It’s finally here! That long-awaited Elyse Levesque Q&A you’ve all been asking about! Much thanks to the lovely Elyse for taking time out from her busy schedule (she has a job, y’know!) to answer our questions in very entertaining fashion. I’m pleased she was able to actually slow down long enough to field our queries. Fact is, for the first few months of production, I didn’t have a single picture of Elyse because she was always on the move – and by move, I mean dancing. Yep, she’d be boogie-ing so much between takes that my attempts to snap a candid shot of her would end up…well…
Anyway, what can I say about the supremely talented Ms. Levesque? She sings, she dances, she acts, she raps, she scuba dives in alien tanks. “What’s that?”you say. She scuba dives in alien tanks? “No, the other one?” Oh, yeah. Apparently, she raps. Check out the NSFW video at the end of the Q&A…
Lisa R. writes: “Questions for Elyse: How did you like being in the water tank? Was it difficult reacting to what else was going on in the scene when you were in the water?”
EL: It was difficult to see what exactly I was looking at through the tank, so I pretty much had to take my own cues. Other than that, it was actually a very relaxing experience. Our stunt coordinator James Bamford (aka “BamBam”) made sure I felt super comfortable and even gave me a quick scuba lesson beforehand. Overall, a really cool experience!!
Bryan M. White writes: “Quick question for Elyse. I have heard in interviews that many actors struggle with (or become effected by) the stress of emotional scenes. Now Chloe is in a difficult situation because she just lost her father, she found out that her boyfriend is cheating on her, she is constantly questioning whether she belongs on the ship, and she has been though a lot of trauma in “Space”. Sorry for the pun. I didn’t realize till after I typed it. But my question is whether those feelings of losing faith have ever had an effect on you while playing this role? How do you deal with that stress at the end of the day?
Thanks for your time. Best wishes, Bryan”
EL: Emotional scenes definitely take their toll, but I find them to be more therapeutic than anything. As actors it’s part of our job to go into those dark, messy places. I think it’s important to leave “the work” at work and not take it home with you.
Sean D. writes: “Two questions for Elyse: 1. What was one of the most heart-felt moments for you with the rest of the cast and crew during SGU’s first season?
EL: When we all got together to watch the pilot episode. Production rented out a theatre, so it was like we were having our own mini-premier. It was such fun for everyone to watch it together and to finally see the results of our hard work.
“2. What was one of the funniest moments for you and the rest of the cast and crew during SGU’s first season?”
EL: Everyday on set provides plenty of comedy, especially with this cast!! We’re a crazy bunch and once we get started, it’s really hard for us to stop. But I think one of my fondest memories is early last season, during the pilot actually, when Louis got his hands on a fart machine and proceeded to punk people from that day till the very end of shooting.
Shawna writes: “Okay, questions for Elyse: What are you most hoping for or looking forward to in regards to future character development for Chloe? Also, if you could choose, what role (if any) would you have her develop on the ship (as far as how the others are scientists, soldiers, etc.)? What do you think Chloe’s opinion of Eli is? (Is she oblivious to the fact that he has feelings for her, or what?) If you personally had to choose between Eli or Scott (or any of the other male characters for that matter) who would you choose?”
EL: What’s great about Chloe is that the possibilities as to where her character can go are endless. I would love to see her come into her own and take on a leadership, perhaps in an area that would allow her to exercise her skills as a political science major. As far as the Chloe/Eli relationship is concerned, I do think she’s aware that he has feelings for her, but I think that her feelings don’t go beyond friendship at this point. She cares about him very much, and values his friendship, which is something she would never want to jeopardize. The last thing she would want to do is hurt him. If I were in Chloe’s shoes, I would choose the blue aliens. I’ve always had a weakness for foreigners ;).
Crayonbaby writes: “Of all the actors you work with on SGU, who tells the best jokes? With all the seriousness of the storylines, I’m sure it’s great to have someone who can lighten the mood, if just a little.”
EL: It’s hard to say who tells the best jokes, as Louis Ferraira, David Blue and Peter Kelamis all have quite the arsenal of funnies that they like to bust out between set-ups. Louis tells them as though he were performing a one-act play, so he may just get my vote because of that. But damn, they all know how to make us laugh.
Abby writes: “Here’s a few questions for Elyse. First off, thanks soooo much for taking the time to answer fan questions. I really appreciate it! =D 1. Did you always want to be an actress? If not, what other careers were you interested in?”
EL: For as long as I can remember I wanted to be an actress, but I think I toyed with the idea of being a marine biologist or a veterinarian for a hot minute when I was ten. Who knows if I would have gone into either of those fields had I not ended up in this industry. I think I probably would’ve become an art historian or done something in the visual arts.
“2. Are you reading any books right now? Which ones?”
EL: I’ve just started reading Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”.
“3. How did you get into acting?”
EL: I auditioned for a children’s television series called “The Incredible Story Studio” when I was 11. The first episode I did was called “Hugo and the Haunted Cheese” and I played Candace Wilkes, the snobby teachers pet. As you can imagine, it was the role of a lifetime ;).
Danielle writes: “What would you say was the hardest scene to shoot in the first half of season 1?”
EL: One of the hardest scenes for me, probably would have been in the pilot where my character attacks Rush after her father dies. The emotional and physical demands of that scene were both very challenging. I felt terrible having to beat up poor Bobby, but he was a trooper and insisted I just go for it. Funny part is that I was probably more bruised after that scene than he was!
“What is your favorite episode that you’ve shot so far? And, last one i promise, Do you think that Eli has a shot at being with chloe? I really hope so because I love the Eli/Chloe pairing ^_^
Thanks btw you are awesome”
EL: My favorite episode of the first half is “Time”. I think it stands out. Everyone brought their best game to the table in that episode and it shows. As far as Eli and Chloe are concerned, you never know where the writers may take the relationship, but I think it’s a stronger choice to not have them get together because once you cross that bridge, there’s no turning back. There’s something enticing about not giving the audience what they want and I think the constant desire to see these two together will keep certain fans tuning in!
Cody writes: “Questions for the extraordinarily lovely Elyse Levesque: 1. What is it like doing the DVD commentaries? (I’ve always been curious about that.)
EL: DVD commentaries are a blast! For one, we get to see the episode, which is always a treat, but it’s nice to be able to share with people all the ins and outs of what it took to make what you’re seeing happen.
“2. Would you like your character to have a more specific role on the ship like how Eli’s become integrated into the science team?”
EL: Definitely, but I think that’s something that will come with time. It wouldn’t make sense for Chloe to all of a sudden be manning a shuttle or sorting out the secrets of the ship’s systems. It wouldn’t be believable. But I imagine that she will slowly but surely find her footing and eventually assume a specific role on the ship.
“3. What do you think of the series’ music? Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions.”
EL: I love a lot of the musical choices for the show, even some of the more contemporary songs. Our composer Joel Goldsmith has done a brilliant job giving the show it’s own sound.
Anais33 a ecrit: “Alors…mes questions à Elyse! 1. Avant de jouer dans SGU aviez vous déjà vu un épisode de la franchise stargate?”
EL: Non, je n’ai jamais regardé d’épisodes. Mais avoir décroché le rôle de Chloe Armstrong, je me suis intéressée à SG-1.
“2. Vous devez vraiment bien vous amusez sur le tournage, qui est le plus comique dans le cast?”
EL: Il y a plusieurs personnes drôles sur le “set”. Mais je pense que Louis Ferraira est le plus comique.
“3. Quel scéne dans sgu a était la plus difficile a jouer? Pourquoi?”
A: Peut-être la scène où mon père meurt. On a tourné cette scène pendant 4 heures, et j’ai pleuré chaque fois, ce qui m’a beaucoup épuisée, mais avec le “fun” que nous avons sur le plateau, ca en vaut toujours la peine.
“4. Je sais que vous parlez bien français pouvez vous dire un petit message aux french fans?”
EL: J’aimerais dire un très grand merci pour votre support et passion pour notre série. Nous ne pourrions rien faire de tout cela sans vous.
Madwelshboy writes: “For Elyse: 1) What’s you favorite season 1 episode and why?:
EL: Time. ‘Cause it’s kind of badass.
“2) What yous favorite Chloe momment or line, so far?”
EL: My favorite line was from Human, when Chloe shows off her archaeological expertise with this neverending line: “Actually, many advanced alien civilizations found in the Milky Way and Pegasus Galaxies lived in what appeared to be primitive stone architecture that concealed extremely powerful technology…”. Try delivering that without passing out. Phew.
“3) Other than Chloe, which character is your favorite?”
EL: I have a thing for Rush.
“4) If you could use one word to discribe each of your fellow cast mate, what word would you use?”
EL: Robert Carlyle: Powerful
Louis Ferraira: Hafrigginlarious
Brian J. Smith: Classic
David Blue: Smarty-pants (I realize that’s technically two words, but I hyphened it to make it one so that I wasn’t cheating. Although I still kind of am. Whatever. Go with it.)
Alaina Huffman: Inspiring
Jamil Walker Smith: Oneofakind
Ming Na: Stunning
Lou Diamond Phillips: Charming
“5) I’m sure a lot of people want to know this, Brian J Smith is he a good kisser?”
EL: Yes, the boy has an exceptional set of lips and he certainly knows how to use them.
Craig writes: “Question for Elyse: If someone really did offer you a chance to go to another planet via a stargate or spaceship would you take it? And if you did go, what would you take with you on the trip (for survival purposes or just as “comfort items”)?”
EL: Oh yeah, I’d be hip to it! And I’d probably take my toothbrush, some deodorant, my slippers……and Chuck Norris.
Tammy Dixon writes: “Questions for Elyse: What is the most physically uncomfortable scene you have had to do in this or any show? Dog, or cat person?”
EL: The scenes in the water tank in Space and Divided were challenging, but a lotta fun. The harder part was having to hold my breathe for the whole sequence. But, I got a free scuba lesson out of it, so worth it!!! And Dogs all the way :).
Logan writes: “Hey Elyse, 1. There has been a lot of criticism directed towards the under-development of female characters on SGU. What’s your take on that?”
EL: I am curious to know what exactly the fans want to see from these female characters. I see very strong, intelligent, beautiful, interesting women being depicted on this show, who are flawed and vulnerable and who are, in my opinion, far more relatable than what we see in a lot of other sci-fi shows.
2. I have high hopes for the development of your character on the show. What are your hopes for character development? So far through the production of Season 2, are they coming to fruition.”
EL: Actually, I feel like where I saw my character going is far different from where the writers have taken her in the Second Season. But they have in fact, given her a storyline far cooler than anything I could have imagined for her! I’m super excited to see how it all unfolds and hope that the events that happen to her lend themselves to giving Chloe a more purposeful place onboard Destiny.
“3. How has the being on SGU changed your life?”
EL: Life itself is the same in many ways, but what’s wonderful now is that I get to go to a job everyday that I love and get to work with such amazing people. It’s a privilege to enjoy what you do and I feel so fortunate to have become a part of the Stargate family.
“What’s your favourite Chloe-moment in S1? Could you describe what was it like to be filmed in a water tank (“Space”)? It sure looked scary.”
EL: It looks a lot scarier than it was. Our Stunt Coordinator “BamBam” also known as James Bamford, made sure I felt comfortable in the tank and took such good care of me, that I had nothing to worry about other than just relaxing and having fun. To be honest the tank was so warm, the only bad part was having to get out of it.
“Chloe is starting to grow on me. I feel for her, because she doesn’t think she’s useful. Is Chloe going to find something to do on the ship?”
EL: I think she’ll keep discovering things about herself and how she can be of more help onboard. It wouldn’t have made sense for her to suddenly be manning a shuttle or solving the ship’s systems. So, yes she feels useless at first but eventually she’ll find her footing.
“How much similarities are between you and the character you play?”
EL: We both have brown hair. We both have blue eyes. And we both like to do yoga. It’s like we were separated at birth. 😉
“You’ve said that your favourite character is Rush. What’s it like working with Robert Carlyle?”
EL: Robert (or Bobby as we all lovingly call him) is a rockstar. He’s about as cool as they come. Super grounded, honest and real, and completely, 100% about the work. He sets a good example for the rest of us to follow and I think he can be attributed to the reason why this show is such a pleasure to work on.
Maggiemayday writes: “For Elyse: I rarely have coherent questions which no one else has asked… so incoherent question time: dark or milk chocolate? Do you think bacon is a food group? Thanks for all your hard work on the show!”
EL: Dark chocolate. And no, I don’t think bacon is a food group. However, I have had chocolate covered bacon…so there’s that.
PBMom writes: “FANTASTIC! ELYSE is in the house: My questions: 1. Did you hurt Robert Carlyle when you mowed him over in Air after Chloe’s father died?”
EL: I think I actually walked away with more bumps and bruises than he did! I’m quite fragile turns out.
“2. In the scene with Chloe’s dad dying, did you draw on any particular life event or is it more acting in the moment. Gosh, that scene just ripped my heart out in sympathy and pain for Chloe. It was so real.”
EL: Thank you very much! It was a tough scene to play, but I got to work a lot of stuff out. I’ve never experienced the loss of a parent, but I have lost other important people in my life, so I definitely drew from that. It’s icky, but you do have to put yourself in that situation, convincing yourself that that really is your father on the other side of the airlock.
“3. Twitter: Blessing or curse or a little bit of both?”
EL: It’s a necessary evil.
“4. Where were you when you heard about season 2 getting picked up?”
EL: I was in my living room and got a phone call from one of our Producers. It was mid December so it was kind of like Christmas came early!
“5. Do you like a particular yoga method over another?”
EL: Am a huge fan of both Bikram’s and Power yoga. Like to balance it out by doing both.
“6. No question, just a thank you for doing so many commentaries. They were fantastic and I hope you loved doing them as much as we have enjoyed them. I have missed the actors of the Stargate franchise doing commentaries for a very long time. I hope we’ll see more during 1.5 and 2.0 and 2.5 and 3.0, etc. And thank you for doing this Q&A. I was just telling Sherry (Brian’s mom) the other day that there is no other TV show where the stars of the show (so many of them, too) are so accessible, gracious and generous to the fans. You rock.”
EL: Wow! Thank you so much for all of that. We know how lucky we are to have such a dedicated fanbase! We appreciate you guys and love to be able to share our passion for this show with you. Cheers!
Craseder writes: “To Elyse: What’s it like working with Brian when your characters are in such a close relationship? Do you ever have really akward moments off-camera?”
EL: Brian and I get along great on and off the set. We’re pretty fortunate that everyone in this cast is just so darn neat that all we ever want to do is hang out together! It only gets awkward when somebody farts. Kidding. Farts on our set our practically mandatory. A right of passage, if you will…
Ytimynona writes: “Questions for Elyse Levesque: 1) Have you ever seen the Jolly Roger on Regina’s mighty shores? 2) On Wikipedia it says you traveled the world modeling between high school and being a full time actress. Can you share with us any awesome world travel experiences/stories? 3) You deliver some lines/beats that could be taken as either serious or comedy in a very subtly comedic fashion, which makes them that much more hilarious. Do you have a background or training in comedy?”
EL: 1) I have not been so fortunate to see the Jolly Roger on Regina’s mighty shores. I have, however, heard that song one time too many.
2) I saw Giorgio Armani walking down a beach in St. Tropez wearing just a speedo and a gold chain that went nicely with his white chest hair.
3) If I ever say or do anything funny, it’s completely by accident. Honestly, I have so much respect for comedic actors because I think it’s one of the hardest skills to develop.
Simon writes: “These are questions for Elyse (hope there not too late!) 1) I’ve heard you had quite a lot to do in the episode Space (UKer here ) was that, in your opinion as an Actress the most fun you’ve had on the set so far?”
EL: Speaking of “Space”, that was one of my favorite episodes to shoot. I felt like an badass action hero getting to do all my own stunts in the tank. I think it’s always fun getting to do that kind of stuff, because it’s not an everyday occurrence. I mean, how often do you get to wear pleather while being submerged underwater because a bunch of scary aliens have kidnapped you and are about to probe your mind…? Am I right?!
“2) I honestly do not see all these comments about your character, how do you take the comments from the fandom?”
EL: It is what it is. I try to look at it from the perspective of, “I don’t like every character on every TV show I see out there, so why should I expect everyone to like my character?”.
“3) Who’s been the most fun to do scenes with on SGU so far?”
EL: I don’t get to work with Louis Ferraira that often, but whenever I do it’s always a memorable experience. He gets me laughing during setups and sometimes even in the middle of a take. A regular prankster that one!
Major D. Davis writes: “1. Do you think Chloe has any feelings for Eli? They seem to be great friends, but i feel like there’s potential for more. I think Eli was right in Time, when he was saying he thought they “Made each other happy when they’re together”. I mean, it seems like Chloe is happier around Eli. Do you think your character feels for Eli in a romantic way?”
EL: I think Chloe genuinely loves Eli, but in a purely platonic way. I think from the start she saw him as the best friend she never had, but always wanted. She knows that his feeling go beyond friendship, but overlooks it for selfish reasons of wanting him to still be a part of her life. I think the last thing she intends to do is hurt him, but that’s just what happens when feelings get in the mix. Who knows where things may lead and one day she might wake up and decide that she’s ready to love him, and it might be too late. I think it’s stronger for the time being that these characters don’t entertain a romantic relationship, but for the possibility of that occurrence to always be there.
“2. What is your favorite prank that has been pulled on an SGU set?”
EL: Louis Ferraira and his infamous fart machine and the endless number of pranks he has pulled with that darn thing.
“3. What SGU character do you admire most and why?”
EL: Rush. He’s so dislikable and yet completely intriguing. You’re almost rooting for him even though you know he’s a selfish little “bleep”.
“4. Do you think the relationship between Matt and Chloe has to do more with the emotional bond or the physical bond? (Or as Lisa Park would put it, the “Reading” bond).”
EL: I think initially it was a physical bond, intensified by the circumstances, but the relationship has taken a more serious turn, which I think is a first for both of these characters. They’ve been through so much together that you can’t help but build an emotional attachment to one another. Will it stand the test of time? We shall see.
Chevron7 writes: “Questions for Elyse: 1. Do you get nervous at auditions? What was your audition for the role of Chloe like?”
EL: Do I ever. Sometimes I work myself up so much I feel like I might faint. But once I’m in the room I usually am able to focus and channel all that nervous energy into the work. My audition for Chloe was a bit of a process. I put it on tape first, here in Vancouver, then flew down to LA for my screen test. Was very nervous, mostly of the unknown as I’d never tested before, but when I walked into the room there were so many happy faces looking back at me that I felt immediately at ease. Before I knew it, it was all over and then came the long, tedious process of waiting to hear back. That’s probably the worst part.
“3. Will we see Chloe play more of a liaison role in dealing with aliens in upcoming episodes? Is this where she finds her purpose on the Destiny?”
EL: We might see some repercussions from her run-in with the aliens. Who knows what sort of effect this will have on her, and Rush for that matter. But it could set up some interesting plot points further on down the line.
“4. Although horrible do you think being trapped on Destiny was actually a good thing to happen to Chloe in the grand scheme of things? The way I see it if she stayed on Earth she most likely would have married the boyfriend who would likely have cheated on her the whole time and she would work for her father until he retired and never actually found herself.”
EL: I believe everything happens for a reason. I think it was her destiny (pun intended) to end up onboard that ship.
“5. Are you a cat or dog person?”
“6. Do you find emotional or action scenes more challenging? How do you prepare for each?”
EL: Emotional scenes probably. But to be honest, I find comedic scenes to be even more difficult. Being funny isn’t as easy as Tina Fey makes it look.
“7. What sort of films do you like to watch?”
EL: I’m a softy for any epic love story.
“8. What’s your favourite thing about Vancouver?”
EL: The ocean.
Kabra writes: “Hi Elyse – I made up one of those get to know you quizzes, not to worry it’s real short, I know you have a lot of other questions to answer and are really busy, by the way thanks for taking the time to do this, we fans really appreciate it. ok here it goes. Chocolate or vanilla? Diamonds or pearls? Beer or wine? Reggae or jazz? Beach or mountains? Foie gras croquettes or banana split? Rodney McKay or Joe Mallozzi?”
EL: Chocolate all the way. Diamond encrusted pearls ;). Vino. Reggae. Beach. Banana Split. For the sake of keeping my job, Joe.
Craseder writes: “One more for Elyse: Is it LEV-esk, or lev-es-KAY?”
EL: Haha. Question of my life. It’s pronounced Le-veck. The “s” and “ue” are silent.
Otros Ojos writes: “Thanks for doing this Q&A, and also for your contributions to the DVD special features. I’ve enjoyed them a lot. Questions: (1) For purposes of really getting into a role, do you like to imagine as much backstory for a character as you can, even if you don’t yet know a lot about what the creators have in mind for the character? Or, would that get in the way of spontaneity when you get your script and react to whatever has been written for your character?”
EL: I think creating a full, vivid backstory for your character is crucial. It feeds you information as to how your character would react to a certain situation, even how they get themselves ready in the morning or how they carry themselves. Of course the tricky thing with television is that you can discover something about your character’s past further down the line which would’ve been useful to know at the beginning, but you kind of just have to roll with it.
“(2) During breaks on set, is there something especially fun you like to do to decompress?”
EL: Crank up the music in Robert Carlyle’s trailer and have a dance-a-thon!
“(3) Do you have a favorite film genre?”
EL: I’m a sucker for a really good love story. Give me an epic romance set against a beautiful backdrop and I’ll buy a ticket.
Duneknight writes: “Questions for Elyse (chloe): Do you play video games? And if you do what kind? - who do you like more, the military or the scientists?”
EL: I used to be more into video games when I was younger, but just the classics like Mario Brothers or Duck Hunt. I am, however, digging Rockband, which I must give props to David Blue for introducing me to. I slap some serious bass. As far as the military and scientists are concerned, I don’t think I have a favorite. Both are equally as important and valuable to the survival and maintenance of order among the Destiny’s crew.