hit Scifi Channel series, Stargate: SG-1 has recently been
renewed for a tenth season, making it the longest running scifi
series in North American television history. Ben Browder, the
talented actor who plays Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell the newest
leader of SG-1, was nice enough to take a few moments out of his
much deserved down time to talk to Eclipse Magazine about his
first ‘journey’ as a member of the cast of Stargate: SG-1
and what it was like to join the long running, highly successful
EM: Did you have any reservations about joining an established
show like Stargate: SG-1? What concerned you the most: coming in
as the ‘new guy’ or knowing that you were going to be
following in the footsteps of Richard Dean Anderson and his
character of Jack O’Neill?
BB: Anytime you join an existing group/company there will be the
usual reservations... will this work?... will you fit in?...
ect... Doing this in front of a few million Stargate fans would
be a very daunting proposition if you stopped to think about it.
Luckily I don't think too much about such things and fall
headlong into the abyss... I believe in the credo "Fail
gloriously and fail with a swagger in your step!"
EM: Having now completed filming season nine, was the experience
anything like you expected it to be going in?
BB: Well... my expectations were limited by my own ignorance...
aside from any expectations I can say I had a fantastic time
with everyone in Vancouver. The SG folks are a very tight family
and a heckof a lot of fun to hang out with.
EM: What do you think your biggest challenge was? How did you
overcome it to make the most of your character and your place on
BB: The biggest challenge, after figuring out how to navigate SG
command sets without getting totally lost, was to figure out
which way the current was running and swim with all the other
fishes. Every set has its own kind of flow and rhythm...
learning to swim with the flow is essential. In fact... it’s
something I'm still learning.
EM: How did you work with the writers to flesh out your
character and what did you bring to the table that you felt was
important to add to the character’s personality?
BB: Like all actors... sometimes I have my own ideas... some of
these I would run by the writers, some I kept to myself. At the
end of the day... the "story is king" and you service
what is on the page to the best of your abilities (some might
say limited abilities). But any character is a collaborative
construct... whenever I have an idea, I try to remain receptive
to what the writers, directors, other cast members, ect... have
EM: What aspects of the character you were hired to play have
changed or evolved for you as the episodes progressed? How
different is Cameron Mitchell now from when he began?
BB: I've pretty much given up publicly describing the characters
I play... They exist as a function of the story and the audience
perspective... anything I say just gets in the way.
EM: The producers and the other actors on the show have remarked
that you really throw yourself into doing the stunt work. Is
this something you feel is important to the presentation of your
character and why?
BB: It’s probably not that important... but its fun! Plus you
can achieve certain shots that you would otherwise not get in
TV. In film, where there is much more time and money, you can
fake the things we do for "real"... The trick is
knowing when to step aside and let the stunt guys do their
thing... there are a number of stunts that there is no call for
me to be doing. However when it makes sense for me to be in the
shot, I hope it’s a value added kind of thing.
EM: Was there anything done with your character or a direction
that you really enjoyed
BB: I loved the boy stuff... fights, uniforms, getting knocked
down... and I like how Mitchell lets his hair down when he's off
EM: What was the one thing that you felt might not go over well
or you had reservations about?
BB: I'm an eternal optimist... reservations are for when you
need to hedge your bets.
EM: There were some portions of Stargate fandom that felt
Mitchell was not brought to the forefront as strongly as he
could have been. They felt that he was too laid back in the
introduction. As the actor behind the character, what are your
thoughts on this and do you agree or disagree.
BB: Too laid back?... suppose its worth thinking about.... Nah,
can't be bothered.
EM: There was some mentions on the internet that the gate room
showdown between Kahlek was suppose to be done with Mitchell
firing the kill shot, but that you felt this should be done by
Daniel Jackson. That you gave this part of the scene to Michael
Shanks. Is this true and if so, what made you feel this was a
better way for the scene to be played out?
BB: That was the writer's idea as far as I know or remember...
certainly makes sense in regards to Jackson's position on
EM: What has been your favorite episode in the first half of the
BB: I like Avalon pt 2.... Burnings.... Swords... lots of
Vala/Jackson... and Dr. Lee!
EM: What episode upcoming in the second half would you like fans
to keep an eye out for and why?
BB: Camelot... though I have yet to see even a cut of it... but
the movie had some nice songs. "It’s sure there's simply
not, a more congenial spot, for happy ever afterings than
here... in... Cam... o... lot!" I just realized I mostly
like the episode cause it's titled after Cam Mitchell.
EM: Now that the series is going into a tenth season, do you
have any plans to write an episode? If so, would it be something
about Cameron Mitchell that might give us more back story or
would you rather write a more team focused episode if possible?
BB: The show is going to season ten. I have not been invited to
invade the writing sanctuary and would be loathe to inviting
myself to their party. If I did write for SG-1, I'd lean towards
a team episode with a contained, non arc, plot.
EM: Can you share your take on how you view your interaction and
that of Cameron Mitchell’s interaction with the other
actors/characters on the series.
BB: Maybe next time... besides there's only so much gushing that
should be allowed in any one interview.
EM: There have been Stargate/Farscape character comparisons made
by some of the fans of both shows. What is the one thing you
would like to say in response to these comparisions?
BB: I’ts a little like apples and potatoes... they're both
roundish, but are they both fruit? I don't know... they taste
different to me.
EM: Given that, what is the one thing you think sets Cameron
Mitchell apart from John Crichton?
BB: Mitchell is a couple of years older than Crichton and the
Air Force won't let him grow sideburns.
EM: Tell us a little bit about Ben Browder when he’s away from
the production studios. Do you hang out with any of the other
members of the cast (been to one of CJ’s infamous poker or
BB: I can't hang with Judge at ANY party. I don't have that kind
of energy... that man will have engraved on his tombstone
"This Man LIVED!" After work I go home and collapse
with a script on my face... so there is little hanging out with
the cast. We pretty much do that five days a week, 12 hours a
EM: How do you relax away from filming?
BB: I go home, try to stay there, and sleep. Its kinda like the
whole mature wisdom thing... it would be mature and wise to rest
up and prepare for the big work week ahead... but what appears
to be mature wisdom is actually just being tired.
EM: Thanks, Ben.
Viewers can catch Ben Browder as Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell on
Stargate: SG-1 Friday nights at 8PM (EST) on The Scifi Channel,
which is currently airing repeats of the first half of season
nine. New episodes of season nine are scheduled for start-up on
January 6th, 2006. Season ten begins filming in February of