Actors Jewel Staite and A.J. Buckley admit they wouldn't mind if their new Syfy movie, Doomsday Prophecy, had a different title.
"The working title I think was Doomsday Scrolls," said Staite.
When she heard that there were plans to change the name of the movie, "I was like, 'Well, what are we going to change it to? Like Doomsday Octopus? Snakehead Doomsday Terror?' Yes, I was sort of hoping for one of those titles, but obviously it wouldn't make sense," she joked.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), no octopus or snakehead critters pop up in Doomsday Prophecy, which follows the adventures of a book editor (Buckley) and an archaeologist (Staite) who join forces to save the world after the editor gets hold of a device that allows him to see a future geological nightmare that threatens to tear Earth apart. The Syfy original movie premieres Saturday, Aug. 13, at 9 p.m.
Staite and Buckley chatted with journalists during a conference call about their new movie, past projects and what they hope to be doing if doomsday ever manages to become more than a Syfy movie.
"If you're into 2012's coming and any sort of conspiracy, Doomsday Prophecy definitely touches [on those things]," said Buckley. "It's a fun little film. I think people would really enjoy watching it. It's action-packed."
"This is a fun, crazy movie. ... It's a disaster movie. Who doesn't love disaster movies? I know I do. ... It's one of those sci-fi movies that you sit back on a Saturday night with your bowl of popcorn and you zone out and you have fun," Staite said.
"These sci-fi movies are a lot of fun to do. They're a riot. I'd done a sci-fi movie before called Mothman. Everybody knows it. Award-winning," joked Staite. "And I had so much fun on that shoot. I had a blast. So I knew that I was going to have a good time" on Doomsday Prophecy.
When it comes to Buckley's book editor character, "he didn't really know his past, and has had somewhat of a troubled life growing up. Bounced from home to home, but wasn't really connected to anyone that he could remember. And this journey that he goes on, I think, answers a lot of questions for him really quickly. Of course, the end of the world is coming, so he realizes that he's the guy that has to do this. And he needs a partner in crime ... has to be Jewel. I'm like, 'Sweet, this is going to be fun.' And it is our job to save the world."
As for Staite's archaeologist character, "the thing that I like about Brooke is that she reminded me a lot of Dr. Keller, who I played in Stargate: Atlantis. She's very much in her element when she's at work. When she's on a dig, she's totally relaxed. She's very smart, and she's really in her element. But when she's not and she's in these crazy situations, she goes into panic mode. And that's the way I am, too. I don't deal with any kind of peril very well. And it's always really important to me to play that as real as possible," she said.
"I like that she's not a hero. She's a reluctant hero. And at the end of the day, she has to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done," added Staite.
While the actors admit they had a blast when it came to filming Doomsday Prophecy, there were some challenges they faced.
"I get really nervous—A.J.'s going to laugh—I get really nervous around guns. And a lot of the time ... I get put in these sci-fi movies and whatnot where I'm battling various alien races. And they put a gun in my hand and I have to look like I know what I'm doing," she said.
"So for this one, every time a gun was aimed at me, I would go into panic mode, especially since they were giving the gun to Rick Ravanello, who plays Henning in the movie. I mean, anytime you hand an actor—who's not really trained in weaponry—a loaded gun, you get a little nervous, even if it is blanks. I don't care. I definitely had to curb my anxiety somewhat."
Buckley added: "And I think probably my challenging thing is when a gun was pointed at Jewel, I was trying not to laugh, because she was freaking out so much, and we're trying to play the panic. And she keeps freaking out."
Staite, who's a veteran of Firefly and Stargate Atlantis, and Buckley, who's known for his work on CSI: NY and Supernatural's Ghostfacers, agree that they love working on sci-fi projects.
"The more that I've done it, the more that I want to keep doing it. I would love to—like with CSI, whenever that ends — I would love to go into some sort of sci-fi series or thing," said Buckley. "There's unbelievable sci-fi shows that are out there. So I would jump at the opportunity to continue in that world. And going back to what we were saying with the fan base and how much they follow you on that, when you get that love and respect from people it makes you want to continue in that genre and do good work for them."
In fact, he wouldn't mind returning to Ghostfacers, the comic Supernatural take on Ghost Hunters. "To get to do more Ghostfacers would be unbelievable," he said. "One of the most fun characters I think I've had the privilege of playing is definitely the Ghostfacers. I love playing these guys."
Staite agrees that sci-fi has been good to her. "As an actor I just look for really fun characters to play. And a lot of really well-written female characters happen to be in sci-fi. I mean, it just works out that way," she said. "But I do know a lot of actors that are kind of chomping at the bit to get in with the sci-fi fans, so to speak, because they really are so loyal. And as an actor this kind of stuff is fun to do. It's fun to stretch and go beyond the limits of your imagination and just be in these crazy situations that you have to play out. It's always an adventure every day. And that's why I like staying in this genre so much."
When asked about her work on Firefly and Stargate Atlantis, Staite had this to offer: "In terms of which show had a bigger impact on my life, I mean, Stargate was obviously a longer job. I was on that job for three years, and I got to shoot in my hometown for a whole three years and see my family and see my friends and sleep in my own bed, which is really great. ... But with Firefly, it feels like unfinished business. It's like, you know, when you have this really amazing love affair with someone and then you break up over something stupid and you can't stop thinking about them and you always wonder, 'What if?' It's sort of like that."
"We're still holding out [for another movie]," she added. "In Nathan [Fillion]'s big media room, we sit around and listen to Nathan talk about winning the lottery, which I think he said in the press at some point. And he was like, 'If I win the lottery I'm going to buy the rights to Firefly and we're going to make another movie.' And we're all like, 'Whatever, Nathan.' ... There is no bigger Firefly fan than Nathan Fillion, let me tell you."
In the meantime, Staite's present gig is Doomsday Prophecy, and she's thrilled to continue making Syfy originals and hanging out in Nathan Fillion's big media room.
And if the end of the world actually does roll around?
"Just in case the world ends, let me tell you, I'm going to be sitting on a beach in Maui with a Mai Tai in my hand. That's exactly what I'm going to be doing," said Staite.
"I will be right there too," added Buckley.
"And we're not joking."
Here's a sneak peek of Doomsday Prophecy:
Are you ready to hang out to watch the end of the world with Jewel Staite and A.J. Buckley?