Luttrell interview (2)
of publishing: 16th September 2006
Rachel Luttrell was born in Tanzania and moved to Canada with
her family at the age of five. Her mother is from Lushoto,
Tanzania, and her father is a Louisiana native of British
descent. Her classical studies included ballet (she trained
at The Russian Academy of Classical Ballet) and music (she
plays the piano and sings, having been trained at the Royal
Conservatory of Music in Toronto and by her father). Rachel
got the role of Teyla in Stargate Atlantis where she learned
martial arts for the role.
The Scifi World had the opportunity to meet Rachel at Bridge
Studios on the sets of an episode called "The Game".
Gilles Nuytens: How
did the shooting go today?
Rachel Luttrell: It’s still going early,
early in the morning. It’s been pretty good, smooth,
we're in the village set, so there’s not a lot of air
here. [laughter] There's a lot of dust and there dropping
a lot more dust on us too in this particular scene, but so
far so good, yeah!
Nuytens: Which episode are
we working on right now?
Rachel Luttrell: It is the episode called
“The Game” and ... my goodness I think this is
episode 17… 16. We’re almost done with the season
which is quite crazy, and yeah it's ... I really can’t
describe what the episode is about per say, but in any case
we’ve been dabbling with the lives of other people in
other civilizations and it’s all coming to a head, with
battles being wagged, and that kind of stuff, but yeah it’s
the game and we’re almost done.
Gilles Nuytens: And
what is "The Game"?
Rachel Luttrell: What is the game hmmm ...
I don’t know if this is going to be online cause this
episode isn’t going to air for another 7, 8 months probably.
But essentially it's that Sheppard and McKay discovered a
game on Atlantis and they thought is was just a simple little
game but essentially there’s a lot more involved, that
people’s lives are involved. That’s all I’ll
Nuytens: Now, after a few
months answering questions on The Scifi World, is that something
you would recommend to other people?
Rachel Luttrell: Yeah sure. It’s good
because you can go to it at your leisure, right. There are
weeks when I’m so busy and I can’t but then you
can just sit down as I do, which is usually late, late, late
at night and sit at my computer and answer questions. Sure
I would recommend it. It’s fun, it’s a nice way
to touch basis with the fans and do it when you’re nice
and cozy in your home.
How long does it take to change the
color of you hair every morning, and how long does that take
to take it off?
Rachel Luttrell: Well you know that it’s
a wig right. Not the color, no, no, no, my own hair is dark,
dark brown and it’s like length this color is the color
of the wig hair otherwise they would have to be dying my own
hair all the time and that would be terrible.
Nuytens: It looks so real!!
Rachel Luttrell: I know it does look real,
but it's ... 7000$ ... Yeah, it's part of my costume [laughter].
I know it does look real, my own hair is much darker, it's
dark brown. They made the decision to go this way so they
didn’t damage my own hair and I actually told them that
it was a good thing to do. Let see, how long does it take
to do my hair and makeup ... It takes about 35 minutes. Yeah
about 35 minutes.
Gilles Nuytens: It's
not so long.
Rachel Luttrell: No, it's not long at all.
They've got it down ... Doing make up takes about 10 minutes
and hair takes about 10 – 15 minutes maybe tops. Today
they’ve got it all pinned up so it was a little bit
more time consuming.
Gilles Nuytens: Teyla and
Dr Weir's characters have reached a level beyond mutual respect.
It would seem a friendship has evolved between them. How would
you explain Teyla's comfortability with calling her Elizabeth
Rachel Luttrell: Oh, yeah, I think at this
point she is very, very comfortable at this point with calling
any member of the team by their first name. And certainly,
I think that Dr. Weir and Teyla have a very unique bond, you
know they’re both women and they're both leaders and
rely on each other and feed on each other when decisions need
to be made and we’re slowly starting to see more of
that happening but Teyla is very comfortable referring to
her as Elizabeth. Yeah!
You spoke about a script where we
could see a bit more of the past of Teyla, how is this progressing?
Rachel Luttrell: It’s not. So far,
oh boy should we wait till this goes, I don’t know,
I mean hopefully at this point it just might be in season
4 because we are nearly at the end of season 3 and we haven’t
had a chance to bit into that, which could be a little bit
frustrating at times, but they have some many different characters
that they have to facilitate so ... but it's out there.
Gilles Nuytens: Did
you show it to them?
Rachel Luttrell: I’ve talked to them
about it ...
Gilles Nuytens: And
what did they say?
Rachel Luttrell: They said yes, they are
definitely interested in diving into her past and discovering
a little bit more about her family and who they are and where
they are, how that has influenced her. They said that they're
thinking about it and they want to do so we’ll see,
Nuytens: Fans can be a real
support for an actor and a show, but they also can be quite
curious about personal topics and private life : aren't you
"afraid" by this indiscretion?
Rachel Luttrell: No we’re certainly
not afraid by it. You just keep the boundaries and I will
expose some things and won’t tell other things. I keep
my family and all that other stuff pretty vague. But the fans
have been great so far, actually I haven’t had any crazy
personal questions from fans.
Gilles Nuytens: And
the famous washroom question?
Rachel Luttrell: Oh that one!! Which came
Gilles Nuytens: Actually
it's a friend of me!! [laughter]
Rachel Luttrell: It's a friend of yours on
the site ...
Gilles Nuytens: Yes
Rachel Luttrell: That’s right he admitted
it! That was silly I didn’t think that was a personal
question I just thought that was a humorous funny question.
Gilles Nuytens: I
was friend with him but I didn't know it was him!
Rachel Luttrell: You’re not friends
anymore!! [laughter] Because of what he’s done! [laughter]
No I took that as a humorous kind of question, I didn’t
take that as anything serious so no worries about that you
can tell him that.
Gilles Nuytens: Have
you been pleased with your character's development thus far
Rachel Luttrell: To be truthful [laughter],
we really haven’t had a chance to bit into anything
... I haven’t had a chance to bit into anything that
I feel really progresses Teyla in the eyes of the audience.
I mean I have my ideas about who she is, but this season thus
far we really haven’t had an opportunity to show that
to the fans so ... (big laughs) so yes, that’s how I
feel. So we'll see if we’ve got a few more to do, the
season is not over yet but we shall see.
Gilles Nuytens: What
has been the most joyful part of the year thus far for you,
and the most stressful?
Rachel Luttrell: Joyful part of the year,
humm... that’s an interesting question, I don’t
know [laughter] I mean it's always fun after a long hiatus
to come back to work it's always really, really fun, it's
always exciting to see everybody again, getting into the flow
so you mean that was very fun, happy experience.
The most stressful experience ... I don’t really know.
I have had absolutely no stress what so every this years,
it's been genious [laughter]. No, I don’t have a most
stressful one. It's been good, the year's been really good
so far, been able to travel quite a bit. And I’ve enjoyed
shotting the show, as I said there really hasn’t been
a lot of Teyla stuff, but none the less there's still love
coming and working with my cast members and crew so that’s
been great and everythings else is fabulous too, on the personal
side so moving along, let's see.
Nuytens: Where do you think
the show will leave fans at the end of the season?
Rachel Luttrell: There will certainly be
another cliffhanger, you know, there will definitely be another
cliffhanger ... I don’t know, I don’t really know...
there’s a script floating around, it's not the next
one we’re shooting it’s the one after, but that
one I’m told it’s a very heavy Teyla episode and
I know there's something to do with the wraith queen and that’s
one of our final episode. I don’t know what they have
in store for us. I can promise you it will be a cliffhanger,
and I can promise you there will be a lot of peril involved
... we don't know who is going to survive! [laughter] But
I have no idea about that for the moment, so we shall see!
Nuytens: What has been your
Rachel Luttrell: I love the hobbits. Are
we talking about this show? [laugher]
My favorite story thus far this season?
Gilles Nuytens: Yes
Rachel Luttrell: I don’t know, I don’t
really know. Well I’ll tell you this much, I’m
looking forward to reading the one where I really get to,
I mean obviously I’m an actor and so the stories where
my character is the most, you know, used and I get to dive
into something are generally my favorites just from an actors
standpoint so I guess the next one to come, how about that?
[laugher] I don’t even know what it’s called yet
anyway. We'll come back to this question, I'll think about
Nuytens: What characters
would you like to see yours developed with more?
Rachel Luttrell: Well I mean you know I would
love to see as we mentioned a little early one in the interview.
I was going to say Weir, Ronon, sure, but we get to play in
every episode. So I think in every episode our relationship
grows a little bit more, we’re always together. David
[Hewlett] and I have talked about how it should be fun if
we actually had a McKay/Teyla, that would be a lot of fun.
I'd like to do that because I love David and we would have
a lot of fun.
Gilles Nuytens: You
don't have a lot of scenes together!
Rachel Luttrell: No we don’t, we really
don’t. So I think that would be really a lot of fun.
I would love that. Those are the two we really haven’t
had a chance to really play with. Sheppard and Teyla have
got a good relationship or at least a good foundation in any
case, Ronon and Teyla, and even Beckett and Teyla have had
really good moments where he’s come out and supported
her and flown her to her people on the main land ... he's
been there, even that has been touched on more than I think.
Dr Weir and Mckay, those 2 would be fun. I’m still thinking
about the favorite story then. I don’t know, it's so
funny you know what I mean, it's almost the end of the year
and we’ve done so many which has been great, I would
just like to pull up one but I don’t really know, I’ve
just had a lot of fun so far so. Yeah.
Gilles Nuytens: Could
you send greetings to all the fans from The Scifi World?
Rachel Luttrell: First of all: Yes!
Hello everybody out there, all the wonderfull fans that go
to The Scifi World, thank you very very much for your questions,
they've been very thoughtful and very interesting and it has
been really great to actually have that kind of feedback.
So I appreciate that, thank you!
to the audio quote!
Gilles Nuytens: Ok,
thank you very much!
Rachel Luttrell: You're welcome!
about this interview on the forum
the "Ask Rachel Luttrell" thread on the forum (read
by Gilles Nuytens for The
Transcript by Linda Craddock.
Special thanks to Linda, David R.,
TheWarrior, Isto and Eric
Chu for their support.