Lou Diamond Phillips And Ming-Na Dont Spill The Beans

For two veteran actors like Lou Diamond Phillips and Ming-Na Wen, being on the cast of Stargate Universe is an opportunity to flex their skills by tackling mind and body swaps, being brainwashed, exploring their sexuality, being tossed into gun fights, coping with disabilities, and of course being neck deep in good old human drama.

Syfy Channel’s Stargate Universe is the latest television series addition to the Stargate franchise (Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis). It tells the story of a group of civilians and military personnel who accidentally get stuck on the spaceship Destiny without any way of getting back to Earth as the ship has been pre-programmed to travel across the universe.

When we last left the crew of the Destiny, their fate seemed to be up in the air after being attacked by the Lucian Alliance, an interstellar gang of smugglers and mercenaries.

We learn that Colonel Telford (Phillips) had been brainwashed into spying for the enemy but regains control of himself after being killed then revived by Colonel Young, played by Louis Ferreira. The season ended with the military personnel about to be executed.

Poptimal had a chance to participate in a recent interview where both actors were careful not to reveal any spoilers to the detriment of the writers. But Phillips assures us that we will see a lot more of him in season two and that audiences will get to know a whole different side of his character.

“What’s been interesting is that we get to know him a little bit better. We sense the dynamic between himself and (Rush) and Young and Camille Wray how he operates with them become slightly different. But what we haven’t discovered about Telford yet, and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything, is we haven’t gotten a lot of details about his personal life just yet so that I find that very intriguing,” he said.

Wen explains the challenges her character Camille Wray faces in season two.

“She has to come to terms with her situation. I think for season one her ultimate goal was to get everybody back home including herself back to earth and back to a world that she’s comfortable in, she’s familiar with. And now I think with season two it’s the realization that perhaps there is something else that is going to take over as the more important mission in her life and to just start moving forward and embracing that as her world for a while.”

She also elaborates more on this new mission not just for her character, but also for the rest of the Destiny crew as now they have to protect Earth from a Lucian Alliance attack.

One of the biggest challenges that faced Wen’s character last season was being inside a paraplegic body. To prepare for it she did research and went on YouTube to observe actor Christopher Reeve, who became quadriplegic in an equestrian related accident.

“But ultimately I think for me the challenge was to portray someone who’s not used to that body. That was the hardest thing and to be able to kind of not bring the sense of doom and gloom into being a paraplegic,” she said.

When asked what their favorite episode of this season was so far, both actors were still careful to not give any specific details. Phillips did comment that there would be a lot more action coming up.

“I think that there’s a definite membership out there in the fandom that will appreciate the action adventure aspect of some of the episodes coming up. We blow a lot of stuff up. And, yes, get into major firefights,” he said.

They also talked about some of the challenges that came with working on a digital effects heavy show, primarily what it’s like to act with a green screen. Wen felt that on the one hand, her inner five-year-old came out to play by pretending to be in outer space and then at the same time really believing in the circumstances to be able to sell it to the audience. Phillips added that you had to fully commit to what you were supposed to be seeing or else viewers wouldn’t buy it.

“Everything has to go to that place of completeness and utter believability,” he said.

Most of the time descriptive explanations are given to help set up scenes as well as art and effects departments providing renderings. Still in some instances the actors are just staring at nothing with the director yelling at them.

“He’ll be like okay you see something light up and now it’s coming at you really fast. And now it zooms up overhead!” Wen said.

Both actors agreed that they never knew what exactly they were going to get whenever they got a new script. Phillips comments that it was both fun and a little daunting while Wen recalls trying to understand the mind-swapping component of the communication stones (the stones allowed people on the Destiny to switch bodies with counterparts on Earth) and laughs at how confused she first was.

“By the third time of doing it I was still thoroughly confused. I was really like wait, wait, wait. Now who…” she explains in amusement.

While Colonel Telford is only slated as a recurring character there’s no denying the big impact he has made to the storyline and it will be interesting to see his evolution and Wen’s Wray in the upcoming new episodes.

Season two of Stargate Universe premieres on September 28, 2010 at 9/8c on Syfy.

Interview Courtesy Of Poptimal »

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Former Stargate Production Team Members Devloping New Show Sherwood

Former members of the Stargate production team are prepping a brand new science fiction series for the SyFy Channel. Its been reported that Damian Kindler, Martin Wood, and Amanda Tapping are pencilling in Sherwood to their production rosters in 2010.

The new series is set to re-imagine the popular story of Robin Hood which has already been done before, however this time it is due to be set in the 23rd Century. In Sherwood, “a young man of privilege teams up with a misfit spaceship crew to right the wrongs of his family.”

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Stargate Universe Looking For Local Extras

The Syfy Channel television series “Stargate Universe” is currently looking for local actors to appear in an upcoming and un-named episode of season 2.

The cast and crew of Stargate Universe will be in Farmington from May 17 to 21 to shoot scenes for an upcoming episode. The Vancouver-based production previously shot scenes in Alamagordo area for the season 1 episode “Air (part 3).”

The show is looking for actors interested in playing background extras during the locally shot scenes. Those hired will earn $8 an hour plus overtime for their work.

Those interested are asked to upload their headshots at www.egcasting.com.

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MGM Finanical Woes A Possible Threat To Stargate Universe

It appears James Bond might not be the only franchise hurting in light of MGM Studios’ recent financial woes. According to Airlock Alpha, who spoke to an unnamed source, the cast and crew of Stargate: Universe know that their number could be up next. Though in Vancouver for the Syfy Channel, Stargate: Universe is still an MGM production.

Said the source, who works on the show, “We come in, do the best job we can, but in the end, we could be out of work tomorrow simply because of something that’s totally out of our control.”

But just because the producers decided to ditch plans for a third Bond film in the wake of MGM’s failure to find a buyer to take over the studio’s debt, doesn’t mean that Stargate: Universe is necessarily facing the same demise. Though MGM faces the daunting debt of $3.7 billion, the fact that the show is already on its second season and is part of a successful TV franchise, spells a faster return on investment than putting millions upon millions into the next Bond film might.

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Stargate Universe Moves To New Fall Schedule In 2010

The SyFy Channel will be moving its Friday night dramas to Tuesdays starting in October 2010; it has been confirmed this week.

Stargate Universe, Sanctuary and Caprica will all on Tuesdays nights from the 1st October 2010, where the network has had great success in the summer months with hot shows such as Eureka and Warehouse 13, its two highest rated original drama series.

What is the reason behind the change? Well the SyFy channel has purchased the rights to WWE Friday Night SmackDown, one of the largest and well known wrestling franchises.

With Tuesday nights being a big success elsewhere in the world especially in the United Kingdom, it looks like a win, win situation from the Stargate Franchise when typically the Friday night timeslots in The United States of America have earned the nickname “The Graveyard”.

Only time will tell.

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