* SCIFI.COM Chat Transcript: Chat with Don S. Davis October 10, 2002 * SCIFI.COM Chat Transcript: Chat with Don S. Davis October 10, 2002 * SCIFI.COM Chat Transcript: Chat with Don S. Davis October 10, 2002 * SCIFI.COM Chat Transcript: Chat with Don S. Davis October 10, 2002 *

Don S. Davis

Don S. Davis

  ChatMod: Okay we'll take questions now
ChatMod: prion * Question for Mr. Davis: If season 7 of stargate occurs, will there be any episodes from Hammond's point of view?

DSD: -- I doubt it
DSD: I don't go through the gate
DSD: The thiong that makes the show work is that we explore myths
DSD: We've revealed the characters over six years, including Hammond
DSD: But what makes the show work is the team that goes through the gate

ChatMod: * Gilder * Another question: What was Don's Army specialty.

DSD: -- I was a oersonal and administration officer
DSD: I ran records branches
DSD: While I was with the 7th Infantry in Korea during the Viet Nam era I led a platoon doing night partrols
DSD: I did learn things in the Army that helped me with Hammond
DSD: I was a Captain at Ft Leonard Wood when I left the military and worked with General Officers, so I've been able to use that in Hammond and other characters
DSD: What's important is that good officers care about the people under them.

ChatMod: Don, what would be (or was) your most challenging acting role?

DSD: -- Probably the theater roles, because they were meatier roles
DSD: Some of my work in indie films early in my career were quite challanging
DSD: Twin Peaks was a stretch
DSD: I started out as a day player in the pilot
DSD: Then David had enough in me to make it a regular role
DSD: Working with a cast of 42 with the best director in the business is always a pleasure
DSD: I had a role as a gay theater owner in Matinee that was a real challange. Very unlike me
DSD: I was a touching role
DSD: It's a pleasure to play a character very different from "me"
DSD: I was in A League of Their Own and most people didn't even recognise me
DSD: That's good work
DSD: When I blend in so well that I go unnoticed
DSD: That's hard to do
DSD: That's what a character actor likes
DSD: I take great pride in being a character player
DSD: I never felt that I had the charisma to be a lead player
DSD: But some of the best actors like Alex Guiness, Charles Laughton, etc. were character actors

ChatMod: What would you say is the best thing about working on Stargate?

DSD: -- The people
DSD: I first worked with Richard in MacGuyver
DSD: That was my first guest star role -- as a bear poacher
DSD: To get to work with people of quality like Brad Wright John Smith, etc is such a plasure
DSD: I've worked in at least two dozen projects with some of these guys
DSD: I work with a group of friends
DSD: That's such a luxury in this business
DSD: We really do socialize together
DSD: On every show people claim that the set is a "family" But that's usually not really true
DSD: With us it is
DSD: I also think the quality of the writing is good, better perhaps than people give us credit for
DSD: Television writing is pretty mediocre sometimes
DSD: Science fiction is one of the most popular mediums in television, but shows tumble down and die with alarming regularly
DSD: In my opinion part of that is because fx replaces characters and story lines

ChatMod: What would you say is the best thing about working on Stargate?

DSD: -- It was simply great good fortune
DSD: I was living in Vancouver and doing local work
DSD: But because of my accent in the 80's I couldn't play a Canadian in commercials
DSD: So someone suggested that I get an agent in Seattle
DSD: I did and was able to get commercial work and acting jobs there
DSD: I had a good resume
DSD: So when they were casting the Twin Peaks pilot my agent sent me out of the audition
DSD: I met David and didn't actually read for him...we just visited
DSD: He asked about my accent
DSD: I'm from the Ozarks
DSD: David had been fishing there
DSD: He noticed that I was in shape but had a pack of cigarettes in my pocket
DSD: I don't smoke, but I was playing a bad guy who did so I was carrying them around with me
DSD: So David asked about that
DSD: I told him I didn't smoke, but wanted to smoke "naturally" on camera
DSD: He asked me if I could cry on camera
DSD: I said, sure...I even cry watching cartoons
DSD: In fact I'd done a show with Martin Sheen where I had to cry on camera
DSD: David liked me and started writing for me
DSD: He liked the chemistry I had with other players
DSD: I did three days on the pilot and then went on to the series
DSD: That was the luckiest break I could have had
DSD: There are at least a dozen people from that show who are lifelong friends because of that show. It was a life changing experience

ChatMod: What would you say is the best thing about working on Stargate?
ChatMod: You seem to be on your third or fourth career. What advice would you give to others looking to start a new career in mid-life?

DSD: Never look back
DSD: Do what you love to do and make no excuses
DSD: Hugh Downs, who was once the host of Today Show used to say you shoul;d change careers every ten years
DSD: The definition of Hell is working at something you hate living for a paycheck and a two week vacation
DSD: I have always lived for the day
DSD: And I've tried to tell my son that
DSD: The best advice ever liven was Polonius in Hamlet
DSD: To thine own self be true
DSD: You can get rich and make your parents happy doing something you hate
DSD: But you aren't as deep as a parking lot puddle of you do that
DSD: I believe we live in an angry world
DSD: for whatever reason it always just
DSD: somebody is always smarter, richer, better looking
DSD: But we are all blessed with something we love about life. And if that can keep us going, that's enough
DSD: Whatever it is you love...follow that
DSD: My mother was full of trite sayings, but she taught us to dream and to be special

ChatMod: Just a reminder. We're chatting with actor Don S. Davis, Gen. Hammond on Stargate SG-1
ChatMod: prion * Any good bloopers from Stargate or other work you've done? Thanks!

DSD: -- The whole 100th episode
DSD: We spent more time laughing than working
DSD: Sometimes it's hard top describe how funny things are because you have to be there
DSD: It was Richard Dean Anderson's idea to give Jack humor
DSD: Kurt Russell didn't have that in the film
DSD: Richard felt that humor was important in moving the role to TV
DSD: Anyone who ever comes on the show talks about how funny the set is when they leave
DSD: Some people complain we joke too much
DSD: Shakespeare wrote fopr vendors, and hookers, and illiterates who shouted at the stage
DSD: He wrote dramas so powerful that they laughed and cried and were moved
DSD: But I'm sure the actors went in to have fun and play their roles, and then to go home
DSD: That's what do
DSD: If you can't enjoy the set
DSD: Do something else

ChatMod: * I Love X files * How was it, working with Gillian Anderson?

DSD: -- She's one of the sweetest, most beautiful people I've ever met
DSD: She has a 1930's style and beauty
DSD: She focuses on you so intensly when she's doing a scene
DSD: That's very rare
DSD: You have to think about so much else when you're doing a scene...lighting, gesture, etc
DSD: But she takes you away from that
DSD: You hope to work with her again and again

DSD: -- I've been very fortunate
DSD: I've work with so many very gifted people
DSD: Actors so good they make your teeth ache
DSD: Peggy Lipton on Twin Peaks is sadly underrated
DSD: She was so talented you sometimes thought you could see through her skin to her soul
DSD: That's the beauty of what I do
DSD: I work with people who are magic
DSD: You walk into a room and you know you're blessed
DSD: Of course I'm obsessed with the visual arts too :)

ChatMod: Can you tell us about you drawing and paint and Any plans to teach in the near future?

DSD: -- I've been approached recently about teaching acting
DSD: In the past I've taught set design and technical theater
DSD: I love the craft of acting and I coach a lot of friends
DSD: So I would love to teach acting
DSD: I'm 60 so the older I get the fewer the parts
DSD: Teaching might be the next "stage"
DSD: Though I can't imagine giving up performing
DSD: I love the craft and preparation in this craft
DSD: When I was a tiny child I thought that what I was going to be was a painter, sculpter, and poet
DSD: I was a joke in my family
DSD: The only reason I left the Army was because I believed I was meant to be a painter
DSD: It took reality -- the discovery that I was the genius I hoped that I was that steered me to acting. But it's still what I love
DSD: I paint every day
DSD: I draw every day
DSD: And when I have the room I carve
DSD: But my problem is I truly love life
DSD: My father would pull the car off the road to watch sunsets
DSD: That's what my parents gave me
DSD: This sense of magic and beauty
DSD: The only sin was NOT to try something
DSD: So that's kind of for good or il;l the driving factor behind my life of life and of art
DSD: I sometimes think I have the power to create things that don't end up working
DSD: But the next morning I get up and try again

ChatMod: We hear you like to play golf?

DSD: -- I'm probably the world's worst golfer
DSD: The problem is that I love to play with friend
DSD: And I live alone with a little puppy
DSD: Most courses are an hours drive for me
DSD: Then it takes 4-5 hours to play
DSD: Then your friends want to have a beer...
DSD: It's not fair to my dog
DSD: So as much as I love to play ... I haven't had time lately
DSD: Chris Judge and I played in Quatar last Christmas
DSD: Chris has probably played 25 rounds since then... I've only had time for about five

ChatMod: Ottly * Will you post your poetry on your website?

DSD: -- No
DSD: The same way with the paintings
DSD: I put drawings on the site
DSD: and carvings
DSD: But there are some things I do for myself that I don't want to have to explain
DSD: Sometimes I'm totally abstract
DSD: I throw paint
DSD: Sometimes I feel like painting something veryt realistic
DSD: I love vibrant color
DSD: At least lately
DSD: I paint strictly for me
DSD: The poetry is the same way
DSD: It's too close to me
DSD: Not to share
DSD: Somebody said once that if you love every man equally you love no one
DSD: I believe if you give everything you do to the world you do nothing that is so special you want it to be intimate
DSD: There are things that I want to be personal so those I don't share

ChatMod: Michelle * Will we ever see the general going though the Stargate again?

DSD: -- I assume so
DSD: But he'll never lead a mission, or go on a mission that somebody else is leading
DSD: That can't happen in the military
DSD: Wwithin the limits of SCIFI we try to remain true to military protocol
DSD: Generals don't go on missions with colonels

DSD: Let me go on
DSD: If tyou watch the film Patton you never see George Scott in combat
DSD: He directs from afar
DSD: That's military reality
DSD: Hammond can never be a part of SG-1 unless it's a dream sequence
DSD: And we did that already with O'Neil as the General

ChatMod: Final Question: What advise do you give to aspiring actors?

DSD: -- Learn your craft. Don't give up
DSD: Very often it's the person who refuses to quit who ends up with a career
DSD: Acting is like anything else
DSD: Unless you are beautiful, or striking you must be able to create realistic characters
DSD: Most people who want to act don't want to work -- to ask the questions about their characters

ChatMod: What's your character's favorite color?

DSD: If you don't know you character, no matter how minor, you bring nothing to the scene
DSD: ?
DSD: You look for what your character says about your character
DSD: What other characters say about your character
DSD: It's only iof you are willing to do all the work that you can faithfully represent a character
DSD: Bad actors may get jobs but they inhibit the the vehicle
DSD: An actor must prepare
DSD: It's an honorable craft
DSD: Good night everybody
DSD: Thanks for having me
DSD: I hope to come back again

ChatMod: Our hour is about up. Thanks for joining us. Good night everybody.


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