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Feature: Stargate SG-1

Candid Cameron

Ben Browder

The SG-1 series has finished, but there are more adventures for Colonel Cameron Mitchell in the new DVD-only releases…

Stargate SG-1 executive producer John Smith and I turn around as the door to his office opens and Ben Browder, who plays Colonel Cameron Mitchell, walks into the room, his head and face covered with blood. If we were in any other office building, a call to the emergency services would soon follow, but this is Stargate, and such a scenario is not uncommon. The actor’s injuries, albeit convincing, are fake, and the aftermath of a fight scene shot earlier this afternoon for The Ark of Truth, the first of two upcoming direct-to-DVD SG-1 feature films.

“You might not think it by looking at me right now, but I’m having a great time working on this movie,” smiles Browder as he leaves Smith’s office and sits down for a chat in a nearby conference room. “When it comes to how I got to look like this, well, it’s a result of Mitchell just being Mitchell. He pissed someone off and this is what happened.

“It’s taken two days to get into this [physical] state, and the real bruises are actually below this. I almost got scorched a little while ago. We were basically trying to light a whole city on fire, and they put a flame thrower up my backside,” chuckles the actor. “It’s a pretty cool shot, and what’s called a ‘money shot’. You always know it’s a good shot when the director yells, ‘Cut,’ and then asks, ‘Ben, are you OK? Are you sure you’re OK?’ Usually, you get hurt on the shots where it doesn’t look it, and the shots where you look like you’re getting hurt are the good ones. Of course, when you get hurt they’re like, ‘OK, we’ve got to go again,’ and you’re like, ‘No, not again. I can’t move my lower body,’ or, ‘I’m on fire’.

“There are one or two things in this movie that I’m not doing. I have one caveat about stunt work, which is I don’t like concrete. I’ll flop on it, but I’m not coming down from a height on it. Concrete is 10 times harder than asphalt, and asphalt is something like 20 times harder than the ground. I’ll land on the ground, or sand, that’s fantastic, and mats, which are perfect. However, they’re shooting scenes where people are hitting concrete, and that’s where I’ll ask my stunt double, Jeff, ‘Are you OK?’ because I know it hurts.”

At that moment, Joe Flanigan, who plays Colonel John Sheppard on Stargate Atlantis, walks by, looks through the conference room window, waves and walks on. “Man, it’s so easy on that other show,” jokes Browder. “They’re all pretty on Atlantis. No one there gets their asses whooped. The real men are on SG-1 getting their asses whooped. Wait, is Joe carrying a cell phone? Jeez, they have cell phones on that show, too? Look, now he’s twirling a gun and talking on his cell. Is that any way for an action hero to behave? Action heroes should have broken bits hanging off them, or at the very least be covered in blood,” he laughs.

by Steven Eramo

Read the full interview and much, much more on the Stargate series in
TV Zone Special #79

Photo © The Sci-Fi Channel
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone Special #79
Yearbook (2007-08) 2007
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