We were lucky enough to interview two new Stargate Universe crew members, played by Ming-Na and David Blue. We took the opportunity to grill Blue on his Gater know-how and find out all we could about Eli.
Ming-Na and David Blue's characters are probably the two must buzzed-about crew members aboard Stargate Universe's Destiny. Ming-Na plays the first openly gay Gater, Camile Wray. And we'll have plenty more from Ming-Na for you very soon, but this half of our exclusive SGU interview we focused in on David Blue's character Eli Wallace.
This role is oh so important to the new series because what is Stargate with out its trademark banter and playful humor? Blue has been cast to fill this role as hacker/slacker/genius Eli, who joins up with the new crew after solving an impossible online video game. So can he bring the funny? Does he know his stuff? Is he trying to replace McKay, since his character seems like the junior-version of this past character? We asked him everything we could as Eli very well could be the saving comedic grace to this series. If all goes well.
Here's a few highlights from the videos...
The breakdown of the role is kind of from a comedic perspective. I like to describe him like Matt Damon from Good Will Hunting. So the humor is kind of ingrained under the skin and just kind of comes out at times. But the writers have been really good about giving the other side of the coin as well, so I've had these great opportunities to do really deep, dramatic stuff as well. And that just makes the comedic side more fun. They've fleshed out the characters very well.
And even though you do have the humor like a McKay or an RDA, I guess Daniel Jackson, isn't that funny; no offense to Michael Shanks. Not him, the character! But even though you have that, you get this other side. The writing is great. they're nerds like the rest of us and they're funny.
As a dork, any thing I'm interacting with the technology I think is great. I honestly feel like it's more pressure than fun. Anytime I'm touching the computer or any type of console, ... I'm hesitant to say this because somebody's gonna call me on it in two years and say that I don't do it anymore, I know what each button on the console does. And I know what order I'm supposed to hit it in to do each thing. I know how to open a door, I know how to do the comms, and they've even told me that I don't need to do this, but I know from having watched too many shows that I need to.
... It's exciting to me as a fan of like, Next Generation and what have you, to kinda be creating the world. Like when I do something on a remote and they write it down so that you know in future episodes that's how you do that, that to me is one of the most exciting things. Because it feels ... like I'm part of it.
Blue: The first thing I have to say is, "Replace McKay?"
I consider it flattery that I am even capable of replacing McKay, which I don't. Something I said the other day: We're not replacing the shows of the original cast, just walking alongside them.
DB: I know! I was like, Oh my gawd! No, I'm not replacing him. I mean you have in any situation, especially when you're surrounded by intelligent people, someone witty. Because intelligence leads to finding the humor in everyday situations. So Eli is very much that. Plus the background that he comes from, the hacker society, kind of secluded from the world side, you're always gonna have this humorous perspective.
I was drawn to this role because of a conversation I had with Brad and Robert when this process was first going on and they said that Eli and Chloe are the roller coaster that the audience straps into to experience the ride. And for me, it's a lot of pressure. But it's fun, its flattering to think that I'm everyone's representative - and I love the scenes that they've written where you don't know that Eli is capable of these emotions and it just comes - but also to diffuse situations. You're surrounded by people who are fighting around the ship.
MN: Well, I think he uses the humor to cope with his own stress and his own fears, so it does come from something. That's what I mean when I say that the humor isn't these punchlines. It's coming out of this need. And I think that's how he cope with stress.
DB: I think it's how he relates to people, which is what I like. If you see Rush and Young, possibly disagreeing about something and Eli's in the room, I think he wants to calm everyone down. So I think the easiest way to do that is to make a joke; granted with these people that doesn't always go over well, but I think the audience will enjoy it.
All in all we were floored with Blue's knowledge and excitement. Tomorrow we'll bring you more details straight from Ming Na's about her character and prepping for this big undertaking.
Camera work by Lauren Davis, and thank you Caitlin Petrakovitz.