Amanda Tapping is an extremely busy actress and full-timeÂ mum, instead of having some down time after her 10 year stint on Stargate SG1, Amanda moved on toÂ her next project ‘Sanctuary’.
Clique Clack have an exclusive interview with Amanda Tapping regarding all things sanctuaryÂ which you can read below
Ruby T.: With the death of Ashley, are you playing Helen differently? How has Ashleyâ€™s death changed her?
Amanda Tapping:Â Itâ€™s changed her drastically. I think youâ€™re not going to see a huge outward change because thatâ€™s not Helen, but youâ€™ll see moments where itâ€™s revealed just how deeply sheâ€™s hurting about this. But sheâ€™s such a tightly wound character, and she plays her cards so close to the chest that itâ€™s very rare, except in the first three episodes, where youâ€™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 doesnâ€™t see the point of being around any longer now that sheâ€™s lost Ashley. So itâ€™s moments like that are revealed. And then she just sinks back down and gets back to business. And then in â€œNext Tuesdayâ€ she talks about the fact that Ashleyâ€™s birthday is coming up and she canâ€™t handle it. And then she sinks back down to business. So it comes in waves for the audience. For Helen, itâ€™s a constant, but for the audience, youâ€™ll just see it revealed in little moments. Definitely, I mean, itâ€™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.Â What do you think that she brings to the show, and what does Helen see in herâ€”why does Helen ask her to be a part of the team?
AT:Â Itâ€™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 doesnâ€™t trust her off the top, â€¦ but I think that after a while Helen goes, â€œWait a second, thereâ€™s huge potential with this girl,â€ and decides to take her under her wing. And the thing with Kate that I love is that you donâ€™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 trustâ€”to go on the journey with us, essentially. Nobody in the Sanctuary network likes her off the top. Theyâ€™re like, sheâ€™sâ€”thereâ€™s something wrong with her, and sheâ€™s wily, sheâ€™s up to something, and then slowly we start to trust her and then start to like her, and then genuinely embrace her. So weâ€™re hoping that thatâ€™s the journey that the audience goes on too.
And in terms of casting her, we did a hugeÂ search for her, and we saw hundreds of actresses. And Agam came in, and right off the top I said, â€œSheâ€™s Kate.â€ And the guys were like, â€œWell, we got a lot of people to look at,â€ and she was shortlisted and shortlisted. There was just something about Agamâ€™s energy for me that I knew would fit in beautifully with the SanctuaryÂ cast. Not that sheâ€”you know, sheâ€™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 thereâ€™s a lot of derision on the Internet about whether or not sheâ€™s the right character for the show, I think sheâ€™s absolutely perfect.
RT:Â You mentioned â€œNext Tuesday,â€ 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 thatâ€™s grown between Will and Helen?
AT: I love this relationship because itâ€™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 didnâ€™t have the confidence that he has now. â€¦ Thatâ€™s how it feels like everything has rolled out with this show in terms of the relationships, so organically. Heâ€™s now really comfortable, and now heâ€™s calling Helen out, and heâ€™s not gonna let her get away with stuff. â€¦ So itâ€™s actually interesting for me though because Helenâ€™s so uptight and knowing that sheâ€™s dealing with this and sheâ€™s not dealing with it well because she doesnâ€™t deal with emotions well. She comes across almostâ€”when I read it I was like, uh, it seems like Helenâ€™s jealous that Will might have this booty call! [Laughs] And I donâ€™t think itâ€™s that so much as she just didnâ€™t know how to say, â€œI need your help.â€ And thatâ€™s because heâ€™s the closest thing to her. Itâ€™s even harder. So he says, â€œI donâ€™t know why youâ€™re acting this way. This is weird!â€ But I think itâ€™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, â€œWhat did you mean by this? Why would she say it like this?â€ Cause you read it, and itâ€™s weird. Itâ€™s a weird dynamic between the two of them, but ultimately what it shows is how comfortable they are with each other.
RT:Â In â€œNext Tuesday,â€ we met a guy named Olaf. Will we be seeing more of him?
AT: I donâ€™t know. I donâ€™t know whether we will or not. [Laughing] I think heâ€™s just soâ€”he was so great, the actor was wonderfulâ€”but he was just soÂ schmarmy. Initially we were trying to get â€¦ Chris Sarandon, which was our original thought. Wouldnâ€™t that be funny? You know, from The Princess Bride, but I donâ€™t know â€¦ I mean, I can never see [Olaf and Helen] together. Heâ€™s just tooâ€”you know, he might be fun for a weekend, but for the long haul I think heâ€™d drive her crazy.
RT:Â Are we going to see more of Helenâ€™s relationships with John Druitt and Tesla?
AT: Oh definitely. Definitely. Thatâ€™s something that hasÂ to be explained. I donâ€™t know if â€œHauntedâ€ has aired yet in the States, but itâ€™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 wasnâ€™t Jack the Ripper when she fell in love with him. So that relationship is the quintessential relationship in Helenâ€™s life. He is her paramour. Itâ€™s just incredibly screwed up. [Laughs] Because of what he does subsequent to their [relationship]â€”because you see why she would fall in love with this man â€¦ with his intelligence and his passion â€¦ Also, you know, I talked to the guys about doing more history with Helen. I mean, what informs this woman? â€¦. Wouldnâ€™t it be great if we actually showed what the Sanctuary was all about in the early days?
RT:Â â€œSleepersâ€ 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: Itâ€™s again, you know, itâ€™s this 100-year-old friendship. So thereâ€™s such a history there that, I meanâ€”itâ€™s the same with friends that weâ€™ve had for a long time. Itâ€™s just that, when you know so much about them, thereâ€™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 thereâ€™s a real sadness for her. Itâ€™s like, wow, I knew I had to deal with the thorn in my side, and now heâ€™s not gonna be one at all. And itâ€™s also that one of the Five has gone down againâ€”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 thereâ€™s a massive amount ofâ€”she absolutely adores him and loves him; he just drives her nuts. You know, that crazy guy from college that everyone still knows, but heâ€™s likeâ€”ugh, that crazy guy from college. [Laughs]
RT:Â And weâ€™ll see more of Tesla this season and next season?
AT: Oh, definitely. Definitely. Jonathanâ€™s a huge part of the family, so we want to bring him back as often as possible. Heâ€™s such a wonderful actor, and the characterâ€”heâ€™s such a great antagonist. So, definitely.
RT:Â 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 weâ€™ve ever done. Itâ€™s phenomenal. It looks like a movie. Martin Wood directed it, and there are scenes thatâ€”oh my God, I mean, Iâ€™ve seen the show through every stage and through editing, and to actually see it put togetherâ€”I was blown away. And Iâ€™m in it, so Iâ€™m pretty critical, but I was like â€œWow! This is what they did!â€ 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 Sanctuaryâ€”weâ€™ve got a Bollywood dance number, for goodnessâ€™ sake. And it works, it actually works in the show. [Laughs] Itâ€™s insane! And it ends withâ€”honestly, I donâ€™t know how weâ€™re going to get out of the cliffhanger that weâ€™ve put ourselves into. I went, â€œSeriously?â€ and I turned to Damian when I finished the script and I went, â€œSo how do we get out of this?â€ and heâ€™s like, â€œI donâ€™t know. I guess weâ€™ll cross that bridge when we come to it.â€ [Laughs] Oh! Okay. Yeah, the last two parter is the best two hours of television that I think the team has ever done.
RT:Â Oh, wowâ€”thatâ€™s exciting! I have a few questions that our readers submitted for you, so Iâ€™ll go to those next.
AT: Oh, fantastic!
RT:Â 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 itâ€™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 StargateÂ so interesting to me was there was this massive, woven mythology. So itâ€™s definitelyâ€”I mean, we do stand alone episodes because theyâ€™re fun and theyâ€™re exciting little pops throughout the season, but I think there definitely has to be an arc that carries us through. We havenâ€™t figured out what that is yet. [Laughs] But weâ€™ll have to pretty darn quick!
RT:Â Rocky89 says, â€œI loved â€˜Pavor Nocturnus.â€™ It was one of the most intense episodes of any show Iâ€™ve ever seen you do. How did you physically and emotionally prepare yourself for that intense hose scene?â€
AT: Rocky89Â is a big fan and has been very generous in praise to me, so thank you, Rocky89! That was the hardest filming Iâ€™ve ever done in my careerâ€”in terms of vulnerability, in terms of fearâ€”and right up until the moment we shot it, I wasnâ€™t sure I was going to be able to do it. But part of what I love about Sanctuary has been that Iâ€™m constantly afraid, in a good way. I mean, creatively, Iâ€™m scared, and I think itâ€™s important that you scare yourself creatively.
And I also surrounded myself with people who I really trusted, and the two guys who were doing the ripping up the clothes and the hosing downâ€”I had worked with those stunt guys on StargateÂ for 10 years and had known them for 13 years, so it was people I absolutely trusted. So thatâ€™s important. And the crew isâ€”I think the only reason I was able to do it, honestly, is because I was surrounded by people who 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 canâ€™t look anyone in the eyeâ€”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 didnâ€™t want to be thereâ€”and I couldnâ€™t look at anyone. It was very strange. And now I look at it, and I still find it uncomfortable to watch. But it wasâ€”yeah, it was scary, and I think again itâ€™s important to scare yourself, but I donâ€™t know that I want to be that scared again.
RT:Â Majorsal wants to know, besides the circumstances surrounding Ashley, what has been Helenâ€™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 sheÂ had potentially created that (which we find out later may or may not be the case). At that time, itâ€™s the realization that she has created this monster when her job has always been to protect abnormalsÂ and to protect creatures and to protect humanity from them, and suddenly â€¦ sheâ€™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 everythingâ€”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, Ashleyâ€”Ashleyâ€™s the big one always.)
RT:Â Chelle wants to know what you would most like to see happen with Helen as a character.
AT: After the season that weâ€™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:Â Maybe go to that villaâ€¦
AT: Yeah! Go to the villa. Iâ€™d like to see her there, having some wine and laughing. Iâ€™d like to see her have, you know, some love. Iâ€™d like to see what Helenâ€™s expression of love in the purest sense is. Yeah, but Iâ€”honestly, at this stage, with the season we just did, I just want to see her lighten up, even if itâ€™s just for an episode.
RT:Â I have one more question for you, and itâ€™s from Spaceboy. He wants to know whatâ€™s the most embarrassing thing that an actor has done on the set of Sanctuary.
AT: Oh my gosh, well, Robin Dunneâ€”and this is legendary, so I hope Iâ€™m not repeating myself too muchâ€”but he likes to drop his pants. Itâ€™s a very strange phenomenon. And nobodyâ€”Iâ€™m seriousâ€”nobodyÂ can figure out quite why, but every once in a while, heâ€™ll just undo his belt and unzip his pants and drop it. And weâ€™ve both gotten used to it â€¦ But heâ€™s done it when there have been people visiting the set who arenâ€™t used to it, and itâ€™s this massive explanation thatâ€™s required. We talk about his mental health issues [laughs], but I think seeing visitorsâ€™ faces when Robin has just dropped trou and having to go over and explain it! Robinâ€™s our most embarrassing cast member. For sure.
I mean, Iâ€™ve been embarrassed by stupid things Iâ€™ve doneâ€”like saying bang! when I fired a gun on camera. Now, youâ€™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 youâ€™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, â€œOh my God! Oh my God, 13 years on Stargateâ€”youâ€™d think Iâ€™d know better!â€ But I finally did it. And that was very embarrassingâ€”and that, I think, has made it onto a blooper reel somewhere. I think itâ€™s made it onto our first season blooper reel. That was probably my most embarrassing moment.
RT:Â Oh great! [Laughs] Well, Amanda, thanks so much for your time.
This is exclusive interview is courtesy of Clique Clack