Richard Dean Anderson Had Two Important Demands For His Stargate Character

By Douglas Helm | 2 months ago

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Although Richard Dean Anderson hasn’t done many acting projects as of late, fans will all fondly remember his role on Stargate SG-1. According to a recent interview with series co-creator Jonathan Glassner, it seems like Anderson played a big part in making the character, Jack O’Neill, so beloved and unique. In the interview with Dial the Gate, Glassner talked about how Richard Dean Anderson had a few character demands before taking on the role. He mentioned that he thought the character should have a funny side and that he shouldn’t be the leading man. He wanted the cast to feel like an ensemble, instead of a one-man show. It seems like his conditions were taken to heart because Stargate SG-1 is very well-regarded by fans.

Richard Dean Anderson was most famous for his role as MacGyver in the TV series of the same name before taking on the Stargate role. The show was super popular and well-known for the creative ways MacGyver would get himself out of a bind. His massive popularity from the role made him one of the biggest names on the cast list for Stargate SG-1, which definitely gave him some room to negotiate his character traits.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Stargate universe, Richard Dean Anderson took on the role of Jack O’Neill, which was portrayed by Kurt Russell in the 1994 movie Stargate, directed by Roland Emmerich. The titular stargates are pieces of alien technology that can instantly teleport you interstellar distances. The popularity of the movie was enough to spawn several more movies and Stargate SG-1, which received spinoffs of its own. There’s even an animated Stargate series, a web series, and several Stargate video games. With the massive support for the franchise, it’s no surprise that there are talks of another TV show in the works.

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If you check out the rest of the Dial the Gate interview, it seems like filling the Jack O’Neill role and nabbing Richard Dean Anderson wasn’t the only challenge when they were putting together Stargate SG-1. They had to replace the inimitable James Spader’s role from the movie as Dr. Daniel Jackson. They ended up casting Michael Shanks in this role. Christopher Judge would take on the role of Teal’c. They also mentioned that it was difficult casting Samantha Carter since they needed to find someone who could pull off the dual qualities of an astrophysicist and solider while also having good comedic timing. They were able to find Amanda Tapping and the rest, as they say, is history.

If you’ve never seen any of the Stargate properties, now is as good of a time as any to start. Or, if you haven’t checked them out in a while, it might be a good idea to catch up in case that new show gets the go-ahead. Fortunately, you can easily stream all episodes of Stargate SG-1 and watch the original Stargate on Netflix. You can see both Kurt Russell and Richard Dean Anderson play the role and decide for yourself which version you like best.