Chicago 2009: Chicago Loves Amanda!


P1040430Hello WormholeRiders!

Well here it is, at long last! Amanda Tapping from the Creation Entertainment Chicago Stargate 2009 Convention! I’ve got to say that never have I been so happy to know short hand! It helped a great deal in getting all of the details. It’s not 100% accurate but it’s as close as I could get it!

Amanda is…well, Amanda is AMANDA! She’s sweet and funny, smart and so genuinely appreciative of her fans. She loves the fans just as much as the fans love her and it shows!

Amanda’s panel began with a music video for Samantha Carter to I Can Hear the Bells from the musical Hairspray. Amanda began by going over what was going on in her life currently. Sanctuary had just finished filming Season 2 and she was settling back into her daily routine with her husband Alan and her daughter Olivia. Amanda wasted no time and threw it open to questions!

Did you have an interest in astrophysics before SG-1?

“I was interested in astronomy before but never really astrophysics until I played Sam Carter. The more research I did the more interested I was in the subject. I get asked science questions and…it’s a show. I could not save the world from a black hole right now. I don’t know if you’ve heard this story before but someone came up to me at a convention and said “so, what’s a naked singularity?” I didn’t answer the way I wanted which was “Sam Carter on a Saturday night.” (crowd SCREAMS, Amanda looks cheeky). (In an English accent) Not quite scientific but funny!

“I met a real astrophysicist who was very challenging and was like ‘you know what you did in that one episode…’ I don’t know what you’re talking about…but he was very smart and he taught me a lot.”

P1040434If you could have a “squee” fangirl moment, who would you have a squee fangirl moment for?

“Carol Burnett and a British comedian named Dawn French…and Jennifer Saunders. I could go on. Carol Burnett was really the first person I saw on television that I just went ‘Oh my God she’s amazing!’ I just got tickets to see her do a live show in Vancouver. Those of you who don’t know who she is (scoffs). She’s only one of your country’s greatest assets! That would be my squee fangirl moment. I think if I met Meryl Streep I’d just pass out. I don’t think I’d actually get a full squee out because I’d run out of breath.

“What actually inspires me? This is going to sound really disingenuous and I don’t mean it to, but you guys. Seriously. I know it sounds hookie as hell. When I made the leap from Stargate to Sanctuary and I made this leap not knowing that Sanctuary was picked up as a television series…it was the fan support that helped make it easier for me. And when I started Sanctuary and it went on television and fans were writing me and telling me that they supported me…Holy moly! It’s what Martin (Wood), Damian (Kindler) and I talk about that if it weren’t for the fans…you’re the reason we’re here. You keep us going. Someone asked me in the photo line if I was tired and no, because I’m getting all this great energy from you guys. You should be exhausted!!!”

A fan came up and asked Amanda if she got the shawl and baby bib that she had made and sent her. Amanda knew right away what she was talking about and thanked her profusely! What method do you use when acting?

“I don’t know that I have a method. I studied Uta Hagen, read her book ‘Respect for Acting.’ I did a lot of character study work in University and voice work which I think is really important. Once you do a television series stamina is key. I remember the end of the first season of Stargate, Michael, Christopher and I were all sick. We were just wiped out. By the end of Season 2 we were exhausted. By the end of Season 3 we had a few more weeks left in us. It took a while to build up that stamina. I’m watching these young punks on Sanctuary who are like ‘Ugh Episode 10 I’m so exhausted!’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, get over it! Get back on set! (cracks whip)’ You see you get a whip when you become executive producer. I didn’t know that! It’s so awesome!

P1040407 “My advice to you is to pursue it. I will never tell anyone, ‘don’t do it. It’s too hard.’ That’s what I was told. Do it. If it’s your passion go for it. Take all the classes you can take but go for it. The journey is way better than the result.”

Who’s a better kisser, Richard Dean Anderson or Mitch Pileggi?

“Rick and I…our kisses are like wine. We age well. Mitch and I was just this sort of raw passion…I hadn’t seen Mitch since we shot the X-Files and then he was on the set of Atlantis when I was shooting. I ran over to the stage on a quick break and he was sitting in his chair on the ship and he was like, ‘hey last time I saw you, you were naked!’ The whole crew did a double take.”

Can you tell us about interacting with David Hewlett on set?

“When we worked together on Stargate we had this really snarky fun vibe between us. The most fun we had was on the Atlantis set with Jewel Staite filming ‘Trio.’ (“The musical!” the fan shouted) Why are you asking? You know everything! Kidding!! Anyway, we decided that years from now when we’re all out of work and broke we could go to Port Coquitlam and perform at the Port Coquitlam dinner theater. I don’t know if Port Coquitlam has a dinner theater but they will have one! So we came up with this musical as we were shooting ‘Trio’ which was quite hellish to shoot because we were on this gimbaled set and we were all dirty. We came up with Stargate Atlantis the musical. I don’t even remember. The only thing I can tell you is that David came up with this song about the Wrath and did this little dance with it. (Amanda proceeds to demonstrate). It became so bad that between every take we’d go, “the Wrath! The Wrath! The Wrath!” He’s very funny…and a good singer!”

Amanda describes Chris's prank in UnendingThe next question was about pranks and Chris Judge. I don’t remember the exact question but I’m sure you can imagine what it was!

“Oh Christopher!!! Christopher! We were shooting the final episode and we decided…well, Chris and I decided that Teal’c and Carter had developed a deeper friendship and we were playing these very subtle moments between us that you could take or leave. He is waiting outside the room when General Landry dies.  Beau breathes his last breath and I’m balling my eyes out. I go to the door and the door opens and there’s Teal’c and we have this really lovely hug. So we rehearse and everything is great. But unbeknownst to me, we’re filming the scene and I’m sobbing because General Landry’s dead and I get up and I go to the door and Chris has these tear-away track pants on and he whips them off! He got wardrobe to make him this little thong g-string type thing with the SG-1 logo on it! And I’m just emoting my little heart out because General Landry just died….(mimes opening the door and screaming). You could almost hear him giggling behind the door waiting for it to open. It was great…Chris is very buff. It wasn’t entirely unpleasant. It was shocking.”

The question was regarding the relationship between Cam and Sam.

“There wasn’t really a backstory that was developed. We [she and Ben Browder] had decided that they had trained together as pilots and they crossed paths a lot prior to joining Stargate Command and since joining Sam didn’t see a lot of him. They didn’t write a backstory. Ben and I just sort of created one…as you do.”

P1040632The questioner said Sam Carter’s famous line about her reproductive organs being on the inside, to which Amanda repeated the line in a lighthearted mocking tone. The questioner was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve and thanked Amanda for portraying strong female characters. Amanda thanked her back!

“I don’t know any woman who would talk like that. It just seemed shrill and kind of dumb. And it was the pilot! There was this threat hanging over all of us that we could be replaced after the pilot. We were told there was no guarantee that we wouldn’t be replaced after we shot this two hour amazing pilot. I’m sure they just said that to scare us…and it worked! In our contract it was like we were contracted for the pilot and it was their option whether or not they picked us up afterwards so we were all on our best behavior. So when I read that line I just didn’t know who I could talk to about that so I just said the line and was like (swallows hard). You might even catch me on camera a little bit! Moving on!”

Did you find the emotional scenes really hard to get through?

“A lot of the emotional crying scenes were really hard to get through. The first one being in Singularity when she leaves Cassandra in the basement.  It was the first time I ever really cried in front of the crew or was ever really able to go crazy so that was scary. I thought I was really there and Mario Azzopardi was directing the episode and he would come up to me and go, ‘(in an approximation of Mario’s accent) come on Amanda! You have left this child down there! You are evil horrible woman! Come on! You are terrible human being! And ACTION!’

“Instead of getting verclempted and sad I was ready to punch Mario! Finally I turned to him and I think with quite a lot of venom and screamed at him. He answered, ‘(in Mario’s accent again) ah! She’s ready to shoot! Let’s go!’ So I remember that as being somewhat difficult.

P1040405“The scene in ‘Point of View’ where I cried was also really difficult. I cried for like 5 hours and Rick [RDA] finally turned to me and said, ‘please stop crying! You’re killing me! Stop CRYING!’ But yeah, scenes like that are hard.

“It’s always fun when you get to play the dark side, the duality of the characters. So I really enjoyed the Replicator episodes. It was hard work and just rhythm wise we would tape my dialog so I would be playing against my own voice so the rhythm would be right. No body is black and white. We’re all a million shades of gray but obviously we lean to one side or the other so when we get to flip back and forth and play the other side it’s cool. I never get to be nasty Carter. So when I did, I reveled!”

What is it like being a sex symbol for science fiction fans? Don’t you have to have guards wherever you go?

Amanda blushed and looked horrified for a moment, obviously not believing it to be true.

“I think if I ever took myself that seriously then someone should come and kick my a**. Thank you for that. In Vancouver where we shoot it’s a lot different than being in LA. People are really respectful. Occasionally I’ll be out shopping with Olivia and getting our groceries and people will come up and say ‘hi’ or ask for an autograph but it’s always really polite. I’m really gobsmacked when that happens. I’m thrilled, excited!”

Next was a question regarding David DeLuise, brother of Peter DeLuise.

“Peter had been pushing David as a possibility but we were shooting  Death Knell and I was on set in this dusty area and I think Rob Cooper who called me and I think said, ‘so we’re looking at David DeLuise. What do you think?’ I was like, ‘um…ok.’ I didn’t know that much about him. I knew he was Peter’s brother. He was wonderful. It was funny because Peter was on set the first day that David and I shot together and he wasn’t directing the episode but he was really watching David closely. Between takes he’d walk up to David and was whispering to him then would apologize to the director then walk away. I think it stood me well with Peter that I was making out with his brother but I didn’t do it on purpose!”

The question was how was it different working with Ben Browder then Richard Dean Anderson?

“Ben is so cute and charming, such a professional. He’s so prepared and into the process. Some of my favorite moments were with Ben up in the Arctic. I’ll never ever forget it but Rick is….Rick is Rick. P1040396There’s nobody on this planet like Richard Dean Anderson.  So I just feel really blessed that I got to hang out with him as much as I did on set every day cause he’s such a goof! He’s really really smart, really articulate and insanely goofy. It’s like chalk and cheese, they’re completely different.”

Who would win in a fight, Carter or Magnus?

“Hand to hand…Carter. Stiletto to army boot…Magnus. Cause one of those shoes could just take an eye out. Magnus is really good with weapons and because she’s seen technology evolve in her lifetime she has an innate understanding of how everything works. I have to say that Carter would win. Carter would kick a**.

“Carter take her down!  I’m getting too excited by the prospect of the two of them fighting!”

The fan asked her about her experience on SyFy’s Ghost Hunters where she filmed the live Halloween episode.

“It was spur of the moment that they asked me to do it. I had met Jay and Grant a few times so when they asked me to do the live P1040558show I was excited. I had no idea what to expect. We were on a fort in Delaware on this island. You had to take a bus from where we were staying then a ferry and it was really cold. We were on this island and it’s hard to imagine how hard it is to coordinate a live show in the middle of no where. There were all these buses with technology in them and I was sent off with these different groups. We had a tour the day before of the fort so we kind of knew what to expect in terms of the physical nature of the fort because it would be dark when we were going through it. But when we were down in the tunnel I’ve never been so scared!

“I went home to the hotel afterwards and called my husband in the middle of the night whimpering! It was a cool experience…freaky.”

At this point a fan announced that Amanda’s birthday was six days away and everyone sang to her! It was very sweet and touching. I think Amanda was thoroughly embarrassed and appreciative!

What have you learned as an executive producer?

“I learned that I know a lot more about the industry than I realized! There’s a certain osmosis that happens when you’ve been on a show for ten years. There was a learning curve in terms of being a producer but a lot of it came very naturally which I think is just a byproduct of being on a show for so long. I learned that I’m a very good decision maker and I’m a good people person! I realized that this whole other aspect of it I love. Someone said to me the other day if I would ever give up acting. I realize doing Sanctuary that there’s absolutely no way. It’s nice to have another avenue. Oh yeah, I learned that I’m stronger than I thought I was.”

Was there anything that took a while to adjust to doing behind the scenes work for Sanctuary?

P1040539“Behind the scenes is a tricky place because there’s so much going on and everyone is important. Everyone’s job is important to them but not necessarily important to the person beside them. It’s a lot of juggling personalities and information. The one thing that Martin, Damian and I set out to do with Sanctuary was that there’s often a hierarchy of us and them, the above the line and the below the line; we just decided that we didn’t want there to be an ‘us’ and ‘them.’ We wanted there to be a ‘we.’ It’s not new to the industry but a lot of our crew says that they’ve never been treated like this on a show and it’s new to them. There’s a way to change the paradigm in the way you make television and the way you treat people. That’s what we set up to do and it’s worked.”

Did you feel any pressure about Carter being a role model for young women?

“There was something that happened before the pilot with my wardrobe that I stood up for because I didn’t want to be a sexy kitten in space. I thought the other elements of the character were more important than what she looked like. Over time the more letters I got from people, amazing letters, I definitely felt very protective of that aspect of the character. Once we got through the first season I didn’t feel at all worried about going up to the producers and saying what I felt in terms of protecting the female character. So I feel a lot of pride.”

Unknown Question

P1040497“Repli-Carter was a little hard because the crew thought I was a little scary. It was all about the physicality. Repli-Carter has a different way of setting her jaw for example. I never felt like I was slipping into Sam. Geeky Carter however…(laughs) We had way too much fun. Michael and I went way over the top with it. We just geeked out and had way too much fun doing it. I was pregnant with Olivia and it was perfect because I was wearing all of these big sweaters. I was already in sort of a weird hormonal state so I wasn’t self conscious in front of the crew because I didn’t know who I was at the time. I was like a big ball of hormones and geeky felt good…it still does!”

Practical jokes on set?

“Christopher was the king of the physical practical joke. I’m sure you’ve heard all the time that he’d duct tape people to the chairs in the briefing room. He got Teryl once really good. She’s so tiny and cute and he’s so big he just put a finger on her and duct taped her to the chair…and then did the same thing to me. He was always the guy doing that sort of thing.

“We would always make each other laugh off camera all the time, pull stupid faces and stuff like that. Chris was good at mooning people during their close-up. You were supposed to be having this serious moment looking at Teal’c and he’d just turn his back on you and drop his pants. Chris had a thing about showing me his body. I don’t know what that’s about! I’ve never picked up on it until just now!

“Teryl and I flashed Rick once…off camera, but we flashed him and he did not even break! We were so totally disappointed!

“I’ve told this before and I’m sure a lot of you have probably heard about Chris’…gas. He’s quite flatulent. Once he was in the full space suit and we heard it. It sounded like fabric ripping. We all just looked. We were not affected by it, the whole crew! We just kind of watched Chris go green. We were like, “dude, that is karma!”

IMG_3250“There was another time where he was strapped to a bed and again he did his…thing. We banned Raisin Bran from the morning truck and we banned beans from lunch. He was strapped to this bed and everyone literally just dropped everything, it was close to lunch, and just walked off set! We left him there stewing in his own juices. Ah, fond memories!”

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

“For a while there an environmental scientist but I always knew I wanted to be an actor. When I finished high school I won the environmental science award and the drama award, at the time I was doing a professional play in Toronto. It was one of those situations where my dad said he had heard about this audition and was going to take me; my dad who was totally against me being an actor. It was for The Lion in Winter. I was very excited and I went. He was going to teach me a lesson about how hard this industry is and rejection. He took me and it was this really scary audition. I did the audition and left. He was sitting in this little donut shop outside the theater waiting for me and he said, “So Sam…” He calls me Sam. I don’t know if you know that, but my whole life he’s called me “Sam.”

DAD: “So Sam how’d it go?”

AMANDA: “I don’t know Dad. I feel ok about it. I think it went pretty good.”

DAD: “It’s ok. You’ll keep trying. This is what the industry is. You get rejected.”

“Two days later I got the call that I got the part. I screamed!

DAD: “That’s great Love! Good on ya Sam!”

Amanda_does_the_muffin_commercial“It totally backfired! He blames himself entirely for my career. It was after that I knew this was what I wanted to do. I auditioned for theater school and the rest, as they say, is history.

“Although I vowed I would never do television. I was a total theater snob. I graduated and stated I would never do television. Then I got an agent and I got a commercial audition for Tim Horton’s donuts for their oat bran muffins. ‘Real oat bran! Uh huh!’ I realized I could pay my rent and pay for the rehearsal space for my comedy troupe. Television was nice! I just progressed from there. I couldn’t be happier with the way it went. I never set out to be on TV. I never thought I’d do sci-fi. It’s just been amazing. I think that everything that happens, happens for a reason. I feel really blessed.”

Was it hard going from Sam Carter to Helen Magnus?

“Helen is a hard character to wrap your head around. First starting with the accent because she is very much Victorian era England but she’s lived around the world and she’s 157 years old. So as much as she clings to the British-isms and especially Victorian era England which is very specific and amazing time in our history and has a very specific way of speaking. It’s also tempered by her travels around the world. The accent first was the hardest thing. People complain that it wasn’t British enough or it’s too British but it’s because she’s lived EVERYWHERE. My dad left England a long time ago and was in California and all of a sudden his accent has changed.

“Wrapping my head around the fact that she gave birth to a child that she knew in all probability she would out live is another choice that I can’t even fathom; especially as a mom. I just give myself over to the eccentricity of her.”

Are there any pranks on the Sanctuary set?

“Robin Dunne likes to drop his pants and show people his bum. He says that to the crew, ‘Would you like to see my a**?’ Now the crew is just over it. Robin’s big thing though is that he breaks into song like all the time. Mid-scene he’ll break into song. Now there are times when Robin and I have to look at each other’s foreheads when we’re doing a scene because we break too easily. The same thing used to happen with Michael and Chris and I, where we couldn’t look at each other because we’d just start laughing. So we’d have to look at each other’s earlobes. You felt stupid.

“We haven’t really done any crazy practical jokes yet. Big Foot will often come flying around the corner and scare the crap out of crew members. (Goes into a British accent) But that’s his way. He’s like that. We haven’t really done any…but it’s got me a thinkin’!”

What was the transition from SG-1 to Atlantis like?

“Everyone was really nice but it wasn’t the same. It took me a while to get adjusted. And their stairs are scary! For me who has two left feet if I’m lucky they scared the crap out of me! They’d tell me that Carter comes running down the stairs and I’d be like “no, no…” Carter will come falling down the stairs or Carter will shuffle down the stairs.

“But it was a soft landing going from SG-1 to Atlantis. I will say that… I just wanted to slide in and become part of the team, not change the dynamic.”

P1040370Were you upset that you didn’t get to play Dorothy in the 200th episode?

“Yes! It sounds so stupid now but we wove the Wizard of Oz mythology into the entire series and there were all these little Wizard of Oz-isms that have gone through the show. I was always Dorothy. Then when the 200th script came out and I wasn’t Dorothy I was really upset! I went up to Brad and I was like, ‘seriously? I’m not Dorothy! Why am I not Dorothy? I’ve always been Dorothy!’ But I got to be Glinda the good witch of the North which is really great (sarcasm). It was a very pretty costume and a nice wig.

“The wedding was fun! The wedding was weird! Rick and I were nervous! You know walking up and he gave me this really panicked look and I was like, ‘we’re not REALLY getting married!’ Then he started to make some snarky joke to Michael and I was like ‘dude, this is our wedding!’ It was funny. It was kind of weird! We had to keep saying it wasn’t real. After all this time it felt real!

AMANDA: (To RDA) “Don’t make fun of it! Stand up straight! My mother’s here!”

“He made fun of me. It was weird.”

We all know how much you prepared yourself for the role of Helen Magnus…how do you think it was that they froze her embryo?

“Helen’s father was also on the forefront of science as a doctor. So there was technology that was being developed by him. The conceit is that a lot of this technology was already being developed. It wasn’t necessarily functional for the use in society but it was good enough to freeze my embryo eh!”

How hard was it to play Sam on Atlantis, not getting to go through the Gate?

“Do you have any idea how hard it was to play Sam and not get to go through the Gate? For Sam would be difficult but for Amanda…I remember sitting there and giving the order for the Atlantis team to go through the Gate and I was literally turning to the crew and going, ‘this totally sucks!’ Have a good mission! Ah lets go push some paper. I had a goofy pen shaped like a gun so it made me feel better. It was hard, very hard. As the actor playing the character it was hard having her take such a backseat. There was a middle ground that we missed in trying not to make Sam this sort of suppressive leader of the team and not having her take over. My sensibility and Sam’s sensibility for the team was to come in and integrate with the team and show appreciation for what they do. I think we went too far though and made Sam a bit of a lame duck at time. That’s my humble personal opinion. I just think that maybe if I’d stayed for Season 5 we could have brought smart, spunky, confrontational Sam back. It would have been nice to see more confrontation between her and McKay for example. But she has to respect that he’s the scientist on the base and she doesn’t want to call him out in front of the others. Personally I wish there was more.”

P1040388In the episode ‘Meridian’ where Daniel dies and ascends, has it ever happened to you when a character dies so many times that the tears are eventually real?

“Absolutely, yeah because Michael was leaving. It was really hard. We were all like, ‘this is it.’ We didn’t know he’d be coming back! So it was really emotional. I remember looking at Teryl and Chris and just being like, ‘oh my God! Really? Come on! Change your mind!’ But then he came back and it was good. It was real, very real and it took a long time to calm down after shooting that scene.

“Michael! Pulls at your heart strings! Loves you, leaves you, comes back! Toys with you!”

Who was your favorite director to work with?

“Martin (Wood) is obviously the one I’m most comfortable with. Peter had his own way of doing things. You knew it was going to be a really fun ride with Peter. I love working with Andy Mikita and Will Wearing the same thing. Will is really one of the best cameramen I’ve ever worked with then he started directing so you knew it was going to be a cool visual episode. I guess really the only person I only ever had an issue with in the mildest way was Mario. You could talk it out with him.

MARIO: “Amanda! Talk to me! What is the problem?”

AMANDA: “You’re bugging me Mario.”

MARIO: “Ok! I won’t do that anymore!”

“Like I said, he’s easy to talk to. I think probably in terms of comfort it was Martin. He was the director that I shadowed on other shows when I was getting ready to direct. He’s probably the one I related to the best but I loved working with all of them.”

What was your favorite technology and favorite episode?P1040592

“I never liked the zats! I thought they looked like…well, you know. They freaked me out. Whenever I shot the gun I was like, ‘ahhhh!’ I did develop a strange little zen with my P-90. So favorite technology…favorite episode!

“‘Heroes’ is probably still my favorite. The performances from everyone were amazing. It was such an amazing emotional episode. There was so much story to tell that a one part episode became a two part episode. When I look at it I’m really really proud of it.”

What’s it like being considered the Queen of Sci-Fi?

“I prefer Grand Empress. Yeah when I heard that I was…I’m flattered and freaked out by it. I look at the great sci-fi actresses and I can’t believe I’m one of them. I mean Jeri Ryan, Nichelle Nichols, Buffy…me? What? Xena…me? So to be deemed the queen I was very flattered and a little freaked out. But like I said, I prefer Grand Empress.”

What have you learned most from Sanctuary?

“Season 1 was really hard for Martin, Damian and I as executive producers because we’d never done it before. There was a huge learning curve. I don’t think I handled Season 1 as well because I was still getting to know Helen. I was still trying to find comfort in her skin and find comfort in people coming up to me and saying, ‘hey Boss Lady, so can I da da da da da?’ It was a weird transition for me. Season 2 I think you develop a certain confidence that it’s ok to screw up. You have to allow yourself mistakes because you will make them. It’s ok not to know the answer. I don’t know the answer so I’ll go to the person who knows the answer and not be afraid to ask. I think the thing that kills a lot of people is that they try to be perfect and look like they know what they’re doing and that’s when the mistakes are made. I’m not afraid to make mistakes and I’m not afraid to ask questions.”

Has there ever been scene cut that you wish wasn’t?

“I don’t think there’s ever been a scene socio-politically that has been cut out. There were some arguments that I wish we would have taken further in the writing. Like actually nail what we’re trying to say and not be afraid of being political. There’s individual scenes that get cut, like these little intimate scenes between the characters that get cut in order to tell the story. It’s happened to all of us.”

IMG_3318The question was about the Mary Poppins zinger that Cam threw out at Carter in ‘Off The Grid’ and whether or not the line was scripted.

“That was Ben. He was all nice and sweet, quiet Midwestern boy. Then BAM (throws a punch)! Carter would have hit him. Amanda would have hit him!”

What was the most memorable scene you’ve ever filmed?

“I’d have to say, just for the emotion of it, going through the Gate the very last time. I mean for the first and last time. You never forget your first time! I’ll never forget seeing the Stargate for the very first time. We’d just been cast, maybe to a wardrobe fitting and a cast read through and we snuck into the set and crawled around the studio and checked things out. We got into the control room and saw the Stargate for the very first time and it was like, ‘wow! We are on a really cool show!’ I’ll never forget that moment and I’ll never forget the very last.

“Rob Cooper was very smart when he directed the episode. He decided that the very last shot on the very last day would be the team going through the Gate because he knew the significance for all of us and how emotional it would be. The entire crew and the support crew and the office crew at two in the morning, but everyone was there to watch us go through the Gate. To me it was just so poignant. Then after that Christopher, Michael and I went up to the briefing room and we just stood there with our arms around each other looking down at the Gate and crying going, ‘wow! Wow! Ten years! Wow! Ok, see you later!’ I will never forget that. You realize that you’ve spent a whole decade of your life making this show. We all grew up and became real adults on that show. From being goofy trying to be adults to being parents and whatnot. It’s a big deal.”

Now here are the notes I have left over, not fully quotable:

Who were your favorite characters to interact with?

Amanda answered that although they weren’t a part of the core cast, she loved working with Teryl Rothery’s Janet Fraiser and Carmen Arganziano’s Jacob Carter. They are “the characters that really formed Sam.”

What was your favorite culture?

Amanda said the Nox were her favorite, but the Asgard are a close second.

What is the difference between the Gabit conventions you do in the UK and the ones you do here?

Amanda said her Gabit convention is smaller and all the money goes to charity. They are really fun, and there’s just one guest. “It’s just me!”

At one point while talking about Sanctuary, Amanda mentioned that they have been trying to get David Hewlett to come back. He had played an important role in the original webisodes that, after plot changes were made, became unnecessary. Presumably if David does come back it would be in a different capacity.

There you have it folks! I hope you enjoyed our report on Amanda’s panel as much as we enjoyed watching it live!

Later Gators!


11 thoughts on “Chicago 2009: Chicago Loves Amanda!

  1. Thanks so much for the great report! I love to read other folks reports as I never can remember all that happens so it is lovely to be reminded. (I didn’t go to Chicago so I enjoyed this all the more.) Thanks again!

  2. ChopinGal and Pol, Thank you! It was my pleasure!

    ChopinGal, I couldn’t have said it any better myself! Amanda is definitely a rare gem! Her reaction to Carol Burnett sounds priceless!

  3. Wonderful report! Thanks so much for the transcription. At her fourth GABIT con, Amanda shared her excitement about finally seeing her idol, Carol Burnett, onstage (“great legs”) but was too awestruck to even ask a question even though her mum was prodding her to do so! Amanda is a breath of fresh air in what can often be an egocentric business. Her accessibility to her fans and self-deprecating humor make us love her all the more.

  4. Thank you everyone! Your feedback is much appreciated! I owe a lot to PlayItGrand and WR_Systems for all of their help and guidence with this post.

    Thanks again everyone!

  5. Thank you for taking the time to write this all down, it’s always a pleasure to read what Amanda has on her mind.

    Great work! 😀

  6. Hi Jill!

    Thanks! It was tricky. Luckily I had my friend White Rabite with me taking photos while I took notes. We were actually in the back forty as well (general admission)! I rather liked the seats back there personally. It helps to have a camera with a super zoom lens too! lol

  7. Hey Jill, or should I say “MSF” lol… TY for the comment. We know what you mean! We have to juggle both transcribing and pictures. We try to have at least 2 reporters at each event so that one can take pictures while the other takes notes. At LA SG Con we had a camera failure and I was forced to crawl around as much as possible to get some decent pictures (and run between two Cons, Stargate and Farscape). It was wild (but fun!) See you on Twitter! 🙂

  8. Thanks – you did a good job. I either can write everything down or I can take photos. I opt for the photos now that I have a good camera – though at that con I was in the back forty general admission section.

  9. Thanks so much for this! I was so excited to see her and try to remember everything, that I didn’t remember much of what she said at all! Thanks!

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