Monday Page Three

Ben Browder 

In his introduction, David Kemper said that Ben is truly the best actor he’s ever worked with, and then Ben came out to huge applause from the audience.

Ben07M.jpg (28038 bytes)Ben said he brought a different set of cards this year that were smaller than last year’s set because he hoped they’d sail farther back into the crowd. They were trading cards, and on each one he wrote the name of one of the unsung heroes of Farscape, under their names, he wrote one of their special contributions to Farscape. Then he read each card and tossed it to the audience. Peter Andrikidis’s card flew up under the ceiling – it might still be there, folks, get your ladders. The one that landed on my husband’s foot says, “Ben Thompkins ‘Ben Seven’ Astroboy” and it’s signed by Ben Browder. Ben Thompkins is one of Ben Browder’s stand-ins. A couple of others: The Star Spangled Banner in Liars, Guns and Money from Andrew Prowse; fishnet stockings from Ben’s makeup artist, Margaret; “Hell, yeah!” when Crichton whups Harvey in Season of Death from Michael (Bubba) Faranda, an assistant director.

The first question from the audience: At what point in the series do you feel that John dug in and sort of knew where he was? Ben said that he felt the turning point episode was Jeremiah Crichton. “And by the way”, he said, the beard “was my idea”. When John came out of that situation, he’d had time to “get his bitch out” and there’s a noticeable difference from that point on.

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How does it feel playing Scorpius? (In Scorpy’s voice)”Officer Sun, what luscious lips!” He said the whole thing is kind of weird because when you wear the costume and you walk on set, everyone greets you as Wayne.

Someone wanted to know how he manages to get the tears and the bloodshot eyes during a scene. Ben said that sometimes you manage to do it yourself and sometimes you don’t, and then you can get help from the makeup department. The person who doesn’t do that is Claudia Black. During John’s death scene, she worked for take after take, tears streaming down her face. Ben said that he’s in awe of her. The flip side, he said, is that if you cry a lot, you get a runny nose. Then they kiss and when she moves back, there’s this string of “stuff” between them. Ben’s apologizing all over the place and Claudia says, “No!! It was great!!”

How did you feel about the fishnets? “It’s confusing. Especially if your wife’s in there going, ‘Haaawwwww!’ and you’ve got Anth between your legs!” He wished they’d gotten a better pair, though. They actually had to duct tape them to his leg and every time he’d move, they’d pull on his hair. “The things we women do!”

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The next fan said that yesterday we heard Wayne’s story about the roller coaster. What was your experience? Ben said that he loves roller coasters and he thought Wayne was joking that he’d never been on one. When they got to the end of the first ride Wayne was looking a little off. “Wayne, ya ok?” “Huh? Yeah. I’m okay.” They got his coverage done and here’s Scorpius in a racing suit, bolting out of the roller coaster and racing for the bucket, pulling out his teeth along the way. “It was terrible.” (Said with a big grin)

A little girl in a great Jool costume asked Ben for a hug – kid’s wise beyond her years – so Ben went over and picked her up and gave her a big hug.

A fan came up to the microphone to ask some questions for a couple of fans from Germany who were in the audience. What other role would you love to play besides science fiction? Ben said, “Oh, besides science fiction? Is there anything other than science fiction? Let me think about it for a little while.” The second question was, “If Farscape were to continue for seven years, would you consider making a movie?” Ben said he’d consider making a Farscape movie whether it went for seven years or not. He thinks that Farscape lends itself well to the big screen.” He went back to the first question and said that he’s perfectly happy with science fiction right now.

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In Die Me, Dichotomy, when Crichton bent over Aeryn’s coffin, he took some of her hair because throughout the second season, her hair was sort of a thing with John. As far back as Mind the Baby, he would play with her hair when they were near each other. Claudia was a little nervous with Ben in handcuffs. She was a little afraid he’d poke her in the eye with the knife.

For Ben, of the major things about John is hope. That’s what’s at the heart of the issue for him.

“Was it always part of the over-all plan for John and Aeryn to get together or did that just develop?” Ben said that  when your cast as a guy and a girl together, you tend to play it that way. But, he said, the writing staff had gone to great lengths for two and a half seasons to keep them apart.

From the next answer, you can probably guess the question. “Okay, let me clear this up right now. Two Crichtons. Equal and original.”

Which do you prefer, working in front of a camera or a live audience? Ben said that there’s nothing like a live audience, but he also loves film because of all the pieces that have to come together to make it work. Right now he loves working in television and on Farscape.

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What is the stardom you have now like? Ben said that working in Australia, there aren’t too many people who know him from Farscape yet so he really doesn’t have to deal with it. For 10 monthes of the year, they’re working in the coal mines in Australia and then they come up here and it’s like being in the sunlight. He said they bask in it. “People actually watch the show!?” Ben said that the whole thing is really about the story. This year there were two John Crichtons. One John Crichton everybody kinda loved. The other John Crichton people weren’t so sure about. What’s the difference? The same actor is playing the part.“ It’s about story. It’s about John Crichton, it’s not about Ben Browder.”

Ben broke tradition and performed his part in the famous secret scene for us. He just stood there and stared straight ahead. No spoilers there!

A fan said the you get to act, you get to write, you get to produce (Ben said he doesn’t produce except in the sense that everybody produces). Are you considering directing? “As soon as I can take Prowsie in a fight!” He said he’d love to direct but not yet.

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What is the biggest difference between John Crichton and Ben Browder? "The biggest difference is that I’m here and he’s out there. Actually, they’re not at all the same except they look alike. He’s a little shorter, a little fatter."

Then Ben had the audience stand and give themselves a round of applause. “You’re the ones we make the show for and you’re the ones who watch the show in depth and understand that we’re telling a long story. We’re telling a story about people. When Aeryn walks off the transport pod and says ‘Hello, John,” and walks by, you’re the one’s who get that.” Then he thanked us for having them there and making them feel so welcome.

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