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Archive for May, 2011

SGU’S Jennifer Spence Receives Leo Nomination

Sunday, May 29, 2011 @ 07:05 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Actress, Jennifer  Spence has much to be proud of after having been  the  member from SGU , bestowed with  a nomination for the 2011  Leo Awards. Indeed, the actress received a nomination for the Supporting Female  actress category for her performance in  SGU’S second season episode, Malice.The Leo Awards, of course, reflect the best  of the entertaintment industry  within  Vancouver, British Columbia.

In  Malice, Park is abducted from Destiny by  rogue Lucian Alliance member, Simeon, after which he   attaches a bomb to her back and  flees the situation.

Spence also received a nomination last year for her on SGU. The actress was nominated for her performance on SGU’S  season 1 episode, Life in the same category [  fellow actress , Julia Benson won their award instead for her performance  in season one’s, Pain]

While this is of great news, it is somewhat surprising that there are no  additional nominations, given the development of storyline this season as well as the fact that SGU  earned  16  nominations in 10 different categories last year.A significant drop in recognition.

 Other series, include Sanctuary  which received a nomination of 18  nominations areas such as Best Show, visual effects, script writing and more.

 Smallville  earned 6 different nominations for is recent tenth and final season, including   one for the best dramatic series.

The Gala awards ceremony will take place on  Saturday m June 11.  For a complete list of nominations and for further information regarding the event, please visit www.leoawards.com

Congratulations are extended to  actress,  Jennifer Spence for the  nomination and we truly anticipate that she  receives a well deserved award for her performance.

What are your thoughts on  Jennifer Spence’s nomination ?Why do you think there were   no additional nominations for SGU? What hopes or predictions do you have for  the other nominations mentioned? Sound  off in  the comments section, below!

Interview With Stargate Universe’s Jennifer Spence

Thursday, May 26, 2011 @ 08:05 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Actress Jennifer Spence has been leading a distinguished career as a Canadian actress,having played the recurring role of the brilliant yet chatty scientist, Dr. Lisa Park in Syfy’s Stargate Universe.

With SGU having recently drawn to a close after two seasons and Jennifer being kind enough   to participate in a interview with us, we decided to take the opportunity to discuss playing the role of Lisa Park, the actress’ experience in interacting with fans as well as her favourite episode of Stargate Universe. We also discuss what Jennifer’s reaction to SGU’S cancellation has been and the factors which she thinks contributed to the show’s end. We also discuss the actress thoughts on what her hopes for Dr. Park’s relationship with Sergeant Ronald Greer [Jamil Walker Smith] were   as well as her thoughts on the future of the Stargate franchise.

Jennifer also talks about her recent work on a feature film with her finance entitled, Down River and the actress discusses her role on anAmerican documentary series, Exes & Ohs and her hopes for the show’s future as well as her work on a recent pilot  presentation supervised by SGU’S Visual effects Supervisor,Mark Savela.

Abbas Karimjee:Were you a fan of Science fiction prior to being appointed the role of Dr. Lisa Park and how familiar were you with the Stargate franchise, in particular?

Actress Jennifer Spence as Dr. Lisa Park

 Jennifer Spence: I always fear answering this question cuz I hadn’t been a fan of science fiction prior to Stargate to be honest! But SGU proved to me that it was possible for science fiction to be moving, funny and realistic – everything that I ever wanted as an actor in order to tell a story of what it means to be a human being..

AK: How did you relate to the character of Park ?

JS: I related a lot to her nerdiness, her desire to do the right thing and her need to prove herself.

AK: What challenges were associated with portraying the character of Dr. Park and how did you overcome this?

JS:I think the biggest challenges associated with playing her had to do with the sex scenes I did in season 1 – always a bit nerve-wracking but ultimately fun to do! Also in “Blockade” as part of the fire and water in the dome sequence, I had to put my head under water while still in my space suit helmet and water would always seep in. So I had to keep myself submerged as long as I could during a take while water filled my helmet! Fear of drowning was definitely with me but knowing I could just stand up at any time and open up the helmet was what allowed me to overcome the challenge. Bam Bam (stunt coordinator extraordinaire) also talked me through it and made me realize I was in control.

AK:How do you think the character of Lisa Park has developed over the course of the series and what aspirations did you have for the character?

JS:I was so happy to see the aspirations I had for her actually come into play over the 2 seasons! I think she came more and more into her own and found her own strength of character and value as an individual and as a team-mate. She proved her worth to both herself and others.

AK. What was your favourite episode of SGU and why?

JS:I can honestly say I’ve loved every episode and each for different reasons – part of the excellence of the whole team we had. One episode that I think is one of the best hours of TV you’ll ever see is “Epilogue”. When we got this script (penned by the fabulous Carl Binder) we knew how incredible it was and also how ambitious it was but the whole team far exceeded all expectations and created this mini-movie of sorts that left me sobbing in the way that the last episode of Six Feet Under left me sobbing! Just because it all comes down to that same basic stuff: love, connection, family, friendship, leaving your mark, faith, action, survival, doing your best, the journey of being a human being.

AK: Science Fiction fans have been known for their great passion and loyalty towards genre entertainment. What have been the various ways in which you have connected with fans and could you please, briefly describe your experience in interacting with the fandom?

 JS:Science fiction fans are the best! They’ve all been so supportive of us and the show and I’ve loved chatting with them on Twitter and seeing them when we did the Innerspace special on Space channel and on Canada AM. After the last episode of season 2 aired, fans of the show tweeted hundreds upon hundreds of standing ovations. I was blown away by that. I’m really looking forward to meeting more of these folks in person when I go to some conventions. First up Starcon!

AK: Back in December, Syfy announced the cancellation of Stargate Universe, once the show concludes in its current second season:What was your reaction when you discovered that the series had been cancelled and why do you think SGU was unable to attract the audience needed for the series to continue? What was your perspective on the decision of the producers to have SGU take the Stargate franchise in a new direction, with a strong emphasis on character  relationships and survival?

JS: My reaction when I heard we got cancelled was shock then anger then grief. I remember Patrick Gilmore and I were chatting on the phone right after I heard and we were commiserating on experiencing the feeling one gets when a relationship ends. Denial. Anger. Negotiation. Etc.

I don’t think I can ever fully know why the show was unable to attract the audience it needed for the series to continue. I do know it wasn’t a question of quality – that’s for sure. I think the biggest factor that influenced the numbers was when we got moved from Friday nights to Tuesday nights on the weekly TV schedule for season 2. We then had to compete with loyal, long-time viewers of “Dancing With the Stars” and “Glee” and so I think a lot of folks either missed SGU altogether and downloaded it later or PVR’d it. Either which way weren’t favorable to our ratings. It’s unfortunate because the Nielsen ratings system is no longer an accurate ratings assessment in this day and age with the way technology is. But my understanding is that it is still the predominant way of the industry.

I’m glad and grateful the producers and writers took the Stargate franchise in a new direction with SGU. Relationships, character and survival are what it’s all about for me and they created an outstanding show that will stand the test of time.

AK:With SGU having been cancelled as a TV series, Brad Wright engaged in a series of negotiations for SGU to continue on either in the form of a TV movie or as miniseries. At a recent convention in Chicago ,Wright reported that the negotiations were unsuccessful. What was your reaction to this and what do you think is in store for the future of the Stargate franchise? Do you think it will be revived at a later time. Why or why not?

JS:I was really grateful to Brad for his efforts. As I’m sure you’ve heard already, the SGU team is a family so we were all eager to work together again. I was really disappointed to hear the movie wasn’t a go but I still have this faith that we will all work together again in some form or another. I think the Stargate franchise will continue to be successful with DVD sales and like I said before, SGU will stand the test of time. I don’t know if there will be a revival. That’d be awesome but we just can’t know that at this time.

AK:In the final season, Dr. Park further develops a romantic relationship with Sergeant Ronald Greer, while being unaware of Dr. Volker’s romantic feelings toward her. Who would you have preferred to see Park with and why? What are your thoughts on who she may have ended up with, had SGU continued?

 JS: I think I would have liked to continue to watch her relationship with Greer evolve just because they were so different yet like most everyone else in this world simply wanted love and intimacy. I thought it was also a nice symbol of the possibility of harmony between the 2 different camps: military and civilian.

AK:Reflecting on your experience as a cast member of SGU, could you please share some of your favourite memories of working on the show, either from on screen or off?

Shooting SGU’S season 2 episode , Malice  in the deserts of New Mexico was one of the most thrilling acting experiences for Jennifer Spence

 JS:Aw man, there are too many to list! I think one of the biggest thrills I got was when we got to travel to New Mexico to shoot “Malice.” Not only were we in the most beautiful surroundings and getting to experience some life experience/travelling on the side but I was so happy to have a close scene with Bobby. My parents have always been huge fans of his as have I and so the fact that I was acting with Bobby Carlyle in the desert was just so effing awesome!

AK:What message  would you like to convey to viewers of the series, with SGU having drawn to a close?

 JS:Sounds cheesy but gratitude. Gratitude and love to all the viewers and fans for joining us and supporting us on this journey. So glad they enjoyed watching it as much as we enjoyed making it. We’re proud of the show and it means so much to know it has been appreciated.

AK. Have you been working on any other acting projects which you would like to share with viewers and what aspirations do you have for the future?

 JS: I’ve been working on a feature film with my fiancé called “Down River” which has been a hugely inspiring and creatively satisfying experience http://communities.canada.com/theprovince/blogs/reelman/archive/2011/03/21/memories-are-made-of-this.aspx

In terms of the future I would love for another show I did called “Exes & Ohs” to get a 3rd season. The 2nd season will air in the USA June 29th. Stay tuned for details! Besides that, I would like to continue playing roles that challenge me in the best ways possible. I recently shot a presentation pilot called “Echoes” created by the brilliant team of Mark Savela (visual effects supervisor on SGU) and Ken Kabatoff (production assistant on SGU and independent film producer/writer/director) that did just that. I play a woman who is forced by circumstances to become a strong, solid leader and it feels awesome to take the journey with her and stretch myself. I’m super excited about it and we’re hopeful of it getting picked up by a network. It was fun too to have all these scenes with the dreamy and talented Mike Dopud (Varro on SGU)! Most of the team that worked on it were SGU crew so it was wonderful to be surrounded by family once again. http://www.gateworld.net/news/2011/05/savela-sgu-vets-pitching-new-sci-fi-series-echoes/

 

Happy Birthday To Us!

Saturday, May 21, 2011 @ 10:05 AM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

 Pink, Green, & Yellow Blinking Stars BackgroundsAnimated Backgrounds

Happy Birthday  to US!Today, this blog  officially turns 3 years old!

It was three years  ago today, when I decided to open this blog.It is hard to believe that  three years have  gone by. When I first opened this site, I had no idea as to what it would become or that I would be doing it three years later. This site means so much to me  and running it  has been a truly rewarding and enriching opportunities, which I never thought I would have. I would have never  imagined that I would have been providing prominent coverage for thousands of readers each month, on a variety of different subject matter!  Thank  YOU  for supporting  us throughout the past year with your  visit and active participation. Indeed, a site has no purpose or future without its valued readers. Your visits mean everything!

Over the past year, the blog  has grown immensely, having gained an increased  recognition throughout the media. We welcomed over 60  000 readers in the past year which  is  nearly ten times the number of visits which the site earned in its first year of operation. We  enhanced our reader –management communication by launching our  new Facebook and Twitter  pages.   Readers can follow the pages to remain up to date on the latest coverage and announcements regarding the blog.  We  have also welcomed a great deal of new, wonderful regular  readers  and have had an increase in discussion throughout the site.

Over the past year, we continued to provide coverage on LOST as the show concluded its sixth and final season,  provided extensive news and media coverage  on the second and final season  of Stargate Universe as well as the fifth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie. We also continued to place   strong emphasis on our coverage of the  pending Stargate films , Stargate Revolution and Stargate Extinction,  which were paced on hold by MGM, until having recently been cancelled. With Stargate Universe having been cancelled and  the possible  developments on  a follow up movie, we launched our SGU Cancellation page to cover such information.

Last June, we  partnered with apple gaming company,  Playsteria to promote its new LOST App GAME, Unlockies . The blog also partnered  with the Stargate Movies Campaign and the SGU Awareness Campaign over the past year to help support the production of the Stargate  films and support the continuation of Stargate Universe!Though we were unsuccesful, we are glad to have supported the initiative and look forward to celebrating the Stargate franchise.

Back in November, the blog was asked by senior producer of Canada AM, Tina Daenzer to help promote the  Canada AM Live event which featured the  SGU  cast in Toronto. As a result of our extensive support of the event, the cast were invited to visit the blog.We   also attended Space’s  SGU Live Event, where we had the rewarding  experienceof  meeeting  the cast  of SGU and provided full coverage on the event!

In December, the blog was sanctioned by the producers of Little Mosque on the Prairie, allowing us to interview the show’s cast. Since then we have interviewed Little Mosque ‘s  Sitara Hewitt, Manoj Sood, Aliza Vellani, Arlene Duncan, Debra McGrath, Neil Crone , Brandon Firla and Sheila McCarthy. We thank each of these cast members for participating  in interviews with us and truly hope they enjoyed the experience as much as we did!

We also  interviewed various SGU  cast members including the show’s Julia Benson and  Patrick  Gilmore. Both of these talented `professionals  provided us with valuable reflections on their time on SGU, their  thoughts on the end of The franchise and its future! Both are thanked for their participation and we extend best wishes for the future.

What plans do we have for year#4?With  Stargate Universe   having  concluded its two year run Stargate franchise having drawn  to a close, we look forward to   providing coverage on  the aftermath of SGU ,  providing tributes,    reflecting  on 17 years of Stargate  through active coverage and discussion ,   and  have already  set interviews   from actors of the Stargate franchise. We  remain committed to our coverage of Stargate  and look forward to keeping the franchise a vital part of the site, while we move  forward in our coverage.

With Little Mosque on the Prairie approaching its  sixth and final season , we will be providing extensive news , media coverage as well a intervuewing the rest of the cast and  various writers from the show.

We also intend on launching coverage on various  new series to  ensure the blog remains current. Readers can expect to   see  coverage on various comedies, such  NBC’s , The Office and The Outsourced. We are also in the   process of  exploring  various new  science fiction series and  may cover certain shows from the genre as well.

We also look forward to increasing  our number of posts, reintroducing our monthly newsletters to enhance reader –management communication and engage  in our continous efforts to increase discussion throughout the blog.

Though our previous plans from last year,  to launch a new self hosted site have been delayed,we are still committed   idea and plan on having  the  site launched later in the summer.  Details regarding the movement will be provided shortly .At our new website we will continue providing  coverage of our current subject matter and have great opportunities  to  expand our variety  and make use of a  wide range   of technological applications.

What would you like to see  on the blog for our fourth year?What changes would you like to seen on the blog  and what additional shows would you like to see  covered?Drop us a line in the comments section or e-mail us at blogmanagement@ymail.com .

Interview With Stargate Universe’s Patrick Gilmore

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 @ 07:05 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Actor,Patrick Gilmore has been leading a distinguished career as a Canadian actor ,having appeared in various Science fiction series such as Battlestar Galactica and Eureka.Patrick’s most recent  role  within  the science fiction genre  involves the astrophysicist,Dale Volker on Syfy’sStaragate Universe.

With Patrick being kind enough to participate in an interview with us and Stargate Universe having just  concluded its run after its  two seasons,we take the opportunity to discuss the character of Dale Volker and the challenges involved in portraying the character,Patrick’s experience in  interacting with the fandom ,his reaction to  SGU’s cancellation and   the actor’s  view on  the  factors which led  to the  cancellation. Patrick also shares his thoughts on the suitability of SGU’s finale, Gauntlet as an end  to the short-lived series, his thoughts on the future of the Stargate franchise and much more!

We also learn of Patrick’s experience working on AMC’s new Drama series, The Killer as well as  well as his aspirations for the future of his acting career.

Abbas Karimjee: In addition to having played in other science fiction series such as  Battlestar Galactica and Eureka , as well as having  aired in Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis.  Were you a fan of Science Fiction prior to gaining experience in genre entertainment and how did your previous experience both in genre entertainment and Stargate in particular impact your performance as Dale Volker?

Patrick  Gilmore:Admittedly I was not a SciFi fan.  Not that I didn’t enjoy SciFi movies, I just wasn’t one to actively search out the genre.  I was a child of the late 70s, early 80s, so Star Wars was prominent in my imagination.  I enjoyed the original Star Trek movies and I did see Stargate in theaters twice.  The feel of Stargate Universe to me was less SciFi and more Character Drama reacting to SciFi.  So I was comfortable going in, having not been influenced.  It felt more real & relatable that way.

AK: How did you relate to the character of Volker?

PG:I loved getting a script and seeing that Volker had a smart-ass remark or diffused a situation with an offhand joke. I’d see that and say “That is so my voice.”  And, for the most part, it was.  The writers, having gotten to know us as actors and people, were able to write in our voice.  Humor is something I fall back on when things get awkward…it became the same with Volker.

AK:How do you think the character of Volker has evolved over the course of the show and what aspirations did you have for the character?

PG: Like with all the characters, Volker found his place and role on Destiny.  He began the journey uncertain of where he would fit in and unsure of how to deal with unstable authority (Rush).  By the end Volker was a leading member of the science team, the go-to navigator on the Bridge and was able to hold his own against Rush.  I would have liked to have seen his journey continue that way, but for the sake of good story telling it would have been fun to see him get knocked down a few times.

AK:What aspect of Volker was the most challenging and how did you cope with this challenge?

PG:It was tough to negotiate the relationship he had with some of the military, especially in Season 1.  In such circumstances he would have become friends with many of the people on board but given the attempted coup those relationships would have become murky.  But as the story progressed, those connections became clearer.  As an actor, the science was challenging at times.  But thanks to Wikipedia & Writer/Producer Carl Binder’s astrophysicist daughter…I was covered.

AK: Science Fiction fans have been known for their great passion and loyalty towards genre entertainment. What have been the various ways in which you have connected with fans and could you please, briefly describe your experience in interacting with the fandom?

 PG: David Blue introduced me to Twitter early in the first season of SGU and two years later I’m a full on addict.  It’s like theater, instant feedback.  It’s also a great creative outlet and now my news source too.  My fan interaction, for the most part, has been humbling.  I’m still trying to make sense of it all and manage my reaction, but I hope I never get used to it, because then I’ll think it’s normal. (That’s a piece of advice Lou Diamond gave me.)

AK:Back in December, Syfy announced the cancellation of SGU once the current second season draws to a close. What was your reaction when you discovered that the series had been cancelled and why do you think SGU was unable to attract the audience needed for the series? What is your perspective on the direction which the producers took with SGU, by placing  an initial emphasis on establishing the background of  the show’s characters as well as the initial emphasis on survival?

PG:I, of course, was heartbroken to hear of the cancellation.  We had a lot riding against us but I had convinced myself that loyalty to the franchise and the superior quality of the show would ensure at least a third season.  There are so many factors involved in the number of viewers that tuned in live to give us such low ratings.  But what we have to start taking into consideration is the changing viewing habits of people.  I’ll use me as an example…In the last two years I have stopped renting movies, I have stopped buying DVDs and get all my movies from iTunes & I never, EVER, watch TV shows live.  Thanks to DVR I wait till all my favorite shows have piled up and I watch 5 straight hours of Fringe or Community.  The ratings that contributed to the cancellation of SGU do not take any of these things into account.  The rating system is archaic and is ruining TV.

As far as the direction the writers took SGU…I never watched SG1 & SGA, but SGU was a show I would have loved as a casual TV viewer.  It showed the incredible range of Brad Wright & Rob Cooper as artists.  It was the right move and I don’t think they would have changed a thing.

AK: This season, Volker showed signs of his affection for Lisa Park.  What do you think drew him to Dr. Park and what do you think of their suitability for each other?  Would you have preferred that the two develop a romantic relationship, had SGU continued and what challenges would you foresee in having this actually transpire?

Gilmore was hoping to see Drama ensue with further development of the love triangle between Volker, Park and Greer, had SGU been renewed for a third season

PG:Early in Season 1, Director Peter DeLuise gave us a note as secondary cast members to create our relationships with the other crew members.  When he said “maybe one of you is in love with Lisa Park” as an example, Peter Kelamis and I both took that note to heart, as a “friendly” competition.  So when the script started to hint at a possible connection between Volker & Park I was quick to throw that in Kelamis’ face.  Aside from her love of the military, I think they’d be a great match.  If there had been a Season 3 there would have been some great drama with Park, Volker & Greer, given that Volker regards Greer as a brother after the Kidney transplant.  I would like to think that Dale & Lisa ended up together, but, again, for the sake of good story telling, it would have been cool to see him sacrifice himself to save Ronald & Lisa maybe.

AK:With the series finale, Gauntlet, approaching in the coming week, could you please give us a brief idea of what is in store for the conclusion of the series, both for the crew and the character of Dale Volker, in particular? How suitable of an end do you think the finale will be  to the series?

PG:By the time you read this the SGU finale will have aired.  All of us in Stasis Pods and Eli on the observation deck.  I watched it live, I teared up when Volker stepped into his pod and immediately texted David Blue the moment the show ended.  That last scene was brilliant.  Alone, Eli looks out at the stars in wonder and his expression changes to a smile because, as he told his mom, he’s happy.  But then, quietly his face shows the slightest hint of apprehension.  And then Destiny leaves us behind.  Beautiful, poetic.  Not the ideal ending, but our future is left to the imagination of the audience.

AK Once the news of SGU’s cancellation had been released, producer, Brad Wright began a series of negotiations with MGM in an effort to have SGU continue either in the form of a movie or miniseries.  Though Wright recently announced at a Vancouver convention that these negotiations were unsuccessful, what are your thoughts on the future of the franchise? Do you think Stargate will be revived at some point? Why?

PGThere is no doubt Stargate will be back.  It’s a brand.  It’s a money-making franchise.  Above all else, Stargate is a really cool concept.  One day, years from now, someone will have an idea to restart the story and we’ll have another generation of Stargate fans.

AK:What message do you have for fans of the series, as SGU draws to a close?

PG:I really can’t think of anything more profound to say other than “Thank you.”  Their support has been humbling and I feel honored to have been a part of something that so many people love.

 AK:- What other acting projects have you been working on, which you would like to share with viewers and what aspirations do you have for the future of your acting career?

PG:Since the end of SGU I’ve kept busy with other projects.  “The Killing” on AMC has been my most notable work.  It’s one of the best shows on TV right now and I feel once again that I’ve lucked out with my involvement in such a high quality show. I’d like to continue to find fun work environments and roles that will make my fans say “I didn’t even recognize him.”  All the while I’ll be on Twitter,keeping people posted and saying irreverent & sometimes inappropriate things… @PatrickGilmore ;)

 

 

Interview With Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Sheila McCarthy

Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 05:05 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Actress  Sheila McCarthy  has been leading a distinguished  career within the Canadian entertainment  industry as an experienced  singer and a talented  film, stage and television actress.Sheila’s credits include a wide range of   credits ,including her roles of films such as I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing and The Lotus Eaters, for which the actress  was bestowed  two individual Gemini awards . Additionally, Sheila has appeared in a variety of  other Canadian films, including, Being Julia, Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen, The Day After Tomorrow and Die Hard.Sheila’s television credits  include shows such as Picket Fences, I Was A Rat, Roxana, Missing, Wonderland and Road To Avonlea.

Sheila has now  been starring in CBC’s hit sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie as the empathetic  and  spontaneous  Muslim convert,  Sarah Hamoudi.

With  Sheila being kind enough to   participate in a interview with us and Little Mosque on the Prairie  currently under production for its sixth and final season we took the opportunity to chat with Sheila about her initial appointment to the role of Sarah, how the actress has related to her character, what is in store for  the sixth and final season,  Sheila’s thoughts on   the show’s  impact  on Canadian culture and her view on why it resonates well with viewers  , Sheila’s exciting plans for the future of her  acting career and much more!

Abbas Karimjee: Lets   discuss your initial appointment to the role of Sarah. Were you contacted  for  the role of Sarah or did you audition for the role? Could you  please walk is  through this initial process and any challenges which  were  involved?

Sheila McCarthy:I was offered the role of Sarah without auditioning which was a gift. The producers originally thought of me for the role of the MAYOR ANN POPOWITZ but my agent, Perry Zimel, recommended they cast me as SARAH and they did

AK: How are you similar to the character  of  Sarah?

SM:The original role of SARAH was quite a straight ahead sort of part. The serious wife, a foil for the goofy husband. I had a lot of conversations with the original writers suggesting if they were going to really use me, perhaps they might beef up SARAH’s foibles and comedy so that she would become a more three dimensional part and so much more fun to play. We had a very inclusive writing team that first season and the collaboration was wonderful. SARAH and I are similar in many ways really. A little disorganized but well meaning and optimistic for sure! She is probably a tad more organizationally impaired than me but not much!

AK:What challenges are associated with playing  the Sarah  and how have you overcome these  challenges?

SM:I was not versed at all in the MUSLIM world so my learning curve was enormous. Having been raised a Catholic as a child , I really had my eyes opened to a whole new world of Islamic rules and tradition. It is one of the many perks of my business to learn new things and I loved immersing myself into this universe that was so foreign to me. I read a lot of material, we visited a mosque in Regina and I picked the brains of Muslims on set. I have also taken a much greater interest now in world affairs because of being a part of this special cutting edge show.

AK:How do you think  the character of Sarah has  developed over the course of the series and what  aspirations do you  have for the character , with the show drawing to a  close?

SM:SARAH has grown immeasurably over the last five seasons. From her marriage, to her new jobs, her daughter’s marriage, her new arc this season being on her own, SARAH has really matured in many ways. She is still a lovable under dog and very sweet, but maybe more vulnerable now as she faces a new life of singledom.  My challenge has been to bring dignity to her even as she screws up again and again. it is a fine line and I love the process. I would hope that now SARAH will move on in her life, stand up for herself with even more strength and maybe even find love again.

AK:Could you please  give us an idea as to what   is in store  for the sixth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie , in terms of  the  overall direction and general storylines which the series will pursue  this  season?

SM:This season the marriage of my daughter RAYAN and AMAAR will be put under the telescope as well as SARAH’S own newly found independence. Everyone will have a bit of closure as we know it is the final season. A rare thing indeed in television land!  SARAH will long for YASIR and her marriage and probably also long for the pitter patter of little grand children. Whether or not that will happen is up the writers! SARAH will grow up and realize she can stand on her own two feet and probably discover a strength she didn’t know she had!

AK :What challenges will the character of  Sarah are in  store for Sarah this season, both in terms of her  relationship with her family  as well as a resident of  Mercy?

SM :As I said above, SARAH will find herself in many ways and also probably find a newly won respect for her married daughter and her best friend Ann. That friendship will deepen after a lot of fun and dates and mishaps I am sure!

AK: Little Mosque on  the Prairie has  achieved international success , airing in over 68 countries  as  well  as in Canada, with the series premiere, earning a CBC    record breaking viewership of 2. 1 million. What impact do you think  Little  Mosque on the Prairie has had on Canadian culture and why do  you think the show has resonated with viewers so well?

SM :I think one of the most endearing and lasting impressions Little Mosque has had in Canada is our loyal fan base and also the audiences who love the show for it’s humour and sweetness. The politics are there but what I love is the relationships our audiences care about. It means people have somehow forgotten that it is about Muslims and Anglicans. It is just about people sharing a church and a community. Everyone snores! Everyone makes mistakes! Everyone loves and everyone has a community. The joy of people coming up to me  every day to discuss our little show is overwhelming.

AK:What  is your reaction to Little Mosque  ending this season and  how do you  hope  both the series and  the character of Sarah, in particular, is   remembered?

SM:I am always sad when a show ends but it is actually rare and wonderful to know it will be. Most often you shoot a TV series and you do not know that. This way, we can say goodbye to our little epic with a lot of fondness and love. I would hope that show has many more years of shelf life in reruns when future generations can tune in and get to know the town of MERCY!

 AK:How has being a cast  member on this series impacted  your career and  how has it  influenced your personal perspective on the  Muslim  community?

SM:I have loved being part of this show. It has been so great to be known and recognized for it and I am so proud of every season. I decided to stay in Canada a long time ago to work and being a part of this success story has been indescribable. I am grateful for it. I am 55 now and a lot of my peers in this precarious business do not get the chance to work as much as I do. I feel very lucky. As for the Muslim community, I can only hope we have portrayed even a fraction of life behind and in front of the barrier with truth and humor. it was everyone’s intention from producers to cast to directors to writers to educate and entertain in the best possible way. if we have achieved this in even a small way then I am thrilled.

AK:What  is your  reaction to  being a role model and   what  influence  do you think the  character  of Sarah exerts  towards Canadian  culture?

SM:I don’t know how much of a role model I have been portraying SARAH. I suppose I have been a sort of window in the Muslim world in the sense that SARAH married into the culture and wasn’t born into it. She has always had one foot in the door as a Muslim and one foot out in the secular world.  Perhaps people outside the Muslim world have been able to see through her eyes as it were with all her struggles to be Muslim and yet maintain her independence as well.

AK:Reflecting on your  experiences as a cast  member  to date, what  are some of  your favourite moments working on the series,  either on screen or  off-screen, in production?

SM:I realize know that a great part of being on LITTLE MOSQUE was getting to know and love and work with Debra McGrath who plays my boss on the show, the mayor Ann Popowitz. Deb and I bonded the first day and have become fast friends through thick and thin. This does not always happen and believe me our giggles on set are legendary. I will certainly miss  everyone involved in the show once we are finally done but there will be lasting friendships also because of it and six seasons of wonderful memories. I have also loved working and getting to know my daughter on the show Sitara Hewitt, through her marriage both on and off screen and motherhood in the wings. Her grace and compassion are unparalled and we will be friends forever as well.

AK:Have you been  working on  any other  recent acting projects which you would like to   share  with viewers?

SM: I have been developing other projects with my co-writer Brendan Howley and we are working with WESTWIND right now on a future TV series that will bring back all of our favourites! I have two beautiful daughters and I am watching them launch into their futures with great love and hope.
AK: With Little Mosque on the  Prairie  drawing to a close this  season, what  message do  you have for  viewers of the series?

SM:I don’t have any messages really for the loyal viewers of our little show except to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for watching us every week and following our little family through the years.  I hope you have enjoyed the show and maybe , just maybe, learned a thing or two about the world we live in and how we are all here to live and work and play together.  And for future audiences, I hope you will watch LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE and do the same.

AK:What activities do you enjoy during your spare time?

SM:In my spare time I write, work out every day, read, travel, stay close to friends and family and try to keep working and learning new things! I may even learn to play the grand piano I just bought on a bit of a whim! I also lend my support to Canadian Feed The Children, Meagans Walk, and am planning to work with the Canadian Lung Association in some capacity this fall. I teach a film class at Humber College which I find extremely rewarding. Seeing  young talent emerging is incredible.

Stargate Universe Season 2 Episode 20- Gauntlet [ Series Finale]

Monday, May 9, 2011 @ 07:05 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

The Stargate franchise draws to a close tonight, with the series  finale of SGU, entitled Gauntlet airing at 9:00pm on Syfy! 

Take a read through below  for the promotional features of the episode as well as an international schedule posting for the episode.

From TV Guide:

Drones close in on the Destiny in the series finale.

From SPACE:

Blocked by Command Ships at every star and unable to gate for supplies without alerting the drones, Destiny must take a stand or be left adrift

.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5RwJGLOU5E&feature=related]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEyw2NQCr1w]

International Schedule -  Gauntlet[ SGU]

Canada[ Space] May 10 10:00pm
Australia[Sci Fi] May 13 8:00pm
UK[Sci Fi] TBD TBD

 What are your thoughts and speculations for the finale?What  questions do you think will/ have been left unanswered?  What is your reaction to the franchise drawing to an end and what has drawn you   SGU?What is your reaction to the fact  that  SGU is ending on a cliffhanger and  how  do you hope it will serve as an end to Stargate, despite this circumstance?What are your thoughts on the future of Stargate?

We would like to thank  both the cast and crew of Stargate Universe for  two spectacular years of  entertainment.Indeed, SGU allowed for  Stargate  to explore a new direction where the audience can connect with the science fiction elements of the show by  relating to the diverse characters presented.We appreciated this fresh take on the franchise and extend best wishes for the futurto all involved  with the show.Special thanks are also extended to the producers of Stargate,Brad Wright and Robert Cooperfor  17 exceptional seasons of genre entertainment!

Stargate Universe Season 2 Episode 19-Blockade

Monday, May 2, 2011 @ 08:05 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Take a scroll through for the promotional features regarding the penultimate episode of SGU, Blockade. The  episode will air @ 9:00pm on Syfy tonight and on Tuesday, May 3 @ 10:00pm pm on  Space for Canadian residents.

From TV Guide:

Attacking drones return when the Destiny tries to recharge in a star. Eli proposes a risky alternative, which requires the rest of the crew to gate to a nearby planet for safety, where they find an abandoned city.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCrsXqtkWJk]

Share your thoughts  and speculations for this episode in the comments section!