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An Online Chat with Jessica Steen
From: The Sci-Fi Channels Dominion Chat Room
Date: February 24, 1998  9:00PM EST

<Moderator> Hello, Jessica?  Can you speak?

<Jessica Steen> I hope so...

<Moderator> Great!
<Moderator> We're now ready to begin.  Any introductory remarks, Jessica?

<Jessica Steen> Hey group!  Hi!

<Jessica Steen> I'm coming at ya from Hollyweird!  Thanks for joining us.  Let
me have it!  What do you want to know?

<Moderator> <George-Cifrancis> to <Moderator>: Hi Jessica, it is George from
The Jessica Steen Page. Can you tell us a little about your role in Armageddon?

<Jessica Steen> (laughs)  Something that you DON'T already know, George?

<Jessica Steen> I can't imagine that I could tell you anything except maybe my
shoe size that you don't already know!

<Jessica Steen> Let's see...I am one of the pilots of one of the two shuttles
that chauffer Bruce Willis into space to save the world.

<Moderator> <Earth2Fan> to <Moderator>: What did you enjoy most about working
on Earth2?

<Jessica Steen> Being in Santa Fe.

<Jessica Steen> All the crew.

<Jessica Steen> ...who have remained, a good portion of them, great friends.

<Jessica Steen> We had a little reunion the other day and it was really nice to
see all their faces and reminisce.

<Jessica Steen> I liked being outdoors.  And I liked my gal Julia!

<Moderator> <SkyKing> to <Moderator>: Do you enjoy being cast in sceince
Fiction roles?

<Jessica Steen> Science fiction has been very very good to me! (laughs)

<Jessica Steen> And so I couldn't say "no" to that question.

<Jessica Steen> I have an active imagination, which is always fun to stimulate.

<Moderator> <Zila> to <Moderator>: who was at the E2 reunion you

<Jessica Steen> Let's see...of the cast, John Gegunhuber, Clancy Brown and

<Jessica Steen> And the rest was crew - hair, makeup, lighting, props.

<Jessica Steen> Debra was out of town so she couldn't make it but wanted to.

<Jessica Steen> I hope I'm not forgetting anyone else that came...

<Jessica Steen> Kirk Trutner was there too.

<Jessica Steen> We had a blast!

<Jessica Steen> And we missed all you guys!!!

<Moderator> <blag> to <Moderator>: Jessica, is there any way for us to find
out where the writers were going to go with Earth2?  Such as script or something?

<Jessica Steen> I don't believe so, because there was never a "bible" created
before the show started and anyone who knew about the Universal sales pitch
for the second season knows that the story was going to go in a very different
direction.  So I don't think anyone can say.  Although I know that the fans
came up with some great ideas.

<Moderator> <Atrus> to <Moderator>: "Sliders is being picked up by The SciFi
Channel...any word on a possible similar outcome for Earth2?

<Jessica Steen> Not that I have heard, but I'd be keen and if they can do
anything I'm right behind them!  Or beside them! Er... :)

<Moderator> <FuzzyEuclid> to <Moderator>: Armageddon:  what's the time
period - far future or more contemporary?

<Jessica Steen> Contemporary, but the shuttles themselves are a lot more
advanced, technically.

<Jessica Steen> And mission control is also bigger, better, fancier - all the
astronauts were overwhelmed with how much nicer our (movie) mission control
was than theirs.

<Moderator> <Earth2Fan> to <Moderator>:  I run an Earth2 website myself so of
course I'm wondering if you ever get online and take a look at such things = )

<Jessica Steen> I hate to admit that I'm such a dinosaur, but I don't posess a
computer, I can barely work my calculator.

<Jessica Steen> So I don't see as much of your hard work as I would like.  I
only play a technically ept person on TV. (laughs)

<Moderator> <pressbutton> to <Moderator>: What was it like working with Bruce
Willis and the others on Armegeddon?

<Jessica Steen> A great bunch of people.  A significantly larger number of men
than women, which I had NO problem with!  All very, very different, gracious
funny, lovely to work with.

<Jessica Steen> Bruce himself is a wonderful host - he sets a great tone for
the set.

<Jessica Steen> He's of course very funny.

<Jessica Steen> He's a very generous actor.

<Jessica Steen> Ben Affleck, Steve Buscemi, Will Patton, Peter Stormare,
William Fichtner...

<Jessica Steen> let's see...who else do I go up in space with?

<Jessica Steen> Those were all the boys I went into space with.

<Jessica Steen> Not bad, huh?

<Jessica Steen> And Billy Bob Thorton and Liv Tyler remain grounded at mission

<Moderator> <Niffer> to <Moderator>: Jessica, what was it like playing a rape
victim confronted with her rapist on Touched By An Angel?

<Jessica Steen> I spent the entire week in kind of a "dark place."

<Jessica Steen> I can't imagine many things more traumatizing to have happen to

<Jessica Steen> I felt fortunate to have the opportunity to investigate those
emotions and perhaps say something about that kind of crime and how it can be

<Jessica Steen> And I have intense sympathy for anyone who's suffered such a

<Moderator> <EdenProject> to <Moderator>: Jessica, you were great in Trial &
Error, did you really drive the motorcycle?

<Jessica Steen> (laughs)

<Jessica Steen> I WANTED to, they wouldn't let me.

<Jessica Steen> The gal who played my double was smaller in stature than I was
but the bike was HUGE and going down the dirt road, keeping it in control, was
a major feat even for her, a trained professional.

<Jessica Steen> But I got to ride it...on the back of a flatbed.

<Jessica Steen> Close, but no cigar.

<Jessica Steen> ...probably just as well.

<Moderator> <me> to <Moderator>: any other shows youll be on in the future we
can watch for

<Jessica Steen> God, I hope so!

<Jessica Steen> I was late for this chat because of an audition.  It's "pilot
season" - I'm pounding the pavement.

<Jessica Steen> I believe my mother's listening - I may be coming home to work
on something but I don't want to talk about it publically yet.

<Moderator> <George-Cifrancis> to <Moderator>: Did you have to do any
"weightlessness" type of acting in Armageddon and what was that like?

<Jessica Steen> First of all, George, my infinite gratitude to you for all your
hard work and concern and support.

<Jessica Steen> I am reproachful in my correspondence on paper without even
attempting computer correspondence...if it makes you feel any better, I still
haven't sent out my wedding thank-yous from 2 1/2 years ago.

<Jessica Steen> and I PROMISE I will be in touch.

<Jessica Steen> As for your question:  we are still waiting to hear on the
outcome of the dispute regarding Armageddon's use of NASA's "Vomit Comet"

<Jessica Steen> We should know very shortly.  I'm dying to go up!

<Jessica Steen> The only thing they've been able to use so far is cranes
suspending people.

<Moderator> <Doc-Devotee> to <Moderator>: Are you aware there is another
Earth2 convention coming up in July this year?  Do you think you will be able to

<Moderator> <Heller> to <Moderator>: Jessica, you were very sweet to your fans
at New Pacificon '96, thankyou!

<Jessica Steen> I heard a rumor last year about it.  I haven't heard anything
about it this year.

<Jessica Steen> July is *lifetimes* away...if it's in Santa Fe or New Mexico,
you can count on the fact that I'll make a serious effort to be there.

<Jessica Steen> The fans of Earth2 blew all of us away with their incredible
support and enthusiasm and creativity.  Thank you to YOU guys for a great

<Moderator> <bortai> to <Moderator>: How was filming Earth 2 - a mostly
outdoor shoot - compared to  filming a more conventional studio-based shoot, such as

<Jessica Steen> I found it to be one of the better elements of Earth 2.  It was
like an "outward bound" trip.  Challenging weather-wise, terrain-wise and
certainly awe inspiring landscape.

<Jessica Steen> So I would rather do that, given my druthers.

<Moderator> <Orlando> to <Moderator>: In Earth 2, was your character a

<Jessica Steen> I didn't see her that way.

<Jessica Steen> No, she was an observer.  At worst, she was an informer.  But I
don't believe you can say she sabotaged the excursion.

<Jessica Steen> And in the end, she redeemed herself and turned her back on the

<Jessica Steen> Did YOU see her as a saboteur?

<Moderator> <Beowulf> to <Moderator>: In regards to the cancellation of E2,
was the cast as suprised as the fans, or was there some inkling before hand?

<Jessica Steen> Yeah, there was a growing inkling in the last few months of
shooting - that we were over budget, that there were changes being made at
Universal that shuffled the cards for us and the creators/producers of the

<Jessica Steen> And so we had a good idea that it might not come back.

<Moderator> <tecolote> to <Moderator>: A question, could you explain the
genetic enhancements of Dr. Keller, we never got to see a clear description of them in the show

<Jessica Steen> Tell Mr. Tecolote, I can see you're a huge fan of Julia
*HELLER*'s...she is not Helen (Keller)'s sister however. ;-)

<Jessica Steen> As for seeing a clear description...neither did I.

<Jessica Steen> As I said, there was no bible giving a clear description of it.

<Jessica Steen> I filled in the blanks by assuming with all the advances in
genetics and cloning, that skewing someone towards certain professions or
talents wasn't too unrealistic for that time period, and that I was skewed
toward the medical sciences.

<Moderator> <Zila> to <Moderator>: you were on Loving for a short while and so
was Rebecca Gayheart (aka Bess on E2): had you two met before Earth 2?

<Jessica Steen> First of all...ouch!

<Jessica Steen> I filled in only for 4-5 weeks for the pregnant Noel Beck and
Rebecca was not on the show at that time.

<Jessica Steen> So, Earth 2 was the first place I met her.

<Moderator> <Kat> to <Moderator>: Hi Jessica :) I'm from Brazil and I really
enjoy your work! I'd like to know if you read some fan fiction and what do you
think about that envolving Julia & Alonzo?

<Jessica Steen> I'm embarassed to say that I haven't had the pleasure of
reading a lot of the fan fiction you're talking about.

<Jessica Steen> As for Julia and Alonzo...(laughs)...I don't know what to say
about that!

<Jessica Steen> Who knows?  Sure...anything could be happening at this point!

<Jessica Steen> He's not hard on the eyes, that's for sure!

<Jessica Steen> And they had a good rapport, so at this point - heck, they
could have a whole gaggle of doctors and pilots running around.

<Moderator> <pressbutton> to <Moderator>: What was the most fun you ever
had on a project?

<Jessica Steen> The most fun I ever had on a project was when I turned 19 I got
a movie-of-the-week that shot at a back country helicopter ski lodge.

<Jessica Steen> And I was new enough to the business, and it was a stunning
enough situation, that I was completely swept off my feet, feeling like an
adult and a real actor.

<Jessica Steen> (Although the "real actor" part suffered some under later

<Jessica Steen> It was called "Striker's Mountain," and I just had one of the
most remarkable times ever.

<Moderator> <Pleistoscene> to <Moderator>: I enjoyed Jessica's work on CAPTAIN
POWER.  Why did the producers feel it necessary to kill off the character of
Pilot?  There was a nice, budding relationship between her and Captain
Power -- and then her character was killed.  Why?

<Jessica Steen> First of all, I love "Pliestoscene" (the name).

<Jessica Steen> I had requested - it was one of my stipulations for doing the
series - that I be killed off at the end of the first season.

<Jessica Steen> The nature of the show, with its post-apocalyptic
Earth-in-ravages setting, the weaponry, and the commercial nature of the
show - ie. being sponsored by Mattel toys - made me quite wary.  So I wanted the
opportunity to be able to see what they were going to do with the show.

<Jessica Steen> And make a decision towards the end of the first season as to
whether I wanted to stay or not.

<Jessica Steen> As a result of how well the toy didn't do at Christmas and
because it was such a huge budget project, they pulled the plug.

<Jessica Steen> I went out with a bang, not a whimper.

<Moderator> <FuzzyEuclid> to <Moderator>: if E2 had no "bible" and only a
skeleton of overall direction, did you find it hard to finger your role as
Julia, or did it actually help?

<Jessica Steen> For the first four episodes, I felt very lost with very
little to sink my teeth into, and was concerned about what I'd gotten myself involved
with - what was going to become of me.

<Jessica Steen> It was scary.  But they MADE her somewhat ambiguous partially
because they didn't know what to do with her and (I'd like to think) partially
because they didn't know "me."

<Jessica Steen> When they came to me and said they had this idea that I
would be a foil, I have to say I was concerned about that.

<Jessica Steen> ...because I know how seriously the fan base takes their

<Jessica Steen> So I wanted to put the spin on it that she *felt* she was doing
the right thing.  That she got caught up in something that at one point seemed
to be honorable and make sense to her, but that had lost its way.

<Moderator> <Steph-FRG> to <Moderator>: Hi..I am from Germany...will there be
any chance for us that we will see you at one of the european releases of

<Jessica Steen> If I was invited, I would go.  Not being one of the "top" stars
of the film, I'm sure the would go to others first, but I would welcome the

<Moderator> <pressbutton> to <Moderator>: Can you tell us a little about the
environmental movement your involved in?
<Moderator> We only have a few minutes left.  Please send your final questions
to the Moderator now.

<Jessica Steen> The Western Canadian Wilderness Comittee...

<Jessica Steen> (looking for URL)

<Jessica Steen> they do incredible work to save areas of Canada that are
vitally important to precious ecosystems.  I value their work and support them

<Jessica Steen> The David Suziki Foundation, also located in Vancouver, do
remarkable work as well, researching and finding solutions to problems.

<Jessica Steen> (found one address):

<Jessica Steen> Problems with environmental standoffs with industry and

<Jessica Steen> The last organization that I'm involved in is the WSPA - the
World Society for the Protection of Animals.

<Jessica Steen> And they're world wide and they do rescue missions, whether
it's dancing bears in Greece or the animals in Sarajevo...

<Jessica Steen> My concerns are mostly for animals and the environment, who
require more focus because they can't speak for themselves.

<Moderator> <FuzzyEuclid> to <Moderator>: What is your favorite science
fiction - movie, book, play....?

<Jessica Steen> Well, it's funny - the first piece of science fiction that
really struck me was a book called The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham.

<Jessica Steen> I read it in high school and it's always sort of stuck in my
brain.  And I actually bought it from a second-hand store the other day.

<Jessica Steen> I'm going to read it again.

<Moderator> Atrus> to <Moderator>: "Just wanted to say I think your
incredible!!! What's up regarding future projects with you, besides

<Jessica Steen> I feel like that question should be directed to George - he
seems to know what I'm doing before I do!

<Jessica Steen> Like I said, it's pilot season and having worked on Armageddon
I'm hoping that some good opportunities will come up in the near future.

<Jessica Steen> We just finished shooting last week, so I haven't been
available to be involved in anything for 4 1/2 months now.

<Jessica Steen> I'm just getting back out there, pounding the pavement again.

<Moderator> Thanks for taking the time to chat with us!  Any final thoughts
for our chatters?

<Jessica Steen> Thank you so much for all your support and for "tuning in," if
that's what you call this!

<Jessica Steen> I'm blessed to have people like yourselves who show an interest
in actors' work.  On behalf of the folks that worked on Earth 2, you continue
to amaze us and have been instrumental in helping us be cohesive.

<Jessica Steen> I look forward to having this opportunity again at some point.

<Jessica Steen> Keep your fingers crossed...I could use a job! (laughs) And
thank you very much again.

<Jessica Steen> Over and out.


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