Saving the galaxy on a weekly basis can be dangerous work. Sometimes you can't make it through an hour without getting a little roughed up. And for many years, one man has been either getting roughed up or been the one in charge of making sure others do it safely -- Dan Shea
As both Richard Dean Anderson's stunt double and Sergeant "Sly" Siler
on-screen, or as SG-1
' stunt coordinator off-screen, Shea has been instrumental in making all the fights, explosions and other stunts both fun to watch and harmless to those performing them.
GateWorld sat down with Dan earlier this year at the Creation Entertainment
Stargate convention in Vancouver -- and it's the first time we've gotten the chance to talk with him. Due to time constraints, the interview is extremely short. However, in that brief time, Dan opens up about how he got into the stunt business, what brought him into the Stargate
franchise, how he wound up in front of the camera as "Siler," and more!
GateWorld's video interview with Dan runs approximately six minutes, and requires QuickTime 7.0
or higher. The interview is also available at GateWorld Play
GateWorld: For GateWorld.net, this is Chad Colvin and I am here at the Stargate 2008 Vancouver Creation convention with Dan Shea. Dan, thank you for taking a few minutes with us.
Dan Shea: Thank you for having me.
GW: Dan, tell us a little bit about how you got into the stunt business.
DS: First of all, this is one of the best looking French fries you're ever going to see. It's crunchy and it's warm and it's great, it would be better with gravy and lots of salt and pepper. But, that's going to be a little later. Sorry. How did what?
GW: How did you get into the stunt business?
DS: I think it was way back in MacGyver, and I stood in for Big Boy [Richard Dean Anderson] and this guy named Steve Blalock was his double. He's double[ing] the lead on Lost right now. And I thought, "That's kind of cool, they're doing some motorcycle stuff and falling down and getting beat up."
So, I started my whole coat tail thing with Big Boy. We play hockey two or three nights a week and shower in separate stalls. I sort of [started] humping paths. There's a big coordinator in town called Danny Virtue, a producer, and I started carrying his big Port-A-Pits on my back and started training, doing some martial arts stuff and doing some driving and slowly started working my way into it.
Shea wields Siler's infamous wrench at Creation Vancouver 2008.
GW: Is there anything in particular about the profession that you love?
DS: I just like working. [laughter] like the idea of having to focus, because you get ten thousand people twitching and doing your hair and all this kind of stuff, and just fiddling, and all you're concentrating on is hitting your mark or not anticipating the punch or not having your squibs go off early so you look like an idiot.
I remember one guy blew a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar shot because he ran too early. All the cameras were rolling and all of a sudden he go all excited and away he went, and everything started blowing up, and he was in everybody's way, and they all got cut with glass.
GW: An expensive mistake.
DS: Very expensive mistake, and also they all went to the hospital. So this whole idea of the eye of the storm, the calm, with all the chaos going around you that I think is cool. What's even cooler is being a stunt actor where you have to hit your mark, do some dialogue and have a little tiny bit of connection, my limited version of that, and then having all of that chaos and stuff going on at the same time.
Being the dope that drives the car, or slides, because in the scene, there's the actor guy and the stunt guy. The actor guy says his lines and then the stunt freak gets shot. And plus, I like getting paid. [Laughter] It's cool, too. If you're doing features, it's more dough, the bigger gags and the more money. So the money is good.
GW: You were Richard Dean Anderson's stunt double during the MacGyver years, and the...
DS: No, not during the MacGyver years. I was a stand-in on the MacGyver years and I stunt doubled for him during a couple of hockey episodes.
GW: Ok, alright. And also his stunt double for SG-1.
The role of Siler was introduced in Season One's "Solitudes."
GW: Did he bring you into the production at all, or did he recommend you?
DS: Recommend me? No, he recommended not having me. But I made them do it anyways.
No. I sort of became his guy. It was kind of an unwritten thing and it was more [Michael] Greenberg. Greenberg was his partner and he would get stuff done, affiliated through Rick. But no. Once MacGyver was over, they did a movie of the week in Toronto. It was like minus thirty, and that's where I got my foot destroyed, and that was my first time actually being his official double, after four years of watching the other guy do the fun stuff.