Richard Dean Anderson shows off his weapons training

Father Figure

Stargate SG-1? Richard Dean Anderson has got far more important things to talk to Thomasina Gibson about, like fatherhood and saving the Earth for real...

Excerpts selected from Xposé #53

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Given that most of the cast and crew of the phenomenal Stargate SG-1 have at one time or another commented on the subtle nature of the sense of humor displayed by Richard Dean Anderson, please spare a thought for the poor writer sent to interview the man. Blessed with the ability to make anyone believe whatever he says – at first – you have to be very quick to catch the twinkle in his eye that lets you know he’s leading you straight up the garden path.

A less conventional weapon for Col. O'Neill“You know stuff that I say ‘off the record’ is really far more interesting… I would imagine,” offers the inimitable Mr Anderson, all wide-eyed and with a little head shake that is very reminiscent of the ones made by his current alter ego, Colonel Jack O’Neill. Luckily, I’m learning to watch for the tell-tale crinkle that shows he’s about to break into a grin any second. “No chance!” I reply. “We’re going to print every word of wisdom you have to say about this show.” “Oh dear,” he sighs...

The fourth season of any successful production can be the time when lead actors begin to believe the hype cast around the show, which can in turn lead to a certain reticence to speak to the press, or indeed the fans who are responsible for their success. This is definitely not the case with anyone involved with Stargate SG-1, particularly the charming Mr A. We’re swinging round in chairs in the Control Center above the infamous Gate Room trying to jog his memory with regard to some of his most outstanding moments in Stargate SG-1 over the last year.

“Now, see, I’m really bad at chronology,” he explains. “You know – the tracking of the show. We’ve got a franchise here that has a really good core of ideas from which we’ve created a story bible, but I have such a hard time following it. I couldn’t tell you squat about what’s happened in the past.”

Given the twinkle in his eye, it’s hard to decipher the truth in that statement. However, prompted to give up any detail about production, whether it be from an actor’s perspective, a producer’s stance or a personal point of view, Anderson shows just how exceptional he is by going for a more open approach. “There you go!” he nods, “The person. Now you’re with me.” At a time when most performers jealously guard their private lives and restrict original comments to a minimum, it’s refreshing to hear Richard Dean Anderson promote a completely different tack.

“Most elements in my life have changed dramatically since the birth of my daughter. She’s taken all my really serious focus and all my serious attention and my passion is now for fatherhood. I want to be the best dad in the world.” Anderson is so serious about the lovely young lady in his life that he’s the first to admit that everything else “kind of slips by the wayside. I get a little distracted when I come here.” He shrugs, “Much to my professional discredit.”

A tad concerned about this result, he says, “I’ve already apologized to Brad Wright [one of the creators of the show and fellow executive producer] and said, ‘Forgive me – I’ve got some really strong, paternal aspects of life that are pushing to the fore here.’ But he told me – ‘Listen, I have a family of my own. I know exactly what you’re going through. Don’t worry about it.’ Brad’s feelings mirror those of the rest of my co-workers. It’s obvious to everyone that I’m just head over heels, consumed by fatherhood and this wonderful daughter...”

Richard Dean Anderson talks about fatherhood, his rogeuish reputation, his ecological awareness and its relevance to the missions of SG-1..... in Xposé #53

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