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TV Guide Online at AOL. June 29, 2000


TV GUIDE / AOL LIVE ONLINE CHAT

To promote the premiere of the fourth season of Stargate SG-1, Richard Dean Anderson participated in a live online chat hosted by TV Guide Online at AOL. Participants were able to submit their questions for the hour-long chat.

O'Neill TV Guide Live Online Host:
Richard Dean Anderson has entered the room.

TV Guide Live Online Host:
Joining us right now is Showtime's Stargate SG-1 star, Richard Dean Anderson. Thanks for coming to chat tonight. We're all looking forward to the season premiere tomorrow at 10PM EST.

Richard Dean Anderson:
Howdy, folks! Bring it on, kids. :) Ask me anything...

Question:
What was it about Stargate SG-1 that drew you to the project not only as an actor, but as a producer?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Well one of the attractions about the whole package was that MGM asked me to be a part of the franchise. I was at a point in my career where I was producing most of the projects that I was acting in. They asked me, I did my research, saw that it had the potential to be an ongoing project. Before we had even finished the first season, we were picked up for two more seasons, for a total of four. And we even got picked up for a fifth, and I've agreed to it. Everything seems to be in line. It was the perfect marriage. MacGyver was the perfect example of a series that I was involved with where we did six seasons and things had started to get thin. Even though we had been picked up for a seventh season, we were all just tired. I tend to look at Stargate as something that has perhaps a greater possibility for stories. There are just billions of planets we can visit, so the possibilities are endless.

Question:
Will Skaara be featured in season 4? He has listened and he has learned! If Jolinar has had such a profound impact on Sam, what will having carried Klorel do to Skaara?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Right now, there aren't any real plans. But, stay tuned.

Question:
How much say do you have over the direction of the show? Or is that something that you really leave up to the writing staff?

Richard Dean Anderson:
I'm one of the executive producers, but Brad Wright is the show runner, which means that he's the executive producer and head writer. He has the reins of the control of the show. He and Robert Cooper are the brain trust of ideas and direction of the show. I have a fair amount of say in the directing and final product. And I have some say in character direction. I've been a bit of spoilsport in the romantic tension between O'Neill and Carter. It's just too easy a direction to go. We do have some creative license with how we portray the characters within the military setting we have. I do have a fair amount of say, and I'm part of the team that comes up with the final product. But, I do give most of the credit to Brad Wright.

Question:
You set out to go fishing the finale. Do you ever get to go, and are you a fan of it in real life?

Richard Dean Anderson:
That's hilarious, because just as we speak I'm finishing the polishes on a script where I'm fishing. Not to give too much away, Teal'c and I do make it up to the lake. We find out that it's not about catching the fish to O'Neill. It's about being on a dock, with a pole in the water, and a cool beverage at his side. And Teal'c doesn't quite get it. But, I'm not really a fishing fan. I do have two cabins up in northern Minnesota, in what is called the Iron Range. I go up there twice a year. One of the last things I consider is fishing. I float. I have some ATVs, and I go back into the woods. What fishing I have done is spear fishing, to make it fair. But, I haven't done that in a while.

Question:
Are you a fan of sci-fi and were there sci-fi shows you followed growing up or now?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Actually, initially I was not. Although I did follow George Lucas' trilogy, primarily because it was such a technological spectacle. I was probably too analytical about the genre itself. I was more of an Indiana Jones fan. I'm more grounded in Earth, than in the skies. I remember when I was growing up, I'd sneak the TV on and one of my favorite movies was The Day the Earth Stood Still. Anything like that would scare the bejesus out of me. A movie, by the way, we make an homage to in an upcoming episode. But, there was no ongoing franchise that I really followed.

Question:
How many rounds did you guys expend trying to get rid of those replicators in the finale?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Thanks for noticing! It became a joke to me, because first of all, here we are fighting these high-tech Legos... But, the joke to me was that we were using semi-automatic rifles to knock them down. And it was so funny because it was such, pardon the pun, overkill. And with me as somewhat of a pacifist, now playing with some justification a military guy... It was a blast.

Question:
Will we find out the back story or more info on those Replicators tomorrow night?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. I can't say that ultimately there's a "conclusion." There can't be a more obvious cliffhanger than the finale with the bug on the debris. Martin Wood, who directed the finale, "Nemesis," did a phenomenal job. You just don't see that level of production value in a lot of TV sci-fi. You have to make a commitment to making it look good technically, or else it just looks cheesy. I think that's why Stargate gets set apart from most sci-fi. We're not dealing with conjecture about where things are going in this world now, but we're dealing with forces from without. What we don't have to do is guess how our Earth is going to be. We can use current events, and how they would be effected by attacks from another world. Those that take place in the future, take the audience one step away from identifying with the show. We have to consult with the Air Force for protocol and such.

Question:
I understand you're a dog lover. What breed do you have?

Richard Dean Anderson:
I have an Australian Shepherd. I've had three in my life: Whiskey, Zuma (who I saved from Death Row...), and now I have Zoe. My girlfriend has deemed me the "Dog Whisperer." It's been rumored that I have better relationships with dogs than people. My family has confirmed that dogs for some reason were, and still are, drawn to me. Whatever soft parts of the personalities would come out in my presence. I love dogs. I've even been quoted as saying that my best friends are dogs.

Question:
Hi Richard!! Could you tell us more from the fourth season episodes... And about the new character Anise/Freya... And we love you here in France!!! ;o) Audrey

Richard Dean Anderson:
Bon jour. We created her as a potential ally, though O'Neill suspects her motives. She's smart and powerful, and one of our go-to characters for information. She's not necessarily going to be on screen a lot. But, she's not that bad looking, so it behooves us to put her on.

Question:
Have you started planning Wylie's 2nd birthday party yet?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Boy, I don't have to. That's Apryl's domain. Last year, we had a massive luau. So, I think we're going to keep it as small as possible this year. But, Apryl could change her mind. For example, the luau had over 100 people. And at my last birthday party, I think the whole population of Santa Monica was there. Apryl is great. I asked her to give me a party for my 50th birthday, and for a January party she started planning in August. It was one of the most endearing moments in my life. We had it in a bowling alley... the whole bowling alley... She is really great at all that. But, she has promised to keep it small... :)

Question:
I read that there was a chance for a Legend movie - any truth to it? Say yes, please.

Richard Dean Anderson:
First of all, God bless you for asking that question. As anyone who knows me remotely knows, Legend was my favorite project to date. There had been some talks. We had talked with Michael Piller, and I had so much fun with that series. It still had all the elements that I adore in franchise. It was smart, funny, irreverent... The character was basically my grandfather. Thanks for asking. I'd love to. I really would.

Question:
Play any hockey lately?

Richard Dean Anderson:
I have a chance virtually every other day living in Vancouver. We have a group, some of whom are leftover from the MacGyver days. Personally, I've had two knee surgeries, so I've sort of had to hang up my skates. I ski, and have put my focus there. Skiing through deep powder in the woods is very relaxing to me. Skating, people are aiming at you, and just too much can happen.

Question:
What do you think of the fan following that's developed for the show?

Richard Dean Anderson:
I'm ecstatic about it. I was very aware of the limitations of working with a cable audience. There is a massive differential between networks and cable. And I knew that there was going to be limited exposure. But, in regards to the fanship that we have developed, MGM and Showtime are very happy. And MGM is talking in terms of year twelve. I'm so happy about it, and I should make a blanket apology that I'm still a bit of a recluse. Most of the fans we're aware of come through the computers and the online responses. And we're one of the highest rated shows on Showtime, and that's saying something.

Question:
What's the rest of the cast like? Who's the most serious, most relaxed?

Richard Dean Anderson:
Well, I'm the most irreverent. I may actually be the one who stands in the way of everyone being as professional as they can. It's just kind of an uncontrollable trait that I have because I want the set to be as light and as fun as possible. So, that's kind of my role... They're all extremely professional. They're wonderful individuals. Michael Shanks is probably the most serious... he did Shakespeare last year. Amanda gets all the techno-babble. I think she's got the toughest job. And Chris Judge actually has the hardest job because in real life he has so much energy. He's created a phenomenal character, very stoic and seemingly emotionless. We love to give him more to do, and sometimes it's hard to find the emotional thread to carry a full storyline. But, he doesn't work out enough... :)

Question:
What was your favorite episode of SG-1 to tape?

Richard Dean Anderson:
"Nemesis" I had fun, because it was good story, and well produced. We did an episode called "Brief Candle" where I aged dramatically over 42 minutes. It was very challenging for me as an actor, but it was 12 minutes too long. So, some of what I thought was a fun performance ended up being cut. I had so much fun playing the atrophying old fart. The episodes that I have the most fun with, because I've developed O'Neill into such a dense character, the more he can interact with things that are beyond his understanding...

TV Guide Live Online Host:
Thanks for chatting with us tonight, Richard. We'll be sure to tune in tomorrow night.

Richard Dean Anderson:
First of all, thanks to everyone for watching and continuing to watch. It's great to know that there's such a core audience out there. And be sure to watch tomorrow night for the conclusion to the cliffhanger.

TV Guide Live Online Host:
Stargate SG-1's 4th season premiere will be airing tomorrow night at 10PM EST on Showtime.

TV Guide Live Online Host:
Richard Dean Anderson has left the room.

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2000 TV Guide, Inc.; licensed to America Online, Inc.
Online chat held at AOL for TV Guide Online Live. June 29, 2000.


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