Comic-Con 2011: 'Sanctuary's' Amanda Tapping (Q&A)

The "Stargate" veteran waxes poetic on what's coming up on the upcoming fourth season of her Syfy series.

With hundreds of thousands of people attending San Diego Comic-Con every year and the July 20-24 event quickly approaching, The Hollywood Reporter chatted with the big names in television to discuss their favorite memories and tips for attending the annual event. THR’s Live Feed will talk Comic-Con with actors, writers and producers in the days leading up to the event so check back soon for interviews and the latest news on panels and screenings.

Amanda Tapping
Geek Cred: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Sanctuary
Comic-Con panel: Sanctuary, Saturday, July 23, 11 a.m.-12 p.m., Indigo Ballroom

The Hollywood Reporter: What stands out from your Comic-Con experiences?

Amanda Tapping: I’ve been to maybe eight or nine Comic-Cons and when we first started Sanctuary, I’d been going as a Stargate actor and was barely able to walk the floor. We went for Sanctuary, and didn’t have a booth or panel and piggybacked off someone else’s booth. The next year, we had a bigger room and a bigger panel. There were 1,000 people in attendance, now we’re in the 2,000-person room. It feels like every year, we can see a progression for Sanctuary.
THR: What’s the best thing a fan has ever said to you at Comic-Con?

Tapping: I was in the washroom at and a woman squealed, “Oh my gosh, it’s you!” Then she said, “I’ve been watching you since I was 10. You made me realize that girls can be strong and smart and you changed my life.” It was the double-edged sword of, “Oh my God, I’m old” and “How fantastic that I had this impact.”

Comic-Con 2011: Full THR Coverage
THR: Do you recall an experience from your very first Comic-Con? Anything that you remember specifically?

Tapping: At the hotel seeing how many people were dressed up as their favorite sci-fi characters. There were more people dressed up than there were people going in regular clothes.
THR: Tips for pulling off a kick-ass presentation?

Tapping: Don’t take yourself too seriously. The fans respond so much better when everyone’s laughing and having a good time.
THR: Which panel would you stand in line for?

Tapping: The original Star Trek reunion panel. I would stand in line just to see what stories came out of that.

THR: What would be your dream panel?

Tapping: I’d like to see J.J. Abrams and Damian Kindler, our show creator, on a panel. I think they are similar in a lot of ways; I think they would totally be geeking out, at least Damian would anyways.  I would surround him with his heroes and watch him go crazy.
THR: What questions would you recommend fans not ask at panels?

Tapping: Questions about specific actors or actresses that may be a bit untoward, like “Why is that person not here anymore?” or “How come this person is only doing this many episodes?” You can’t really answer the question honestly.

THR: What’s coming up during Season 4 of Sanctuary?

Tapping: We painted ourselves in an impossible-to-get-out-of corner at the end of Season 3 and we start in a time and place that is very special to my character [Dr. Helen Magnus], but is rich with history and stories. I directed the second episode and Robin Dunne directed the sixth episode. We do an episode on a tropical island. We do an episode on an ice breaker on the Behring Sea. The Victorian era episode, it was raining inside the studio. You’ll see a great directing turn from Robin Dunne.

THR: Who can viewers expect to see in the upcoming season?

Tapping: The guest stars that the fans have really loved and embraced are all back this year. Carlo Rotta is in an episode called “Monsoon” and he’s laugh out loud funny. Brian Markinson, who has been in everything from Woody Allen films to Angels in America, he did our third episode and we’re having him come back because we loved him so much.

The fourth season of Sanctuary premieres this fall.