|Beware SPOILERS for the first two hours of
Stargate Universe in this interview! ("Air, Part 3" is not spoiled)David Blue
, a huge television and movie buff, counts SG-1
among the shows he has completely watched. The actor never imagined that he would be joining the cast of one of his favorite TV franchises.
Now immersed in Stargate on a daily basis, Blue sat down with GateWorld to talk about Eli Wallace in "Air"
parts 1 and 2. Blue talks about the sci-fi shows he grew up with, makes comparisons between himself and Wallace, and talks about approaching the universe from an "everyman" perspective.
This interview runs almost 30 minutes and is available in audio. It's also transcribed below!
GateWorld: I saw the pilot -- I saw the first two hours. What do you think?
David Blue: I love it. From the beginning when we were auditioning for the role[s] and screen-testing for it I really loved the script for the first three hours. I can't wait to see the one after the first three hours, and I'm sure it'll be just as good just because I've lived with "Air," Parts 1, 2 and 3 since the day that I was up for the role.
We all knew it was brilliant. We all knew it had so much potential and it's nice to see it come to fruition. I'm excited.
GW: You've been a Stargate fan since before you ever got involved with this, so this is a Stargate fan talking to a Stargate fan here. When did you first find out about the show? Did you see the movie in 1994?
DB: Oh of course! Absolutely of course. You know, I always clarify, and it's not because I have anything wrong with being labeled a fan, but I just don't want to offend any of the fans. I've seen it all and I love it but I'm nowhere near as obsessively awesomely loyal as most of the fans are. I always have to bow down and give respect where respect is do to the "true" fans. But I do looove the show.
I watched the original movie. SG-1 premiered on Showtime at the time and I didn't think that I had it. Once it moved [to SCI-FI] I started watching it and caught up on the originals. It became one of those shows that when I came home from school and I was working late on my homework or came home from work it would always be on. So I would always watch the repeats and, in doing so, ended up catching up on all of SG-1.
Wallace is transported to the George Hammond in "Air, Part 1."
And then with Atlantis, because I had seen all of SG-1, I wanted to see the premiere. So of course I taped -- VHS taped -- the premiere of Atlantis. [Laughter] Because I didn't have a DVR at the time. It was way before my expense account could allow that.
[I] just really loved the characters and wanted to see where they were going. It ended up taking me on through. Roommates would usually come home and it'd be, like, one in the morning. I'd be sitting with a glass of wine. "What are you doing?"
I'm like, "Well I have to catch up on Atlantis." Because I had two episodes that I hadn't watched yet because I'd been busy bartending at the time.
So it became this thing. It was always my late-night routine, catching up when I could. And then oddly my life seems to circle it, having worked with Claudia Black on Moonlight and became friends with her.
Having seen people who were involved in the show in other things … Chris Judge came to eat at a restaurant that I was working at waiting tables in LA. Like three years ago or something. I just remember thinking, "Oh, God, it's Teal'c! He's huge!"
GW: Did you let him know that you recognized him?
DB: Oh, God, no. He's too intimidating. I've met him now since and now I know how nice and cool he is. But at the time he was sitting at dinner with one other person privately. I'm very anti-bothering-people who you respect when they're out to eat. It's one thing when they're at a premiere. I don't like bothering people when they're eating with their family or having a drink. I feel that's intrusive. And plus he's gigantic! He has muscles that I'm pretty sure my body has not evolved to have.
But no, I've always really enjoyed it. So much so that when I was in New York shooting Ugly Betty the audition came up for it and there were "spec sides" at the time. They weren't from the actual script. They were written because they wanted to put the feelers out. It was a scene with Carter, I believe. Eli and Carter.
I sat down with a friend of mine. I was like, "Can you read this with me?" And he's like, "Wait, who am I?" And I explained everything. And he's like, "Wow, did you see that in the breakdown?" I'm like, "No, I just know that."
GW: Very cool. You and I talked about Battlestar at Comic-Con, as one of the shows that you and I both like. But what are some of the other sci-fi shows you've gotten into over the years. You say that you've watched a lot. What stick out in your mind?
DB: I'm a huge fan of stories, as a writer, as an actor, as a very curious person. So I end up seeing almost every show or movie anyway at some point. I don't know how I find the time.
Eli tries to absorb Daniel Jackson's documentary on the Stargate program.
So there's not a lot of shows in general that I haven't watched at least a few episodes of, if not the whole thing. Now if we're talking favorites, nowadays I'm very much into Fringe, into Lost. I want to watch Supernatural but it keeps conflicting with things on my DVR. I loved Battlestar. I watched one season of Torchwood and really enjoyed it.
Star Trek Next Generation was a huge forming show with my childhood. It's hard for me because I just love to watch so much. I've seen a lot of Doctor Who, the recent ones, when they've been on but not enough to really catch up. [Laughter]
Full circle, working with Peter DeLuise. One of my first crushes was one of his castmates on seaQuest.
GW: Ah, seaQuest DSV!
DB: It was the first picture I'd ever put up inside of my locker.
GW: So how much are you like Eli?
DB: More than I'd like to admit. There's a lot of differences between the two of us, for sure. Everyone likes to tease me because they know it gets under my skin here on set. Just an hour ago, somebody was like, "We trust you to do this because you are Eli."
It's unfortunate that Eli's a huge fan of TV and movies because I think that's a huge similarity between us. I try to find humor in situations. I'm a little bit less confident in my humor than Eli is. He knows something is funny so he'll just say it out loud, whereas I tend to, only if I'm comfortable with the people, say it.
I'm a little bit more socially adept than he is. I can speak to people better and form relationships a lot different than he can. There's a lot of great things to draw from, from myself, but it's different enough where I do like that I can go home and feel like I'm in my own skin and not in Eli's.
You tend to take parts of your roles home with you, which is why it's always good when you're playing a fun role. On Ugly Betty Cliff was so positive that I felt that influence in my life. I was always more upbeat in my everyday life. I find that the more that I'm shooting SGU the more I say witty remarks here and there and make random movie quotes.
GW: Leonard Nimoy always talked about playing Spock. He was so emotionless. He's a method actor so trying to get out of that was very difficult for him. So starting and ending your job in a place that isn't too far removed from you has got to be helpful.
DB: I've studied method, Meisner, viewpoints and all that. I wouldn't say that I'm "a method actor." But I just think that parts of it bleed over. I think I remember Lucy Lawless saying this in an interview about Xena. It's this odd thing that carries over. Eli tends to have a little bit of problems with confidence in his own abilities, and unfortunately I feel that that sometimes plunge over into my life, too. Which is why I wish we could hurry up and air!
It's bound to happen when you live inside the character for more hours than you are awake in a day then it tends to affect your life. But Eli's a very curious person and that's who I've been, too. I find it interesting so I've studied books on quantum physics. I've studied anything I can get my hands on. I love knowledge. We have that in common, whereas his is a little bit more focused on to the technology, mathematics, computers, astrophysics side of things. Mine's kind of "world."
" You tend to take parts of your roles home with you, which is why it's always good when you're playing a fun role."
GW: The breakdown describes him as a slacker. Is that true or is that outdated?
DB: The way he was described to me at the beginning, and the way that I kind of latch on and agree with it -- this is the way that I took it, and no one's corrected me, so I'm going to pretend like this is true. He's a slacker in that he's afraid of failure. He's a slacker in that he has a lot of ability -- he has a lot of potential -- but at the end of the day somebody else can do it and if they screw up they'll get blamed.
It's the same thing with MIT. Eli went to school and dropped out, and I don't think it was because he had bad grades, or that he was anti-social for that matter. I think he just lost interest. He wasn't challenged. He started not wanting to be tested and find out that he wasn't able to, which is why this situation's even better with what happens on the Destiny because he can't back off anymore. If he decides he doesn't feel like committing to something then people, including himself, won't be alive anymore. It's a nice confrontation to be part of this character.
Anybody who drops out of school and chooses to live at home with their mother and play video games and hang out with friends and eat can be described as a slacker these days, but I think it's just non-motivation, if that's a word.