Avalon 2006. November 24-26, 2006
Convention, Wells, England
In the afternoon, the questions began with the hypothetical proposition, if it were possible to download any single subject into your brain as in "The Fifth Race," what would it be and why? Richard pondered the question without an answer, and Amanda, after a quick thought, decided to choose English literature. Teasing, Richard started making faces, suggesting she was just sucking up, and he tried to come up with an answer to top hers, discarding some options like, "Astrology! No! Scratch that!" Finally he decided on "All the languages of the world," and turned toward Amanda with a smug grin as if he was very pleased with himself.
For one of the earlier questions, a young woman named Lacey stood up and began, "I've been watching you since I was ten years old." Immediately Richard put his face in his hands and shook his head as everyone laughed, then he looked up again and called out, "Just kill me - how old are you now?!" Lacey's question was about the influence of role models, and as "Stargate SG-1" had influenced her life, she asked them to describe who or what the outstanding influences had been in their lives. Richard began by playfully mentioning people like Eddie Izzard and Ricky Gervais, and then he finally answered that his dad had been a major influence in his life. Amanda answered that it was her grandmother, and then she retold the story about her grandmother's crush on Richard Dean Anderson, if only she had been 20 years younger. The audience laughed as she pantomimed working out the math that still left a considerable age gap, as Richard simply grinned throughout with a flattered smile.
A few questions later, a young woman stood and asked in a very forthright and self assured voice who their favorite guest star had been to work with and why. Picking up on her manner of speaking, Richard teased, "Show a little more confidence next time!" Then both Richard and Amanda paused for a moment to think about favorite guest stars. Richard pointed out that there were ten years of appearances and that's a lot of time to think back. The young woman answered, "That's all right, I have time," but quick as a flash Richard shot back with a grin, "According to Lacey, I don't!" referring to the earlier question that had made him feel old. Amanda finally answered that her favorite would probably be Carmen Argenziano, who was like a father to her. Richard continued to mull over his answer, unable to narrow it down. Someone suggested Dom DeLuise, and he got a mischievous twinkle in his eye joking, "Nah, I didn't have any fun with Dom DeLuise..." Finally he decided that his favorite was probably Robert Picardo because he's witty and quick and funny and they really had a ball working together.
Among the other questions of the afternoon was one asking if they could ban one thing that would help to improve the environment, what would it be. Without hesitation, Amanda answered, "Guns." Richard agreed, but then he tried to come up with another answer. He talked about how it would be great to be able to go back in time to when people lived in small separate villages, and he talked about the quaint little villages he had seen coming into Wells. He said he wished it was possible to go back to living simply like that, without the negative impact on the environment of today's big cities. Finally someone offered to simplify his answer for him: "Okay, so... Ban cities."
Another question was, "If your memory were to be erased and you were only able to hold on to three memories that you would never want to lose, what would they be?" Amanda answered they would all be about her daughter, her birth, her first smile, her first word, and so on. Richard answered the same way, saying that his daughter is the most important thing in his life and he would never want to lose any of those memories.
Another person introduced herself as a teacher in an inner city Los Angeles school, and she said many of her students made unfortunate choices in role models, imitating the violence they see in movies and TV rather than choosing positive influences. She asked what they would say to those students to help guide them away from violence and gangs and to choose positive role models. Both Richard and Amanda took the question very seriously, but neither could really come up with an answer. They agreed that it was a huge question that deserved more time, and they didn't know how to offer words of guidance concisely in any way that would make a difference. Richard kept trying to say that you just need to keep showing kids the difference between movie violence and reality, although for many of those kids there isn't really much of a difference, and they both said "God bless you" to the woman for taking on the job that she's doing.
Someone asked if they ever self-critique, and the mischievous Ernest Pratt grin returned to Richard's face as he joked, "Yes. I'm doing it right now." Amanda said she hates to watch herself and so she usually doesn't because she is so critical of her work. Only just now has she been able to watch herself in the earliest SG-1 episodes. Richard said that he is also critical of his work but that he also doesn't usually watch himself. Most often he never sees his own work once he's gone through the dailies or the editing process.
Another fan wondered if they answer to both their real names and their character names. Amanda answered first saying that her father had originally wanted to name her Samantha but her mother had had the final say in naming her Amanda. In response, her father has called her "Sam" all her life, so yes, she does automatically answer to both names. Then she turned to Richard, who answered simply, "Uh... No!"
The next question asked what was the most touching moment behind the scenes on "Stargate," and immediately Richard quipped, "I never laid a hand on her...!" They both agreed that there were far too many moments to mention any particular one, since it was such a joy to come to work each day. Then Amanda added that it was always fun to see Don S. Davis get flustered because everyone on the set would start to laugh uncontrollably, especially if Richard and Amanda caught each other's eye, making it impossible to stop laughing.
One of the men in the audience asked Richard what his favorite chat up line was, and does it work, and then he turned to Amanda to ask what chat up line would work with her. At first Richard didn't understand the British expression "chat up line," and someone had to explain the American version, "pick up line." He fumbled with the question a bit, confessing that he doesn't go to bars, and he's too shy to try using a "line." Then he asked, "But don't women hate that, anyway? Can't they see right through it? You can almost imagine the little 'think bubble' above their heads saying, 'Go away,' " and he turned to Amanda for her opinion. But Amanda simply answered with the only pick up line he'd need to use, and the one that was guaranteed to work. Imitating a suave male voice, she said, "Hi, I'm Richard Dean Anderson," and then pretended to sigh and swoon. Richard laughed right along with the audience, and then picking up her lead, he continued, "Hi, I'm Richard Dean Anderson. I used to be famous. I used to have my own TV show…"
The last question was from a man who asked Richard if he has ever thought about forming his own curling team, and could he be a member of it. Richard made sure everyone knew what curling was, and he said yes, that forming his own team would be fun. Then he proceeded to talk fondly of his grandfather, John I. Anderson, who came from northern Minnesota and who loved curling, although his grandmother always insisted that it was just an excuse for him to get drunk. He finished by saying yes, he'd love to form his own team, and when the fan asked again, "Can I be on it?" he shot back, "No! You're too young! You have your whole life ahead of you - don't waste it on curling!"
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.