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Rachel Luttrell interview (2)
Date of publishing: 16th September 2006

Rachel Luttrell interview - Stargate Atlantis, Teyla 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!

Gilles 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.
This game!

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 say [laughter]

Gilles 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.

Gilles Nuytens: 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.

Gilles 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 in "Misbegotten"?
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!

Gilles Nuytens: 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, hopefully soon!

Gilles 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 from ...

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 this year?
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.

Gilles 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!

Gilles Nuytens: What has been your favorite story?
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 it.

Gilles 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!
  Listen to the audio quote!

Gilles Nuytens: Ok, thank you very much!
Rachel Luttrell: You're welcome!

  Talk about this interview on the forum
  Read the "Ask Rachel Luttrell" thread on the forum (read only)

Interview by Gilles Nuytens for The Scifi World.
Transcript by Linda Craddock.
Special thanks to Linda, David R., TheWarrior, Isto and Eric Chu for their support.


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