Here’s a tip. If the Stargate event you’re attending is turning into a bit of a bore, track down Lexa Doig and hang with her for a while. She is freaking hilarious. Smart, no-nonsense, and gifted with a razor-sharp acerbity capable of keeping you entertained for hours or cutting you to shreds if you step out of line, Lexa is a far cry from the staid Dr. Carolyn Lam she played on SG-1. So when I ran into her a couple of weeks ago, I thought she’d make the perfect guest blogger. Despite her busy schedule (she’s a working mom after all), she happily agreed to swing by and answer some fan questions.
A big thank you to Lexa who joins us from the set of Fireball on which she is working alongside Ian Somherhalder (Lost’s ill-fated Boone), Aleks Paunovic (Ronon’s late great Satedan friend Rakai), Aaron Pearl (who played the young Hammond in 1969) and Lani Gelera (Rachel’s stunt double). Over to Lexa…
“What’s it like trying to fill the shoes of a popular character as you had to do when replacing Dr. Fraiser in SG-1?”
Impossible! Teryl Rothery is a goddess, and an enormously likable person; qualities that read on camera. So I opted to go a very different direction. The character was very different from Frasier as well, so I was supported by the writing.
Tamijb writes: “I saw you on Eureka last summer and I thought you were great. What was it like to work with the cast? Do you think they will bring your character back again or was that just to fit the story line? I do hope they bring you back on Eureka.”
Thank you, it was a ton of fun. The cast was great, everybody was so generous and very friendly… they did bring my character back briefly this season in an episode called “Best in Faux” — I think it may have aired already…
Shawna writes: “ Questions for Lexa:
– Do you enjoy watching sci-fi?
When it’s good…
– Was it ever confusing playing two characters who were sort of the same but sort of different? (Admittely, I never really understood the Andromeda/Romy thing.)
Not for me, but then that was my job
– Is there anything you would have liked to see happen regarding Lam’s relationships with other characters that they just never got around to doing?”
Chelle Too writes: “Are you currently working on any projects or have plans to work on anything?”
I am currently shooting a Sci Fi movie with Ian Somerhalder, who may be best known for “Lost” — although he’s done quite a bit more than that…
Muddypiddypop writes: “Quetion for Lexa, As an actor did you seek out Sci-Fi or just get lucky. It seems that many actors stick with the genre. Is it more of a challenge to do Sci-Fi then say a regular drama. Thanks for your time.”
I don’t actively stick with sci fi, it’s just that I live in Vancouver and there seems to be a lot of that shot here… I don’t know that sci-fi is more of a challenge than regular drama… there is drama (and even humour) in sci-fi… it all depends on the script quite frankly…
Shirt ‘n Tie writes: “Dear Ms Doig, thank you for dropping by to do the Guest Blog! Thanks also from me for your kindness on the”Continuum Bus” in April for that very special screening of Continuum. It was a pleasure to meet you!!
My question is this, I read somewhere that your Dad has some Irish ancestry? Is this true? Have you visited Ireland or is this on the to-do list?”
My paternal grandmother was of Irish descent, and technically I’ve been to Ireland, I spent a day there with Michael in Dublin. It’s a beautiful city. I’d actually love to spend a good vacation exploring both Scotland and Ireland…
Chevron7 writes: “Do you get offered more SciFi scripts than dramas or comedies because of previous roles or do you prefer to do SciFi?”
Yes, and that is probably because of the work I’ve done in the genre. I’d love to do more comedy — I think I’m hilarious.
NeKo writes: ““Whats it like being married to Micheal Shanks? In my opinion hes gods gift to man! Lol”
Good grief — you don’t expect to answer that question honestly do you?
Sprinkles writes: “I have some questions for the lovely Lexa Doig:
I enjoyed your portrayal as the SGC’s new Medical chief in seasons 9 +10 and would love to learn more about that:
1) Can you tell us something we don’t know about Dr Carolyn Lam? Did you imagine an exteneded back story for her?
A little of an extended back story… Beau and I discussed his back story before we started filming, and that informed mine a bit. Here’s something you don’t know about Carolyn Lam: she paid her way through her extensive Doogie Howser-esque schooling by table dancing in Lithuania.
2) The scene between Dr Lam and General Landry through the observation window in The Forth Horseman was very emotionally powerful, did you find that difficult to prepare for? What was it like acting with Beau Bridges in scenes like that?
Thank you very much for agreeing to answer our questions.”
Difficult because he was so far away! Thank you for feeling that it was “emotionally powerful” — I wasn’t happy with what I did, and would love another go at it (welcome to the life of an actor)… Beau is awesome, and it’s very easy to feel like he’s a dad. He’s a truly lovely and generous actor.
Anais33 a ecrit: “Question pour Lexa :
1)Quel est pour vous la scéne la plus drôle que vous avez eu a tournée sur stargate?
Quoi? My french sucks.
2) Sa fait quoi de vivre avec l’Archéologue le plus sexy de la planete^^ ?”
All I got from this is: Sexiest Archeologist on the Planet — I assume you mean Michael? He’s an actor… you do know that right? *grin*
LibKat writes: “Thanks so much for taking time to answer fan questions. I got to see you at Creation Con last fall and you were both lovely and gracious to all of us.
1. Will you be returning to Eureka? I thought your character worked well there, and, from what your hubby said about his experience on Eureka, everybody on the set loved you.
Did they really? I mean really really love me? Because Colin Ferguson bitch slapped me a couple of times, and it may just be his way of showing affection, but I wasn’t sure… Seriously though folks… I had fun doing the show, and did go back this season for a scene in “Best in Faux” ( and no Colin Ferguson didn’t REALLY bitch slap me — let’s not be too literal)
2. What didn’t you get to do as Dr. Lam that you would have wanted to do?
Dance like nobody’s watching.
3. How much did you and Beau Bridges work on your characters’ dynamic throughout the 2 seasons. (I loved the restaurant scene where Lam’s parents finally met again.)
Not as much as I would have liked… I can’t speak for Beau, but I would’ve liked to play more with him, and find some more dynamics in the relationship.
4. Any chance we’ll be seeing you on Rage of Angels when it finally gets before the cameras?”
I have no idea…
Space Monkey writes: “Lexa: First off, I really loved your role in the last two seasons of Stargate SG-1, especially the way you and Beau Bridges acted together. =]
My questions are, how do or did you juggle work and being a parent at the same time? And do you enjoy conventions, and would you consider going to anymore in the future?
Thank you in advance.”
a) Work and parenting… you know that expression “it takes a villiage to raise a child”? Michael and I have a village on the payroll, and that’s how we manage to work and parent. I don’t really work all that much because Michael usually is, but right now I’m working and he’s at home with the kids.
b) I do like conventions… they’re a hoot.
MaggieMayDay writes: “For Lexa: I don’t have a question, just wanted to thank you for all the good work you’ve done, I’ve enjoyed everything you’ve been in quite a bit.”
Bethella writes: “Question for Ms. Doig: If you could have played any other character in the franchise (regular/guest/whatever) who would you have been? If anyone. And how would you have played that character differently?”
I think I’ve said this before, but I’d love to have played one of the Nox — they have cool hair. Or one of the Goa’uld… they have fancy costumes.
Erika writes: “I really liked the character Dr. Carolyn Lam I thought she was edgy and guarded and I wanted to get to know her more. Did you research Army Brats and Air Force Brats because you reminded me of some I knew. Are you still opposed to linking Carolyn with Cam because I think it would’ve been interesting. I also want to add that I am buying Andromeda when I have money and the episode that made me want to see more was All Too Human I believe it was from season 2 I loved your character Rommy. I had not seen Andromeda prior to watching SG-1 so I am looking forward to watching the whole series.”
Thanks, I did not research Army or Air Force “brats”, I just went with the idea that she was very young to be in the position that she was in, and had to have sacrificed something in order to accomplish that — namely social graces. “All Too Human” was probably my favorite episode to shoot. We were able to take a bit of time with the fight sequences and I was pretty proud (and bruised) with how they turned out.
DanielFanForever writes: “For Lexa Doig:
1) I love the way that you portrayed the character of Dr. Lam. What are the chances that we might see Dr. Lam show up on “Atlantis”, or in the third SG1 movie?
Ask Joe… or Brad Wright.
2) I know that Vancouver is home (and gorgeous), but have you and Michael considered moving to the states now that SG1, as a series, has ended?
Very possible, if not probable.
Enjoyed “Second Sight”. Looking forward to your new movie, “Ba’al”, next month.”
I’m not in “Ba’al” that much — just a warning…
Michelle writes: “ Thanks for joining Joe’s Blogging Extravaganza, Lexa! Here are my questions, which I hope aren’t too irreverent. If they are, you can ignore them.
I looooove me some irreverence…
1. In the pictures taken at the Sci Fi party in San Diego, you seem to have a new tattoo on your shoulder (you looked awesome, by the way). Can you tell us about the tattoo, what it says, what it means to you, and how you handle it for acting jobs?
It’s part of my father’s coat of arms… It’s from the Doig crest, it’s a hand holding a thistle, with our family motto above it. I added the dates of my children’s birthdays (in latin numerals) underneath. It’s new, and the first job I’ve had since I’ve gotten it, the director opted to have my character have my tattoos… so, so far so good.
2. How has life changed for you since SG-1 ended as a series?
I get to see my husband.
3. Do you think you’ll stay in Vancouver indefinitely, or might you have to re-locate to LA for yours and Michael’s careers? Do you like the LA scene?
We’ll always have a home here (we hope), but yeah, LA is in our future. I’ve never been in the LA scene, so I don’t have an opinion about it. I’m not really a “scene” kinda gal though…
4. What do you think of all the funds the MSOL site has raised, via auctions, to fight Multiple Sclerosis? I think it’s amazing!
Isn’t it?! My goodness, Monica and Dana have worked so hard to do that, and I am SO grateful… it’s awesome that there has been so much support. It’s a cause very close to my heart, as my father and 1st cousin both have MS, so I’m THRILLED that the MS Society is getting all of your contributions and can put them toward helping those with MS.
5. You and Michael are both so damn good-looking… Do you get into arguments like “normal” couples or do you just look at each other and go find something more fun to do with your energy?”
No. We don’t argue like normal couples do — we have our “people” do our arguing for us. We just stare at ourselves in the mirror all day long, sighing, and fixing our hair.
Karen writes: “What was your most embarrassing moment on Stargate and how did you recover?”
I didn’t really have anything all that embarrassing happen on Stargate — I don’t really get embarrassed by too much. I gave up a long time ago on trying to be cool… I’m so NOT cool.
Arctic Goddess writes: “I chatted with you on board the aircraft carrier at the Continuum Premiere regarding the Women of Sci-fi calendars. Thanks for being so gracious. I really enjoyed our conversation. Do you do any script writing or writing in general? And, what do you find to be the most effective way to connect with your fans?”
It was nice chatting with you too… this is a pretty effective way to connect with fans… so are conventions.
Ytimyona writes: “If you could have dinner with any of the characters you have portrayed, which one would you choose and why?”
Carolyn Lam… so I could smack her upside the head. Just kidding… no seriously… wait huh?
Stormy writes: “Did you find it difficult integrating yourself into a cast who have been together so long especially with your husband having been on the show since the start?Did you find it hard or a little awkward to work with him?”
Not at all… I knew so many people from the show (cast, crew, and producers) socially, so it was very easy. It’s not awkward to work with Michael… Living with him though…
Kathleen writes: “How would you compare the working atmosphere and creative approach on Stargate to your experience on Andromeda?”
Pretty similar in some ways. Both family environments where people get along well, and have fun.
Archersangel writes: “1. do you wish more back story would’ve been given for dr. lam? like why she became a doctor? or why she was distanced from her father? was it more than the usual “child of divorce” thing? did the writers tell you anything? or did you have something mind while playing her?
2. and now that your husband has his own official site
could you ask that he blog there once in a while. or send in a note like richard dean anderson does for his site?”
Sure… but he never listens to me, I’m his wife.
Ne writes: “How are you so awesome. This I wish to know.”
I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.
Shawna Buchanan writes: “Does Michael Shanks have any weird scars we don’t know about?”
Like I would tell you?!
SueS writes: “Hi Lexa! First, I’m looking forward to seeing you and Michael at the Creation Con in Chicago later this month. Chicago is a great city … okay I’m not just saying that because I’ve lived here all my life … okay, I am, but it is a great city. Anyways, my questions – 1) are you working on any projects right now? 2) Is there any character (doesn’t have to be scifi) that you would love to play?”
Sorry I missed Chicago… I was working nights… on “Fireball” (title may be changed) with Ian Somerhalder, and as far as a character I’d love to play… not really.
Dankriss writes: “Would you have liked to have seen the relationship between Mitchell and Lam realised? I loved your part in Tekwar…did you enjoy playing cowgirl?”
What relationship between Mitchell and Lam? It never made it on screen… I liked playing Cowgirl, but that was so long ago I barely remember it…
Emily writes: “Does your husband kiss and tell? I was just wondering how he rates Ben Browder as a kisser.”
HE KISSED BEN?! What?! Oh wait, I was there… I think he thought Ben was a little too butch to be honest…
Pauline writes: “How easy (or hard) is it for you to juggle a demanding acting career and still maintain a ‘normal’ home life?”
I’ll get back to you when I figure out HOW to do that, let alone whether it’s easy or hard…
Ariel writes: “I discovered you in SG1 and I absolutely loved your performance. Dr Lam wasn’t on board for long but she left a good impression on me and that was because of you. So thank you and keep up the excellent work!”
T writes: “If you could have dinner with any 5 famous people (living or dead) who would they be and why???”
Gandhi, Richard III, Eleanor of Aquitane, Jesus (for obvious reasons), and my maternal grandparents. The first four should be self evident, and as for the fifth, I know they’re not famous but, I didn’t get to know them when they were alive.
Airelle writes: “Loved you in Andromeda and SG1 and Eureka and everything!. How do you make it seem so easy to do this so well, acting I mean,? You do a great job.! thank you.”
Thanks… It’s hard work, but someone’s gotta do it…
Kelvin writes: “When is there going to be another Women of Scifi calender and if soon, can we please have more of you and Laura Bertram?”
There will be no more “Women of Sci Fi” calendars… at least not by Michael and Christopher… and Laura is pretty great isn’t she?
Cyndy writes: “As a girl of half-Filipino/half-Caucasian descent I grew up with practically no Filipino role models in western movies and t.v. I’m so thankful to you for really being one of my first Filipina role models and for being a real inspiration to me. Acting has always been my greatest passion but I worry that my “minority status” might impede on my ability to be successful. What would your advice be to those of the Filipino community, or really anyone who is part of the minority, that wish to be successful at acting? Thank you so much for your time and for providing young Filipina girls with our own wonderful role model to look up to.
Work hard, and keep trying. You have to be a better actor than the more mainstream looking folks, because you have to change people’s minds about what they’re looking for in a character. Thank you, I, in turn would like to give a shout out to Nia Peeples for being a beige face on TV when I was growing up…
P.S. Looking forward to seeing you in this week’s Eureka!”
Etta writes: “Thank you for making the time to come here and answer our questions!
1.What happened to the Women of Sci-Fi calendar? Will there ever be another one?
No, see above.
2.What is the next thing you will be working on?”
Fireball” for Sci Fi with Ian Somerhalder and Aleks Paunovic.
NZJackie writes: “What was the best thing about working on Andromeda compared to Stargate SG1?? and What would have to be your Favorite Episode you filmed from Andromeda??”
They gave me a chair back with my name on it on Andromeda… My favorite episodes were: All Too Human, Star Crossed, Day of Judgment Day of Wrath for starters…
LibKat writes: “At the beginning of season 9, was it difficult to work out the Mitchell-Dr. Lam-Daniel-Vala dynamics? Claudia and Ben had so much chemistry as Chrichton and Aeryn and you and Michael, besides your personal relationship, scorched the screen in Andromeda. How did you work around all that past history and redirect you acting energies towards the new character interactions?”
Seriously? It’s our job.
Scary writes: “I really like Dr. Lam and her relationship with General Landry. It would have great to have gotten to know her better. Even tho I thought it was a bit rushed (probably because of the cancellation) I am glad we got some closure on her relationship with her father.
It did feel a bit rushed, but the writers were dealing with galactic annihilation so I think they might have wanted to spend more screen time on saving the universe than on me and dear old Dad…
Of all the cast I think you spent most of your time with Beau Bridges. What was it like to work with him and do you have any amusing antedotes?”
He’s a wonderful person who is generous and paternal. No amusing anecdotes, but I can say he’s very lovely.
Mercie writes: “I’ve enjoyed all the shows I’ve seen you in and am looking forward to seeing you and your husband at the convention later this month. Just one question: Since the cancellation of SG-1, have you and Michael been enjoying the extra time you and your children can spend with each other? I know that you are both still working, but it must be a lot less time consuming than having a husband being a main cast member of a TV show.”
Enzo Aquarius writes: “In Andromeda, as you portrayed two different character sets: the non-physical avatar Andromeda and the android-form Rommie, was it difficult/challenging in having to perform as two characters that are the same, yet have different personalities?”
No. It’s my job…
Gwen writes: “I wanted to say that I really enjoyed your appearance at the Vancouver CreationCon in April. I was there primarily for Michael, but your lively humour and wit were a big hit. I guess my question for you would be: How do you handle all the public adulation of your husband? When your family goes out, are you bothered by swarms of crazy fangirls?”
Barbara writes: “What one memory will you carry with you from the show. (besides working with micheal lol) Have a great day and thanks for your time.”
Working with Beau… and hanging out with Claudia Black (one of my dearest friends… it was a treasure to be in the same city with her and her family)
Sherwood Forest Maiden writes: “Is is difficult to only accept local productions and not to be able to travel to other countries for filming??
Sometimes… I miss the travel, but I’d miss my babies and and husband even more.
Presuming that Michael is coming to NZ for the Armegeddon Expo, are you planning to come too??”
Not that I’m aware of…
AlainaRoss writes: “What was your first reaction after hearing you got the part as Dr. Lam?”
Caitlyanna writes: “Did you and Michael ever run lines together at home if you had a scene coming up together? By the way I have to tell you that I loved both your episode and Michael’s in Eureka. I have seen those episodes about five times or more. Whenever I think about the episode Maneater, I immediately think of your line, “I’m embarrased because I just frenched the sherrif in front of my boss.” Just thought I’d let you know.”
Thanks, yes we ran lines together all the time… we’re actors, that’s what we do ;-)… I had fun on Eureka, a lot of fun.
Luis811 writes: “Lexa do you and your mom speak in Tegali when you get together???”
Ummm what’s Tegali? Is that a dialect I don’t know about? There are about a million in the Philippines… my mother speaks Cebuano, and no I don’t really know any.
Eugene from Aus writes: “Questions for Lexa/Spark : (some of the information is according to IMDB)
1]According to IMDB, where it states your mother is Filipino and father in English-Scottish (whereas wikipedia provides that it is actually Irish/Scottish, which is it?) , I’m wondering, what type food did you eat while growing up?
The IMDB isn’t always accurate, just FYI… my ancestry is Filipino on my mom’s side and Scots-Irish on my dad’s. I ate a lot of rice and filipino food if that’s what you want to know — but NOT BALUT… ewww.
2]Also according to IMDB, it states that you enjoy reading(like the generous host for your guest-blog), roller-blading and playing RPG games, from that, i’m wondering do you still roller-blade, and if so, with Michael? For RPG’s, have you ever tried out the somewhat popular and criticised RuneScape?(If so, would you spare your thoughts on it?)
Don’t get to roller blade that much anymore, and no I haven’t played RuneScape… I don’t really have time for RPGs sadly, I spend time playing with my kids instead…
3]Are you following the Beijing Olympics? If so, would you tend to analyse the gymnastics? (seeing as IMDB [i]also[/i] states that you were one yourself as a child)
Yes, I watched the gymnastics… I think the judging was a little dodgy to be honest, but yay for Nastia Liukin!
4]At home, who cooks, and more importantly, what is cooked?
Michael and Grace our nanny do most of the cooking… I don’t like to cook — I’m pretty good when I do, I make a mean adobo…
5]Also, for cooking, what seems to be your 5 favourite and most used ingredients?
Chicken, salmon, rice (white and brown), broccoli, asparagus and peppers…
6]Have you seen the current reproduction of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera”, and if so, what are your thoughts on it?”
Shiny writes: “Hi Lexa, it was great seeing you and your hubby on guesting on Eureka last season. Will we be seeing you on Eureka again this season? And what would be your dream show to guest on?”
See above, and dream show… any one that will hire me.
Moose writes: “In your career can you tell us what has been the most emotional moment to film?”
I had a scene with an actor playing my dad in “Second Sight” that was pretty emotional for me, and when Beau’s character was dying was a tough one too…
Tamijb writes: “I saw you on Eureka again tonight. This is the second episode I saw you on. Does that mean that you are a recurring guest character? Which I hope it is. And will your husband be on it again as well? What was it like to work with the cast of Eureka?”
Technically, if I’m on a show more than once, I guess it’s be considered recurring, as far as Michael being on it — no plans to. It was fun, the cast was great, and we’d both be happy to return to the show…