine.  We're both just grinning from ear to ear.  It was really sweet.  It was a really nice moment for Michael and I.  But what we did ... we really wanted to get him on the show because he's such a good actor and a friend.  And we didn't want it to be the Amanda and Michael show.  We didn't want it to be Daniel and Sam.  We didn't want to fall into those old rhythms.  And for Michael too.  He felt the same way that we did.  We wanted to bring him back but not make it just about the two of us.  So in actual fact, we don't have a lot of scenes together.  Most of his scenes are with Agam who plays Kate Freelander.  And he plays this abnormal who is carrying a rather volatile creature, and it's sort of about his escape from the mob and the history between him and Kate and their backstory.  You find out a lot more about Kate's backstory, and a lot about Jimmy's backstory.  It's a really sweet episode.  It's a tough episode.  But he blew us away.  He did a great job.

I know the last time I spoke to you at Comic Con, we talked about guest stars that you'd like to have on Sanctuary.  And when I spoke to David Blue from Stargate Universe, he said he loves you and he'd love to be a guest on your show.

Would he really?  That's awesome!  [laughs]  We'll have to get him on the show then! 

I actually wanted who else you have coming up or who you'd like to get.

Jonathan Young comes back as Tesla in a big way.

I love him!

Yeah!  He's phenomenal!  I just watched the episode called “Sleepers” which is a very vampire episode and oh my god, he's so brilliant!  He's so brilliant!  So we have Jonathan coming back.  The end of the season we have Callum Blue who comes to our Mumbai Sanctuary.  And Callum's on Smallville ... there are so many “S” shows!  [laughs]  If you want to have a successful sci-fi show, you have to start with “S”. 

That's actually true.  Michael Shanks told me that he was told that he must only be on shows that start with “S”.

[laughs]  Was it his speech therapist?


[laughs]  So Callum's on the show.  Wait, Eureka isn't an “S” show and it does well.  It's out of the box there.  Erica Cera from Eureka is on.  She's in the episode that I directed called “Veritas” (airs November 20th).  That's the seventh episode of the season.  And it was great.  I'd met her at a lot of SyFy events and we flew back from New York together and we just hit it off.  We just had such a great time hanging out in the airport and flying together.  I said, 'I've got to get you on Sanctuary.'  And then when I was directing I thought, well, this is the perfect part for Erica. 

I actually wanted to ask you about directing the episode.  I'm always fascinated by people who can direct and act at the same time. 

It's not my first choice of things to do.  [laughs]  You just feel so schizophrenic, Jenna, because I'm acting in the episode and I'm directing it, so I've got to see the whole thing and then I'm also producing.   When we initially talked about me directing, it was November, it was in LA, we were meeting with the network...Mark Stern (SyFy's Executive Vice President for Original Content) said, 'Hey, that would be great.'  And I was like, yeah!  Because I was relaxed and we'd finished the season and everything was good.  But as it became closer to the time I was directing, I turned to Martin (Wood)  and Damian (Kindler) and said, 'Forget it.  I can't do this.  This is ridiculous.  I'm too busy.'  Helen is insane this year.  As you've seen so far this season, it's pretty torturous for poor Helen.  And so, by the time we came towards that episode, I was freaking out. 

For me, the biggest thing is prep.  I have to know my shot list, know how I'm going to edit the show and so when I go into shoot it, I'll explain to the DP exactly what I want.  I'll set it up with second team and then I'll go in.  The beauty of the episode that I directed was that Helen is a bit crazy. 


As the show progresses, she looses her marbles more and more.  So no acting required, right?


I just let myself go slowly insane, so it was good.  [laughs]  It actually worked out really well.  I'm actually really proud of the episode.  And I usually don't stand on the rooftops and go, 'Yay me!'  I'm usually much more humble than that. But I'm super proud of this episode.  I just saw it mixed with the effects and the music and yeah.  It's a good episode. 

I also hear you have one episode that was shot almost entirely in the water.

Yeah!  This is the torture Amanda and Robin season!  [laughs]  I think that Martin and Damian go out for dinner and cackle in a corner about how they can torture us.  This was one of those episodes.  It's called “Next Tuesday” (airing December 4th) and it takes place in an abandoned oil rig.  Will and Magnus are on a helicopter that crashes...so we're hanging from these wires just above the water.  And of course we fall into the water.  There's a mutated vampire squid and a scorpion fighting it out.  So we spent five days in a huge pool, seventy feet wide and fourteen feet deep.  It was used for a feature and we managed to piggyback on the end of the feature and use the pool, which was brilliant.  So yeah, we spent five days in this pool.  It was fun and exhausting.  You know, it's always fun, but we were bagged by the end of it.  And it was right after the episode I had directed, so, yeah.

You need to do an episode where Magnus just stays in bed and everything happens around her!

I think that would be really cool!  She just talks on the phone.  'Will, go do this!'  You're brilliant!  We could do, like, Charlie in Charlie's Angels!  Everything over the intercom!


So I know you've recently joined Twitter, because I follow you...

I got roped into Twitter.  I actually quite enjoy it!  But I don't go on as often as some.  But Ming-Na (Stargate Universe) said to me, when we did this Stargate ladies lunch, she said, 'You're not on Twitter?  What, are you crazy?  You've got to get on Twitter!  You've got your charity coming up, your show...it's great!  It's so much fun!  Oh my god!  It's not that hard.  It doesn't take a huge amount of time.'  Because I'm a luddite.  I'm happy chiseling my grocery list into a rock.  Like, I have an iPhone and it tells me what I'm supposed to do.  It speaks to me.  'Amanda, today you have to...'  Because I'm not a technology-driven girl, which is astounding.  But Ming-Na got me onto Twitter.  And I enjoy it.  It's quite fun.  I don't follow a lot of people right now.  I'm still trying to figure it all out.  I tweet!

I've just gotten on fairly recently and I'm a little bit obsessed!  David Blue told me that he was the one that got Ming-Na on, so you can blame him. 

And David Blue is obsessed.  Do you follow him?

I do.

I just turned on my phone and there's like fifty messages from David Blue. I know everything that guy does!  [laughs]

Actually, a bunch of my followers had questions for you.

Oh cool!

There were seven separate questions about your hair color change.


They all want to know about how it is to be a brunette after all those years as a blond. 

I love it!  I love it, actually.  I felt the need, obviously, when we started Sanctuary, to reinvent myself.  I didn't want there to be any vestige of Sam Carter.  So I felt really strongly that Helen should be completely different.  So when I initially did it, I was kind of depressed.  Because it's such a change.  I kept looking in my rearview mirror and almost getting into accidents because I kept thinking, 'Who's driving my car? Oh right! It's me.'  But now I like it.  I think it's actually sexier.

I've had a ton of hair colors so I know what you mean.  It really does mess with you. 

Women are nicer to me. 


Men, not so much, but women are nicer to me, which is cool.  And weird.  [laughs]

When you're blond, people speak a little slower.

And louder.  Like you somehow being blond makes you deaf.  [laughs]

One of the questions was about how you feel about being able to play such a different character.  Since you were Sam Carter for seven years.  They're so different. 

I felt completely revitalized.  When we shot our webisodes, we were still shooting Stargate.  So we shot these test scenes in our little mini-hiatus while we were shooting Stargate.  And I felt like an actor again.  It felt kind of weird because I always felt like Sam Carter kept me totally challenged, but you realize that it's so comfortable.  I put on the Army boots and I am Sam Carter.  And I feel really comfortable.  So to break outside of that box was really so much fun.  And now the challenge is just trying to understand Helen, because she's so weird.  She's such an enigma and she's so eccentric.  She makes these crazy choices that I don't always understand.  So I have to step back and understand that she's a very flawed hero, which I love, but it's a lot more to wrap your head around.  Sam was easy to understand.  I got Sam.  Helen, I go, huh?  Really?  Wow, weird!

It's got to be great to do something different.  After playing a role for eleven years, some people would get stuck.

I mean, all I can say is that I've been totally blessed.  To have Sam Carter at that time in my life that I got that part, and as long as I got to play her, what a blessing.  Because she's an amazing character.  And I sort of thought, well, how do you top Sam?  Where do I go from here?  And then
Sanctuary  came along and Damian handed me the script with this amazing character, and now, at this time in my life, is sort of perfect timing.  So yeah.  And now I'm saying to myself, where would I go after Helen?

Speaking of Sam, I wanted to ask you about your guest spots on SGU and how many of those you're going to do.

Well, I've done two episodes.  I did their first two-parter and I'm at the very end of their season.  And I just shot that a few weeks ago.  So I started their season and I'm ending their season, which was very cool. But I didn't get to play with anyone.  That was my one, you know...if they were ever to have me come back, I'd want to be with people.  [laughs]  I'm kind of off on my ship, which I think is awesome.  I have to say, when I got to work, and I saw the uniform and the General Hammond crest on it, I teared up.  I think it's a great honor to, not only Don, but to the character.  (note: Don S. Davis, who played Major General George Hammond passed away in June, 2008.)  So that was very cool.  But I'm up in my ship and I don't get to play with anyone. 

Well hopefully they can get you on the SGU ship sometime.

Well, maybe we can crash the “General Hammond” into the “Destiny”.  Without doing too much damage.  [laughs]

I just got the press release about your charity “Sanctuary for Kids” this morning.  Tell me about it.  (The website is http://sanctuaryforkids.org)

It's a new initiative.  We've actually been working on it for almost a year.  The idea was born out of the fact that, with the financial crisis, so many small charities are really suffering.  I mean, the big charities are suffering.  People just don't have as much to give.  But the small charities are just being obliterated.  And there are so many really small grass roots organizations that work directly with children and youth in crisis.  And not too many people know about them.  So we decided we wanted to set up this initiative.  Very simple, grass roots based initiative, where we find out about all these different smaller charities through our fan base, and through our research, where five thousand dollars actually makes a massive difference, as opposed to having to raise a huge amount of money.  So they're charities with small operating costs and they're working directly with people in need.  And we decided to use the fan base.  I've always found that sci-fi fans are unbelievably generous.

I totally agree.

And every time I've done a fund raiser, I've been blown away by the amount of money and the generosity that our fans have.  So I thought, here we have this opportunity to not only work with the show Sanctuary and with that fan base, but with the Stargate fan base and the people I've met around the world, and actually make a difference with small charities. 

We chose as our first two charities, the Nepal Orphans' Home, which the gentleman who runs my website, originally from Poland, now lives in England, has worked at this organization.  And they rescue young girls, some boys, but mostly young girls in Nepal who have been abandoned by their families.  And they give them an education.  They actually make them a part of the community, so that they give back to their community, so it's an ongoing relationship they've fostered with these girls.  It seemed to me that it spoke to so many different initiatives that I love.  It checked a lot of boxes for me, so we donated money to them and we're raising more money.  We've actually raised enough money to build one of their homes...and we're working with a local organization and charity program that works with homeless youth who are also parents, and getting them into sustainable housing.  And getting them set up.  So we're providing starter kits for these young people and their babies.  And again, it's where five thousand dollars actually makes a huge difference. 

We're launching a charity, an online auction on November 12th, and we're giving a set tour, a Skype chat with Damian and myself and a prop, and a fan gets to name a character on the show.

How cool!

Yeah, and that's just our first.  We've actually raised money already.  We did a template fundraiser for a local school, just to see how it would work, and it was so successful, that we raised even more money than we expected.  And people were saying, 'Give my donation to Sanctuary for Kids.'  So even before we launched the website, we've raised money for the charities.  So that's how the charity in Nepal was able to build a home...and Vancouver was able to help homeless youth.  So we've just launched the website and we've already raised a ton of money. 

Damian Kindler is involved with it as well, and Damian and I are donating all the start up costs, so that one hundred percent of the donations go to the charities.  And we're going to continue to do that for all the administrative costs.  We'll cover them so every penny goes where it's supposed to go.  But we wanted to foster a relationship.  The idea is not that this year it's the Nepal Orphans' Home, and we're never going to see them again or talk to them again.  We want to foster a relationship with all of the charities that we bring on board.  And I think that's important.  It's not just about giving.  It's a relationship.  It's about the sense of community.  But what I've also done on my website is, I've started a community charity forum so that people around the world can talk to each other about their smaller initiatives.  And may support each other and potentially offer each other help.  The example I used is, if you're in Brisbane, Australia, and you're gathering gently used baby clothes for people in need, you can get in touch with someone in Burlington, England who is also doing the same thing.  Maybe you'd be able to share resources and share ideas.  It's the idea that small charities can connect with like minded people and create a sense of community there.

This next question is completely off the subject, but since I've been ghost  hunting with you at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, I have to ask. Are you going to be appearing on Ghost Hunters again this season?

I would love to.  I would love to.  I mean the live show was pretty insane.  I loved the Stanley Hotel.  [laughs]  On the live show, I barely got to spend any time with Grant and Jason.  I was pretty bummed.   So if I do it again, I'd want to stick with them.  Find out their technique.

I'm really hoping to get to do it again.  It was so cool!

Wasn't it? 

Something flipped my earring.  I don't know what it was, but it was really

See?  I've got to do it.  And I mean, we've always joked about doing a cross over where Helen's walking through the Sanctuary and she opens a door and they're there.  'Have you found it yet?'  'No.'  And I'd close the door.  [laughs]

You should do that!

I know!  Just a tiny cameo. 

Before you go, I want to ask you about next week's episode.

Next week's episode is called, “Fragments”.  It's the week before my directing episode.  “Fragments” gives you a little bit of back story on Henry, which is really interesting.  And it also deals with an old love interest of Henry's.  And a creature that she's dealing with.  And it's sort of questions whether the Sanctuary is doing the right thing at times.  Like whether our techniques are right, and whether we're dealing with these creatures in the right way.  So it opens up some questions.  But there are also some interesting dynamics between Big Foot (Christopher Heyerdahl)  and Magnus.  His medicine and what he chooses to believe in and what she chooses to believe in.  But for the most part, it is a nice Henry story.  Really, really sweet Henry story.  

How much do we love Sanctuary's Amanda Tapping? A lot more since we've heard about her new charitable foundation, "Sanctuary for Kids," designed to support charities that provide aid to children in crisis.

To kick-start the foundation, Tapping will auction off a set visit, props and other items from the Syfy series Sanctuary this month; check out the official site for more information.

We've pasted the foundation's full announcement below. Sanctuary Season 2 comes to the UK SCI FI channel in march 2010!

New Not-for-Profit Foundation, SANCTUARY FOR KIDS, launched by TV Actor / Executive Producer Amanda Tapping Foundation will raise funds for children in crisis by auctioning rare props, set visits and 'priceless' items from sci-fi TV series Sanctuary.

Vancouver, BC - Television Actor and Executive Producer Amanda Tapping announced today the launch of a new not-for-profit foundation, Sanctuary for Kids (S4K) that will support local and international charities providing vital aid to children and youth in crisis.

Sanctuary for Kids was inspired by the sci-fi TV series Sanctuary, for which Amanda Tapping is Executive Producer and the series lead actor. The foundation will harness the tremendous and supportive sci-fi community and provide access to rare and experience-based online auction items from Sanctuary to raise funds for children's charities. The first auction will take place November 12 - 22, 2009.

S4K was founded by Tapping, Jill Bodie (B.ED., M.S.W.) and Damian Kindler (Executive Producer and Creator of Sanctuary) through their mutual association with the television series. All three serve as Directors for Sanctuary for Kids. In order to enable 100% of the funds raised to go to the children's charities, Bodie is donating all of her time and resource costs as administrator for the foundation and Tapping and Kindler are personally covering all administrative and start-up costs.

"We all feel very lucky and honoured to be able to do jobs we love with people we love in this industry," explains Amanda Tapping. "Jill, Damian and I all felt a very strong desire and real responsibility to do something with the reach and audience we have through Sanctuary and the sci-fi community. We didn't want to waste the influence that the series has, or the meaningful connections we personally have made with so many people around the world."

"This is an initiative that is based on relationships and working as a community at large," continues Jill Bodie, Director, Sanctuary for Kids. "It's about doing something very real and tangible for children and youth who desperately need protection. Sci-fi fans are so connected and loyal - we will be relying on their connectivity and passion to help spread the word about the work we are doing."

Adds Damian Kindler, Executive Producer/Creator, Sanctuary, "Ultimately, we want to set an example and make charitable giving and outreach a standard practice in the television and entertainment industry. We all feel that it would be irresponsible to ignore that influence."

Sanctuary for Kids will host three auctions throughout the year selling "priceless" items as well as meet and greet opportunities with Sanctuary actors and producers. The first auction will take place November 12 - 22, 2009 with such items as a behind the scenes set tour and lunch with Amanda Tapping, a personal Skype chat with Executive Producers Amanda Tapping, Damian Kindler and Martin Wood, a well known prop used in the series ("Sonic Stunner"), as well as an opportunity to name a new character in the show.

Sanctuary for Kids has chosen the Nepal Orphans Home and Watari's TTIP (Transitioning to Independence Program) and TIPPY (Transitioning to Independence Program for Parenting Youth) Programs to launch the foundation. The Nepal Orphans Home (www.nepalorphanshome.org) attends to the welfare of children in Nepal who are orphaned, abandoned or not supported by their parents. Watari's Programs (www.watari.org) work with the homeless youth population in Vancouver to help stabilize single, pregnant and parenting youth in safe, affordable housing and encourages commitment to their treatment plans.

Amanda Tapping discusses recent developments on Sanctuary and reflects on all things abnormal: Ashley’s death, Helen’s relationships with Druitt and Tesla (and Olaf!), the epic season two finale, story arcs for season three, Robin Dunne’s embarrassing habit, and more. She also answers many of the great questions submitted by CliqueClack readers. Here’s the interview — enjoy!

Ruby T.: With the death of Ashley, are you playing Helen differently? How has Ashley’s death changed her?

Amanda Tapping: It’s changed her drastically. I think you’re not going to see a huge outward change because that’s not Helen, but you’ll see moments where it’s revealed just how deeply she’s hurting about this. But she’s such a tightly wound character, and she plays her cards so close to the chest that it’s very rare, except in the first three episodes, where you’ll actually see her struggle. And then, of course, in episode five, which has already aired, she talks about trying to find a cure for her longevity because she just doesn’t see the point of being around any longer now that she’s lost Ashley. So it’s moments like that that are revealed. And then she just sinks back down and gets back to business. And then in “Next Tuesday” she talks about the fact that Ashley’s birthday is coming up and she can’t handle it. And then she sinks back down to business. So it comes in waves for the audience. For Helen, it’s a constant, but for the audience, you’ll just see it revealed in little moments. Definitely, I mean, it’s a massive impact because she decided to have this child in the first place and bring her into this environment, and of course the consequential guilt that she feels is huge.

RT: So with the loss of Ashley we have a new character in Kate Freelander. What do you think that she brings to the show, and what does Helen see in her—why does Helen ask her to be a part of the team?

AT: It’s what she does. Like she collects these abnormals, and she brings them into the Sanctuary, protects them and nurtures them. And then, in a lot of ways, in Kate she sees a wounded bird who, given the chance, can just blossom beautifully. She doesn’t trust her off the top, … but I think that after a while Helen goes, “Wait a second, there’s huge potential with this girl,” and decides to take her under her wing. And the thing with Kate that I love is that you don’t like her off the top. We wanted her to be revealed to the audience organically. We wanted her to slowly become something that the audience could trust—to go on the journey with us, essentially. Nobody in the Sanctuary network likes her off the top. They’re like, she’s—there’s something wrong with her, and she’s wily, she’s up to something, and then slowly we start to trust her and then start to like her and then genuinely embrace her. So we’re hoping that that’s the journey that the audience goes on too.

And in terms of casting her, we did a huge search for her, and we saw hundreds of actresses. And Agam came in, and right off the top I said, “She’s Kate.” And the guys were like, “Well, we got a lot of people to look at,” and she was shortlisted and shortlisted. There was just something about Agam’s energy for me that I knew would fit in beautifully with the Sanctuary cast. Not that she—you know, she’s a phenomenal actress, and I think she did a great job with the audition. She nailed it. But there was also something about her energy as a human being that just jelled so beautifully with the rest of the cast and with the show. So, as much as I know there’s a lot of derision on the Internet about whether or not she’s the right character for the show, I think she’s absolutely perfect.

RT: You mentioned “Next Tuesday,” which is one of my favorite episodes because it shows a different side to Helen and also to Will. How would you describe the relationship that’s grown between Will and Helen?

AT: I love this relationship because it’s so much more honest this year than last year. And you know, it has to be. Will was still trying to find his feet last year, and he didn’t have the confidence that he has now. … That’s how it feels like everything has rolled out with this show in terms of the relationships, so organically. He’s now really comfortable, and now he’s calling Helen out, and he’s not gonna let her get away with stuff. … So it’s actually interesting for me though because Helen’s so uptight and knowing that she’s dealing with this and she’s not dealing with it well because she doesn’t deal with emotions well. She comes across almost—when I read it I was like, uh, it seems like Helen’s jealous that Will might have this booty call! [Laughs] And I don’t think it’s that so much as she just didn’t know how to say, “I need your help.” And that’s because he’s the closest thing to her. It’s even harder. So he says, “I don’t know why you’re acting this way. This is weird!” But I think it’s a really interesting dynamic, and the two of us really enjoyed playing it, but there were moments where we would call Damian and go, “What did you mean by this? Why would she say it like this?” Cause you read it, and it’s weird. It’s a weird dynamic between the two of them, but ultimately what it shows is how comfortable they are with each other.

RT: In “Next Tuesday,” we met a guy named Olaf. Will we be seeing more of him?

AT: I don’t know. I don’t know whether we will or not. [Laughing] I think he’s just so—he was so great, the actor was wonderful—but he was just so schmarmy. Initially we were trying to get … Chris Sarandon, which was our original thought. Wouldn’t that be funny? You know, from The Princess Bride, but I don’t know … I mean, I can never see [Olaf and Helen] together. He’s just too—you know, he might be fun for a weekend, but for the long haul I think he’d drive her crazy.

RT: Are we going to see more of Helen’s relationships with John Druitt and Tesla?

AT: Oh definitely. Definitely. That’s something that has to be explained. I don’t know if “Haunted” has aired yet in the States, but it’s an episode that reveals a lot about John Druitt, and you see why in some ways Helen fell in love with him in the first place. Because he wasn’t Jack the Ripper when she fell in love with him. So that relationship is the quintessential relationship in Helen’s life. He is her paramour. It’s just incredibly screwed up. [Laughs] Because of what he does subsequent to their [relationship]—because you see why she would fall in love with this man … with his intelligence and his passion … Also, you know, I talked to the guys about doing more history with Helen. I mean, what informs this woman? …. Wouldn’t it be great if we actually showed what the Sanctuary was all about in the early days?

RT: “Sleepers” was a really fun episode. At the end, it looked like Helen was softening toward Tesla. How would you describe her feelings for Tesla, especially after what happened to him in that episode?

AT: It’s again, you know, it’s this 100+ year old friendship. So there’s such a history there that, I mean—it’s the same with friends that we’ve had for a long time. It’s just that, when you know so much about them, there’s a level of comfort there. Inasmuch as he drives her crazy, she absolutely adores him. And so the softening is sadness really, that this incredible pain-in-the-ass guy that had this crazy gift is suddenly forced to face his own mortality and his own normalcy, if you will, and I think that there’s a real sadness for her. It’s like, wow, I knew I had to deal with the thorn in my side, and now he’s not gonna be one at all. And it’s also that one of the Five has gone down again—although at the end, of course, we find out that he has other powers which could be quite fun to play with. But I think that there’s a massive amount of—she absolutely adores him and loves him; he just drives her nuts. You know, that crazy guy from college that everyone still knows, but he’s like—ugh, that crazy guy from college. [Laughs]

RT: And we’ll see more of Tesla this season and next season?

AT: Oh, definitely. Definitely. Jonathan’s a huge part of the family, so we want to bring him back as often as possible. He’s such a wonderful actor, and the character—he’s such a great antagonist. So, definitely.

RT: We have a few more episodes of season two ahead, so what are you really excited about for the last few episodes of the season?

AT: I have to say that our final two-parter, I think, is some of the best television that we’ve ever done. It’s phenomenal. It looks like a movie. Martin Wood directed it, and there are scenes that—oh my God, I mean, I’ve seen the show through every stage and through editing, and to actually see it put together—I was blown away. And I’m in it, so I’m pretty critical, but I was like “Wow! This is what they did!” It is epic, and this two-parter takes you around the world. Literally. To Egypt, and we spend a lot of time in Mumbai and the Mumbai Sanctuary—we’ve got a Bollywood dance number, for goodness’ sake. And it works, it actually works in the show. [Laughs] It’s insane! And it ends with—honestly, I don’t know how we’re going to get out of the cliffhanger that we’ve put ourselves into. I went, “Seriously?” and I turned to Damian when I finished the script and I went, “So how do we get out of this?” and he’s like, “I don’t know. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.” [Laughs] Oh! Okay. Yeah, the last two parter is the best two hours of television that I think the Sanctuary team has ever done.

RT: Oh, wow—that’s exciting! I have a few questions that our readers submitted for you, so I’ll go to those next.

AT: Oh, fantastic!

RT: The first one is from Annie. She wants to know if there will be an overall story arc for season three or if there will be mostly stand alone episodes.

AT: I think the beauty of getting a third season and getting 20 episodes is that we get to play with a huge story arc. I think it’s in our best interest to build the mythology of the show, to do exactly that. I mean, that was part of the thing that made shows like Stargate so interesting to me was there was this massive, woven mythology. So it’s definitely—I mean, we do stand alone episodes because they’re fun and they’re exciting little pops throughout the season, but I think there definitely has to be an arc that carries us through. We haven’t figured out what that is yet. [Laughs] But we’ll have to pretty darn quick!

RT: Rocky89 says, “I loved ‘Pavor Nocturnus.’ It was one of the most intense episodes of any show I’ve ever seen you do. How did you physically and emotionally prepare yourself for that intense hose scene?”

AT: Rocky89 is a big fan and has been very generous in praise to me, so thank you, Rocky89! That was the hardest filming I’ve ever done in my career—in terms of vulnerability, in terms of fear—and right up until the moment we shot it, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do it. But part of what I love about Sanctuary has been that I’m constantly afraid, in a good way. I mean, creatively, I’m scared, and I think it’s important that you scare yourself creatively.

And I also surrounded myself with people that I really trusted, and the two guys who were doing the ripping up the clothes and the hosing down I had worked with those stunt guys on Stargate for 10 years and had known them for 13 years, so it was people I absolutely trusted. So that’s important. And the crew is I think the only reason I was able to do it, honestly, is because I was surrounded by people that I trusted and that I loved, and I knew I was really well protected. Yeah, to open yourself up and to be that vulnerable and then afterwards you just can’t look anyone in the eye it was a very strange experience for me. We finally finished shooting that part of the scene late at night. Damian and Martin were down set, and a lot of the crew walked off the stage because they just didn’t want to be there and I couldn’t look at anyone. It was very strange. And now I look at it, and I still find it uncomfortable to watch. But it was yeah, it was scary, and I think again it’s important to scare yourself, but I don’t know that I want to be that scared again.

RT: Majorsal wants to know, besides the circumstances surrounding Ashley, what has been Helen’s darkest hour?

AT: Besides the Ashley thing? Hmm. I think probably back in history, it would be discovering that John Druitt is Jack the Ripper and realizing that she had potentially created that (which we find out later may or may not be the case). At that time, it’s the realization that she has created this monster when her job has always been to protect abnormals and to protect creatures and to protect humanity from them, and suddenly … she’s unleashed this monster. I think that would probably be her darkest hour and informed a great deal of how she deals with abnormals and with everything—with her science, with her medicine. I think it informed a huge amount of how she dealt with the rest of her life thus far. (Other than, of course, Ashley Ashley’s the big one always.)

RT: Chelle wants to know what you would most like to see happen with Helen as a character.

AT: After the season that we’ve just had, I would like to see Helen have a bit of fun! I know that sounds really lame, but honestly, the woman needs to relax just a little.

RT: Maybe go to that villa…

AT: Yeah! Go to the villa. I’d like to see her there, having some wine and laughing. I’d like to see her have, you know, some love. I’d like to see what Helen’s expression of love in the purest sense is. Yeah, but I—honestly, at this stage, with the season we just did, I just want to see her lighten up, even if it’s just for an episode.

RT: I have one more question for you, and it’s from Spaceboy. He wants to know what’s the most embarrassing thing that an actor has done on the set of Sanctuary.

AT: Oh my gosh, well, Robin Dunne—and this is legendary, so I hope I’m not repeating myself too much—but he likes to drop his pants. It’s a very strange phenomenon. And nobody—I’m serious—nobody can figure out quite why, but every once in a while, he’ll just undo his belt and unzip his pants and drop it. And we’ve both gotten used to it … But he’s done it when there have been people visiting the set who aren’t used to it, and it’s this massive explanation that’s required. We talk about his mental health issues [laughs], but I think seeing visitors’ faces when Robin has just dropped trou and having to go over and explain it! Robin’s our most embarrassing cast member. For sure.

I mean, I’ve been embarrassed by stupid things I’ve done—like saying bang! when I fired a gun on camera. Now, you’ve gotta remember, I spent 13 years with the Stargate franchise, carrying a gun, and never once did I go bang! Yeah, you do it in rehearsals so people know when you’re shooting, but you never actually do it on camera, but I actually walked onto camera at one point in a scene, turned to the camera, and went bang! I thought, “Oh my God! Oh my God, 13 years on Stargate you’d think I’d know better!” But I finally did it. And that was very embarrassing and that, I think, has made it onto a blooper reel somewhere. I think it’s made it onto our first season blooper reel. That was probably my most embarrassing moment.

RT: Oh great! [Laughs] Well, Amanda, thanks so much for your time.

AT: Oh, thank you, Ruby! This was really great!