Amanda Tapping has been extremely busy recently conducting interviews, here is an excerpt of the interview which was recently conducted by Ign.
IGN AU: Where does the Ark of Truth fit into the Stargate universe?Ark of Truth is the perfect big bang round up to Season 10 of SG-1. It follows up the Ori story line in a huge way and takes place prior to me going to Atlantis.
IGN AU: The character of Sam Carter has been a part of your life for over a decade now, how has she developed over the years?I think it is safe to say she is a fully realised woman without being apologetic for it; without being afraid of who she is. She has a much better sense of humour than she used to as well. She has warmed up a lot and grown into her own skin which is not dissimilar to what has happened to me and what happens to a lot of women in their thirties. You come into your own. She doesn’t feel like she has to explain herself as much and she is comfortable being part of a team; she is comfortable being a leader; and she is comfortable being a follower. There is no ego to that. I also think she is a bit more aware of people’s feelings and not as scientific as she used to be. I like her a lot more now that she has become a fully realised character than I did at the beginning.
IGN AU: Did you go into this role with preconceptions about the portrayal of women in the sci-fi genre?I found the portrayal of women quite stereotypical – particularly early sci-fi. Women either played a very sexy alien or a bitchy leader. It was pretty one dimensional and linear to be honest. Uhura was the first character where you sort of went ooh she is intelligent but she still had to wear the short skirt. I think Captain Janeway blasted it out a lot too in terms of being a strong leader. I went in feeling that sci-fi had been very linear in its thinking, television in general can be very linear in its thinking.
IGN AU: What do you think it is about Stargate that has given it this phenomenal longevity?
This is going to sound like the most esoteric answer in the world but it honestly just felt like there was some sort of magic when we all got together, There was something about the chemistry between the four actors and the writers and the mythology they were able to weave. At the end of the day, we all had a good time. I honestly think that that joy about our work translated onto the screen and made it kind of fun to watch. And I know that sounds really flaky but we did have a lot of fun making this show and I think that made it a lot of fun to watch. The writing was amazing, the mythology was great, the production values, the special effects they all helped make the show what it is.
I can honestly say there was not a single day when I didn’t laugh. That is crazy after ten years of shooting a series. It wasn’t always sunshine and roses, we had out moments, but still, even when we were in the throes of those moments, we could still laugh.
IGN AU: You obviously have a very healthy online fan base. Do you Google yourself?Yeah I have in the past, but I don’t any more. You know, when people compliment you, you don’t really pay much attention but when people say something nasty you carry it with you! I read a couple of not so terrific things and immediately thought, oh they hate me…I can’t go on the boards anymore. Then I had some people send me some nice things and show me the nice things people were saying about me which is great but it is just so much easier to believe the negative than the positive. I have to say that the people who are Amanada Tapping fans, and I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few of them, are really incredible. God bless them because they really give me the strength to carry on which again is a hokey, esoteric answer. You are my hokey, esoteric interview! They are funny and generous and all those things that you really hope you reflect. I see that in the fans that I meet and I am so thrilled. I have been very lucky in my personal interaction with the fans.
IGN AU: Does working on the movie feel like another day at the office or is it a very different experience?It does feel like another day in office in that the chemistry is still there and we are still having a great time doing it. In some ways it is heightened. It is like another day at the office but on steroids. The sets are bigger and the scope of the movie is bigger and the budget is bigger which mean we can take more time. And because it is such a short shoot time we all really wanted to enjoy it. This was especially true shooting Continuum because we didn’t know if there would be another one. We just soaked up every ounce of the experience.
IGN AU: And I imagine that shooting in the Arctic was indeed quite the experience.It was the best experience of my career, by far. We shot one year ago exactly and it was unbelievable.
IGN AU: What is a typical day like when you are shooting in that kind of environment?
There is no typical shooting day up there. We would just grab shots when we could. Sometimes the wind was way too strong to shoot. We hit -68 degrees one day with the wind chill. It was blowing white and the cameras were freezing up. It was crazy. We shot a couple of shots at sunset because the winds had calmed down but it was literally guerrilla shooting. It would be like ‘Get out there now and shoot shoot shoot…the sun is setting” and as prepared as you are every day, and we were prepared, it was unpredictable. We would have these meetings every night where we would say if the weather is good and the submarine can surface and this happens and that happens, then we will shoot this scene. And if this doesn’t happen we will shoot that and if it all falls apart then we will just have a very heavy day the next day.
It was pretty crazy. There was one day when the submarine couldn’t surface because the wind was too strong. You would wake up every morning and not know what was going to happen. And the weather changes on a dime up there too so it starts out sunny, you get all the gear out there and you will shooting the first scene after breakfast and then suddenly the wind picks up and its all over.
IGN AU: Can you give us any hints about the future of Stargate? Are there any more films to come?
Amanda Tapping: I would love to be able to give you a hint but I just don’t know. Certainly the strength of the sales of Ark of Truth have made us all quite hopeful that the Studio might look at producing another couple of movies. We would all be more than willing to shoot another one so here’s hoping. Fingers crossed is all I can tell you.
IGN AU: I am interested to hear about your work with UNICEF.
Amanda Tapping: What I do with UNICEF is more of an educational angle. I go right into local schools and talk to the children about what a quarter means to a child in Tanzania; how much fresh water that buys, how many medical supplies that buys, how much penicillin that buys and how many pencils for the school. I put it into concrete terms for them. I will stand in front of an assembly and say, split yourselves into two groups and the kids will shuffle over. And then I will point to half the room and say that all of you guys are sick because you do not have enough water. And those of you who are healthy, split in half and half of you are in danger of losing your eyesight because of this reason and then break it down until there is only one tiny group of healthy children. They can then relate it to themselves on a more intimate level. I like to go into the schools and speak one on one with the kids. It is very hands on for me.