By Kati Krieger
Fans of Warehouse 13
were thrilled to see the return of Lindsay Wagner in a recent episode as Dr. Vanessa Calder, warehouse physician and possible love interest of Artie (Saul Rubinek). She played heavily in the episode "Love Sick," which aired recently, where Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) and Artie team up with Dr. Calder and Hugo Miller, played by guest star Rene Auberjonois, to find an artifact that uses a computer program to affect people.
Prior to the airing of this episode, Lindsay Wagner took the time to answer questions about Warehouse 13
, her character's upcoming cameo appearance on the new Syfy original series Alphas
, and the role her holistic lifestyle plays in her acting career.
Syfy Conference CallWarehouse 13
July 20, 2011
12:00 pm CTQUESTION:
What was your most memorable moment from working on the show?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Wow, you know moments can be memorable for various reasons.QUESTION:
That's true.LINDSAY WAGNER:
It was freezing. First thing that came to my mind, I must admit, was working outside very late at night with the snow and the whole thing. Another moment that stood out, they have a wonderful crew.
And the people are just so nice and fun. And you work really long hours. And it sometimes, of course, in a series gets very grueling. But the crew and the attitude that they maintained really makes it helpful for everybody to kind of get through that kind of grueling...
And our camera man came to work one day, he's Scottish and he came in full garb. He was in a kilt. And he walked in and I was like, "Excuse me?" It just looked so out of context with him carrying a kilt and - I mean a big giant camera on his shoulder, a walk-around camera, rather than a sword or a bagpipe or something.
And it's just fun. They're just fun. So I don't know that I could isolate one particular moment.QUESTION:
Is there anything that you were surprised to learn about yourself from doing this show?LINDSAY WAGNER:
I don't miss the hours; not working as much as I used to.QUESTION:
What would you say is the most important thing that you learned from your time spend on this show -- not about yourself but in general?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Yes, I think it was more of a remembering than an actual learning.
And it's seeing the group really working on their kind of being a family. It's interesting; we were very much a family on Bionic
, doing that series.
And whenever I did a show, that always kind of carried over with me, doing the movies or whatever, was kind of trying to set that tone. And I really feel that on there. And I think that's important, because community is building community wherever you go is very important. And I think they do a wonderful job and work very hard at that on that show.
And it's part of what they do, of course, in the story. The warehouse team is kind of developing themselves like a family. And they deal with those issues in the course of the stories -- they touch on it when they can. And I think that's wonderful. And I think it's gone over.
So it was really nice to be a part of an atmosphere like that, that was very reminiscent for me of when I was doing a lot of work -- and especially doing the series where you're together a long time and have a chance to develop those kind of deeper relationships.SCIFI VISION:
My first question is, and I'm sure a lot of the fans are interested, do we know this season if there's going to be anything more in depth about the connection between you and Artie?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Yes, I think it'd be - it's going to be very interesting for people who are interested in that to watch this episode. And that's all I can say.SCIFI VISION:
I read online that your character of Dr. Calder might actually be doing a little bit of show hopping over to Alphas
for an episode -- if you could talk on that, if that's true, or if there's any other shows on Syfy you might want to do that with?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Okay, so yes, Dr. Calder has gone to visit the Alpha team. And I don't know that I can say much more about it. It's kind of a cameo visit, like I did before early on in the Warehouse
And I don't know which episode it is though. But I'm sure that they can fill you in with that. But yes, she went to see the Alphas. And I don't know of any other shows at the moment that that's going to happen with. But you never know, Syfy's pretty creative like that.SCIFI VISION:
Has the holistic lifestyle from Quiet the Mind & Open the Heart, that you're a part of, crossed over with your acting career at all?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Actually they're pretty inseparable. The Quiet the Mind work that I do is very much an outcropping of my own personal growth, which started even before I began acting.
And the studying that I did and the healing that I went through with some physical ailment that I had, that I - where I was able to avoid surgery by working with a couple of people -- one was an MD and one was a minister who works with not only prayer, but visualization and meditation.
And the doctor, who helped me physically and emotionally learn to identify patterns that were in my life or in my thinking - my ways of thinking that were a part of causing this disruption in the body, which expresses as illness, how much they are all connected.
And so I actually was able to not go through a surgery that I was scheduled for by working with these people. And it only took me six weeks. And I was astounded. I was on a severe fast as well.
And so that began for me when I was 19, a whole lifetime journey of what all it means, the holistic lifestyle, what it means in reference to the integration of body, mind and spirit, and how we cannot separate them. We separate them in our culture so that we can study them, but we've actually kind of forgotten that they're all kind of one thing.
It's like if you only study a carburetor in your car and you get so obsessed with the carburetor you forget that it's no good without, you know, the battery and all the other things that make it work. And so I think in today's world, in our culture today, we're finally starting to get back to that understanding.
And so that's been throughout my career and I've used it in many different ways. I've done movies about it. My very first film, television movie, doctor - The Incredible Journey of Dr. Meg Laurel was my first experience with taking an eight-page treatment and turning it into a full length hour feature - I mean a three-hour feature for - movie for television. And it was about that very thing.
I wanted to do a story that represented the battle, if you will, between the allopathic world and the naturopathic world, and how they negate each other instead of working together, and looking to see what's really best for the person rather than their belief system and perhaps their pocket.
And so those things have been integrated for me for a very long time. And when I pulled back from acting so much, I just continued on because I had continued to study also throughout the entirety of my career, different ways of working, and of course my own personal healing journey.
And in doing that I found things that were very helpful to me, extremely helpful to me. And things that not a lot of people knew about; some techniques that are very quick in helping to heal old emotional wounds and even physical pain.
And so I found myself just being inspired to share it with people and started doing programs in my house with friends who were interested in what I was doing. And then that just started going elsewhere and it became viral. And here I find myself going all over the world now doing it and holding retreats. And it's just been this interesting outcropping.
So I don't know if that answers your question, but that's the only way I can answer it.QUESTION:
Is there anything else you can tell us about your guest starring role on Warehouse 13
and what it was like to work with Rene Auberjonois.LINDSAY WAGNER:
It was really fun to work with him again. He's just delightful. He's wonderful to work with. He's extremely creative. And of course so is Saul.
And Rene and I, you know he came and did an episode of The Bionic Woman
. And we just had a blast. It was a very funny one; he played a French artist/conman. And I had to go undercover as a lady of the night with him to crack the case. And so it was kind of a fun in funny episode.
But he's so creative and inventive. It's just so fun to watch him work. And Artie is - I mean Saul is also extremely creative and fun so it was a wonderful chemistry. And that was really enjoyable.QUESTION:
Was there a bit of a triangle there between your characters?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Now I'm not supposed to talk about the episode.QUESTION:
Sorry. I'm...LINDSAY WAGNER:
It's as frustrating for me as it is for you, because of my business of course; I'm trained to answer your questions. But...QUESTION:
We try.LINDSAY WAGNER:
I always want to talk about it, but I kind of have to talk to my mother about it and then give her a gag order, you know?QUESTION:
All right. Let me ask you then, did you get to work with the new guy on the show... Aaron Ashmore?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Yes. They were off solving something else at the time.
They kind of (unintelligible) bifurcate it and you've got two storylines going at the same time and...QUESTION:
Oh right, right. He was out of town.LINDSAY WAGNER:
...you don't always link up, as far as characters go.QUESTION:
Has Bionic Woman
coming out - it came out on DVD; has that affected your life in any way?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Well I'm signing a lot of DVD covers, that's for sure.QUESTION:
That's good.LINDSAY WAGNER:
Yes, it's been interesting to watch the resurgence. It's been fun. When I make public appearances or do autograph shows I've started seeing much younger people who were not familiar with the show when they were kids but are becoming familiar with it because of the DVD release.
And of course the people who were the fans, their children are now - the moms and dads are now being able to say, "Yes, I finally got to show them what I've been talking about all these years."
So the kids are coming up and saying, "Can I have your autograph?" It's like, "What do you know about it?" "Well my mom, blah, blah. She got me the DVDs." So it's kind of fun.QUESTION:
That's great that you've got like a whole new generation exposed to it.LINDSAY WAGNER:
Well you inspired a lot of us when we were growing up back then. So I just wanted to tell you that.LINDSAY WAGNER:
Thank you. Thank you.QUESTION:
How different is Dr. Calder's interaction on Alphas
versus her interactions on Warehouse 13
? Because Alphas
to me, from what I've heard, it seems to have a little bit more of a serious tone to it."LINDSAY WAGNER:
Right, it does.
Well I think thus far the part that I've played on Warehouse
, the fun kind of banter that dominates the dialogue on Warehouse
really kind of only takes place between Artie and myself, but not when she's - not - thus far, not when Dr. Vanessa has been focused on something very serious.
It didn't seem odd or out of character for her to be serious the whole time on Alphas
. It didn't seem out of character at all. You'll see when you see it.
It is a more serious show and our scenes were pretty straight forward and serious because we were dealing with a real crisis that Dr. Calder comes to - is involved in helping with this odd situation before they figure it out.QUESTION:
I'm actually a fan of yours from the late 70s and early 80s. I watched you in The Bionic Woman
. And I found what you said about...the families deal of Warehouse 13
quite interesting. How would you feel if you were offered a little bit more of a (unintelligible) hero in that. Can you actually see yourself ever becoming a little bit more connected with Warehouse 13
Yes I could, it's fun.
And if you remember The Bionic Woman
much more so than The Six Million Dollar Man
, we had a lot of humor in that show. And that was one of the reasons that I actually enjoy the Warehouse
show and what kind of attracted me to it in the first place was that they were dealing with serious things but they were also - have a wonderful humor.
And their writers are very talented I think in coming up with the banter and balancing it with the adventure or the action or whatever you would call that, the drama part of it. And I enjoy that. I - Dr. Calder, quite frankly, hasn't gotten to do much of that.
And it also is a matter of finding her personality. When you have a character ongoing, it takes sometimes a little while to find that character that's being expressed through a particular actor.
It sometimes takes a little while to find their form of humor as opposed to trying to squeeze an actor into the humor that's kind of typically written for another actor. And so I think it would be fun and it would be interesting to see how it would unfold if they felt that would be helpful for the show.
But I think Dr. Calder's position, I'm not sure exactly how that character would or could be more involved because of the fact she's a doctor. Do you know what I'm saying; yes but, thus far it's - I mean it is a much more substantial role that I have this time. And I am involved in the caper the whole way through the show.
But again, you know it would take some creativity to justify having a doctor there all the time, I think, the way the show is structured at this point.QUESTION:
In last year's [season] you had a really nice scene with Claudia, where it was looking for a while like she was going to become the next Caretaker at the warehouse, and you saw the (unintelligible). Do you have any more scenes with Claudia this year, you know as kind of like a mentor figure for her?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Actually no, not yet. She's absolutely fabulous. I think she is so talented. And I really enjoyed having the chance to work with her in that scene -- it was wonderful. But hopefully someday I'll have another one. But pretty much my character's involved with Artie, you know at this point. She's in them, but she's kind of back there rooting on our relationship.QUESTION:
Now that you've been in semi-retirement from acting gigs, what was it that drew you back into television with this appearance on Warehouse 13
You know I'm not entirely sure, other than you know, it was an opera. And quite frankly I hadn't even seen it; I didn't know what it was when they called and inquired about doing an episode. And then I watched it and I thought, "What a fun premise that is. It's very clever."
And I also liked the essence of it, that it is - that it was a - that it's a private organization that is trying to keep these power objects, not only from individuals but keeping them out of the hands of, kind of self-serving larger corporations or governments that could use them to hurt others. You know, I like the premise of that, it's...
Plus I think Saul is so talented and I thought it would really be fun to work with him. And it's just - it's fun. It's a fun idea and it's well carried out.QUESTION:
After Bionic Woman
, for a while you did a lot of dramatic TV work and everything. What was it like returning back to the sci-fi realm with Warehouse 13
You know as an actor, for me, I don't experience it as sci-fi -- at least not the part that I've been playing because if you look at the nature of it, of my character and what she's had to do so far - this episode is the first time that she's had to encounter something that's kind of off the charts, so to speak, of reality.
And so it's been pretty much, just the dramatic with a few fun, you know humorous things involved. In the scenes it's been the same thing, I may as well have been doing a drama. So didn't like get to meet a monster or a robot or, you know, or seeing - I wasn't the one who was standing there supposedly watching a body spontaneously combust into a bonfire, you know?
I didn't play those parts and I wasn't doing anything bionic or you know, out of the ordinary. This episode is the first time I really kind of had to interface with that at all. And it's still pretty tame.
So I don't have - I don't think I have a very exciting answer for you because when you go in there it's like comedy, if you aren't really serious about the goofus that you're playing, if you aren't playing them seriously, if it's not real in your heart, it isn't funny.
You know what's funny about humor and what makes sci-fi good is when you really believe what you're doing. So you don't think, "I'm doing sci-fi," you think, "Me, this human being, is standing here looking at this bizarre happening," and you know, "how do I react to that?" So it is - it's not all that different. Does that make sense? Do you know what I'm saying?QUESTION:
From an actor's standpoint. You just have to kind of stretch your imagination to see that happening when it happens. And then say, "Wow, how would I respond to that," in character of course, "How would I respond to that?"
I think you know, those kind of things happen with post production and your creativity gets to run wild in a bigger than life circumstance when you're creating the special effects and the - it may be more - that question may be more applicable to someone in that area, or the writers when they're trying to see that whole picture, than the actors who are carrying it out, because they have to carry it out for real.QUESTION:
Speaking about the character; what characteristics do you see in yourself that your character inhibits?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Well one of the things that was really fun for me is that - or is fun for me is that the production company and the writers, when they - if you remember on the first episode, Dr. Calder was trying to get Artie to tap on his meridians. Remember that -- as a treatment for his - for himself, when I was tapping on his face, different points on his face? Hello?QUESTION:
Yes, that's actually a real technique. And it's one of the techniques that I teach in my workshop. And it's something that diffuse physical pain, it's something that releases fear and negative emotions and kind of old emotional wounds, and things like that. It's an extraordinary process.
It's one of the things that kind of got me into doing programs because I really wanted people to know this existed. It's something that helped me so much. And so the fact that they wanted me to play this doctor coming in to treat something really odd, and that they had already researched my Web site and learned a little bit about what I was teaching, and incorporated it right in the story. And so, I mean how could I say no to that, right?
In talking with them, if Dr. Calder was going to continue beyond the first episode, I realized that they were into letting me kind of do things that would of course harmonize with the story, but express much more of a holistic or a - and some people would consider it to be futuristic, but it's not, it's here and now. It's energy medicine; that we are energy.
And I know that all these shows in the sci-fi are starting to deal with what quantum physics and nanophysics are all about today, is understanding that we are energy -- everything is energy. And it's either in balance or out of balance, so it's expressing you know, a human or an animal or even the health of a tree or something, you know either going in a healthy direction or in a life diminishing direction.
And the techniques that I teach are energy techniques, to treat the body so we don't have to take so many drugs, and you know types of things to help us out emotionally as well as physically, and go right for the imbalance in the energy field.
And that just then causes the body to demonstrate balance and return to its healthy state, because the body does know how to heal itself if we kind of get out of its way.
And so as we can - you know you will see Dr. Calder, you know doing certain things like that. and I think in general, I must have been in a last life a doctor or something because I'm kind of a hopeless - I see something and it's like, "Oh hell, let me help you fix it," you know or, it's just a natural part of my being. So I think that was perfect for Dr. Calder as well.QUESTION:
With The Bionic Woman
coming to DVD and everything, and I'm sure [you] have gotten to meet some of your older sci-fi fans from when it came out. What has been like meeting some of your newer, younger fans? How have they been?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Oh they've been great. They're just - well some of the younger fans, it's funny because obviously I'm not 25 anymore.
And so I've seen some of the kids where the parents will say, "There she is," -- I'm at the autograph show or something like that. And they'll come up and they'll say, "Who's this?" "Jaime Sommers," and they'll look at me and they'll get a little funny look on their face and they'll go, "Oh yes."
So it's like, "Yes I know, I'm not that age anymore." And they're shy. They're kind of shy in general, I would say. And I don't know if they're more shy - not that kids - that are now the parents, not that when they were younger they weren't shy, but they were more bold I think.
And I think it's because they saw me standing in front of them the way they got to know me. So they feel they know me better, whereas they compute that this older woman is the Jaime that they got to know on - I mean the young generation now, that they got to know on the tape. It computes, but they're looking at me and they see, you know someone very much an adult.
And so I think they don't respond quite as openly as the original generation when I was the same age as the series. Does that make sense? You understand?QUESTION:
Yes, I understand.QUESTION:
How do you feel about how the sci-fi generation has gotten so big, and you were part of one of the most legendary shows that was considered a great science fiction show, Bionic Woman
And now there are so many different sci-fi shows, and they're so accepted and so loved; how do you feel about that, being such a wonderful influence?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Well I'm certainly grateful to have been a part of that, of initiating kind of a whole new view of the world. And you know, science fiction is an interesting category. And it was even to me then, because I used to call The Bionic Woman
science (unintelligible) or a science, like just trying to remember how I used to refer to it, because it wasn't strictly science fiction.
It wasn't someone from another planet, it wasn't - it was a human being dealing with something that was new to the reality of us human beings, and that was electronics; that they were able to help and enhance someone who had a physical difficulty.
So it wasn't - and that was the - that was at a time when that science was beginning. So it wasn't totally science fiction, but most people didn't even know that there was an artificial limb that somebody could put on and that they were working with you being able to open it and close it with your mind, even then.
It certainly wasn't what we were showing, so we were kind of embellishing the reality -- present day reality -- that was not commonplace, but nonetheless a present day reality.
And I kind of see the same thing today. I think - well back then it gave us - being - having that show be a science fiction - considered to be a science fiction show gave us room to talk about things that to me were very real, and to a lot of people, still would consider it science fiction.
For example, the story Biofeedback; at that time biofeedback was brand new. Acupuncture was just being looked at in the West, in our culture; understanding that our body is an electrical system. And dealing with the electrical system, to bring it back to health, is what acupuncture is, by, you know, working with needles at the intersections of where these meridians run -- same thing with the tapping process that I was doing with Artie. And - but acupuncture was very real to me; I had had acupuncture, I had experienced the benefit of it.
Like I said, "I'd gone through a profound healing with using visualization and meditation and prayer even, which you know, Time Magazine has even put on the front cover of it in the last several years you know, "Science proves why prayer works."
It's all of these intangibles that we're starting to learn about in our culture, this new paradigm of living and understanding ourselves as far more amazing, we human beings, than we ever dreamed we were.
And so science fiction, the genre of science fiction, gives permission to talk about the things that to many of us are real, even if they are elaborated on, exaggerated on - or exaggerated. And for people who just can't handle it, they can't stand it say...QUESTION:
..."Well it's just science fiction, right?"QUESTION:
But to other people they go, "Oh," you know and they start thinking about the reality of that, "Is that really me? Am I kind of like that?" It gives people permission to go deeper in the understanding of themselves. So I think science fiction - and I was never a science fiction fan before The Bionic Woman
, at all.QUESTION:
Except for Star Trek, there was - yes I mean it's kind of funny isn't it, that I ended up there. But when a friend of mine when I was - I was actually turning down the role, about to turn down the role, and a dear - my dearest friend said to me, she said, "But don't you understand that you can talk about whatever you want to talk about? Because being into meditation and self-healing and you know Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and all these things that other people were just like, "What are you talking about," that's what the culture was like then. I was a real weirdo, so to speak.
And so it was easy for me to relate to Jaime, feeling that way and bring that to her. But for me it was so real. And she said, "You can say and do anything you want on this show because people just write it off if it's too much for them. But you'll be able to express your thoughts, your ideas." And so we did a show, for example, called Biofeedback. I don't know if you remember that episode.QUESTION:
But it was one of the...OSI Scientists went to India and Tibet and learned to control his body with his mind, as the Yogis do, and was able to keep himself from bleeding to death when he was shot until they could get to him by controlling his body with his mind -- which we have the capacity to do, but we haven't in our culture, learned to harness that yet. And so we still hold limited ideas of who we are. And so once she got that through my head I went, "Wow, I never thought about it that way," and I never saw science fiction that way.
Because what I saw as a kid, the only science fiction ones that I really ever saw were you know, with big gory monsters and things like that. It was so far beyond that I - that star trek is what - seeing some of the early Star Trek episodes, there was an intelligence that they infused in it -- they used it the same way.
And I got to thinking, "You know that's true." They talk about things - as a matter of fact, there's even a Star Trek episode where somebody is afraid, and he's afraid to get in the transporter, and he starts - the doctor teaches him to tap on the side of his neck.
I don't know if anybody remembers that episode.
But anyway, lately when my friend, who's a real Trekkie, she said something about, she said, "You know there was an old episode," she told me about it recently, and I just cracked up when I saw it. I mean they weren't doing the points that I'm familiar with working on, but somebody knew something about it and they wrote it into the story.
So dropping seeds like that in stories, like we did with Artie, and teaching him like that. Or overtly talking about what we can do with our mind in The Bionic Woman
in the 70s was...QUESTION:
...huge, a huge step. And yet we could do it because we were in a genre that - where people would look at it and take it or leave it. But when we see truth, I believe when human beings hear something that's true, whether our belief system accepts it or not, something starts to resonate inside.
And I think awakening begins. And so that's one of the things that I really appreciate about the genre of sci-fi.QUESTION:
I do know that you're on Twitter -- I see Open Heart is on Twitter. I was wondering, what are your thoughts on the social networks?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Well I think like anything else, man, humanity comes up with, I think it's brilliant in so many ways, I think it's very helpful in a lot of ways. And like anything else it can be used to enhance our life or to really mess us up.
And if we stop relating as human beings to each other, since we are still in the body, I think it's a - it can be a really - it can be just as much of a drug as the things we relate to as drugs, to keep us learning to grow - or to grow as human beings with each other, to enhance our lives; it can keep us from that if we're not careful and watch that we don't become addicted to the safe environment of not having to be in your presence or work it out because I can click you off at any time.
But the same thing was true with television. Television can be an incredible tool for social change, for - I mean television was really the beginning of the social network, if you will, mass - you know, your influencing masses, is what the television is about.
It's not interactive. But now what we've done is just simply taken it to an interactive state. And it allows everybody to participate. So it can really be extraordinary if it's used right. It's obviously a very good marketing tool.
To bring people together from all cultures who are motivated to connect and learn about each other without all the political agenda that goes on on a culture - on a national - on our national levels. I mean I'm talking about everybody, not just us.
It's an easy way to - you know, to really connect with other human beings and find out what is beautiful and very much alike about us, instead of you know, being taught what is helpful for somebody's political agenda, about who they are and, "Them, the others," you know, kind of thing.
So I think there's a lot of value that can come from it. But again, it can be used against us, just like anything else.QUESTION:
So what kind of a journey do you see Dr. Vanessa Calder on, in Warehouse 13
I have no idea. I don't - they are so secretive, even with the cast. We don't know where we're going until they tell us.QUESTION:
What are your hopes for her?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Well I guess if I had to express a hope, I would hope that I would get to do a little bit more doctoring so that I can utilize and maybe, you know, use the character to express - to help show people some things that really exist, like the tapping process or for example to use it as edutainment (sic), but certainly never to the exclusion of entertainment.
There's no reason you can't do certain things in shows that will allow people to learn something new, especially in a sci-fi or a futuristic kind of environment...I'd like to see more of that.QUESTION:
And what kind of a journey do you see yourself on? What kind of a path?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Come to the workshop and you'll find out all about it.
Oh gosh, just constantly staying open to, I think the shift that we're going through on a planetary level actually. I think humanity and - we're going through a big escalation time, I think escalation in consciousness, waking up.
And I don't think it's arbitrary that at this point there's a lot of shows on sci-fi channels, or even mainstream channels, not even just sci-fi channels, where you're seeing people recognizing that they have certain powers. Again, it's an exaggeration in most cases, but I relate to those things as actually true at their - at the basis of it.
We human beings - and these are the things that I have been learning about myself. And the more I've traveled and worked with people and done these workshops, I learn more and more about people more directly because I'm out there with the people directly, I'm not in a studio all the time. And people share things with me.
There's a lot of amazing things going on; there are more people becoming intuitive; there are more people who are learning how to open up to the flow of transformative energies for healing; there's a lot of extraordinary stuff going on today.
And it's a big subject, and so I feel like I'm on a constant learning journey about myself and my own abilities. And one of the ways I relate to that is constantly being open to looking at how I carry limitations in my mind. Because our limitations are really all about what's registered in our mind. And they can be changed. They can be transformed or transmuted if you will. And that's the work that we do in the workshop.
I've had the real pleasure and grace in my life to have met some extraordinary teachers that have taught me ways of working with the limitations or the old wounds or the things that get in our way from living as full of a life, expressive and joyful and non-fearful life as possible. And that takes us into all kinds of potential.
So the journey for me is staying open to how powerful and naturally peaceful and joyful and we are at our core. And that equates to physical health. And that equates to affecting others in a positive way instead of triggering the negativity in others. So I guess it's a constant, more and more awakening, more and more unfolding the true self.QUESTION:
How does working on a series now, 2011, compare to working on a series, what was it, 30 years ago, Bionic Woman
Yes, probably more than that.QUESTION:
Yes. I remember it.LINDSAY WAGNER:
How does it compare? Well they don't tend to have singular as much today -- actually very little. Used to be that there was kind of a sole star of a show; today they do more ensemble pieces. It kind of saves actors' lives to not have to have the entire show on your shoulders.
Also, it wasn't - you know the type of special effects and stunts and all of that were just - that we experience today of course didn't exist then, and so we - one of the things was we only had one unit. We didn't really have two units.
They have today, First Unit, Second Unit. Second Unit's out doing the, you know all of the stunts and that type of stuff, while First Unit's filming the acting parts. And sometimes they work together.
But we had to do everything because we were just at the beginning of this whole technological and heavy action oriented series work. And so that made it far more laborious.
And having an ensemble cast, where you can give somebody a break today every - the hours always get long, no matter whether you have an ensemble cast or not. But you may only have to work four days a week, or sometimes three days a week, as opposed to five days a week, with those kinds of hours. So it's easier on the person.
Those are the biggest things that I notice. And of course the technology and all of that. I don't think it's as pretty, quite frankly. I think the high def has come in and it's made everything gritty and real. But I miss some of the beauty of film and film lighting and I kind of miss that.QUESTION:
What - I see - or I've read that Lee Majors has done some comedy. I think he was on sci-fi. Is that anything that you're interested in doing?LINDSAY WAGNER:
I would love to do comedy -- absolutely. I would definitely like to do that. Of course, knowing that the writers would have to find your personal - you know your way of being funny, which is unique to the actor.
But that's what you do when you have somebody starring in a show or you've got a character you develop around a particular actor if you find their natural bent and elaborate on that. I did a lot of that in The Bionic Woman
. You know, we made that a lot more funny than...QUESTION:
Yes, I remember you being funny.LINDSAY WAGNER:
Yes, I know. And it's funny, I did - after that I did several dramas in a row and the industry themselves just kind of got locked into me as a dramatic actress. It was, "That was fast." I just spent three years and all these reruns as, you know playing fun and funny. And then I did two or three dramas in a row and it's like they forgot. And so I don't know, maybe someday.QUESTION:
How did you get the role? Did you go after it? Did someone - did they just come to you?LINDSAY WAGNER:
No I was under contract to Universal and I had been doing several things for them. And I had made a couple of movies that I'd been hired by outside people to do two people in The Paper Chase
in - while I was still under contract with Universal. And they were casting this part of The Bionic Woman
And they just called and said, "Do you want to do it?" And that's - I was talking about it earlier where - because I almost didn't do it. It was a sci-fi and I just - all I did was read the script, and here's this guy jumping up on the building and the - you know, and running faster than the car.
And I'm thinking, "Oh God, you kidding me?" And I must admit, that was my first response. But I had told my mother, my sister was 14 years younger than me, so at that age I was what, I was 25 I think when I did The Six Million Dollar Man
episode that was just supposed to be an episode, before we even knew it was going to become a series.
And I was talking to my mom and said, "You're not going to believe the script they sent me, blah, blah, blah." And she said, "Oh you mean The Six Million Dollar Man
?" She said, "They want you to be The Bionic Woman
And I went - and I said, "How do you know all that?" And she said, "Well Lindsay, it's your sister's favorite show." I said, "Really?" I had never seen it. And she said, "Oh yes."
So I said, "Okay, I'm going to have to watch this." And then I looked at my - at the cover letter that came with the script, and I saw that the start date was my sister's birthday. And I thought - so I actually did the first episode for my sister as a birthday present.QUESTION:
For your workshops and retreats, I know you're on Twitter; do you have a Facebook page?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Oh yes.LINDSAY WAGNER:
It's Lindsay Wagner, Quiet the Mind, Open the Heart. And you can go to lindsaywagnerinternational.com is the Web site, and it talks all about the workshops and where they're going to be and what we do and the basic philosophy of it and all that.
[I] Have one coming up in Toronto - I mean in Bancroft outside of Toronto, this next week actually...QUESTION:
I would love it.LINDSAY WAGNER:
Where are you?QUESTION:
I'm in Minnesota.LINDSAY WAGNER:
Minnesota. I also have one in...And I have one in Palm Springs in August.
That's three and four days. And then I'll be in - actually maybe closer to you, I don't know, Calgary. I'm going to be in Calgary in September. So I've got - those are the three workshops that I have coming up right now.
Come join us.QUESTION:
I have a fan question; they were wondering what you took from working with John Houseman, or how was it like working with him?LINDSAY WAGNER:
Well he was really something. He had such a presence, it was just palpable. He was pretty much playing himself, only not mean. Although I've never studied with him and I've heard some people say, "Yes, he could be kind of tough," but just his presence and his groundedness.
It's nothing that - it's very hard to explain intellectually because it was an experience. So I think I got more experiential learning from him, if you will, than anything that he would have said to me or you know. It was just, being in his energy and feeling his groundedness while he was working; I kind of learned from just experiencing that.QUESTION:
I have another fan question; they want to know what advice do you have for the new generation of actors coming up these days.LINDSAY WAGNER:
Well I can't give much advice on the business itself because I'm kind of out of the loop for the most part. And I think a lot of things are different. I know my sons are involved in it in their own way. And just hearing them talk about certain things, a lot of it sounds kind of different.
But I would say to them these days and any days is to, "Don't forget to pay attention to who you are and your values and your personal growth. Don't let the desire to succeed in that outweigh the desire to succeed as a human being because it can be very intoxicating and tantalizing. When you lose yourself, you're in it even if you become successful, you won't be happy with it."QUESTION:
What would people, your fans, be surprised to learn about you that they wouldn't know already?"LINDSAY WAGNER:
You know, when you're in the public eye this long, I don't know if there's anything that they - it's like, what would that be? Half the time I find myself calling (Kathy Bartels) who runs my fan club, when I can't remember certain things. "Oh yes, well that..." or she'll put out a thing, "Does anybody remember..." and they've got the answer for me.
I don't know. That's a good question though, isn't it? I may have to think about that and answer it next time.QUESTION:
Since you've worked on TV movies, feature films and TV shows, what is - which one do you prefer yourself and why?LINDSAY WAGNER:
I think - well there's - you know, it's hard to say because there's different reasons that I like the different mediums. On a feature film you have more time and money to really work and develop your character and work on it to make it as good as you can possibly make it -- usually, unless you're doing a low budget film.
But - and you don't have the time to do that necessarily on a series. But on a series you have the ability to do it over-time. So it wasn't so great this week, but you start developing that character and you can get into various - you have time to talk about maybe many different things, like we did in The Bionic Woman
, where we were able to cover, you know the potential, human potential in the biofeedback story, or you know discussing social issues like - it wasn't heavy, but racism in that - or the difference of religions like we had.
...Okay. So we were able to cover different aspects of life, as far as content goes, in the breadth of a series over time. When Charlie Hill came on and Jaime was, you know dating him, it was the first time that a star of a series, male or female, had ever gone out with - you know had been seen in a romantic light with someone from a different race.
We broke a lot of ground with that series in so many different ways; not just technologically and you know, a woman first staring for the first time in a serious role without having to make excuses for herself being in the lead by, you know, joking all the time. I mean though we used humor, you know Jaime was as - she was completely validated in being her own person.
And so that over time, you can cover a lot of the different issues. And I like that.
In a TV movie you can - you don't have the time or the resources that you do in a feature, but still there is the opportunity in a one-off like that, as opposed to a series where you have to just bang them out constantly so you don't get to refine it and you don't get to really, you know hone in as much as you would like to, or perfect it as much as you'd like to. You've just got to keep moving and hope that episode came out okay.
And - but in the TV movies, when I got into that, because I liked socially poignant things, stories, I found that that journey, though we didn't have the money and as much time as I would have liked, still there was time to focus very intensely on a particular issue.
So with the various movies that I did for television, we covered many different socially relevant issues. And could hone that story right around that particular thing and go much more deeply into it than we could in an episode.
So I guess I - that's a big long answer to say, "I don't know that I just have one favorite." It's certainly more fun if you've got more money and more time to do it. That's no - that's a given. And that's what you have in a feature.QUESTION:
Just thinking about socially relevant issues, are there any issues you think that haven't been covered enough that you would like to see covered more these days on TV or in a movie?LINDSAY WAGNER:
I think anything having to do with inclusion rather than exclusion. I think we focus - even when we focus, a lot of times when things are, films or whatever are done with a socially poignant point to them or something, they're often covering the problem but don't often offer certain solutions.
To see people growing out of their prejudice or their having an experience -- which does happen to people you know, we just don't see - we'll do it, you know do a story - let's say it's racism. We'll do a story and you'll see a story about what happened to this person, with that person. And by the end of it, you know, they finally got caught having done something horrible to someone of a different race or sexual preference or whatever.
But what is - you know, what came out of that? What - I like to see the stories that include - and they are there, it's just taking the time to find them and not settling for just drama in a story, to find stories of transcention (sic), if you will, somebody transcending their present state of mind.
For example, when we did the story on domestic violence, Shattered Dreams, it was (unintelligible) that we could have done. We picked the one that - of a woman who through her journey started learning about herself. And learning to - you know, what she needed to do to grow through her being kind of stuck in that life pattern.
It was becoming more and more dangerous for her and her children. But she, unlike - which was a fantastic movie. They did a beautiful job. Farrah did an amazing job with The Burning Bed.
I wouldn't have chosen that story myself because the answer isn't to kill the perpetrator -- that doesn't get us anywhere as a society, you know; it doesn't get us anywhere as an individual. And there are other answers. But it's not as easy because those kinds of stories that - you don't find them as easily. And they're harder to write and still keep it interesting. But it absolutely can be done.
So I guess that's kind of a big broad answer. It's not picking an issue that I'd like to see more done about this or that, because with any issue it's how they handle it. That's what I feel I would like to see more of; stories of people really - more internally - internal workings. And that's harder to write, I grant you. But that's what I'd like to see.