counts himself a lucky man. While his work has afforded him opportunities most people won't get in their lifetimes -- such as traveling to the Arctic -- Ben has found himself in a position where he can still go home every night to be with those he loves. GateWorld got the chance to sit down once again with the actor behind Colonel Cameron Mitchell
to hear about what's currently going on in his world.
In addition to Stargate
, Ben updates us on Going Homer,
his story recently bought by the SCI FI Channel, as well as the status of the Farscape
webisodes. We discuss filming in the Arctic for Continuum
, his personal journey as an actor, and growing older.
GateWorld's interview with Ben runs approximately 41 minutes, and is available in video, audio, and transcript form! The video version requires QuickTime 7.0
or higher, and is also available in Flash format at GateWorld Play
For the audio version you can listen online at your leisure, or download it to your MP3 player.
GateWorld: For GateWorld.net, I'm David Read.
Ben Browder: And I'm Ben Browder.
GW: Yes! And we are here ... what beach are we at?
BB: Uh, that would be Santa Monica beach. We're on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica.
GW: What's up with you lately? It's almost Christmas time. Professionally, what's going on with you?
BB: Well, Christmas is going on, so there's shopping to be done. There's the tree to be put up. And I just came out of coaching football season, and we'll start track season soon enough. And then, looking for work.
GW: Wow, yeah. Going Homer. That's the project you have penned, I believe?
Going Homer was inspired by "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey."
BB: Going Home is a project that has been commissioned by SCI FI Channel, that we sold to them. We're still at the story stage. We're in what's called ... I think development hell was the phrase someone else used. But what we're doing is refining the story before we get a script.
GW: OK. Did it encounter any complications with the writers strike?
BB: Yes. The writers strike shut us down for a while. We received notes from the network about two weeks before the strike happened. And then once the strike happened, it's pens down. And then we pick it back up after the strike. So we're going through phases of drafting and redrafting the outline and the story, which is in itself is a forty page document.
GW: Wow. Now did you have to participate in that strike? Or because you're an actor as well ...how did that work out?
BB: I'm a member of the WGA (Writers Guild of America), so I participated in the strike.
GW: OK. I know some people already know the premise of this miniseries ...
BB: Of Going Homer?
GW: Yeah. Can you sum it up for us?
BB: Going Home is about a twelve year old boy named Homer Jones and his family. Homer sees the Greek myths unfolding in the world around him. It's basically "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" clashing with the modern world.
GW: Cool. What gave you the idea to do this project? "This is the next thing I want to do." What sparked that?
BB: One of my kids was interested in the Greek myths. It's an area which we constantly recycle. In American culture, we recycle the Greek myths. We recycle the forms of government. We recycle the architecture. So it surrounds us, and it informs our culture. From that standpoint, it seemed like fertile storytelling area.
GW: Were you a fan of the myths when you were younger? Or was this something you encountered when you were older?
BB: When I was growing up, you tried to catch a Ray Harryhausen [movie] on a Saturday afternoon. At least in the very beginning. The Greek myths also informed the Christian myths, or the Christian stories that are told. There's a great deal of cross-fertilization, culturally, between all of those cultures in the Mediterranean and in all of Western culture. I don't know that you can be an American and not be interested in Greek myth.
A young Ben Browder in Melrose Place.
GW: What is it that you want to do with this project? Do you want to inform people about these stories?
BB: I want to tell a good story.
GW: That's great. Cool! So you don't know when we can expect that?
BB: No. We're in development, so that means that we keep working and refining until we produce the script that is agreed upon. And then at that point, we try to go to shooting and go to air. It's a process.
GW: You know, I never asked you how you first started in this business. What did you want to be when you were very young? How did you get to be where you are now?
BB: I went through a typical number of phases. I was going to be a professional football player. I was going to be an astronaut. I was going to be a pilot. I was going to be a doctor. I was never going to be a lawyer. Which is probably why I don't play them on TV. [Laughter]
Growing up in North Carolina, acting was not a career choice. I never knew anyone who made a living as an actor. I never knew anyone who went out to do it. It was only late in the day -- I was graduating college -- before I decided to try to become a professional actor.
GW: How did you find your way to Europe?
BB: I auditioned for an English drama school. I actually auditioned for three English drama schools. In New York. [It was the] first time I went to New York City. I sat around looking at the buildings.
GW: Yeah, we country boys. We look at New York City. "This is foreign territory."
BB: I stepped off the bus at the Port Authority, back when the Port Authority was probably the seediest place in the universe, and had a guy offer to help me with my bags. And really didn't know to say no. And then stepped out onto 42nd Street, where every other person asked you to buy something. And what they were selling was either a service of an illegal nature or a substance of an illegal nature.
I was struck by the city. I went and stayed at the YMCA. At the [singing] "Y-M-C-A!" Yeah, baby! There I was at the YMCA in New York. I auditioned for the English drama schools, and got into a couple of them. Ended up going to the Central School of Speech and Drama. And that's how I ended up in London.
" I want to tell a good story. (Going Homer)"
GW: What would you have done had you not gotten that audition? Where do you think you would have turned next?
BB: I don't know. I probably would have looked at some of the American acting training programs. But I don't know.
GW: [Pidgeons fly by in the background] Hello!
BB: We've got pigeons, too! Big loud pigeons. Healthy Santa Monica pigeons. [laughter]
GW: Farscape webisodes. Now, I personally not being particularly being a Farscape fan -- I don't know much about this -- but, apparently you were in talks to be involved in some type of webisodes for Farscape?
BB: They're still developing the webisodes for Farscape.
GW: So are you still open to being a part of them when they do come out?
BB: Hopefully, I'll be involved with it, yes.