David Blue is more than ‘Math Boy’ on Stargate Universe. It’s like he’s a direct conduit from the fans to the show, mimicking the exact mind-journey that every Sci Fi fan takes in their imagination, keeping things real with his geeky yet charming humour.
Happily hanging out at home and then getting whisked away into an adventure involving space ships, guns, alien devices and attractive women, it’s not hard to understand the connection that fans have with David’s character, Eli Wallace.
The man behind the geek however, proves to be not so distant from the geek himself. In person, Blue oozes more confidence, but it’s a confidence that comes from yes, actually seeing those arcane Sci Fi movies and shows, from playing the games and getting down with the Sci Fi TV shows in a way that would make any Stargate fan proud. He is not kidding around when he says the other actors ring him up to ask questions. He knows Stargate.
We spoke with him briefly and got the good oil on what it’s like to be the fan’s fan, and what, oddly enough, it’s like to sing karaoke with Lindsay Lohan.
Is there something you would have liked to have told yourself before you started your SGU adventure?
Nothing really. Honestly, we all came on to the project with a lot of confidence. We signed on after reading the first three-parter. We just learned as we went with the script, but for the most part it’s been a fun ride. I mean I wish the audience could already have seen what we’ve shot, and be in the mindset, because I just cannot wait to get into season two.
Wearing the same clothes every day for a year must have gotten a bit ‘24′ for you! Does the phrase ‘You Are Here?’ have a special aromatic meaning to you now?
Thankfully the wardrobe department has done a great job in translating the worn-down look without it having the smell as it could possibly have. But yes, people aren’t going to be smelling like roses when they’re stuck in a situation like that!
You have to respect a show that points out the need for toilet paper in outer space.
Those crates are going to be filled with all sorts of cool stuff! We’ll be opening them and… well, you’ll see. (laughs)
You are now a poster child to pretty much every geek on the planet, living out on TV the dream of every person who ever needed to translate computer game skill to actual life advancement. Is the ‘math boy’ persona something that is close to you as a person, or is it something that you just have to learn to live with?
We do have a good amount in common, Eli and I. I, much like him, am a huge pop culture junkie. If I’m up for a TV show I like to know what it’s like, I like to see the full body of a director’s work. I see everything that’s out there. Everything.
I’ve seen almost every TV show and movie including SG1 and Atlantis. I’ve also been on a computer since I was very, very young. But I’m a little bit more social, a bit more friendly. A bit more in the popular crowd, if you will. I’m that guy who is the geek, but cool. He’s not quite as cool. He’s a bit smarter than me too, As much as I’m interested in things like astrophysics and math and all that – even though I was good at calculus at college, not so much now.
In freshman year in college, I was doing honours in calculus, and got an A. Now it’s pathetic, you should see me try to work out a tip (laughs). I just assume 20% and leave it that – it’s an easy number!
You seem to be the only one of the cast members who had any idea of the Stargate universe before they went in.
Well, it’s kind of one of the cool things of the show – you don’t necessarily need to have seen Stargate to get into it and I think it’s a bit of the same with working on it. Obviously they’ve now seen episodes to catch up, and because of me, if there’s anything in the script that that they don’t understand, they tend to ring me up with questions.
Has the phrase ‘what is a zat’nik’tel’? come up?
No! I’ve heard a lot of questions about the Lucian Alliance, the Goa’uld and Ancients. It’s mostly stuff in general. It is very much a standalone show, but as a fan I get kick out of some things they do, because I see the little differences, and meeting Richard Dean Anderson ad meeting Michael Shanks was a little more fun for me.
Do you get used to working with Robert Carlyle?
As an actor? In a way, yeah you do.
When I first met him at initial casting I was immensely intimidated. He has every right to behave like an utter douchebag. He’s this guy with this amazing resume and you expect him to something like Begbie (Carlyle’s character in Trainspotting), but he’s really, really not. He’s nice, he’s fun, he’s funny. From day one I asked him if he wanted to grab a drink for ten minutes and we sat down, and I expected him to look at his watch and say ‘that’s it’ but we sat and talked for three hours about love and life and laughing and it’s been that way since. I honestly never thought I would, but I consider him a friend now as well as a colleague.
Professionally, he’s phenomenal to work with. He brings things to scenes you would never expect, he brings the best out of every one he works with.
There are lines, when you read it, and you look at it, it seems like this generic thing, but then he makes it so powerful by infusing it with meaning. You’ll see this line where you think ‘Rush is being a jerk’ but then Bobby will read the line and you think ‘dammit, I really want to hate him but now I really feel bad for him’. It’s a testament to his acting.
Let us enter the Karaoke zone. What would Eli sing?
Something you wouldn’t expect – like Sinatra, just because he’d want to surprise. Not Mack the Knife, because it’s overdone. Maybe – Come Fly Away.
Okay, okay. You have to tell us about doing karaoke with Lindsay Lohan. That just seems surreal.
There was this cool underground club in LA called ‘Guys’ that we used to go to all the time. It was high class – all the guys had to wear ties and girl had to wear dresses. One of the nights they had karaoke night and it’s chock full of actors and one night we all ended up on stage together singing Neil Diamond.
I don’t know how it happened, I don’t know why. My friend and I were singing on stage, and I turned left and all of a sudden Lindsay was right there singing with us.
She was a very nice girl.
That’s a surreal image. Finally. You’ve got quite a few followers on Twitter. Can one tweet too much?
Yes. I have removed quite a few people. I don’t need to know what seasoning you put on your food.