GateWorld: Mel, thanks for joining GateWorld for this interview!
Mel Harris: My pleasure! Thanks for asking me.
GW: How aware were you of Stargate before you accepted the role of Oma Desala?
MH: I was very aware of Stargate before I accepted the role, because my teenage son Byron was, and is, a big Stargate fan and introduced me to the series. I had met Richard Dean [Anderson] in L.A. and when Byron and I were in Vancouver working, I arranged for us to visit the set and say hi. We had an amazing time.
GW: What, initially, were you told of the character?
MH: As I remember, I think I was told just to read the script and see what I thought. Being a long-time fan of the show, I was delighted to be asked to be a part of it and loved Oma Desala.
GW: Though Oma leads Daniel into ascension, were you aware of her mission and codes of conduct?
MH: That is a pretty deep question. Although I would answer that I believe Oma Desala was aware of her mission, I am sure I was not aware of it. As for her "codes of conduct," those are still a mystery to me!
Oma listens to Dr. Jackson ponder the decisions he has made.
GW: What direction did you receive in playing this almost "omniscient" character?
MH: The best direction was that she was not like others and was a "being" of her own.
GW: How was it working alongside Michael Shanks and the rest of the cast and crew during this turning point in the series?
MH: Michael and the entire cast and crew of Stargate were fabulous. I knew them from my previous visits to the set with my son. They are as friendly and hospitable people as they are creative actors and human beings!
GW: How would you rate the professionalism and quality put into the show?
MH: As a long time fan, I was well aware of the professionalism and extremely high level of commitment of the Stargate group. Once again I was delighted to be a part of it. Needless to say, my son was over the moon that I was actually going to be on the show!
GW: Though Oma's mission in "Meridian" is straight-forward, were you able find depth in the role?
MH: I guess Oma would ask if her mission was truly straightforward. I think for me as an actor, the challenge and reward of playing Oma Desala was that she is not of a world I know. That enabled my creativity and focus to expand in a way I never had before with other characters.
GW: It is perhaps one of the more burning questions in Stargate lore. "If you immediately know the candlelight is fire, the meal was cooked a long time ago." What does this mean?
MH: I have no idea ... but I imagine the food may not taste very good!
GW: Though not seen since "Meridian," Oma has been mentioned countless times and has become an integral part of the saga. Would you be inclined to play her again?
MH: Playing Oma, especially with the wonderful Stargate crew, was very rewarding and I would do it again in a second.
GW: What would you like to see done with the character?
Desala departs, bidding Jackson to follow her. Have we seen the last of Oma?
MH: I think an interesting exploration with Oma would be the differentials between the real world and other realms.
GW: Have you considered attending any Stargate conventions?
MH: No, I haven't. But I think that would be a fun and interesting experience.
GW: Are you currently involved in any projects?
MH: I am currently developing two projects, one a film and one for television. And "Hangman's Curse," the film, was just released on DVD.
GW: What are your plans for the future?
MH: Enjoying life, whatever it hands me!
GW: Mel, thanks again for taking time out to talk with the fans at GateWorld!
MH: Thanks for letting me write on. And thanks to all the Stargate fans for keeping a great show going for all these years!