During our visit to Chicago earlier this summer for Creation's
official Stargate convention, GateWorld had a chance to sit down for the first time in over three years with Tony Amendola
, the man who made Bra'tac
Life continues to be busy for Amendola after SG-1
's end. Having a recurring role on the series left him free to pursue other projects simultaneously during the show's ten year run -- a trend that continues to this day.
In our interview, Amendola discusses the character development of Bra'tac during the final two years of the series, the OOri
story arc, areas of the character's life that he would have liked to have seen explored, as well as his current projects. He also discusses his thoughts on the passing of Don S. Davis -- as Tony graciously filled in at the convention as a replacement for, and as a tribute to, Davis, who was to have been a guest at that specific event.
GateWorld's interview with Tony Amendola runs nearly 11 minutes. Listen online at your leisure, download it to your MP3 player, or subscribe now to the iTunes podcast
! The full interview is also transcribed below!
GateWorld: For GateWorld.net, this is Chad Colvin, and I have the pleasure today of speaking with Mr. Tony Amendola. Tony, thank you again for taking time to speak with us.
Tony Amendola: You're welcome. Thank you.
GW: It's been three years since we last talked with you, back just prior to the premiere of Season Nine of SG-1. And since then, obviously, SG-1 concluded its run. Were you aware of how long and full of a run the character of Bra'tac was going to have?
TA: Not at all. I thought going in it was just a "one and out." As all good things are surprises, they seem to be. And this was a major surprise because you're told so often "Oh, this is going to be this or that." And they just kept coming, and I never took them for granted. The second one was great fun, and then the third one. I tended to do one a season for maybe the first three or four years. And then, two and three. And by the end, it was four or five a year. And it was a real treat.
GW: Were there any stand-out moments in your mind for the character over those last two years?
TA: In the last two years? It's always a pleasure to be with Chris [Judge]. To sort of deepen that. So that final scene in "Talion" was a nice sort of closure. But also, it was a chance -- finally -- to spend a little time with Beau [Bridges]. You know, we had an episode where all the guys would go off on an adventure. So that was nice. It always felt comfortable. It always felt right.
Also, occasionally, it was fun to be up there as well as having everyone ... you know, the gang. It was nice. Carmen [Argenziano] was up there, we'd be the two bachelors out of town and most of the other people had to go home to their families and stuff. We would sort of burn a little bit of the midnight oil. [Laughter]
"That final scene in 'Talion' was a nice sort of closure," says the actor
GW: With the Ori story arc in those last two seasons, Teal'c and -- to a much higher degree, I think -- Bra'tac seemed much more dedicated to keeping their people free. You've just finally overthrown the Goa'uld, and now here's this new race of alien posing as gods. Except these ones are able to much more believably fulfill that god-like image.
The Jaffa High Council is conflicted with which way they are supposed to lean. Yet Bra'tac stays strong in his resistance to following Origin. In your mind, did he question that direction at all, or was it simply a case of "We will not submit again"?
TA: I think it was a "We will not submit again." I think it was just as simple as that. And it was sort of wonderful, in the movement of the character, to go from the sort of warrior/trainer/mentor to the politician or to the statesman.
GW: It's a logical progression.
TA: Politician is probably not a good word. But to the statesman. And that was very, very interesting. And to see the struggle with that. You know? Just the struggle to be able to convince people. It's so much easier to convince them with a staff weapon! [Laughter] I don't mean to harm them, but just to knock a little sense into their head, and the discipline of that, you know? Of an almost military "my way." And now he's in an arena where it's about persuasion. And it's about factions. And I found that very interesting.
And also there was a difference. We found a difference in the sort of visual look of the character from ... even from the use of the cap, which is a warrior-like thing, to no cap. And into robes. And that was fun. That was fun. I enjoyed that. I got a chance to work with Lou Gossett [Jr.] and to watch Chris do his ... to watch his character shift, too. It was really, really nice.
GW: Were you happy with the overall character development in those final years? Is there any place that you would have liked to have taken Bra'tac that you weren't able to?
TA: Oh, no. You know ... Yes. There are always places that you wish you could take your character. But, you know, the guys -- Brad [Wright] and Robert Cooper -- they developed my [character]. They gave me a wonderful ride. So I have to be very, very thankful.
That said, I've always said that it would have been interesting, because Bra'tac never had a true relationship with a female. It was always because of the warrior ethic. Nor did Don [Davis], I don't think did, either. So, I always thought it would have been interesting for someone like that to pop up. Because Bra'tac was always around when Teal'c was [with] a wife or ... he was always sort of into that mix, watching Teal'c.
Bra'tac was always in the sidelines watching Teal'c bag the babes.
And it would have been interesting to have seen this woman -- you know, my age -- show up. [Laughter] I always thought that would have been fun.
GW: If future Stargate movies are in need of your involvement, can we expect to see you? Or as an actor, are you happy to put a little bit of distance behind the character and do other things?
TA: I do enjoy doing other things. But you have to remember, I always had that liberty. Because I wasn't there full-time. So I would love to do some of the films, if they came up. It's always been a pleasure. My enjoyment has always been to sort of switch hats. To go from one genre to another genre. OK, Stargate, now let's go do "Blow," now let's do a play. I've always enjoyed the variety. What's been my fondest comfort zone is that.