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Feature: Stargate SG-1

Best of Both Worlds

Sam, back in SG-1

Amanda Tapping is back for a ninth season of playing Sam Carter. She talks about balancing Carter’s battle to save the Universe with the joys of motherhood…

It’s lunchtime for the cast and crew of Stargate SG-1. However Amanda Tapping, who plays Lt Colonel Samantha Carter, has a task to perform before getting a bite to eat - she has to first feed her five-month-old daughter, Olivia. The little girl has been with Tapping at Vancouver’s Bridge Studios every day since the actress returned to work on SG-1 in late April.

“I can’t believe how fast that time has gone by,” says Tapping. “It seems like only yesterday that I was coming back to work and asking myself, ‘My God, what am I doing?’ Everything is going just great, through. Olivia is such a good baby. She’s happy, healthy, and at the moment, very hungry.”

Prior to breaking for lunch, Tapping and the rest of the SG-1 cast were filming a scene for the latest ninth season episode, Off the Grid, in which the SG-1 team is captured off-world while trying to make a deal with the Lucian Alliance. “This is a well-written, solid team story,” notes the actress. “It’s the four of us dressed up in these sexy, funky leather outfits and being taken prisoner by the bad guys. My character actually winds up being the hero in the end, and that’s kind of fun. Yes, Carter is up to her old tricks again and saving the day.

“The episode we shot right before Off the Grid is called Ripple Effect, and in it a bunch of alternate SG-1 teams come through the Stargate and we meet up with some old friends, which is pretty cool. I play several versions of my character, and in one scene alone there are 15 different Carters. That was just one massive motion control exercise when it came to the filming of it.”

During the first five episodes of SG-1’s latest season Tapping appeared in only a couple of brief scenes so the actress could stay at home with her new baby. By the episode Beachhead she’d reported back for duty at the SGC to help combat a threat by Earth’s new enemy, the Ori. Having had an extended break from SG-1, it took actress Amanda Tapping slightly longer than usual to get back into the swing of things...

“In some ways I found it harder this year because I felt like my focus was split,” she explains. “It used to be that I would literally arrive at the studio, put on my boots, and become Sam Carter. Back in April, I really had to work hard to ‘find’ Sam and feel like part of the team again, because prior to that it had been all about the baby and I’d come back to work so soon after Olivia was born. There’s a cohesion that takes place at the start of each new season, and this year I missed out on that. So it was a bit of a struggle to find my footing, but I’ve since managed to settle back in nicely.”

by Steven Eramo

Read the full interview in
TV Zone #194

Photo © Sci-Fi Channel
Feature © Visual Imagination 2005. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #194
October 2005
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