GW: Who is Fran in your mind? Is she a combination of programmed Replicator nanites or does she have a personality? Does she have a soul?
MM: Oh, yeah! As far as for me as an actor, I try not to get too caught up in the fact that she's artificially created. She has to be a person. So, like I said, when I was playing the original Fran, I just wanted to play -- and I drew on different children in my life -- that she was just like a very straightforward, honest, pure person.
Actually my best friend in the world, this girl Sherry, is a lot like Fran. So she has a soul and she is a person. But it's different now because I'm essentially playing Elizabeth Weir. But at the same time, I'm not. Because the way that I'm thinking about it is that Elizabeth has been through something that we can't even imagine.
I'm essentially thinking of it as if Elizabeth has been to hell. Being a disembodied, essentially almost like an electric channel, going through Wraith tech and in and out of space.
She describes it as the worst migraine ever -- constant motion and horrible sound. It sounds like hell. And then to suddenly be in a body again. I think that Weir would probably have a sense of wonderment about being animated again. So ... is that like a long-winded way of describing it?
" I'm essentially thinking of it as if Elizabeth has been to hell. "
GW: No! That's great.
MM: I think that, absolutely, the characters I'm playing do have a soul and they are like humans.
GW: How much is Fran "Fran" in this episode, "Ghost In The Machine?"
MM: Not at all.
GW: She's just all Weir?
GW: In a Fran body?
MM: Absolutely. And I was talking to [writer] Carl Binder about it and got excited, because he was like, "Well, this is great! Now we've established that the table has the Fran template ..."
GW: Right! And anytime they need her ...
MM: Anytime they need her and anytime ... different characters can now be channeled through this template. So I was like, "Yeah, Carl!" He's like, "Yeah, you know, you could end up playing all kinds of different characters, through Fran."
So that's really fun as an actor. I'd love to play Fran again though. That would be fun.
GW: Were you surprised when the show's producers asked you back?
MM: I was pleased, but I wasn't surprised. Because me and David Hewlett were joking about it last year and he was like, "Well, you know, we're blowing you up but we could always recreate you." And I was like, "Yeah!" So he had already sort of dropped the idea in my head, so I wasn't totally surprised, actually.
Fran tells Rodney not to second guess sending her on her mission.
But I was definitely very pleased and my character in this episode has a much bigger part. So that was a nice surprise.
GW: Have you seen "Be All My Sins Remember'd"?
MM: Oh, yeah!
GW: What are your thoughts on it?
MM: I thought it was a great episode. I think what really appealed to people is the question of "Is Fran a person or is she made up of nanite cells and therefore has no ..."
GW: Is she just a tool?
MM: Yeah, is she just a tool or is she a being that should be pitied? So I think that that was a really effective element of the episode.
GW: I would have loved to see that as a two-parter with a full episode just devoted to the ethical conundrum of "Is Fran a person and should she be used in this way?"
MM: Well, maybe they'll ... I don't know. Let's drop the bug in their ear to bring Fran back and they'll have to deal with that again!