with Don S. Davis
of publishing: 15th October 2005
Don S. Davis was in Belgium today (15th October 2005) and
The Scifi World got a talk with him between 2 autograph
cessions at the FACTS
Convention. Don S. Davis is the well known General Hammond
from Stargate SG-1. He will have some small appearances in
2 upcoming episodes this year in "Ripple Effect"
and "The Fourth Horseman (part 1 & 2)". Don
S. Davis started acting in college because he had a work study
assistantship in the college theater department's scene shop
and was drafted into performing in a couple of plays and discovered
he enjoyed the experience. After leaving the Army he entered
a graduate program in theatre at Southern Illinois University
and received a Masters Degree. Don began his career in the
film industry with small stunts roles such as the stunt double
of Dana Elcar on the TV show MacGyver with Richard Dean Anderson.
Some audio parts of this interview will be published soon
on the site. Check out the photos from that convention at
the bottom of the page! Another interview with Corin Nemec
who was also there is published there
with some other photos!
Gilles Nuytens: You
were the stunt double of Dana Elcar in MacGyver, could you
describe your experience there?
Don S. Davis: That was a great experience.
I started as an University professor. I was teaching theatre
at the University of British Columbia, and I have a PHD and
I was published. And so, in the summers, I did not have to
go back to school or anything, but they insisted that, in
the summers, I do something related to theatre. And I came
to the main acting teacher and the department of theatre.
He talked me into joining his agency and I started doing small
parts in local films and I have done a part - I'm an ex-military
guy, I was Captain in the US Army, and I grew up around guns,
I'm very comfortable around guns - In this film, I had a very
very small part with no words, so basically I was an extra,
but I was one of the lawyers in a courtroom scene and the
people broke into the courtroom and they killed the judge
and they wanted to know if I would let them do a little squib
blast of the judge's brain in my face and I did.
And as it happened MacGyver came to town, they wouldn't let,
for that series, they wouldn't let them bring anyone in other
than Richard Dean Anderson's stunt double. They insisted that
the stunt doubles for the rest of the cast be local stunt
doubles. They wanted a stunt man that looked anything like
it. I did, from the back, we were twins. And so the second
AD who was working on MacGyver remembered me because of the
gun blast in my face. And he said there's a guy in town that
looks just like him. He's not a stunt man but he's obviously
used to weapons. So there was a scene in the thing that they
needed his character to fall off a small block about eight
feet high and do a kind of a roll and run down a hill carrying
a rifle. So they called me and they said: Can you do a little
fall down the hill and do a flip and carry a rifle without
burying the barrel in the ground? And I said sure, and so,
whithout checking me out really, they hired me to come and
do that, and I did it in one take and it was perfect. And
so they saw that and asked me then to start doubling him in
fights because I was trained to fight. So I did that and it
just grew up from there and I became his stunt double.
Gilles Nuytens: Could
you talk about your role in the episode "Ripple Effect"?
Don S. Davis: Actually that was supposed
to be General John Jumper who is the real Chief of Staff of
the Air Force right now. I was in Vancouver at that point
filming something I'm working on in L.A. now. And I had to
come up, I had a recuring role on a series called The Dead
Zone, I don't know if you have that over here. I was up there
filming that and filming a horror film called Beneath and
there were three days that I had off between the two projects
and when General Jumper couldn't come to do, the Stargate
people called and said Don would you come over and do it,
so I did. I owe them a lot and when I can help them, I do.
Gilles Nuytens: And
what about your role in the episode?
Don S. Davis: I can't really tell you what
it is about because it hasn't aired yet. Over two episodes,
there are two scenes in each episode. So it's just four scenes,
we filmed the whole thing in three days. It's just, basically,
there is a couple of scenes with me and Beau Bridges who plays
General Landry and then a couple of scenes with SG-1.
Nuytens: Would you like
to have more guest appearances in season 10?
Don S. Davis: In Stargate? I would love to!
Don't know if they want me. The only problem is logistics
because I spend most of my time in L.A. now. We've established
the home there and I've got recurring roles in four other
series. It's very hard for me to get away and come back up.
Also because as I said in the past I really want to retire.
I'm 63 years old and so I really want to retire and in order
to do that and be able to live with the lifestyle we're accustomed
to I need to save a little more money in my Screen Actors
Guild pension and I can't do that in Canada. In Canada, I'll
have to work as a canadian which mean I have to work under
the Canadian union. It doesn't do me any good as far as retirement
Gilles Nuytens: Do
you have an inside story, something funny that you remember
Don S. Davis: You know, most of my humourous
memories I can't talk about because they're about things it
would makes my friends ... everybody knows that Chris Judge,
who plays Teal'c, has a flatulence problem, so you know you
can't talk about that but most of the memories I have ...
we were so close during the 7 years, there were just crazy
things happening, a lot has gotten divorced ... (laugh) several
got divorced and several others had babies. I went through
a very "messy" divorce. I had some health problems;
I had to replace some of my organs, so it was quite a period.
Steven R.: Do you
think that playing General Hammond for so many years made
you an example for the army? You were in the army once. If
you were the General, would you have had the same attitude
as General Hammond has?
Don S. Davis: I built general Hammond around
officers. I was a Captain in the USA, so I spent time with
Majors, Colonels and Generals and when I left the army I was
holding a light colonel's position, a Lieutenant Colonel's
position at a military Fort, which is one of the main training
bases in the army and I litteraly grew from the officers that
I served under to create Hammond so he is kind of an amalgam
of the guys that I served under. It really wasn't me, it was
the fact that I was lucky and I served under really good officers
who cared for their men and women above all so I tried to
Gilles Nuytens & Steven: Thank
you very much!
Don S. Davis: Thank you guys!
by Gilles Nuytens & Steven R.
for The Scifi World
Ultimate. Thanks to UgZy for the help on the transcript.