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Ben Browder Interview - Stargate Magazine #30

Stargate Magazine, Aug 20th, 2009

Ben Browder Interview - Stargate Magazine #30

The Official Magazine: Now that you’ve got a little distance from Cam, how do you think the show changed after he joined SG-1?

I defer to other people on that. I always defer to the audience, and even to the critics on that kind of stuff, because there’s no way for me to judge. I think that the show in the last two years had a different tone. I think that in some ways it was good, in some ways it was almost a return to the roots of the show… There was a qualitative shift – that’s not a positive or negative statement, it was slightly different the last two years. It was fun for me, hopefully it was fun for the fans, but that’s about as deep as I can go. Ultimately, I judge it by how it was on set, because I can’t watch an episode that I’m in without remembering what happened on the day. It was a lot of fun!

You’ve often talked about your contribution to the show as being relatively minimal – do you think Cam wasn’t important as a character?

On a relative scale, if I was a fan of Stargate talking about a character that had been there for two years, I would say he’s not as important. It doesn’t diminish anything that I did over the two years, and I would never diminish anything that Claudia Black did because I think she’s just a magnificent actress. But, from the standpoint of the people who were the building blocks of the franchise, it’s the writers, the crew, the directors and those four characters and the actors who play them.

Above and beyond it all is that ’gate – the ’gate that takes you to magical places. I’ve said this in other interviews, but it doesn’t hurt me to repeat it now – there was a discussion when we were shooting the earlier scenes of Mitchell’s appearance. They were going to end a scene with a push-in on Mitchell, and I said, “Let’s not do that. Let me leave the frame, and what you’re left with is the ’gate, because that’s the continuity between the first eight seasons, into season nine.” The ’gate is the continuity, not me. I wanted it to be about the ’gate because as an actor, in my ticking head, that’s what Mitchell was interested in, and that’s what the audience comes for. They come for the characters as well, but I didn’t think that a push-in on my face was as interesting as a really good shot of the ’gate – that’s the enduring image. That doesn’t diminish anything I did as an actor, but it’s called StarGATE. It’s Stargate SG-1, it’s Stargate Atlantis, it’s Stargate Universe – that’s the thread that runs through it all, along with those characters and those actors who are also critically important to the success of any show.

Read the full interview in issue 30 of The Official Stargate SG-1/Atlantis Magazine, on newsstands August 25th, 2009.

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