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Richard Dean Anderson

Richard Dean Anderson, the star and an executive producer of SCI FI Channel's original series Stargate SG-1, told SCI FI Wire that one of the highlights of his career was shooting scenes in a military helicopter in a glacier in Canada for the upcoming SG-1 spinoff, Stargate Atlantis. "Martin Wood [the pilot's director] and I took three helicopters and went up to Pemberton Glacier [near Whistler, B.C.,] and shot a sequence... for... the pilot of Atlantis," Anderson said during a break in filming on the set of the show. It was "just kind of the guilty pleasure of being able to ride around for 10 hours over the glacier, being chased by another helicopter," he said with a smile.

Anderson, who has expressed a love of outdoor recreation, added: "I had given serious thought to bringing my skis up there. But the snow was so baked, there was no [way]. We actually had a pair of skis up there that one of our guides brought. Somebody tried to come down the hill and could not turn the skis at all, that's how thick and set up it was. So it was just as well. But stuff like that, again, they're guilty pleasures that come along with [this], the perks of being... part of a franchise that is action-oriented [and] fantasy-oriented."

Anderson returns as Col. Jack O'Neill in the eighth season of SG-1. He said that he's able to keep things fresh after so many years by finding the quirks in his character. "I've sort of been blessed with the freedom to play and to find stuff and make things as interesting as possible without fear of reprimand," he said. "Blessedly I've had - how do I phrase it? - it's almost as though some of my behavior has been condoned by the fact that in changing lines or changing an approach to a scene or bringing really a tilted attitude toward a scene and characterization, that that in itself makes it fresh for me. There's the written page, the written word. And then there's the voice of the character, which I know best, but [executive producer] Brad Wright, I think, out of all the writers... has... the voice of O'Neill closest. ...Coming to work with what might seem like the same old stuff, [I] try to make it as bright and as interesting as possible."

Stargate SG-1 kicks off its eighth season with a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. ET/PT July 9. Stargate Atlantis premieres with a two-hour episode, "Rising," at 9 p.m. ET/PT on July 16.

"SG-1 Star Flew Chopper" SciFi Wire. July 9, 2004.