Beware SPOILERS for Stargate: Continuum in this interview!
For nearly seven years Stargate
fans have been intimidated, hypnotized and horrified with Baal, portrayed by South African actor Cliff Simon
. Simon, who became an American citizen back in 2005, played a pivotal role in the penultimate SG-1
Now, with his return in Stargate: Continuum
, GateWorld can say with certainty that one of his greatest performances is still to come.
In GateWorld's fourth interview with the actor, Cliff discusses filming Continuum
, shooting his favorite scenes, and lamenting an absence of a theatrical release. He takes us back to his decision to move with his wife from South Africa to the United States, and fills us in on his latest personal projects!
An avid dog lover, Simon has made the adoption and care for "bully" dog breeds a cornerstone of his community work. If you wish to support his endeavors, we invite you to visit the links on the last page of this interview.
GateWorld's interview with Cliff is available in MP3 audio format for easy listening, and is almost 24 minutes long. It is also transcribed below. You can even download the interview to your MP3 player and take GateWorld with you!
GateWorld: For GateWorld.net, I'm David Read, and I'm once again on the telephone with Mr. Cliff Simon, Baal of Stargate. Thank you for taking time with us, sir.
Cliff Simon: You're welcome, David. Once again, thank you, man.
GW: I think the topic foremost on everyone's mind is Stargate: Continuum, due out this July. What can you tell us about your involvement in that story?
CS: Well I must tell you, right in the beginning when I wasn't even sure if I was going to be in the movies, eventually when they did tell me I was going to be in, someone actually came to me and said "Cliff, have you seen the script?" And I was like, "No, I haven't." I didn't even know I was in it. It was really odd someone hadn't told me. They were like, "Wow, well the whole story centers around Baal." "Really? I can't believe that!"
They said, "No, the movie is actually Baal's movie." I was like, "Wow." Anyway, that same day production contacted me, got a script to me, and when I read the script I was blown away at how the whole story centered around my character, which was absolutely amazing. I didn't know if it was just going to be a small part or whatever. So it made it very interesting because you see Baal from a whole different perspective, and it was really exciting.
The Tok'ra prepare for Baal's extraction ceremony. From Stargate: Continuum.
I was excited. When I was reading the script, I was like, "Wow, this is great, this is great." Yep, very exciting.
GW: It's not only just you, but a couple of the other Goa'uld come back and also play a role as well.
CS: Oh yeah, that's what's so interesting. You're going to see six or seven of the top Goa'ulds come back, and it's the first time you see us all together, and you see the animosity and things going on between us, which is really great.
First of all, the women Goa'uld, I love them. They're so regal and queen-like. What's very interesting in the movie is, just to give a little tidbit, Claudia Black, you're going to see her as she used to be, which is absolutely amazing. So I would have to say that she was my favorite. When you see her you'll realize she is obviously my queen, and you're going to see it in a way that you've never seen it before.
It's only been assumed, and people have just imagined it but now you're actually going to see what it looks like.
GW: As Qetesh?
CS: As Qetesh, uh-huh.
GW: Great. Now you and I were talking about how you wanted to get Baal and Qetesh together for some action. Do we get any special scenes in the film?
CS: Oh yeah, but that I definitely can't give away. It's pretty amazing. That's why, once again when I read the script, I was so excited and couldn't wait to start shooting. You're going to see some things that are pretty mind-boggling, and yeah, a lot of action between the two of us.
GW: Anything that's particularly, like, only a Goa'uld would do?
CS: Oh yeah. I really can't even tell you about it. I'd be giving away the whole thing. That's a really exciting time.
GW: In what ways does Baal grow as a character?
CS: First of all you're going to see the real Baal, and you're going to know it's the real Baal. He is a lot more tough. He comes across as how a System Lord should be, I think. There have been times in the series where it's been very humorous, which works, but in the movie you actually see Baal come across as pretty serious and tough.
In Continuum Baal manipulates the timeline to suit his plans.
GW: Great. You and I have always talked about in the past how fortunate you've been that this character has had such a breadth to him. Every episode you got to come back and so something almost completely new.
CS: Yeah, which is great. You know, I've been thinking about it. Baal is a franchise character that could carry on for so long and come into different series, as an example, like Atlantis. The character has developed to the point where he is mean and tough but he's also humorous.
The only time you really see him taking out people or killing people are people that deserve it. There's that kind of good side. He never kills people who [don't] deserve it any more. Which is kind of making him likable. I think that's one of the reasons why he's likeable. You'll see that in the movie as well.
GW: Well, our first introduction to him in "Summit" was that he'd rather kill billions of lives, entire solar systems, than lose them to Sokar in a dispute. So he's really come far.
CS: Yep, he's grown so much. It's amazing.