This week at The Pink Heart Society editor Trish Wylie delves back into her cache of hero inspiration to bring us a certain Mister Joe Flanigan...
Who? What do you mean WHO???
Many of my romance writing community buddies and friends in general find it tough to understand my passion for Sci-Fi shows... but having already brought you the likes of Michael Shanks and Nathan Fillion from the shows I love to watch surely they can see there's more to my *passion* than meets the eye...
Take Joe Flanigan for example. It's not just that he runs around in Stargate Atlantis fighting off the Wraith and flying Puddle Jumpers and... I'm losing some of you, aren't I? Okay - let's simplify - it's not just that he does all that Sci-fi *stuff* - it's the way he plays the character of Lt. Colonel John Shepard that earns him a place in my hero inspiration *gallery*. In John Sheppard we have the opportunity to see a fairly ordinary guy living in a rather extraordinary world - something he does with a good dose of incredulity, a wry sense of humour and a level of *humanity* that's needed to get the viewer attached to the characters in a world so out of the norm. He steps up when something needs done, isn't always comfortable with discussing feelings, looks after those he cares about even if it often puts him in danger, has the ability to be dorky and still make us think its an endearing quality - and being able to convey all that in Sheppard puts Joe Flanigan slap bang on my list of potential heros - SO THERE!!!
So what about Joe in real life? Well, he was born in Los Angeles on January 5th 1967, but grew up near Reno on a small ranch. His first acting role was as Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" while in Boarding School as a teenager and while receiving a degree in History from the University of Colorado, he appeared in "Coriolanus" - an achievement considering he says:
"At one point in college I was so shy that I’d drop out of a class if asked to speak in front of other people."
During his first year of college, he joined the Junior Year Abroad program which allowed him to study in Paris as a part of his studyprogram. (nice!!!) And after graduating from college he worked at a variety of jobs, from banking to politics - none of which he was apparently completely happy with... It was after he got fired from the Interview magazine, was broke, and living in New York City that his nextdoor neighbour - an actor - convinced Joe to give it a try. So on he went to study acting at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse. As Joe says:
"Learning what you don’t want to do is pretty valuable, it may be as valuable as figuring out what it is you do want to do."
(You know something... I'm liking this guy even more as I do all this research for you...)
Like many actors, his first work was in commercials but in 1994 he got his first role in television, in the miniseries Family Album - going on to become a regular on the series Sisters and First Monday. Guest starring roles on Birds Of Prey, Judging Amy and Murphy Brown then followed and soon he was making repeat appearances on Providence, Cupid and Dawson's Creek... busy guy, huh??? And he's had film roles in A Reason to Believe, The Other Sister and Farewell to Harry - so it's fairly obvious that neighbour in New York steered him in the right direction, isn't it?
It was when he landed the role of John Sheppard in the spin off from the hugely popular Stargate SG1 that he really started to gain a legion of fans... yup... me included. And I think for me, as usual, it was the fact that he brought humour to the role that made me a fan of Sheppard. (Yes, me being all about the funny again!) I'll admit as a fan of Stargate and having LOVED Richard Dean Anderson's humour as Jack O'Neill, the pilot episode of Stargate Atlantis with both Richard and Joe onscreen together was just BLISS. And yes, I collect the box sets of both series - so just go ahead and shoot me - I'm a FAN, okay?! I could go on and on and on about the many humorous moments; like when Sheppard first sat in the chair in the pilot, or when Sheppard talked about clowns or Sheppard carrying a lemon to scare Rodney with - but I'd lose you all again so I won't. Those of you that know, know - and that's enough for me, 'cos you know what I'm talking about here... ;) And again I'm in agreement with Joe who says:
"I believe that science fiction is as profound as you want it to be or it can be very simple entertainment, and I'm all for very simple entertainment. Every now and then we all need to come home, veg-out, watch something and not think too deeply about it. It's what you want it to be."
You know, change the Sci-Fi in that statement for one of those little romances we all love and I'd be in agreement with that one too! Would make a good come back for a few critics on a recent Radio Interview about Mills & Boon ;) But I digress...
Anyhoo, 6ft 2 Joe hates cruises, (his worst nightmare is to be stuck on a boat) - he was a competitive skier for many years - enjoys activities such as skiing, rock climbing, surfing, tennis, mountain biking and horseback riding (LOVING HIM at this point!!!) However, he is very happily married and has three boys under the age of ten so I'll just have to settle for making up a story for someone who looks a LOT like him, won't I?
To find out more about Joe there are a few sites on the web - like Joe Flanigan Info, the fanlisting site Class Act and Joe Flanigan Fan - though the latter is in VERY small print and quite hard to read.
So there ya go - Joe Flanigan - anyone else see a potential hero in there???
H's & K'sTrish
Trish's new release is a little bit of a hidden surprise...
As part of Sexy Sensation's first birthday this month her Modern Extra The Return Of The Rebel is a bonus read inside Susan Napier's book Accidental Mistress ~ but as it's not flagged you'll have to go hunting for it!
You can buy the book here if you want to make sure not to miss the follow up story to Trish's book Breathless!
For more info you can check out Trish's Website or Her Blog...