Stargate Universe: David Blue Interview

You know him as Eli from Stargate Universe. And we've been talking to Mr David Blue about the show...

The breakout star of Stargate Universe, Mr David Blue, took some time out of his schedule just as the show went on its Christmas break. And here’s what he had to day…


I’ve read that you’re a fan of Stargate before doing the show, correct?

Yes, it is, I’ve seen it all. I always try to clarify that I have seen it all and that I’ve always been a fan of the show but I’m nowhere near as intense a fan as some of these people I’ve met at conventions, who are great. They can quote any episode title for you or any line and I’m not quite there yet, but I have watched all of SG-1 and Atlantis.

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So, you’ll have your own views on the tonal shift the show has taken from the previous two instalments?

Yeah, I love it. I think that in this day and age, especially in television, you have to take risks to really try something new with design and not get swept under the rug. Especially in a show that I enjoyed beforehand, for them to try something new, I respect them for that. Which as a viewer I really enjoy. Honestly, there are episodes where I am on the edge of my seat watching, like Time and Light and then there are episodes that I fall in love with the character, like the one you are going to see on Tuesday, Life, I love Ming-Na as an actress but I had no idea, I was really drawn into the character of Wray in that episode. I appreciate the shifts back and forth, and I like to think that hopefully means the fans will too.

Yeah, I’ve seen that episode, and episode ten too. Quite desperate to see the rest.

I can’t wait to see the rest as well. What did you think of nine and ten?

Some of the best ones, really, although Time is still my favourite.

Yeah, Time and Life are among my four favourite episodes of the series.

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Talking of episode 10, it leaves your character in a tough spot at the end of the episode, as he is left with a couple of secrets. Does that affect your role in the rest of the series?

Yeah, I think so. That’s one of my favourite things about how Brad [Wright], Robert [Cooper], Carl [Binder] and Joe [Mallozzi] and all them approach the show, and especially the new tone of the show. They never set something up without it being dealt with, and there’s actually a lot more of that coming in the back half of the season where there’s stuff between characters that really, really needs to be dealt with and is dealt with.

It kinda sucks that everyone’s going to watch episodes 1 through 10 and then take a break before they see 11 through 20, because some of my favourite stuff happens in the last few episodes because it really is dealing with everything from the past 20, and it sucks that you guys have to wait that long.

Yeah, I was really enjoying the cliffhanger right at the end. It’s such a good cliffhanger that I can’t wait to see its conclusion.

Yeah, it sucks you’ll have to wait so long, huh? [laughs] Yeah, even myself, I’m waiting for it. For the most part, you get to get an idea of what it’s going to look like because you’re there shooting it, but there are certain things that happen that don’t involve your character.

Maybe you’re not working that day, you’ve got something else going on, you can’t watch it getting filmed. So when you actually get to see it, when they finally give you the finished copy, the DVD of episode 10, it blew my mind. First of all, how beautiful it was, but then also it was even more intense than how I imagined it when I read it.

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How is it wandering into Brad Wright and Robert Cooper’s world? Is it daunting to go into that world with so much history?

They are great guys, they’re all really cool. They’ve done this for so long and know what they are doing so there’s really no worry about it, you definitely do trust them more. They have a grasp on what to do and what they’re doing, so you don’t have to worry everything as much.

But as a fan of the show, I definitely do bother them way too much saying, “hey, what does this mean, what does that mean?” I feel a lot of responsibility, not only as my character, but as someone who has seen the show before to make sure things make sense to me, to make sure I understand where it’s going with the character so that I can convey it better.

They have a great open door policy about that, they’re really cool about talking to you, not just explaining something to you but about, if you have a concern then they’ll consider it. There’s been a few times where there’s something that’s come up and I’ve said, “I don’t really understand why this would be like this. I thought we had set it up to be like this.” If they realise something that can be better, they’re the first ones to put it in there; they’re really great guys in that respect, and fun to work with.

Would you say you have a lot of freedom to change you character up a bit?

Yes and no. It is their show. I am just an actor and as much as I do write and direct in my own life, and I do my own projects, I do respect they are the executive producers and writers when it really boils down to it. They’re very open minded about hearing anything, but trust me, if they don’t agree they’ll be the first ones to say “this is why.” They’ll explain it to you, they’re really good about that but for the most part as the actor, your job is to bring as much as you can to the role and make things interesting and if the director or executive producer don’t like it on set, they will tell you this is not how we wanted this to go, and they’ll let you fight your fight. But if they don’t agree, that won’t be part of the character anymore.

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I was reading on your blog you were working on some writing and directing work while away from Stargate Universe. Can you tell me any more about the projects?

Well, I was pitching around a comedy pilot around town before I actually booked Stargate Universe, like right before, so I’m continuing with some of that. Funny enough, there was a sci-fi pilot that I was developing when I booked the show, it’s really neat.

I thought I would have time to continue writing it [laughs] but it turns out it was very intensive playing Eli and took up most of my time, so I’m looking forward to getting back to finishing that.

A few friends of mine and I have a production company together so we’re going to try and do some projects in the off time, but I’m very quickly realizing there’s not a lot of it. [laughs] We haven’t got the official season two pick up yet, but it definitely is looming; it feels like March is not that far away. We’ll see what happens and hopefully there will be some film projects along the way as well. We’re talking to some people, but time is going to be an issue since we start filming again so quickly.

[We get told we have time for one more question.]

I feel like I’m talking to my own people at Den Of Geek, I don’t wanna give up time! [laughs]

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How is it working with people like Robert Carlyle and Lou Diamond Philips? Especially Robert Carlyle, I have to ask, I am a Scot!

[Laughs] He is great, he’s absolutely great. All of them are. I kinda feel we’ve struck gold with this cast, and I know a lot of casts say that, and you never know whether to believe it or not, but I really truly do feel it.

Everyone is so committed to their craft; everyone is so responsible and respectful of each other and even more than that, really genuine good people. We’ve all very quickly become friends; we all care about each other. We go out to dinner, we see movies. Two weeks before we wrapped shooting, Lou Diamond Philips cooked dinner for all of us. We’ve just kinda bonded, we have the same outlook on life, the same senses of humour and we just really enjoy working together.

Robert Carlyle is one of the first ones I experienced that with. I invited him out for a drink before we started filming, I was like “I wanna meet the person I’m going to be with a lot” and he had every right to just say “Alright, we’ve had one drink, have a nice life, kid!” and instead we sat there for three and a half hours talking about life, love, work and everything and that’s exactly who he is as a person. He’s very giving and caring, he’s not gonna kick your ass – well he could kick your ass [laughs], trust me, I see pieces of Begbie in there. But he is a great, genuine guy and I think that translates to the show and makes the show that much better.

He’s such a great guy that when we’re done filming we could just sever connections, but when I was in London, and I’d just finished doing a convention and I was gonna be there for a few days and he was immediately offering to come visit him in Glasgow, to come say hi and see his house, and that’s how cool this guy is. I consider him not as a co-worker now, but as a friend, which is something I didn’t expect to say before we started filming. [laughs]

David Blue, thank you very much!

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Catch Stargate Universe in the UK on Sky1 and Sky1 HD on Tuesday nights!

Interviews at Den Of Geek