Creation Entertainment’s Official Stargate convention, held August 22-24 at Chicago’s Wyndham O’Hare hotel, was dedicated to the actor’s memory. Davis had originally been scheduled to be a guest there prior to his untimely passing. Attendees of the con who had met Davis were offered a chance to take the stage themselves briefly Friday afternoon to share their memories of the late actor. Many of the attending celebrities also mentioned him during their time on-stage.
GateWorld was on hand to capture the weekend festivities — and in exclusive interviews with the attending cast members, they opened up to us their thoughts and feelings on his passing, and also celebrated and paid tribute to the life he led.
For Alexis Cruz, who played “Skaara” in the original feature film (and then reprised that role on SG-1), his relationship with Davis was built through a common bond.
“Don and I talked a lot about acting,” Cruz said. “Don was an acting teacher. He taught acting. And I’ve done my fair share of that. Not as much as him, and not to his degree of expertise. But … that was our common ground. We had really long — not just a passing chitchat — really long talks. Where we would sit down at a bar and have intense actor-to-actor conversations about the craft. And all the different techniques that go into it. It was a very unique relationship that I had with him … and I’m going to miss that.”
Another actor who spent a considerable amount of time with Davis was Tony Amendola, who spent a considerable amount of the last ten years with Davis — both off-screen as friends, and on-screen with his role as “Bra’tac.”
“We took a trip to London and saw a bunch of plays. He dragged me to all his favorite art and book stores. He was always looking for something, and he had a hunger for the artistic,” Amendola said. “That’s an overused word, but not with him. He was an actor, he painted, he sketched, he did woodwork. He was amazing.
“We would gravitate toward each other for lunch on the set together,” Amendola continued. “And to watch him, particularly when he met Ruby [his wife], he changed. She had such a wonderful effect on him.
“There was something uniquely American about him. His experience, his look, his size,” Amendola said. “There was just something with him that was … really truthful. Both with what he presented on-screen, and in life. He will be missed.”
Actor Michael Shanks (“Dr. Daniel Jackson”) was also a convention attendee over the weekend, and added that Davis’ untimely passing had offered him some insight.
“When someone who you work with and who you are close to passes suddenly, you realize how short the time we have here is,” Shanks said. “Putting something off, because you think you have all the time in the world for it, isn’t necessarily true.
“I think any time spent with Don was a plus,” Shanks said. “The greatest moments were ones the audience won’t see, but the private, intimate moments. Don was one of those people who everyday, along with the rest of our group, we had a good laugh. I’ll always remember his desire to get everything right, and his inability to, which was a frustration for him. But it became a wonderful way to blow off steam and have a good laugh.”
While Davis may no longer be with us, Shanks did mention a project that the two had started work on that Shanks is determined to finish as a tribute to his co-star.
“Don and I had started a project that we were going to write and produce together, and his passing has reminded me of that pledge to do so. So I’m going to make sure a movie called ‘The Maggie Rose’ is produced and gets dedicated to him. To do that movie in Don’s memory is something I look forward to.”
Stick with GateWorld for more updates from Creation’s Chicago event in the days to come! Interviews with Alexis Cruz, Tony Amendola and a brand-new sit-down with Michael Shanks are coming soon. And keep it locked to GateWorld as we bring you more reactions from Atlantis cast members on the cancellation of the series.