Strength of Character

It's all go for Stargate's Amanda Tapping and she takes Steven Eramo along for the ride...

When the cast and crew of Stargate SG-1 venture out on location it's usually to a forest, gravel pit or sand dune. Every so often, they'll go to a town or other more public setting. On this August afternoon, shooting is being done on a residential street in North Vancouver for the scenes set at Jack O'Neill's house in Lost City. Amanda Tapping is among those involved in the day's shoot.

When she hasn't been in front of the cameras, the actress has been in prep to direct her first Stargate episode, Resurrection.

"I feel pretty good about the directing gig," smiles Tapping, taking a well-earned break in between scenes. "I've been doing plenty of homework, especially on the weekends. The only downfall, which probably won't be much of a downfall, is that I'm in Resurrection quite a bit and I'll have to direct myself. Unfortunately, Rick isn't in it. Michael Shanks wrote the script, which is neat, and we're shooting it all on-location, so it should be an interesting story.

"It's a big episode, too, with quite a bit going on. There are three different storylines running simultaneously. I spent all day yesterday coming up with my entire shot list for the scenes. Of course, I looked at it today and said, 'Boy, that's a dumb way of doing that. What was I thinking of?' So I'm second-guessing myself now. Basically what I did was take the art department's drawing of the set, make Xerox copies, and then for each scene draw in where the actors should be, how I'd like the cameras placed, etc. I've been given an amazing opportunity and I'm loving every minute of it. The crew has been great and all my meetings have gone well. Everyone seems to think I'm really prepared, so we'll see."

Along with her directorial debut, Tapping's many admirers can look forward to seeing more of her work as Major Samantha Carter in the latter half of Stargate's seventh season.

"In the episode Grace, it's all Carter, all the time, stuck alone on the Prometheus," notes the actress. "After that we shot Chimera, which is a big departure for us. In it, my character gets a boyfriend named Pete [David DeLuise] and Osiris [Anna-Louse Plowman] pays a return visit to Daniel. The actual story is much more TV drama than Sci-Fi and viewers will either love it or hate it. I thought it was fun to shoot, though, and nice to show a different side of Sam."

It was July 1997 that Stargate fans watched as the-then Captain Carter and her SG-1 team-mates went on their first off-world mission. For Tapping, that time has passed quickly. "I can't believe it's been that long," she says. "I'll look back at Rick, Michael, and Chris and myself in those early seasons and think, 'We were all so young? What happened?'" jokes the actress. "In other ways, though, I don't feel any older. I feel a bit wiser as well as stronger and yet more humble. I'm in a very privileged position and I know it. I knew I was lucky when I got the job and to still be doing something seven years later that I love and with people I truly cherish is a joy."


TV Zone Special #55

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