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Posts Tagged ‘Jamil Walker Smith’

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/

 

SGU Season 2 Episode 16- The Hunt

Monday, April 11, 2011 @ 08:04 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Take a read through, for a brief excerpt  and  the promotional features  for tonight’s new episode of SGU, The Hunt, which shall air at 10:00pm on Syfy.  Canadian viewers should note that the episode will air on Space on Tuesday, April 12  @ 10:00pm.

An alien abducts two crewmen during an off-world expedition, and a rescue team is dispatched to save them. Meanwhile on Destiny, the discovery of a new store of technology causes trouble for Brody[ TV Guide]

The team is attacked and members taken captive by an alien creature while exploring a planet.[ Space]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbUPfn_obL4]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UftBp2JpKKY&feature=related]

What speculations do you have  about the episode? Why would   the creature  capture TJ  and what will she experience during her time as a captive? What technology does Brody discover  and what issues will result from its discovery? What impact will the discovery have for those  on board ?

Stargate Universe Season 2 Episode 14- Hope

Sunday, March 27, 2011 @ 09:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Take a read through below for an  official excerpt and promotional features for the impending  episode of Stargate Universe, Hope.Be sure to tune in  for the episode on Monday, March 29 @ 10:00pm on Syfy.Ginn resurfaces in Chloe via the communication stones, creating a dilemma for Eli and Rush to solve; Greer becomes a kidney donor after Tamara diagnoses Volker with end-stage renal disease[ TV Guide].

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

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

Why has Ginn resurfaced  so long after her  body initially died?  How will Rush and Eli address this issue and what will become of Ginn?Will Volker’s procedure succeed and will both, him and Greer survive the occurrence?How will cope with the deands presented  by the  surgery, given her limited medical training? Be sure to share your thoughts and speculations in the comments section, below.

Stargate Universe’s Alliances Drops Ratings To A Series Low

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 @ 09:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Indeed, Stargate Universe’s ratings drop to a new low with the recent episode, Alliances, which aired on Monday, March 21  at 10:00pm on Syfy,  having earned a rating of 814, 000 viewers.

The series, which is currently   airing its final episodes, given that  it was cancelled  by Syfy in December,  had a 0.4 million viewership in the 18 -49 demographic. This is a 12 percent decrease from  the rating’s of the previous week’s episode, Twin Destinies.

SGU’S predecessor series, Being Human, which airs at 9:00pm on Mondays, attracted 1.195 million viewers, which suffered a greater loss than Stargate in contrast to its previous week’s viewership,  earning a 13 % decrease in ratings.

Ratings for other networks,  in the 10:00pm time slot for Monday, March 21 2011, have been noted in the chart below.

Program Network Rating
Castle ABC 12.3 million
Hawaii 50 CBS 10 million
Harry’s Law NBC 8.43 million

What are your thoughts on SGU’s decreased ratings? Do you think Being Human’s lower ratings have impacted SGU? What were your thoughts in  Alliances  and  how does this viewpoint connect to the lower rating, if at all? Could SGU’S  fate as a series, which is to end on a cliffhanger ,be impacting its  viewership in  the final episodes? Sound off in the comments section, below.

Sneak Peak at SGU’S Alliances

Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 05:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Take a read through, below for  a brief except and promotional features  for the upcoming episode of Stargate Universe, Alliances. Be sure to tune in for the episode on Monday, March 21 2011 at 10:00pm eastern standard time on Syfy

:Senator Michaels and Dr. Andrew Covel visit Destiny to analyze Rush’s data; an alien ship crashes into Homeworld Command, endangering Greer and Wray.Kathleen Quinlan as Sen. MichaeFrench Stewart as Dr. Andrew Coven[TV Guide]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QdQwHX4mfU]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-B5mbvpCzI]

Which aspect  of the episode are you the most excited for?What, in the promotional features intrigued you the most? Do you have any speculations  or thoughts on how the episode will/ should develop and how these may possibly affect the direction of the final episodes?Sound off in the comments section , below!

 

SGU InnerSpace Live Event – Review

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 @ 09:12 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

 Indeed we were at the Inner Space SGU Live event, which took place on Friday, November 12   in Toronto and are now  here  bring you the highlights

 The exciting event began with lead actor, Robert Carlyle who  commented on the developments of his character. Carlyle commented on how , although Rush would have liked for the discovery of the bridge to remain a secret from the fellow crew members, he believes that ultimately Rush’s goal is to ascend. Carlyle adds that  this is because Rush does not have anything left behind in this world and this  option, of pursuing higher power would be the most likely option for him.

Carlyle also commented on producing his first episode, Pathogen. He said he thought it was appropriate  that he was assigned to direct this episode as he could work at helping to convey  the emotions in the character relationships which needed to be strongly featured ,between Eli Wallace and his mother as well Camille Wray and her girlfriend, Sharon.

 Actor Louis  Ferria also appeared on the show. The actor  recalled his  initial interactions with lead actor, Robert Carlyle commenting on the humorous  miscommunications  between them, due to  Carlyle’s accent. He then commented on how he was proud that both he and Carlyle were  like the mother and father of the cast as a result of   their  distinguished careers.

When asked about the possibility of how the ship may have given TJ the visions of her baby being safe similar to the way in which it gave visions to Colonel Young, actress Alaina Huffman had some interesting insights. She  said that the characters often have two lives aboard the ship – their personal lives and work lives. For TJ, this difference has been blurred and given the amount of stress she was under for her responsibilities as medic, the ship just may have given her these visions as a way for her to move forward.

 Actor, Brian J Smith was asked why his character, Lt Mathew Scott did not take the chance to rise up the  ranks in the recent episode, Trial and Error.  Smith gave some great insights on this saying that it would have been  both selfish and stupid for Scott do this. The information we had was that Destiny needed Young, said Smith and the ship shut down because of him. Scott did what he had to, by getting Young back up as  leader.

 Actor Jamil Walker Smith was also asked about her character. After having the chance to joke with Innerspace host , Teddy Wilson about whether or not he would use the strength of Greer to  defend him, Smith offered some insightful l comments on  playing the role of Greer. He particularly  commented on how the crew has been  on  Destiny for an extended period of time and  Greer is therefore  showing more of his personality as opposed to just displaying the traits of a warrior.  When he told Smith that he was slowly coming around to his character, the actor responded by saying that now that they have been on the ship  for sometime we are able to see the military  show more of their personal lives aboard of the ships and that we can therefore see Greer’s lighter side.

Actor David Blue  and Elyse Levesque made a comment on how they were dating. It was, however,  unclear  to many if they were joking or not, when actress Ming Na added that  all three of them were dating!

 Actress  Elyse Levesque  gave her opinions on how Chloe was taking the current issue of mutation. She indicated that she is happy with how her character has greatly developed in the series 1.5 seasons. She notes that Chloe  feels “alienated”[ laughs at the pun!] behaves very maturely about her situation, by accepting it. The actress reports, how it is a very  mature response given the extraordinary events which are happening to her and in  contrast to the what the character’s previous reaction would have been.

 When asked about  portraying her character, Ming Na indicated that it was one of the most challenging roles she ever played. She noted that when fans come up to her and tell her  that they love to hate her  character’s she feels as though she has done her job well. The actress , however, added that she loves how Camille is such a complex character and  because of her many layers , her intentions are often misunderstood. Na also stated that despite Camille’s many vulnerabilities, she does have to wear   a mask which is quite different from that of the military personal, but this is slowly being taken off as time aboard the ship progresses for those on board.

Actress Julia Benson had the chance to comment  on her role as  Lt, Venessa James.She noted that she was pleased with how  her character had developed. 

Actress, Jennifer Spence , who plays  the intelligent, Lisa Park  was asked about her  character’s romance with Jamil Walker ‘s character, Ronald Greer. She simply responded jokingly, indicating that she does not know if Greer is capable of  intense  romance but she is sure that Jamil is [ although not from any personal experience, of course!]She then added that the audience would have to wait and see what develops from this relationship.

  Actor  Patrick Gilmore ,who plays Volker said he  always wanted a love interest for his character. Wright was quick to suggest that this would not happen.

Producers, Brad Wright and Robert C Cooper also had the chance to exclusively  discuss SGU on the show. The two discussed issues regarding the serialized nature of the series . Wright indicated that they to tend to have a general idea of what is going to happen as the start of each half of the season as  the seasons are shown in television into two halves. However, Wright adds that, this is not only from a production perspective but also from a storytelling one in that they what to know  where the storyline will end up at the end  off each half, so that  each episode can be used to help reach this outcome. They also discussed  how in Science Fiction in any concept, to which there is merit, can be considered  for the series.

 When  Teddy Wilson ,discussed the Gemini nominations with the producers, they both indicated that they were happy that not only was this a Canadian series that was doing so well, but also that it is a science fiction series. Copper, specifically noted that this was because of the fact that although other genres such as  comedy had their own categories in the ceremonies, Sci Fi did not. For Stargate to be  one of the shows acknowledged, spoke volumes about the series.

 Cooper , who was stepping back from the franchise after 17 years  left fans with a farewell message. He indicated that while it was ideal to have such a great cast and crew to work  with, one does not enter the industry to work in the same thing  for 17  years. He wants to explore other opportunities, but noted that he has not completely stepped back from the production  and he is as much of a fan as anybody who was gathered in the massive  studio audience.

The event ended with a sneak peak at the next week’s episode of Stargate Universe followed by a autograph session with the main cast members[ excluding Robert Carlyle]For a view at our cast  photograph, please visit  the home page at www.abbaskarimjeeweblog.com. Be sure to let  us know what you think of the photo!

 Also, we are proud to inform readers that the cast of Stargate Universe were invited to our blog by senior producer of Canada AM, Tina Dengrez. Thank you to Tina for supporting our blog and for working with us to promote the event on Canada AM.We  sincerely hope  that all of the cast members enjoy this blog and are impressed by the community.

Autographed Photo of The Cast of Stargate Universe

Monday, November 15, 2010 @ 03:11 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Indeed when we were at the recent SGU Live:InnerSpace Event, we had the opportunity to have a official cast photo autographed by SGU actors, Brian J Smith[ Lt Matthew Scott],Alaina Huffman[ Lt. Tamara Johansen], David Blue[Eli Wallace], Elyse Levesque [ Chloe Armstrong],Jamil Walker  Smith,[ Sargeant Ronald Greer] Louis  Ferreira[ Colonel Everett Young]and Ming Na[ Camille Wray].Take a look at this photo directly below and tell us what you think!