Mike Dopud is a talented actor who appeared in all three series of the “Stargate” franchise. He recently completed a one-season run on “The 100” and can be seen this year in “Power.”
Welcome! Before we begin, would you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you first became involved with “Stargate”?
Hi Kurt, thank you for having me. I am a dad firstly, husband secondly. Oh and I’m an actor as well. Lol Although some people might argue that. Haha. Wow, how did I become involved with “Stargate”. . .
If I remember correctly, Scott Ateah, “SG1” Stunt coordinator, brought me out on the pilot. These were the days that I was just getting into film and stunt work and acting. I did a bit of everything, background work, stunt work.
What was your very first television audition and what do you most remember about it?
I remember auditioning for some indie film productions which were sketchy at best. Which in hindsite was probably for the better. I got some bad auditions out of the way early on. lol. I was definitely a work in progress. I believe I auditioned for “X-Files” in 1995. As well the shows “Viper” and “The Sentinel.”
I know I wasn’t good at the “X-Files” one. I just remember walking out of the room and thinking, “What just happened? That’s not how I rehearsed it.”
In a lot of your appearances you play a tough guy. What is your routine in the gym — and which muscle group do you most hate working on?
Yes, I tend to play the tough guy very often. Too many good looking actors out there, they had to find a spot for me. My gym routine is extremely varied. It changes and sometimes my workouts are based on a show that I’m doing. Also, it varies from weights to cardio, to yoga to playing hockey as well. I walk a lot too.
The workout for “300” is infamous. Would you give us a detailed breakdown of the most difficult day you remember?
“300” workouts are intense. I’m actually doing a variation of that workout now. I do 300 bodyweight squats as I do weights for my upperbody. I do 20 squats after each set. Pretty intense. I’ll never forget my first day on “300.” We had to do 300 squats in a row and then something like 100 lunges and 50 Pullups I think. I believe that was part of the warmup.
All I remember was not being able to walk the next couple of days. My legs were so sore.
You appeared on all three series in the “Stargate” franchise. Who did you play on each show and what is the first memory that comes back to you when reflecting on your time in each role?
I am really fortunate that I was able to work on all three variations of the “Stargate” franchise. On “SG1,” besides the stunt work, I played Colonel Chernovshev, and Odai Ventrell.
I remember producer Michael Greenberg saying “Why didn’t you tell me that you’re an actor?” He knew me more as a stuntman. Luckily everything went well. I was doing a play at the time and the casting director brought me in and I booked it. Odai Ventrell was a really fun role and I was able to work with the whole cast on that one. I had a blast. Peter Deluise was instrumental in me booking that one.
Next was “SGA” and I played a character called Kyrik. I loved that role. Will Waring was our director and it was an all around amazing time.
Lastly, I played Varro on “SGU.” Again, that was an amazing experience. Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, Brad Wright and Robert Cooper brought me back at the end of the first season. It felt like I came full circle from the beginning, working as a background/stunt performer to becoming a regular on a show with people I had the utmost respect for.
To what extent did you have relationships with producers on “Stargate” that influenced your screen time? Were you able to discuss your desires to be a more permanent presence or just get lucky with roles thrown your way?
Without the producers on my side, I would never have been brought back. Like I said, I was very fortunate.
I think there was a sense of family as well. I’d known the producers for over a decade. They always treated me with respect. I’m still friends with many of the producers and I speak with Joe Mallozzi regularly.
I did however have to audition for all the roles. So they never “threw roles at me,“ lol. I think it was after I played Kyrik that the producers started to look for more regular roles. I think the producers and the fan reaction has a lot to do with me returning on “SGU.”
The lighting on “Stargate: Universe” was markedly different than both “SG-1” and “Atlantis.” In what ways did the lighting affect both the mechanics of your job as an actor and your overall mood?
Quite honestly, the lighting can affect many things. As far as for me, “SGU” was a darker, more gritty version, more character driven which I preferred. It affects how you play your character, for sure.
Having said that, the “Tracker” episode was a little darker than usual for “SGA.”
What director did you most enjoy working with on “Stargate”? Why?
That’s a terrible question Kurt!!! I can’t answer that.
Peter Deluise was a big supporter of mine, especially after watching me in a play called “Of Diners and Buses.” He definitely instilled more confidence in me.
Andy Mikita whom I’ve worked with on a bunch of different shows was great. Will Waring is also awesome. Worked together on other stuff as well. They all stood out in their own way. Lucky to have worked with them.
What did you think of the online efforts to bring back a fourth in-canon iteration of “Stargate”? Would you be willing to reprise your “Universe” role?
What amazed me about the online efforts was how many people were really on board. I believe it shows that “SGU” was canceled far too soon. It’s amazing to me that people still care about the show!
Are you kidding me? I would love to reprise my role as Varro well. Of course, that’s if they’ll still have me.
One of your fans won the chance to ask you a question. Louis Allier asks, “Did you ever have a moment while filming that you thought to yourself, ‘I can’t believe they are paying me for this. It’s too much fun”?
Did you have a moment while filming that you thought to yourself "I can't believe they are paying me for this. It's too much fun." ?— Louis H. Alier (@alier_h) June 26, 2018
Hi Louis, I swear to god I say that to myself everyday that I am on set. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had some very tough days on set over the years but I LOVE what I do. I truly do. I could work everyday.
The roles I tend to play are pretty cool as well. I’m always blowing stuff up, firing weapons and building relationships with amazing actors.
Oh, did I mention that they feed us on set as well!!
Write a plot summary in which the “Stargate: Universe” cliffhanger is resolved and the crew of Destiny gets rescued. Include at least one cast member from each “Stargate” series and give Varro an integral role in the rescue.
Ok, here goes.
The crew of the Destiny comes to after being cryogenically asleep for years. They are all very groggy and weak, when they realize they are under attack from Aliens.
As the crew takes cover, Varro notices a ship that looks familiar approaching the Destiny. As the ship docks, out come Odai Ventrell and Kyrik to lend a hand to Varro as they are forced into hand to hand combat with the Aliens.
As the Aliens seem to gain the upper hand, the whole crew of the Destiny (e.g., TJ (Alaina Huffman), Young (Louis Ferreira), Eli (David Blue), etc.) appear with these powerful weapons and blow all the aliens away to save the day!!