GateWorld: Did you guys get a chance to re-connect at all? Seeing as how when you first worked together on “Rising” [the Stargate Atlantis pilot] , you … you know … shot and killed him? [Laughs]
Joe Flanigan: The first day on set, I’m pointing a gun at him again. And he was like “Déjà vu! This time you don’t get to kill me, though!” [Laughs]
He’s just a lot of fun to work with. It was such a great experience. It was one of the best work experiences I’ve ever had, actually. Hal Holbrook, phenomenal guy. He had just lost his wife, unfortunately [Designing Women’s Dixie Carter], and he’s very much in love with her. He talked about her all the time.
I just had this amazing experience. And did it for no money. There was no money on this film. Nobody really got any money. You’re just doing it because you like doing it. We were out there freezing our asses off in the middle of the Poconos. I was sharing a trailer with Christian, and …
GW: Robert Englund?
JF: No. Actually, Robert was in our trailer all the time, but he was sharing a trailer with someone else. We were all sharing trailers. I mean, we were bunking it. It was like going back to college. Or camp. And there wasn’t a single person on that film that wasn’t just great fun to be with. The food wasn’t so hot. That was the one thing we had to get past. But, you know… [Laughs]
GW: You were also on TV on Fox back in January, with Change of Plans. How was that for you? A little bit of a change in tone from what you’ve been used to over the past several years.
JF: Yeah, I know. It was a little different. I, once again, got lucky because there was a group of executives from Proctor and Gamble and Wal-Mart who wanted to make their own show and possibly turn it into a series.
GW: So it was a back-door [pilot]?
JF: It’s a back door pilot that may still go on as a series. They don’t license the show to the network, they actually just buy out the airtime, so they would own the commercials and the show and it’s a new model that is being developed in Hollywood that goes straight to the buyer. These are the buyers, these are the guys who actually keep network television afloat and you have the biggest corporation in the world with the biggest advertiser in the world who’ve decided just to take it into their own hands and make these shows.
The problem is that the networks are requiring them to come up with two or three shows simultaneously. This is a big business deal. It’s like several hundred million dollars and it’s far bigger than I am. So they may make it happen, or they may not. They would have to find a couple of shows to come before and after us and they would buy out that airtime, too. We’ll see what happens.
GW: Ferocious Planet aired on Syfy this spring. Did you enjoy the shoot?
JF: I had such a good time on that shoot. We shot it in Ireland and, you know, what’s a Flanigan to do in Ireland? Enjoy himself. I had an incredible time. We had a really great cast and crew. There are rules in Ireland, you can only shoot 10 hours a day — which can lead to all sorts of problems, but also leaves you this incredibly civilized shooting schedule. Which gives you more time for the pubs.
For better or worse, Atlantis was pretty popular over there, so just getting from the point of getting out of my taxi to the hotel, there’s like a two or three block area that you can’t drive cars through and just walking those two or three blocks with the pubs, I would get stopped all the time. “Oh, for Christ sakes, it’s Colonel John Sheppard! Come here, give him a beer!” Everybody’s buying me beers! It was like the gauntlet, I couldn’t get to the hotel. And I’m not somebody to turn down a free beer. [Laughs]
Actually, these things have been offered before, these movies, but they’re always in some pretty forlorn region of the world. And Ireland, obviously, was an intriguing part of it. Then I was given the script and I realized that I also liked the character. I thought he was a fun character to play and he was reminiscent, I guess, in some ways of Sheppard. But a little different, a little more beaten down than Sheppard.
We had fun, and I think that for what we had and the money we had, we did an awfully good job. You have no idea how many vapors you’re operating on, financially, on those type of shows. Those are also movies that are part homage to the genre and they’re also the genre so it’s kind of a weird little mix. Sometimes it’s not very ironic at all, sometimes it’s flat delivery of the genre.
GW: What else is new in your world? We heard you hurt yourself a little bit ago.
JF: You know, the good part about not being the lead of a TV show right now is that I can do all sorts of things. I’m much more active. And the bad part is that I’m much more active. I had a pretty brutal mountain biking accident and I’m feeling pretty lucky that this is all that happened. I had a full third-degree AC [acromioclavicular] separation in my shoulder and there was really no way to fix it except for surgery.
Then you’re compensating for a pretty weak shoulder so you’re doing everything differently. I had to take the wheels off of my car and get them fixed and I couldn’t get the leverage with my shoulder. So I was kicking the lug wrench and trying to hold the tire at the same time and I managed to almost slice my finger off. I ended up having to get about fifteen stitches. It was a classic kind of Farmer Joe moment … maybe a little domino theory on getting injured. But I had surgery at the end of April and I’m happy that it’s over.
GW: Congratulations on a speedy recovery!
JF: Thank you. I have to just learn how to not be hyperactive. I do. It’s going to be very challenging. I’d never really had any surgery before.
GW: I heard about it and I initially thought, “Skateboard?”
JF: It was actually really scary because I was flying downhill with a buddy of mine, I had just put these extra-long handlebars on with those 90° bars that people use for climbing and he said, “Those are a bad idea on single-track trails.” I said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever.” So we’re flying down, we must be going 30 miles an hour, we’re just hauling down this trail and all of a sudden, a branch just caught one of the things and threw me and I landed right here on my back.
I could not breathe and I couldn’t move but I could see my feet going, just vibrating. And I thought, I really actually did for like 10 seconds, I thought, “My God! I think I just snapped my neck!” So I was pretty terrified. Then as I got moving around, my shoulder fell, it just goes “crack”. And I actually was thinking, “Hey, that’s not a big deal! It’s no big deal, man. Anything is not a big deal right now, I’m walking!” I just had a moment of fear there.
GW: What’s the next chapter for Joe? What do you want to do? What do you see in your future over the next couple of years?
JF: I want to rule the world. In the most despotic fashion possible! No …
I don’t know what the future holds. And I really like that. I’m excited to do the next project. I love doing feature films. I love working with talented people. And I’m assuming it’s going to take me to some very interesting places. Right now, I’m living vicariously through my pal, Jason [Momoa] who’s Conan! So these things turn on a dime. You just don’t know what will happen. I have no idea what will happen.
GW: Sometimes, that’s good!
JF: But I like being a gentleman farmer. [Laughs]
Good Day For It is on DVD now.
Interview and transcription by Chad Colvin. Supplemental transcription by Lahela.
hope this guy saved his money from stargate
What a great interview, I’d been wondering what he was up to. I love how Joe tells it like it is, no holding back. And I feel like a super geek because I thought “Hey, I wonder if he gets to kill Robert Patrick again!” right before I turned the page and Chad asked the question….
Great to see Mr. Flanigan is doing well – Hope to see a lot of his work in the future.
Nice view. Thanks!
Cool interview! Thanks!
Joe’s filming a movie right now in Romania, I believe called Six Bullets. It’s an action flick with Jean Claude Van Damme.
what a classy guy!
cant believe you didnt ask him about uncharted.
I’m glad to see Joe is doing well and I hope he gets a lot of good work. Looking forward to seeing him in his future roles.
— Another Irishman named Joe
I would have driven the length of the country to buy Joe a pint if I had known he was in these parts.
I’d hate to see him turn out like Christopher Reeves!
Take it easy Joe!
Good attitude and an overall great guy (considering the events in the post-Stargate world for all involved.)
Permission to carry on, Joe…
Good stuff joe.
Love what he is a great actor.