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Stargate SG-1 Cast Interviews: Michael Shanks

Star TV: Michael Shanks
Stargate SG-1 Set Visit, Mar/Apr 01

Set visit during the making of Season Five's Red Sky

"I want to say welcome to Vancouver.  I'm Michael Shanks, I'm taking you through the - one of the stages of Stargate.  Well, I can take you - should I take you through all of them?  Is that - do you want to see all of them?"

Cut to Michael featured as Daniel in an episode clip from Stargate SG-1
Double Jeopardy
Season Four
Michael sits on a chair with the Red Sky set behind him.

"I guess as an actor, the characters you tend to want to portray are the ones you see something of yourself in.  I see him [Daniel] being very much a parallel to myself in sensibilities and vulnerabilities and things like that, so, um, I see a lot of myself in the character."

Cut to Michael featured as Daniel in an episode clip from Stargate SG-1
The First Ones
Season Four
"He's become a little bit more edgy and a little bit more, um, military oriented in the sense that he's not a complete muck-up whenever he has to pick up a weapon and stuff.  Which was the idea, that he was a stereotypical, you know, allergy-blowing scientist, and the geek, the nerd.  I don't like stereotypes and so I think the evolution of that person and the growing and the ageing provide him with an edge that's much more worldly and much more conditioned to the surroundings."
Cut to Michael featured as Daniel in an episode clip from Stargate SG-1
The First Ones
Season Four
Cut to Michael conducting a tour of Nirrti's underground laboratory from Season Five's Rites of Passage.

"And this is a laboratory and there's the, er, the geniuses at work over there putting together the complicated detail that comes of the show."

The geniuses are laughing and call out "DNA samples," goodnaturedly to Michael.

Michael walks over to an orange glowing ball.  "These are the glowing balls."  Michael puts his hands on the glowing ball in question.  "A lot of shows don't have glowing balls but we've managed to have, um, five of them in one room and it's very difficult to have five glowing balls in one room at one time."

Cut to Michael featured as Daniel in an episode clip from Stargate SG-1
The Torment Of Tantalus
Season One

Complete with orange glowing ball :)

"I'm always amazed when I come in here and check this stuff out.  Just the level of detail and nobody - probably won't even really see that much of that but it's so cool to just have it there."

Cut to Michael outside the set.

A voice off camera: "Time to go to work."

Startled, Michael jumps.  "Time to go to work!  So, um, let's go in there and see what we do at work."

Cut to the set for Season Five's Red Sky.

Red Sky
Season Five

The SG-1 team on the rich, detailed set for Red Sky, a morality play about faith, the abuse of power, and affirmation.

Cut to Michael sitting on a chair with the Red Sky set behind him.

"I was auditioning for a play at UBC.  We had some time before the audition and UBC's right by Jericho Beach and we went down to Jericho Beach to kill time, grab a burger, and lo and behold, but what's filming there but MacGyver.

Cut to Richard Dean Anderson perusing the contents of a tray of food before taking a bite from his selection.

"You know, and then I saw Rick doing his thing and he's a big TV star and there he is, a hundred yards away from me.  It never dawned on me at the time that was my first exposure and you know, ten years later that I'd be, you know, working side by side with Rick.  I have to tell him this story five times each day because he always forgets."

Michael bursts out laughing and points off-camera.

We pan around to find Richard Dean Anderson.  "Forget what?" he calls to Michael.

"Um, nothing, Mr. Anderson," Michael assures him.  "I was just saying how much - what a treat it is to work near such a seasoned professional as yourself."

This is received well.  "Yes, it is, isn't it?"  Mr. Anderson's grin seems to hit both walls at once.  "What was the name again?" he enquires as he strolls away.

Michael is laughing as the camera pans back to him.  "He's great."

Cut to Richard Dean Anderson.

"Ask me anything.  What would you like to know?"

Cut to Chris Judge.

"Whatcha got?  What do you want to know about Michael Shanks?"

Cut to Michael featured as Daniel in an episode clip from Stargate SG-1
The First Ones
Season Four

Dialogue:
Daniel: "We've communicated.  We're friends."
Jack: "Friends?"

Cut to Richard Dean Anderson.

"Michael Shanks?"  Richard Dean Anderson makes the most of this opportunity to really ham it up for the cameras.  "We really don't have a relationship."  He's trying for convincing solemnity to add to the overall effect.  "We don't get along very well."

Cut to Michael featured as Daniel in an episode clip from Stargate SG-1
The Tok'ra
Season Two

Dialogue:
Daniel: "Thank you for sharing that."

Cut to Michael with Amanda Tapping.

"Say something nice?"  Amanda is beaming broadly.  "Michael Shanks."  She's still beaming.  "Something nice."

Cut to Chris Judge.

"Well, he's got blue eyes," Chris confides.  "We need somebody with blue eyes."

Cut to Richard Dean Anderson.

"What do I say about Michael that hasn't already been said?"

Cut to Rick featured as Jack in an episode clip from Stargate SG-1
The Tok'ra
Season Two

Dialogue:
Jack: "I've been asking myself that same damn question."

Cut to Michael and Amanda cheek to cheek.

"How was that?" Amanda asks.

"Oh," Michael sighs.

"How was that?"

"Oh, it feels good," Michael sighs.

"Was that good?" Amanda persists.

"Yeah!" Michael agrees emphatically.  "Where's your hand going, though?"

"Oh!" Amanda jumps and removes the offending hand.  "Jeez!"  She switches to a hoity-toity English accent.  "Sort of lost my head for a minute there!"

Michael laughs.

Cut to Richard Dean Anderson.

"Michael, um, first of all, he's the best actor," Richard Dean Anderson pauses for quite some time, "in his trailer."

Cut to Chris Judge.

"So he's gonna be a star.  I mean, you know, he's got the whole thing.  He's got the nice hair, got the good eyes, the square jaw, and he's sullen, moody and miserable.  He's gonna be huge!"

Cut to Michael and his cast mates in an episode clip from Stargate SG-1
The Tok'ra
Season Two

Dialogue:
Jack:  "We got that earlier."

Cut to Richard Dean Anderson.

"In all seriousness," Richard Dean Anderson rolls his eyes at the camera, looking very regretful because finally someone is very  obviously making him behave himself, "It is fun to work with Michael because we have a shared understanding of comic timing.  That's not to say we get it right all the time, just that it's fun to play with him on that level."

Cut to Michael featured as Daniel and Rick featured as Jack in an episode clip from Stargate SG-1
Divide And Conquer
Season Four

Dialogue: Jack is futzing with his yo-yo.
Daniel: "Yep, I think these are the Jack O'Neill moments I'll probably miss the most."
Jack looks around vaguely.  "What?"
Daniel: "What?"

Cut to Chris Judge.

"There are very few serious moments round here and, uh, we're all practical jokers, we're all pranksters, we're all huge, I can't say it - okay - poop talkers."

Cut to Michael and Chris on set.  Michael is doing something strange with both hands and his face for Chris's edification and entertainment while Amanda talks to someone from the crew in the background, possibly in an attempt to convince the Star TV people she doesn't know either of those guys over there.

"When I go to other shows," Michael says, "I realise the difference between the dynamic here and in other places.  This long into a run and to still be very good with each other and warm and honest much of the time - much of the time."

Cut to Michael featured as Daniel and Rick featured as Jack in an episode clip from Stargate SG-1
The Torment Of Tantalus
Season One
Cut to Michael filming for Red Sky.  The scene filming during the Star TV interview requires Michael to show Daniel reacting as Jack asks if he's suffering a stroke and Carter reads her instruments, deciding they didn't cause the sun to change colour.

"Entertainment is so filled with redundancy and formula stuff," Michael goes on, "that it was like, the idea of taking a moderately successful, in my opinion, feature film and turning it into a series was like, you know, 'Yeah, right.'  When they said two years, I said, 'Sure, sure,' and here I am five years later going, 'Wow, was I ever wrong about that."

Fade out.

2001, Star TV.

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