When I started Stargate, I got the part, I was SO thrilled to have this INCREDIBLE character, to be playing someone in the military. I had SO much respect, to be playing someone who’s so smart and so liberated and… I thought “Yes!”
I had two weeks to move from Toronto to Vancouver. I flew out there, I had my first wardrobe fitting. And one of the things that was in… THE thing that was in the wardrobe room was a very low-cut tank top and a push-up bra…
And I turned to the costume designer - whom I’ve worked with since, who’s wonderful - and I said “What… What is this?”
And she said “Well.. they wanna see what you look like in it.”
And I said “…but this… NOBODY in the military, no captain in the US airforce would wear this… while her male counterparts are wearing crewneck t-shirts and… I c… I can’t do it!”
And she said “Well, they just wanna see what you look like and take a picture and…”
I was like “…”.
And I PANICKED because I thought, I had just been given this AMAZING opportunity - I didn’t know it would last 10 years but I knew it was gonna be a kick-ass show - and I was like… “I can’t do it…”
And I started to cry and I said “You have to go upstairs and tell them I’m not doing it. And if it means that they recast the part then recast the part but you’ve cast a smart woman and you’ve cast somebody who has NEVER tried to get a job based on her looks or her body, I’ve always played strong, smart women, I… I can’t do it. So if they wanna recast the part I totally get it but I’m not playing THAT version of this character.”
But I’m saying this while I’m blubbering because I’m suffering that I’ve just lost maybe the best job of my career…
And so she said “Okay” and I said “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’ve NEVER been difficult, I don’t… but I CAN’T do that!”
So she went upstairs and she came back down and she said “Okay, no problem.”
And I said “Okay, so what’s my costume?”
And she said “Well…”
And I said “Just… What are the guys wearing?”
So she handed me a black T-Shirt and the BDUs, which is what my character would wear in the field with her male counterparts, and that’s where we went from there.
But that to me was the defining moment of…
And I STILL cry about it because I still remember that young woman on the verge of breaking into the… new something big, being petrified that she was gonna loose it, but… I knew that I couldn’t play the TNA version of Sam Carter.
Every time I read this I’m so moved, because I just remember loving her character so much and being amazed by her, and how did this character come to be? Well, the answer is a young, brave woman: Amanda Tapping.