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Interview with Teryl Rothery

Teryl Rothery
Actress Teryl Rothery has been busy since departing Stargate SG-1 last year, but not too busy to continue visiting with fans across the world at Stargate conventions! Tobias Mauer caught up with the actress, who played Dr. Janet Fraiser for seven years on the hit series, during her visit to Wolf Gatedays in Frankfurt, Germany.

In the interview, Rothery talks about meeting Paul McGillion (who plays Atlantis' Dr. Beckett) in acting class, being recognized on the street, and what she has been working on lately.

Tobias Mauer: Teryl, you didn't just get to know Paul yesterday when you arrived. You've know him for some time now. When exactly did you meet him?

Teryl Rothery: I met Paul McGillion a few years ago. We were in acting class together. And he's a fantastic actor and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. So we don't see each other that much when we're home in Vancouver. And we were discussing how nice it is to be in Frankfurt, and for the two of us to catch up and spend some time together.

TM: Have you been in the same class or just in the same school?

TR: We were in the same acting class.

TM: How was acting class together with Paul and what exactly does one do in an acting class?

TR: In acting class we do all sorts of things. Mostly scene work. We do some exercises, some exercises that are called sensory exercises, so you familiarize yourself with the environment. Perhaps this chair means a lot to this character. How often does she sit in this chair? So it's called sense memory and scene work. So actors will do a scene from a play with your acting teacher, and he helps you develop the character to the best of your ability.

TM: So did you learn to act as a doctor in acting class, too?

TR: I've not had any hospital scenes in class, no. And I didn't take any extra classes just for a hospital after I got the job on Stargate SG-1.

TM: So how did you prepare for playing a doctor? Did you watch Emergency Room or other hospital series? Or what was your way of getting it done?

Dr. Fraiser watches helplessly as her adopted daughter Cassandra undergoes a transformation that threatens her life. From "Rite of Passage."
TR: I don't know. I guess strictly from watching enough -- watching TV or film work, and just being true to the character. And as far as the medical stuff, knowing what to do and what to say, there is usually a medical advisor with you on the set to direct you while you are filming. So you know what you're doing at the right time and how to do it.

TM: In the first season you didn't have a lot of screen time. But your character got bigger and bigger throughout the seasons. Have you been sad that they never listed you in the main cast?

TR: No, not at all.

TM: In Stargate Atlantis all the actors have long-running contracts. Did you also have a long-running one or did they book you episode by episode?

TR: I didn't have a contract for the first two years, so I was on an episode per episode basis. From Season Three on I had a contract that put me up to Season Six.

TM: Living as an actor in Vancouver must be like living there as one of a thousand. Do a lot of people come up to you and ask for an autograph or a photo when you're walking around through Vancouver?

TR: I get recognized, but not necessarily from my name. I get a lot of people who will say I look so familiar to them. Some will know the show. But for the most part, no. I get recognized when I'm outside of Vancouver. In the U.S. I get recognized. And certainly in Europe a lot.

TM: What was the first convention you did?

TR: The first convention was from Wolf Events. That was about five or six years ago -- and it was a mixture of shows. It was Bruce Boxleitner, Billy D. Williams ...

TM: Did you give Paul any advice about what he should do on stage, since this is the first convention he is doing?

TR: I didn't give him any advice, but I told him not to worry about the thing because the fans are so supportive. The people who watch the show and who attend conventions are the most warm and giving people ever. I said, "You will be in good hands."

Paul McGillion plays Dr. Carson Beckett on Stargate Atlantis.
TM: What are you doing at the moment? You are doing the convention tour now, but will you be doing some acting after that or some new projects?

TR: I just finished a Christmas movie, we just finished that filming in Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada, which stars Steven Webber from Wings and Molly Shannon from Saturday Night Live. So we did that. It's a lovely, warm Christmas movie. It's sort of like Scrooge meets "Groundhog Day." And it will air in the United States on December 7, on Lifetime.

I'm not sure when it will be shown in Europe, but you'll definitely see it. It will be shown in Canada next Christmas (2005). Once the tour is over I have my cartoon, it's called Martin Mystery. And I will continue to voice that after the tour is over, and then I have a break. I don't start touring again until February next year.

TM: How did you get the job of being the voice of Kodachi in the anime series you are doing?

TR: By auditioning, like everybody else. They liked my voice so they hired me to play her.

TM: Did you know anything about anime before? Because Joseph Mallozzi [SG-1 co-executive producer] is known for being a big anime fan, so maybe he gave you some advice?

TR: Oh, I didn't know that. But I always have done voice work and cartoons, so I audition a lot for these jobs.

TM: Are you still going to auditions or do people just write roles for you into these scripts? How do you get an acting job?

TR: How it usually works is, all actors tend to audition for various jobs. So your agent will say, "You have an audition at this time. Here is a script, so look at it." Sometimes your agent will send them a demo reel. The producers will look at it and then say, "We like it. We would like to meet with her." So you always will have to do an audition, an interview or a meeting.

And the life of an actor is always very up and down. So sometimes you work a lot, but sometimes ... So if you're on a series like Stargate SG-1 you have that work for seven years. So that's a gift.

TM: There are a lot of rumors going around that there will be a film set sometime in the second season. Do you know anything about it?

TR: I'm sorry, but I haven't really talked to anybody from Stargate for a while. I heard about some rumors of a movie. I don't know if Fraiser would be in it at all -- I hope that she would be in it, because I miss her. But I honestly don't know the answer to this question.

TM: You are a good friend of Don S. Davis.

TR: Oh, we don't actually see each other as much anymore. Don is now living down in Los Angeles with his wife, which is sad, and I am really looking forward to seeing him and his wife in London. So I'll see him for the first time actually in a number of months. I'm really looking forward to it.

TM: I hope you'll have a great time in London, and lots of luck for your film!


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1999-2006 GateWorld.net. All rights reserved. This material may not be reprinted
without written consent from GateWorld. Click here to learn more.