Monday, June 30, 2008

Stargate SG-1 - Don S. Davis - Interview Transcript Part 1

This was a radio interview that was hosted by Interstellar Transmissions. (I typed the transcript.)

William Devane and Don S. Davis from Stargate: Continuum

Don S. Davis Interview – Part One

Friday, July 12, 2002

Hosts: Joey Reynolds, David Durica, Mark Woda, and Erich Landstrom.

Mr. Davis was interviewed over the telephone (Davis was in Vancouver, radio show is broadcasted out of Florida), and the interview started at 7:15 pm, concluded at approximately 7:40 pm.

(Theme from "Stargate SG-1" played.)

JOEY: "Also via telephone from Vancouver, Canada – one of the most beautiful places on the planet – we have Don Davis from "Stargate SG-1." Good evening sir and welcome to a broadcast of "Interstellar Transmissions."

DON: "Good evening, thanks for inviting me."

JOEY: "And now that we have you on the phone, let's go ahead and have David give out the telephone numbers because strangely enough, we've got a lot of buzz about your appearance on tonight's program. There are a lot of Stargate SG-1 fans that have been e-mailing us all interested and such. So, David, what are those phone numbers?

DAVID: "In Boca, Deerfield, Delray it's 988-####, everywhere else, all over the Americas at least, it's 888-565-####."

JOEY: "Erich, I know you have lots to talk about with Don Davis."

ERICH: Well, I do, but here's the thing. Even though you say "Stargate SG-1" fans, I'm ashamed to admit that on our panel tonight we have someone who has never watched an episode of "Stargate SG-1." And so, I would ask Don Davis if he wouldn't mind, tell us what it is that he does on this show, this excellent show that is broadcast on the Sci Fi Channel, basic cable channel, on Friday night at 9 o'clock and re-broadcasted at 11pm."

DON: "I play the role of General George Hammond, who is the commander of the Stargate Command. I'm the guy that stays at home safely in my little tufted leather chair and tells these four people to go out through the Stargate and save the Universe."

ERICH: "You know what, I meant to ask you about that. There are a lot of on location shoots. Do you ever get to go out with the rest of the cast? I think …"

DON: "Very seldom. There have been two or three…We're in our sixth season now, but it's only been two or three times that I've gotten to go anywhere. I've got the best job on TV. I get to work on every episode, but just a few days, and then spend the rest of my time painting and carving."

ERICH: "And you get to work with Richard Dean Anderson, which can't be that bad, either."

DON: "That's true, that's true. He's a good guy. I've worked with him since `MacGyver', so…"

ERICH: "That's right. This is not your only show; you've also been a part of lot of other shows. Mark, you want to rattle off a short list of other things that Don Davis has been a part of?"

MARK: "I'm ashamed to admit it, Don, but I haven't seen your work on "Stargate SG-1." I know you from some of your lesser-known works. Some you might want to remember, some you might want to forget…"

DON: (chuckling) "There's a lot of them I'd like to forget."

MARK: "Ranging anywhere from a couple of episodes of "MacGyver" that you did, and "21 Jump Street", and going way, way back to an episode of "Joanie Loves Chachi."

DON: (laughing) "You've watched a lot of TV."

MARK: "Yes, I have. But I'm a fan of TV."

DON: "I've been very lucky. I've been doing this for a lot of years. I've met a lot of wonderful people and had a lot of people help me along. In fact, on our show – you mentioned "21 Jump Street" - Peter DeLuise, who was on "21 Jump Street" – he's appeared himself as a character on our show, he's one of our two main directors, and he's written a lot of episodes."

ERICH: "You've also been in the "X-Files", which used to shoot up in Canada. And so I'm a little bit curious as to how you got involved in "Stargate SG-1" – was like "X-Files" shooting next door, and that's how you came to play Scully's dad, or what happened there?

DON: "No – you know, I'm a character actor, and character actors depend on creating a network of producers and directors that use them over and over again. And that's what happened on the "X-Files." There was a director named David Nutting, who had done a lot of the "X-Files" episodes and he specifically requested me for the role of
Scully's dad."

ERICH: "If you take a look at the roles that he's played, you'll notice there are constant themes of authority, like "Cardinal, General, Colonel, Sheriff, Chief" – I think you've…"

DON: "That's funny, because when I started out…I have a background in theater, and I did musical theater and comedy. But when I started out in film, for some reason, the early part of my career was predominantly scuzz ball killers, and really every once in a while I'd play a lawyer or a cop or something – usually the cops were dirty. But
then "Twin Peaks" kind of changed all of that. Because Briggs was basically a good man, and, uh, so then I got stuck on the good guy side."

ERICH: "Now, you were supposed to have appeared in the feature film version of "Twin Peaks", correct?"

DON: "Yes, I was. But during that period, I was on a ten-week contract on a film called, "A League of Their Own", that Penny Marshall directed. Which was just a wonderful experience. But unfortunately, those two films filmed concurrently. And we doing "A League of Their Own" in Indiana, and the "Twin Peaks" film was being filmed in Washington. So there was a conflict that couldn't really be resolved there."

DAVID: (this guy talked too fast) "In regards to "Twin Peaks", back around 1989, did you take a look at the script obviously, it was intended as a motion picture, and it was, released as such at lot of film festivals in 1989. Did you, or anybody else, have an idea from this interesting line of David Lynch's, to what everybody was getting themselves into?"

DON: "Not really. I wasn't that familiar with David's work at the time. In fact, the two things that I really knew about were "Dune" and "Elephant Man." I had never seen "Eraserhead" or anything. And it wasn't until I was doing "Twin Peaks", that I saw "Blue Velvet." But, just from meeting him, he was so creative, he's a…you know, his films are dark, but he's the opposite of that. He's like a ray of light. I don't know anybody that's ever worked for him that wouldn't do anything possible to work for him again. Because he's such a calm and creative and unflappable individual. And yet you know, that somewhere in that head is…"

MARK: "A lot of scary, scary thoughts."

(chuckling from everyone.)

DON: "But talking to him, he's like…it's like talking to the most agreeable character that Jimmy Stewart ever played."

MARK: "But he doesn't ever start talking backwards, does he?"

DON: (chuckling) "No…no he doesn't. You know, I've worked with him off and on basically for two and a half years during that period. And he's the only person that I've ever worked with – and I've worked with some great directors – but you know directors are human, and they get, uh, to a point in any production where they're really a juggler juggling one ball more than they can handle. And so, you know that at some point, you're going to see them lose their temper or at least frown at somebody. And I never, ever, saw him come close to losing his temper. And we had disastrous things occur because we were shooting on tight schedules, with not necessarily too low a budget, but certainly not a high budget project. "Twin Peaks" was shot in a studio on Balboa Street in Reseda there, or in Van Nuys, which ever."

ERICH: "Our guest tonight on "Interstellar Transmissions" is Don Davis. If you'd like to call in with your questions, the number is 1-888-565-####. We've talked about movies that you've been a part of, I'm curious about movies that you might be involved in. Season Six of "Stargate SG-1" is about to wrap up and there's rumors that there's a "Stargate" movie in the works. I'm wondering what other scripts you might be taking a look at?"

DON: "Well, I…we haven't been given the official word on whether they're going to do the film or not, or if they're going to…uh, you know there's supposedly a spin-off series that they're talking about. And the film would wrap up the "Stargate" series but leave it open for the possibility of future movie-of-the week or films on "Stargate", just like the "Star Trek" franchise. But it was also, in part; supposed to introduce a spin-off series, which none of us, as far as I know, know about. So I don't know what the deal is there. I've got some other projects – I've been approached about two other series. But I've been sworn not to start talking about them, because they're in money raising negotiations."

ERICH: "That groan you hear is our listeners complaining about that right now."

DON: "One of them is hilarious. It's a…it has something to do with a murder scene…"

(a lot cross chatter)

JOEY: "I'm a little bit curious. Is it gratifying for you – your show is on right now on Showtime, it's on Sci Fi, and it's also syndicated – for us, it's UPN Channel 34, and I think Channel 33 as well. So you've got your show on three - plus you've been the star of books that have been, well, your character, that has been based on the body of work you've done has been spun off into books as well."

DON: "I'm the guy who doesn't want "Stargate" to end. If I had my wish, and I've spoken to Hank Cohen, the head of MGM Television Entertainment, in fact jokingly got on my knees, and asked him, `Please, don't end "Stargate"'. I love the series; I love the premise of the series. We're people having to deal with today's technology and
knowledge, and even when we get new technologies, we're like children with a toy. We can't figure out the hell they work. And yet, through – just true grit, O'Neill and the gang manage not only to survive, but to foil these super villains that have every advantage. This is a show that is based on Human mythology. Our story lines are driven, basically at least, our bible is driven, from the mythologies that we've all grown up with. That's what the villains come out of. This is something that I certainly don't want to end, and I don't want anybody else to want it to end."

ERICH: "Words of praise for "Stargate SG-1" from Don S. Davis, who plays General George Hammond, our guest tonight on this broadcast of "Interstellar Transmissions." We'll take a short commercial break and be right back with more of your questions."

No comments: