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Andee Frizzell interview

Date of publishing: 3rd February 2007

Andee Frizzell interview Andee Frizzell started acting when she was about four years old. Started in a library group with a bunch of kids and then traveled with drama through school. And then when she was 17, she started traveling to Europe from Canada. She modeled in Europe for about ten years, did a little bit of acting there but mostly lived in a bunch of different countries -- 13 countries and seven continents. And then she came back to Canada and moved to Vancouver and started acting there.
That's how she landed on Stargate Atlantis to play the wraith keeper on the pilot and several other wraith queens later in the show. Visit Andee's site at www.andeefrizzell.com

Download the audio interview by clicking here (Zipped MP3 file)
Disclaimer: Please, do not direct link to this file, link to the page ONLY.
(This interview contains spoilers for second half of season 3)

Andee FrizzellGilles Nuytens: Can you speak about yourself? Give us a bit of your biography.
Andee Frizzell: Sure. I started acting when I was about four years old. Started in a library group with a bunch of kids and then traveled with drama through school. And then when I was 17 I started traveling to Europe from Canada, and I modeled in Europe for about ten years, did a little bit of acting there but mostly lived in a bunch of different countries -- 13 countries and been to seven continents. And then I came back to Canada. I moved to Vancouver and I started acting here.
Been on quite a few shows here, a lot of the sci fi shows, and its led me up to Stargate, and I've been on there for about three years.

Gilles Nuytens: Okay. Looking back at your characters in Stargate, which one was your favorite and most interesting to play?
Andee Frizzell: Well. I've played four queens now on Stargate, and I would say that each one has been my favorite for different reasons. The very first one was because we were introducing an entire new race, which was really exciting, and, of course, I got to play a very dominant, very independent, in control, sort of character.
The other one that I really enjoyed playing was the queen in Allies where you can see the character starting to develop more a much more conniving where they sort of pretend to be these allies and then are trying to do something else. And I really enjoyed that aspect -- that sort of espionage aspect of the character.
And then the last one that I just played in, Submersion, was really cool because this character has been trapped under the water for 10,000 years and really doesn't know what's evolved and what’s happened to her race; so I find it was a really interesting character to play.

Gilles Nuytens: And which one is your favorite in terms of design?
Andee Frizzell: In the design I would say the last character was quite interesting, the one in Submersion. I really like the outfit that they had made. I mean the face doesn't change, but I like the prosthetics of the face don't change, but I really enjoyed the costume of the last one. She does a lot more stunts. I get to do a lot more creative things with the character; so the outfit was really accentuated on that -- on being able to move and being this sort of warrior.
Then the character in Allies as well, I really enjoyed the costume of that one because she's more of a diplomat; so the suit that I wear when I approach Atlantis was really -- I called it my Chanel traveling suit cause she had this long white jacket which was really cool. So in terms of design, I would say those two characters.

Andee FrizzellGilles Nuytens: Okay. And why do you think all the female wraiths are so different in terms of skin and hair color opposite to the men?
Andee Frizzell: Well. I feel that if you look at the hive itself or you look at any sort of insect that have a queen and then drone males -- a lot of the drones they look very similar, and they are very much more primitive. To say the evolving queen character -- and I find that the queen has different skin and hair colors and is evolving because she's the nucleus of that hive; and so she's evolving, and she has more of the intellect and more of the cognitive abilities than say the male race, which seem to be much more primitive, much more aggressive. They are the drones of the hive; so that's why I would think the female characters get to be so different.

Gilles Nuytens: Has Stargate opened some opportunities for you?
Andee Frizzell: Stargate has been an incredible platform to introduce me into the sci fi world. And its opened up a lot of opportunities to play different characters on the same show; so I get to die and come back and recreate each character every time that I get to come back. So its opened up a lot of opportunities in challenges of acting for me, as well as in just meeting fans and getting out there and seeing the people that watch the show and getting a lot of personal feedback about characters -- about the style of the show; so its opened up a lot of opportunities like that.

Gilles Nuytens: And have you already been approached to play in season four?
Andee Frizzell: Well. We actually haven't gotten back from hiatus yet. They come back in February; so all of the pre-production will start in later February; so that's when we'll now how many episodes will involve the queen then, and that's when I'll know.

Andee FrizzellGilles Nuytens: Okay. You have a photo in your site with you and James Lafazanos in a funny situation. Could you please comment on this photo?
Andee Frizzell: On this photo, actually, James and I were shooting together the episode of No Man’s Land (note: actually it's "The Hive"), and in that scene, that you saw, that was actually taken by one of the makeup artists. She had snapped a shot of us playing around. James is a very comedic actor and he was going to go to Toronto -- to second city; so he was thinking that that might be one of his last episodes. And so we were on set and the director was giving us directions like "Okay, you know, go left. Intently look at the screen. All right, you're communicating, and now let's have a big make out kiss.” And it was totally off the cuff. It was really just a joke; and so we started this whole kidding around, smacking each other, turning it into this very sexual, very hilarious situation. So that photo was snapped by someone just watching us be ridiculous.

Gilles Nuytens: Okay. In the movie, Devour, you are again playing a scary character with prosthetics. This time even your tongue. How was the make-up process compared to Stargate?
Andee Frizzell: In the movie, Devour, I played a beast, which is a devilish character, and the prosthetics that deal with that were much much more challenging.
Stargate, the prosthetics are a face prosthetic; whereas, Devour, was a full suit; so it was hands, teeth, tongue, eyes, head gear. I had to have like a -- because I had a six foot long tail and I had six foot wing span, I had to have braces put underneath and mechanics stuck to my body. So it took about eight hours to get into the outfit, and once I was in I was glued in. So I couldn't use the washroom. I couldn't eat lunch. And then I was on set for about 12 hours. So it made for a really long time. And it was much much more physically grueling trying to move this entire suit. So I found that the character for Devour was much more challenging physically, and I was much more restricted to playing the costume than a character. Whereas, on Stargate, I get to play the characters out. They have personality and stuff. This was just a demon.

Andee FrizzellGilles Nuytens: Do you like playing devilish characters?
Andee Frizzell: I love playing devilish characters. I think that, you know, being that we are always so politically correct and nice and everything, in the sun, and try to be good people during the day, it’s always nice to dive into that dark side and dive into what it would be like to be the nemesis or the underbelly or the darkness of society. So I really like playing devilish characters. I like playing devilish characters that again, like Stargate, have an intention, have cognitive abilities and are able to sort of manipulate their way through what they need to do. Whereas, in Devour, I didn't really get to portray a lot of that. I enjoy devilish characters, for sure.

Gilles Nuytens: You have done a lot of combat sports. What attracts you in this kind of sports?
Andee Frizzell: I really enjoy combat sports. I enjoy doing a lot of the actor combatant stuff, which is stage fighting, unarmed combat. I really enjoy the skill and the technique, the training and the mental -- the mental form that needs to be brought into that -- those kind of precision sports. I really enjoy the meditative and the relaxingness of practicing on techniques. I really find that form amazing, especially with kung fu. What drew me to the sport was really the having to put that energy into something and focusing on technique and skill and precision. So that's what really drew me to that.

Gilles Nuytens: Okay. What are your expectations for your career in the future?
Andee Frizzell: Well. My expectations, of my career, is that it lasts a really long time. (She laughs.)

Gilles Nuytens: Yes.
Andee Frizzell: I really enjoy playing a variety of characters and exploring, you know, different types of genres; so really my career, my expectations for my career, is just that I get the opportunities that I have been blessed with so far. Just keep those opportunities coming. And being able to push myself physically, and push myself mentally, and push myself as an actor, into exploring these different roles; so that would be my expectations.

Andee FrizzellGilles Nuytens: Is there a show or TV show or movie you'd like to play on it?
Andee Frizzell: There's a lot, actually. There's -- would you like that chronologically or alphabetically? There are so many amazing shows that I would like to be a part of. Some of them are sci fi and some of them are not. And then I'd like to be part of movies that, perhaps, have more of a different theme. I’d like to do some historical fiction. I’d like to play some historical characters. I think that would be really cool. So, yeah, there's a lot out there that I'd like to be a part of, for sure.

Gilles Nuytens: So you are a sci fi fan. Have you tried to audition for Battlestar Galactica?
Andee Frizzell: Yes. I've actually auditioned twice for Battlestar. I didn't get those particular roles. I think that there is a role out there in that show that once it fits me -- then once they find that role that is perfectly suited to me that I would very much enjoy being on that show.
I have two friends on that show. Grace [Park] is a very good friend of mine, and I also know Tricia Helfer from modeling days. She started modeling in Alberta. So it would be kind of fun to work with the two people that I know.

Gilles Nuytens: You was first a model and then an actress. What decided you to firstly become a model?
Andee Frizzell: Well, actually, I started modeling when I was 17. It was a fun opportunity. I was living in Calgary, Alberta, and I was approached in a pizzeria by a Parisian agent, an agent from Paris, who thought that I could do very well there. So, hand in hand, I've always been an actress. I've done a few commercials, and a few spots on shows in Europe, but, of course, because of the language barrier, I didn't pursue acting as vigilantly as I have since I got to Vancouver. The model/actress they’ve always been both parts of my career. I've walked hand in hand with those for a while.

Gilles Nuytens: And what decided you to finally be an actress?
Andee Frizzell: I really like Vancouver. I wanted to stay in one place. With modeling you need to travel so much. I really -- I landed on the shores of Vancouver about seven years ago, and I really love the city, and I really wanted to explore acting much more seriously, and at that time in my life. So having a beautiful place to live like the city of Vancouver and having so many opportunities here for exploring that career as an actress, that sort of what solidified it for me.

Gilles Nuytens: You are also a yoga teacher, what are your motivations for doing Yoga?
Andee Frizzell: Yoga. It sort of goes back into relates back into the question of martial arts and combat sports. I started yoga about ten years ago because I was boxing, and I was getting a lot of pain in my back, and someone said, “you should take this yoga.” And I thought, oh yoga shmoga that's something for lazy people and people that need to be stretching. And when I went to my first yoga class, and it absolutely moved me. It was incredible, the technique -- again the precision, focusing on skill, and your own body. It was amazing to me. So I practiced for about five years, and then I got my teaching certificate about five years ago. So I have been teaching full time for about five years, and I absolutely love every facet of yoga: the meditation, the spirituality, again, the focus and concentration on the energy, and the strength of the body. I find it an incredible sport. So that's really what drives me into yoga.

Gilles Nuytens: There are rumors about Stargate and Atlantis being a lot less wraith focused in season four Are you aware of this?
Andee Frizzell: I haven't actually heard that rumor, but I could definitely see, as the show starts to evolve, that they get less away, may be, from discovering the race and more playing with the race. The last three years this was an entire new race that they were having to deal with in combat, as well as being in a whole new galaxy that they hadn’t been in before, the Pegasus galaxy. So, I think, if they draw away from so much of the specifics of the race and become more combative with the race, I think that's a natural evolution in the show.



Gilles Nuytens: Do you think that maybe one day there could be a wraith going to the good side?
Andee Frizzell: I think that that may be a possibility. I think that may be a story line, but, again, it’s like, you know, if the story line is out of, say we take Star Trek and the borg. I mean the borg have natural issues that have led them -- once they came into the human side they really had to evolve as a species; so I think that if the race did jump the fence and decided to go to the good side they would have to deal with eating.
That's definitely something that is part of how they sustain themselves; so if they did jump to the good side, it would really be how would they sustain life. So I think it would be a really interesting story line.

Gilles Nuytens: Yep. You said once that wraiths are not evil because they have to feed. Vampires have, also, to feed and they are usually associated with the devil; so do you think that the wraith could be compared to vampires?
Andee Frizzell: Its interesting that the last question sort of leads into this question because I don't think that the race is necessarily evil, they are a species that needs to eat and it just happens to be that they graze humans, as we would here on earth, cows, and we eat them. So, I mean, I think that very much like the vampires have been associated with the devil because of the night, because they can't go out in the day, the sunlight, they have spiritual beliefs that are against God, this kind of thing.
But in Underworld we see that a vampire, who drinks plasma, she drinks blood from bags; so she's not necessarily evil because she's not killing people. She's using a reservoir of blood that comes from a different place. So I think that's it maybe that the race -- they could very well be compared to vampires, but they've been given kind sort of a bad wrap because of the way that they have to eat. And I think it would be interesting to see how that story line could take it, if the race did come over to stop feeding on humans, how would they feed and how would the race evolve if that happened. I think it would be interesting.

Gilles Nuytens: Yeah. I think too. Have you ever been recognized on the street? If not, now with your website you will most probably. You already have almost 12,000 visitors in only 3 weeks of time.
Andee Frizzell: Well. I have been recognized on the street a couple of times, unfortunately, I was recognized as Uma Thurman and not myself, but I think now, definitely, with the overwhelming support of the website, its been incredible. I'm really hoping that I do get recognized and that people do feel they can come up, approach me, and talk to me about what their favorite parts of the show are. What their theories about how the show should evolve. I think it’s really an amazing ability to reach out and touch the public and touch the fans that follow the show and that they have such strong feedback. I think it’s awesome, and as I said, it would be really interesting to be recognized and see whose watching the show, other than my mom.

Gilles Nuytens: Sure. And what do you think of your site? (andeefrizzell.com)
Andee Frizzell: I think the site is absolutely incredible. It has not just, being able to connect with the fans and to read directly their feedback, but the site itself, just visually, is incredible. I love what you’ve done. The gallery is awesome. You found so many amazing pictures. The blog, how its written up, it really connects me to the fans and just opening it up -- the pictures, the screen saver, that's on there, its been awesome. I think you did an amazing job; so thank you very much. It’s an incredible platform.

Gilles Nuytens: Thank you for your comments. You will attend your first convention in March. How are you going to prepare yourself for that?
Andee Frizzell: Well my first convention is in March, and I think that once again, it feeds back into getting the website. With the website, the way that I can best prepare myself, is get in touch with what the fans want and what the fans are looking for so that when I go, I will be able to give them the answers to questions that they are asking. And so the website has really been a fundamental tool in preparing myself for the conventions in March.

Gilles Nuytens: And what being invited to a convention represents to you?
Andee Frizzell: Being invited to the convention is an amazing opportunity. Again, it just goes back to reconnecting with the fans.
I mean, when I got the part of the high queen I sat down with the writers and the directors and everyone with their ideas, sat down with the script and we created this character. It’s amazing for me to be able to see how people respond to that character, what it made them think, how it evolved the show for them. So, again, being invited to a convention is just a great opportunity to meet the fans and really get feedback on what they are seeing from what we've created.

Gilles Nuytens: Outside of Stargate what is your next project?
Andee Frizzell: Again, I've been auditioning for quite a few things, and there is pilot season going on in L.A. right now; so right now its just going through audition processes and creating a couple things and hoping that something like that comes around and turns around and I get to play different characters and sort of expand my acting genre into different arenas and stuff like that. So my projects are basically focusing on the show and the next season and focusing on new and different opportunities for acting. That seems to be about it, and try to get as much snowboarding in before the snow melts and I have to pull out my roller blades.

Gilles Nuytens: Now that Stargate SG1 has been cancelled, how did you react with that arrangement?
Andee Frizzell: With Stargate SG1 being cancelled, that show was fundamental in creating the whole world of Stargate and how they go from place to place. And it’s a sad thing, in a way, to see that show go; because, it is the mother of all shows. And it was such an incredible series, and had such a long time running, and created and watched so many amazing characters, so many incredible story lines. So there is a sadness for that. And then there's also a happiness that those characters get to live in that place and that they took it to the highest level that they could. And all those amazing actors are now going to move on and do other projects and other things. I think its exciting to see how that would go. It’s kind of a mixed emotions, a sadness to see it go, but also, an excitement to see where it’s going to lead to, where the actors are going to go now.

Gilles Nuytens: Do you think that it could be a good influence that some SG-1 characters are coming to Atlantis?
Andee Frizzell: I think it would definitely make for some really incredible story lines, interacting -- the different characters interacting. I think that would be really neat, especially from different worlds.
You know Stargate Atlantis branches into those worlds and reconnects with some of those characters and planets and civilizations on those other worlds that you’ve seen. I think it would be really neat to revisit them with a different team, that have different perspectives and different; so, yeah, I think it would be a really cool idea.

Gilles Nuytens: They preparing a third Stargate series, did you heard about it?
Andee Frizzell: No, no, no, I haven't yet. I think that sounds like it would be a natural evolution of the show. I mean, if you look at Law and Order -- branched off into so many different arenas, you know, with their crime scene investigation, special unit etc., etc. I think that would be incredible. I think that would be a really cool thing for Stargate to do.

Gilles Nuytens: Okay. So a big thank you.
Andee Frizzell: A big amazing thank you to you. Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview; and also the website, I can't come up with enough adjectives of praise---


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© Interview by Gilles Nuytens for The Scifi World
Transcript by Zan


 



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