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In the eighties he played MacGyver and for the last ten years he portrayed Colonel Jack O┬┤Neill in the SCI-FI series Stargate. Before Richard Dean Anderson retires permanently, Playboy managed to interview him.

Richard Dean Anderson

You left Stargate for a while. What have you been doing in the meantime?

I built a house in Malibu. This has always been a goal that I wanted to accomplish, long before Stargate. And now I have the time for it. My daughter and I just moved in, we didn't even unpack all the boxes yet. No, I didn't build it myself, I just limited myself to designing the house. But it did give me a kick to see my design become a reality. Even if it took 3 years.

Britney Spears also lives in Malibu. Do you have a lot of trouble with the paparazzi who patrol there?

I missed them because I was working on my house. But it does sound like a madhouse here with those guys hanging around, I can tell you that. They leave me alone, luckily for me. Even when I was doing MacGyver they didn't bother me that much. I have never been public property as much as Britney is. And I was smart, because I became friends with them. When I am walking in the street with my daughter, we pose for them. They don't like it, because they don't get anything for pictures like that.

Are you a sci-fi fan yourself?

To be honest, before Stargate I didn't like science fiction much. If you would force me to choose, I would prefer Indiana Jones over Star Wars. But I started appreciating it over the years. Even if you throw alien slime in someone's face, in the end the most important thing is to tell a good story.

Do you believe in extraterrestrial life?

Hmm... Yes. I watch Discovery Channel a lot and popular scientific programs. And I am more inclined to believe that we are not alone in this universe like so many others. But their ideas must be scientifically sound and not based on overzealous fantasy. It is also healthier to think we are not the only ones in the universe. I hope I will live long enough to experience that moment.

You stopped acting recently.

True. The most important reason for this is because I'm a single father. I want to be there for my little girl. So I had to stop working. We shot Stargate in Vancouver and I couldn't continue to travel back and forth to California every three days. They even adjusted the shooting schedule especially for me, but it just didn't work out any longer.

Definitely, stopped for good?

Well... 'Retirement' is such a scary word for a workaholic like me. If a really great role comes along someday, then I will start itching to work again. Funny, though, six months ago my daughter mentioned it would be OK for me to return to work, because she could take care of herself. My heart was breaking when I heard this: my little girl approved of me going back to work because she knows how much I am attached to my work. Or maybe she just wants me out of the house, ha ha.

Richard in Stargate SG-1

All those contraptions in MacGyver, were they scientifically sound?

Sure. It only just seemed unbelievable when I made a perfectly functioning welding machine out of a titanium bike frame and a handful of magnesium. But we had them checked by students from Cal Tech.

So the MythBusters wouldn't make a fool out of MacGyver?

Even better, the MythBusters dedicated a two hour long show to MacGyver's contraptions. They had to admit many of them are possible.

Were you able to use MacGyver's knowledge in your daily life activities?

Not directly, but I used MacGyver's way of thinking. Use your brains and logical thinking, improvising and using the things you've got. You can do this every day and apply it to every situation.

Last question, Mister Anderson, blondes or brunettes?


Koks, Danny. "Return of the Mac." Playboy [Dutch edition]. May, 2008: p. 106.
With many thanks to Bianca Hemmeryckx for her translation from the original Dutch.