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Chat: Ben Browder

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Chat: Ben Browder

Subject(s): Ben Browder, Farscape Actor/Writer
Dated: May 11, 1999
Source: SciFi.com


Moderator: Ahem! Ben, can you type now???

BenBrowder: G'day Ya'll

Moderator: Hi everyone -- and thanks for joining us tonight for a chat with BEN BROWDER, the star of The Sci-Fi Channel's hot new series, FARSCAPE. Ben is chatting from the set in Australia, where the cast and crew will be shooting episode 16. What's it like working on the year's most ambitious science fiction series? What will upcoming episodes bring? This is a moderated chat -- and that means you must send your questions for Ben to me, Moderator, as private messages. I'll make sure they get asked. First question:

Moderator: <blueboy> to <Moderator>: Hey, Ben. Allow me to congratulate you for being part of such an explendid show. Why do you think Farscape has been such a hit among sci-fi fans?

BenBrowder: It's unusual, the show shifts in tone from deadlly serious to comedic at the drop of a hat A special welcome to everyone though, I can't believe how many people are here, wonderful to see so many familiar handles from the bboard

Moderator: <dw-m>: Was the transition from living in US to Australia difficult?

BenBrowder: Not difficult at all, Sydney is a beautiful city to live in. I have been very warmly welcomed here.

Moderator: <poco>: Ben , did you have any interest in sci-fi before you starting working on this program and if not does it surprise you to see the amount of fans develop so quickly

BenBrowder: Before we get to the "underwear" question I can tell you that it will be reveal in Episode 12

Moderator: <Cevin>: Hiya Ben! How do you prepare for and maintain a sci-fi role, where everything from time measurement to names are so different?

BenBrowder: Yes Poco I read tons of SciFi and love SciFi films, I was really pleased to get this role. I don't play "SciFi" I play a regular guy in a scifi world

Moderator: <Basilio> to <Moderator> Hi, Ben, one thing I love about the show is that the hero has a PhD. We eggheads don't get enough time in the limelight. What do you do to "get into the head" of a rocket scientist?

BenBrowder: Pray the writers had it right..... in order to be a scientist he has to be endowed by the script. Beyond that I try to keep my eye on the details

Moderator: <JaneGael> to <Moderator> ben has seen bboard?

BenBrowder: You betcha!!! I'm religious about it

Moderator: <BABALOUIE> to <Moderator> Is it a challange working with puppets?

BenBrowder: Hi Babalouie, good to see you here, the puppets are fascinating to work with, with Rygel you have five guys on the floor at your feet. When John Eccleston is on the lose its like working with some mad comic

Moderator: <Tman> to <Moderator> Ben, I love what you are doing with your character! What is your acting background?

BenBrowder: I'm a classically trained Shakespearean actor. LOL! I don't know how one could better prepare to be in such a wacked out world.

Moderator: <Brett25> to <Moderator> Thank You for renewing my faith in Science fiction Ben! How does it feel to know you will soon be an action figure?

BenBrowder: I'm practising my Kung Fu grip It feels good

Moderator: <KikiM> to <Moderator> Hey Ben! What's the best part of working on this show? The actors, Australia, the neat gizmos...?

BenBrowder: I have to say the writers, they are standing over my shoulder and Claudia Black...doesn't hurt much

Moderator: <bIrDhEAd> to <Moderator> hi ben! first i loved you on party of five.....too bad your character just disappeared...now i know why. you were really an astronaut not a carpenter...now, can you explain a little about the sets and some of the special effects

BenBrowder: LOL! That's way too much detail to go into here, surfice to say that the look of the show is the product of hundreds of creative individuals. It's really and amazing space to work in.

Moderator: <VVT> to <Moderator> Hi Ben, shailud here, how is the rapport between the cast?

BenBrowder: Shailud, so good to see you here! The rapport between the cast is great. Anthony, Claudia, Virginia, John and myself have loads of laughs and a great time working together.

Moderator: <kyle81> to <Moderator> Hey Ben, do you have any favorite sci-fi TV shows like Babylon 5 or Star Trek that you used to watch or still do and how would you compare them to Farscape?

BenBrowder: I'm a ST:TOS fan, I still watch it when it's on and if Farscape achieves half of what ST did I would be happy. ST:TOS set the standard for the genre

Moderator: <Skypie> to <Moderator> Question: Can Ben give us any hints as to how the romance between his character and Aeryn will develop?

BenBrowder: No, LOL! sorry just keep watching

Moderator: <Kieriahn> to <Moderator> Ben, is there anything specific you'd like to see John Crichton do?

BenBrowder: Finally win a wrestling match with a chick

Moderator: <MolaMola> to <Moderator> In most scifi, there are humans and there are aliens. What's it like to realize that you (the human) ARE the alien?

BenBrowder: LOL, its just like being in Australia

Moderator: <mere> to <Moderator> Ben--How do you stay in shape for the part?

BenBrowder: Work 12 hours a day, carry the kids around, surf when I can, the ocean not the net.

Moderator: <Casey> to <Moderator> Is it difficult acting with special effects that you can't see?

BenBrowder: Yes, you really feel sometimes like you are standing there with your pants down. Luckily the CGI has been all they said it would be.

Moderator: <VVT> to <Moderator> Say Ben have you had a chance to go "walkabout" out back yet?

BenBrowder: No, too busy working.... damn it

Moderator: <KikiM> to <Moderator> Hi Ben, thanks for stopping in! How did you get into acting, and were you ever interested in being something other than an actor?

BenBrowder: Yes, I wanted to be a navy pilot, almost was.....then decided I'd rather hang out with theatre girls than miliary guys

Moderator: <america> to <Moderator> What did your life involve before farscape and what are your hobbies?

BenBrowder: working, looking for work, family and surfing

Moderator: <nolram> to <Moderator>Did you really put that dentik in you mouth and is "John Crichton" planning on putting any other strange objects in his?

BenBrowder: yes I put the dentik in my mouth....but... I did not swallow....John never planned to put the dentik in his mouth anyway

Moderator: <Tman> to <Moderator> What has been the most difficult aspect of working on Farscape?

BenBrowder: the pace of shooting...we put a feature film in the can every two and a half weeks. It makes it very hard on all departments, including the actors.

Moderator: <Cypher> to <Moderator> Question: Do you use the net much yourself?

BenBrowder: yes, quite a bit... communicating with family, research and keeping up with what is said about the show

Moderator: <skandranon> to <Moderator> question: what do you think about what is said on the Bboard?

BenBrowder: Well I recognise you skandranon! It's very interesting, always entertaining, sometimes illuminating The Farscape bboard has a wonderful feel to it and it's a credit to the people who write there.

Moderator: <Skypie> to <Moderator> Ben, you said "research." I'm interested in learning what exactly you research!

BenBrowder: Weather reports for surfing Role research...eg checking out the NASA pages general encyclopaedic use of the internet

Moderator: <Rye-Needs-Gel> to <Moderator> NASA?

BenBrowder: I also keep track of stock car racing NASA and Nascar

Moderator: <publicist> to <Moderator> Talk up about your nascar? (from caroline)

BenBrowder: Nascar...my family runs a busch grand national team.... No. 78

Moderator: <BENNY> to <Moderator> Ben, do a lot of bloopers and practicle jokes go on behind the seens of farscape?

BenBrowder: All the time! Anthony Simcoe gives the best bloopers... you should see his "nerdy D'argo"

Moderator: <BearBear> to <Moderator> Surfer dudes sounds like delicious meals to sharks...ever worry about them while surfing?

BenBrowder: No, no, no .... it's the shark's ocean. Besides if I get eaten by a shark at least it will be a good story to tell about me when I'm gone.

Moderator: <StarMan> to <Moderator> Ben are you fromSocal?

BenBrowder: Not originally but have lived there for seven years

Moderator: <CrowTS> to <Moderator> Ben, have you ever eaten Vegemite? I used to live in Australia and i miss Vegemite...

BenBrowder: I have eaten Vegemite, the food cubes taste better

Moderator: <gradman> to <Moderator> Mr. Browder, what are the green cubes, orange sticks (in actuality, I mean) and roots that the characters eat in the show?

BenBrowder: Alien food product....lol.... I don't know... I don't want to know

Moderator: <Baldue> to <Moderator> Hello Ben, Baldue from the BBoard here, what was it like to work with Neve Cambell and now with two lovely ladies?

BenBrowder: Baldue, good to see you here. Neve Cambell is a goddess. Claudia and Virginia will be.

Moderator: <Riddley> to <Moderator> Do you get much time to rehearse, or is it more "act by the seat of your pants?"

BenBrowder: most certainly act by the seat of your pants we have little time for rehersal but that keeps us on our toes

Moderator: <Vswae> to <Moderator> are you the only America in the cast ?

BenBrowder: yes

Moderator: <cparsley> to <Moderator> I was wondering what you first thought was when you were presented with the script of Farscape? The series isn't anything that has been really traveled before.

BenBrowder: It is unusual, when I first saw the script, and saw that it came from the Henson Company, I was very excited about the possibilites it held I hope we are doing original, if some times derivative work

Moderator: <Safari> to <Moderator> What's been your favorite ep to do (out of the ones that have aired so far)?

BenBrowder: Episode 5 Back and Back and Back to the Future I loved working with Rowan Woods the Director. The episode was a classic "kirk's brain" episode

Moderator: <CyberCibs> to <Moderator> Ben, can you tell us a little about yourself?

BenBrowder: What do you want to know?

Moderator: <VVT> to <Moderator> Ben, What's your favorite Sci-Fi Film?

BenBrowder: Kubric's 2001 sorry about the misspelling others would be Alien, Bladerunner, Silent Running the Wizard of Oz

Moderator: <rowdystorm> to <Moderator> Where did you go to school?

BenBrowder: High School... Myers Park High School, Charlotte NC

BenBrowder: College ... Furman University Greenville SC

BenBrowder: Drama School .... Central School of Speech and Drama London

Moderator: <nolram> to <Moderator> What do you miss most about being away for the good 'ol US of A. Cheeseburgers, fries, pizza...you know, the good stuff.

BenBrowder: I miss, 24 hour supermarkets

BenBrowder: I miss In and Out burgers

BenBrowder: I miss Matze Ball soup

BenBrowder: I miss Trader Joes

BenBrowder: I miss my Mother

BenBrowder: I miss my Brothers

BenBrowder: I miss my Dad

BenBrowder: and..... Monday night football

Moderator: <Rye-Needs-Gel> to <Moderator> do you have any pets to miss?

BenBrowder: No, I have two kids and I brought them with me. They have a gold fish

Moderator: last two questions...

Moderator: <nolram> to <Moderator> Do you get the Aussy sense of humor? I know they get down on Americans down there big time.

BenBrowder: I love the Aussie sense of humour! It's very irreverant and biting It also allows you to "take the piss"

Moderator: <Riddley> to <Moderator> Have you had any language problems with Aussie slang? Like Crichton trying to explain John Wayne to aliens, maybe?

BenBrowder: I spent four years in England and had a lot of difficulty there. Most of the aussie stuff is from there so is familiar When in doubt, I simply revert back to being the "pig headed" American and pretending I don't understand

Moderator: one last question...

Moderator: <CrowTS> to <Moderator> Is Foster's REALLY Australian for beer?

BenBrowder: No I can take a few more questions if you would like me too

Moderator: more questions?! coool!!!

Moderator: <EyeOnStorm> to <Moderator> Ben, you mentioned Wiz Of Oz as a favorite film--we all know it's message. What do you think the Farscape "message" is?

BenBrowder: We are on episode 16 so we are still figuring out what our message is. I think the premise of the show is shifting as we shoot, and perhaps always will that's the beauty of series television

Moderator: <IsoTek> to <Moderator> are you ever going to get Crais?

BenBrowder: LOL! He's after me We will see him again

Moderator: <Brett25> to <Moderator> Is there 'anything' you can tell us about upcoming episodes? Any teaser hints?

BenBrowder: I wish I could..... but I'm in the writer's office

Moderator: <cparsley> to <Moderator> What was the first thing you thought of when you were presented with the script of Farscape?

BenBrowder: I thought....cool! Beyond that you try not to think too much because there are so many auditions that never amount to a job

Moderator: <Worf> to <Moderator> Do you do your own stunts?

BenBrowder: Yes Worf, I do. 99%

BenBrowder: I've actually got in trouble for taking food out of the mouths of stunt guys

Moderator: <Worf> to <Moderator> Is that difficult at all to do?

BenBrowder: .... children

BenBrowder: the stunts are fun, they let you really play.

Moderator: <rusty-98-98> to <Moderator> have you broken anything yet?

BenBrowder: A lot of bumps and bruises.... nothing broken except pieces of the set

Moderator: this is the last one. i promise. :)

BenBrowder: great, it's been fun

Moderator: <Rye-Needs-Gel> to <Moderator> have you ever done anything like this before?

BenBrowder: Chat on line?

Moderator: <Rye-Needs-Gel> to <Moderator> yeah

BenBrowder: No, I did a moderated online chat with Party of Five and prior to the show opening had a few discussions online about Science Fiction shows in general Chat rooms are fascinating places, but the chaos can be overwhelming

BenBrowder: My thanks to you all for dropping by, I look forward to doing this again some time in the future bye y'all

Moderator: And that's it. Thanks very much, Ben, for joining us this evening/afternoon. And thanks to everyone else for the marvelous questions. :)

Moderator: To the fans: new episodes will be airing throughout the summer, so keep the ratings up, and look for other on-line chats with the rest of the cast of Farscape.