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Leader In Training

Thursday - July 1, 2010

Interview Header - Brian J. Smith (2)

Now well into his second year of filming, Stargate Universe actor Brian J. Smith has brought a definite sense of passion and intensity to his character, Lt. Matthew Scott. He’s a leader in training, a young officer who is called upon to protect the crew of the Destiny and to serve as an example of the best that the ship’s military contingent can be — even (and especially) in the midst of crisis.

GateWorld recently chatted with Brian at the official Stargate convention in Vancouver, hosted by Creation Entertainment. We discussed such topics as fandom and Internet anonymity, Matt’s relationship with Chloe, his character’s potential for growth, and the climactic SGU season ender.

Season Two of SGU is now filming and will premiere this October! Season 1.0 is available on DVD and Blu-ray, and Season 1.5 arrives in July.

GateWorld: It’s good to see you, Brian!  What have you been up to?

Brian J. Smith: It’s been kind of crazy, shooting the second season. And now the second half of the first season is coming out and getting viewed, and kind of going back into that headspace, which was many, many, many months ago that we shot it.

But it’s been good. I’ve been taking some classes outside of work, just to kind of keep me artistically in shape. It’s good. It’s been a good time.

Brian J. Smith Interview 2 - Image 1

Brian hams it up with co-stars Jamil Walker Smith and Elyse Levesque at Comic-Con 2009.

GW: The last time that we talked was over a year ago, and it wasn’t terribly long after your casting had been announced. How has the past year been?  Has it been kind of a whirlwind for you as far as the entire genre, sci-fi culture, Stargate fans in general, and the feedback that you are getting?

BS: Yeah, it’s just been awesome.  You get involved in something like this and — you know, for me, this is an acting job. I really had no clue at the beginning. I think a lot of people also consider this job to [include] your relationship with the fans, and the franchise, and stuff like that, and that’s something that I’m still trying to suss out.

GW: … Get acclamated to it slowly?

BS: Yeah, because it is such a small and passionate and devoted group of people.

GW: You jumped straight into the convention scene pretty quickly.

BS: Yeah, yeah, which was great. I’ll tell you, I love the cons. I think the cons are amazing. This to me is great, this is human — you’re sitting there face to face with people, and there’s a real sense of mutual respect.

We’re trying to relate to each other, and talk, and even if people have issues with the show or with the character, we can sit and have a decent conversation. I don’t think that’s possible on the Internet. I just think the Internet is like being in a car.

Lieutenant Scott is spat into Destiny's Gate Room. From "Air, Part 1"

Lieutenant Scott is spat into Destiny's Gate Room. From "Air, Part 1"

GW: Absolutely not, as we have proven.

BS: The Internet is kind of like road rage. Someone should do a study. People can assume this avatar, and become this kind of hateful, demonic person that they’re probably not in real life. And write things before they really, really think about it. It doesn’t take that long to sit down and have a response.

GW: Anonymity on the Internet leads a lot of people to be a lot braver and stronger and more vocal.

BS: You know, as an actor, my face is attached to everything I say. I have no problem getting out there and saying exactly what I think about my show, or the people that I work with — and also the people that I think have been completely and bizarrely hateful towards the show and disrespectful also towards even people like my freakin’ mom!

I have no problem attaching my actual personality to those statements because that’s what I do. I don’t get onto the Internet and attack people out of my basement. I think that the minute there is some kind of accountability for what you’re saying then people get a little bit more careful and a little but more considerate and respectful.

NEXT > PAGES: 1 2 3

Chad Colvin is a GateWorld editor and convention correspondent. He lives near Madison, Wisconsin. Follow him on Twitter @ChadColvin. (More)

COMMENTS (16):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • Thank you, Chad, for such a interesting and insightful interview. Brian is a fine young actor with, in my opinion, a long and successful career ahead of him. In re-watching season 1.0 on the current DVDs, I am now seeing the nuances of many of the wonderful performances by much of the cast. Brian, in particular, has made many really good choices on things past the print on the script page. I believe that he will be more than capable of “holding his own” with exceptional actors such as Robert Carlyle and Louis Ferreira. Brian definitely has a screen presence and charisma plus a natural chemistry with many of the cast members. This will serve him well in his career. I am looking forward not just to season 2 of SGU (Gategeek that I am.) but to following his future projects.

    And once again Chad, a job well done.

  • Hey Chad, great interview, Brian seems like a very down to earth guy :). Just wanted to point out, your caption on the first picture on Page 2 says he gives “Young” warning, when I’m pretty sure it should be “Rush”. Thanks again for the great interview, and I hope to see him at future cons!

  • I must respectfully disagree with the title and premise of the interview. Lt. Scott is not a good leader at all and he has certainly failed leadership training. He has slept with a direct subordinate and then dumped her without even facing her. He has directly disobeyed or questioned Young’s orders constantly (Space, Faith, and Subversion/Incursion Pt. 1 for example). He cannot lead if he cannot effectively serve.

  • Sorry BS, wrong again. I’d repeat anything I’ve written on the net about the show to your face at a convention and stand behind it.

  • Love this show, keep up the good work! Can’t wait to see season 2.

  • Ditto, Mentat. It must be some sort of defense mechanism to label all online critics as basement dwelling insincere cowards. Smith has some gall to speak out against personal attacks on the internet when both he and his mother have been smearing everyone from fans to the owners of gateworld.

  • “You more than anyone know that there is a very vocal, partial section of fans of Stargate who are critical of SGU. If they haven’t already made up their minds, the ones that are on the fence that are actually going to keep watching, what would you say to keep them watching? Or come back and sample it again — the ones that aren’t aware of the good things that are going to come?”

    This question was not answered in a satisfactory manner, I have to say.

  • Leader in training? Sure, you are following on the footsteps of your leader. Col Young. He cheated on his wife and was sleaping around, and made a direct subordinate pregnant. You are sleaping around, and now only have to make Lt. James Pregnant. leader in the making, my backside!

  • Scott is not a leader, nor is he a character I can admire or like. Memo to BJS: not everyone is going to like you, your work, or the characters you play. Not everyone who dislikes you, your work, or the characters you play are basement dwelling trolls. Some of us just don’t like you, your work, or the characters you play. Accept that fact.

  • I understand that at a recent con BJS wasn’t too happy about having someone face him with complaints about his show/acting… a little over-sensitive maybe?

  • Brian I’m sure your a great guy but the best way to handle people who hate the show is just to say “Sorry you don’t like the show.” And than just move on.

  • Brian, Brian, Brian, sorry pal, but many of us who are critical of the show here on the internet would be more than happy to tell you to your face that we think the show is bad. I am not in my “basement” and I am not a hateful person. I have legitimate complaints and concerns about what has been done to the Stargate franchise. I dislike your character and the way he is portrayed as a poor military leader who lacks judgment and common sense. I’m more than qualified to comment on this matter having led troops at an officer in the military myself. Stop with the generalized description of people who are critical on the internet.

  • I always liked the premise of SG, but could never bring myself to watch it regularly until SGU came along. Despite it’s flaws, season 1 had some great moments! I think a lot of the cast (including Brian) does a great job! My only complaint is that the writers and directors need to understand their characters, and make them more consistent. Yes they are “all the wrong people”, but lets see some learn from their mistakes, grow, and emerge as leaders. Lets see some consistency in how they act and react. Lets not make them over-react at every turn just to create cheap drama or tension. The cheap sacrifce of the character in order to create drama is what makes us lose respect for characters like Scott.

    I think Scott & Young can both be great characters, with a natural tension with Rush and Wray. They can all be imperfect, but they should each be consistent and true to their own character. A little more inteligence and consistency in the writing could turn this into a really amazing scifi action/drama without making all the characters seem cheap, reactive and unprofessional. Let’s not push this “all the wrong people” thing too far ;)

    Of course, a few more battles outside the ship wouldn’t hurt either!

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