Stargate Atlantis had a pair of actors bring the incredibly creepy Wraith species to life when the show premiered in 2004.
The Wraith are a hive-like vampiric species, and based on their genetic history it makes sense that the many hive queens and male Wraith officers tended to look alike. That gave actors James Lafazanos and Andee Frizzell the opportunity to play many different Wraith characters — each with subtle make-up differences, and their own unique loyalties and agendas.
James played most all of the male Wraith officers (excluding the faceless warrior class) through Atlantis‘s first two seasons, appearing in a total of 15 episodes. To differentiate the various Wraith characters (and to disarm them with sarcasm), John Sheppard (Joe Flanigan) nicknamed them variously as “Steve,” “Bob,” and the like.
But long-time viewers will recognize that Lafazanos’ familiar face disappears after the second season finale, “Allies.” It’s only after this point that the show introduced Christopher Heyerdahl’s “Todd” and other Wraith actors.
Now in a brand new conversation with “Dial the Gate,” Lafazanos talks about his love for the role … and reveals why he chose to walk away from it.
The full conversation is streaming this Saturday, March 5 — but here’s an exclusive early look:
“I did struggle with the intensity of it,” the actor told host David Read. “… At the time I was really struggling with it. In fact I was struggling at the end of Season One. And so I was like, ‘I’ll do one more season and then if I’m not feeling it after one more season, then I will [quit].’ But I was feeling those same things after Season One. … I wanted to do good by myself.”
He said that he came to the show from a comedy background, and after two seasons he returned to doing improv with Second City in Toronto. (He jokes about playing a Wraith who became vegan.)
“I really enjoyed the time I had doing it,” he said. “I think I appreciate it now more than ever.”
James Lafazanos’ film and television credits also include The Time Traveler’s Wife, Supernatural, Reign, The Expanse, and more.
Don’t miss “Dial the Gate’s” full-length conversation with James this weekend! Watch the full interview premiering Saturday, March 5, at 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET, 10 p.m. GMT).
On Twitter: @dial_the_gate