Posts Tagged ‘Peter DeLuise’

Dollhouse’s Eliza Duska Celebrates Memorial Day On Syfy

May 16, 2010

THE Syfy Channel kicks off the official start of summer with a four-day Memorial Day weekend marathon of nearly 40 movies, highlighted by the premiere of Wrong Turn, starring Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Tru Calling, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), on Saturday, May 29th @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST.

The festival begins on Friday, May 28th with “Cold as Ice” films, featuring Ice Spiders (Patrick Muldoon and Vanessa Williams) @ 5:00 p.m., Wyvern (Nick Chinlund) @ 7:00 p.m. and Yeti (Peter DeLuise) @ 9:oo p.m. On Saturday, May 29th, Syfy unleashes horror movies such as Open Graves (Mike Vogal) @ 3:00 p.m., and Wrong Turn 2 (Erica Leerhsen) @ 7:00 p.m., leading into Wrong Turn @ 9:00 p.m.

The “Don’t Go in the Water” marathon on Sunday, May 30th showcases fan favorites from Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus (Debbie Gibson) @ 3:00 p.m., Lake Placid 2 (John Schneider, Cloris Leachman) @ 7:00 p.m. and Mega Piranha (Barry Williams, Tiffany, Paul Logan) @ 9:00 p.m. to Supergator (Kelly McGillis) @ 11:oo p.m.

The holiday gala concludes on Memorial Day, May 31st, with a Stephen King movie marathon. Patricia Wetting and Dean Stockwell star in the two-part The Langoilers @ 11:oo a.m., followed by Rob Lowe, Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald in the four-part The Stand @ 3:00 p.m.

Alice’s Zak Santiago – In The Cards

December 6, 2009

Actor Zak Santiago. Photo by Mitchell Parsons and courtesy of Zak Santiago and The Promotion People

In the Syfy Channel’s Alice, the title character goes through the looking glass and ends up in a world filled with quirky and colorful characters. Just like the Lewis Carroll books on which this miniseries is based, Wonderland is ruled over with an iron fist by The Queen of Hearts, an ill-tempered monarch who, for some reason, has it in for Alice. Eager to meet our heroine in-person, The Queen dispatches two of her most trusted minions to bring Alice to her. Enter the 10 of Clubs, played by Zak Santiago. 

“My character is kind of a righthand man for The Queen of Hearts [Kathy Bates], and in this story he’s rolling with Mad March [Geoff Redknap],” explains Santiago during a break in production. “They are sent to find and capture Alice [Caterina Scorsone] and bring her to The Queen, who wants this very special ring [The Stone of Wonderland] that Alice was given. Mad March and 10 of Clubs are bounty hunters, so they possess a sort of severe coldness, but because there is such a humor in [director] Nick Willing’s writing, they’re almost like Laurel and Hardy. Here are these two deadly villains who aren’t so much bumbling, but who don’t really understand one another. 

“The Mad March can be described as this reconstructed, almost half-robotic assassin, and my character, the 10 of Clubs, is usually the one in charge of this type of operation. However, when Mad March is brought back to life, I have to bow to him a little bit, and this guy is really cold. So 10 of Clubs is trying to be ruthless, while at the same time trying to develop a relationship with this machine-like assassin. And the thing is, 10 of Clubs is usually a tough guy, but there are other times where he’ll show his cowardice. 

“As an actor, the trick is to find these comedic levels with your character without being too campy, and to be part of this fantasy world without descending into caricature. You don’t want to be false; you have to be 100% committed, even if the situation gets ridiculous at times. That’s one of the hurdles, though, with this type of storytelling. It may be a children’s story, but adults are going to watch it, too, and there’s dark humor in it. So it’s much more difficult to play as opposed to a broad farce, sitcom or straightforward children’s show. So that’s a challenge, but a good one, and my character has definitely been fun for me to play.” 

The 10 of Clubs (Santiago) in the Syfy Channel's Alice. Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

Santiago had just returned to Vancouver from Los Angeles when he was sent the [audition] sides for Alice. As soon as he read them, he could not wait to try out for the 10 of Clubs role. “I was excited for a number of reasons,” says the actor. “When I was a kid, I read The Lord of the Rings series of books long before I thought they would be made into films. I also read C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and played Dungeons and Dragons and Middle Earth. I loved the idea of fantasy as well as legends and mythology and all that kind of stuff. And Alice is one of those stories you read as a kid and that just opened up your imagination. 

“I think I’m from one of the last generations of kids who didn’t learn on computers in school. There wasn’t an Internet, either, and we didn’t have cable TV, video games or a VCR. So everything existed in these books and what you could draw, paint, write, create or otherwise imagine for yourself after having read them. So Alice ties into that part of my childhood. I’ve always been drawn to otherworldly sorts of things, so I was thrilled to find out that I had a shot at helping tell this type of story. 

“Once I booked the job and before filming actually started, I found out a little more about [the production company] Reunion Pictures as well as Nick Willing and the legacy that he brings with him, which includes his work on [the 2007 Syfy Channel miniseries] Tin Man. Then there were the sets as well as the costumes – we have an Academy Award-winning costume designer [Angus Strathie] working on Alice – and, of course, the rest of the actors who had been cast. I began to get even more excited because I realized with Nick’s vision, and once I’d read the script, that this was going to be incredible.” 

The actor’s first day of work on Alice was on-location in Kamloops, British Columbia. “I had never been there before and the set they built was very surreal,” he says. “We also shot in downtown Vancouver and all over the lower mainland, but most of the filming has been at our main studio here in Aldergrove, which is about an hour-and-a-half outside of Vancouver and in the suburbs. This is where the throne room set is along with the casino set as well as where all the green screen work is done. 

Putting his imagination to good use, Santiago enthusiastically took on the role of the 10 of Clubs in Alice. Photo by Mitchell Parsons and courtesy of Zak Santiago and The Promotion People

“Kamloops was my first time being on-set and putting on my character’s costume and the make-up. The 10 of Clubs wears this long, pointy goatee-type beard, so that’s been a bit of work for the make-up women, all of whom do a fantastic job of fashioning the beard and gluing it on me every day. It’s meant a bit more time for me in the make-up chair, but otherwise the rest of my make-up is fairly standard. As for my costume, I wear an Italian suit with amazing woolen cloaks as well as bowler hats and 10 of Clubs headpieces, so I feel pretty regal. It’s almost like playing a cardinal or a cross between one of Emperor Palpatine’s men in Star Wars and some sort of evil lawyer,” jokes the actor. 

While the 10 of Clubs starts out working for the bad guys, his allegiances begin to shift as his eyes are slowly opened to who his so-called rulers truly are. “First off, I have to say that it has been incredible working with Kathy Bates and Colm Meaney who plays The King of Hearts, both of whom I’m a fan of,” says Santiago. “My character’s relationship with The Queen and King is one of fear and super-reverence. However, as things spiral out of control for them, The 10 of Clubs gets to see a weaker or less regal side of both of them, and it reaches the point where he turns his back on these two monarchs. 

“So that relationship basically disintegrates over the four hours of our story, but with Alice, it’s very much the opposite. She’s one of the good guys, and the 10 of Clubs eventually comes over to her side and ends up watching her back along with that of the Hatter[Andrew-Lee Potts] and The White Knight [Matt Frewer]. He’s not a turncoat, but rather the ultimate revolutionary. My character helps the campaign to overturn the despot, tyrannical ruler. 

“Again, my main challenge with the 10 of Clubs has been making sure I really believe in what he’s saying and doing, otherwise it’s going to be hard for people to take him seriously because he’s a pretty eccentric guy. What’s great, though, is that acting-wise everything has just been so clear to me because the scenes and dialogue all make sense and everyone in this cast is so talented and committed to the script. I’ve worked on a lot of projects and, honestly, this one has been almost a no-brainer. 

Actor, writer, musician, dancer and more - Santiago is a modern-day renaissance man. Photo by Mitchell Parsons and courtesy of Zak Santiago and The Promotion People

“Another huge plus has been Nick Willing, who is an actor’s director. He’s so specific about his vision and I can tell that he’s a real fan of the fantasy genre, too. We’ve been working some really long days, and it’s been hot and you’ve got something like 150 people in crazy outfits and all this other stuff going on, and yet Nick still finds a way to be true to this vision, you know? He doesn’t sacrifice anything because of time. Nick makes certain that he gets all the shots and is always funny and cracking jokes. There are some directors you work with who are craftsmen and are good because they make the day and keep to the schedule. When you’re doing episodic TV there’s so much you’ve got to get done and they know how to bang things out. But Nick is a true artist and this has been one of the best ever experiences I’ve had with a director. There are only two more days of work for me and I’m going to be sad when this [shoot] is over.” 

Having boxed for several years, Santiago reached a point in his life a while back where he felt a career change was necessary and decided to give acting a try. “When I was still boxing, I ran into a fighter friend of mine one day and asked him what he was doing in this part of town,” he recalls. “My friend told me, ‘I’m going on an audition.’ I asked him, ‘For what?’ and he said acting. 

“Years later I went back to that exact same part of town and looked at every doorway on that side of the street until I saw one marked ‘acting studio.’ I took a class and liked it. I eventually got an agent and slowly began chipping away at it [an acting career]. I’ve always been an artist, though. I danced when I was younger and still do, and I’ve also been a musician my entire life. But I never thought I would ever be an actor. It’s either my curse or my luck,” jokes the actor, “but I’m still doing it, so I guess it’s a good thing.” 

Santiago made his TV debut in an episode of Poltergeist: The Legacy and has since appeared in several made-for-TV movies as well as guest-starred on dozens of shows such as Da Vinci’s Inquest, The L Word, The 4400, Smallville and Eureka. He was also a series regular on Young Blades and the Canadian comedy series Robson Arms

Santiago as Hal Garcia in Robson Arms. Photo copyright of CTV

Young Blades was great fun,” enthuses the actor. “It was a sword and sorcery/period-type piece with wizard characters and other fantastical elements. I played a musketeer and got to ride horses and fight with swords. Having boxed, I like anything physical and with lots of movement, so that was terrific. I also got to write for the show. My character [Ramon Montalvo Francisco de la Cruz] was a Spaniard and a poet as well as a lover of food and wine, a lover of women and a lover of words. And as it turned out, I wrote a sort of soliloquy for my character for each episode. It was like a monologue in poetry that he read at the end of the episode that encapsulated the events of that particular story. 

“That show was a challenge because, again, it was a period piece and an action piece, but it was fairly low-budget as well. Those types of programs are hard to do unless you have the money because of the lavish costumes along with the castles and other things of that nature. It takes a lot to string everything together, so we all worked really hard and I’m still good friends with the cast. It was a wonderful time in my life. 

Robson Arms was even more of a low-budget program, and a neat one, too. Everyone did it out of love, and some of my best friends were my castmates on that show. As a young filmmaker I enjoyed it because it was such an amazing training ground for new directors. There was an incentive to hire first-time directors as well as young writers on that show, so it was exciting to be a part of. The producers had a great deal of heart, and, man, oh, man, was the show funny.” 

Santiago can be seen in upcoming episodes of the Syfy Channel series Caprica, and only a few weeks ago the actor guest-starred in the Stargate Universe episode Time. “Years ago I did a Stargate SG-1 [Evolution]; my friend Peter DeLuise directed that and he then ended up being one of my castmates for a season on Robson Arms,” notes Santiago. 

Hal (Santiago) takes charge of a slippery situation in Robson Arms. Photo copyright of CTV

“Another good friend of mine, James Bamford, who was the stunt coordinator on Stargate Atlantis and now Universe, had been trying to get me on Atlantis as a Wraith or to do some stunt work, so it was cool when I got to play a Marine [Corporal Rivers] on Universe. I got to kiss a really pretty girl as well, and that’s always fun when you’re acting. I was told that my character could be recurring; we’re all on this ship and I haven’t been killed off yet, so I’m hoping to come back and develop my character a little more because I really had a ball in the short time I was there.” 

From listening to Santiago speak it is obvious that he is a people person, and for him, that is a big part of what makes his job so enjoyable. “I’m so grateful for all the friends and relationships I’ve made, and the collaboration,” he says. “In this business you’ve really got to look at it as a whole bunch of people working really hard to come up with something that’s worthwhile. However, when any one of us forgets that we’re just a piece of the puzzle, that’s when you start to look at this as being something different. So as long as you keep in mind that you’re part of a team, then you’ll come away with these relationships and friends along with work that you’re proud of.” 

The first two hours of Alice airs Sunday, December 6th from 9:00-11:-00 p.m. EST on The Syfy Channel and concludes Monday, December 7th @ 9:oo p.m. EST. For more information on Zak please check out 

Steve Eramo 

As noted above, some photos by Mitchell Parsons and courtesy of Zak Santiago and The Promotion People as well as copyright of The Syfy Channel or CTV, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Sanctuary’s Ryan Robbins – Wolf In The Fold

November 28, 2009

Ryan Robbins as Henry Foss in Sanctuary. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

When it comes to tackling problems of a technical nature, Henry Foss is your man. Whether it’s cracking a multi-digit encrypted code or breaking down a seemingly impenetrable firewall, there is no one better qualified or more likely to get results. However, as a member of Dr. Helen Magnus’ Sanctuary team, Henry is more than just a gifted cyber-hacker. A descendant of her father Gregory’s first weaponsmith, he has designed many of Sanctuary’s weapons and is in charge of its defenses. Our beloved techie also has some hidden “talents” that he calls upon only in the more extreme of situations.

Introduced in the Sanctuary webisodes, Henry made the leap last fall to the Syfy Channel’s TV incarnation of the show as a recurring character, and this (second) season is now a regular on the series. On this particular Monday afternoon in June, actor Ryan Robbins, who plays Henry, has been tapping into his character’s techie side while filming the season two episode Veritas. Although the dialogue seems to roll effortlessly off his tongue, it took a bit of practice for him to get to this point.

“To be honest, it was a little nerve-wracking at first because of the nature of Henry,” says Robbins. “As the tech and weapons guy, my character has a lot of tech-talk and scientific babble, which was initially intimidating for me. Also, he was supposed to be the comic relief, and while I’d done comedy before, having to get a handle on being the funny guy in an otherwise dramatic series was, for some reason, difficult and I put some pressure on myself.

On the job with Henry. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“Prior to this I’d been playing a lot of bad guys and killers, so this was a wonderful opportunity and a terrific acting challenge for me. So I just went with it and committed to the material and let myself have a good time, and so far things seem to have worked out.

“Henry changed quite a bit from the webisodes to the first season of the TV show. In season one of Sanctuary there was definitely more depth to my character as well as an air of mystery. Then later on, there was also a darker side to Henry that was revealed, with him being an Abnormal and having the werewolf beast inside him. That was a part of him that he couldn’t control and it gave me even more levels to play in terms of relationships with the other characters.

“So there were a lot of different directions to go in any given scene, which is a gift as an actor. Henry is such a neat character because he’s so complex and his humor comes out of , not necessarily positive things, but rather from his efforts to overcome certain obstacles. What’s the saying, ‘Tragedy plus time equals comedy,’ and I think Henry is the epitome of that in a lot of ways. It’s almost like this running joke that he always has to be overcoming something, otherwise he’s not Henry. Things can’t always go right for him, you know? So many things just go wrong, but he’s constantly trying, and that’s what you’ve got to love about the guy – he just won’t quit. At the end of the day, he’s going to take care of business, but it can’t be easy for Henry.”

There is more than the eye can see with Henry Foss. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

Having first directed Robbins in the two-part Stargate Atlantis episode The Storm and The Eye, Sanctuary executive producer Martin Wood later called the actor about playing Henry in Sanctuary‘s two-hour Internet pilot. “My Atlantis character [Ladon Radim] was only supposed to have a two-story arc and then get killed off,” recalls Robbins. “However, Martin told me, ‘I like you, and I don’t want them to kill your character off.’ So instead they killed a background character, and I stayed on. Ladon ended up becoming the leader of the Genii people, which was great and a lot of fun for me.

“Martin directed most of my Atlantis episodes, and when Sanctuary came up, the story is that he told [series creator/executive producer] Damian Kindler about this guy named Ryan Robbins who he should cast as Henry. And Damian was like, ‘Ladon from Atlantis? But he’s not funny,’ but Martin said something along the lines of, ‘But the guy who played him, Ryan Robbins, is kind of an oddball. He would be perfect for the role.’ So they phoned me and I thought it sounded really cool, and being part of a show that was groundbreaking seems like a good idea, too. Then, of course, we wound up getting a first season on Syfy and now we’re doing season two, so hopefully we’ll be around for a while,” says the actor with a smile.

During season one of Sanctuary, Henry worked with Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping), her daughter Ashley (Emilie Ullerup), Magnus’ former patient and longtime friend/confidant, Bigfoot (Christopher Heyerdahl), and her new protegé, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne), in the preservation and protection of centuries-old creatures called Abnormals. In the episode The Five, the Sanctuary itself falls victim to a series of mysterious attacks. The culprit turns out to be a snake-like creature, and in order to stop it, Henry reveals that he, too, is an Abnormal, more specifically, a werewolf. Before shooting this episode, did Robbins have any idea that his character harbored a hirsute alter ego?

Henry and Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) try to work through yet another crisis facing the Sanctuary. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“We talked at the end of the webisodes and leading up to season one about this being a potential storyline for Henry in the future,” says the actor. “Although it remained kind of vague for a time, I started off in season one playing Henry as having some sort of mystery, because I think characters with secrets are always more interesting to watch. So when it eventually came out that he’s a werewolf, it seemed very natural and not entirely surprising.

“If you go back and watch previous episodes, you can see that Henry is maybe hiding something about himself, and I love it. I think it works really well and creates lots of dynamics. For example, people living with an illness or other difficulty might go for days and days laughing an enjoying themselves just like everyone else around them. However, when they are reminded of that illness or situation they’re in, they will fall into a funk and realize, oh, yeah, I’ve got to deal with this. For the most part, though, you try your best to get on with life. Originally, I feel Henry looked at his condition as being some sort of disease, but he’s since been able to embrace it. I still don’t believe he’s entirely comfortable with it because he’s still learning how to control it.”

The following episode, Edward, – for which Robbins won a Canadian Leo Award for Best Guest Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series – finds Henry contemplating surgery as a way of exorcising his werewolf persona. He changes his mind, though, when his abilities help him and his colleagues save the life of a fellow Abnormal. “I really enjoyed Five and Edward because they were quite dramatic and, again, interesting background stuff. I’m a comic book fan and I love origin stories, and it was cool to see a hint of an origin story for my character,” he says.

Henry at work on yet another invention. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“I also had a lot of fun shooting Nubbins, which was directed by Peter DeLuise. I just felt like was taken to comedy school in all the best ways, and gratefully and happily so. Peter knows comedy so well when it comes to timing and rhythm and sticking to it. I can’t begin to explain how much I learned from him about hitting comedic beats, including stuff that you never even saw on the screen.”

In Sanctuary‘s two-part season one finale, Revelations, Helen Magnus’ archenemy, the Cabal, unleash a biological weapon designed to turn Abnormals against humans. Ashley and Henry are captured when infiltrating a Cabal weapons facility to try to stop the development of the bio weapon, and the Cabal attempts to permanently turn Henry into a werewolf.

“Man, were those ever intense episodes, especially the torture scenes with my character,” notes Robbins. “It was weird because although I don’t have a fear of needles, I don’t especially like them. There’s this scene where over and over again this woman had to inject a needle into Henry’s arm, and I just kept thinking, ‘Jeez, I know they’re prop needles, but if that thing seizes up even a little bit, then it’s going into my arm.’ So it wasn’t hard to play the fear of the needle,” chuckles the actor. “On top of that, I’m strapped into this chair and here’s Alex Diakun, who is a sweetheart of a guy, doing such an incredible and convincing job of playing the creepy and menacing doctor.”

Ashley (Emilie Ullerup) and Henry are cornered by the Cabal in "Revelations." Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

Thanks to Henry’s Abnormal abilities, he and Ashley are able to escape from the Cabal, but not before the organization turns Ashley against her teammates. At the start of  Sanctuary‘s second season, she and five others are transformed into super-Abnormals whose sole purpose is to bring down the entire Sanctuary network. Despite the dire circumstances facing their characters, Robbins and the rest of the show’s cast as well as crew could not wait to return to work.

“When we came back for the second season, it felt like coming home,” enthuses the actor. “There was this level of confidence and one of, ‘OK, people dug what we did last year, so let’s keep going.’ So I think we all felt like we were maybe able to take a few more risks. Last year was one of discovery for all of us, and the episodes were written that way. In season one, Will Zimmerman was not only the new guy, but also the viewers’ reference. He was seeing everyone and everything for the first time, and in doing so, we were introduced to other characters and discovered things about them for the first time through Will’s eyes.

“Well, this year, we hit the ground running. I mean, Will is here and he’s one of us. Now we’re a real team and we’re moving forward with a fury and on-fire. In the season opener [End of Nights], the action, the tension, the storytelling, everything was ramped up. Season one was cool, but season two is exceptionally cool.

Henry and Will Zimmerman (Robin Dunne) working side-by-side. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“As for Henry, I feel like I have an even better understanding of him this year,” continues Robbins. “I love playing this character and I feel now like I can trust in my acting as well as my instincts and not have to worry about whether or not this or that comes across or if my subtext shows. I actually like watching Henry on the screen, and that’s a big deal for me because I don’t like watching myself all that much.

“We just finished shooting a wonderful Henry episode called Fragments, which was directed by Steve Adelson and guest-starring Anne Marie DeLuise. To tell you the truth, all the episodes have been really good so far. There have been some nice Henry/Bigfoot and Henry/Magnus moments this year. We’ve played it that Bigfoot has always known Henry’s secret, so they’ve had a very close connection. And now that my character has embraced his Abnormal side and is trying to deal with it, there’s this amazing bond that has developed between them. Henry has an amazing bond with Magnus as well, and now he and Will get to be buddies, too.”

In the aforementioned season two story Veritas, Henry helps Will and new team member Kate Freelander (Agam Darshi) find evidence that will prove Helen Magnus is innocent of murdering Bigfoot. The episode is Robbins’ first time being directed by Sanctuary‘s leading lady, Amanda Tapping.

Ryan Robbins and Anne Marie DeLuise in "Fragments." Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“She’s a tyrant. There’s the cracking of the whip and all the screaming and yelling, not to mention the potty mouth. Other than that, it’s been fun,” jokes the actor. “Seriously, Amanda is awesome. I’d work with her again as a director in a heartbeat and without question. Amanda is an exceptional and wonderful individual in everything she does, acting, producing, directing, it doesn’t matter. She’s one of a kind, and it’s completely inspiring to be around her. And the crew really loves Amanda, too, especially today. It was only a 10-hour workday instead of a 12-hour one. Look how happy these guys are to be getting out of work now in this fantastic weather.”

Robbins was 12 years old when his desire to become an actor surfaced, but like most people that age, he did not know how to go about it. “I went to a very progressive arts-oriented high school with an intense theater program, and there was a teacher there named Drew Kemp who was sort of the catalyst that inspired me to pursue acting,” he says.

“My first big job was as a circus performer, and following that I moved back to Vancouver where a friend of mine who was a stuntman, suggested I try that as a way to break into acting, especially given my circus experience. I had a martial arts background as well, so I gave it a shot. Unfortunately, it’s not a good way to break into acting, at least it wasn’t for me. I had an accident and ended up compressing my spine. From there, I helped form an experimental band called Hellenkeller, which took off. We had a good run for about six years, and during that time there was a filmmaker who was also a fan of the band and she put me in one of her movies.

Bigfoot (Christopher Heyerdahl) and Henry. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“I guess I did OK in the film because from there I got an agent and began getting acting jobs. When the band eventually broke up, I was working as an actor, so I feel that perhaps it was meant to be. I just kept following my gut. I don’t like to say no to any opportunity, so I had a series of opportunities that presented themselves and I just wanted to seize them. Fortunately, they led me to where I wanted to be, so here I am making a go of things.”

Walking Tall, Catwoman and Passengers are among the actors’ feature film credits, while on TV he has appeared in several made-for-TV movies as well as guest-starred on such series as Dark Angel, The Outer Limits, Smallville, Supernatural, The Guard and Battlestar Galactica.

“I actually worked as an audition reader for the Galactica miniseries,” says Robbins. “That’s where I got to know [producer/director] Michael Rymer, and he offered me a role, which turned out to be at the very beginning of the miniseries. I’m the old man at the armistice station, and Number Six [Tricia Helfer] comes in and asks, ‘Are you alive?’ My character tells her, ‘Yes,’ and she says, ‘Prove it.’ So they kiss and then the place blows up and it starts a whole new war. Forty years of peace ruined by blowing me up.

A contemplative moment for Henry Foss. Photo by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions

“I kept in touch with Michael, and in the show’s third season he brought me in to play a bartender called Charlie Connor, which I did on-and-off for two years. It was a blast and that show is one of the best experiences of my career. That cast was amazing and the crew was phenomenal. Mary McDonnell [President Laura Roslin] and Edward James Olmos [Admiral William Adama] are incredible forces. They love this craft along with the environment of being on a set, and I learned a ton from my time on that show. In years to come, I think people will look back and realize what a relevant piece of history that program was, even though it was set in the future.”

Besides Sanctuary, Robbins can also be seen in the web-based Sci-Fi/Fantasy series Riese and in episodes of the upcoming Syfy Channel series Caprica. He recently completed two films, Smile of April and The Masculine Mystique, and will soon start work on Wrecked. It has been a busy year for the actor, and that is music to his ears.

“I never had a back-up plan and I don’t have a retirement plan either,” says the actor with a smile. “I don’t want to retire. I want to drop dead on a film set when I’m 100 years old. I believe in my heart and soul that I’m supposed to be doing this and I don’t ever want to stop.”

Steve Eramo

As noted above, all photos by Jeff Weddell and copyright of Sanctuary 2 Productions, so no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Dom DeLuise (1933 – 2009)

May 6, 2009

Actor, comedian, director, writer, producer, author, chef, bon vivant and all-around nice guy Dom DeLuise has died at the age of 75.  According to news reports, Mr. DeLuise passed away in his sleep on Monday after a long illness. The son of Italian immigrants, Dominick DeLuise was born in New York City on August 1st, 1933 . In the early Sixties, the actor/comedian was appearing in a Broadway production of Here’s Love when he was spotted by Garry Moore, who hired him to play the magician “Dominick the Great” on The Garry Moore Show. From there, he booked his first feature film roles playing Marvin Rollins in Diary of a Bachelor and Sgt. Collins in Fail Safe starring Henry Fonda. This was followed by the comedy The Glass Bottom Boat starring Doris Day in which he played Julius Pritter. DeLuise continued appearing on the big screen as well as on TV, guest-starring on dozens of series including The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Medical Center, Beverly Hills 90210 and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. He also starred in his own comedy series, Lotsa Luck (1973) and The Dom DeLuise Show (1987-1988).

Mr. DeLuise also appeared opposite his son Peter on 21 Jump Street (as Uncle Nick in Woolly Bullies), Peter and Michael on SeaQuest DSV (as Nick Piccolo in Vapors) and Peter, Michael and David on 3rd Rock From the Sun (as Mr. Pollone in Auto Eurodicka). He was also directed by Peter on Stargate SG-1 (as Urgo/Togar in Urgo).

Some of my favorite memories of Mr. DeLuise include his character of Dominick DiNapoli (Fatso) succumbing to the temptation of Chinese food and the end-credit outtakes between him and Burt Reynolds in such films as Smokey and The Bandit and Cannonball Run. More recently, I enjoyed a good laugh watching infomercial snippets of his performances on The Dean Martin Show.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Peter DeLuise through his work on Stargate, and over the years he arranged for me to interview his brothers Michael and David and, eventually, his father Dom. I spent almost an hour on the phone with Dom, and at one point he had to excuse himself to stir a pot of spaghetti sauce he had cooking away on the stove. Here is a snippet from our chat about how he became involved in Stargate.

“When Peter began working on Stargate, which is a series I really enjoy, either he or one of the producers suggested that they should write a part for me. My wife Carol and I have a little house in Vermont and we were visiting there. One day I was outside looking at the deer – I don’t shoot them, I just look at them – and the people from Stargate called to ask if they could send me the script for Urgo. They did, I read it and said, ‘I’ll do it.’ The chance to guest-star on a show that I admire and also work with my son Peter was an offer I couldn’t pass up.”

The world has lost a gifted individual as well as great human being. My condolences to Mr. DeLuise’s wife Carol and their sons as well as extended family and friends.

Steve Eramo