Tonight’s the night! 9:00 p.m. on SyFy (Space for you Canadians). Make sure to tune in. And make sure that everyone you know is tuning in!
Plenty of early morning excitement at the Bridge Studios with Global Television broadcasting live from the location, offering up behind-the-scenes glimpses and interviews with the cast and crew. Alas, I’m at home today and missed all the fun but, according to Exec. Producer Carl Binder, it went swimmingly. The high point was an interview with some of the cast members in which actor Jamil Walker Smith (SGU’s Ronald Greer) made a straight-faced passing reference to the two years of training in zero-G that the actors had to endure prior to filming. He seemed so earnest, in fact, that the interviewer apparently took him at his word and didn’t even call him on it.
Carl also informed me that we all received bottles of champagne in advance of our premiere, compliments of former Stargate Exec. Producer Martin Gero. “What did you send him for the premiere of Bored to Death?”asked Carl. I considered for all of two seconds: “Nothing.” Another awkward pause and then Carl: “Neither did I.” Damn! When you think about it, Martin Gero is really making us look bad. What a jerk! Oh, we’ll drink his champagne alright, but we won’t enjoy it. Much! (P.S. Martin’s show, Bored to Death airs Sunday nights at 9:30 pm. following Curb Your Enthusiasm).
Finally, an extra special treat for you soon-to-be Stargate: Universe fans. I turn this blog over to actor David Blue, SGU’s resident uber-geek Eli Wallace, for his much-anticipated Q&A. Almost every review to date has lauded David’s performance in Air I, II, and III, citing his engaging onscreen presence and his character’s sense of humor. All great except that the best is yet to come – and by “the best”, I refer to David’s stand-out performances in some of the show’s more emotionally resonant scenes. He’s much, MUCH more than just “the funny guy”. That said, he IS pretty damn funny.
So, like Brian J. Smith’s (Lieutenant Matthew Scott) Q&A before it, this Q&A is intended to introduce you to the actor, the character, and give you a little teaser of the upcoming series. Several months from now, once you’re all well-versed in SGU and its various players, I hope to have both David and Brian (in addition to a slew of other cast and crewmembers) back on this blog for another round.
But for now, I turn things over to David…
DB: Hey everyone! Before I even start answering the boatload of questions you graciously submitted, I just wanted to thank you all for the interest. I’m insanely excited to see what you and the rest of planet Earth think of the show. And just the thought that all of you have questions for me before you even really get to “meet” the character of Eli is a wonderful show of support. Love you all! And on to the grilling!!!
(A warning: I type stream of consciousness, so I apologize if you get annoyed with my ellipses or commas.)
Caitlyanna writes: “Being a Stargate fan, how intense has it been knowing the expectations of the fans? Does it get nerve-racking?”
DB: Well, Caitlyanna, I kind of enjoy it. I mean, it’s amazing to think that there is already a very devoted and passionate group of people before our show even premieres. I don’t think a lot of other shows can claim something so incredible. So, in a way, it’s comforting to know that there are people out there who really want this show to be phenomenal AND have such high expectations. It gives us all something to work towards and when we achieve it, something to be proud of. I think it’s only nerve-wracking when we meet you guys face-to-face, because then you can throw things at us. *laugh* Please don’t.
“What was the most memorable experience on set so far?”
DB: To me, the things that really stick out are the scenes where the rest of the world melts away and you find yourself truly “in it”. In past shows, this might only happen with certain actors or situations, but it’s a testament to the quality of talent we have on this show that I find it happening quite a bit. The first time was a scene from “Air” with Robert Carlyle. The man is so brilliant to be with that you find the world, with all of the cameras and lights, to melt into fantasy and the world of the Destiny and SGU to become real. It really is a thrill as an actor and a privilege. On a dorky side-note, I love scenes with all of us main cast together. We really do get along well in real life and enjoy each other’s company. Because of this, we have a blast working in the same room. Sometimes too much. There’s a lot of laughter on our set. Which is funny when you consider the situation we’re all in.
Specifically, I think any of my initial interactions with the technology were pretty memorable. When Eli first discovers… well… we’ll call them “things” for now… he has to learn how to use them. It was kind of a great “oh yeah” moment when I first realized that anything I decided on — as far as how the devices work and are controlled — will be the official way it’s used from here on out, for everyone. We’re literally writing the book on the different devices. Especially having just re-watched “Galaxy Quest” with some of my castmates, I felt a lot of pressure to make sure I did it in a way that made sense… at least enough for the people who eventually develop the technology to base it off of. Once you see how everything works, if you pay attention, you’ll see that there is usually a technique and specific controls for everything I do in the show. I need to have that established for myself to make it feel real.
Aside from that? Two words. New Mexico. Wow. Just… wow.
Ytimyona writes: “I know you’re a huge science fiction fan. Which do you prefer, Star Wars or Star Trek? Which is your favorite Trek?”
DB: That’s a hard one Ytimyona… I love them both. I do have to admit that Star Trek will always have a special place in my heart. I was a HUGE “Star Trek: The Next Generation” fan growing up. It was a show that a group of friends and I always spoke about and found things in to get excited about. So much so that I will admit to dressing up as Riker once or twice. Heehee. It really was a great allegory sometimes and had amazingly interesting stories to tell. I’ve continued being a fan of the show into the movies and will probably freak out when I meet Jonathan Frakes or Patrick Stewart at some convention I attend for “SGU”. It’s an odd thing Brian J. Smith and I have found in common. And the fact that Robert Carlyle is a fan of the original “Star Trek” just shows how sustaining a franchise like that can be. It’s impressive.
“You and the SGU cast all seem to hang out and have a good time together, whether you are at work or off. Did you know any of the cast before you got the role, or did you all just kind of bond instantly?”
DB: Nope. I had never met any of the cast until the beginnings of “SGU”. Apparently, I met Alaina Huffman at the screen test… and I remember SEEING Louis, Elyse and Brian. But at the time I didn’t register them. I was so concentrated on the screen test! But from the beginning it was apparent that we had some special people on our hands. From day one we’ve all kind of jelled and found common ground. I am proud to call them all friends now. Honestly, I think nothing of it anymore when we all go out to dinner, to see movies, to play ‘Rock Band’ or anything of the sort. It just feels natural. It’s only when people ask me questions like these that I think about how there are probably lots of other shows that don’t have that kind of connection. It makes me feel lucky, really. Of course, check back in season 5 when we’ve all stopped talking and hate everything we stand for. (HA! Just kidding.)
“When you were on set with Alex O’Loughlin for Moonlight, did he keep his American accent when the cameras weren’t rolling? It’s gotta be tough to maintain that! (Sorry, I’ve been dying to know!)”
DB: You know, Alex really is a trip. He’s such a great guy, but you probably don’t realize how hilarious he is. Wonderful sense of humor. I think it’s why we became friends quickly. He apparently loves to screw with people, because I would often find that between scenes he would randomly switch from his (natural) Australian accent to American to British. Mid-sentence sometimes! It seemed so effortless for him. It was pretty impressive. But often I would find myself playing catch-up because I was so taken aback by the change.
BlueCello writes: “if you could be (play) a character in one of the other “star” franchises, who would you choose to be (or play)”
DB: I don’t think it would ever happen, but how cool would it be to play Han Solo? I’m sure that’s what everyone says, but you get to do it all! You can be the hero, the funny guy, the romantic, EVERYTHING! Of course, I don’t know who could do it better than Harrison Ford, so I’d probably just ruin it. So… runner up? I’d love to be Q from “ST: TNG”. He just got to have so much fun! And, come on, who doesn’t want to be omnipotent?
“Whom do you fanboy?”
DB: I have to be honest, BlueCello… I don’t know if it’s the phrasing or if I’m an idiot, but I’m not 100% sure what you mean. I’m guessing you mean who do I freak out over if/when I meet? So, I’m going to answer THAT. I tend to not freak out over any old actor, though I also recognize EVERYONE. I’ve always had a good memory for fellow actors. But the people who make me feel like a giddy fanboy are the ones I truly respect as actors (or their projects.) I’ve become extremely tight-lipped when I met Matthew Perry (love “Friends”), Eddie Izzard, Kevin Smith, Courtney Cox, Katee Sackhoff (GORGEOUS and incredibly sweet woman in real-life once I overcame my anxiety), Jessica Biel, Jeffrey Tambor (with my voiceover agent), etc… At Comic-Con this past year, I was lucky enough to have wonderful fun with a lot of the “Battlestar Galactica” cast at our party, but when I met Edward James Olmos after our panel, I’m pretty sure I just looked like a sweaty scared little freak. I could barely talk to the man. As a nerd, I’d freak if I ever met Mark Hamill, Jonathan Frakes, Scott Bakula, or anyone I grew up loving.
PoorOldEdgarDerby writes: “Should we see Eli as a regular joe and relatable, or chide him for not working to his potential, even if he outshines the normies (i.e. average intellegent folk)?”
DB: Actually, PoorOldEdgarDerby, I’m so proud of how the writers created Eli. He really is a vessel for the audience. He’s someone to relate to & someone to experience the world through. And really, what prevents him from working to his potential is simply that he let his life get in the way. And kind of let HIMSELF get in the way. He’s afraid of failure, afraid of disappointing people. But when you are thrust into situations with a bit more… shall we say, weight, to them… you tend to lose that option. I think everyone can relate to a fear of failure. The great strive to work past that. And I hope, over the episodes/seasons, you will see growth in him …and then be able to relate even more.
Otros Ojos writes: “Question for David Blue: Eli Wallace – Playboy, Hot Video Games Roundup, or Astrophysics Monthly? Or something else?”
DB: Who says he can only subscribe to one? Though he DOES live with his Mom. Don’t know if she’d be cool with Playboy.
Shirt ‘n Tie writes: “Thinking back to the other shows, if you could have auditioned, given your choice, what role would you most liked to have landed? McKay / Jackson / Sheppard?”
DB: I would never in a million years even TRY to PRETEND I’d play any of those roles better than the originals. However, I would’ve loved playing Daniel Jackson. Not only did he start as the nerd, but he grew into such a badass! How cool must that be for Michael?! He’s like a freaking super-spy, brilliant… I mean he freaking ASCENDED! Sheesh.
o6untouchable writes: “As an actor, are there any aspects, gadgets and technologies, particular plot lines or specific aliens from SG-1 and Atlantis that you personally would enjoy the opportunity to act opposite; always wanted to play a Goa’uld, act in a scene with an Asgard, etc?”
DB: As a dork, I think it’d be really cool to act opposite an Asgard. I’d be a little freaked out, having read “Communion”. However, I’d love to say I’d done it. Though I’m sure seeing however they really make the Asgard work might ruin the magic a bit.
Anais33 a ecrit: “Parlez vous un peu français?”
DB: Un peu. — excuse me for answering the rest in English. I took 3 years of Advanced French in high school. Which sadly means that I now have only retained enough of it to say assorted curse words, ask where random things are and point out a few geographical staples. Sad… but also slightly funny. I believe I was a member of the French National Honor Society as well. I’m ashamed. I think I should return my membership card. Ou est le card-returning-box?
EternalDensity writes: “Have you tried to get any other cast (or crew) members on Twitter? How have they responded?”
DB: Where have you been?!? I am proud of say that I’ve already recruited both Ming-Na and Brian J. Smith. In fact, I claim some responsibility for the additions of John G. Lenic, Patrick Gilmore and James Bamford as well. I’ve been trying to wear down a few more of them… but it’s harder than you think. I’m willing to bet money that I’ll be able to get Peter Kelamis (Brody), Jen Spence (Park) and a few others as well. My crowning achievement will be getting either Louis Ferreira or Robert Carlyle (a pipe-dream). Though Louis DID tweet me already from somebody else’s account once!
“What do you think of the Back to the Future trilogy?”
DB: Love, love, love, LOVE. Is that clear enough? I have to say that “Back to the Future II” will always hold a special place in my heart. I just loved the future so much. And hoverboards! I was convinced there was a real one out there somewhere. But all of them are amazing and I have such respect for Michael J. Fox. He’s just amazing. Back then AND now. I loved his work on “Rescue Me” and his work for Parkinson’s research is beyond humbling.
Otros Ojos writes: “Have you been a sci-fi fan from an early age, or how did that come about?”
DB: In a way, it’s kind of always been there Otros Ojos. I’ve always been a huge fan of television, film, stories of any kind really. So the fantastical world of sci-fi fits in there quite well. And there were such great movies growing up that exposed me to that world. I was a HUGE fan of “Krull” as a kid, “D.A.R.R.Y.L” was my grandfather’s favorite movie to show us, “Project X”, “Gattaca”, “War Games”, loved “Space Camp” (even WENT to Space Camp because of its inspiring me to want to be an astronaut for a while there)… the list goes on forever. These days the actual phrase “sci-fi” has grown to include so much you’d be hard-pressed to find a show that’s NOT sci-fi. I love that. It feels like it’s encompassing the world now and people don’t even realize it.
Iamza writes: “What was it about the shows that drew you in as a viewer, and were you more of a fan of one show over the other?”
DB: I loved the world of the shows. I really did. I was a huge fan of the original movie, so the idea of continuing that world with “SG1” will always hold a special place in my heart. Plus I really enjoyed the way the original team worked off each other. It was enough to make me a fan early on. The writers really did a good job of creating some interesting and thought-provoking stories in that world that made you think. And even better, they kept a sense of humor throughout. I mean, if “Wormhole X-treme” isn’t a hilarious idea, I don’t know what is. “Stargate Atlantis” came about when I was very busy in my personal life. I’ve seen all of the episodes, but I wasn’t able to devote myself to them as much. It became something I enjoyed on VHS tape or my DVR when I got home from work or a long day of auditioning. It was kind of my escape from my regular life. So I’m very thankful to that, but “SG1” will always hold a special place in my heart.
“why did you get onto twitter in the first place? Was it partly in response to some of the attitudes expressed online about SGU when the series was first announced?”
DB: Honestly, I was a member of Twitter before “SGU”. In fact, I joined back when I lived in L.A. still. I had a bunch of friends on it who constantly told me how much fun they were having, so I joined. Actually, I started with two accounts. One for my career and one a little more hidden for my personal thoughts. I’ve since deleted the personal one and just find it so much easier to put all my thoughts on the one official Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/DavidBlue — though those kids have YET to verify me. Sheesh!). I use it for a few reasons. On the one hand, it’s great for getting up-to-date news. I know things going on in the world at the touch of an iPhone button. Also, I can make myself laugh following some of my favorite actors/comedians. Also, I get to see what my friends are up to. A lot of my college friends are in NYC, LA friends are back there, family in Florida/NY, so it’s a way to touch base. And then as an actor, I get to connect with the fans. I often feel bad that I can’t reply to people all the time or often, but thus is the wonderful curse of being busy and working, no? Though if I’ve helped ease any of the tension or worry people had when “SGU” was first announced, I’d consider that a great compliment. Because the truth is, you should all be excited! And it seems like you all are! Yay!
“SGU is touted to be about a bunch of ordinary folk living through extraordinary events. What, in your mind, makes these people so ordinary? I mean, Eli Wallace is a slacker genius, not just some random Joe off the street. What is it that you think most makes Eli someone anybody can relate to?”
DB: “Touted”, eh? Hmmmm… These people are so ordinary because they simply ARE. It’s not a military “type”, a scientist “type”, a civilian “type” or anything like that (not that they were on the previous incarnations either… AT ALL!) But they’re so much more than that. They have flaws that will bring them down to the human level. They make mistakes that they either need to overcome or atone for. They desire companionship, friendship, respect, acclaim, survival, familiarity… things that ANY of us would desire. It’s important to remember that casting breakdowns are just that. They are often written by people who aren’t actually writing the characters, in their own words, and are used for the purposes of giving a general idea to the agents submitting their talent for the roles. It’s a tool, not a blueprint. There’s so much more to the character. Even that first script fleshed out more than just a “slacker genius”. And as I’ve said before, he’s only a “slacker” in that he hasn’t seen the need to apply himself fully. There’s a lot of potential in Eli, a lot that he COULD do, but as he sees it: isn’t it safer just to not fail? I’ve known many brilliant people in my life. Each in their own way. Some with an incredible drive/motivation, some that seemed to only focus themselves on trivial matters.
Think about it the next time you walk down the street. Just the next time you’re walking to a restaurant, or back from taking the bus or on your way to a movie. Look into the eyes of a handful of people who you pass and let your mind wander. Think about what they might be possibly on their way to do. Is it what they’ve always wanted to do? Is it what they do to make money to support the family they love? Maybe they’re lucky and it’s both. Is it the thing that made them passionate for the first time in their lives? Are they living up to their potential in their chosen field? What is their secret passion or hidden talent that they might’ve had to give up? I think you’d find that there are a lot of very interesting, brilliant people wandering out there. And quite a few of them may not have ever realized it. Now… take away the safety net. Make it about life-or-death. Would they still hold back? That’s a test of a person’s drive. …also, we have no idea how many of those people you considered ARE living their dreams… ARE living to their potential… HAVE secrets. We’re a very diverse people, us humans.
I think what makes Eli especially relatable is that he comes from OUR world. He hasn’t grown up in a world where the Stargate program exists (as far as he knows). There is no such thing as aliens (as far as we know). Technology is as advanced as the latest thing Apple decides to announce. Everything he wants to be real, that he wishes were real, is really described by the term: “sci-fi”. Now, what would happen if it turns out it’s all real? How would YOU, Iamza, react if you got beamed up by General O’Neill and he told you it was all real. Don’t tell anyone… and we need your help. I think that’s something we can all imagine and even more-so hope WOULD happen! I think other people can relate to Eli for a simple reason… perhaps a selfish one. Because I can. I read it, and see where I’d feel that too. But I guess the true test will be when you watch it yourself… no?
“Also, there have also been a lot of comparisons drawn between Eli and McKay — what do you think most distinguishes Eli from the character of a young Rodney McKay”
DB: A lot, I hope! I would never, in a million years, even try to fill David’s shoes. He’s great. But a huge difference is simply their background. McKay joined the program voluntarily and learned along the way. Eli has never heard of any of this and is suddenly thrust into the world. Also, I think McKay is a little more emotionally (socially) stunted than Eli. Eli wants to make the human connections and find what he has in common with others. He sees good in people, however small a sign, and wants to draw it out. While Eli may not think there are a LOT of people out there who are worth it, I think McKay tends to view MOST others as a little bit more trouble than they are worth.
Wraithfodder writes: “Using only one word, describe each of your castmates. (Warning, this could come back to haunt you!)”
DB: Robert Carlyle: Wise
Louis Ferreira: Warm
Brian J. Smith: Complex
Elyse Levesque: Fun
Alaina Huffman: Caring
Jamil Walker-Smith: Friendly
Lou Diamond Phillips: Genuine
Col. Mustard writes: “Do you play video games? If so what is your favorite game?”
DB: I love playing video games! It’s sad how little I get the chance these days. Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of “Rock Band” (Beatles and the others) with my cast-mates. But on my own, I’ve always loved Halo, Final Fantasy (earlier versions), Secret of Mana (SNES), “LEGO Batman/Indiana Jones/Star Wars” (XBox 360)… used to love Tradewars, Lair of the Dark Knight, etc (BBS days).
Btw, YOU did it, in the study, with the candlestick. I’m just sayin’.
“If you could be a member of the crew of any Star Trek crew which would it be?”
DB: “ST:TNG”. They had gotten past a lot of their wars with other races and grown so much. It became about exploration for a while, and that’s exciting.
“Have you ever had an opportunity to use your trifecta talents (acting, singing and dancing) and if so, is it something we can catch on DVD?”
DB: Actually yes I have. My degree is a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre as well as Acting. So, I’ve performed in a lot of musicals throughout my life, even originating a role in a new musical. I’ve done tours of some musicals, and different shows around the U.S. I’ve also performed in a number of musical benefits, including “A Night at Sardi’s” (with the Alzheimer’s Association), singing onstage with some of my “Ugly Betty” co-stars, Jason Alexander, Vanessa Williams, Zach Levy, Kristen Bell, etc. On DVD? That I’m not sure of. Not that I know of!
Major D. Davis writes: “So is it hard to repeat those exact actions throughout several takes, especially when the camera is moving and covering diffent parts of your body and face as you act or react to a situation. Does it become second nature after a while, or is it always a challenge?”
DB: As an actor, you break down the scene and the thoughts/feelings of the character. The mannerisms or what-have-you stem from what you are thinking, your actions and your motivation. If you’re staying true to your tactics/intentions for a scene, it’s easy to repeat what you need to because you’re keeping that from take-to-take. Also, our shooting style in this show allows a little more freedom, especially since the camera can be anywhere.
Wolfenm writes: “Loved you as Logan in Moonlight! If it had been renewed, or if they ended up doing a movie, would you want to go back, if your schedule allowed for it? And would you have wanted to be full-time or stay recurring?”
DB: Hell yeah! I loved playing Logan and had a lot of fun with the cast. I hope that Joel (Silver) ends up deciding to do a movie and would be honored to be invited back. I think a lot of us felt that there were more stories to tell and were looking forward to season 2 when it was unexpectedly cancelled. Alex and I have talked about the movie a few times and I always make sure to remind him how much I’d love to reprise our roles. He’s fun to work with.
If they had invited me to be a full-time cast member, I would’ve gladly taken the opportunity. I was proud to see the role of Logan grow as the season progressed and very excited with some of the ideas I was hearing from the showrunners about the upcoming 2nd season. I’d still kill to see some of those scripts! Of course, if it had continued, I would never be so lucky to be on “SGU” (not that I knew anything about it at the time)… so it’s hard to imagine.
“Every fan has things they would like to see happen with thier fave characters, whether it’s seeing them get a love interest or suffer terrible angst or becoming a superhero or king. What are some things you would like to see Eli go through, either on the show itself or in the “what if” realm of fanfic?”
DB: I truly want to learn more about Eli just as much as the rest of you. Where we stand now in the season, we’ve gotten to explore so much, but there’s only so much you can do in 20 episodes. I’m really hoping to see more of how Eli became who he is, a little more of his past, and more of the relationships that have burgeoned on the ship already. I want to see him grow as a person and get to know his fellow crew members a bit more. Learn more about this world he just got sucked into. Try to find a purpose in it and work towards learning his potential. Try to break down the walls of a few other people on the ship… find out what makes Rush tick… why is Greer like that? … why is friendship so easy with Scott?… there are so many options. My friend (a movie-reviewer) put it best after seeing the pilot: “I love it because the potential is limitless. There are so many things that can be done.” I’m excited to see what the writer’s come up with. I love the parts of Eli they’ve revealed to me so far, so I’m excited for *knock-on-wood* season 2 to discover some more levels.
On a completely side-note, I’d love to see Eli get a little attention from the ladies. Or more attention. Well… you’ll see.
“Who would you most want to see guest star on SGU, and in what sort of role?”
DB: Ooooooo. Good question. I selfishly would love to get Alex O’Loughlin (my “Moonlight” co-star) on the show. But I know he’s insanely busy with his new show “Three Rivers”, so I don’t know if he’d have the time. In general, the-powers-that-be have gotten some really interesting and talented guest stars already, so I’m excited to see where that grows once the show is on the air and people have a higher awareness of the project. There are so many good actors out there right now, I can’t even narrow it down to just a few.
As a fan, I’d love to play opposite David Hewlett. Some Eli/McKay banter would be fun.
Crazymom1 writes: “…what other work that you’ve done do I really need to get from Netflix and catch up on?”
DB: Netflix-wise? I’m very, very proud of my work on “Ugly Betty”. I highly recommend catching up on that. Start from the beginning of the show so you can really get a taste for it and the wonderfully-acted characters. And then you’ll run into my introduction as ‘Cliff St. Paul’ during season 2. I loved not only playing a really optimistic version of myself, but also becoming so proud of the role and the way the fans reacted to him. I was humbled by all of the reactions. People would constantly tell me “Cliff is exactly like my boyfriend” or “Cliff is me” and hearing how proud people were to have a character like him on tv. It was more than I could have hoped for and a joy to play. Being on set with Michael Urie, Becki Newton, America Fererra… it was amazing. They are truly brilliant actors and genuine people. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience at the time. I’m so proud of it, that I hope to continue it!
Chevron7 writes: “Once the action starts, does Eli relate to it all like playing a video game or is he a little freaked?”
DB: Hey Chevron7! Will you be changing your name to Chevron9 once we premiere? Heehee. I think he reacts pretty realistically. I mean, even a hardcore video-game geek can only see the parallels to a certain extent. Once your life is in danger, or things are exploding, it stops being fascinating and starts being about survival. Though Eli definitely copes with certain situations by relating it to things he’s seen in tv/films or games… but that’s more for the benefit of easing tension, relating to people, etc. Again, survival becomes just survival at a certain point.
“What film or tv prop do you wish you had displayed at your house?”
DB: Displayed at, or installed? I’d love to have a working Holodeck. HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE?!?!
I wouldn’t mind having a huge D.H.D. that controlled everything in my house. Like an ancient universal remote. I know, it’s a bit bulky, but tell me that wouldn’t be awesome?
DP writes: “What’s the best line anyone ever wrote for one of your characters?”
DB: “Ewww, you’re getting it all booger-y” — “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”
“How is working in Vancouver different from working in other places?”
DB: You should’ve asked me this yesterday! It’s raining today! Other than that, it’s absolutely beautiful. I love this city. I’d never had the privledge of visiting Vancouver before “SGU” but I have to say I’ve grown to love this city. It’s wonderfully clean and the people are so friendly. I also love how active everyone is. If it’s a nice day, then EVERYONE is out running, riding bikes, hiking, exploring, kayaking… it’s quite motivating. And thanks to some of my Canadian cast-mates, I’ve explored a bunch of the city. Part of me selfishly hopes for season 2 of the show so I have time to see more of it though!
GrapesofWraith writes: “What’s the funniest thing on set that’s happened to you/seen/experienced/or heard of so far?”
DB: Well, Steinbeck, that’s a fun one. Elyse and I have become good friends this season. And we tend to have the same sense of humor. So putting us into scenes together usually translates into a lot of joking around. There was a scene recently where she and I (Chloe/Eli) had a bit of banter that involved some inadvertent tongue-twisters. In addition to a LONG day of shooting before the scene. Essentially, I blew a line and the two of us devolved into such a fit of laughter that we could NOT get it back together. I felt bad for everyone else in that scene, but we were just GONE.
Also, Brian RARELY drops any of his lines. Really, always on his A-game. But when he does, he tries so hard to keep the scene going that he’ll throw out whatever he THINKS his line MIGHT BE. I find it hilarious, every time, without fail.
“Coffee or Tea? (thanks to Trish aka Whovian for the inspiration for that one!)”
DB: Depends on the time of day. I end up drinking more coffee than I’d like with this show. Usually in the morning since we have a lot of early calls. But in general I try to avoid coffee. I love tea though. As a singer, I’ve grown to love Throat Coat tea. Works wonders when you have a sore throat (which happens in some of these sets we shoot in). So, when I’m sick… it’s all Throat Coat.
Zoe writes: “First off, first saw you on Ugly Betty and thought you were the most adorable thing EVER. Hahaha! My question is really random, but, if you got to play any superhero, which one would you be?”
DB: Awww, thanks Zoe. Very sweet of you to say. I truly loved playing Cliff.
I know this might be a cliche answer, but you’ve got to love Superman. I mean, invulnerable, amazing powers, smart… can’t beat him. Though I do hold a lot of respect for Batman for being just a MAN. …but Robert Downey Jr. ruined me a bit. He was so brilliant as Iron Man… grrr… too many choices… brain melting… AAAAARRRRGGGH!!!!
Suziesbluefeather writes: “I’m just a bit curious about your web site. Why did you chose to quote T. E. Lawrence ‘the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with eyes open, to make it possible.'”
DB: I’ve always loved that quote. I’ve done a lot of theater, and as you may-or-may-not know, in playbills the cast/crew write bios. I know a lot of people list their previous credits, but I’ve always hated that. I mean, I’ve done enough, and who wants to just read a list? So I would just write personal notes to friends or loved ones, and usually end it with a quote. And it was usually that quote. I love the idea of dreaming so much that you will it into existence. The idea that dreams, desires, etc. can exist if we want them bad enough. I mean, hell, in a way my career is an example of that. I’ve always dreamed of making a living doing what makes me happy… and now I am. Besides, I’m a kid at heart, and I’m dreaming during the day all the time. You think I don’t play superhero in my imagination while I’m riding on the SkyTrain? Think again.
Artdogspot writes: “If you could work with any film director (living or dead), who would pick?”
DB: Ack! Such pressure, Artdogspot! Love Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderberg, Steven Spielberg, Orson Welles, James Cameron, Neil Simon, Woody Allen, Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman, Francis Ford Coppola, Mike Judge… So much good work out there, I’d love to do it all!!! These days, I specifically would love to work once (to start) with Judd Apatow. I feel like a lot of my career has led to getting the chance to work with him soon.
“Which comedians have influenced your work the most?”
DB: Love Eddie Izzard, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Mitch Hedberg, Richard Jeni, Denis Leary, Steve Martin… too many to name. Anyone who makes me laugh has influenced me to be a better person. Anyone who makes me scared to get up there and do it myself? That’s a talented person. I respect comedians so much. It’s something I’ve always loved and have no really gotten up the courage to actually do. I respect it so much, I don’t want to ruin it. They’re up there being funny as THEMSELVES. And they are up there, at the mercy of the audience, armed only with their material. Amazing.
“Cake or death?”
DB: I believe I ordered the vegetarian platter.
Jocelyn writes: “Knowing your musical theater background, have there been any spontaneous breaks into song on set?”
DB: Oh hells yes. Most of us in the cast are very musical. It’s not often that you’re able to walk around set without hearing music somewhere. In general, music tends to stick in our heads. Elyse is a big example of this. She listens to one song on her way to work and we’re all subjected to it for the rest of the day. I am guilty as well. For some reason I still cannot explain, I had the theme song for “Sanford and Son” running on repeat in my head for WEEKS. Ridiculous. Now, have we staged any full-on musicals? Not yet. Though you’d be surprised to learn that a lot of us in the cast have played different roles in varying productions of “Little Shop of Horrors” somewhere in our career (I played Seymour in a critically-acclaimed college production)… so those numbers have been spontaneously performed a few times. Also, one of the first times we all really were hanging out off-set, there may or may not have been an impromptu (but very energetic) performance of ‘Seasons of Love’ from “RENT” that involved everyone. Maybe.
iMenchi writes: “If you had the option to have any part of your choosing in another franchise that you are a fan of, what would you choose and why?”
DB: Indiana Jones. Oh man, living those adventures. I used to play the soundtrack to “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” over and over (the cassette) and replay the movie in my head. Just living that man’s life. Of course, I’m saying this while completely pretending that “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” never happened. Because if it did, my answer will drastically change.
Lynn writes: “As a Stargate fan yourself… Do you think it’s continuing the franchise in a recognizable way or is it striking out in a totally different direction?”
DB: Well, Lynn, it’s somewhere in between. The world that “SGU” inhabits is the same world you’ve come to know and love from “SG1” and “Atlantis”. Same mythology, same creators, hell, even some of the same characters. So it’s not drawing a line in the sand in front of the past shows and saying “don’t cross this, this is what WE are now.” All we’re doing is taking this wonderful world that exists and growing from it. Introducing you to new characters in a completely different situation. We’re in the same theme park, but we’re just a different ride. I highly doubt that you can be a fan of the previous incarnations without finding things you love in “SGU”. It’s part of what we’re all most proud of. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Nobody “passed the torch to us”, but they used their torch to light ours. This is why it’s so great to have some of the original cast on our show. RDA, Amanda, Michael… they’re here because they still exist in this world we’re showing you. It’s the same world! And as a fan of the previous show, there are so many things that you have to look forward to. Some great throwbacks to both “SG1” and “Atlantis”. Enough to keep you feeling special, but not lose our new fans. I pride myself on being a character there to help bring the newbies on the ride with us!
AV Eddy writes: “David: How the hell are ya?”
DB: Well, AV Eddy, I’m pretty darned good. Thanks so much for asking. How about yourself?
GloriaLongMLBIT writes: “If they made an Moonlight movie (big IF) and they asked you to be in it, would you or could you? It would not be the same without the WHOLE cast.”
DB: I answered a similar question above, but wanted to answer this one too, because I agree. I can’t imagine a Moonlight movie without having everyone back. Of course, that might end up being part of the problem. Everyone has moved onto other projects that take up a bunch of time (a testament to some of the talent). It’d be great if the only problem was scheduling, no? I’d sure love the chance to work with Alex, Jason, Claudia, Jacob, etc again. We had so much FUN in that last episode!
“I believe you are gonna be a big hit in this show. How do you think you are gonna deal with all the Moonlight/Ugly Betty/SGU fans and how do you think they will differ from each other? and lastly, thank you David for being YOU”
DB: I’ve always loved how different my fans are. Every project I’ve done seems to draw in a different, yet equally passionate, group. I feel like I’m trying to win over the world one fraction of the population at a time. I may be overshooting here, but I’d LOVE for the “Moonlight”/”Ugly Betty” fans to come into the “SGU” world. I really feel like there is a lot in the show for everyone. There’s great character development, thought-provoking plots, amazing special effects, romance, pulse-pounding action, beautiful music, amazing cinematography… what’s not love? But then again, I’m a bit biased. You tell me after FRIDAY! EEK!
Dodoalda writes: “Does Eli like aliens?”
DB: As a general rule? I think Eli believes all aliens should have the rights and respect that the rest of us are all easily granted. I think he’s a bit outraged that aliens are treated differently. I mean, in the end, aren’t we all created equal? Except the Sith. Screw those guys. …and maybe the aliens from “Independence Day”. I mean, why the hell were they so pissed? The Borg had issues too. Oh well, nevermind.
Malaika writes: “Hi David, Will you ever go back to Ugly Betty?”
DB: God willing. I would welcome any chance to come back to “Ugly Betty” for one episode, 5 episodes or 15 episodes. Great cast, great writers, great crew, great role. All that it takes is for the timing to work out and, more importantly, for them to ask me. I’d be there in a heartbeat. Why? Do YOU want me back?
R1015bill writes: “On paper, your new character Eli sounds a lot like Logan Griffen (less Logan’s confidence and being a vampire). How else do you think they differ?”
DB: Honestly, R1015bill, it was very important to me to make Eli a completely different person. I think all actors are terrified at ever making a role similar to one they’ve previously played. It’s more fun to explore different aspects of these people (and in a way, of yourself) than you have before. I spent a good deal of time before my initial audition for the role of Eli breaking down where I felt he was coming from. Inventing things from his past that fit with the initial mold I was provided (by Brad and Robert). Really getting inside of the character and filling him out. And most of the time, when I came to a fork in the road I found myself thinking “okay, how would Logan see this?” …and then going in the completely opposite direction. There are some crossovers there, but for the most part, they are completely different people. Logan, for one, was more into video games and the world of new technologies. (This is from my own mind, not necessarily the writers of “Moonlight”) I always envisioned Logan as an extremely old vampire. Even older than Mick St. James (Alex O’Loughlin). Probably just a little younger than Josef. Which is why I think Logan loved technology and computers… because they didn’t exist when he was human.
Eli, however, has grown up in THIS world and uses it as a tool to do what he loves. Challenging himself, connecting with like-minded people, solving problems. Eli is more of a TV/Film/pop-culture junkie. He relates to his world through the things he grew up with… his favorite shows, movies, etc. I could be wrong about this, as it’s something I came up with to help me approach the role and not necessarily something provided me by the brilliant writers/creators, but I’ve viewed Eli as somebody who plays video games to challenge himself. Because somebody says something in this one can’t be done, or something can’t be beaten or solved. Not because he just wants to waste time.
Also, Logan was a recluse. He did what he did to get the blood he needed to survive, or the money he needed to get more technology or blood. Eli WANTS to have friends, wants people to like him and to get to know them.
Pastrygirl writes: “: Which is the most difficult type of scene for you to shoot, technical scenes with greenscreen and special fx, or heavy character interaction scenes with lots of dialogue and emoting?”
DB: They’re both challenging in their own ways, Pastrygirl. What types of pastries do you like, anyway? … the greenscreen scenes require a lot of imagination and visualization, whereas the character scenes require a lot of preparation and being-in-the-moment. With theatre you get weeks and weeks of rehearsal to learn where your co-stars are coming from. With television and film, you often get only one rehearsal before you shoot. So you have to be ready to shoot when you get to set. And not just for the first scene, for all of them. And it’s often that a co-star will bring something to the table you weren’t expecting. Then it’s about knowing your character well enough to be able to run with it, to give-and-take. I love both aspects. Though I will say I’m spoiled. I have a well-trained, talented, smart cast. I trust their choices and know they’re willing to “play”.
Montrealer writes: “…does all the major actors in SGU have a stand-in?”
DB: Yes, we all do. Some really great ones, actually. We have a core group of stand-ins that are such hard-working people. They are there as long as we are, sometimes longer, doing a lot of hard work that never gets recognized.
Shawn Cassidy writes: “What was it like being the ‘tour guide’ for your fellow actors in this new universe introducing them to the lore?”
DB: I love every second of it. (Love “Da Doo Run Run” btw. ) It’s kind of funny how second nature it is now. I’ll just get a call here, or a text message there, asking me to explain something. Sometimes I feel guilty, like I’m taking away some of Brad, Robert, Joe or Carl’s fun. I think they sometimes enjoy explaining what something means, and calling it back to one of the other shows. But in general, I get excited telling the story of how it came to be and how it relates to the plot of our episode. It’s a bit of pressure though. I mean, if I screw up, because I’m not nearly as well-versed as a lot of you really die-hard fans, I just messed up someone else’s performance! Nah… I’ll keep pretending I know everything. Don’t blow my cover!