Nov 102013
screencap by JoeFlaniganFan

Joe Flanigan announced he has finished shooting in Major Crimes, a TV show starring Mary McDonnell, from Battlestar Galatica. The announcement was made during his Brisbane Supanova convention, on 10 Nov, and we have it on camera, thanks to the great guys from TREKZONE, who interviewed him at the con (thank you!).

Post updated on 11 Dec

The show is a spin-off  of ‘The Closer’ series, and follows Capt. Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell’s character) of the Los Angeles Police Department. The show is now on hiatus, due to return on 25 Nov.
As of now, we assume Joe is guest starring, but since this project is not yet listed on his imdb page, we’ll just  have to wait for more details. As soon as we find out, we’ll let you know, so stay tuned!


Update: 26 Nov

With the invaluable help of Janet and Grace Valentino, we now know Joe’s episode is “All in”, to be aired on December 9th. His character is Rick Marlowe, a voice over artist. Here’s the promo for the episode

Update 11 Dec 2013

Lots and lots of screencaps on, this way!

Here’s but a sample :)

screencap by JoeFlaniganFan


Major Crimes imdb page

Major Crimes official TNT website

Major Crimes is on twitter

Major Crimes fan site

Major Crimes ratings by episode



Sep 162012
profile photo, courtesy of tridget

Joe Flanigan was interviewed during the Fan Expo Canada 2012, at Toronto, by @ramblingRuss

The actual interview starts at about min. 6:00 in the podcast linked here, and here’s the transcript.


Q: Here’s the very busy Joe Flanigan, how is it going?

A: Very good, how’re you doing?


Q: You had a really big role in Stargate, as Col Sheppard, how did you enjoy that 5 years experience?

A: I loved it, it was kind of like being a boy.


Q: That show had a lot of cast changes. Rainbow Sun Francks wasn’t exactly happy with how he got out. How did you deal with the ever changing cast?

A: Well, it was upsetting that they would get rid of certain cast members, I was bothered, there’s no doubt about it, but I didn’t have control over that. If I had it my way, everybody would have stayed put and grown with the show.


Q: What was the biggest challenge of the show? Because there was a practical set built, so you mostly had to interact with CGI monsters for the most part, right?

A: Not everything was CGI, we did a lot of prosthetics. We were dealing often with the actual physical presence of certain people. The green screen is challenging, I think there’s only a handful of actors that worked with the green screen as much as we have.


Q: How long did it take you to adjust “I have to picture this in my mind, I have to act this way”?

A: It took me two or three episodes to fully understand the impact of how this stuff was going to work, as well as the style of shooting that was taking place.


Q: Would you change the ending of the show? This was one of the few scifi shows that actually had an ending, it didn’t just go off the air.

A: Yes, I would have ended it very differently. But, once again, that was also out of my control.


Q: Would you want to go back and do Stargate Atlantis the movie? There’s been talk about an SGA spin off movie

A: Yes, there’s been quite a bit of talk, but so far it hasn’t happened, so we’ll see


Q: But would you be open to get to that role and that universe?

A: I’d like to get together with my friends from the show, absolutely.


Q: What’s your best memory of filming in Vancouver?

A: Just being with my cast and crew, we all turned into being very good friends. I miss that camaraderie.


Q: Where can we find you on the web?

A: I don’t have a website, but I think there are various fan websites that you can go to. The only thing I have is a twitter.


Q: When is you next project coming up?

A: I have a couple of movies coming out, one is called Heavy Metal, which was filmed in Brussels and they call it Metal Hurlant, based on the magazine Heavy Metal, and that’s pretty cool. And then there’s an action film called Six Bullets, with me and Jean Claude Van Damme starring. Right now I’m doing a very elaborate video game for Electronic Arts, it’s kind of cool.


Q: So you enjoy the voice work? No makeup, no costumes…

A: No, it’s not voice at all, it’s actually… you get fully scanned, your body and your face are fully scanned, it’s you, it’s your full likeness, it’s actually hard to tell the difference between video and a film. So it will be full representations of me, as a pivotal figure in the video game.


Q: How soon are we expecting that to come out?

A: Spring of 2013.


Q: I’m looking forward to seeing you in the world of video games.

A: I’m looking forward to that too.

Lots of photos from Toronto, including the video recording of his 1 hour Q&A session, can be found on tridget’s LJ

A previous interview can be found here, while brief reports and random comments from congoers can be found here.

Aug 232012 published a short interview with Joe Flanigan on the first day of the Fan Expo Canada convention (here details on the convention schedule, and here bits shared by the fans during the actual event). Here’s the whole text copied below:

Gearing Up For Fan Expo Canada with STARGATE ATLANTIS Star Joe Flanigan

By theTVaddict on August 23rd, 2012

By Terri-Lynne Waldron

From 2004 through 2009, Joe Flanigan played Lt. Colonel John Sheppard in the hit SyFy series, STARGATE ATLANTIS. Flanigan makes his debut at Fan Expo Canada this year taking place at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre, and running from August 23 until August 26. The veteran actor dished about strange fan requests, shooting action scenes and working with Jean-Claude Van Damme.

This is your first visit to Fan Expo Canada. What are you most looking forward to?
Joe Flanigan: I always like making contact with the fan base. I feel really lucky to have a following and it gives us a chance to express our gratitude. Also, I always look forward to the endless stream of strange outfits people wear.

God bless SciFi.

What is the strangest thing that somebody has asked you to sign at a convention?
Well, it’s not the disturbingly large posters, or occasional breast, or even the elaborately painted oil portraits of myself. I would say it was someone asking me to autograph a picture of David Hasselhoff with no shirt on. I’m still trying to block that visual.

You ski, surf and play tennis (just to name a few). Were action scenes on STARGATE ATLANTIS easy for you to do?
They were generally easy for me. However, at the beginning of the show the stunt coordinator wanted to make my character some JuJitsu Karate maniac. Working a 14-16 hour day then rehearsing elaborate fight scenes proved difficult. I emphasized that my character was an improviser and basically a gunslinging space cowboy. Give the sticks and Karate moves to other people and just hand me the big gun. I think it worked for the best.

Did you take anything from the set when the show ended?
Yes, The People’s Choice Award statue that was oddly put on the producers shelf and never given to the cast even though it was awarded to the cast. It still sits in my living room next to my action figure.

Would you want to be friends with John Sheppard in real life?
How do I answer that question without being really self-congratulatory?

You are an accomplished actor. What is your favourite type of role to play and why?
I love action and I love playing characters who really aren’t sure they are going to survive. I also really like comedy. Without a doubt, though, John Sheppard was my favourite role. I would love to have played Indiana Jones and I am also hoping to get a crack at the Nathan Drake role for (the action-adventure video game), Uncharted.

There has been much talk about a SGA movie. Are there any updates that you can give us?
No plans on the books yet.

You co-star with Jean-Claude Van Damme in the upcoming DVD release, 6 Bullets. What was it like playing opposite the Muscles from Brussels?
I really enjoyed working with him and doing a more orthodox action movie than I am used to. My role was great and I’m hoping people enjoy it as much as I enjoyed shooting it. 

For more info about Fan Expo Canada visit

About the Author: Terri-Lynne Waldron has been covering entertainment journalism for over 20 years and you can follow her on Twitter at @tw1976.



Jun 012012
conversation with the Colonel


Stargate Atlantis-related interviews with Joe Flanigan, written or video, originally posted during the show being shot and aired for the first time (2004-2009).

19 items in this post (latest 3 items were added on 2 Jan 2013)

Interview by, 2008

Interview Rewind: Joe Flanigan

By , August 12, 2011

This interview was originally published in 2008 and is presented again here to mark the release of Stargate: Atlantis – The Complete Series on Blu-ray (reviewed here).

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.

CinemaSpy: Would you consider Sheppard to be old fashioned?

Joe Flanigan: No, I’d never consider him to be old fashioned. Old school?

CinemaSpy: I’m referring to the relationship with Teyla. Sometimes there’s an old fashioned treatment of Teyla, do you not think?

Joe Flanigan: What’s old fashioned? What do you mean?

CinemaSpy: Well, she’s pregnant so you don’t want her to go on missions. That felt old fashioned to me.

Joe Flanigan: As opposed to putting a pregnant woman in the middle of battle.

CinemaSpy: Or letting her decide for herself what she can and cannot handle.

Joe Flanigan [laughs]: I don’t write this stuff, remember? I act it. I think, actually, that there’s a protective thing regarding . . . I don’t think anybody’s ever seen it that way before, but if it’s old fashioned. . . . I don’t think it’s old fashioned. If a woman’s pregnant you’ve got to make sure she’s out of physical harm. Seems like a pretty logical thing, doesn’t it?

CinemaSpy: It’s protective.

Joe Flanigan: But wouldn’t it be considered insanely responsible to stick a pregnant woman in the middle of battle? I don’t see it that way. What I found in that particular storyline with her being pregnant and wanting to go and not wanting to go, what I found – actually Rachel and I both found – we were like, “This is so tedious.” It actually plays as an impatient kind of thing, which was more interesting. I said it to her and we made a choice, I said, “I think I should be really tough on you and impatient because I’m tired of asking whether you want to stay or go.” I don’t think he’s old fashioned. He might be a little old school. When it comes to men and women and their relationships and the military, no, I think he’s pretty modern. [pause] I just want you to know that when I was pregnant, I was in battle. I went to war.

Question: Ever since you were stuck in that cell with Todd [a Wraith played by Chris Heyerdahl], you guys have had a really interesting relationship. How would you describe that dynamic and where does it pick up this season?

Joe Flanigan: With Todd the Wraith? [pause] There’s a Todd and a Bob and a Steve, and now this year there’s a Ken. Ken was a weird one. I was like, “Where’s the Barbie?” [pause] We pick up with Todd and try to come to some type of a deal, an agreement, where he can help us and we can supposedly help him. Surprisingly, it backfires. Which makes a very interesting 44-minutes of entertainment: When plans go badly. That’s what we just finished shooting, and Chris Heyerdahl, who plays that character as usual – he plays a lot of different Wraith, he’s one of our best Wraith, if not the definitive Wraith. Much to his chagrin, ‘cause he’s a great actor. I think we should introduce him as himself on the show somehow. We just generally have fun with those characters. It’s an interesting thing, the only thing we try to keep an eye out for is not becoming so familiar.

Question: Yeah, it’s not like you’re drinking buddies.

Joe Flanigan: Exactly. Or that there’s a freaky element to it and that we’re always adversarial in that on any given moment we’d like to clearly kill each other. So no love lost.

CinemaSpy: I’ve read you say that you’d like to see episodes that explore Sheppard’s background a little more. Do you have a particular idea of what his background should be?

Joe Flanigan: Well, yeah, I do. We did part of that in “Outcast” [Season 4]. “Outcast” was a story that I came up with. My original idea was that Ronon and I have to go back to Earth because Replicators have infiltrated the population and they are insidious because you can’t distinguish who’s who. But basically us running around civilian areas blowing things up. And they liked that idea and wove some backstory into that regarding my father passing away. I think the episode turned out pretty well and I think they are going to return to that. If I’m not mistaken – and you really should talk to the experts, who are the writers and producers, on the issue – they say on our hundredth episode we’re going to Vegas. And I think that if we’re in Vegas it’s because there’s aliens there, right? What better way to spend a weekend in Vegas? Killing aliens.

Question: That’s the season finale for the year, right?

Joe Flanigan: It is the season finale, too.

CinemaSpy: Vegas? Now, practically, how do you do that?

Joe Flanigan: Well, you’ve got to walk away from the blackjack table. Save the galaxy.

CinemaSpy: No, shooting the thing.

Joe Flanigan: Shooting Replicators in Las Vegas?

CinemaSpy: Are they going to send second unit down there to shoot sequences?

Joe Flanigan: Why can’t we shoot main [unit]?

CinemaSpy: Really? Actually go to Vegas?

Joe Flanigan: Sure. We’re going to Vegas, man. Actually, Jason and I were all excited and high-fiving, “We’re going to kill aliens in Vegas.” And then he found out that he wasn’t in the sequences.

CinemaSpy: So what happens there won’t stay there in this case.

Joe Flanigan: I think we’re going to end the season there. I think the last four days of shooting will be us there.

CinemaSpy: Then the CSI guys will move in.

Joe Flanigan: I think there should be a crossover.

Question: You mentioned Replicators. What are some hints about what we’re going to see in that storyline this season.

Joe Flanigan: Surprisingly, we’ve dealt with a Replicator variation, and the Weir character comes back in this Replicator variation, but we’ve been dealing with more Wraith this season. I personally prefer the Wraith because I think they are more . . . spooky. The Replicators are weird because you’re acting with a regular person, they look very regular. It’s not until they add in the special effects that you realize they are crazy and spooky.

CinemaSpy: So it’s harder to play off of?

Joe Flanigan: It’s a little more challenging, [pause] but I’m old fashioned, in the sense that I like to have bad guys and good guys and I like to be able to tell who the bad guys are and who the good guys are. It’s kind of classic, “There’s a monster, let’s go kill the monster” stuff. The episodes that I find most challenging are the conceptual pieces where you’re in parallel universes and all that stuff, because it is primarily a show that requires a lot of exposition to explain, and it’s challenging from an acting perspective because you’re just dealing in high concept. You have to create urgency out of high concept, versus there’s somebody’s claws going into my chest. Which is, to me, more interesting. It’s also why sci-fi does well, because it can do almost anything. It’s an incredibly flexible format. You can reinvent it in any way you want.

CinemaSpy: One of the keys to Sheppard has been playing off the “boss” of the mission. You’ve got another new boss in Season 5. How is that going to change things for you?

Joe Flanigan: I’ve been introducing that as our “hot new female lead, Robert Picardo [playing Richard Woolsey].” He is interesting because – Robert and I discussed it – we were expecting an adversarial relationship, and it didn’t really work out that way. It was strangely constructive, and that’s generally something I’ve always told the writers we should avoid. People should not get along in shows, they should always not get along because it’s more interesting to watch. We found an interesting moderate form of that which is that he is a little bit of a peacock, and he likes the protocol, he likes to be able to be the person in charge, but in truth when you close the doors he has a certain level of humility and he comes to you for advice because he knows he doesn’t quite know what the hell he is doing. So we’ve had these scenes where it’s kind of a nice relationship. It’s not all that different from the relationship that me and Carter [Amanda Tapping] had. But what I like about Robert’s character clearly has these personality flaws that are fun to watch. Amanda’s perfect. On-screen and off-screen, she’s unflappable and imperturbable. I tried desperately to crack her and I couldn’t.

Question: Robert may have been misadvertised a little bit. You’re not the first person today that’s talked about having a fairly good relationship with him on the show.

Joe Flanigan: The fictional relationship? Yeah. ‘Cause we all hate him in person. [laughs] No, he’s an absolutely great guy. I was having drinks with him last night. It’s an interesting thing and to be honest with you it’s probably smart because if he came in too bombastically, you’ve got already this super-cohesive team, they’d probably take him down. And he has to have some of the sympathy of the audience. There’s only so much you can do in that regard. It would be fun to have a so-called antagonist of the bureaucratic sense. We do need some bureaucrat in there messing with us. We’re missing that.

Question: It’s kind of his role, isn’t it?

Joe Flanigan: Well, a lot of times you introduce these characters and they become acceptable characters. But we need a loathsome bureaucratic personality. There’s so many of them, why can’t we just get one on our show?

Question: Speaking of different characters, everyone always says that there’s something between Sheppard and Teyla. Last season I noticed a spark between you and Jill Wagner’s character, the traveler. Did you notice that, too, and are they going to develop that more this season?

Joe Flanigan: Well, she’s supposed to come back and she’s doing another show. So I’m not sure that we’re going to be able to get her back during our shooting schedule. So what we’ve done is we reinvented that character. Well, we haven’t reinvented it. What we’ve done is she and her group come back, but it’s going to be a different girl that is part of that group. From my understanding, the last I heard, it was going to be Nicki Aycox who is a really good actress. You lose good actors a lot of times. They’ve got other jobs to go to.

Question: That’s too bad, because there was a nice banter between the two characters.

Joe Flanigan: Oh, I thought it was fun. It was a lot of fun. She’s going to do really well. Jill’s great; a lot of fun to work with.

Question: What has you excited about the arc that they’ve created this season?

Joe Flanigan: I think we’ve been emphasizing a lot of action, and I think that I’m always a proponent of action. In fact, I’m proposing that we do a big action episode with no dialogue. Where I’m basically stuck in some world and I’m on my own and there’s nobody to talk to anyway. So you’re stuck and you’re fighting for your life against another beast-like thing.

CinemaSpy: It seems to me that Sheppard would talk to himself in that situation.

Joe Flanigan: Well, he may, but he probably would occasionally talk to himself but the emphasis would be primarily action, action, action, action. Which would be a nice counter to all these high concept, super sci-fi like things. The truth is, it’s funny, our show airs on Action Network, and a number of people that are action fans like our show. Which is a funny little side branch that there are not that many action TV shows. There’s not that many action-adventure TV shows; they are cost prohibitive. So we’re one of the few pretty decent . . . I was watching one – unnamed – show, high visibility network show, and I was astounded at how bad the action was. It was abysmal. The coverage, the quality of the stunts.

CinemaSpy: What show did you say that was?

Joe Flanigan: I’m not going to say. [pause] But I was astounded. Then I thought to myself, “We have definitely one of the better action-adventure shows on the air.” I like action-adventure, and I’ve also really learned to like sci-fi. ‘Cause I didn’t watch sci-fi TV, and now I watch sci-fi TV. So action. I’m all about action. And I think, also, action is great to reach out to mainstream viewers. ‘Cause I’m a little bit simple when I watch TV, and if somebody’s sitting there talking to me, trying to explain something, I generally turn the channel. But if somebody is getting the crap beaten out of them and trying to survive, I’m like, “[giggle] He’s getting his ass kicked. Look at that.”

CinemaSpy: On that note, is Sheppard ever going to learn to get the upper hand on his sparring partners?

Joe Flanigan: No. He can’t compete with Teyla. Is that who you’re talking about?

CinemaSpy: You have some run-ins with Ronon, too.

Joe Flanigan: Yeah, but they’re kind of the martial arts angle.

CinemaSpy: The true training is with Teyla?

Joe Flanigan: I tend to be more of the Harrison Ford vein. [mimics drawing a pistol] “Blam!” That’s pretty much where my skills come in. I have a sloppier, more improvisational approach to winning battles. They are not well choreographed. It’s funny, because [James Bamford], our stunt coordinator, we talked about that. At the beginning of the show he was like, “This guy’s going to be like . . .” and I thought, I don’t think that is the character. I think the character is more regular guy in extraordinary circumstances who just feels like he’s flying by the seat of his pants and he’ll be lucky if he pulls this thing off. As opposed to that [martial artist] guy. It’s fun to have those characters on the show, but I just thought my character is not going to be like that. Chances are in his off time he won’t be sparring, he’ll be drinking beer.

CinemaSpy: Playing golf.

Joe Flanigan: Or playing golf. Yes.

Question: You mentioned getting into the genre now that you’re doing this. What are some of the other genre shows that you enjoy?

Joe Flanigan: Well, I don’t watch a lot of TV. But I like to buy DVDs and watch various shows. It’s really a great way to watch shows. I think a lot of people are realising that. When you watch DVDs, you can watch them right through. I like Entourage. I really liked Deadwood. I would love to do a western. Westerns are also very cost prohibitive. But I would say I watch movies, mostly. And there is some really good television. I don’t watch reality television because it scares me. It frightens me to the depths of my soul.

CinemaSpy: Why?

Joe Flanigan: Because they are real. Real people scare me. I want fabricated people. [pause] No, because I find it unnerving to know so much about people. I’m probably a lone voice in the whole thing. I’m not a big fan of reality television; there’s very little I’ve ever watched. Love documentaries. I just watched Surfwise last night, very interesting, about the Paskowitz family. Interesting. I love documentaries. But for some reason the reality shows strike me as . . . trash. They are, I’m not saying there’s not some interesting ones. And I won’t watch American Idol because the truth is I’m sure I’d get addicted. And I don’t have time for addictions right now.

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.

CinemaSpy: So if your character is not the best fighter, if he’s not a guy like Jason [Momoa’s] character, where does your character’s inner strength come from? What is it that keeps him going? What is it that drives him if he’s a little irreverent.

Joe Flanigan: [taps his holster]

CinemaSpy: Beyond that.

Joe Flanigan: He’s a good fighter, but truthfully, there’s always somebody stronger. Surviving. [laughs] He wants to live. Remember, most of those situations he’s in, he’s about to die. You’ve got your survival instinct, you also protect other people. The dynamic is always about the team, right? Anytime one of the team members is in trouble, everybody gives up everything they’re doing to go find that and they never give up doing it. That’s a really important thing, that whole loyalty aspect is something that plays very strongly with the audiences. It’s something they really enjoy watching. I think there is a deep sense of loyalty in the character, for sure. It’s a quality I admire. Loyalty is . . . [pause] I sound serious.

Question: Every year they seem to get you in the makeup chair for something.

Joe Flanigan: Some prosthetic?

Question: It’s provided some really good episodes like that one with Todd where you age was amazing. Have you had that this year again?

Joe Flanigan: No, I haven’t. I’m okay with that, it never really bothers me, but every actor who goes through it seems to dread it. Rachel had to do it this year with “The Queen”, and remember she’s breastfeeding. She’s like, “I’m going to have these prosthetics and I’ve got to go breastfeed my child and I look like a monster.” She was really upset about it and they were like, “We’ll make some gloves and maybe a hood for you.” I just thought it was hilarious. I was giving her a hard time. I was like, “No, your child is going to be permanently scarred. You’ll be lucky if he ever wants milk again.” She’s like, “That’s not funny!” I was like, “Well. . . . There are a lot of psychiatrists who can pick up the detritus of this whole tragedy.” But she said that he did remarkably well and breastfed during that whole thing and I said, “Of course, he was starving. It’s latent. It pops up twenty years later. It’s a very destructive form.” It was a lot of fun. It was a really difficult issue for her, understandably. Anytime it’s difficult for somebody we have fun.

Question: We’ve heard there’s an interesting dream sequence between the two of you this season. What’s that about?

Joe Flanigan: Yeah, there is a dream sequence. With a surprise guest star in that dream sequence. I haven’t seen it, but I hear it’s good. I’ve seen the dailies, but I kind of wait until things are pretty polished to look at the final cut. Because if I watch every cut, it’s like, “Why did they do that?” Sometimes it’s just best to wait for some effects and music to kick in. I think I’m about to die, or something, and I have a dream sequence.

CinemaSpy: What have been some of the other highlights of what you’ve done on Season 5 so far?

Joe Flanigan: I got a new skateboard. My other one fell apart. As far as this season goes with the show, it seems like they’ve got me and Jason working together more, which is always good because that means we’re going to probably do some action. We did one episode where McKay [David Hewlett] loses his, he goes – call it senile, but there’s no real term for it because it is fictional disease. It’s a very good episode. It’s nice to do character pieces with some character development. If you watch the show you’ll realise that a lot of times we’re engaged with some exterior problem on a level where you’re constantly engaged with something and you don’t have time for character development. So when you do get a script that has that it’s kind of nice. And I think everybody did a really amazing job. Everybody has really great moments in that episode.


Solitary Man, video interview by, 2009

Solitary Man (Interview with Joe Flanigan)

Video interview by, taped in April 2009 at the Vancouver SG convention. Joe talks about shooting “Vegas” and the end of the series.


Online interview by AXN Hungary, 2009

Online interview with Joe Flanigan by AXN Hungary

AXN Hungary had initially announced a chat with Joe in May 2009, but it has turned into a collection of questions that Joe answered online.

Joe Flanigan: Thankyou all for writing me these questions. I am deeply sorry about our online chat that didn’t happen. I was in Toronto shooting a project and staying in a hotel whose internet connection failed right before our interview. Thanks to Adam and all his patience. Look forward to all personally meeting you oneday
Teensqueen: I have a simple question, how are you?
J.F.: I’m great. Feel very lucky about my life.
Some guy from the Czech republic: Hello Joe.I´d like to know what do you think about downloading TV shows and movies (like StarGate).I know it´s not good but before AXN we didn´t have much options to get our beloved Atlantis :-).Thanks for response, sorry for mYstakes (hope dictionary helped ;-) PS could you say HI for me to David?
J.F.: Well…we know it’s not going away. One of the reasons TV programming has gotten worse on networks is the lack of revenue stream, Downloading is the noose to hang ourselves
Sylvia Knowles: I’m a big fan of yours! Thanks for some great moments as John Sheppard, Vegas was my favorite episode ever! At the Vancouver con you said you were keeping bees? How is that going? Any new projects in the works?
J.F.: Bees are very good. Very Busy. They work awfully hard. I wonder if there are actually lazy bees? Just finished an episode of Warehouse 13 for the Sci Fi network. Will be shooting a movie in Vancouver for the month of January.
P$YCHO: Hi Joe! Do you like beer? Whats your favourite? Have a nice day!
J.F.: Love Beer. My Dad was a brewer. Made Budweiser. Love it or hate it, but that’s the family beer.
Philip Kasabov: Hey Joe! I’m a big fan of the Stargate series and i have 2 questions for you 1. Will you take part in Stargate Universe?
J.F.: No
Philip Kasabov: If you had the chance would you take part in Stargate Atlantis again?
J.F.: Probably. I miss my cast members and the crew. There is a lot of unexplored elements left for Atlantis. Personally I think it could have easily gone for another 5 years. No one is really certain why it was cancelled. Every producer/executive lays the blame on the other so it’s becomes impossible to understand the true reasons. I think our cast did a truly amazing job in helping build a succesfull franchise, but I don’t think that it is seen that way by the writers and producers. If Universe is successful, the prevailing theory among the writers and producers will be that actors are dispensible and not a critical part of the show. Only time will tell. I don’t know about you, but I think there are a lot of crappy shows on the air and I really appreciate good acting and interesting characters more than formulaic and procedural dramas.
Gina: Hello, Joe. I’m a forteen-year-old girl from Hungary. I have three questions for you. 1. I know that you play the guitar. What kind of music do you play? 2. I hope that you don’t smoke. Am I right? 3. After three boys, would you like a girl, too?
J.F.: Love all kinds of music. Listening to RadioHead right now. Mozart this morning. Probably be listeing to Rage Agianst the Machine by the afternoon. I do not smoke, at all. I’m very active and could never keep up my schedule of games if I smoked. I love my boys. I even love their problems. I would like to have a girl, but would probably adopt if I had another one. There are too many children in need.
Rose: Are you still playing the guitar? Thanks, Rose
J.F.: Not as much.
George: When we will see The Stargate Atlantis Movie?
J.F.: Good question. You might want to ask the producers.
Sanzi: Hi, (sorry about my english) my favourite episode of the Atlantis series is 05×19 (Vegas). Do you play poker regularly? The nice .45 Colt 1911 single row magazine was yours? And the car? :-) They both really suits you.
J.F.: Fun episode to shoot. Nice gun, and car. Wish I could keep both. Love poker. Listen to that scene again. The dialogue is based off something that happened for real at my house. My friend got her finger bit off by a dog and Robert Cooper thought it was strange and funny. So did I, so we put in he show. When I told the actors, who were from the Sopranos, they freaked out. Made it even funnier.
Andra: Hi Joe! If you would have to face a similar situation to that in Stargate Atlantis, as John S. does in the show, do you think you would be as cool and as in control as the character you played was? XXOO
J.F.: Good question. I don’t think anybody know exactly how they will respond to a crisis. My father-in-law is a quadraplegic from a skiing accident. He is my hero. Goes to work every day and never complains. I think he surprised himself and found this great inner well of strength. I would like to think we all would, but hopefull we will nerver have to find out.
Adam: Hi Joe, I would have two short questions: what was the strangest thing a fan surprised you with? And would you go to “Dancing with the Stars” if they would ask you to be one of the celebrities on the show?
J.F.: I’ve had some pretty strange gifts, ranging from chunks of ice from the Anarctic to women’s panties. Most of the gifts are truly heartfelt and sweet. I don’t think I am a dancing with Stars type of guy. How about “Shooting Guns with the Stars”?
Deb Selle: I’m still holding out hope for the Stargate Atlantis movie :-). But in the meantime, what type of projects are you interested in getting involved in? Another series possibly, or a movie, or a play?
J.F.: I have been really fortunate in my career and hope that I continue to be. I have been offered a number fo things since I quit Atlantis. Many of them require relocations that would prove too difficult on my family. Some are simply not as interesting as my role as John Sheppard. I am looking for a show that will really invest in their lead characters. I’ll be shooting a movie in July.
Maria Petrova: If you are the one with the questions, what would you like to ask the “Stargate: Atlantis” fans?
J.F.: Would you like to see more Atlantis? As a movie or a series, or both? What characters worked and didn’t work? Would you like to see Chris Judge, David Hewlet and myself do another series, even if it’s unrelated to Atlantis?
Kuraimo: How do you do that, you look so good? :)
J.F.: ?? You mean shoot aliens, save the Universe and crack jokes?
G: Ok, stargate is a frnachise, and you are all connected somehow in the shows, but wasn’t it strange when Amanda Tapping / Sam Carter appeared in the show as the “leader”? I mean personnaly for you and for the other members of the cast – workwise?
J.F.: I love Amanda, as a person and an actor. I do think there was a significant risk bringing her over, namely making Atlantis SG2. A lot of the things I was trying to achieve on Atlantis were big stylistic departures from the SG1. I was a fish swimming upstream.
Iary: Have you ever brought your kids to the Stargate Atlantis set? If so, how did they react? What do they think about their dad playing a scifi hero?
J.F.: For a long time, my kids thought that I flew to space everday to kill badguys. They still play with my action figure. That’s always flattering.
Cécelie: Hi, I’m Cécile from France. I was wondering if you had any personal backstory for Sheppard that never made it on screen but that you had in mind when playing the character, things that may have happened to him or that he may have done. Thank you very much for participating in this chat!
J.F.: Sheppards family, and for that matter his personal life, went largely unexplored. There is a lot of interesting stuff there. I was hoping more earth based episodes could bring them to light.
George: Hello Joe, have a little question “To je na hovno tohleto, kdo vymyslel ze budeme zrovna pod vodou”. Do you understand that or not? Its David Nykl monologue from 2×14 Grace under Presure. Im from CZ and Im realy curious if you understand that or if your answer was from script.
J.F.: Nichol spoke Chec. I told him to say the most vulgar thing possible. I hope he made me proud.
J.F.: Love Star Wars. Favorite is probably Empire Strikes Back, or the original. Han Solo rocks!
Katja: What are you doing currently, I mean after the end of SGA? Some long vacation or rather shooting something new? We miss you terribly ;-)!
J.F.: Just finished shooting a project in Toronto. Supposed shoot a film in July. Don’t want to get involved in another TV project unless the character is really interesting
Carmen: Hello Joe! You play the chararcter of someone who is a good friend, a brave fighter who can also be very attractive and has a lot of sex appeal and i was wondering how much of yourself you find in that description? Thank you.
J.F.: I am too smart to answer that question Hi Joe…My name is Vojta Majer and I am from Czech republic… Anyway i want to do apologize for every mistake or rubbish what I going to do in your grammar…I so sorry ….OK let´s go to that questions… 1.What is your favourite beer??? and 2.Do you relly like Johnny Cash??? Ok that´s all so by.
J.F.: Love Beer, but really love single malt scotch. Lagavulin 16 year. Johnny Cash is a national treasure. God Bless Johnny Cash
Michael Petrik: Hello Col. Sheppard.You´re excellent actor,but if stargate really exist and all of it you play and they come to you as a ordinary man and tell you to be first to go through to unknown planet,will you have a courage to make a first step?Thnx for answer.
J.F.: I think I am just stupid enough to do that.
Csaba Komives: Hello Joe, I would like to ask you about Richard Dean Anderson and his jokes(looking stupid) in the SG-1 series. I noticed, that the character you play uses almost the same humour as him. And my question is: was Richard an inspiration for you, or it was requested by the director? Thanks a lot
J.F.: No, In fact I never even saw SG1 untill much later. I actually think my character is very different from Rick’s, but I like what he does generally. We make very different choices but both like to have fun.
Palotai Marci: Hello again Joe, Do you like golf in real life? Because John Sheppard likes it. Thank you
J.F.: Yes. Very much
Cristi: Hi John, I am Cristi from Romania. In some episodes from Stargate Atlantis you have contact with people who meditate to became like Ancients, to live on a high level of existence. Also you meet Ancients.This made you curious to read about meditation (maybe insight – meditation, forest sangha) ?
J.F.: I don’t have a long enough attention span to meditate.
Jan from Poland: I also want to ask you: if you had a chance to play in new Stargate serial – Stargate Universe, would you do this? Would you come back to role of John Seppard?
J.F.: I don’t really think that will happen.
Maria Petrova: What’s the one thing you would steal from Atlantis?
J.F.: Spaceships…and beer
Marta Poland: Someone told me once that good Science-fiction has got more science in it, than fiction. What do You think about it ?
J.F.: Interesting question. They have both. The future and the potential of civilization is fiction now, only to be truth later. Maybe in our lifetimes
Martine Dellaleau: You had the chance to shot in the episode “The Kindred”, a small stage with your son Aidan and Truman. I want to know what you felt as a father in this little moment. Thank you for taking the time to answer the many questions from fans.
J.F.: Makes me laugh. They played villagers in a prison, and I was supposed to free them. The director told them to be very serious, tired, scared etc.. My middle kid, Truman, would see me and say “Daddy” with a big smile. My oldest kid Aidan was taking it very seriously and was horrified by Truman’s acting. It was pure gold.
Rics: Hi joe .Are you hate all kind of bugs or just the iratus?:D
J.F.: Not a big fan of bugs
Violeta from Romania: Hi again Joe. I know that you’ve graduated History in College and I’m also a History student and a History addict, also. My favorite part is Ancient History. What is yours?
J.F.: Huge question that would require an entire day to answer. However, I have always been fascinated by history and think that almost all the answers are buried in the past. If we were just wise enough to understand them. My oldest kid has the bug for history also. If nothing else, history can you give you a healthy perspective on the present. I think mankinds best days are ahead.
Michal: Hi Joe, I m from Slovakia. First of all, I d like to congratulate you to 5 great seasons of Atlantis – I ve had a great time watching it. My question is :Do you use that phrase of yours, I dont think so, with your typical voice melody in every day life ? Wish you good luck, see you in SGA movie :-)
J.F.: Not sure what you are talking about. But I have a little bit of a western drawl naturally. It’s a distinct accent that perplexes a lot of people because they can’t pin it down.
Melania A.: Hello again . Did u have to learn any special skills for Atlantis ? What were they ? Love the cast and the team behind the cameras , u all did a verrry good job !
J.F.: Yes. I can really shoot guns, drink beer, crack jokes.
Hugi: Hi Joe! If you were a jedi knight, what would be the colour of your lightsaber? Thanks!
J.F.: Purple
Éva: With one answer, how would you prove that you’re really Joe Flanigan on the other side of the chat? :)
J.F.: Sometimes I wish I wasn;t Joe Flanigan.
Lise: hello it’s lise again . one last question, an alien ring your door what’s your choice :you trying to get to know him or call the army.thank you for your answer
J.F.: Probably offer him a drink and ask him to babysit my kids so I could go on a surf trip.
Marianna: Hi! Did you watch the series before you got into it? What was your first tought when you got John’s role? ~Thank you!
J.F.: As I said earlier, I had never watched Stargate. I actually was given the material by my manager and told him thanks, but no thanks. I wasn;t excited about the idea of doing a Star Trek-like TV show. When they came back to tell me they it was all very self-deprecating it changed everything.
Julia: Did the creators ever ask the actors about what they would want to have in the next episodes? Was there anything you could decide upon? (small things like clothes and colors and effects, texts maybe)
J.F.: There is usually collobaration and small issues like wardrobe, and specific dialogue issues
Sorins: If u would go “off world” in a mission and u could bring only one of your teammates who would it be. As a more serious question , who would u like to work again if given the opportunity (beyond stargate film/show) ofcourse from the cast of atlantis.
J.F.: The safest team would be me an Jason, but the funnier one would be me and Hewlett.
Michal: If Stargate is real, would you like to live as Joe Flannigan or John Sheppard?
J.F.: Tough question.. Probably a little bit of both


SGA promo video featuring Joe, 2006

SGA promo video  featuring Joe, 2006

Not a very good quality recording, but a fun promo vid shot during the first season of Atlantis. Joe is the host (“a peek behind the scenes with the show star, Joe Flanigan”), introducing us to the cool things he gets to play with during shooting, and a nice little Joe impersonation by David Hewlett, right at the end.


Space Daddy, interview by, 2004

Space Daddy, GateWorld talks with Joe Flanigan

The first of Joe’s interviews with, dated December 2004, right after the first 10 episode had been aired, before the “The Eye” premiere in January 2005. However, shooting for the whole first season had been done by the time of the interview. GateWorld’s audio interview with Joe Flanigan is available in MP3 audio format for easy listening (check the original source for the audio file), and is about 31 minutes long. It is also transcribed below.

GateWorld: This is David Read for I’m on the phone with Joe Flanigan, Major John Sheppard on Stargate Atlantis. How are you doing, Joe?

Joe Flanigan: I’m doing very good!

GW: Glad to have you with us! Joe, can you tell us about the moment you found out you had won the role of John Sheppard?

JF: Well, there wasn’t exactly a specific moment that I can recall, but it happened within a 24-hour time frame. What happened is my manager was at the Golden Globes, and one of his clients had won a Golden Globe. And the president of MGM Television went up to congratulate him and in the course of this conversation he said, “I don’t know what to do, I’ve got this new series I’m starting and I can’t find my lead guy. Do you know anybody that fits this description?” And he said, “Actually, I do, and why don’t you meet with him tomorrow morning?”

And so I met with him the following morning and it was pretty much a done deal. It happened much more quickly than most auditions come together. It came together really fast. It was relatively painless. We didn’t go through one of these long, lengthy negotiations. It was really nice. It was the type of experience you hope to have.

GW: Rachel [Luttrell, “Teyla Emmagan”] said she went through five or six auditions.

JF: She did, and I was there with her, because I read for her. After that I read with all the other actors who were auditioning for the parts. And, yes, they took her through a much more painful process, so she deserves more.

GW: Right. What was it that they were looking for that MGM just said, “Wow, we’ve got the guy right here?”

JF: You know, it’s hard for me to objectively tell you what it is. But I would probably say that it might be a mix of lightness, a little sarcasm without a little cynicism. It was a fine balance. I knew what they were going for, so for me it was relatively simple. They explained it very well and I knew exactly what they wanted, and it wasn’t very far from a few characters that I’ve played before. So to me it was relatively easy to do that. I guess that’s what they wanted, because they hired me.

GW: Rainbow’s screen test — in some of his dialogue he talks about how Sheppard went back and disobeyed orders from a superior officer, and went back and saved a couple of fallen comrades. But that’s not necessarily canon because it was a screen test, and we didn’t know really much about it. I was wanting to know if you knew, specifically, why Sheppard was so at odds with Sumner, in terms of recognition of authority.

JF: Well, it actually does — it goes back to that specific event, and it is for disobeying direct orders. That’s the back-story. The back-story is, in Afghanistan, there was a situation where a couple of his comrades needed rescuing, and that was a direct — the order was not to rescue them. Sheppard does, and consequently he’s sent unceremoniously to a different post in the Antarctic.

GW: Right, to McMurdo.

JF: Yeah. No! Was it McMurdo, is that where it was? You may know more than me. All I know was it was a big ice thing …

GW: Basically for latrine duty!

JF: You’re right! That’s a good one! [Laughter]

GW: I have to tell you, my dad is a helicopter pilot, and he was absolutely tickled to find out that there was a helicopter pilot leadingAtlantis. He thought that was so cool.

JF: It was also the funnest part to shoot.

GW: Really, to do the flying sequence?

JF: Yeah, that was a blast.

GW: Are you a science fiction fan?

JF: You know, it’s interesting. I’ve been asked that question a lot, and I’ve always said, “No, I’m not really a science fiction fan.” In contrast to the avid science fiction fan, I never considered myself a science fiction fan. But when a lot of people asked me what my favorite movies were, and TV shows, I found myself actually listing, predominantly, science fiction shows. And I realized that really I was a science fiction fan, but for some reason I didn’t see myself like that.

GW: Like, did you define it as something else and like, “Hmm. Maybe I am!”

JF: You know, I defined it as something that was … For one, I missed a lot of the Star Trek craze. And so I pictured Trekkies, people who knew all the details of every show and everything. I, instead, found myself really into things like “Blade Runner” and “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and a number of other things like that. And in the process I realized that I was a science fiction fan, from a slightly different nature. And now I’m actually a newly converted science fiction fan.

GW: Do your boys get into Atlantis?

JF: My little boys?

GW: Yes.

JF: Oh. You know, one’s four and a half and one’s two.

GW: Oh, OK. A little too young!

JF: The four and a half year-old, he likes it quite a bit. I’m somewhat selective about which to let him see.

GW: Oh, of course, yeah. There were a couple of those that were …

JF: Because sometimes he’s not quite sure. When I go to work and I walk out the door and jump in the van, he thinks that I actually go out into space and kill bad guys. And the sad thing is I don’t want to dissuade him from that because that’s a fairly heroic thing for a son to think his father does. And pretty soon he won’t have such high opinions of his father … so I want it to last for as long as possible!

GW: So from his point of view Atlantis is real!

JF: Well, he’s been to set. It’s very interesting. I’m fascinated with what actually takes place in his little mind, because I don’t know what he knows is real and what is fiction. He knows there’s work and he knows there’s an actual set. And I’m not sure he knows what’s real and what isn’t.

GW: Well, that should be interesting, to see him grow up with the series in the coming years.

JF: It will be, yeah.

GW: One year of shooting has been completed already. Is the experience, as a whole, different than what you imagined when you first started?

JF: Yes.

GW: It is?

JF: Yes.

GW: OK. Have you stopped to think, “Oh, God! What have I gotten myself into?”

JF: Um, yes! [Laughter] I have thought that on a few occasions, but that’s nothing unusual because I’ve thought that on a lot of projects. Science fiction tends to focus on special effects, on sets, on gadgetry and very technical jargon that I’m not used to with my previous projects.

And so I was a little taken back by that on a few occasions, because it became clear to me that we had this big, expensive set that had to be seen, and I had come from the tradition of shooting one-hour dramas where the sets were not that important. What they did is they primarily did close-ups and they dealt with interpersonal tensions and all those types of things. And it was a different animal. It was a little harder to get used to, in that regard.

But then when you see all the pieces put together it was really entertaining. And then I pretty much surrendered to it, and it’s been a lot of fun.

GW: What is your favorite show from this year?

JF: I think, so far, my favorite show is probably “The Storm” and “The Eye,” the two-hour — then the second part being particularly good, which is “The Eye.” And “The Eye” will actually air in January when we return. That’s really good. “Underground” was also really good.

And then we have a few more that are coming up that are really a lot of fun. The more action there is, to me, the better the episode. So I can’t get enough action. I’m always asking for more action. And action is expensive, so you have to be somewhat careful about how much action you can feasibly put into an episode.

And also action is time consuming. So you have a 50-page script, and it’s kind of broken down — or 44 pages, roughly, is what a script is — a minute a page, roughly, if it’s dialogue. But if 10 of those pages are action, you’re probably talking about a much slower pace then a minute a page. So you have all these variables.

But the reason I like action is because we do air all over the world and I think it’s something everybody can relate to. More importantly, I have a lot of fun doing it.

GW: Yeah, “The Eye” — we’ve seen some preview shots for “The Eye.” You definitely get a lot of physical workout in that episode. We’re looking forward for that here in the U.S. We haven’t got it yet though.

JF: That’s the only exercise I actually get!

GW: What is your most poignant memory from this past year? What first comes to mind out of the entire year?

JF: I would say, I think it was the second episode we shot, or the third episode, called “Thirty Eight Minutes.” I was on the floor for eight days shooting the episode, and I had a bug on me. And it was this big, classic, ugly bug that looked, you know, completely phony. It hurt like hell, and I was on my back. And I thought, “Well, I don’t know what the producers are doing but there’s something very sadistic about this.” Because, I mean, I actually die in the episode. I don’t know, we’re getting off to a rocky start here!

And I just thought that it was very funny, sitting there, lying on my back for eight days with a bug on my neck. And you hear people saying things like, “Oh, put more blood on the bug!” It became clear to me that I was actually fully immersed in the science fiction genre at that point. That was a funny moment.

GW: When they pulled that thing off that was absolutely — it grossed me out, and I’ve seen a lot of gory stuff.

JF: It was — I mean people, like I said, it’s remarkable. These guys are really good at what they do. Because if you saw the bug, I mean, we were joking about it. We thought they should take the ACME label off. We thought it was phony and ridiculous, but by the time they got finished with the special effects it looked like a good one. So, you know. What you experience there in reality and what you obviously see on screen are two very different things.

GW: Very different. Right.

JF: Oh, yeah.

GW: Do you have a wish list for Sheppard in year two?

JF: Actually, I don’t so much think in terms of a wish list for the character as I do for the show, because they’re kind of inextricable. I think about Sheppard and the show. I don’t just think about Sheppard — I think they’re just intertwined.

And what I’d like to see the show do, and I think where the show’s going to go, is that the city of Atlantis is essentially the size of Manhattan, and it’s empty. So we get to explore the city, which is really exciting, and there are endless discoveries to make.

And the city actually has a potential. It has a higher cosmic purpose, and it will slowly come to life and fulfill the higher purpose of why Atlantis was built and why it was moved. And I think that’s going to be exciting, but it really requires us incrementally building the mythology of our show — which will take a few seasons. And then these pieces will fall together and it will become a fairly sophisticated mythology — a self-sustaining mythology. And then, I think, that’s what I wish for. I think that’s where we’re headed, and I don’t think it’s too optimistic to think that this’ll happen.

GW: Have you had discussions with the producers to that end?

JF: Yeah, I have! And it’s pretty exciting. We have so many options that it’s really exciting. And the great thing about science fiction is that you really have no limitations. When people said, “Oh, you’re going off to do this new science fiction show” — it’s really exciting. I had a couple fellow actors that were telling me how exciting it was and how much they wanted to do it, and one of their reasons was there are no limitations. You take any idea, it can be explored. You’re not even constrained by the time-space continuum! So it is exciting.

GW: The only limit really is the human mind to come up with this stuff.

JF: That’s exactly … well, the human mind and, of course, that nagging budget issue.

GW: [Laughter] That’s right!

JF: That’s the other one. That’s our time-space continuum.

GW: Do you feel Sheppard is compared to O’Neill too often?

JF: You know, before we actually aired we were compared all the time. And now, after the show’s aired, I never get asked that question anymore.

GW: Really?

JF: Yeah, it’s kind of interesting. I take that as a good sign. And there’s no doubt that when they went off to write this new series that they wanted a male lead character who, potentially, had the ability to lead a group of people through all sorts of adventures. And they like Richard Dean Anderson quite a bit, but they didn’t want a Richard Dean Anderson copy. That was a question that I think was the most asked question as we led up to our premiere, and then since the premiere nobody has asked me that question.

GW: Well, I’m sorry. [Laughter] I can take it back!

JF: Well no, I mean, you’re more than welcome to ask that question. But actually I was just saying that it hasn’t been asked anymore and I just take that as a sign that people are accepting the characters as their own characters. And listen, I think he’s a great character — I don’t think that it would be a bad thing for the character. They are really fundamentally different characters.

I think that the primary difference is that Sheppard really is, by nature, an optimist. He does believe in things. He does believe that people will do the right thing, if given the opportunity, and he does believe that things will work out. And I think that that may be the difference between the two characters, more than anything.

GW: Well, it seems to me that one of the hallmarks of Stargate is sarcasm and making fun of science fiction while science fiction is being brought to the screen.

JF: Yes, yes.

GW: And a leading man presenting that would definitely have to have some of those qualities. So that’s where I think they’re in common, but other than that, two totally different people.

JF: Yes, and you know what, I wouldn’t even want to do the show unless that was there. That, to me, is the single greatest strength of Stargate and Stargate Atlantis, is that ability to constantly — you know, a little wink of the eye to the audience. It is. We are having fun with the genre, yet we aren’t making fun of the genre. We’re twisting it and we’re having fun with it, but not enough to mock the material.

And when you said, “What were they looking for in the character,” that was an important part of it, was the ability to put sarcasm into the character without mocking the material. I just think that’s the best part of the show. We get to talk about Star Trek, even talk about MacGyver. I mean, and to me that’s the future of television — it may be self-referential, but it makes for great television.

GW: Are you pleased with Atlantis‘ ratings?

JF: Oh yes, very much.

GW: Are you surprised by them or was it something you were expecting?

JF: I am surprised by them. I had done a number of pilots and things for — and I’ve learned not necessarily to lower my expectations, but I’ve learned to extend my expectations. It’s very hard to know what’s going to succeed and what isn’t going to succeed, and I just simply extended my expectations. It’s hard to extend it, but I put them in a somewhat safe place so I wouldn’t be disappointed in case things didn’t go well.

And I was surprised our numbers were massive. I really expected to always be coat-tailing SG-1, and instead our numbers have been stronger. So I can’t imagine asking for anything more in that regard.

GW: Statistically, people have been saying that Atlantis has actually been helping SG-1 to get higher ratings.

JF: Well, there’s a lot of theories, and when you get on set and you talk to the guys on SG-1 and the guys on Atlantis, it’s the source of a lot of competition. People have a lot of fun with theorizing, you know, which show is supporting the other show!

GW: Are there any qualities about SG-1 that you hope Atlantis will take on as it matures and gets older?

JF: You know, it’s hard for me to answer that, because, I mean, what I want is a long-term, loyal fan base. Why they have a long-term, loyal fan base? I couldn’t even tell you. I’m sure there’s different reasons for different people. I can’t think of anything. What I just want is characters that are three-dimensional, and multi-faceted, entertaining.

And you know, I think a lot of entertainment — I go to just as much entertainment as anybody else — I don’t like watching movies or TV shows where you can’t root for your heroes, because your heroes aren’t that great of people. And so, I think that I like rooting for people if I like those characters, so I want characters that people find redeeming and entertaining. And if SG-1 has that then I want it, too.

I can’t think of anything really that SG-1 has that — I just think we’re such a different show. I haven’t really thought of it that way. Let’s put it this way: I really haven’t thought about it. But I would like us to get back to Earth.

GW: Oh, yeah, and that’s going to be happening. The producers have been saying that you’re not going to be Stargate: Voyager forever.

JF: No! That’s exactly right. Battlestar Atlantis?

GW: [Laughter] Yeah, that’s right! What interpersonal relationships between Sheppard and the others would you like to see strengthened in the coming years?

JF: Well, I think that what I’d like to see is — and I think some of our better episodes have been when there’s a real nemesis for Sheppard. I think that it makes for a good show.

GW: Like Kolya.

JF: Yes. And I mean a really powerful one that has a long-term, multi-episode life that’s a real threat. I think that that makes for a really good show, and it’s also fun to work against. The more obstacles there are for your character, the more fun it is to take that character around. So I’d like to see some, you know, real obstacles by way of a real nemesis.

GW: Our forum in particular really embraced the “Steve” Wraith, and it really took off with you playing against him and him being in the cell for so long. Was that a good experience as a villain that Sheppard just didn’t take seriously?

JF: You know, actually that was funny. We talked a lot about that scene, because Brad [Wright], our producer, loved the name “Steve.” And I thought, and I really believe this firmly, that “Bob” was a much better name. And so we sat around and argued about this. I was like, “Oh, Bob’s so much better!” “No, Steve’s better.” And literally we talked like this for quite a long time. He said, “Nope, we’re going with Steve.”

So we went with Steve, and the reaction to it was kind of crazy. People went nuts for the guy. But what was interesting was that scene, when we shot it, was right during the Abu Ghraib prison problem. And we were sitting there in our uniforms, with our flags — we all have our country’s flag — and I thought that we had to be really sensitive about this, that people would draw a comparison. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t; and chances are some will and some won’t.

So it actually took us in a direction that turned out to be kind of interesting, which was kind of more of a sympathetic approach to the prisoner. And sure enough, people were really sad to watch the guy die.

GW: Well, they just thought he was so short-lived! Like he could’ve went on for so much longer.

JF: He could have! We’ll there’ll be more Wraith to come.

GW: Right. Isn’t there like another Wraith that you name?

JF: Yes, there is. There is.

GW: Well, it’s interesting that Weir made the comment about the Geneva Convention, and I think it was you that said, “Well, if the Wraith were at the Geneva Convention the Wraith would’ve tried to eat everyone.”

JF: That’s right! It’s a thinly-veiled comment of today’s current topics, right?

GW: Right. And that’s what sci-fi does so well.

JF: It really does.

GW: Do you feel the writers will take Sheppard and Teyla’s relationship the distance, or is this just something temporary?

JF: Well, I think they just have to be really careful. I think this urgency that the team has in these episodes has to be paramount, and that when they start getting into romantic thinking — in some ways, it doesn’t seem appropriate. And yet at the same time, it’s also real life. People in the middle of war have relationships.

So, it’s done, it just has to be done in a way appropriate to the context and what the situation is. Our situation’s fairly dire, so dilly-dallying around, liking various people and flirting with them, in some ways, I think deludes the urgency of our show. So we’re going to do it but we’re going to do it in a way that I think will satisfy both groups.

GW: OK. Will Sheppard ever get to make use of your skateboarding skills?

JF: God, I hope so! I keep telling them. I say — no, the surfing! I said, “You know, we’re able to get a vast, giant ocean. I think we have some massive waves here. I think it would make a great episode.” They kindly nod their heads and they say, “Poor kid just misses Malibu.”

GW: Well it’s not every day that the lead man can skateboard around the lot all the time. And I just thought that would be a really cool little addition.

JF: You know what, I feel deeply attached to that thing. I love it. I love getting around on that thing.

GW: I have to say that’s a beautiful board that you have. I’ve never seen one quite like that.

JF: I contacted the guy at the company and I told him that we’re spending a lot of time — people are asking a lot of questions about it, so he sent me up a new board.

GW: Oh, really?

JF: Yeah.

GW: Awesome! Totally cool.

JF: I know!

GW: Do you hope to cross over into SG-1 in the future, for like an episode or two?

JF: Yeah, I do, and vice versa. And I think that will happen, but it won’t be like this open avenue between the two shows. I don’t think it can be. I think you have to be really careful about that.

GW: Do you plan to stay on board Atlantis for as long as the show lasts?

JF: I don’t know how long it’ll last!

GW: Ain’t that the truth!

JF: If we’re looking at 35 years from now if you ask me that question, I’ll have a different answer! I plan to definitely stay on board for us to develop a solid, syndicated package, which is 80 to a hundred episodes. And I really want to get the show to those numbers. And after that, then we’ll take it one step at a time.

GW: Right. You’ve signed on for six years, is that correct?

JF: You know, I saw that, and I said to myself, “I don’t remember that. I’d better go look at that again.” Maybe I should hire you as my agent.

GW: [Laughter] Well, Joe, I appreciate you taking the time to chat with us.

JF: You bet.

GW: And we definitely look forward to talking with you in the years to come.

JF: Likewise.


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Stargate Atlantis The Official Companion, season 1, foreword by Joe Flanigan

Although not technically an interview, these two pages of the Season 1 Official Companion booklet carry Joe’s thoughts about the show.

The Official Companions cover each season (available only for the first 4 seasons though) and are  rich documentary sources (especially for the die-hard fans), presenting all episodes in a season, including production details (on special effects, music, costumes, stunts, stand-ins, construction of the set, make-up, post-production etc.), heros’ characterisation,  and a generally reliable track record of the show. The booklets are packed with behind the scene stories and interviews, memories or short statements of the cast, directors, producers and other members of the crew, as well as lots of pictures. The series is authored by Sharon Gosling and can be found on amazon.

Each of the four “Companions” has a foreword by the lead actors (Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Paul McGillion and David Hewlett), and here below we have Season 1 foreword, signed by Joe (June 2005). 


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Interview of SGA cast after winning the 2008 People’s Choice Award for the newly introduced category of Favorite Sci Fi Show.

Matching written interview in the picture below (from a New Zealand TV guide).

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Frankly Flanigan, interview by, 2006

Frankly Flanigan, GateWorld talks with Joe Flanigan

Now in his third year on Stargate Atlantis, California-born Joe Flanigan is a certified science fiction veteran. His character, Lt. Colonel John Sheppard, has been shot at, tortured, captured by Wraith, turned into a bug, attacked by an invisible monster, possessed by an alien consciousness, and pined over by alien women. And, of course, he’s flown a whole lot of space ships.

GateWorld caught up with Joe on the set of this season’s “Irresistible,”and spoke with him about what is different in the show’s brand new season. Joe also talks about character backstory, getting back into the swing of long production days, and speaks frankly about where he thought Season Two didn’t live up to expectations.

GateWorld’s interview with Joe Flanigan is available in MP3 audio format for easy listening, and is 8 minutes long. It is also transcribed below. You can also download the interview to your MP3 player and take GateWorld with you!

GateWorld: For I’m Darren Sumner. I’m here with Mr. Joe Flanigan. Joe, thanks for welcoming us onto your stage today!

Joe Flanigan: Thank you for coming!

GW: Tell us a little bit about Sheppard as he finishes off Season Two, once again in mortal danger. What were your thoughts on how Season Two wrapped up?

JF: Typical cliffhanger, hopefully designed to drag you into the third season. And it gets really interesting. The conclusion of that is very interesting. And it was an interesting thing to come back to. You know we have four months off in between, so I virtually forgot everything. They had to remind me: “So you flew a 302 and latched on to the hull of a hive …”

I’m like, “Oh, I did? OK.”

GW: Is it kind of tough after such a long hiatus to get back into things?

JF: Well, it can be. It certainly can be, there’s no doubt about it. But no, it also feels very natural. The whole schedule is a reawakening, or I should say the opposite of that! It’s a difficult thing to hardwire yourself again for the 5 a.m. alarm bells and the 12- to 14-hour days and stuff. But that’s the way it works, you know.

GW: Do you start to feel like Sheppard again when you’re getting up at 5 a.m. and sitting in the make-up chair? There’s no way around it?

JF: Actually, no — I don’t really feel like I start to get ahold of that material [until] I’m actually with my fellow castmates. And then I fall back into it.

GW: Speaking of your fellow castmates: The show’s writers have said that one of their goals for Season Three is to improve the team dynamic, your relationships with one another. Is that something you are seeing coming out so far?

JF: This season? They’re making a pointed effort to write more material where there are moments of greater intimacy, greater bonding, things like that. They feel that perhaps there wasn’t enough in the last two years. And they’ve got to write them, [and] we do them. And I guess that’s what they’re going to do — start writing more of them.

And yeah, you see it — actually I’ve watched a number of the scenes that they have written. I’ve watched the dailies. And they’re nice. It’s nice to see the characters that you’re familiar with get to know each other [in] more intimate moments and stuff. They’re nice. I like them. As an actor, I enjoy it quite a bit because we have very few mano a mano scenes.

It was interesting, because someone was cutting together a reel for me and we couldn’t find a scene that lasted longer than 15 seconds, really. Because the show is an action show, and it’s “Boom boom boom boom.” Cut back and forth, intercuts, intercuts! And getting a whole scene that has an emotional arc, where two people arrive, they speak, and they then leave two pages later, slightly transformed — that’s traditional, dramatic style that I hope they inject more of that stuff into the show. Because as an actor it’s a lot of fun to do.

GW: Contrasted with Seasons One and Two, how is Season Three stepping up for Sheppard — aside from the fact that he’s latched onto a hive ship?

JF: I have yet to see the big Sheppard episodes that are apparently coming down the pipe. So far, for my character, the few episodes we’ve done are not necessarily Sheppard episodes. There are team episodes, and then we have a big Ronon episode that we just finished shooting.

Then we get back into a team episode. Then next we’ll be doing a Torri episode. I mention it that way, because really when I say that, that particular character will be driving the story. Ronon drove the story in“Sateda,” Torri [Weir] will drive the story in “Real World.”

So when you say, “What’s in it for my character?” — I’m not exactly sure that I can say anything has been filmed yet. But I know what we plan on doing. From my impression we’re going to get into some backstory issues that should be pretty interesting. We’ve said this before and not done it, which is a source of great frustration. Because at the last minute they’re like, “Well, we don’t have room to do this!”

Backstory is one of those things that if it works for the story, great. But I don’t think it’s worth creating an episode just for backstory. So you have to be flexible enough. These stories come along — these guys are working really hard upstairs to create 40 hours of original programming. And they have to have the flexibility of saying, “We’re not going to do the backstory this time. We’re going to do backstory in a few episodes.”

GW: Do you think that that was the case with “Epiphany” last year?

JF: “Epiphany” had … [Laughter]

Listen to me: I’m not much for being censored in these interviews. I’ll be frank. We had a lot of problems with “Epiphany” on a lot of different levels. And I don’t think Brad [Wright] or I were really happy with the end result of “Epiphany.”

GW: Really?

JF: No, we had much higher hopes for “Epiphany.” From concept to reality there was a drop-off. [Laughter]

But it’s a learning process. And I think Brad and I would probably agree, we both — there were a series of problems. Not to mention one of them was a two-and-a-half-week hiatus in the middle of that episode. But yeah, we had a different idea for “Epiphany.” And in the end we didn’t do it.

You know, not all episodes are great. Some are less good than others. I know I’m supposed to be sitting here and plugging this, but I’m also a viewer. I’m a regular part of the TV audience world, and I know that I like shows that I would watch. And this is a series that I definitely would watch. And some episodes are better than others.

The good thing is this season, though — each season, the first season, second season got better. This season has had the most marked improvements in terms of storylines, character development, lighting, you name it. We’re actually getting some really interesting stuff.

The show looks better than ever, if you want to know the truth. I’m pretty excited about the third season.

You may listen the interview here.

Where We Left Off, interview by, 2009

Where We Left Off, GateWorld talks with Joe Flanigan

Conventions are hectic events for everyone, but for celebrities it can be madness! GateWorld fell prey to actor Joe Flanigan‘s busy schedule at Creation Vancouver 2009 when we were forced to cut our last interview short. So we were delighted to be able to polish off our discussion in this second segment, recorded at Creation Chicago 2009.

If you haven’t read the previous interview, we suggest you do so first!

In this segment, Joe discusses the reduction in DVD sales, waiting to hear word from MGM and Bridge about an Atlantis movie go-ahead, and getting a chance to build some memories with his three young boys. He also discusses a new project he and a writing partner are undertaking!

This interview runs 12 minutes and is available in audio. It’s also transcribed below!

GateWorld: Last time we talked with you, we were in Vancouver. It was kind of rushed. We had a chance to talk briefly about the cancellation.

Joe Flanigan: Was that the last time?

GW: Yeah.


GW: We talked about the cancellation, briefly talked about “Vegas.” Obviously nothing has changed since the DVDs have been kind of put on hold while the economy is in recession. Were you aware of that? That they’ve been basically saddled until …

JF: We get slightly different stories. It’s hard to tell. I don’t know. I think that obviously there is a slump in the DVD market, without a doubt. That can always be a contributing factor. I don’t know. I know MGM says that it has something to do with that but, man …

GW: They do want it to happen.

JF: I think they want it to happen. It’s hard to tell. Who knows? When the show was canceled we were told the movie was green-lit and we were going to shoot it quickly. That’s been almost a year, so …

GW: And before a big economic falloff, too. Rob Cooper [Robert C. Cooper] recently said in an interview that, that was the big contributing factor and that MGM wants to hold on until things kind of start moving in the other way. And who knows when that’s going to be. I would think that the home DVD market would be booming because no one’s going out anymore.

JF: Well, I did speak with somebody specifically at MGM about that and they said, “The SG-1 movies did well.” And that SyFy wanted to be part of this and so what they tried to do is they did it with Caprica. And I think we sold something on the tune of 500,000 units and Caprica only sold 35,000 units. And MGM …

GW: Really? Ark of Truth and Continuum totaled?

JF: I think so. MGM was reading that as a disastrous downturn in the DVD market. But I was telling them I don’t think that’s a good economic model at all. Because I don’t think Caprica has any brand recognition like Stargate does. Nor do I think they have an existing fan base like Stargate does.

So, I urge them to reconsider that model because I don’t think that’s an accurate model of the DVD market. There may be a 15 to 20 percent drop in sales because of what’s going on, but it’s not going to be anywhere close to that. But that’s the model they’re looking at. So the way they see it, I think, is not good. Now, if the new show comes out and does well … I don’t know how that would affect the movies.

GW: What do you think about Stargate Universe? Have you talked with the folks who are developing it?

JF: No. I didn’t talk to anybody. Not a single person. I’m in touch with all the cast members. But no, I have not talked to anybody so I have no idea about any of it. I’ve got great respect for Robert Carlyle and those guys. I’m sure they’re working awfully hard and I really hope it works out. I really do.

GW: In the meantime you’ve been doing some guest spots. You’ve doneWarehouse 13.

JF: Ah, yeah.

GW: It’s doing very well.

JF: Yeah, it’s doing pretty well. That was really for fun. And I had fun. And then I looked at it and I was like, “Oh my God, I’m not doing anything in this episode.” You know? [Laughter] I’m not used to not doing anything in an episode. But they’re a really fun group of people and I really enjoyed working with them. And I think the show is doing well.

GW: Not having Atlantis day to day, obviously you have the opportunity to devote more time to family. You have a third son now, are they happy to see you more?

JF: He claims he’s my son. I feed him. He only gets two meals a day though.

GW: Is it nice to be home more?

JF: I love it. One of my kids was having some difficulty in school last year. I was gone a lot. Since I’ve been home, he hasn’t had any of those problems so I’d like to think that that helps.

There’s not doubt about it. Being around for their birthdays and being around for a lot of little memories are pretty priceless, so I’m enjoying that a lot. I’ve also gotten reconnected with a lot of friends in my neighborhood that I don’t really ever get to spend a lot of time with. I actually have a life. It’s actually really fantastic. I really enjoy it.

GW: Are you actively auditioning in L.A.?

JF: Well, not a lot. Things are pretty slow in Hollywood. Things are pretty slow. I mean, there’s always certain type of work if you want to do that but my parameters have gotten a little tight and I don’t know whether I am going to be able to stick to those parameters, but I really wanted to stay in Los Angeles. And shows are now shooting all over the place, from Mexico City to Detroit to Providence, and it creates a real quandary for me. It really does.

GW: It’s not easy to uproot your family. You’ve done that with Stargate.

JF: Yeah but also to compound that, if you go off to do one of these shows you just don’t know how long it will last, too. So you can’t really uproot your family. You could be told one day “Don’t come to set, the show’s over.” And then you’re moving out of your place in Mexico City. And so it puts a strain on things. That’s kind of where I’m at. I’m having a good time though, awfully good time.

GW: But of course we’ll hopefully see you back in Vancouver when they do say “Yes, let’s do the movie.”

JF: Your guess is probably as good as mine. You probably have … I could call and ask flat-out. Maybe I’ll get an answer, I have no idea. [Laughter] I have no idea. I’m surprised they’re not doing a movie. But that could reveal just how little cash they have right now. I mean, they may be on vapors. I’ve been hearing that for so many years, though, that MGM is teetering on the precipice. You just, I don’t know …

GW: But you’re in Chicago today to talk and meet with a bunch of people who have loved your contributions over the past few years. What is it like to be with the fans? What is it like to hang out? I remember the first time you ever did a convention. Up on stage, “Holy cow! There’s a few people in here.” What is it like now?

JF: It’s nice to know that people are still enjoying the show. I feel really grateful that people still like the show. It’s also unusual. I have a lot of friends who are actors and they’ve done shows and shows that have lasted for a while. They just don’t have the fan base. And it’s pretty cool. I mean, it really is. It’s really a special thing that you have such loyalty.

I just hope that we can create another platform that they can follow. And I’ve been talking to SyFy about it and we’d like to come up with something and see if we can shift the audience over to a different show. Give them something that they’d like to watch. I hope it works out.

GW: We’ll be keeping an eye out for that. Show’s been wrapped up for over a year now.

JF: Yeah.

GW: You’ve built a lot of relationships, a lot of friendships. Which do you find are standing the test of time through the work load? Who do you find you’re staying in touch with the most?

JF: Cast. And then certain crew members that have come through L.A. They stay with me or I take them surfing. We had our stunt guy down there the other week.

GW: BAMBAM [James Bamford]?

JF: Actually it wasn’t BAMBAM, I was Todd Scott. And really anybody who passes through town that wants to hook up. I unfortunately have not talked to any of the producers and the writers at all. I don’t think they really made any attempt to reach any of us.

GW: The new show’s got to be keeping them busy.

JF: Maybe, yeah. But that’s a little weird. Because you’re like, “I’ve just spent five years with everyone.” And then suddenly you don’t hear from them at all. So it’s weird.

GW: David’s [Hewlett] down in L.A. right now, isn’t he?

JF: David might be back in Vancouver already.

GW: Jason is still in L.A.

JF: Jason is in Los Angeles. It’s the thing I miss the most, going to work and saying “Hi” to everybody. It was a tight-knit group of people. We had a lot of fun on set. Set was fun.

GW: Aside from dwelling on the past work, where do you want to go next? Where would you like to see yourself next? Aside from Lamborghinis and a pepperoni pizza and all the toppings and things like that. Where do you want to see your career go?

JF: Well, I think that we are making a push definitely toward action. That’s just a venue that I like.

GW: Being physical?

JF: I like being physical and I like watching action, also. [Laughter] If there is a gravity that’s drawing us, it’d be toward the likes of the “Indiana Jones” and things like that. Trying to find that type of action-adventure and inject it into television again. Which is very difficult because of the price parameters that you have for television. But with the new technology there may be a way to do it.

And I know that Sanctuary is being looked at as possibly a watershed TV show in terms of how effects-heavy it is and how little money they make the show for. It’s pretty impressive, what they do. So, it’ll be interesting to see if that’s a whole new angle that they go to. And if so, I think it opens up a lot of possibilities.

GW: What about writing? Do you write, star, produce? The whole gamut?

JF: Yes, I actually have been writing with a partner in Los Angeles right now. I find it difficult. Because I find that I have not only a limited attention span [Laughter], I like to be around people. I like to shoot the s***. If I find myself alone — if I have to go down into a room and write, I will figure out how first to clean out the closet, check on the refrigerator, figure out what repairs in the house need to be done. I cannot sit down by myself and write.

And I realized that my mind works much better when I’m bouncing ideas with people. And I think that I like being around people and I don’t like being alone that much. So I’ll have to figure that out.

Interview by David Read.
Transcript by Kerenza Harris.

Video interview at ComicCon 2008, by Amazon’s Exclusive Interview with the Cast of Stargate Atlantis (Joe Flanigan, Robert Picardo and Jewel Staite) at ComicCon 2008


SciFi promo for season 5 (video), 2008

Joe Flanigan talks about season 5


On set video interview while shooting Harmony, 2008

Joe Flanigan confides on set, between takes, in former reporter Jerry Penacoli, who is playing a Genii warrior in “Harmony”, one of the season 4 episodes (414)


Joe Flanigan on KTLA, 2007

Video interview


Promo for season 3, 2006

Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson and David Hewlett feature in this promo for season 3. Footage mainly from Common Ground (3.07)


Cast interview following winning the People's Choice Awards in 2008

Jewel Staites, Joe Flanigan, David Hewlett and Rachel Luttrell answer viwers’ questions in these two videos on the Stargate official MGM site. Joe gets to answer some interesting questions, like: “Is there an extreme sport you’d like to try and that haven’t yet?” “Do you plan on writing any more episodes and do you want to direct?”


A conversation with the Colonel, DVD commentary (S5)

The Season 5 set of SGA DVD includes an interview with Joe as a short feature. The transcript is copied below.

Joe Flanigan – A conversation with the Colonel.

From SG1 to Atlantis

I think there was this general attitude that whatever we did on SG1 is what we’re going to do on Atlantis, and a lot of my efforts went into trying to make sure that was not the case. It’s not that SG1 didn’t have a super successful kind of formula, it’s just that I thought it was a mistake to simply recreate it. I think at the beginning we were adopting a lot of SG1 elements, and as time went on, there is a change that’s gone on in the show, which is, I think it’s modernized itself quite a bit. The cameras are moved a lot more, the tone has darkened a little, and yet we kept a very dry sense of humor. I think it’s a sexier show, and there are so many more stories to tell.

The daily grind

I don’t have a life up here outside of work, so when I come to work, work has to fulfill me. The only difficult thing for me has been, you know, struggling and kind of, you know, breaking skulls a little bit every Friday afternoon to get everybody to get me on a plane so that I spend, hopefully, more than one night a week with my wife and kids. That’s really the only challenge. I’ve had to be fairly annoying to accomplish that.

I would say the biggest accomplishment in the hundred episodes, the thing that I’m the most proud of, is the fact that we have all developed really good relationships, we all really get along, and I don’t think anybody’s walking away from this show angry or upset about anything. If anything, they’ve made lifelong friends. That’s a hard thing to accomplish  in this environment. I think every cast member and every crew member should be pretty proud of themselves for being an important part of just creating an environment that’s pretty fun to go to work for. I mean, essentially, we’re getting paid to goof off and play and have a pretty good time. If I had my wife and kids around the corner, I would be in Utopia.

The team

Without David Helwett I don’t know that I could have pulled off a hundred episodes. Without that laughter I’m not sure I could’ve pulled this off.  He had us cracking up almost every day, and sometimes uncontrollably cracking up. I think some of the best moments in the show, that I felt, from my perspective, were with me and him. He has a tremendous kind of depth as an actor, that a lot of people don’t see because he’s manically talking and freaking out and stuff, but he has a capacity to really go from zero to a hundred and anything in between.

Jason Momoa, what can you say? I think he pretty much broke the mold, that kid is… he’s an endless source of entertainment for me. He’s also my roommate. I was fine with that. We enjoy each other’s company, and to be honest with you, sometimes he doesn’t have the same shooting schedule, and he’ll be gone for a week, and I’m kind of lonely, I’m like, Christ, I’m really bored.  I’m in my hotel room by myself ordering room service. This is no fun. I’m with him, like, you know… a little bit of trouble follows us, but it’s always entertaining.

If we didn’t have Rachel, then we would be in serious trouble. For one, we’d just be a bunch of, pretty much, sweaty guys running around, but we give her a really hard time, and she just, for some reason, takes the bait. But she’s a sweetheart and it’s been fun watching her have a child, be a mom and do all those things. And she’s going to be beautiful for the rest of her life.

Jewel is a really talented actress who came here… I think she was a little nervous the first few episodes, like the new kid on the block type thing, and then I think she realized that there’s none of that here. Then she got really comfortable really quickly and chimed in with the kind of quirky sense of humor and the kind of dark jokes and all that. I think she was really happy. I could tell she was genuinely happy coming onto thins show.

The fans

I think that Amanda and Chris and Michael really paved the way for this feeling that the fans have, that they’re part of something and that they have an interaction with the show. That it’s not just some super exclusive thing done behind closed gates in Hollywood, but that’s a real show with real people, and they can interact with you, and fans are an important part of the show, and that without the fans you don’t make the show. Being in front of those crowds, it turned from being a little scary to actually being really rewarding. I also feel a genuine gratitude, so it’s not like I’m going up there hanging by a thread and… You go up there and people are really grateful that you’ve come and seen them, and I, in turn, am very grateful.


A conversation with the Colonel. Screencap from SGA DVD set, Season5, volume 2

The 100th episode wrap party, video, 2008

Brief moments from the 100th episodes wrap party video on the Stargate official MGM site. Several cast and crew members have short interventions.

Joe says, among others:

I’m proud of doing 100 episodes and building great friendships. It was actually a real joy to come to work everyday, and that’s a rarity. It’s hard to do a hundred episodes of anything, and to enjoy it and have a great cast and crew…



Feb 112012
Joe at the gym in Bucharest, Sep 2011

“I thrive on sports”

Post updated on 18 February 2012

While shooting Six Bullets in Bucharest, in the fall of 2011, Joe was interviewed for the WorldClass gym magazine (, as he was probably to be found at the gym all the time, training, when not shooting. This would be a convenient explanation why he wasn’t tweeting from set.

Since we have translated the interview from Romanian, don’t expect his exact words, but the exact sense. Nothing terribly new, actually, yet we get to see once again Joe’s passion for being outdoor as much as possible and living a healthy and balanced life. Enjoy.

Joe at the gym in Bucharest, Sep 2011

I thrive on sports

Every time Hollywood actors shoot in Romania, they choose to work-out with World Class trainers. Early October, we have met Joe Flanigan, famous for his role in Stargate Atlantis. He has a healthy life style, balanced and dynamic, and trains every day.


How did you start acting?

By accident. I couldn’t hold onto the small jobs I managed to get, and I finally ran out of money. I was leaving in New York at that time and I almost couldn’t afford the rent. My neighbor was an actor and suggested this as a solution. I was broke and I would have done anything to earn some money. And so it all started, I joined an acting school, then I moved to Los Angeles and suddenly I was offered a lot of roles really easily. I was indeed very fortunate.


How did you land the Stargate Atlantis role?

My manager happened to be friend with the president of MGM, who was almost desperate to find, on a very short notice, the right actor for the Stargate role. He contacted me and in 24 hours I was already cast. It was quite smooth and I played this role for 5 years.


How difficult was for you to approach the role?

Awfully easy, as the character is damn smart, just like me (laughs!). At first it was a bit strange to do science fiction, I doubted this genre would fit me. Then they told me I could add some humor to my character and this made the difference. I don’t think I could have pulled it off for five years dead serious.


Tell us something about your current project in Romania. How long did you spend here?

The shooting took almost two months. The movie is called “Six Bullets” and I play opposite Jean Claude Van Damme. My character is an ex-MMA fighter who comes to Moldova accompanied by wife and daughter. When his child is kidnapped, he hires Jean Claude Van Damme and we get to kill everybody around to save my daughter.


How was working with Jean Claude Van Damme? Was it your first time working with him?

This is the first time I got to meet Van Damme. He’s a very interesting person, a legend and working with him was a marvelous experience. For me, having the opportunity to work with film legends is one of the best things about acting.


What would you have done in your life, other than acting?

I have tried many jobs, in extremely different fields. I have worked in a bank, I have worked at the White House during the administration of George Bush senior, I have done a lot of things. I’ve been a waiter, only for two days though. I lasted as bartender just six hours, then got fired again. I would had probably ended up a writer or an architect. The irony is I’ve never imagined becoming an actor, it wasn’t really my childhood dream.


How is life on set? Is there still time to have fun with your cast and crew?

I have always fun on set and this is what matters the most to me. Usually, people see only the results of our work, but we are talking about hundreds, even thousands hours on set. The cast and crew are really important and luckily, everybody I had worked with are still close to me. In this business making real friends can prove difficult… egos are always in the way. Long hours on set are added to this, 12, 14 hours every day and sometimes it’s rather hard to keep your composure. But I find myself lucky in that regard.


What sports do you practice and how often do you go to the gym?

I thrive on sports! While in highscool I used to ski. I live in Malibu, so I go surfing five times a week. I’m gratified with a great group of friends, we’re all sports aficionados, while some are even professional athletes. Each morning we schedule the program for the day: gym, golf, surfing.


Do you keep a diet?

I like to eat right. I don’t keep a strict diet, but I’m fortunate enough to have a vegetable garden at home, so everything we eat is healthy.


Any message for your fans in Romania?

I had a wonderful time here. I look forward to being offered other projects in Romania, I’ll always return with great pleasure.

source: the magazine, World Class


Update 18 Feb 2012

While filming for 6 Bullets, the “Junior’s Waterski & Wakeboarding Academy” (located in Snagov, near Bucharest, Romania) welcomed Joe for a day out. They recently posted this picture and a brief report, which reads:

In 2011, Joe Flanigan filmed in Romania. Since he likes surfing, his friends invited him for a wakeboarding experience. So Joe came to our Academy and we had a lot of fun together. Joe is a cool surfer and a very talented wakeboard rider.



Jan 042012
Marseille, 31 Oct 2011

We have collected Joe Flanigan’s interviews in 2011 and we are providing here the texts and transcript excerpts for the video/audio ones, as well as links to the original sources.


. <”h4″ class="collapseomatic " id="”PMC”" tabindex="0" title="”A">”A

1: How do we know you?

I had a short stint working at Interview Magazine for the late Tibor Kalman. I had just graduated from college and my last job was working as a White House Advance Man. You can imagine the culture shock of entering ground zero of New York’s Downtown scene after working at the White House. Ironically, there was more dysfunction at the magazine than the halls of power, but one figure who always remained unruffled and gracious was Patrick McMullan. We quickly became friends and I was essentially ushered into the downtown scene. There is no place like New York City.

2: What is your latest project?

I just completed two projects. A sci-fi movie we shot in Dublin and a new pilot that recently aired on Fox. We are waiting to hear if it goes to series.

3: Where are you living?

Malibu California with my lovely wife of 14 years Katherine Kousi and my three rambunctious but charming boys: Aidan (10), Truman (8), and Fergus (4). Also, 4 dogs.

4: What don’t we know about you?

I have bees and a large organic vegetable garden.

5: What is your favorite travel destination?

Should be a plural.

Destinations: Paris, Kauai, Aspen.

6: What inspires you?

I majored in History, primarily Intellectual History. I have always been inspired by ideas and how they evolve, gestate, and manifest themselves in civilization. We are living in an incredibly interesting time and the velocity of change is so great ideas are having a hard time reaching the public in any profound way. America has ADD while China is thinking 30 years down the road.

7: If not yourself, who would you be?

Teddy Roosevelt.

8: What book is your bible?

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays on Self Reliance were probably the most influential in my life. God/Nature or Nature/God. It’s hard to separate the two, but I believe there is a supreme intelligence in the universe. Some organized religions really take issue with this because they believe we are more evolved than much of the natural world around us. While there is truth to some of that, I believe mankind’s separation from nature is at the heart of our problems.

9: What is your favorite word?


10: Who is your biggest hero?

My mother and my late father. They loved each other like teenagers to the end. And more importantly, they knew how to have fun.

11: How would you define success?

He who dies with the most friends wins.

12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?

Why is everyone so damned scared?

Our lives are longer and healthier than ever before. We are more knowledgeable than ever. Our capacity for self-education and self-correction is historically unparalleled. And yet, we are scared. Kids aren’t allowed to go ride bikes around the neighborhood anymore because parents think it’s too dangerous. America is consumed with anxiety. The boldness and courage required by our ancestors that built this nation is in short supply. I think it may have a profoundly disturbing impact on our future. I really want America to crawl out from under the table and get back in the game. Now where’s that beer?

Joe Flanigan is an American actor.  He is best known for his portrayal of the character Major/Lt. Colonel John Sheppard in the television show Stargate Atlantis.


Joe Flanigan @ IMDB

Questions by PMc Magazine

Edited by Tyler Malone

Photography by Patrick McMullan for Patrick

Design by Marie Havens


Joe Flanigan, Malibu, CA, March 1, 2011, Photography by Patrick McMullan for Patrick


. <”h4″ class="collapseomatic " id="”BUZZ”" tabindex="0" title="”Audio">”Audio
JF: I feel horrible that I’ve dropped out of the tweet universe; I have to re-enter it. Maybe I’ll do it right now, I’ll do it after the show.

[…] I have ADD, I think; I get really excited about things and then I just completely forget about them.I’ll be sending video-tweets, and it’s kind of cool. Actually I like that idea a little bit better. […]

Q: Lets’ talk about Ferocious Planet

JF: I’m a marine colonel who did something wrong, namely something very patriotic and I’m punished for it. I get stuck guarding a national science laboratory and one of their experiments go wrong. This drove us into a parallel dimension, where there’s a different planet that also looks like British Columbia or Ireland and has very large monsters. I love saying that. I love to say m-o-n-s-t-e-r-s. And I love killing monsters.


JF: I’ll be woefully undreamed, not unlike Stargate Atlantis and I’ll have to tap into my inner MacGyver (and I’m sure Rick will appreciate that) and survive. It’s a real stretch.


JF: “Sisters” was my first series, and you couldn’t get farther away than science fiction than “Sisters”. It was a popular show, with an slightly different audience. I was not quite as heroic, I was “a guy”. A lot of guys came through that show, by the way, George Clooney was on that show too, right before ER. A lot of guys went through “Sisters”. The sisters ate them up and spit them out.  There were really good actresses on that show.


Q: Is there going to be something like a Stargate Atlantis reunion soon?

JF: The rumors have been all over the place. Unfortunately, there’s not going to be any Stargate in the near future. That doesn’t mean it won’t be in “the” future. I don’t think anybody would be seeing anything related to Stargate for at least another year. The franchise has been effectively kind of shut down. SG1 and SGA were canceled and they spun off a series simultaneously, called Universe, that unfortunately was not embraced by the audience, and that kind of sank the ship for a while. So we’re gonna have to resurrect that ship somehow.


Q: What is it about the movie Spore?

JF: Right now we just have a script and we are supposed to go into production in spring on Spore. I love saying that one: S-p-o-r-e.

Q: You know it’s spring now, right?

JF: Oh, my god, hold on, you’re absolutely right. I have to tell you where I am right now: on the streets of Aspen Colorado, in snow, I’m freezing and nothing looks like spring to me. But you’re right, I’d better call about that one, maybe I’m late for work.


JF: I’ve just sent my first twitter in five-six months as we were talking, you’ve instigated it. It says “I’m back” and that may be not such a good thing that I’m back, but hey…

source (the actual interview runs from min. 5:30 of the recording)

. <”h4″ class="collapseomatic " id="”pazsaz”" tabindex="0" title="”Interview">”Interview

This is an interview from April 6, 2011 with Joe Flanigan from the Syfy movie Ferocious Planet. In “Ferocious Planet,” an experimental device designed to view alternate universes malfunctions on its first demonstration, transporting a group of observers into a nightmarish new dimension. The team must use ingenuity and courage to outwit the bloodthirsty creatures of this bizarre world, while trying to repair the damaged machine and return home.

What are these aliens like compared to the types you’ve gone up against on Stargate Atlantis?

Joe Flanigan:
They seem to be almost impossible to kill. I seemed to be very good at killing the other ones. When we shot this, we shot it Ireland, and we worked strictly on green screen, and we weren’t given much in the way of what it was going to look like. And that’s kind of interesting because on the show, we always knew what the Wraith were going to look like. And so, you had an idea of what you were looking at and what you were working with. And in this case, I have to say they’re much bigger than I anticipated them to be.

You’re so calm.

Joe Flanigan:
Well, my calm and easy demeanor may be a bit deceiving because I didn’t think they would be that big until I saw the cut.

From the trailer Ferocious Planet looks a bit like the series Primeval. Were there any human-like aliens that you had to deal with?

Joe Flanigan:
Not in the movie. Just off camera. A lot of those.

What was it like working with John Rhys-Davies?

Joe Flanigan:
Oh, he’s a wonderful guy. And, he’s just filled with tons of fantastic stories. He’s done so much. We took him out to dinner one night in Dublin and he kind of regaled us with like all sorts of interesting stories. You know, he’s just done theater everywhere, movies everywhere. And he was wonderful to work with. Consummate professional.

Are we ever going to get to see Stargate Extinction?

Joe Flanigan:
Apparently not. I believe that those things have been postponed indefinitely. I mean as you know, the franchise has been summarily closed. That doesn’t mean that’s the end of the franchise by any stretch of the imagination, especially if I have my druthers, I’ll find a way to bring it back. I think the fans deserve to see some closure or at least some type of continuation. I think that – and especially in regards to my show, it was just unceremoniously closed and we need to do something about it.

What can you tell our site viewers about the movie? What should they expect?

Joe Flanigan:
Well, the movie is kind of part homage to the genre and also part actually the genre, so it’s one of those – you could call it in some ways a guilty pleasure in some ways. There are elements that are similar to Stargate in terms of the character and in terms of being kind of off world. But beyond that, I want to say it’s dinosaur-centric, but I guess it is. It looks like that.

You did Stargate Atlantis for five years. What’s it like shooting a movie compared to shooting a TV show?

Joe Flanigan:
Well, it’s really not that much different except that it’s a lot easier than shooting a TV show. It really is. I mean, I wish I was just a movie star. My God, those guys have a great life. They shoot one or two pages a day, and then they go back to their trailer. With Atlantis, for example, we would shoot 10 to 12 pages a day, and you’re really on your feet all day. You know, 12 to 15 hours a day and it’s work. It’s definitely a grind, and with no seeming end to it. And with movies, it’s more laid back. You tend to have a little bit more time and a little bit more money.

In this case, I don’t think that was the case. We actually had a very, very small budget. But because we were shooting in Ireland, you can make that money go a little bit further. Also in Ireland, they have this really interesting thing where they only work ten hours a day. You actually can’t go past that. And that gave us enough time to go to the pubs, and we liked that.

What can your fans expect to see you in next?

Joe Flanigan:
I did a two hour back door pilot that aired on Fox, and they were supposed to extend our contracts and they’re not extending those contracts, which leads me to believe it probably will not become a series. And I just assumed that that was going to be the next series, and we just found out Friday that it probably will not be. So, I don’t have any definitive answer on that right now. And I actually kind of liked that. There’s a kind of like wonderful freedom about that. I’m excited about being able to play my options out right now.

Could you talk about how you got started in acting?

Joe Flanigan:
By accident. I was in New York City and I was working at Interview Magazine and I managed to get myself fired, don’t ask me how, and I was pretty much out of money. And I had a neighbor who happened to be an actor, and he was always enjoying himself not working nearly as hard as me, and apparently making much more money than I was. And I said, “What is it that you do?” He said, “I’m an actor.” I said, “Well, what does that mean?” I didn’t quite understand what that meant. Now granted he was a commercial actor, but anyway he put it in my head that maybe this is something I should try out, since I was “in between jobs”, and I did. I went to the Neighborhood Playhouse and I just thought to myself, “Well, if I’m going to try this, I might as well try it now,” and I just happened to get very lucky.

You were on Warehouse 13 not that long ago. Is there any other Syfy series that you’d like to guest star on?

Joe Flanigan:
Oh, sure. I actually don’t think in terms of guest starring. I’m not really in pursuit of guest starring. Sometimes, if it’s interesting I would consider it, but it’s primarily as a reoccurring or a regular. But as far as guest starring on different Syfy shows, it’s not necessarily a goal of mine. However, there are a number of shows that are out there now that look awfully interesting to me, like – I consider True Blood a sci-fi show. You know, I consider anything with visual effects to that way is essentially science fiction.

And so, there is a lot of really interesting ones. Syfy’s got a couple new interesting shows. I have a friend doing this one called Alphas, then there’s Being Human. I think they have a lot of really interesting ones. And, I’ve been talking to Mark Stern recently about some new shows that he’s got in the works. So I’m in contact with Syfy about trying to nail down the next series.

Can you tell me something that your fans would be surprised to know about you?

Joe Flanigan:
I raise my own honey bees. I have my own organic vegetable garden. I’m actually a little bit of a farmer. In fact, I’m sitting here in Colorado actually right now andy fingers are all wrapped up. I almost chopped my finger off in one of these classic Farmer Joe moments dealing with large equipment and nonsense. A man of the Earth.

How did you initially get involved with this project?

Joe Flanigan:
Well, Syfy does obviously a series of these movies, and they’ve asked me on a number of occasions if I wanted to do them. Most of the times I’ve said no because of mostly location. Sometimes they shoot in Bulgaria and some places like that, and I just don’t have any interest in going to Bulgaria in the middle of winter. I’m spoiled. So this one actually came up that was shooting in Dublin, and I thought, “Well now, that may be a game changer.” I could actually go to Dublin for awhile. That would fun. And I was proved right. Dublin was amazing.

What did you find to be the most challenging part of making the film?

Joe Flanigan:
Well, a lot of the visual effects were not entirely fleshed out and shown to us. So when you’re acting, you’re acting against what you think will be the special effects in post-production. And you can only guess. So when you go and gauge your reaction to something, you have something in your head, I had some drawings they gave me. But when I saw the movie, the monsters were way bigger than I thought they were.

Oh, my God. It’s very, very tricky and fraught with a lot of obstacles when you’re doing science fiction acting. And I’m a bit of a stickler on set about making sure I know exactly what the levels of urgency are so that I don’t get a lot of egg on my face after they do a lot of the post-production. And you say to yourself, “My God! Why is he not reacting to the 300 foot tall monster?” Because I thought it was 3 feet tall. So you can imagine it gets tricky.

Honestly, I think science fiction acting is an art form, and I think it’s so much harder than people have any idea, and I don’t think it gets the respect that it deserves. And if you talk to people like Robert Patrick and these guys, they’ll tell you how truly difficult it could be.

Would you ever be interested in writing again or directing for you know a movie, TV show, whatever?

Joe Flanigan:
Oh, yes. Absolutely. In fact, this previous show that I did, it was a two hour, back door pilot which airs as a movie, and then could conceivably get spun off into a series. In that deal, I had a directing deal.

And so had the series gone, I would’ve been able to direct, and I was definitely looking forward to that. And presumably, I would write too. Any series that I’m on I would love to be writing and directing. And I just think it’s a natural progression of where you spend that much time on set and that much time in front of a camera, I think it makes sense to kind of expand your horizons a little.

The problem is in our business right now, the business is going through a really serious compression, and it’s so serious that it’s actually kind of sad. People are really losing their homes and they’re losing they way they’ve made their living for the last 20 years. So, the verbosity involved with protecting jobs these days is something else. So you know when you want to direct on a TV show, there are a number of directors who really don’t want actors to become directors or writers. The pie has gotten too small, and so it’s tricky in that regard.

Did you ever think of writing your own show?

Joe Flanigan:
I have. I’m busy definitely doing things. I just don’t like to talk about them until I feel like they’re kind of in their final stage and they’re going to move forward. The one thing that annoys me the most in this business is that a lot of people talk about things that are going to happen that aren’t happening, or may not happen, and I just don’t want to be another one of those schmucks.

How did you originally get involved with Atlantis?

Joe Flanigan:
Well, I mean the President of MGM at the time was a guy named Hank Cohen, and he ran into my Manager at the Golden Globes, and my Manager was representing Renee Zellweger, and she had just won something and he came up to congratulate him. And then, he started talking to him that he had this great new series, but he couldn’t find his lead guy. And he said, “Well, I have a client who’s perfect for that. Why don’t you meet him tomorrow?” And we met and it just literally happened in like a painlessly little time. It was really like within 24 hours, you know there was deal struck and that was it. It was interesting. If all deals could only work that well.

Back to Ferocious Planet. What was your favorite part about working on it?

Joe Flanigan:
Being in Ireland is just so much fun. I feel right at home in Ireland. And I had this wonderful Irish crew and this wonderful Irish cast, and they were incredibly professional and efficient. And it’s just a lot of fun. If I could shoot more there, I would. And I’m really glad I chose that because I would certainly try to encourage people to shoot in Ireland more often. And then it was fun to just get back into some camouflage and run around and shoot things. Call me crazy. I know it sounds a little weird, but I felt right at home.

When you have to act as if you are traveling to a parallel universe, did they provide you with any technical advisors that prepare you for such an adventure?

Joe Flanigan:
It would probably make my head explode, so they did not. I actually was thinking to myself, one of my favorite episodes in Stargate Atlantis was the Vegas episode. And we just kind of tapped into that at the very end, like unfortunately too late. So, it is kind of ironic this movie is about parallel universes also.

Do you prefer fighting aliens or dinosaurs?

Joe Flanigan:
I’ve got to say I think aliens are a little sexier, you know. I could at least talk to some of the Wraith. There’s no common ground between me and dinosaurs. Couldn’t really start any negotiation there.

In terms of genre, would you consider this your favorite one to work in?

Joe Flanigan:
Well I got to say it was funny. I approached science fiction with a lot of trepidation. I wasn’t really that enthusiastic about the genre when I started. And then as time went on, I’ve been converted you know 180 degrees, and I absolutely would say it’s now my favorite genre. And it gives you so much freedom. And I mean at heart, I’m an action/adventure kind of guru. I like that. And that you can do that and mix in science and fantasy and all sorts of things is pretty cool. And so, I really do miss doing my show, and I really hope to do another one. I think TV needs some more action/adventure, science fiction stuff.

You mentioned True Blood before. If you could be on the show, would you rather be human or other creature?

Joe Flanigan:
No. I wouldn’t want be human. It’s a lot of fun being the bad guy with big teeth. Playing bad guys is an awful lot of fun. You do it on a limited basis, but it’s an awful lot of fun.

A big part of the movie is about people who want to stay and explore, and the rest who say, “Let’s get the heck out of here.” If you were in a similar circumstance, are you a run kind of guy or are you a let’s stay and check this out guy?

Joe Flanigan:
I think it depends on what you left behind. I mean, you got a wife and kids left behind; you might want to run and go back. I think if you don’t, then I think it could be a nice permanent vacation. In our case, it’s unclear in the movie, it was kind of funny because all I really have to go back to is a boat. You know in retrospect, that’s really not a hell of a lot of to go back to. Maybe I should’ve stayed. It might’ve been the lack of cold beer or something that you know, like really wanted to make run.

Are you very adventurous otherwise?

Joe Flanigan:
Unfortunately I am, and I sit here talking to you with a third degree AC separation, a semi-chopped off finger, and it’s all from just nonsensical stuff like mountain biking. And, I’m actually sitting at the base of Aspen Mountain as we speak trying to figure out if I’m going to go cross country skiing, snowboarding, or just down-hilling.

Oh, rough life.

Joe Flanigan:
I know. I do. I live for it. And that’s why I think I like action/adventures, because I just need to physicalize things, and it’s tough for me to be inside and doing kind of domestic-like acting.

Did you do any stunts in the movie?

Joe Flanigan:
Yes. Well, I mean there wasn’t really any incredible stunts. But yes, I did everything. As you’ll see, there’s nothing really stellar going on. I didn’t get shot out of a cannon, but yes I did all the stunts.

Did you do any big stunts on Atlantis on your own?

Joe Flanigan:
Yes. Well I actually did quite a few. There’s some pretty serious climbing. We were on pulleys a lot. I mean, I got yanked off of two-story you know decks and all sorts of stuff. That is the part I miss quite a bit. It’s so much fun. It’s interesting because our stunt guy on Atlantis always had in his mind that I was some karate expert of some sort and would have these enormously like elaborate you know choreographed fights going on. And, I would say, “You know, I’m not that guy. I’m Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones. I just pick my gun up and shoot the guy.” I mean the path of least resistance. And it would frustrate him. However, we were able to make it up with my character getting kind of beat to crap and getting thrown around. And I think it worked well for that character. And in this case, it’s not unsimilar. The movie that – the Ferocious Planet, the guy gets kind of whacked around a good bit.

Do you have any advice for people who want to act?

Joe Flanigan:
Don’t. How’s that? There’s not enough jobs. Don’t come into our world. No. What I would say is if you enjoy it then pursue it. Acting is really difficult because it requires a tremendous amount of people to make it work, and a tremendous amount of money. For example with Stargate, we had 300 or 400 people working on the show. And you’re dropping $60 to $70 million a year. And it’s not like painting where an artist can go into a studio and nothing’s going to stop him from painting. Nothing going to stop a musician from making music. Well, a lot of things can stop actors from acting.

There are so many elements of dependency. So there’s a level of frustration that can come with the territory. I would warn people of that, and know that it sometimes may just end up being a hobby. So, that would be my advice.


. <”h4″ class="collapseomatic " id="”radio”" tabindex="0" title="”Audio">”Audio

Q: Tell us about the plot of Ferocious Planet. It sounds, on paper, a little bit like an episode from Stargate

JF: I didn’t say that, you said that. It basically involves an alien planet and large inhospitable monsters, so yes, you’re not that far off in that regard. People who’d watched Stargate Atlantis will see in this character a lot of similarities.

Q: And probably not coincidentally. These movies are there to connect you to things that are familiar to you.

JF: These Saturday night SyFy movies, I’ve been offered a number of them before and I’ve mostly turned them down because they’re shot in places like Bulgaria, in December. When I was offered this one they just made a notation on top, that said: Dublin, Ireland, and I said: well, now that’s kind of interesting. I was immediately much more open to it, because it was Ireland, and then coincidently the character was similar to the character I play [in Atlantis].


Q: What is col Synn like? What’s his story?

JF: He’s a disgraced marine […] An experiment that takes place goes awry and then we all get thrown into a parallel dimension on a planet with m-o-n-s-t-e-r-s.

Q: The SyFy Saturday night monsters movies are deliberately ridiculous in many ways. They’re fun to watch, what about the fun to make them?

JF: I had a blast, I really did, I had so much fun, and so much of it had to do with the fact that “I’m in Ireland, working with all Irish cast and crew”, and I loved that. And thankfully, they put up with me.

These shows are kind of a guilty pleasure, they’re part homage to the genre and then they’re part “the genre”, you know, unironically the genre, as well. So it’s a fine balance to strike, between earnest genre and something a little self-deprecating. As you know, Stargate Atlantis is very self-deprecating and I think this was one of the really great qualities of the show. These things have their audiences and they are aimed at a very specific group of people and I hope that those people will like this.

Q: I guess you didn’t know what kind of monster were chasing you on the ferocious planet until long after you’ve done shooting. How do you look horrified not knowing what’s getting at you?

JF: I’m so glad you’ve asked that, because that’s something I try to explain to people. It’s one of the biggest challenges, I’ve seen some of the greatest actors getting assassinated on a scifi set. They don’t understand how do you have to incorporate the visual effects and how you can really get a lot of egg on your face in post production if you’re not very communicative with visual effects. You have to know exactly how big is that monster, what kind of noise does that monster make. If I’m reacting to this thing, how scared do I need to be.

In our case, they were not doing the post production, the same group that filmed, so what I had was very little. I’m hoping that my reactions are hopefully appropriate to the threat. That is one of the greatest challenges of scifi, not to mention a lot of times the dialogue itself could really kill a good actor.

Science fiction acting does not get the respect that it deserves. If you talk to a great actor like Robert Patrick he would tell you how truly difficult it is, and when it’s done well, you just don’t notice it. And that’s an accomplishment!


JF: John Rhys Davies is a child at heart, he’s a great guy and he’s incredibly well educated and knowledgeable about all sorts of stuff, filled with fascinating stories about his life and theatre. That was a highlight.

You said that: “do you enjoy shooting these things”. What is funny, the evolution that I have experienced as an actor… When my initial career was: “What is this project doing, where is it going to take me, will it accomplish the goals I’ve set up?” Now I don’t even think that way, I think on a totally different level: “Do I enjoy the role, and am I enjoying the people I’m working with?” And that’s really it, and that’s the end of the story, because all the other elements are out of my control. Consequently, I do enjoy myself quite a bit more. We just don’t have control about how these things turn out, where they end up, so you really do need to enjoy yourself. Working with guys like that, and especially the Irish cast and crew, I would go back gladly.


JF: We, as a cast [of Stargate Atlantis] were all very close and really miss each other and miss working with each other. We also felt like we have worked very hard and have done a very good job not only taping the Stargate SG1 area, but expanding it and kind of trickling it into the mainstream; we have won the People’s Choice award, and those are mainstream type of awards for a science fiction show.


Q: What do you have lined up?

JF: I just did a two-hours backdoor pilot that Walmart produced, we aired it on Fox, there’re hopes that it would become a new TV series, but it’s a complicated, very different model. These guys would potentially buy out the air time for the whole season, so they would only air the show and their commercials. It’s a very large business transaction that involves hundreds of million of dollars, that’s a little above my pay grade. There are intense negotiations on that, and it may or may not happen. But regardless, I’ll move forward and I’m in contact with Mark Stern at SyFy about trying to get a new series off the ground and I’d like to see that happen.

Q: Website, twitter, Facebook where people can find you online?

JF: I’m just so hopeless about that… I will start twittering again!

source (actual interview starts at min 3:00)

. <”h4″ class="collapseomatic " id="”Hollywood”" tabindex="0" title="”Article/interview">”Article/interview

Joe Flanigan is starring as a disgraced Marine colonel, who winds up guarding a science lab in the SyFy thriller,Ferocious Planet. Naturally, an experiment goes horribly wrong and tosses the lab into a parallel dimension.

“Of course there are monsters,”Flanigan tells us, “that’s the operative word…there are monsters.”

Fighting make-believe monsters can truly be a challenge,Flanigan explains with a laugh.

“You’re only told or occasionally given a drawing of what it will be like so you’re hoping that your acting is somehow calibrated to what the visual effects are going to be,” he begins. “And sometimes you don’t get it right. That’s why in science fiction you see this kind of discrepancy between what happens and the reaction of actors.”

His trick to making it appear realistic is simple.

“Yeah, I learned that as long as you scream, ‘I’m going to die! I’m going to die!’ it works in every show,” Flanigan deadpans.

Actually, Flanigan is an adventurer who mountain bikes, mountain climbs, surfs and more. In fact, the actor has been nursing an injury from one of his many outings.

“Right now, I’m currently a beat up adventurer,” he says. “I separated my shoulder in a mountain biking accident. I was coming down a single track trail at a furious speed – I just got brand new handle bars that were extra long – they snagged a branch and they just kind of threw me over and I landed on my back. I actually feel pretty damn lucky that it’s just an AC separation and not something more serious.”

Right, well apparently you can’t keep a good adventurer down. Flanigan is in Aspen, still thrill-seeking despite his injuries.

“I’m still skiing and snowboarding,” he confesses. “It’s about constant motion. I think I’m afraid of not being in a state of constant motion. My shoulder was immobilized for two weeks and I go back for surgery in another two weeks, so I thought I’d get the maximum adventure in before I got immobilized again – and I will be immobilized for quite a while.”

Crazy? No ways, Flanigan tells

“I thought to myself, ‘I can’t hurt my shoulder any worse than it is – all the ligaments are separated – so what the hell…I’ll just go snowboarding and skiing. It hurts if you fall and I have yet to fall. So, when I do fall I’ll call you screaming…I could be screaming I’m going to die! I’m going to die!”


. <”h4″ class="collapseomatic " id="”gym”" tabindex="0" title="”I">”I

. <”h4″ class="collapseomatic " id="”collectormania”" tabindex="0" title="”Video">”Video

JF: It’s nice to come to London at this time in the year and have this ridiculously nice weather.


Q: We put it on just for you, we thought you deserved it.

JF: I had a feeling. It’s in my contract, actually.


Q: Have you done lots of fan events like this before?

JF: I’ve done not too many events quite like this, but I’ve been to a number of signings, I’ve been to a few. They take you to some very interesting places around the world, and that’s essentially one of the key reasons I do it. You go to Sweden, you go to Australia, you go to New Zealand… It’s fun in that regard.


Q: Do you have any particularly fan experiences?

JF: I do, actually. The best collective fan experience is that I have a friend who’s dying of the Lou Gehrig’s disease and I really needed the help for her and we were going to raise funds for her. I was able to get an incredible amount of support from the fans that they sent her directly, helping her get through what’s going to be the last chapter of her life, but they’re making it a lot more comfortable. I’m tremendously grateful to have that fan base to appeal to, and they delivered a lot of help.


Q: SGA and its large and eclectic fan base: What do you think it is about this universe that people love so much?

JF: I think it helps that SG1 was on the air for 7 or 8 years before we came along, I think that makes a huge difference, you can really underestimate that. We really walked into a preexisting fan base. For that we’re super fortunate, we didn’t really have to build step by step the fan base as other new shows would have to build. We inherited it and we were able to expand it in different directions. We were really lucky. I think a lot of it has to do with the mythology of Stargate and the chemistry of the actors, it was a big part of it.


Q: Were you a fan of the Stargate universe before, were you familiar with it?

JF: It’s frightening: I had never seen Stargate before! At all. I had to have a mea culpa at one point: “I have no idea about Stargate”. At the end of the day I think that was actually a good thing, because I remember when I was shooting the first episode of Atlantis a lot of people were saying: You’re no Richard Dean Anderson, and you’re never going to be a Richard Dean Anderson. I didn’t quite know what Richard Dean Anderson’s role was. There was no chance of me imitating that, having never seen it. As a result, we were able to put together a show that was a spin off, but was entirely authentic in its own right. So my ignorance worked. But I’m a big science fiction fan, and since then I’ve become a much bigger science fiction fan, I really prefer doing science fiction over a lot of standard scripted dramas that television have today.


Q: Why do you think science fiction offers you more as a performer?

JF: As an actor, I really enjoy action. Action-adventure to me is a lot of fun and our show has quite a bit of action-adventure. Science fiction has this realm of possibilities and literally it stimulates your mind a lot more than other shows. At least that’s my personal opinion; some people don’t like science fiction. Science fiction television has come so far because of the effects that we can do today, or movie quality; there are TV shows where we get movie quality. If you look at our first episodes of Stargate versus the end, they are dramatic quantum leap in terms of production value, and so you’re able to do some really cool science fiction television these days. It’s not corny, it’s pretty cool.

In that regard I like it. And it appeals to a huge age range, it’s not just for kids or just for older people or just for middle age people. I’ve never seen fan base like the one we’ve been lucky enough to have: you’d have a six year old kid come up with his 86 years old grandfather and they are all fans. That’s hard to achieve. I’m kind of proud of that.


 JF: If I could play another character other than my own it would probably be McKay, because he’s so hilarious. I just don’t think I could ever be as annoying as he is. I would try, but nobody can be as annoying as David Hewlett himself, and for that I have great respect for him. If he was here, I would smack him, we love to give each other a hard time.


Q: Is David like we see him on screen?

JF: David is surprisingly funnier in person than he is on screen, which is saying a lot, and he can be viciously funny. He would definitely give you a workout, your stomach would hurt sometimes. That is priceless, when you’re working for 5 years, I don’t know where that breaks down to, but somewhere between probably 11,000 or 12,000 hours on set, to shoot five years. You get to know people pretty well, and the fact that we all like each other and get along is great. The fact that you get to have somebody like him, making us laugh… it gives a huge mileage, and you can overcome some pretty long hours and some difficult times. We just had a great time, we’d all like to be back together doing something. And we probably will! We don’t know when.


Q: Is this a suggestion that you’re going to do Stargate Atlantis again, or maybe something else, with the same people?

JF: Both. I think we could probably do a show together, that has nothing to do with Atlantis, if we chose. But the truth is the greater potential for us would be to pick up at some point where we left off with the existing characters, in a form of a movie or a mini series or something. I think most fans feel pretty upset that the stories in Atlantis were never able to be resolved in a respectful way and it was a very rushed end to the entire series. There were claims that we were going to do a movie, which we never did, so there are a lot of loose ends that have never been explained.


Q: Do you have a message for Stargate fans watching this?

JF: Be hopeful, I think you’ll see some resemblance to Stargate in the near future. I really do, I believe that.


. <”h4″ class="collapseomatic " id="”step”" tabindex="0" title="”Interview">”Interview

BJ: Joe Flanigan! How’s it going?

JF: Good! Good good good good. How are you guys?


BJ: We’re good, thanks. I was just wondering whether you’d mind sharing a few words about Stargate?

JF: Yeah of course, go ahead.


BJ: Ok, well, obviously a lot of people were incredibly disappointed when Atlantis was cancelled after the Stargate franchise had been of the longest running SciFi shows on the air. Did you feel it ended at the right time?

JF: Oh no, the show definitely ended too early. Without a doubt. It could have gone for another five years. It was a strange set of circumstances, and it has to do with the decline of the DVD market, which is partly responsible. The producers were getting anxious about all sorts of different issues. In any normal set of circumstances, we would have kept going, but the circumstances were not normal, so we were cancelled essentially to be replaced by what they thought of as a newer, fresher show that they could make more money off of, which is of course Stargate Universe. But unfortunately, their plans went quite horribly awry, and they actually ended up losing quite a bit of money. And our show, really, you know, it got cut off too early.


BJ: Yeah, especially as you said in your talk about Vegas; it was really taking a new direction, and it could have continued along that route, but then it got cancelled.

JF: It was the penultimate episode, and we shot that knowing the show was going to be cancelled. It was always kind of a little bit of a tragedy, I was always like “aaah, that’s a shame, this is such a great episode, too bad we didn’t do this three or four years ago.” So, that’s the way it goes, in TV land.


BJ: And sadly it was replaced with Stargate Universe. It’s a shame that Universe didn’t quite match up to the calibre of shows like SG1 or Atlantis

JF: Well, it wasn’t really trying to be SG1 or Atlantis, it was really trying to be Battlestar.


BJ: Yeah, they attempted to blend the two, which could have worked, but I didn’t feel it was that successful.

JF: It could possibly have worked, but it would have to be under different helmsman-ship. The strength of Stargate was the sort of self-deprecating, wink of the eye, adventurous quality that we had. Not in anyway great pretence of sending messages and having intense drama, that was not really… I think the strength of Stargate. You know, they took what was successful, and they changed it, like when they made a new formula for Coke. They all ran back to the original formula, they realised it was wrong, so maybe they’ll do that. Who knows, we’ll see what happens.


BJ: Fingers crossed! There was word of an Atlantis movie, but nothing’s been said about that since about 2009?

JF: Yeah, the studio, MGM, has been suffering, it went bankrupt, I mean there were so many problems. So, we are largely a victim of their problems, and their problems are significant. If they had been Warner Brothers or Sony it would have been entirely possible we would have kept going. MGM was just a mess, and they’re reorganising and… But I’m sure they’ll become successful again in the near future, but right now it’s just a matter of cleaning up the mess. They lost a lot of money.


BJ: If you could go on to do an Atlantis movie, would you?

JF: Oh yeah, absolutely! Provided we could get all of our group back together.


BJ: Yeah, if you could get the entire cast back…

JF: If they couldn’t get everybody back together, it’s questionable, but yeah, no, absolutely. That’d also be weird if there were new people doing it, it wouldn’t be the same. Although, you’d be surprised what Hollywood will do to save a bit of money! “We’ll take Laurel out, and Hardy out, and it’ll be called Laurel and Hardy with different people!” You know, they’ll do that.


BJ: “Sod David Hewlett, we don’t need him! Nor that Flanigan fellow!” Nah, wouldn’t work!

JF: Maybe they’ll do an SG1 movie, or a Universe… I don’t think they’ll do a Universe movie. It wouldn’t have the audience for it.


BJ: It really didn’t take off and keep the spirit of Stargate alive as much as I’d hoped.

JF: It didn’t. I also think that they really upset the fan-base. You’ve got a real loyal fan-base that’s been nothing but supportive, generous and instead they go “oh, we don’t need that fan-base any more, we’re looking for a younger, hipper, cooler audience. If you don’t like it don’t watch it. We’re going in a new direction and don’t need our pre-existing fans.” Which is a really, really reckless approach, and it had very disastrous consequences as a result. The fans have not really forgiven that.


BJ: At the end of the day, a franchise is supported mostly by its fan-base. The cast can be fantastic, have some great scripts and all the money in the world, but it’ll be the fan-base that makes or breaks it.

JF: Absolutely. Assuming the fan-base… Well yes and no. Assuming the fan-base watches the show when they are needed to watch the show and buy the DVDs. If the fan-base is massive but they download everything, that show will disappear also. You need money to make a show, if your revenue streams are drying up and people are taking things for free, there’s no way to make quality programming. It’s one of those things.


BJ: Yeah… And are you currently working on any new projects?

JF: Oh yeah. Look at that. [He lifts his right arm, pointing to a swollen elbow.] I’ve just finished a film with Jean-Claude Van Damme (Six Bullets), and I play an ex-Mixed Martial Artist world champion, and I had a tattoo that ran from here [points to shoulder] all the way down to here [points to wrist], a scar here and another scar here [points to cheek and eye brow]. When I came back from work and into the hotel, people would actually get out of the elevator. They were scared of me! And I was like “hey, this is kinda fun… Oh, your restaurant is crowded, there’re no tables available? Watch.” So it was interesting. We did a lot of stunts, and it still kind of hurts, but it was a lot of fun.

In case you were wondering why my elbow looked like it had a giant tumour; I hit it. Actually, somebody else hit it, it’s somebody else’s fault! With a machine gun. It was shot in Romania, and the rules of stunts in Romania are a lot looser… “Alright, we blow things up.” Yeah, great, what’re you using? “We use dynamite, that’s how you blow things up.” They do actually use dynamite – they’re a lot looser with the rules, so you gotta be careful.


JH: We’ve got to wrap things up now.

BJ: Oh, blimey…

JF: Oh, right, I just gotta sign this, sorry.


BJ: Thank you for your time, it was a pleasure meeting you.

JF: Yeah, you too. Take care.


. <”h4″ class="collapseomatic " id="”FlanInfo”" tabindex="0" title="”Interview">”Interview

. <”h4″ class="collapseomatic " id="”sanctuary”" tabindex="0" title="”Video">”Video

Q: What has been the impact of the role of John Sheppard on your own personality? Did it bring something new to you or were you always the perfect Colonel?
JF: No, it’s a different character, but there is obviously a lot of cross-over. I’m a bit of a soloist in life and I think Sheppard starts in the show as a soloist. Then I think he becomes a team player, toward the end.

Ironically, it’s a similar arch in my personal life with the show. I started looking out for myself on the show and then I became good friends with everybody. I feel close to them and I feel like we’re just one unit. That’s true in life in general, my whole life has gone from very singular to being very plural.


Q: What about the SGA movie?
JF: To be honest with you, there was never a plan for a movie. It was a rumour that the producers were perfectly happy to let out there, and I was always deeply uncomfortable with that. There were never any commitments for it, and I know because nobody ever contacted me. I did however say, well, it’s possible, but they would’ve been doing it without me, because nobody has talked to me. They had cancelled Stargate SG1, they’d cancelled Atlantis, and they were launching a new show called Universe; it was important to let the fans feel that there something else left from the other shows. I think it was not smart and it was disingenuous. Everybody who would have asked me, I said the movie is a no.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t think it will happen in the future. I think it will actually happen sometime. It could just be a very long time, could be in a year or two, I don’t know. I think the franchise has that dormant quality that it could sprout out at any time, not unlike Startrek.


Q: Do you like to see yourself on the screen?
JF: I hate it! I don’t watch it! I don’t watch anything I did. I watch the dailies and I try to learn from the dailies simple craft issues, like: am I moving too much, am I speaking clearly, am I at the right angle for the camera or am I turning too much; little craft issues I look at. Could I have done it better, am I breaking apart the scene well enough, how many layers did I put into it…

So I’m very critical, I think, in a constructive way. I do it in a constructive way and I actually don’t have any ego when I watch this stuff. But when it goes to film and they cut it out and edit it and they send it out there, I don’t like to watch it. I’m so far past it, emotionally, that when I sit down to watch it I find it to be uncomfortable.


Q: Would you like your children to become actors?
JF: I really don’t want them to be actors. It’s a very difficult life. Statistically it is a miserable life. I think there are 120,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild; I believe that less than ten thousand make over 5,000 $ a year. If you took out the top 20 movie stars, it’s probably more like only two thousand people make over 10,000 $ a year. So, really nobody works as actors, statistically speaking. It’s a very brutal life, very difficult, you have to deal with a lot of rejection.

If they really really wanted to do it, I’d just say: hey, go make a lot of money and bring it to me! Bring your daddy the money!


Q: What was your most awkward moment on set?
JF: Besides now? I’m just joking! We did something that was so out of the blue… David would tell you this, because he remembers it distinctly. It’s just me and David and we were doing a scene. It was on film, the tape was running, he said something and I looked at him and I go: “I’m so ashamed!”. That wasn’t the line at all! I don’t know where it came from.

It was a conversation that David and I had had from earlier, joking about doing science fiction and doing some other things and being very self-effacing, and somehow it just popped up. I was like [whispering]: “that’s really too bad, because that’s on the film”. It was funny. David seized at it, of course, making it double uncomfortably for me.

editor’s note: from several other recounts, it seems that shortly after they started shooting SGA, Joe invited his fellow cast members to watch together the “Galaxy Quest” movie and to compare notes with the characters. The “I’m so ashamed” moment appears to be connected to that.


Q: New projects?
JF: Tomorrow I leave to go shoot the thing called Heavy Metal, Metal Hurlant. It’s based on the Heavy Metal comic books and the movie. I’ve just finished doing an action film with Jean Claude van Damme in Romania and I’ll be finishing doing this French episode.

There’re always things percolating, possibly happening, but I don’t like to talk about anything unless it’s a done deal. So there will probably be something else before Christmas but there’s no way to tell at this point. Unfortunately in this business things change fast and you can think you’re doing something, and like a week before you find out the whole project is cancelled.


Q: Have you ever been here before?
JF: Marseille? I came here once, when I was like 15 years old and I remember walking the streets and that’s about it. I’ve been all over France but Marseilles is one of the places I really don’t know that well but it’s a great city. I mean I really like it. I, personally as an American, I like cities that have a authentic quality to them, and this is, you know, it’s a port city, and it’s also an industrial town, but that’s fine. I wouldn’t like a town that was trying to hide that.

I like towns like Detroit and Chicago because they’re real. They’re real cities, they’re not cities trying to pretend that they’re something else. Vancouver, for example, is a port city but they’re trying to pretend that they are Paris or Hong Kong or New York City, and they’re not. It’s not the same thing.


Marseille, 31 Oct 2011

Oct 312011
HalfWay Con, picture by krisrussel

Some tidbits from the recent convention in Marseille, collected from tweets during the two days. Should new info become available to us, we’ll be sure to add it here.

Post has been updated on 6 July 2013, scroll down for new stuff

Guests to the convention: Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, Paul McGillion, Dan Payne, Robin Dunne, Rekha Sharma.

First day panel:

  • Jetlag maybe? ‘I’m very happy to be here. I don’t know where I am, but I’m happy to be here.’
  • Paul: ‘I wish David Hewlett had never kissed me’ Joe: ‘I wish I had never seen this’
  • Joe: ‘Torri is very diplomatic and I’m not’
  • Joe: ‘For the record Paul is the guy with the hair gel’ / Paul: ‘For the record Joe had a beautiful young lady following him around set with a mirror for fixing his hair. And the girl was David Hewlett’
  • Joe went to Sorbonne b/c he wanted to got to Paris. One of the best years of his life.
  • Q: fav shows? Torri loved Dead Wood, now Torchwood. Joe Breaking Bad, Paul as a kid Star Treck, now The Killing.
  • Q: alien life? Torri and Paul think it’s pretty arrogant believing we’re the only ones. Joe claims he is an alien ;-)
  • Which SG character would you have liked to be? Joe’s answer ‘Weir – I would have worked only one day a week’ …. Paul’s addition: ‘and you could have been really smart’
  • Joe told Torri that her presence in SGA was felt.
  • Torri: ‘I’d been stalking Joe for about 15 years I was(n’t?) an actor and when I heard he was doing Stargate I paid somebody off’

Second day panel:

  • “J’adore Johnny Cash”
  • Joe doesn’t want to film things his kids shouldn’t see/might be embarrassed about.
  • Joe was asked to do a part in NCIS. He wanted to do a recurring part. They wanted to look for one but that was 4 years ago.
  • Torri was sick and she was barely able to speak, so the guys said they’d speak for her: “bla bla bla” Joe then said “What Torri is saying she really liked working with Joe” And she nodded. Also, Joe said they could’ve killed Carson in the end. Paul: “Again.”
  • After being asked about what they wouldn’t do on TV: Joe- “I would never kiss another man on TV.” Paul- “Are you flirting with me, cheeky little bugger?”
  • Joe’s shirt is a pic of an actual piece of art from Damien Hirst. A scull with diamonds worth 25 mio pounds.

Joe is ‘showing off’ his diamonds skull shirt, picture posted with permission by @silvercomet21

We’ll be forever in debt to silvercomet21 and AnnCarters for keeping us so promptly updated during the con. Also many thanks to krisrussel (great pictures!!), toomuchbuggy, LtMolly73, sez101, Anshiiie, AndreaKoeln, domdomjohnshep for words, pictures and retweets. Congratulations are in order for the HalfWay staff as well, who worked hard to make possible such a big event, their first.


Krisrussel’s wonderful album

New photos from Krisrusselliterally hundreds of them, each one better then the other (added on 5 Nov)

silvercomet21′s excellent album (added on 6 Nov)


Update 5 Nov 2011

We were also sent some new pictures, by the wonderful Baso Zachariadi on facebook, with Joe in-between-photo-ops.



Update 6 Nov 2011

Browsing through the very thorough con reports posted by @toomuchbuggy on her LiveJournal here and here,  by @sar101 in her LJ here, as well as the bits shared on the GateWord here and here, we’ve compiled some of the congoers memories all in one.


During Joe and Torri’s double photo as a joke a wraith ran in Torri who screamed and jump while Joe didn’t even flinch, the Wraith then ran over and knocked the background over hitting Joe, after rescuing him and repairing the set the photo shoot continued on.

Joe greeted most everyone in French, unless you beat him to it and he knew to respond in English.


Saturday panel

Joe said during one of the panels that he’s a real Francophile… euhm… lover of everything French. And you could see that when the translator was doing her thing, he sometimes really paid attention to what she was saying to try and understand her.

The first panel, Joe, Torri and Paul. They were asked about aliens Paul pointed at Joe, Joe pointed at Paul.

Question: In the 5 seasons, were there any episodes you’d like to have the movie direction gone different than they had gone?
Joe: It’s a difficult thing because you always wish something and you have it in your head, the script and you have it where the episode may lead in your head and when you see it cut together, it’s always different than you think. So, would you do things differently? Absolutely on a lot of cases but one of the beautiful things is that we’re in a business that is a collaboration it’s not like writing a novel or painting a painting. You have to work with all these people and each person has a contribution and each person changes the project and interact with it. *looks at translator* How long is that gonna take for you to translate that?

*translator translates*

Joe: Can you say that again?

Torri: I wish that Elizabeth had more active time. Halfway through season 2 she had become an administrator instead of part of…
Joe: Doing party tricks
Torri: Yeah… she’s way better than Torri, but I wish that I had the input which *looks to Joe* you seemed to have… I would have asked for her to be a bit more involved and to see – I wish we would have seen some of the tools more often coming from this place of diplomacy and yeah, I think she became a bit more secretary.
Joe: And you know, Torri is very diplomatic. And I’m not. So I’d go into the office to make a lot of suggestions and they were almost always the same thing; ‘Maybe I’m on a planet… with strangely beautiful women.’
Torri: I’d really wished to see that we’d visit an island… ehm planet with 8 armed men. We never got there.
Joe: No…
Torri: Then it switched to a planet with just men…
Joe: You were already on an Island with a bunch of men… It was called Atlantis.
Paul: I wish that David Hewlett didn’t kiss me.
Joe: And I wish that I had not seen David Hewlett kiss him.
Paul: Uncomfortable…
Torri: I heard you had been rehearsing that over and over again.
Paul: …like sandpaper…
Joe: After we yelled ‘cut’ they kept kissing.

Paul was asked about the kiss between him and David. He said that he had read the script and after Martin came over and asked what he thought about it Paul was like horrified but asked what does David think about it, Martin said David was cool because you were friends, then went to see David who apparently was also horrified and asked what Paul thought Martin said oh yeah he is cool because you two are friends. Paul says he still has the restraining order but it was actually the first guy on guy kiss in scifi which he thinks is pretty cool.

Paul: Less politics, less economics, less war, more stargate. Less Joe Flanigan. More Dr. Weir.
Joe: Paul, you should run for office.
Paul: I really should.
Joe: You could be the prime minister of Canada
Paul: Thank you. I’ve got better hair.
Torri: A better heart.
Joe: I’d vote for you. I’m an American, I can vote in Canada.
Torri: You could buy Canada (or Goodbye Canada?)
Joe: For the record, for the record, He (Paul) is the guy with the hairgel. It’s like a chemical plant! You cannot believe how much stuff he puts in his hair. For the record… *imitates Paul’s voice* my god he’s a handsome fellow!
Paul: For the record… Joe had a beautiful lady, on set, following him with a mirror, around so he could fix his hair. For the record. … It was David Hewlett holding the mirror.
Joe: True.

Joe told us how much he loved France he spent a year studying and although he didn’t spend a year studying as hard as she should had, Paul responded that he had seen a couple of French kids looking around that look like Joe. Joe said he had 3 sons that he knew off.
A fan asked who was their favourite SGA commander Carter or Weir? Joe immediately said with Torri there he was going to say Torri. He expanded saying the character of Weir was great in theory a diplomat but once in Atlantis the writers didn’t know what to do with the character, she rarely got to use that skill set that she was meant to have. Torri agreed saying they missed some really nice character points such as having Teyla teach Weir self-defence and she would have liked to see more of that friendship.

Joe: I wanted Torri to stay. I made it very clear, and then the producer stopped telling me things… it’s true.


Torri:  I begged them from season 1 to explore the relationship between Rachel’s character and mine. I thought it was a male’s world and it would be these two women learning from each other. And I thought it would be great if Weir went to Teyla and said; ‘Okay we’re now living in a dangerous place and I don’t know how to defend myself. I don’t wanna be someone who has to be taken care of, I’m a leader, I could be fighting.’ So they sort of missed an opportunity that they could have had, to embrace the idea of action and that would have been an interesting journey.
Joe: I think they missed an opportunity… they missed a lot of opportunities in that regard. For example, Torri and Rachel could have had this whole thing and I could have walked in…
Paul: Or Dr. Beckett…
Joe: Also though, and I’m said this to Torri before and I’ll say it again, You always felt like you weren’t doing enough. Because we were running around on different planets and stuff, but the truth is, when you broke it down and saw the episode, your presence was really powerful and your screen time was almost the same as ours. So you know, I know that it felt like that because she would come in and shoot and she’d be done in two days. Because she’s in one set, so it’s very easy to shoot. Our stuff we were shooting in a bunch of different locations. So… it never translated like that though.
Torri: I just wanted to be part of the team!
Joe: She wanted to go out and play.

Someone asked what they would have liked to see Atlantis do before it ended, Torri said bring back Weir and give her a proper goodbye.  Joe said Paul would like to kiss David again to which Paul said he would give him a Glasgow kiss which is a head butt. Joe would like to see more of Atlantis as they had this amazing city and they explored very little of it. Joe also said he felt that the background of the character of Sheppard had never been explored only in Outcast which he had helped write.


Sunday panel

The next day, poor Torri had really lost her voice of course it didn’t help when the microphone wasn’t turned on, Joe was more than willing to help, so started saying ‘I think Joe’s really talented and amazing’…

Question: What was it about Fringe that made you take the role?
Joe: Money… *laughs* They said that it would be a part that they saw that could have an interesting kind of ‘life’, so to speak. I had not read the part really and I didn’t know anything about Fringe but everyone I knew was really positive but dying in Fringe doesn’t mean anything because there’s two worlds so I still don’t know anything. They actually said come on up for two days of work and blablablabla It turned out to be NINE days of work, because I didn’t realize that they wanted me to be the dead guy, lying down. I thought they were going to use like a double. So it was very… I had to exercise much more patience than I thought I had. It was tough to check the ego as I was lying on the floor, dead. But it was a good experience for me.
Paul: Joe was a fantastic corpse. Brilliant acting.

Question: What would you not do for a role? 
Joe: I would never kiss another man on screen. I have values, that’s all. *smiles*
Paul: You’re a sexy cheeky… are you flirting with me?
Joe: You know, it’s a good question though, because I have had to make decisions and I have three little boys and I really don’t want to be doing things that they can’t see. Maybe not now, but I don’t want them looking at stuff saying; ‘Why did my dad do that?! That’s embarrassing.’ I don’t want them to see that.
Paul: Torri … *giggles* once got fired from an agent because she would not do a commercial for pharmaceuticals. She wouldn’t do that, she doesn’t like that.
Joe: But Paul ended up doing that commercial naked.

Joe and Torri got asked about their relationship on SGA. Joe said Tori was very sexual but it would have undermined her authority to have an affair with him as they weren’t equal she was his superior. Torri said Weir definitely had a mad crush on Sheppard but couldn’t do it to herself or him. Instead she packed lots of batteries. Paul laughed and joked that generator outage was now explained. Joe joked that was what had drained the ZPM.

Update 28 Dec 2011

The “Sanctuary France” team got the opportunity to have an interview with Joe during the convention and they have done a great job, asking him excellent questions, all fresh and interesting, offering him the chance to tell us things we didn’t know about him.

link to the video file of the interview on youtube

Update 7 January 2012

Nice little message on video to Pierre Tessier, Joe’s French official voice double: “Hope you’re doing it right, or I’ll come after you! Thank you.”

link to the video file of Joe’s message on youtube


Update 6 July 2013

The convention DVD has been released and includes video recordings of the full panels, as well as small bits of extra footage from photo ops, cocktail and others. It’s an excellent product, and according to our knowledge this is one of the few scifi conventions where organisers actually offer the fans that couldn’t attend the opportunity to watch the talks in full.

Halfway Convention official site

Here below a few screen caps from the DVD (make sure to click on them for full size).


Oct 082011

At the Entertainment Media Show in London, FlanInfo was lucky enough to have a representative who sat with Joe Flanigan through several questions that finally made up for an exclusive interview. The discussion covered his most recent project, the next one, how was it working with Jean Claude Van Damme, how does the industry go and how he sees his profession. All in all we’ve got some interesting insights about what makes the actor Joe Flanigan tick.

Part 1: (Jump to Part 2)

FlanInfo: When have you finished shooting 6 Bullets?

JF: We finished 5 days ago, in Bucharest, and I’ll be going back to Los Angeles on Monday. We’ll be still doing some ADR, looping as we call it, we’ll be probably doing a lot of that, actually, as there were some challenges out here.

FlanInfo: When will the movie be on the market?

JF: Early 2012, more likely in the spring. But I don’t know, we’ve just finished, you never know these things. They are trying for a theatrical release, it’s the same group of people working with Van Damme, but you never quite know how it will turn out until you’re almost there.

FlanInfo: Did you learn any new moves from your stunt trainer?

JF: I’ve learnt a lot! A lot!

FlanInfo: Could you take care of yourself in a dark alley?

JF: Absolutely, but I’d still prefer a gun.

FlanInfo: How’s the shoulder?

JF: It’s getting better, but definitely it’s a long road to recovery. You see this? (pointing to his right elbow, swollen and looking quite painful) I hit it during a stunt, still hasn’t gone down, and it was bigger (pointing towards the length of the forearm).

FlanInfo: Was 6 Bullets a good project?

JF: I would say it was a really great experience. Basically, the way I do these things now, it’s based on the role. I look at the role. Do I like the role? Is that a role that I want to play? And then the second question would be who else is in it, and who else is supporting the movie? I used to not look to things that way, I used to go for the most interesting project as a whole, but I don’t think that’s the right approach, as an actor.

This character was really interesting, as he’s the ex-world champion mixed martial artist who’s trying to stage a come-back and he brings his wife and daughter to Moldova to talk with this promoter and stage a come-back fight. And his daughter gets kidnapped and there’s a prostitution ring. Then I get Van Damme to help me get her back and I team up with him in the end and we get to kill a lot of people. Act macho! It was fun.

FlanInfo: What was it different working in Romania as opposed to US or Ireland? Working habits, maybe longer hours on set?

JF: No, the hours weren’t longer at all, and Romania turned out being much better than I thought. I was really geared up for something rustic and undeveloped in terms of filmmaking and it turned out to be reasonably well sophisticated and we were able to get all sorts of things done. For one day of shooting in the US we could shoot for 6 days in Romania, just to give you an idea about the cost.

FlanInfo: They shoot a lot nowadays there, Nicholas Cage, Gerard Depardieu…

JF: They’re doing a really big project right now, called ‘The Hatfields and McCoys’ that Kevin Costner’s doing for the History channel, some of the actors were there with me in the hotel, I’ve got to know some of those guys, it was very cool. They’ll be there until Christmas.

FlanInfo: Did you go to the Enescu classic music festival that was on just across your hotel?

JF: I didn’t have to, because the festival came to me. I had this incredibly nice hotel room on the fifth floor that had its own patio and the doors opened up right to the plaza. They had every night live music, it was incredible, for about three weeks. And I met these lovely ladies who worked at the festival, they were at the hotel a lot with the musicians, and they’ve got me tickets to anything I wanted, the only problem was I couldn’t take advantage of them, I didn’t have the time. But it didn’t make a difference; I came home, forgot all about the reasons I was there, stayed on the patio maybe with a cigar and listen to Mozart, it was pretty cool. So, to be honest with you, the experience turned out to be really enjoyable, I had fun. The only thing that was tough was being away from my wife and kids for that long. But it was a good group of people, it was a good role and hopefully the film turns out well.

FlanInfo: Do you have a lot of screentime?

JF: It’s definitely the biggest part outside of Van Damme’s and I think it’s an even more interesting role than his. I’d rather play the role I play than his role. I have a big spectrum of things happening to me. The lady who plays my wife did a really good job, she’s an English actress.

We stop again as Joe signs some more and chats with a young fan and his parents (young fan as in 7-8 years old young!). Joe takes his time talking to him and finds out he couldn’t remember his birthday “I sometimes forget when my birthday is, but you know what, if you don’t know when your birthday is, you don’t know when to expect for your presents. You’d better write it down!”

JF: That’s another thing: how many shows have 6 years olds and 86 years olds fans? Not that many. Shows usually cater to young, or old, or something like a niche, teenage girls or middle age women or whatever. Having a show that has an audience covering such a broad part of the spectrum is interesting.

Very brief audio file of the following two questions: JCVD_MH

FlanInfo: How was it working with Van Damme?

JF: I really enjoyed working with Jean Claude. I find him to be personable, very charming, nothing but a gentleman. He’s a great martial artist. I really had a good time. And it’s kind of cool, as an actor, if you can say that you’ve worked with certain icons, you know?

FlanInfo: The next project?

JF: I’m going to go to Marseille for that signing at the end of October and then I’m supposed to go straight to Brussels to shoot… Sony is producing a French TV show based on the Heavy Metal comic book, and I believe the French call it Metal Hurlant. I’ll shoot for 7 days roughly, in Brussels. That’s the plan right now, although there are some details I didn’t yet sort out. That takes us to mid November. In American production, there’s not much happening between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Part 2: (Jump to Part 1)

FlanInfo: How badly do you want to direct? Would you give up acting for the chance of directing?

JF: The beauty is you don’t have to give up one for another. But I absolutely want to direct, and I think it’s a smart direction to go for any actor, because sometimes the most difficult thing for an actor is to take work he doesn’t want to. The amount of experience that you gain after tens of thousands of hours on the set is directly applicable to something like directing. Directing is also very creative. I think there are few directors that handle actors well, that understand how actors think, how they operate. The biggest problems on most sets come from communication issues. People have a hard time explaining what it is they’re looking for.

FlanInfo: Then a better deal would be to direct and produce?

JF: Not necessarily, it depends. Executive producing, that’s essentially just bringing money, and then there’s producing, that could be very exhausting, with all the organizational aspects that don’t totally interest me, although I understand them.

FlanInfo: But producers take decisions, right? They can cut into the creative line of a show, don’t they?

JF: There are overlapping boundaries. If you direct and you can get a producer credit as well, it’s great. A lot of times people do. In television producers tend to have a tremendous amount of power, not so much in films. In films the directors have the power. In fact, in television, unfortunately directors’ importance has been sometimes reduced. They often don’t really want to “direct” the actors too much because the actors have a better sense of their characters, having lived with them for years, so the guest directors tend to be a little timid in directing an actor. As a result, shows get stuck. I always like it when a director shows up and tries to stir the bottle a little, although actors can get prickly when they are challenged to perform in a certain way. And yet sometimes that’s the best way to force the character to stay dynamic.

As you act, the writers would write for you. And vice versa: as they write, you can act for them. Sometimes they see you as something separate of their creation, until they are seeing your feedback and your interpretation of their words. After that they can start writing more effectively for your role. Once you open up new elements of your personality, the writers are given a new set of possibilities. If writers feel stuck with your character, your character kind of dies.

Flaninfo: What about making the step to movies, from TV?

JF: What happens with movies is you need to leave your home for a long period of time. Shooting a movie would generally take up to three months. The other thing is, and I don’t say this smugly at all, I’m not a character actor, I’m a leading man. Leading men, in movies, are Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and it’s almost impossible for me to compete with that type of box office power. I haven’t been given the chance to sell movie tickets like they’ve got. It’s a Catch 22: they want new leading men, but they don’t want to give new leading men a chance because of the risks involved with giving them a chance.

There are so few movies they make these days, that movie stars start making television shows, where they crowd the field quite a bit. Network executives get very seduced ‘hey, let’s make that TV show with Ben Affleck, that’s so cool, maybe he’ll invite us to his house’. So guys like us, who have been traditionally recruited for leading parts in TV shows find it competitive to keep their territory, it’s increasingly difficult. Also movies don’t pay that much. I know, it seems strange, that’s a surprise for a lot of people; unless you’re the star of the movie, it’s a precipitous decline from the leading character to the next actors. So you’re making a lot more money as a regular on a TV show than you’ll ever make on a movie, unless you are a movie star. That’s another thing that out-of-work movie stars have discovered. Television tends to pay the bills better, it’s just it’s less glamorous than movies.

There’s another added element, because there are so many fewer movies being made, a lot of the talents, including writers, are going to TV, making damned good TV shows! I would argue that dollar per dollar TV is producing better entertainment than the movies. If you’re watching shows like Boardwalk Empire or Deadwood a few years ago… those are really, really good TV shows.

FlanInfo: How do you expect your fans to support you to get the perfect next project?

JF: I don’t know, it’s funny, I never think of it that way. I don’t expect anything from my fans other than to enjoy my work. Sure, there are these campaigns… I’d still like to play that Uncharted role.

FlanInfo: So how can we do that?

JF: That project has been up and down, it’s hard to know what’s its status, and you want your campaign at the right time. I truly haven’t seen what people have been doing [campaign-wise], and it’s not from lack of gratitude, but it’s just practically impossible to follow… between work and being married with three kids and five dogs, it’s an impossibility.

I’m not a big fan of spending time on publicity. My biggest fear is to be seen as those guys who are famous for nothing. Without a show actively on the air, there’s only so much presence I want… You won’t find me at Cannes festival or Sundance festival unless I have a movie there, I won’t show up, I’m not a hanger-on. The best thing that I can do to get back to my fans is to create more work, and that’s what I’m trying to do.

FlanInfo: Thank you!