Avalon 2006. November 24-26, 2006
Convention, Wells, England
Richard began by asking where members of the audience had come from, and who had come the farthest. There were answers called out from Europe, and as far away as North America and Australia. He had only just recently arrived in the UK, but he said that the narrow winding roads and the grey weather made him feel as if he had been in a spy movie. Yesterday he felt sure he was being followed, and he spoke of taking pictures in a field of cows and hiding behind trees as if he were the spy. He also mentioned that he had become instant friends with the 14 year old dog that lived at the place he was staying.
One of the first questions from the audience asked, "What does Jack know about Sam, and what does Sam know about Jack that no one else knows?" Both were puzzled for an answer, admitting that there weren't many secrets on the set and they would have to make something up. Finally Amanda decided that Jack was afraid of millipedes, and after careful thought and considerable hedging, Richard finally decided that Sam was really "A - man! - da!" to which Amanda replied, "Now you know the truth!"
Asked whom they would clone if they had the opportunity, Richard answered Ricky Gervais (of "Extras") because he is so funny, and Amanda chose Dawn French (of "The Vicar of Dibley"), insisting that every country should have one.
Those preferences reappeared in another question when they were asked which three people they would choose as guests for a dinner party. Richard chose Ricky Gervais, Eddie Izzard, and Terry Thomas, wondering if the audience recognized the names. Amanda chose Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, and then included her mother, admitting that her Mum would never forgive her if she didn't invite her to dinner with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Then Richard began to joke that perhaps they should have chosen someone more influential like Jesus or Ghandi, but they kept their selections for a fun party. Amanda also mentioned her grandmother, and told the story that she also later repeated in other sessions. Amanda described her grandmother as a remarkable woman who passed away only a few years ago at the age of 103. In the early seasons of "Stargate," her grandmother had called Amanda and admitted, "Mandy, I've watched your show, deary, and I don't really understand it, but that Colonel O'Neill is really a looker, isn't he? If only I were 20 years younger!" As the seasons wore on, Grandma wished she were 30 years younger instead.
Asked who would win in a fight between Yoda and Thor, Amanda answered Thor, but Richard asked for clarification, if their powers could be used. The answer came back that the fight would not include powers, but Richard still replied that Thor would win, "because he's younger - and naked!"
Another fan asked if there were anything they would not do on camera. Amanda answered that she has a "no nudity" clause in her contract, but that she has in the past had to select a body double for herself when nudity was called for. She described the process as surreal, examining pictures of woman taken from the neck down to preserve their anonymity, and trying to find a woman whose chest would match her own. Finally Richard answered that he had the same answer, and even joked that he got the same pictures. Then he admitted that at his age there was no longer a need for him to take off his clothes, in fact he could hardly do it anymore to get into bed at night.
Both were asked how they had come to choose the charities that they support. Amanda talked about how she tends to choose associations that help living things that are unable to help themselves, such as children and animals, and she added that ever since her daughter Olivia was born, she has focused more on the environment. She particularly admires the work being done by the Waterkeeper Alliance. Richard talked about growing up in Minnesota, the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," which he insisted really has 11,000 lakes, but it would be too much trouble to change all the license plates. He grew up around water, and has always been drawn to lakes, rivers, and oceans. Over the years, he has supported many different charities financially, but he has recently started to concentrate his interests and to take a more active role. He sees the abuse that humans have inflicted on the planet, and he has focused his interests on protecting the environment, particularly waters and marine life. He also talked about his first meeting with Paul Watson, how he came to be on the Board of Directors for Sea Shepherd, and his admiration for the work they do to protect the oceans, the whales, and the seals. Short on time, he wrapped up by mentioning his support for other charities, including Art of the Brain, for which he is also an active supporter.
Another question referred to their travels, and asked what had been the most profound place they had ever visited. Richard talked about his trip to Tibet, describing it as the most remote place he has ever visited, and one of the most profound experiences of his life. Amanda recalled a trip she had taken as a teenager when she spent a night out under the stars near a lake in Canada and witnessed the Northern Lights.
A man in the audience asked if they remembered the early "Stargate" episode and the young Make-A-Wish girl whose wish it had been to have her dog appear on the show. Her dog had appeared as Cassie's dog in "Singularity," and Amanda remembered the situation, but Richard apologized and admitted that he only remembered when they had mentioned the dog's name!
The final question of the session went to Richard, asking what he would prefer, given the choice between acting and producing. He answered that he has enjoyed producing, but at this point in his life he would prefer being a "dumb, vacuous actor," and he proudly announced, "I are a actor!" Amanda then asked the audience what they had thought of episode "200," and she received supportive cheers and applause. Richard said he had returned for the episode because (feigning a lonely voice), "I missed them so much," then jokingly mouthing, "Not really!" He talked about is role as "Invisible O'Neill," saying that the scene was originally intended to be shot using another actor because of his limited availability, but then he became available and wore the green suit to play his invisible self. He added that he actually knew his lines, which was ironic because he really didn't need to act since he couldn't be seen and only his voice was needed.
Many thanks for the additional photos from:
Carmargue Ltd., Legends Memorabilia, UgzY, Trekkie, Astra, Raquel, Teresa, Beverley J Barrett, dove0709, DMD, Wendy & Kelly & Scott, Diana, Gator101, Marieta, and Gabriele Gerritsen
Transcript written by KateR. Avalon 2006 is a production of Carmargue Ltd. Wells, England. November 24-26, 2006.