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Sci-fi Icon Tony Amendola Makes His First Trip to Phoenix Comicon

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2012 14:05

Tony Amendola

Courtesy Phoenix Comicon

Tony Amendola is no stranger to devoted TV fans. He acted in many fan-crazed shows, such as “X-Files,” “Dollhouse,” “Dexter,” “The West Wing,” “Charmed,” “Alias,” and most recently, “Once Upon A Time.” He also had roles in the movies “Blow” and “The Mask of Zorro.” However, he is best known as Jaffa Master Bra'tac from “Stargate SG-1.”

“Stargate SG-1” is the first show in the Stargate franchise. It’s about a secret military and scientific team that deals with interstellar and intergalactic travel. The SG-1 protected Earth against any alien invaders. The show ran for seven seasons, and Master Bra’tac was a very beloved recurring character for the duration of the show.

A classically trained actor with plenty of theater experience, Amendola said meeting fans in a convention setting is certainly interesting.

“It’s a wonderful way to meet fans and because unlike theater, film and television, it’s a one-way street,” he said. “The people you’re doing it for are not in the same place at the same time. It’s a way of having a little contact. Generally, they can be wild, but not really. I found people take a passion for cars or sports or stamps and put it into pop culture, and then you have Comicons.”

Amendola looks back fondly on his time spent working on “SG-1.” From start to finish, he was a part of the show for 10 years (1997 to 2007).

“You go in as an actor and do one episode, and think, ‘Oh, that was fun,’” he said. “We shot in Vancouver, and the character was interesting and then they keep coming. Next thing you know it’s been a number of years and you did 20 something episodes.”

Being remembered and held in such high esteem for a particular role seems to come with the territory of the modern sci-fi show, but “SG-1” was a pioneer of TV sci-fi. Amendola said he realizes now what a gift it was to be a part of the show.

“’Stargate’ was a very unique show,” he said. “With the exception of ‘Dr. Who,’ it’s the longest running sci-fi show.”

He also got to know the cast and crew well over the duration of the series.

“You go to work with people you know and spent time with,” he said. “When a show runs that long, people are weeded out. The community gets easier and easier to be around. It makes for a very pleasant atmosphere on the set.”

Being a part of “SG-1” also means Amendola not only gets to look back at the show fondly, but actively discuss it with fans to this day.

Now more than ever, finding episodes of “SG-1” is as easy as clicking a button, there are plenty of new fans experiencing the show for the first time.

Amendola said it’s remarkable how quickly the way we watch television has changed and accelerated in the past 20 years. Being able to watch episodes on tablets and phones changed the game.

“Growing up there was the Dick Tracy walkie-talkie watch and now of course the watches are gone and it’s a phone,” he said. “No one quite knows where it’s going.”

The internet has not only allowed for the show to be more accessible, but it has also allowed fans to come together. This is Amendola’s first time coming to Phoenix, but he said he’s excited to meet Arizona “SG-1” fans. Having been to Comicons in the past, he said “the passion of the fans is contagious.”

“I look forward to meeting them and thanking them for supporting the show for so long,” he said. 

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