|Beware SPOILERS for the series finale of
Stargate Atlantis in the interview below!
Just five years ago we were introducing ourselves to actress Rachel Luttrell
. It feels too soon to say goodbye.
Now firmly perched in Los Angeles, Rachel is keeping her head on a swivel for her next gig! GateWorld talks with her about raising a son while working 20-hour days, her thoughts on the possibility of the next Atlantis
movie, and of course her next projects. We also pay special attention to "The Queen,"
which saw some interesting turns in the direction of her character.
GateWorld's interview with Rachel Luttrell runs almost 23 minutes. Listen online at your leisure, download it to your MP3 player, or subscribe now to the iTunes podcast
! The full interview is also transcribed below.
GateWorld: How is Caden?
Rachel Luttrell: Caden is wonderful! Caden is marvelous! He's the light of my life and he's just doing fabulously well. He's gorgeous and fun and he's got more words than he should have for his age. I'm very proud of my little genius. Yeah, he's just great.
GW: How old is he now?
RL: Caden is 16 months. My father has termed him "BamBam" because he's the strongest little kid he's ever seen. He's strong and tenacious and wonderful. I love being a mommy.
GW: Has it really been just an easy ride or has it been complicated and difficult at the same time?
RL: You mean motherhood?
RL: Oh, gosh. Motherhood is a mixed bag. No, no, no. I would never say it's been an easy ride. "Uh, no!" It's an adventure! On the whole the adventure is a wonderful one. But there are moments where you just want to pull your hair out and there are moments where you are happier than you have ever been in your life.
But it's immensely challenging and immensely worth it. It's fantastic. But I would never say that it's been an easy ride. Oh, God, no. And all the mothers out there will know what the heck I'm talking about.
Hard to believe for five seasons Teyla's beautiful hair has been a wig!
But it's wonderful. It's the toughest job you'll ever do, being a parent, for sure. But it's certainly the most rewarding job by far. Nothing holds a candle to it. It's great.
GW: Now despite moving all over the place do you have a good support system in place?
RL: I do! Thank you for asking. Actually I've got a great support group both in Vancouver and in Los Angeles, which are currently my two cities right now. I'm in LA right now and my parents are here and two of my sisters live here.
One of my sisters has two children so my brother-in-law's here with my two nieces. I have a wonderful support group, as well as a number of really wonderful friends who I've known for a good many years.
And in Vancouver I've got my husband's family, and in particular my mother-in-law, who's just been a huge help. All the way through shooting last year she came to work with me every morning, wee hours of the morning, and stuck it out until late at night.
She was in the trailer with Caden while I was working. And now that I'm not working she's always there for date nights and what have you. So it's great! I'm surrounded by a lot of love, which is wonderful.
GW: Oh, it's absolutely key. That's great.
RL: Yes, it is key. It is key. I don't know how parents do it, who don't have family close to them. It's really tricky.
GW: Yeah, stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home dads.
RL: Oh, no. Yeah, it's really tricky. This is a job that requires a lot of support, and sadly in our culture it doesn't get as much support as I think it needs. But anyway, there you go.
I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm definitely one of the lucky ones.
GW: Great. Good that you recognize it.
RL: Oh, I do! I do. Oh, yes, yes, yes!
GW: Aside from the baby, what's been going on since Atlantis for you?
RL: What has been going on? Well, motherhood takes up about 99 point nine percent of my time, but aside from that I've been traveling. I've done little bits of publicity for the show prior to the last episode airing. And now I'm in Los Angeles and I'm auditioning for the next gig.
Just before Christmas I shot a movie with Cuba Gooding Jr. called "Hardwired." It's kind of like a science fiction movie. It was set in the future and I play Cuba's sister. That was a lot of fun. So I did that in November. It's been a lot of back and forth from Vancouver to Los Angeles and Vancouver to Toronto where I did a shoot for a fashion magazine out there. And now I'm doing what we actors know all too well.
GW: Nose to the grinder, out there and auditioning.
RL: Exactly. It's funny because when Atlantis came to an end in the fall I have a fellow who comes by to help me clean my house, thank goodness, because it's difficult to do. He helps out a lot and he's from the Philippines.
He was absolutely shocked when I told him that I was going to an audition. Because apparently in the Philippines once you are an established actor, that's it. Your road is set and you just get movie offer after movie offer. Essentially you never have to job interview again.
Rachel featured in Christopher Judge's 2007 Women of Sci Fi calendar.
Just to look at his face it was amazing. On the one hand it was so complimentary, and on the other hand I thought, "God, maybe I should be living in the Philippines." He said, "Wait a second. No, no, no! You are already a professional actor!"
"Yes, sadly that is not how it works here."
But yeah, I've been out for a couple of things that I really love and I'm not going to jinx it. But it's nice. On the one hand it's scary to be back in this world and on the other hand it's incredibly exciting because I've been auditioning for characters that are so vastly different from Teyla. I get to play with other colors and it's been a lot of fun. So I'm excited about the next characters.
GW: Have you been singing?
RL: I sing every day! [Laughter] I haven't been getting paid to sing!
GW: Aside from singing to the baby.
RL: Oh, yeah! Oh my goodness. I sing to Caden all the time. In the early stages of Caden and I getting to know each other I thought that I was singing to him so much that he wasn't going to have his first word, he was going to sing his first note. He was just going to start singing.
Kind of ridiculous but in my delirium and lack of sleep it was actually a concern of mine. I thought, "Maybe I should start talking to him a little bit more ..." But no, I sing all the time. I sing to Caden all the time. Caden loves to sing.
As I said in the beginning, "So many words." One of his favorite words is "dance." So he loves to dance with me as well. Yeah, we have a ball with music. At the moment I have not been paid to sing after Atlantis, but that's OK because I've got a captive audience in my son.