Posts Tagged ‘Jamil Walker Smith’
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?
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?
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/
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]
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 ?
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].
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.
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. Michael French Stewart as Dr. Andrew Coven[TV Guide]
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!
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.
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!