Of the more than 50 Stargate
personnel he has wrangled to interview, GateWorld co-editor David Read stands firmly beside Amanda Tapping
as his favorite. Tapping, who as played Samantha Carter
for well over a decade, has been one of the most prominent supporters of the Web site since first hearing its name.
In our fifth interview with the actress, Amanda gets more personal than ever, discussing past struggles of separating work from home (her daughter Olivia being the great equalizer), and the parallels that she has drawn between herself and her alter ego through the years. We explore the fondest memories from Turleen and Minnie to Cassandra
, and the challenges that Tapping has forced herself to face.
Special thanks to the many GateWorld Forum members who contributed their questions to this interview!
GateWorld's interview with Amanda is available in MP3 audio format for easy listening, and is over 28 minutes long. It is also transcribed below. You can even download the interview to your MP3 player and take GateWorld with you!
GateWorld: For GateWorld.net, I'm David Read, and I'm once again on the phone with the lovely Miss Amanda Tapping, looking better than ever. How you doing, Amanda?
Amanda Tapping: [Laughter] I'm fantastic, thank you for asking.
GW: Good! I think the biggest difference [since our last chat] has been your hair. With the Air Force regulations they've always insisted that you keep it short.
AT: Actually that's a bit of a misnomer, David. It wasn't the Air Force regulations that insisted that I keep it short. If you have short hair in the Air Force it has to be above your collar. The reason that it was kept short on Stargate was we kept ending every season with a cliffhanger, which meant that I couldn't grow my hair out during the off-season, so it always came back to short hair just so that it would match the season end.
When I was in the Middle East on a USO tour all of the women that were on the base had long hair. It's not an Air Force regulation that women's hair has to be short. It just can't touch your collar, and if it is long then it has to be in a pony tail or a braid or a bun.
GW: OK, I get it. So this is how we've managed to get your hair longer then.
AT: Yeah, because I wasn't in a cliffhanger.
GW: Do you prefer it longer?
AT: It's just a nice change. It's really funny because I just did some DVD commentary on Atlantis and went "Oh, man, I kind of look better with short hair." Just for me personally it's nice to have a change, to be perfectly honest.
GW: Even though it takes a little bit longer in the morning to get ready?
AT: Yeah! Or not. Sometimes it's a little faster if I just throw it up in a pony tail and off I go! Yeah. Blow-drying it takes longer. That's the only thing. For me right now it leads itself nicely into my Magnus hair, which is basically taking the hair I have now and dying it dark.
Season Four of Atlantis finally reveals a "real" Sam with long hair.
GW: So that is your plan?
AT: A whole new change of Amanda! Aaaah! Yes. [Laughter]
GW: You'd rather not wear a wig then?
AT: The wig was actually a great wig, and I thought for the most part looked pretty good but sometimes looked like a wig. So I would like the option of being able to do a bunch of different things. Because Magnus, I think, is going to be a pretty kick-ass character I want to make sure that we have a bit of freedom, that we're not tied down to the wig. It may be jumping back and forth. I'm going to keep it blonde right now because I'm shooting Atlantis in a week and a half, and then I'm going to dye it dark. It's kind of scary.
AT: I am nervous, and I'll tell you why, very stupidly because I won't look like Olivia. I look in the mirror right now and she touches my hair. "Mummy, mummy," we look alike. We look a lot alike. And if I dye my hair dark I'm afraid people will go "Who's kid is that?" I know, that sounds kind of hokey, but that's really the only reason why I don't want to go dark.
GW: Well, have you ever had dark hair before?
AT: Not as dark as Magnus, no.
GW: OK. Wow. That will be an interesting change for you. Maybe you'll love it!
AT: Maybe I will! Maybe I will.
GW: And then maybe Olivia will go "Who the heck is that?"
AT: You know what I do every now and again is I put on the wig and just walk around, and she just laughs at me.
GW: It's the face, it's not the hair.
AT: "You like mummy like this?" "No! Hahaha."
GW: How's she been doing? She been doing good?
AT: She's awesome.
GW: How old is she now?
AT: She's going to be 3 at the end of March. She's smart too, man. She's got a really, really wicked sense of humor.
GW: Good, like her mother.
AT: Yeah, and she's a bit of a control freak, too, like her mother. [Laughter] She's really funny. She loves to laugh and she's got a great imagination. I could go on and on and on. She's the best kid on the planet. So is everyone's.
GW: Are you thinking of special schools?
AT: Right now she's in a little pre-school and it's part of an elementary school that's termed IB -- the International Bacheloriate. I don't know. I just want her to be happy. I know that sounds hokey, too, but at the end of the day she is a bright little girl but I just want her to be happy. I want her to have a normal, happy, joyful, goofy childhood like I did.
Turleen and Minnie, two hair stylists who attend Marvell Beauty School.
GW: Awesome. Eleven years now, going on twelve ... [Laughter] Is it hard to believe that all this time has gone by?
AT: Yes. Yeah. It doesn't feel like that long unless I watch early episodes and go "Gosh, I was young." It doesn't feel like eleven years. I don't know what eleven years is supposed to feel like, but you know, that's a good portion of my adult life, or at least "acting like an adult" life. Yeah, it's weird.
GW: Yeah, you have those on little plastic discs forever.