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Interview with Greg Anderson

Date of publishing: 28th August 2005

Greg Anderson interview Born in New Brunswick, Greg Anderson has grown up in poverty with his family until they moves to Vancouver where they hoped to get a better life. Now Greg is doing theatre and occasionally television. Stargate has been a turning point on his life and career. You will recognize him as the administrator in "Avalon 2" from season 9 of Stargate SG-1 and transformed into a Prior for the next episodes.

Hallowed are the Ori!

Gilles Nuytens: Could you talk a bit about yourself, what motivates you in life ?
Greg Anderson: Wow...that is a question! What motivates me? I have a very good life right now and when I was young we didn't have much.... in fact we had very little. I remember we didn't have a toilet, we had a out house....

Gilles Nuytens: wow
Greg Anderson: alot of people in my family had dropped out of school and my grandmother and grandfather couldn't read and could only write there names...

Greg AndersonGilles Nuytens: You lived in Vancouver at this period ?
Greg Anderson: No... this was in New Brunswick. A very poor area at that time. My father took his family to Vancouver where he hopes we would have a better life and we have. Life back in New Brunswick is much better also. However, that grounding in....poverty, I guess is the best word, has made me appreciate everything I have right now. The motivation in my life right now is to live it with as much grace as I ... possibly can. Does that made sense? I do tend to ramble!

Gilles Nuytens:
yes, it makes sense! And what are your passion, what do you do in your free time ?
Greg Anderson: I work around our house and garden and spend as much time with my family as possible. In fact I just finished painting our house!

Gilles Nuytens:
Great! Which color ?
Greg Anderson: White. I know it seems boring, however we have a very old house in a very beautiful part of Vancouver, surrounded by green trees, so white works the best.

Gilles Nuytens: Sure, it's neutral. How did you come to the actor job, what do you like in this job ?
Greg Anderson: It started, I guess in high school. I played "Linus" in "Your're a Good Man Charlie Brown" and have never looked back. I just felt at home on the stage. The film and television thing is just a bonus.

Gilles Nuytens: So you play a Prior in season 9 of Stargate SG-1, what motivated you to audition for the role ?
Greg Anderson: My Agent! I didn't audition for the "Prior" actually. I was submitted for "The Administrator" and that was the part I got and played. That was "Avalon #2". It was a one off. I actually thought that was it. It was nice, a couple of good speaches. Get to meet Claudia and see Mike again. Sure. Why not?
Then we got the call that they would like to see the "Administrator" for the next episode, "Origin". When I read that script I thought, wow...this could be fun. I mean I get to be burnt into a "Prior!". Then it was and is a matter of figuring out this "Prior" character.

Greg Anderson - The Prior  Origin Stargate SG-1 Season 9Gilles Nuytens: And that is really great, the character is cool and interesting!
Greg Anderson: Yes the writer's have created a wonderful character.

Gilles Nuytens: Does he have a name ?? Or how do you call him ?
Greg Anderson: In the "Fourth Horseman" he is referred to as "Prior #1, the one from Origin. The Administrator", that is close to what it says.

Gilles Nuytens: And you, you haven't named him ?
Greg Anderson: The characters refer to him as The Prior which I sort of like. Yes I have named him.

Gilles Nuytens: The Prior ?
Greg Anderson: I have a slightly different name for him.... which I will keep to myself for now... I am sure you understand.

Gilles Nuytens: Yes sure! This character is really terrifying, which part of you did you give to this character ?
Greg Anderson: Well I am a terrifying person!

Gilles Nuytens: Really ?? I'm not scared!
Greg Anderson: I think the writer's, and I have to give them full credit, have created a truly terrifying character. In "The Powers that Be" the director, a great guy, Wil Warring just wanted to have fun with him. He wanted him to be more.... at ease. So we played and laughed a lot. And that is what we came up with.

Gilles Nuytens: Yes, I noticed the charachter was a bit different from Origin and it was very interesting!
Greg Anderson: he seems a bit more human to me. That makes him scary to me anyway. The Prior will do ANYTHING he feels is right for the Ori AND he likes doing it!

Gilles Nuytens: When you play a role, what do you use to give the emotions to your characters in general ? Personal feelings, real emotions ?
Greg Anderson: The words! The words in the scripts. The writer's are SO important. If the script is good then it is very hard for an actor to screw it up. You have to be open, emotionally, then if you have the words and LISTEN to the other actor, it is not work at all but it all starts with the word!

Gilles Nuytens: How could you describe this character and what do you think of him ? What is his way of thinking, his psychology ?
Greg Anderson: Interesting.... I haven't been asked that before. The Prior or the Administrator?

Gilles Nuytens: Well, ... both! As it's in fact the same person but maybe explain the changes between the Administrator and the Prior.
Greg Anderson: Well, the Administrator was a devout leader of his village. He lived to serve the Ori. Then suddenly he has the power of the Ori.....of the Priors. I think on some level, he is a bit cock-sure of himself. A bit drunk with power. I am looking forward to see if they bring him back and how they deal with him. That said and done, THAT character might be dead, only time will tell.

Greg AndersonGilles Nuytens: Really? Damn! That was my next question!
Greg Anderson: What was your next question?

Gilles Nuytens: You are credited until episode "The fourth Horseman, part 1" which will be the mid-season this year, could you tell me more on your involvement on this episode ? Will we see you back after that ?
Greg Anderson: I have no idea.
"The Fourth Horseman" ..... it was... a turning point in my career... in my life.

Gilles Nuytens: Really ? How ?
Greg Anderson: Andy Mikita was the Director. He is the one who hired me for "Avalon#2". It was a GREAT script...AND I got to work with Louis Gossett Jr!
To work with such.... talented and gifted people..... it is so... life changing. You look at your role in this game differently. Everyone involved on the "Stargate" set, that I have met, are the BEST. I really mean that, it is always a bit sad for me when we finish an episode, because I never know if I will be back and these people, their energy.... it's like Christmas morning with all the presents and no one is tired or grumpy. Well, that is the energy for me... I have seen a few tired grumpy people on set.... including me!

Gilles Nuytens: In addition to the role of this Prior in season 9, you also made a small appearance in an episode of the season 5 "Failsafe", it is always fun to look back and to find known faces in other roles!
Greg Anderson: yes! That was Andy who hired me then also. That was a very fun character.

Gilles Nuytens: How did you prepare to play the role of a religious fanatic such as this administrator?
Greg Anderson: Prepare.... hmmm... you see.... I dont think in his mind he is a "fanatic"

Gilles Nuytens: Sureley, fanatics never considers themself as such. But he was!
Greg Anderson: In your opinion.

Gilles Nuytens: Yes.
Greg Anderson: He likes to smile.

Gilles Nuytens: Burning people alive is a bit ... extreme!
Greg Anderson: Is it?

Gilles Nuytens: No ... not really! It's natural of course!
Greg Anderson: Invading country for oil is a bit... extreme perhaps also, so it depends on the circumstances.... in his time and place .... he is not extreme.... he is trying to save souls.... like someone who beats a dog or burries people.... or invade countries for oil.

Greg Anderson - The administrator, Avalon and Origin Stargate SG-1 Season 9Gilles Nuytens: Hmmm, yes!
Greg Anderson: SAVE SOULS

Gilles Nuytens: By burning them.
Greg Anderson: They BELIEVE they are right. Sure.... or cutting a hand off if you steal.... or whipping yourself for mea culpa...... or female circumcision..... as humans we have done FAR worse than burning people.

Gilles Nuytens: That's really true and sad.
Greg Anderson: The Prior is trying to give hope... save souls.

Gilles Nuytens: Ok, Now, a question I love much! Do you have a funny anecdote related to your involvement in Stargate ? My favourite question!
Greg Anderson: And I will answer it for you Gilles. I have been asked it before. However I was too embarassed to answer. On set of "The Fourth Horseman", it was the last day of shooting, a crucial scene in the arc of a couple of characters, all I had to do was walk in at great Gerak, Louis Gosset Jr, and then we have a little exchange.... Well, the thing is, even though I had worked with him before on this episode, this was the first time I didn't have my "eyes" in . Andy was shooting over my shoulder to Mr. Gosset.... So I was off camera..... and we began the scene.... and I forgot a very simple line.... so we started again... and I stumbled again on a simple line.... I had to apologize.... and I said to the cast and crew..."I am sorry.... but I just realized that I am here, working with Louis Gossett Jr, and my knees are shaking!" It was the first time I could see him and my knees started shaking.... so much so I couldn't get my lines out! He was great, he gave me the best bear hug after that. You see, he is on my LIST of great actors.... of people I wanted to meet or work with.... so it was truly a great experience for me. It was funny at the time!

Gilles Nuytens: Thanks for having shared this with me!
Greg Anderson: No problems.

Gilles Nuytens: You wear some kind of lens on your eyes to give the character this particular glance to priors, you really can see wih that ??
Greg Anderson: ME? I can't see a damn thing. Actually... you see shadows..... like a VERY dense THICK fog.... or a VERY smokey room. When a light hits them.... like for filming or the Sun... then it is completely white. I see nothing but white. In the courtroom scene in "The Powers that Be" I had to pace everything out because I couldn't see Mike Shanks or the extras or Chris or Claudia or Ben. So I hope it worked!

Gilles Nuytens: The Ori have read on the mind of Daniel Jackson, they must know about Atlantis then, do you have an idea if the writers envisage something about this ?
If we will see a prior in the pegasus galaxy or something. Would you like to play in Atlantis ?

Greg Anderson: I think that would be a questions for the writers.... I honestly don't know if I will be back. It would be fun, from an acting point of view though.
I am afraid I am going to have to go now Gilles. Let me know what you see of "The Fourth Horseman".

Gilles Nuytens: Ok, so thank you so much, then go, don't be late because of me!
Greg Anderson: Well, thank you.... this was fun.... hope your site goes well.
have a good day....night!

Gilles Nuytens: Have a good work!
Greg Anderson: Thank you ...Bye!

Interview by Gilles Nuytens for The Scifi World


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