(Please follow the link for the complete four-page interview.)
Exclusive Interview: Joe Flanigan
The 'Stargate Atlantis' star on being an action hero
By Blaine Kyllo | Monday, August 18, 2008
Joe Flanigan, who plays John Sheppard on Stargate Atlantis, is a funny guy. But he has a dry sense of humour, so when he’s telling a joke it takes a moment to register because the only cue to the fact that he’s just said something funny is a slight shift in the cadence of his speech.
In talking with journalists at Vancouver’s Bridge Studios in May, he kept the group so relaxed and at ease that the 30 minutes seemed less like an interview session and more like a group of people hanging out at the pub. Flanigan talked about the sorry state of the action-adventure genre in the medium of television and why he prefers the Wraith to the Replicators.
A brief excerpt:
CinemaSpy: You talked about the action-adventure aspect of the show being one of its popular elements. What other things appeal to people?
Joe Flanigan: I have very specific beliefs. The show is successful because of the chemistry of characters and because I don’t think the show takes itself too seriously. I think that’s really important. I think you can take yourself seriously, and you can say all sorts of profound things and everything can be really dramatic, but you’d better be awfully good. And the odds are you’re better off doing a $150 million science fiction movie that’s serious, but when you’re doing a 44-minute television show for $3 million, then you have to know what your limitations are, and if you come off as very serious and pretentious, and it comes off instead as being, well, pretentious, then I think you lose people. Also, my favourite shows, movies, and TV shows were always - I loved Rockford Files as a kid, I loved all those guys where they were having fun. They’re good guys and they are having fun. For some reason over the last ten years it seems like Hollywood executives have fallen in love with bad people, edgy dark characters because that’s cool. So what they’ve done is they’ve created tonnes of these shows and they’ve all failed. Almost all of them have failed. Even if you go to the Sopranos, the dark character is a good guy. You can call him dark all you want, but the truth is he’s a good guy. And a lot of the shows I’ve seen some very well-known showrunners put up, the characters are just not likable. I think we’re lucky we have likable characters and we also have fun, you see us having fun, we’re making fun of the genre a little bit, we’re making fun of ourselves. Knowing when the adventure is urgent and when it’s kind of funny is important. Comedy and humour are probably the saving grace for us. It allows us to keep going, I think.