Amanda Tapping on The Ark Of Truth, Sanctuary And More

In a recent interview with Sci-Fi Tv in Australia Amanda Tapping discusses her plans for the future, and how she plans to juggle Sanctuary and Stargate. Here is an excerpt of the interview.

Hello Amanda! It’s been quite a year for you!
It has in-deedy-doody!

The last thing we talked about when last we spoke was you cooking. You’d been smoking some fish and were coming up with some new recipes. Have you come up with a new specialty this year?
(laughs) No I haven’t! I’ve been too busy making movie and TV shows. But I have a wicked dialling finger, for ordering.

Can you tell us anything about more Stargate movies and TV series?
Well, nothing as yet, but we’ve been really bolstered by Ark of Truth sales, so we’re hoping that will sway the higher-ups decisions for more movies.

If Continuum had some more sequels, you’d definitely be on board?
Oh, in a heartbeat!

What can you tell us about Stargate: Universe?
I’ve heard about it, there have been talks about it, but I don’t know any details about it. They’re not talking to me, when they’re talking! (laughs) Everything I know – I read on the internet.


Let’s talk about things you DO know about. With your move into directing and producing, (on Atlantis and Sanctuary) you’re getting to the stage where you’re no longer one of these childlike actors…
(laughs) I’m playing with the big boys now!

Is that frightening? Do you now go look at your previous producers and say ‘oh my god, I had no idea!’.
I actually went up to Joe Mallozi and Paul Mullie on my first day of Atlantis because I was directing an episode and went ‘I just want to apologise unequivocally for every time I came in to your office and asked a stupid question!’ I get it. It’s been a huge and very fast and very bumpy learning curve. But as I got into it I actually realised I knew a lot more than I thought I did. And I also know a lot more than I ever wanted to. (laughs!) It’s an interesting business, I have to say. There were times when I went ‘man, I wish I could just be an actress again – I used to think that was stressful’. (laughs) Not so much!

What about Sanctuary? People are very excited. Last time we chatted, it was on the internet, and now it’s been picked up by SCI FI (US).
They’ve ordered 13 episodes. It’s been picked up in Canada and in the UK. So next we’ll be selling it across the world. We’ve actually had a lot of interest from Australia, so hopefully you’ll be seeing it there.

Congratulations. Fingers crossed.
Thank you.

Do you see yourself heading more and more behind the camera?
For the first season, no. But I’ve been doing a lot of breaking the stories and being in the writing room with the guys. I’ve been very hands-on with the crew, and getting the show up and running. Once we get the season up and running I’ll just be focusing on the character, but hopefully after that I’ll be directing in the next season.


Season 5 Atlantis has seen some changes, to say the least, encouraging some fans but outraging others. What’s your take on the Robert Picardo controversy?
Well, first of all, I love him. I can’t back off from the fact that I really like him as a human being. And I think he’s a wonderful actor. I think he’s the perfect addition. The character of Woolsey creates such great character tension which is what the Stargate writers are so good at. The banter. Making it not only poignant but funny. It’s what makes people love the Stargate franchise. It feeds perfectly into that, in my opinion.

You’ve got Woolsey inside the Wraith outside, what more do you want?
(laughs) Exactly! It’s like a perfect balance of tension.

Stargate: The Ark of Truth seems to have worked well – it’s a bit like a Stargate Greatest Hits mix.
That’s true. I never thought of it that way. Yes, we pulled the best and the biggest and went for it


And Continuum looks set to be hugely popular as well. Beau Bridges didn’t get to go to the North Pole, but you did.
I did.

But did any of the Canadian actors actually notice the change in temperature?
(laughs) Ohhhh, believe me, you could tell.

Is it true you had to bunk with, shockingly enough, other actors?
It’s true! We were in these ‘hooches’ which were 8 feet by 8 feet. Boxes. Which we lived in with kerosene heaters and three bunk beds, so it slept six. That’s where we made our own drinking water, in the hooches, melting the snow.

Is it true that Christopher Judge didn’t get his own private hooch and that’s why he didn’t go?
(laughs) No. It’s because Christopher has a huge aversion to cold and being eaten by polar bears. It was when we had our ‘prep’ meeting. Four or five hours, before we went up north. Two guys were talking about what to expect and what the dangers were. It was not a funny meeting.

Things came up like ‘according to a polar bear you’re an upright seal’, ‘this is what happens if you fall through the ice’, and as the meeting wore on I kept looking over at Christopher and he shook his head and said ‘no way’. ‘No waaaay!’ (laughs) After the meeting I went up to him and said ‘you’re nto going up north are you?’ ‘Not a hope!’. (laughs). So it was just Ben and I for the whole time, and then Rick (Richard Dean Anderson) came up for the last three days. But honestly, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. And I would go back in a heartbeat. It’s just a year ago today that we were coming back from the shoot.

A Working Mum

These days, with your life spiralling out of control, or should we say, rocketing into the stratosphere of success…
I prefer spiralling out of control (laughs) but I’ll use the other one!

Are you going to have any time at all to romp in the woods with (dog) George and send time with (daughter) Olivia?
Well, actually, the last 6 or 7 months when I haven’t been shooting, it gives me a lot more time. I’ve been picking my hours and maximising my time with Olivia so it’s been the perfect balance for me. Once we start shooting, it becomes a lot more hectic, but we have weekends. It’s about time management. It’s about hitting the driveway at home, making sure the cell phone is off, and just being fully engaged when you walk in the door. So maybe there’s not the same quantity of time once I start shooting but the quality is full on. It’s the best you can do, being a working mum!


A lot of local fans are wondering if you’ll ever come down to Australia. Would you come down given a break in your schedule?
I’ve actually been once before, quite a few years ago and Alan (husband) and I have often talked about going back. I would love to take Olivia there, which means a longer trip. But given the chance, I would go back to Australia in a heartbeat. Australia and the Arctic. The two A’s. So yes, I hope to see the fans in Australia one day soon.

We can all hope.
And I just want to say thank you to all the Australian fans too. I get such wonderful letters and huge support from them. It doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. I’m very grateful for it.