Christopher Judge Interviewed By Blockbuster’s Marshall Julius chats with larger-than-life actor Christopher Judge, star of stand-alone science fiction epic Stargate: Continuum, available now from Blockbuster.

The longest-serving star in the Stargate universe, Christopher Judge, now 43, cuts an imposing figure with his broad, ripped, 6′ 3″ frame, though his deep, booming, mellifluous voice is no less commanding. Overall it’s a winning and charismatic package, made all the more appealing by his friendly, down-to-earth nature and easy approachability. Plus he loves the show, which the fans can certainly relate to.

The moment I meet him, the sheer force of his enthusiasm almost knocks me down. “Don’t forget,” he blasts like a radio commercial turned up to 11, “you can now rent Stargate: Continuum from Blockbuster!” He smiles and we both laugh. “I just thought I’d get that out of the way,” he says with a particularly cheeky grin. “I admire a man who cuts to the chase,” I tell him, recovering from the g-forces of his vocal onslaught. “I’m sure we would have gotten there eventually but I appreciate your directness,” I assure him.

On board with the franchise from 1997, when spin-off series Stargate SG-1 first hit the air, for many years now, Judge has been a driving force behind the show, not just as one of its most valued stars, but also as a writer and, though he does it without the pom poms, head cheerleader as well. I wondered at what point during the programme’s original run that Judge first considered it a passion, rather than just a job.
“I think it happened when I started being more responsible myself,” he says with characteristic candour. “When I quit drinking and started showing up to work on time. That might have had something to do with it. That was when opportunities started presenting themselves.

The first years of the show, you’re just so giddy about getting something like a Stargate, it’s all about having a good time.” I’m glad he had some fun, I tell him. “Me too,” he replies, “and I wasn’t alone. Oh no – I had some knuckleheads with me! It’s just when you get to the point that you don’t ever grow up, that’s when it becomes a problem. But I was very fortunate. Our producers were very patient with me for a number of years and, frankly, had more faith that I would come around than I did.”

Though he may not have seen it coming, the time eventually arrived when Judge was ready, able and eager for fresh challenges. “I had a talk with [series co-creator] Brad Wright and told him of my desire to write, and he not only facilitated that but encouraged me as well. From that point on I started to see the possibilities of a future writing, producing and things like that, and I pretty much owe that to Brad.”

Looking over Judge’s credits, before Stargate SG-1 (1997-2007), spin-off Stargate: Atlantis (2004-present), movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth (2008) and now Stargate: Continuum (2008), the actor cut his teeth as a jobbing actor on a variety of Eighties hits including Richard Dean Anderson’s outrageous MacGyver (1985-1992).

“I talked to Rick about it and he swears he remembers that episode of MacGyver,” says Judge of his Stargate co-star, “but I could tell from the vacant look in his eyes that he had absolutely no idea that I’d ever been in it. In the late Eighties and Early Nineties, these were certain shows that everyone did, or at least wanted to do. Stuff like MacGyver and 21 Jump Street, and those series are full of actors who went on from them to have decent careers. I just happened to be flipping channels the other night and caught a MacGyver with Cuba Gooding Jr!”

Steering the conversation back to Stargate, I asked Chris if he enjoyed the status of having been in more episodes of Stargate than any other actor in the series. “I especially take delight in telling Amanda [Tapping] that. She says she would have been in just as many if she hadn’t gotten pregnant, but I had nothing to do with that! It really bugs her that I was in more episodes than she was.”

Judge’s serious-minded Stargate character, the alien Teal’c, has certainly developed over the years, heading in all sorts of interesting directions, but was there ever a time when he was concerned with the way things were developing? “I have to say,” he replies, “it’s been pretty great. The only bump we hit was around season seven when Teal’c started giving these long speeches. That was more about me as an actor though, having to memorise those lines!

“Eventually I went to the producers and asked them when I was going to have another big action scene, as I really missed the ass-kicking warrior aspect of my role. After that we found more of a balance, plus I got better at remembering my lines, which helped. The brain’s just a muscle, you know? The more you use it, the better it gets.”

As much as Judge grew to enjoy giving his brain a regular workout, the actor admits to loving his voiceover work, never having to learn a single line to play the menacing Magneto in animated hit show X-Men: Evolution (2000-2003). “That was a lot of fun,” he confirms. “The whole process is so different from live action filmmaking. You don’t have to shower, you don’t have to shave, you just show up, and the later you were out the night before, drinking and smoking, the better your tool sounds.” Meaning his voice. “It was a great gig!”

On the subject of Continuum, the second in what Judge hopes to develop into a long series of Stargate movies, the actor reflects on the value it adds to the franchise. “What will be obvious to the viewer is the difference in scale,” he begins. “The difference in the sheer scope of what you see. There’s a dogfight that is unbelievable, and other things that we would never have been able to do in the series format. It’s amazing, and even though we had more money to make it than a regular episode, it didn’t exactly have a blockbuster budget. Still, when you see it, it looks like it cost $100 million!

“When I first saw [straight-to-DVD release] Continuum, they actually screened it for us in a movie theatre, and after seeing it there, the first thing I thought – after picking my jaw up from the floor – was that we really should have given it a theatrical release. Everyone who’s seen it agrees. Ultimately though, this is an audition for us, to see if we can make that leap. And I think, after Continuum,, there’s no question that the big screen is the next place for us to go.”

That would certainly please the fans, and nothing pleases Judge more than pleasing them. “People ask me how I’m able to do so many conventions, but I think it’s important that we give back to the fans everything that we’ve been given. Our success is all to do with them, with how vocal and supportive they are, so I think it’s very important that we take the time to travel to conventions, meet the fans, shake their hands and say thank you.”

Our time at an end, I have just one more question to ask of Judge, a firm-fan favourite and having spent a few minutes with him I can certainly see why. On the subject of Stargate, is he in it for the duration? As long as there’s a Stargate, will there be a Teal’c? Rising to leave, Judge shoots me a final smile, nodding his head with typical enthusiasm. “As long as they want me.”

Interview courtesy of