It’s a crazy time for some of the stars of Stargate Universe. Many of them are just beginning to meet fans of the new series face to face and realize the immensity and dedication there is to the entire Stargate franchise. One for whom this is especially true is the actress playing SGU‘s Chloe Armstrong, Elyse Levesque.
GateWorld caught up with Elyse at Creation Entertainment’s annual Vancouver Stargate convention last month, and we were blown away by both her enthusiasm and her energy for the series. In our discussion Elyse talks about her introduction to the industry, how she and Chloe are both similar and different, the Eli-Matt-Chloe triangle, and much much more.
GateWorld’s interview with Elyse Levesque runs over 12 minutes, and is available in audio. It’s also transcribed below!
GateWorld: It’s great to finally meet you, Elyse!
Elyse Levesque: Thank you! Likewise!
GW: At GateWorld, we’ve actually been looking forward to talking to you for quite awhile.
EL: Oh, thank you so much!
GW: How did you get your start in acting? You’ve racked up a pretty impressive amount of credits up here in Vancouver in the last few years.
EL: Yeah, I’ve been out here about four years now. Four years in May. May 1st. Yikes! Where does the time go?
I got my start when I was 11, in a children’s television series called The Incredible Story Studio. And our dear friend, David Blue, took it upon himself to tweet about it — and managed to get his dirty little paws on the first ever episode I ever did, called “Hugo and the Haunted Cheese.”
EL: … which is about a piece of limburger cheese that is haunted. And I play Candace Wilkes, the snobby teacher’s pet. And that was how I got my foot in the door! It was that part. “The role of a lifetime.”
Elyse poses with her castmates at the SGU launch party in San Diego.
GW: So this is not something that’s readily available?
EL: It’s not! He couldn’t find it himself, actually. It was [GateWorld Forum member] Slam who found it for him. She got it for him on Amazon, and found one of two copies. Or she bought the only two copies on Amazon. Something like that.
So I worked on that children’s series for a couple of years and then, just one thing kind of led into another. After I graduated high school, there really wasn’t anything. I was supposed to go onto this other series, which I had done for two years which was my first sci-fi series, called 2030 C.E. And it got cancelled. So I wasn’t planning on going to school. I put off college and university to work on the show, and that fell through.
So I’m thinking, “Oh, my god! What am I going to do?” And an opportunity to go off modeling kind of presented itself.
I have the travel bug, like nobody’s business. So I took the opportunity that presented itself and took off for a few years. Just bounced all over the place like a little gypsy. And then I came back to Canada when I was 20 … 20, 21. (We’ll go with 20.) And I moved to Vancouver and I’ve been out here ever since. I’ve been pretty lucky.
GW: Tell us a little bit about the auditioning process for SGU. Did you initially read for Chloe?
EL: I did, actually! Yeah! I had to put something on tape here in Vancouver, at their casting offices here in town. And it was kind of one of those magical experiences where it just kind of felt right. I got the script the night before, and the lines just came naturally. It was just easy. I could relate to it, emotionally.
Elyse's audition called for her to bring the waterworks, which she would need for ''Air, Part 2.''
I went in and I read. I felt really good about it. But you’re kind of like, “Pfft, whatever. I don’t care.” And then a week later, my agent sends me a little e-mail saying, “Just want to let you know they’re really interested. Yadda-yadda. You might have to screen test.” And then a couple weeks after that … “Guess what? You’re going to L.A.!”
And I had never screen tested before. I had heard horror stories before from some of my friends who were actors. They were like, “You go into the room and there’s these faceless execs and no one says anything to you, and everyone hates themselves so they hate you, too. So just be prepared! It’s going to be terrible!” [Laughs]
GW: It’s a firing squad! [Laughs]
EL: Right! Exactly! So I walked into the room and it was like 30-some faces that were just beaming at me. They were so happy! Like Brad Wright and Rob Cooper. They were just so excited that everyone was coming in to read for their show.
And I remember the casting director. He was so funny! He told me the night before … he was really generous. He got together with everyone who was testing and gave us some pointers, and ran the scene with us, et cetera. And he was like, “They really want to see you cry. So you’re going to have to squeeze out some tears. Bring out the waterworks.” I’m like “OK.” So then when you have to cry, you can’t cry.