GateWorld: I hear last year, you started working on an autobiography.
Lou Diamond Phillips: That’s so funny you bring that up, man! I don’t know where that rumor started. I have no idea who started that rumor and how it got out there so much. This is probably the seventh or eighth interview that I’ve done where I’ve had to say, “I am not writing an autobiography.” The very term autobiography would seem to indicate that I’m the one doing the writing. I am doing no such thing. I think maybe somebody mentioned it in an interview and extrapolated from that.
GW: Any interview that I do, I end up doing a little bit of research beforehand, especially since this is our first time talking to you, and I’m going through and I took a look at Wikipedia — granted, that’s not the best source for information for anything…
LDP: And neither is IMDb. They had me listed at 5’9″ for years, I’m actually 6 foot tall.
"This is not the time to look back for me. It's the time to look forward," Phillips says in regards to persistent autobiography rumors.
GW: But, yeah, the Wikipedia had a title for it, who was publishing it, who was helping write it with you.
LDP: You’re kidding! What’s the title?
GW: Something like “A Diamond Phillips in the Rough”.
LDP: Oh, God!
GW: Published by Hyperion, with a release date sometime in 2010.
LDP: No. No, no such book exists. And if it did exist, I’d come up with a much better title than that!
GW: I would hope so.
LDP: I am doing a lot of writing this year. I actually have written a couple of projects, one of which was an idea of my wife Yvonne’s which was my only sci-fi project ever but one of the bigger scripts I’ve written and I’m hoping that one of these days, it’ll break through and actually get filmed. And I’m presently, if I can get my butt up off the couch and get a little bit more motivated, I’m working on a graphic novel, a version of it right now. That’s kind of the writing I’m doing these days.
I don’t happen to have that much of an estimation of my life to think that it would be that interesting to people. Maybe in 20 years I’ll do something, but at this point in time I still feel as if the story is ongoing and evolving. It sort of amazes me when somebody like Justin Bieber or one of the Kardashians think that they’ve accomplished so much it’s time to actually write a book, you know? [Laughter]
GW: Let’s talk about the future. Where do you see yourself in the industry, five, ten years from now? In front of the camera, behind it or elsewhere?
LDP: I certainly hope that I’m still doing what I’m doing. Like I said, I love to work. There are a few things that I’d love to do. With a family and everything else, being a regular on a television series is a very, very tempting proposition, it’s something I’m very open to right now.
I would like to get back and do some features. Like I said, I’ve had a lot of writing and there’s three or four of my scripts that, every six months or so, somebody remembers them or thinks about them and they have an opportunity to get back in the starting gate, so I’d definitely like to be directing some of my own material in the next few years. Hopefully climbing the ladder as a director in that respect. All the film that I’ve done had been on the smaller side and I’d like to do a couple that hopefully can help me climb that ladder to a bigger budget and do something that would be a lot of fun on a bigger scale.
A Tony nominee for "The King & I," Phillips won't rule out a return to Broadway. He's pictured here in a stage production of "Camelot."
Going back to Broadway is not out of the question. It’s something that I loved and I was nominated for the Tony but didn’t win and I would like to get back there and maybe get that. There’s still some big dreams out there and a lot of stuff to do. What’s funny is that there are a couple of film festivals that have already given me lifetime achievement awards and I’m like, “Wow! Man, I’m not even halfway done.” There’s a lot that I still want to do. Like I said, it’s like writing the autobiography. This is not the time to look back for me, it’s the time to look forward.
GW: Any upcoming projects that you have on the horizon? Things that are in the can that just haven’t gotten out yet?
LDP: Yeah! I did this wonderful little indie film that actually Michael Blundell and a bunch of the crew from Stargate worked on here in Vancouver called Transparency. It’s this tough, gritty little independent film that was very, very well received at the Dallas International Film Festival and at a film festival in Germany most recently. Deborah Kara Unger’s in it with me as well as Estella Warren and I’m actually very, very proud of the work. It’s tough and unexpected and outside the box. That’s called Transparency and hopefully we’ll be seeing that sometime.
Then I also filmed a pilot, so we’ll see where that goes. There’s always hope and you always cross your fingers. The interesting thing is that it might work in concert with Stargate Universe, so I wouldn’t have to leave the show. I could still do both, which would be, I think, a real boon.
GW: Ideally, it would be the best of both worlds.
LDP: Absolutely, man. I’m not afraid of hard work and I’m certainly not afraid of travel, so if I could maintain a presence on Stargate Universe, I’d be thrilled.
GW: Before I let you go, any message that you’d like to give fans, not just necessarily of Stargate and of Universe but of your career in general?
LDP: Yeah. Every time I get a chance to address fans, no matter what the remit is, television, film, theater, whatever, I’m just grateful. I’m just grateful to be doing what I’m doing and that I’ve had a great amount of support for a very, very long time. It’s sort of bizarre to realize that you’re this film veteran now, over 80 films and God knows how many television shows and whatnot, but the fact that I keep getting asked to the dance and that people keep showing up to watch me do it is highly gratifying. I never take it for granted. I never take it for granted at all. There’s a lot of people who aren’t doing it and I’ve been fortunate.
Interview by Chad Colvin. Transcription by Lahela.