Christopher Judge


After receiving an American football scholarship for the University of Oregon, Christopher Judge seemed destined to have a sport based career. But from an earlier age it was acting that was his real passion. He beat thousands of other hopefuls for the job of hosting the West Coast FOX KLSR Morning Show. This break led him to several guest star appearances on a number of television shows. At present his distinctive voice can be heard on the animated series Action Man (Simon Gray), Book Of Virtues (Plato) and X-MEN (Magneto). Judge likes to relax by spending time with his children Christopher, Cameron and Catrina. Nick Smithson caught up with him recently as the fourth series of Stargate SG-1 was due to be released in the UK on DVD and video...

Nick Smithson: What is it about your character that attracted you to the role... apart from the money?

Christopher Judge: (Laughs) When I first heard about the character I was reminded of all those characters throughout history who have bucked the system, that have desires of making a change and have actively pursued it. When I read the script for the pilot I was so excited to play the part because Teal'c is a rebel in a society that doesn't tolerate rebels. His society is very regimented. The people there follow the rules of the Goulds and for my character to take that step and veer off from the Status Quo... I just thought that aspect opened up a whole world of possibilities.

NS: What do you think Teal'c brings to the SG-1 team?

CJ : Teal'c is a 97 year-old Jaffa and carries the laval form of the gods inside him. During his 97 years he has travelled between many worlds where the Stargates have been placed. He has seen many different life forms, many different species of life. He is an invaluable member of the team for that reason.

Carter brings her scientific knowledge to the team, Jackson brings his historical knowledge, O'Neill brings a tongue-in-cheek humour - along with his military knowledge, and Teal'c brings knowledge about other life forms. He knows tactical information about the Goulds as well as a lot of historical information that would not be easy to come by for outsiders. That sort of makes up the entire knowledge of the whole team.

NS: Why did you choose acting over a promising sports career?

CJ: Since I was three or four years old I always knew that I wanted to be involved with entertaining people. As I grew up I saw more and more athletes moving over into acting and I thought that this would be a quicker route into acting. So I attended the University of Oregon on a football scholarship. It was more of a stage for me. I enjoyed the games - that was a forum for me to entertain others.

NS: How does this role differ from those you have played in the past?

CJ: A lot of roles I've played in the past have been very narrow in scope. I've played 'the disenfranchised cop' or the cop who came from a bad neighbourhood and was angry about the way things were going in the particular environment that he worked in but felt helpless when it came to making any sizeable change. This role, on the other hand gives me the chance to make changes in the different worlds we travel to - especially those worlds I have previously visited in a different capacity.

That is what is so exciting about this character - the many levels I can play. What is also challenging is the fact that my character is not used to being able to express his emotions and so the challenge, for me, was to make my emotions felt through not saying a lot of words but by letting my emotions play across my face and body. I really think this is a fantastic challenge as an actor.

NS: What do you think the appeal is with the series? Why do you think viewers have embraced it so readily?

CJ: I Think that when you use situations on a parallel world that mirror situations on Earth then it makes people stop and think about the wars we fight here on Earth, and why we bother. I think it also allows people to question how we treat those that are different to us even though we are the same race. It allows them to look at the way we view other races, cultures and religions.

On top of this the show has a great sense of humour but it also has a serious message. It helps society to understand that we shouldn't be fearful of different customs and rituals.

NS: What does the gold emblem on your forehead signify?

CJ: This brand is actually worn by the Jaffa race and signifies the imperial serpent guard. We are in service to the Goulds - Gods for want of a better term - and the gold signifies that my character is the first prime - or the leader of the serpent guards. These emblems are branded on my characters race when they are very young and as they rise through the different ranks they change colours. When Teal'c defects he can discard all of his armourment and all the apparel that he wore but once he decided to leave the serpent guards this is the one aspect which he is stuck with. He must carry that burden for the rest of his life.

NS: If there was a real Stargate in operation would you be eager to visit different worlds for real?

CJ: If there was a Stargate unearthed then I would certainly be amongst the first to sign up to go through. I think it is incredibly shortsighted or naive to think that we are all alone in this vast universe. I think it would be amazing to be able to go somewhere else and see what is out there - what a tremendous experience that would be.

NS: Thank you for your time.

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