Interview with Teryl, Don and Amanda

Interview with Teryl, Don and Amanda

Interview with Teryl, Don and Amanda

Question: Working so hard on the show, how do you get an overview of where it’s going & how your characters fit in?
Amanda: Teryl is now playing a far more active role, which is a welcome relief in terms of having another woman on the show and the dynamic between our characters. The only way the series can remain interesting is if we continue to develop not only the lead characters but the peripheral characters too. We have no idea what season 5 holds for any of us, no idea…
Question: Will you be doing more stuff outside the Cheyenne Mountain base?
Amanda: We all like to get off the base. We did that a bit more this year, we went to Egypt, Colorado, Montana, wore non-Army boots and stuff. Real people clothes- very exciting!
Question: If you could choose how the Sam/Jack arc is played out, how would you do it?
Amanda: There’s great chemistry between them which is wonderful to play, but I think we’ve pushed the envelope too far. The idea of male and female leads falling in love is so tired and over-used and our show has the potential to be far more intelligent than that. Teryl and I are proud to play strong, capable, emotional, fallible, fully realised human beings and when I’m reduced to just pining for Jack, I’m not happy.
Question: What was it like being directed by Michael Shanks?
Amanda: Michael was due to direct an episode called “Prodigy” but at the eleventh hour, they switched the schedule and had him direct “Double Jeopardy”, probably one of the biggest ever episodes in terms of special effects, visual effects and people blowing up. Two O’Neills, two Carters, two Teal’cs, just insanity! When we realised that would be the one, we decided to be on our best behaviour as he had enough on his plate. He was great, I think it was pretty overwhelming for him. He would come into my trailer after half a day and just go, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”, then he’d be right back on track again. Thankfully we have a great support system and we as the cast didn’t want to see him fall. Not that he would have- he came in incredibly prepared. It’s gonna be a good episode.
Question: Which other show would you most like to guest on?
Teryl Rothery: “Sex In The City”, that’s definitely one that both Amanda and I would be interested in!
Amanda: Apart from “Coronation Street”, “Frasier”…
Teryl: “Frasier”, I would love to do a “Frasier”.
Amanda: I’d like to do “Ab Fab”, but it’s over… “Tracey Takes on”, I’d love to do, Tracey Ullman.
Don S. Davis: Any of the British mystery series…
Amanda: If they were still doing “Sherlock Holmes” with, was it Jeremy Brett? “The Simpsons”!
Question: You’ve done plenty of animation voice work, Teryl…?
Teryl: Yeah! I’m doing one now when we get back, a series called “Noddy”. I’m the voice of Mrs Skittles. (laughs) I had no idea what it was. I went to a UK convention and one of the questions was, what are you doing next? I said, I do animation work but I don’t know anything about this cartoon. The whole audience burst out laughing!
Amanda: Does he still have his little red car…?
Question: Don, you always seem to be playing authority figures. Do you ever resent that? Ever wish someone would cast you as an acid casualty or something? (laughter)
Don: I don’t resent it, but I do look forward to those times when I get to play something other than a serviceman. As soon as I get back, I get to play an FBI chief… once, I actually played a gay theatre owner- that was fun, I got chopped to death (!).
Question: Any chance you’ll work with David Lynch again? Any chance he’ll resurrect “Twin Peaks”…?
Don: A lot of us from “Twin Peaks” stay in constant contact with each other- we’ve made some wonderful friendships. It’s almost impossible given the way people’s careers have gone since the series. I think because of that fact, some of the people have series of their own and whilst they’re running, they aren’t free to do any outside work. Others have gone on to establish pretty good film careers so they or their managers would want any “Twin Peaks” movie to feature them at least in the same starring context as they’ve achieved since. Unfortunately, careers haven’t gone in those patterns, so there would be a lotta juggling.
Question: …And you’d lose that ensemble feel too.
Don: Yeah, that was one of the nice things about “Twin Peaks”. It’s the only show I’ve ever worked on where there were not “star wagons”. There were certainly “honey wagons”, which were small dressing rooms, just wide enough for a little cot and a toilet. That’s it. on most shows, you have an assigned dressing room if you’re a regular and the quality of your dressing room matches your status on the show. With “Twin Peaks”, Kyle McLachlan had a little trailer that looked like it was out of Fred Sanford’s garbage! (laughter) All the rest of us had “honey wagons” and none were assigned- when you came into work on any given day, in the order you came in, the AD’s would assign you a “honey wagon”. You might be in cubbyhole 8 today, whether you were Piper Laurie, Lara Flynn Boyle or whoever, or you might be in cubbyhole 10 the next day. That helped maintain the ensemble feel, because there was no strata, but I’ve never heard about it before or since.
Question: Teryl, when did you realise Dr. Fraiser had become a major character on the show?
Amanda: Getting your contract! (laughter)
Teryl: Probably, yeah! Prior to that, the first two seasons, it was, OK, you have this episode off, we’ll need you the next one, so I knew they were bringing her back whenever there was medical stuff involved. The contract came in for season 3, so I don’t know if there was ever a realisation that the fans were enjoying it more, it was just, “boy, aren’t I lucky”. Right from the get-go, it was like, you just clicked. The first season in particular, it was like the boys and the girls. We hung and were very, very tight first season. Things sorta changed a bit in the second season- not that we weren’t tight, but everybody was doing their own thing and now it’s coming full circle. We’ve always been close, but it’s even tighter now- they’ve always made me feel so welcome, so at home.
Amanda: It’s a family & Teryl is an integral part. The fact that her character’s expanded more and more just makes sense.
Teryl: It’s great because she is a mystery, this little short person that pops in every once in a while, so it’s nice we’re finding out a little more about her and in particular, how important the main crew is to her. She loves each and every one of them very, very much.
Question: It’s a joy to watch a show where characters are friends, colleagues, work together and that’s it. You meet someone you work with, you don’t instantly think, “I wanna spend the rest of my life with this person”- you do have some life outside!
Amanda: Exactly! Like any situation when you’re spending that much time together, the characters get along, but they do also butt heads and they do it for the right reason. Teryl’s character can over-rule anybody & that will cause friction. Jack and Daniel are always butting heads. It makes sense, it’s not, say, heavy jealousies or weird sexual innuendo between characters. It’s very real, very human, never trite.
Question: Another thing people have picked up on is that your characters do get things wrong.
Amanda: The one aspect of the show I loved from the very beginning is that we don’t have a prime directive. We travel to these planets, we don’t know what we’re gonna come up against, of course, we’re gonna make mistakes. We don’t always handle them that well, either, (laughs), but we’re aware of those mistakes and I think that’s cool. Carter doesn’t have the answers, Fraiser doesn’t have the answers and I think that more than anyone, our characters are the ones they go to- “Fraiser, how do you fix this situation?”/“Carter, how do we save this planet from the black hole?” “Not exactly sure, SIR!” Or, “You don’t really know- it’s a guess!” “Yes, Sir…”
Amanda/Teryl: “…But it’s an educated guess!” (laughter)
Amanda: I’d love to do a whole section of the lines that our characters say, over and over again. “SG-1, you have a go”, and see how many hundreds of times Don has said that. “It’s a guess”/ “Yes, Sir, but it’s an educated guess”. “COLONEL!!!” (laughter)
Question: And you were the one who worked in comedy…?
Amanda: (laughs) Trust me on this- it’s a timing thing!
Question: Would you like to see more interpersonal conflict?
Don: We’d like to see revelation. Building relationships would not necessarily make them antagonistic.
Question: I was being cheeky a minute ago, but are you planning any more comedy?
Amanda: My comedy troupe recently got back together, we actually filmed a documentary which has turned out to be not at all a comedy, just a very heartwarming celebration of women in a small town. The dynamic of the three of us together , the way that our troupe works so well, came back into place, so now we’re writing again, which is great.
Question: Presumably you all enjoy the comedy episodes or comic elements on SG-1…?
Teryl: Oh yeah, I love comedy.
Amanda: It’s funny… but I love comedy! We had a blast doing “Urgo”. “A Matter Of Time”- is that the one with the wormhole? No, the one with the time-loop?
Don: Comedy is one of the things that sets our show apart from other sci-fi action shows.
Teryl: You need that levity- like she said, we’re dealing with problems that can affect entire planets, so you can get locked into being too serious and too rigid. I love the little quips you get from Daniel and O’Neill, the writers do a great job.
Question: The comedy highlighted the one moment of drama, when Jack mentions having lost his son.
Amanda: And it’s all the more poignant because of it.
Question: You know we recently ran a huge on-air/ online vote, “Trekkers Vs Gaters”…?
Don: How bad did we hurt ‘em?
Question: You did incredibly well- you were up against the Star Trek franchise, thirty-odd years of shows and it was right down to the wire.
Don: In reality, each of us has the strength of ten because our hearts are pure… (DD grins enigmatically as the room explodes with laughter!) I had sex once, y’know… (more hysterical laughter!)
Question: Don’t take this the wrong way, but you really remind me of my late dad. I might have to come back for some advice or pocket money.
Don: I remind most women of their late fathers…!
Question: Any last words or thoughts for your UK fans?
Amanda/Don/Teryl: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Source: Sky One
Used with permission from: www.amandatapping.com

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