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Stargate SG-1 Cast Interviews: Peter Williams

Peter Williams Q&A
Sharyn, I-Con, March 2003
Peter Williams

Don S. Davis introduced Peter Williams to us saying that "this young man is a very talented performer who can give levels of emotion that will fry you. He is also a master of Reggae". Peter Williams had arrived at the end of DSD's talk and had been sitting off to the side of the room listening to DSD. With PW on the stage with him DSD answered a few more questions and then left PW to take over. PW started off by introducing himself and letting us know, with a great big smile, that the correct way to pronounce Apophis is "Apoffiss" not "Apopis" to which every one laughed. PW then started off the talk by saying that he was best at answering questions from the audience so, "fire away".

Question: On a scale of 1-10 how dead is Apophis?

Answer summary: PW looked thoughtful for a second or two and responded "A '10', but don't give up on me". He said that he is proud that Apophis has been in each season of Stargate SG-1 at least once. He knows of no plans for Apophis in Season 7 yet but that we should not rule it out.

Question: What was the hardest special effect that you had to work with?

Answer summary: PW said that the "invisibility shield" effect was probably the most difficult and that it was a challenge for the imagination.
Also difficult, and a funny story, was the episode Serpent's Song where Apophis dies at the SGC. The dialog between Apophis and Daniel Jackson and between Apophis' host and Daniel were planned to have been done in the real Ancient Egyptian language as it is understood by the experts of today. PW said that there were to be coaches who knew the language coming in to work with PW and MS to help them get the language right. As the shooting time was nearing the coaches were not available so the script contained "jibberish" that PW and MS were to speak to each other in. The day of the actual scene between Apophis' host and Daniel, as the host was dying, PW had only seen the "jibberish" script but MS had received a script with the real Ancient Egyptian language in it. So, what you heard the host saying is all made up but what Daniel said is the real thing. PW also said that the scene was filmed right there with the language, both jubberish and real, being spoken by PW and MS directly. Nothing was "over-dubbed".

Question: How is the Goa'uld voice effect made?

Answer summary: PW said that he speaks his lines normally then they take his voice out to a lab in California to have it "flanged". And yes, they do return his voice to him. He said that many times the actors who have played a Goa'uld or Tokra will ask each other if they have been "flanged" yet. Now we will know what they mean by that.

Question: How was it to wear that retracting Goa'uld helmet during shooting?

Answer summary: "It was difficult. It weighs 60 lbs. And, if you watch very closely you will see that when I have the headpiece on I deliver the line and then throw my head back as the head piece closes. This is necessary not to lose my nose. It closes that close."

Question: Did you enjoy the role?

Answer summary: PW said that he was not even sure that he was going to get the role. He had to audition 3 times and then it took them 3 more weeks to decide. He believes that he got the role because he bears some resemblance in build and coloring to Jaye Davidson from the movie and they wanted Apophis to bring Ra to the audience's mind. PW looks at Apophis as a "cartoon character". He gives Apophis the appearance of walking through his part as if he has found something very important in it. He said that he really enjoyed the scenes with Amonet/Sha're. PW asked us if we knew that Michael Shanks married Vaitare Bandera, the actress who played Amonet/Sha're, in real life. That they had met on the set of COtG. PW said that this made it very interesting for him as he "had to get very familiar" with Vaitare due to the nature of the shoot. He said that she was wonderful and everything went very well.

Question: Someone asked about PW's accent which was slipping out every once in a while during the discussion.

Answer summary: PW told us that he is from Jamaica, specifically Kingston. He later moved to North America with his family and eventually to Vancouver. His father moved to the East Coast and now lives in West Babylon on Long Island. PW says that he is a student of the English Language and enjoys keeping his speech clear and proper but that he will slip into his native accent when he is tired or hurried.

Question: What does "Kree" mean?

Answer summary: PW said, with a huge grin, "'Come here shit-head!' or 'Get over here and do my bidding shithead'. Generally it means any number of nasty things". PW asked us if we had noticed how many different pronunciations of "Goa'uld there were. He said that "It is properly pronounced WITH the apostrophe as in 'Goa'uld', not without like in 'Goauld' or 'Gould'. Just ask MS. He is very protective of that apostrophe".

PW also asked us if we knew that RDA had been in a movie that he saw on the TV in his hotel room this morning. He said that RDA played a "really bad guy" in this movie. He didn't say the name of the film.

Question: Who do you think is the worst alien on Stargate SG-1?

Answer summary: "Sokar was the most frightening for me". PW then talked about the make up that he had to go though for those facial plates that Apophis had after being tortured by Sokar. He said that it took several hours to apply. He would watch the other actors coming in and going out and he would be there just waiting for the make up to be done. He said he would hum or chat or run his lines in his head to pass the time. He said that it was difficult when his skin would sweat underneath the plates and the ends would peel up. He would have to go for "touch ups".

PW discussed the replicators with us. These are the threat that he has the most dislike for and no respect for. He mentioned his dislike of the Replicators several times during the talk and always with a statement of how little he thought of them as an adversary. He said that he was very disappointed that this is the way that Apophis died. He would have wanted "to go out at the hands of Daniel Jackson or O'Neill" instead. PW mentioned the episode with the Nox and how it would have been much more interesting and dramatic for Apophis and O'Neill to have had it out when they met in the forest and O'Neill only had the bow and arrow.

Question: Have you heard anything about Season 8?

Answer summary: PW said that he had heard rumors but nothing definite. With the sale of the show to Sci-Fi and it doing so well it could be possible. He doesn't think that it will happen without RDA/O'Neill though. "With the hiccup with the Daniel character, nobody wants to mess with the formula too much."

Question: How do they get the glowing eyes effect? Do you wear contacts?

Answer summary: The glowing eyes are done in special effects like the voice. The only thing that the actor has to do for the effect is keep the eyes open wide and not blink. PW says that they planned it very poorly in The Changeling when Apophis showed up as the victim on the road at the accident. PW had to look up right into the sun and could not keep his eyes open wide enough so they had to widen the effect to cover for the problem. If you look closely in that scene the effect is wider on the eyes.
The only time that he wore contacts was as the dying Apophis host in Serpent's Song.

Question: Do you find that the Internet helped SG-1?

Answer summary: "Absolutely. I meet many fans on-line". PW says that he monitors his site and answers fans when he can.

PW announced that he has no project in the works at this time but has gone on several auditions and might have an answer when he gets back home on Monday. He was just in a Twilight Zone episode that aired recently starring Andrew McCarthy.

Question: What are your favorite SG-1 episodes?

Answer summary: Children of the Gods, Serpent's Song and The Nox.

Question: Have you seen Full Circle?

Answer summary: "No, I haven't seen that one yet".

PW discussed his first audition for Stargate SG-1. It was for the character of Teal'C. He said that after the audition he met Christopher Judge and had no doubt why he [PW] didn't get that role. PW says that CJ is very kind and very nice. "He is very sharp. He is one of the smartest people that I know". "Did you know that CJ sings?" "All I know is that CJ attracts more women than anyone else!"

Another issue around the set is that "Chris is well known for his 'spontaneity'". "Someone found a battery operated "fart detector" and gave it to Chris as a gag present".

PW says that one benefit to his role as Apophis is that when he goes out to the bars in Vancouver all of his "Jaffas" are the local Bouncers and he gets to go right in!

Question: Did you keep any souvenirs of the show? If so, what?

Answer summary: PW said that the props were all too expensive and that if he had any they would probably be carting him off to jail.

PW said that the original Goa'uld hand device was made of metal and was made specifically for him. They made a mould of his hand and arm and made the device to fit him. Now they are made of plastic.

Question: Do you know of an "Outtake Reel" for Stargate SG-1?

Answer summary: "There must be one. So much goes on around that set, but I don't know for sure". "Actually, the 100th episode party was lavish and there was the largest ice sculpture that I have ever seen and these blue martinis were going around. I had a few of those blue martinis so I can't swear to this but I was sure that I saw a 'bloopers reel' being shown".

Question: How uncomfortable was it to go through the episode Serpent's Song?

Answer summary: PW said that he was immobile in a straight jacket on that stretcher for the entire filming. The "calipers" on his legs were real metal with pins that stuck into his skin and left marks for a long time afterwards.

PW said that when the filming was completed, PDL said "Cut" "That was great Peter" "That's it." Then PDL turned around and left the set followed slowly by everyone else. They just turned off the lights and left PW on the stretcher unable to move. PW said that he didn't panic at first but after 15 or 20 minutes he got anxious. They left him there for more than 30 minutes. When they finally came back to get him out, he was stiff all over and had these red marks up and down his legs for days. He was scheduled for a flight to Australia an hour later and was really concerned about the red marks and missing the flight.

Question: How did it feel to be in a sarcophagus?

Answer summary: PW said that he had only been in one at a convention. On the show Apophis has never actually been shown in one, it was just intimated that he used one.

Question: We heard that RDA and MS like to eat Dog Biscuits on the set. Is that true?

Answer summary: PW said that he has never seen or heard of that but that RDA does like dogs.

Question: How long ahead do you see a script?

Answer summary: "I get it about one to two weeks ahead. The regular actors get the scripts about 1 to 2 days ahead."

Question: Have you seen any of the 6th season episodes?

Answer summary: PW said that he has not seen any of the episodes yet.

Question: Why do you need to wear make up for the part of Apophis?

Answer summary: PW said that he believes that they wanted to make Apophis similar to Ra and Jaye Davidson, the actor who played Ra in the movie, was effeminate looking so the make-up help to get that effect. However, PW says that all actors have to wear make up to even skin tones, cover flaws, and counteract moisture reflecting the lights during shooting.

Question: Was there something that you would have liked to see Apophis do before he died?

Answer summary: 1. Fight with Daniel Jackson over Amonet. 2. Really get to fight with O'Neill, not like the scene in The Nox.

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