Conventions are hectic events for everyone, but for celebrities it can be madness! GateWorld fell prey to actor Joe Flanigan‘s busy schedule at Creation Vancouver 2009 when we were forced to cut our last interview short. So we were delighted to be able to polish off our discussion in this second segment, recorded at Creation Chicago 2009.
If you haven’t read the previous interview, we suggest you do so first!
In this segment, Joe discusses the reduction in DVD sales, waiting to hear word from MGM and Bridge about an Atlantis movie go-ahead, and getting a chance to build some memories with his three young boys. He also discusses a new project he and a writing partner are undertaking!
This interview runs 12 minutes and is available in audio. It’s also transcribed below!
GateWorld: Last time we talked with you, we were in Vancouver. It was kind of rushed. We had a chance to talk briefly about the cancellation.
Joe Flanigan: Was that the last time?
GW: We talked about the cancellation, briefly talked about “Vegas.” Obviously nothing has changed since the DVDs have been kind of put on hold while the economy is in recession. Were you aware of that? That they’ve been basically saddled until …
JF: We get slightly different stories. It’s hard to tell. I don’t know. I think that obviously there is a slump in the DVD market, without a doubt. That can always be a contributing factor. I don’t know. I know MGM says that it has something to do with that but, man …
GW: They do want it to happen.
JF: I think they want it to happen. It’s hard to tell. Who knows? When the show was canceled we were told the movie was green-lit and we were going to shoot it quickly. That’s been almost a year, so …
GW: And before a big economic falloff, too. Rob Cooper [Robert C. Cooper] recently said in an interview that, that was the big contributing factor and that MGM wants to hold on until things kind of start moving in the other way. And who knows when that’s going to be. I would think that the home DVD market would be booming because no one’s going out anymore.
JF: Well, I did speak with somebody specifically at MGM about that and they said, “The SG-1 movies did well.” And that SyFy wanted to be part of this and so what they tried to do is they did it with Caprica. And I think we sold something on the tune of 500,000 units and Caprica only sold 35,000 units. And MGM …
GW: Really? Ark of Truth and Continuum totaled?
JF: I think so. MGM was reading that as a disastrous downturn in the DVD market. But I was telling them I don’t think that’s a good economic model at all. Because I don’t think Caprica has any brand recognition like Stargate does. Nor do I think they have an existing fan base like Stargate does.
So, I urge them to reconsider that model because I don’t think that’s an accurate model of the DVD market. There may be a 15 to 20 percent drop in sales because of what’s going on, but it’s not going to be anywhere close to that. But that’s the model they’re looking at. So the way they see it, I think, is not good. Now, if the new show comes out and does well … I don’t know how that would affect the movies.
GW: What do you think about Stargate Universe? Have you talked with the folks who are developing it?
JF: No. I didn’t talk to anybody. Not a single person. I’m in touch with all the cast members. But no, I have not talked to anybody so I have no idea about any of it. I’ve got great respect for Robert Carlyle and those guys. I’m sure they’re working awfully hard and I really hope it works out. I really do.
GW: In the meantime you’ve been doing some guest spots. You’ve done Warehouse 13.
JF: Ah, yeah.
GW: It’s doing very well.
JF: Yeah, it’s doing pretty well. That was really for fun. And I had fun. And then I looked at it and I was like, “Oh my God, I’m not doing anything in this episode.” You know? [Laughter] I’m not used to not doing anything in an episode. But they’re a really fun group of people and I really enjoyed working with them. And I think the show is doing well.
GW: Not having Atlantis day to day, obviously you have the opportunity to devote more time to family. You have a third son now, are they happy to see you more?
JF: He claims he’s my son. I feed him. He only gets two meals a day though.
GW: Is it nice to be home more?
JF: I love it. One of my kids was having some difficulty in school last year. I was gone a lot. Since I’ve been home, he hasn’t had any of those problems so I’d like to think that that helps.
There’s no doubt about it. Being around for their birthdays and being around for a lot of little memories are pretty priceless, so I’m enjoying that a lot. I’ve also gotten reconnected with a lot of friends in my neighborhood that I don’t really ever get to spend a lot of time with. I actually have a life. It’s actually really fantastic. I really enjoy it.
GW: Are you actively auditioning in L.A.?
JF: Well, not a lot. Things are pretty slow in Hollywood. Things are pretty slow. I mean, there’s always certain type of work if you want to do that but my parameters have gotten a little tight and I don’t know whether I am going to be able to stick to those parameters, but I really wanted to stay in Los Angeles. And shows are now shooting all over the place, from Mexico City to Detroit to Providence, and it creates a real quandary for me. It really does.
GW: It’s not easy to uproot your family. You’ve done that with Stargate.
JF: Yeah but also to compound that, if you go off to do one of these shows you just don’t know how long it will last, too. So you can’t really uproot your family. You could be told one day “Don’t come to set, the show’s over.” And then you’re moving out of your place in Mexico City. And so it puts a strain on things. That’s kind of where I’m at. I’m having a good time though, awfully good time.
GW: But of course we’ll hopefully see you back in Vancouver when they do say “Yes, let’s do the movie.”
JF: Your guess is probably as good as mine. You probably have … I could call and ask flat-out. Maybe I’ll get an answer, I have no idea. [Laughter] I have no idea. I’m surprised they’re not doing a movie. But that could reveal just how little cash they have right now. I mean, they may be on vapors. I’ve been hearing that for so many years, though, that MGM is teetering on the precipice. You just, I don’t know …
GW: But you’re in Chicago today to talk and meet with a bunch of people who have loved your contributions over the past few years. What is it like to be with the fans? What is it like to hang out? I remember the first time you ever did a convention. Up on stage, “Holy cow! There’s a few people in here.” What is it like now?
JF: It’s nice to know that people are still enjoying the show. I feel really grateful that people still like the show. It’s also unusual. I have a lot of friends who are actors and they’ve done shows and shows that have lasted for a while. They just don’t have the fan base. And it’s pretty cool. I mean, it really is. It’s really a special thing that you have such loyalty.
I just hope that we can create another platform that they can follow. And I’ve been talking to SyFy about it and we’d like to come up with something and see if we can shift the audience over to a different show. Give them something that they’d like to watch. I hope it works out.
GW: We’ll be keeping an eye out for that. Show’s been wrapped up for over a year now.
GW: You’ve built a lot of relationships, a lot of friendships. Which do you find are standing the test of time through the work load? Who do you find you’re staying in touch with the most?
JF: Cast. And then certain crew members that have come through L.A. They stay with me or I take them surfing. We had our stunt guy down there the other week.
GW: BamBam [James Bamford]?
JF: Actually it wasn’t BamBam, it was Todd Scott. And really anybody who passes through town that wants to hook up. I unfortunately have not talked to any of the producers and the writers at all. I don’t think they really made any attempt to reach any of us.
GW: The new show’s got to be keeping them busy.
JF: Maybe, yeah. But that’s a little weird. Because you’re like, “I’ve just spent five years with everyone.” And then suddenly you don’t hear from them at all. So it’s weird.
GW: David’s [Hewlett] down in L.A. right now, isn’t he?
JF: David might be back in Vancouver already.
GW: Jason is still in L.A.
JF: Jason is in Los Angeles. It’s the thing I miss the most, going to work and saying “Hi” to everybody. It was a tight-knit group of people. We had a lot of fun on set. Set was fun.
GW: Aside from dwelling on the past work, where do you want to go next? Where would you like to see yourself next? Aside from Lamborghinis and a pepperoni pizza and all the toppings and things like that. Where do you want to see your career go?
JF: Well, I think that we are making a push definitely toward action. That’s just a venue that I like.
GW: Being physical?
JF: I like being physical and I like watching action, also. [Laughter] If there is a gravity that’s drawing us, it’d be toward the likes of the “Indiana Jones” and things like that. Trying to find that type of action-adventure and inject it into television again. Which is very difficult because of the price parameters that you have for television. But with the new technology there may be a way to do it.
And I know that Sanctuary is being looked at as possibly a watershed TV show in terms of how effects-heavy it is and how little money they make the show for. It’s pretty impressive, what they do. So, it’ll be interesting to see if that’s a whole new angle that they go to. And if so, I think it opens up a lot of possibilities.
GW: What about writing? Do you write, star, produce? The whole gamut?
JF: Yes, I actually have been writing with a partner in Los Angeles right now. I find it difficult. Because I find that I have not only a limited attention span [Laughter], I like to be around people. I like to shoot the s***. If I find myself alone — if I have to go down into a room and write, I will figure out how first to clean out the closet, check on the refrigerator, figure out what repairs in the house need to be done. I cannot sit down by myself and write.
And I realized that my mind works much better when I’m bouncing ideas with people. And I think that I like being around people and I don’t like being alone that much. So I’ll have to figure that out.
Interview by David Read. Transcript by Kerenza Harris.