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09:00am ET, 22-September-04

 Black Guests On Stargate

Claudia Black told SCI FI Wire that she recently wrapped production on "Prometheus Unbound," an upcoming episode of the SCI FI Channel original series Stargate SG-1. The former Farscape star plays a character named Vala, who steals Earth's only deep-space starship, Prometheus, and does so with Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks) on board.

"Vala was a lot of fun," Black said in an interview. "I did my best to beat the daylights out of Michael Shanks, and he was a very good sport. She's sassy. She's intelligent. She's manipulative. She's very hard and mercurial. She does what she has to [to] survive, so it's very hard to tell what the real core of Vala is, and I'm hoping that if they do write her back in again that that will be explored."

Black, who will reprise her role as Aeryn Sun in the upcoming SCI FI Channel four-hour miniseries Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, added, "I've not played a character like [Vala] before. That was the appeal of doing it. She's a real piece of work. It's quite honestly very hard to tell if she's an ally or a thorn in their side. For the sake of the drama in this particular episode she seems to be a thorn in their side, but it's quite ambiguous, and that's what I loved about it. She's constantly teetering on that ambiguous edge. It was nice to push that. I asked [director] Andy [Mikita] on the phone when I accepted the role how far I could push that, and he said, 'Go the full mile.' So it was, creatively, a very playful environment."

Black added that she was physically exhausted before and during her time on the Stargate SG-1 set in Vancouver, B.C. "I was delirious," she said. "It was really a choice of laugh or cry, and I chose to laugh. So I was a madwoman, laughing like a hyena in the time after takes. That was my response to the lack of sleep. I was so, so jet-lagged. It was probably the worst jetlag I'd ever had, because I'd been traveling for quite a few months, and I kept crossing the dateline every week and didn't know where I was. So I was in Australia doing the [dialogue looping] for Peackeeper Wars and then with two days' notice I got on a plane to Canada to do Stargate. And I was awake on average for 21 hours a day."

Black continued, "I just could not sleep. And I was loath to take anything like a sleeping pill, because I was worried that I wouldn't hear the alarm go off to get to set. So I watched a lot of informercials. Were it not for the charm and grace of Andy Mikita and Michael Shanks, I don't think I would have survived. The two of them kept me very well entertained. They were all very tired because they were heading into their break, but they were great. So I was very grateful." Black's Stargate SG-1 episode will air in early 2005.

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The film adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials wants to take religion, the Big Bad of the books, out of the equation. Do you agree?
 
Yes! No sense angering people.
No! Stay true to the anti-church message.
Can't we all just get along?




Jim Carrey, in England to promote Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, had to evacuate his hotel on Dec. 16 because of a fire, wire services reported. "I think it's a good sign," the unharmed Carrey reportedly said. "The movie's all about fire and disaster, ... and suddenly, my house [away from home] is burning down."

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