GARETT MAGGART'S TSbyBS SET INTERVIEW
BY: Regina Moore AKA Charlotte Frost
The Richard Burgi Fan Club once offered a video tape
that had various things on it concerning TS, including interviews from the set of TSbBS
with actors Burgi, Maggart, Young, Galvin, and co-producer Danny Bilson. All the
interviews were separate but everyone was pretty much asked the same questions. They took
place inside a soundstage on December 1998 when, outside the soundstage, they were filming
the street scene from early in TSbBS where Zeller makes his first hit attempt on union
boss Jack Bartley. (I know that because of the clothing Anna Galvin and Burgi are
Burgis interview was split into multiple segments, because he was called away to do filming. In between those first two segments, Garett Maggarts was conducted, and his is the one Ive transcribed below. (Im tentatively intending to do the others at some future point.)
As indicated in the interview, GM has a cold. Ive seen him on tape in various interviews and filming/rehearsing scenes and hes always been highly animated and interactive with the people around him. For this interview, hes much more subdued (but still more animated than the others *g*), surely because of his cold. He has that open-mouth, blank look through most of it. And even though he was chuckling at various points, they werent the truly humorous laughs Ive heard him make in other situations. Theres only one point in this interview where he really seemed to enjoy talking, and thats when Robert Vaughn was mentioned.
For a lot of his answers, GM was looking thoughtfully off to one side, or toward the ground, more so than at the interviewer; and, all in all, speaking more slowly than Ive ever heard him speak before.
The interviewer (IN) was a woman who asked questions off camera. Sometimes the questions werent very audible. In any event, most of her questions were unnecessarily long-winded, so in almost all cases Ive paraphrased them in an abridged version rather than quoting exactly.
GM: Its a joy to be back working, of course. You know, its a nice half season so we get to have the second half off. And, you know, and wait and see about another one. Its great.
IN: What do you think of the fan support to bring the show back? How does that make you feel?
GM: I think its great. Their support for the show is evident by the fact that were back, obviously. I mean [pushes hair back with both hands and scratches his scalp] I suppose thats sort of redundant for the question that you just asked me. Its a good feeling and, you know, at the same time its kind of scary. You know, the power of the internet and stuff like that its kind of scary. But its good. Ive got a job. [laughs] You know, its good.
IN: Did all the letters and stuff take you by surprise?
GM: Yeah, I think it was like five people just sending the same letter over and over again. [laughs] But who knows. [laughs] No, yes, of course it was really exciting and uh, I actually dont know the counts of letters [scratches head] or phone calls but supposedly they had to put on a new switch person at UPN or something like that, just to handle the-the Sentinel phone calls coming in and stuff because they were tying up the phone lines at the studio.
IN: Do you feel really lucky and does this make it all worth it?
GM: Uh, yeah, of course it makes it all worth it. You know, I mean ultimately thats what its about if people are watching it. But my gratification comes on the set, you know, when were working and just having fun and stuff. Its not really . But uh yeah, its a good feeling. Its a good feeling.
IN: Were you aware of what was going on with the letters and ads? What stands out for you?
GM: One of the things that sticks out for me was a girl named Barb organized everybody to chip in and they took a time out I mean, they took an ad out in the Hollywood Reporter, I think. I think it was the Hollywood Reporter, and saying, you know, support the show and, you know, they actually gathered money [takes off glasses for the rest of the interview and rubs at his eye] to take an ad out and I dont know how much money that was, how much that was but it obviously was quite a bit to take an ad out for something like that. I thought that-that was really nice. Yeah.
IN: Was that gratifying?
GM: Uh, yeah. [rubs eye again] Of course, its gratifying. And like I said earlier, its also scary at the same time, too. But for the most part its its its really wonderful.
IN: Obviously theres an enormous amount of these people who would be willing to do something like raise money, so the show must mean a lot to them. What have you heard?
GM: I dont know. I mean, I I [speaking slowly and thoughtfully] from the fan base that I see, its not the explosions, and its not the body counts, and its not, you know, the babe of the week . I think its I dont know its the friendship between the lead characters and that they can have guys be friends and not show the sort of [shrugging emphatically] I dont know I dont know, macho, cop way of dealing with one another. I mean, that there are two guys and theyre both trying to learn from each other and teach each other at the same time. And they they uh and they can do that without any without any weird feelings. [waving his hand and pushing his hair back to scratch his head] I dont really now how to put it. But I think for the most part the friendship between the main characters is the attraction. [scratches head] Yeah. [laughs and shrugs in an I give up manner].
IN: [approving of his answer]
GM: I did too. [wiggles fingers at his forehead.] I just started fading because Im sick.
IN: Will we be seeing more of that relationship between Ellison and Sandburg this season?
GM: This season, yeah theres um . My own personal wish is that there would be more of it. But theres two or three episodes this year that are predominately between Richard and myself the two main characters. And uh. .
IN: [makes reference to having to do the question again because of studio noise, then re-asks if the relationship will be explored more this season]
GM: Yes. Yeah, we will see it explored more. Um Not to the extent that I would like it to be explored, but its still there. You still have to have the explosions and the body count, but uh its there. And dont forget Banks either. Ellison, Sandburg, and Banks are the three main characters and uh also Connor now. Megan Connor. [pronounces it Meegan]. And hopefully shell be put into the mix a little bit more now also.
IN: How did the friendship between Ellison and Sandburg develop? They were basically just thrown together at first.
GM: The basic basic premise of the friendship is that its two guys ultimately from different worlds and but they took different paths to get to the same spot. You know hes a more [makes a fist] by the line, by the book cop. And Im more of a well, Im a scientist anthropologist you know, who should be more by the book in certain areas but in other areas hes sort of you know, a little bit more earthy, I suppose you could call him. But how did they deal with each other and be able to learn from each other and take the good and the bad from each others personalities and grow from it and uh be friends, you know.
IN: Since you and Richard Burgi are such good friends, do you think that chemistry comes across in that you clearly like each other in real life? And that your friendship parallels that between Ellison and Sandburg?
GM: Rich? Who? My friendship with Rich?
GM: I cant stand him.
IN: [scolding humor] Oh, you can too.
GM: [laughs] I cant stand the guy. [laughs] No, Im just kidding. Uh No, I love Rich. I love everybody on the show. [rubs eye] I love Rich. Love Bruce. Love Anna. I mean, theyre all great people. I love working with them. Um I dont really know thatI mean, *our* friendship. No, I dont think our friendship [looks thoughtfully toward the ceiling]. I dont think our friendship parallels that on the show. I mean, it has grown in the same way that uh that I mean, we Richard and I met at the same time that Jim and Blair met. So yes, weve grown in the last three and a half years at the same way that our characters have. But so um [as though reluctantly giving in because he cant explain it] yeah, I dont know, I guess its sort of parallel. But were very good friends.
IN: With the fans going so crazy over the show and even putting money up, does it put extra pressure on you to deliver the best possible show that you can?
GM: Um no, that was my attitude from the start. I mean I want to deliver the best possible show I can from the start. I mean thats hopefully why they started to like the show. So no, I havent felt any more *added* pressure. Ive just felt like I keep on doing the same thing Ive been doing. I dont like putting pressure on myself. [laughs and shakes head] I dont perform well.
IN: This season youve had some interesting guest stars. When we last spoke you had Jeri Ryan, who everyone knows from Star Trek.
GM: Six of Nine, I think.
GM: Is it Six of Nine? Seven of Eight? Six of Nine? Whats her characters name?
IN: Six of Nine.
GM: Six of Nine, yeah. Uh, yeah, she came back this year to finish the second part of last years cliffhanger. Shes wonderful to work with. I uh This year I didnt get to work with her as much as last year. In the season-ending show last year, *our* characters were more in the scenes together, and this year its Richard and she that worked together. But shes a great woman you know, a great actress. Makes really good choices and it was a pleasure to work with her. We got to work a little bit down in L.A. We did a second unit on the beach and it sort of [laughs, then earnestly] made me yearn for the sun, you know what I mean? [laughs] I mean, I love Vancouver but it rains a lot up here. [laughs]
IN: You also got to work with Robert Vaughn and the NBA guys again.
GM [finally smiling and looking animated]: Yeah, Robert Vaughn, he was great. Hes great. I mean, that guy has a resume about twelve pages long. Thirty I mean, he was in uh, Magnificent Seven and uh, Man from UNCLE. I mean the guy has worked since I dont know it was incredible to work with him. He was fun. A lot of fun. And [rubs eye] the NBA players are always fun to work with because you know they can show you a thing or two on the court, but we get to show them a thing or two out here, in front of the camera. But a lot of them are, you know, just naturals because theyre doing all the commercials and stuff and uh you know, the promotional stuff for whatever sponsors they have. A lot of them are really natural at it. So, its great.
IN: Can you tell us a little bit about whats coming up, and is it going to be a good fourth season?
GM: Yeah, hopefully a good third and half seasons, three and a half seasons. Theres only eight this year. Uh, yeah, well I come back to life. Thats not a bad thing. You know, that Im back for the fourth season I suppose. Uh... yeah, theres a lot of exciting stuff. Its hard to kind of remember it all right now, because it all sort of turns into one long show. I come to life [moving arm to gesture outside the sound stage] and then we finale out there with a sniper. [laughs] So, its been a a four month movie, eight-hour movie. Um should be a lot of fun though.
IN: The thing thats neat about this show I dont know if youll agree or disagree
GM: Oh, I disagree. [grins]
IN: Despite all the stunts and action, theres this human drama in the middle of it. Do you think thats part of the shows success that it has a little bit of everything?
GM: Yeah. Right. Id say that pretty much sums it up. I mean, its got a little bit of everything in it. Which I think can attract a wider you know, range of viewers, which is nice. If you dont like the explosions turn your eyes when something is going to explode, and if you dont like the touchy-feely stuff wait for a gun to shoot. You know, whatever. [laughs and shrugs]
IN: Can you tell us whats going on in the episode youre filming?
GM: Uh theres union worker whos trying to unite a union boss is trying unite all the dock workers and theres a contract out on his life, and we have a recurring uh hit man uh Klaus [glances toward the ceiling] Zeller hes aka The Iceman, and hes hot on his trail, so Ellison and I and Banks and Connor have to, have to, have to stop him from killing the union boss. Thats the plot [looks directly at the camera with mock seriousness] but theres a lot of deep, deep emotional stuff in the middle. [to IN] You know.
IN: Is it fun working with your producer as the director?
GM: Yep. It always is, because we dont have to wait for a phone call to try to get something changed. You know, if theres dialogue that we dont really think is germane to whats happening, then he can say, Youre right! Change it. Im the producer/director/ writer/co-creator, so yes. So we have the yes man on the set, which is nice, so we dont have to wait and kind of bounce ideas around another producer and then the director and another actor, so *Theres* the producer, *theres* the director, *theres* one of the co-creators . Yes, you can do whatever you want. So, its a lot better.
IN: This is a big show. I go on a lot of sets this is what I do for a living and every time I come here there seems to be three or four cameras, or youre doing some major thing .
GM [conspiratorially]: Those are just the days we *invite* you. Normally, its just a little video camera. Weve got the EPK [?] people coming you know, so we go out and rent [points to soundstage] Those arent real cameras. Thats just a fašade, man. Wake up! [looks off-camera] What are you doing, Charles? Bringing me rookies. [to IN, seriously] Im sorry?
IN: What Im trying to get at is that this show seems like a mini-feature every week.
GM: Oh, yeah, sure. We, uh, we-we its-its-its a big [rubs eye] I think its a big budget. I mean, Im pretty sure. Im not too up on how much we spend on anything. [to camera] I dont even know how much I make and thats not very good. [to IN] Uh but yeah, were a big show. As far as I know, were one of the biggest ones in Vancouver as far as episodic television goes. Uh yeah, theres always tons of extras and theres always a lot of stuff going on and uh yeah, its a honor to be working in a place like this. Its really great.
IN: In case someone wants to air this before the season premiere airs .
IN: So, I just want to get a separate bite.
GM [snorting]: Sorry, for snorting like that. [snorts again]
IN: Thats all right. The end of last season you died. Maybe recap the cliffhanger for those who might have missed it and tell us whats happening in the season opener.
IN: Dont tell us too much. Why should people tune into the season opener?
GM: Uh, well, what happened last year is uh we ran into another sentinel. Uh, an evil sentinel played by Jeri Ryan. And she killed me. So, that was the cliffhanger. And the, uh, season-opener [to the camera] since Im doing this interview, the eighth episode, I dont think its going to come as a surprise I come back to life. Uh I come back to life in the new episode and uh and uh [to IN] my partner goes and gets her. [laughs] And takes us down into Peru, the jungles of Peru, and its pretty amazing helicopters and uh grottos and temples and meditation tanks and things like that. Its pretty wild. Its good stuff. Its neat sets to work on. [to camera] Its all Styrofoam. It looks like rock. [to IN] But its kind of cool. But, you know. [mimics tapping on it]
IN: It sounds like a pretty neat first episode. Good gosh.
GM: It was. It was fun.
IN: What do you want to say to all the fans out there that literally took the time and effort and money to save your show?
GM [to camera]: I would like to say thank you for helping us out. And all the effort. And uh, God bless, and I wish you all the best. And please keep watching the show. Well try to deliver exactly what weve been delivering and and hopefully there will be more to come.
IN: Perfect. That was great. Thank you so much for doing this.
GM: Oh, no, my pleasure, my pleasure. [puts on glasses]
IN: I hate having to think when I have a cold.
GM: Oh, man. [shakes head and reaches under his sweater for the microphone]