WE ALL KNOW SAMANTHA CARTER OF STARGATE BUT DO WE REALLY KNOW AMANDA TAPPING? STRANGE QUESTIONS ABOUND FOR THE WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN IN MORE SCI FI THAN ANY OTHER.
The phenomenal success of Stargate:SG1
is due to many things. Good writing, good casting and sensible networks backing Sci Fi in prime time. Also - good casting. Amanda Tapping has played the character of Samantha Carter since the pilot, and now continues the role after 10 seasons of SG:1 with a full season of Atlantis.
Her warm personality and heartfelt geekiness shines through the role, and this has made her a firm fan favourite. Convention appearances by Tapping are traditionally barnstormers. With her first full season on Stargate:Atlantis
looming, we had a cosy chat with the very real woman behind the very bright scientist.
SF:The daily grind on a fully fledged Sci Fi show tends to be really long days and months of nothing but work. Do you find yourself dropping out of reality when you work so hard on the Stargate set?
AT:My daughter is my reality check. My husband jokes with me at the beginning of each season – ‘okay then, see you in October!’ Not entirely untrue.
SF: You really have become Mrs Stargate, doing more episodes now than Richard Dean Anderson. More Sci Fi episodes than anyone, ever.
AT: This is the 11th year I’ve been doing it. I know, it’s really sad, I’ve become the Kelsey Grammer of Sci Fi. But being on Atlantis feels like Samantha Carter is a whole new character. It’s a whole new set of relationships. So you really feel like it’s a new start.
SF: Is there any point in time that you actually understand the technobabble that you speak?
AT: Sadly, yes. I cannot save the world from an asteroid or black hole, but in theory, I can. I study it, I really do. In the first fives season, I studied everything. I actually got into it. I would break it down into laymen’s turns and draw pictures and explain it to my husband.
SF: So you’re one of the few people who’ve actually read A Brief History of Time?
AT: Over and over again! You should see my copy! It’s so full of bookmarks and underlining.
SF: You’re Canadian, the show (and a great deal of other Sci Fi is shot in Canada). Tell us about your country. What’s it like up there in Canada?
AT: Vancouver’s great. There’s no Hollywood weirdness here. You can’t get away with it. I’m not a Hollywood girl. It’s great, I’m home, we go down to the beach...
SF: Hang on, you what, the beach? In Canada?
SF: Surely, ice-covered beaches.
AT: We have beaches here, c’mon! Actually it reminds me a lot of Sydney, without the great climate. We have beaches, snarky bugger! We do!
SF: SG:1 finished in the 10th season, but not quite. For those in Oz, we haven’t seen the movies that finished the story off, although rumours are flying that we’ll see them on the Sci Fi Channel. Are there plans for more?
AT: The rumour is that MGM would like us to do some more, that would be great. We’re just finishing off the 4th season of Atlantis but we haven’t heard whether they want a fifth season or not but we finish shooting the 4th season in October and then we’ll see what happens.
SF: Just how Canadian is the show?
AT: Interestingly, we’re not considered Canadian. Stargate is a Canadian show, for all intents and purposes. It’s run by Canadians, it’s written by Canadians, it’s acted, for the most part, by Canadians, our crew is entirely Canadian, but Canada will not recognise it as Canadian.
SF: Do you still cook nice Thai food?
AT: I do! I’m now into French Country cooking. This weekend I marinated a lamb roast with rosemary and fresh mint from my garden, rubbed with salt and pepper pan seared and roasted. And fish. I’m big on fish. We just came back from a fishing trip with 200 pounds of fish so I thi-i-i-nk we’ll be eating a lot of fish in the future.
SF: Have you graduated to slow smoking? (Note to non chefs/fishermen– smoking your own fish in your own back yard in a big box or is the true test of the authentic woodsman)
AT: You know what, even as we speak, even as we speak - some are being slow smoked. Craziness.
SF: Truly a renaissance woman. It’s been a pleasure.
AT: And for me!
Amanda Tapping can be seen right now
, right here on SCI FI!
Fingers crossed we’ll see her in the SG:1 finales battling the Ori and can’t wait for Season 4 of Stargate when Carter joins Stargate:Atlantis. You can catch marathons of Stargate:SG1
(six episodes back to back – yeah!) on Sunday from 2.30pm, and Stargate:Atlantis
screens Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.